Building a "Super 35" for WJ using Dana 44 axle shafts and 30-spline D35 carrier? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-24-2021, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
arizonawj
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Building a "Super 35" for WJ using Dana 44 axle shafts and 30-spline D35 carrier?

So far this is a thought exercise, but hear me out. I'd like to run 32s with a selectable locker but even if I swapped in a Dana 44a, there are very few locker choices. The Super 35 30-spline kits for the D35 are popular on TJs and XJs and people run 35s locked on those generally without problems. But no one sells a kit for the WJ.

The WJ Dana 44a and 35 axle shafts will both interchangeably bolt into the rear knuckle. 30 spline D35 shafts (the "Super 35") are also the same spline count and angle as D44 30-spline shafts.

According to what I've found online, the WJ D35 shaft lengths are 31.74" (left) and 30.25" (right):

https://eastcoastgearsupply.com/i-23...ear-shaft.html
https://eastcoastgearsupply.com/i-23...ear-shaft.html

The WJ Dana 44a right shaft for a vehicle without Vari-Lok is 30.34": https://eastcoastgearsupply.com/i-17...tock-rep.htm3l

The JK D44 rear axle shaft is 31 7/8" (31.875"): https://eastcoastgearsupply.com/i-18...shaft-kit.html

Thus, it seems to me that as long the locker will tolerate a shaft 0.125" longer on the left side, and 0.09" longer on the right side, I could put in a JK D44 shaft on the left, a WJ D44a shaft on the right, press on the appropriate WJ D44a bearings/seal/retainer plate, and install a "Super 35" 30-spline D30 locker (such as an Ox locker or Eaton e-locker) and it would work.

Thoughts? Am I missing something? Will a JK D44 axle shaft not have the bearings located in the same area? (The photos look similar enough online). This seems like the cheapest and easiest way to upgrade, just the cost of two axle shafts. Only problem is I'm not really wanting to spend $1500 on a locker and axle shafts to find out I overlooked something and it doesn't fit.

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post #2 of 6 Old 10-24-2021, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
arizonawj
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Edit: Meant to say 30-spline D35 locker at the end of the second-to-last paragraph there.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-24-2021, 10:27 AM
cDee63
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Interesting. I dig when people look outside the box. I would first check to make sure the bearing is the same ID, OD and width, if those don't match you're pretty much dead in the water. Definitely keep us posted on your progress, I am also checking out my options on replacing my rear axle though I have the 44a already. Checking the usual suspects, Ford 8.8 or even a 9" for the same reasons as you, I would like a selectable locker other than an ARB.

2004 Limited, 4.7 modded slightly, IRO 3" RockLink LA front, adjustable SA rear, Bilsteins, Addco bar, JKS disconnects. Coming attractions include 242hd, IRO SYE and Woods DS right after the new engine/trans..
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-24-2021, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
arizonawj
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All the wheel bearings, seals, etc. are the same for the WJ D35 & D44. I found the problem though - the JK D44 axle has a larger diameter at the wheel bearing. Thus, a JK D44 axle shaft won't fit in a WJ D35 or D44 housing, even if the length is correct.

This means that the left shaft would either have to be custom or one of the other available lengths. The D44a with Vari-Lok is 32.33", or about 0.58" longer than the D35 shaft. I wonder if that would be too much. Perhaps it depends on the particular locker's tolerances...
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-25-2021, 08:31 AM
cDee63
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That is the bearing I was referring to. Could you have the JK axle bearing surface turned down or is the JK bearing OD also larger than the WJ?

2004 Limited, 4.7 modded slightly, IRO 3" RockLink LA front, adjustable SA rear, Bilsteins, Addco bar, JKS disconnects. Coming attractions include 242hd, IRO SYE and Woods DS right after the new engine/trans..
1974 Ironhead Sportster, total custom
High speed, low drag
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-25-2021, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
arizonawj
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The JK bearing OD is larger so that won't work.

I'm thinking the 32.33" WJ D44a Vari-Lock shaft would work if you had a shop just cut off 0.50" or so on the end. You only need >1" of spline engagement, and I bet there would still be much more than that.
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