Broken Axle -
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-15-2006, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Broken Axle

I am just curious as to what happens when you break your rear axle, the D35 to be specific. I want to run 33s but due to being poor I can't afford to upgrade to a D44 and 4.56 gearing for a few months. If I were to run 33s and did happen to break the axle what would technically happen? Would I be able to drive it home? I know that once it breaks I will need to replace it immediately but what technically breaks and makes it unusable?

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post #2 of 8 Old 02-15-2006, 06:58 PM
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The D35 axles are held in by c-clips in the center. That means when you break an axle the outerpart of it and the tire,wheel and brake drum come right on out. A lot of people use tree limbs to try to hold it in and limp off the trail but driving down the road is not going to happen.

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post #3 of 8 Old 02-15-2006, 06:58 PM
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Basically this.....

edit: darn it otisdog.. you beat me to it...

Last edited by Los; 02-15-2006 at 08:30 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-15-2006, 07:02 PM
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Somebody has to scare the poor guy into reality!!

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post #5 of 8 Old 02-15-2006, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thats not that bad. Seriously that is bad. If I end up breaking a D35c is it most likely going to be the actual axle shaft or do other parts end up breaking as well. Also how much does this cost to repair?
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-15-2006, 10:10 PM
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If you're lucky, you'll just snap an axle. I guess worst case you could grenade your diff.

If you are really worried about breaking an axle, find some trail spares to take along. If you havent done it already, you may want to get into your diff and find out what it takes to remove an axle shaft. Then you'll know what else to take with you such as diff fluid, RTV, etc. etc.....

I ran into a guy on the trail with a broken D35 a while back. He had everything he needed to change out the broken shaft. Only problem was he couldnt get the 'chunk' left in the carrier. We all took a stab at knocking it loose but it just wouldnt budge.

He broke the shaft early afternoon and ended up trailering it out around midnight.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-16-2006, 07:48 AM
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This could happen
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-16-2006, 05:44 PM
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I just broke my D35c on 33's with a Detroit locker (not a good combo) while climbing out of a wash off-camber with weight on right rear which snapped without even giving it much gas. I fixed it for under $100 but had to fix it on the trail. It was the right rear axle shaft that broke. It took about two hours (not rushing) and I needed:
- right side axle shaft (left/right are diff lengths) which I got used for $40
- new axle seal (I actually was able to reuse existing one)
- 2 quarts 80w90 gear oil / small self contained drain pan to catch
- 1 can brake cleaner to clean diff cover before replacing
- Right-Stuff brand gasket RTV ($14 for sm tube but worth it)/caulk gun
- long pointer/stick with attached magnet to retrieve broken pieces
- jack stands / hi-lift jack
- set of good quality sockets
- 1 can of brake fluid
- repair manual
I think that's everything. Some tips: if you do hear that explosive KLANK sound underneath, stop. Try not to move, if possilble, because that wheel and axle will start sliding out which could trash the axle seal and when the hub comes off the brake shoes, your brake pedal will go to the floor and cause the piston in the wheel cylinder to pop right out which could be damaged. Mine, thankfully, was easily pushed back together, however we needed to add brake fluid and bleed the brakes. When I broke, I had none of the parts with me, and had to leave my TJ overnight. It was in a safe spot but I still didn't get much sleep that night. And to be honest, I still don't carry these extra parts because of the lack of storage space, I just adjusted my driving and set more conservative limits on what I will attempt. I learned that I am NOT invincible out there! I Hope that helps, and I hope you don't have to use this info! Have fun.

-DC- 2003 Wrangler X
4.0L, Auto, Dana 30/35c, open diffs, 2" ProComp coils/shocks, G W MTRs 33x12.50x15 on black rockcrawlers, KC fog on bumper, Hella 500 w/s mount
--Things I made in the fab shop:
1"BL w/alum pucks, 1" T-Case drop, Rear upper shock mounts - BPE, Steel rear bumper w/ hitch, Light bar on front bumper, 1.5" driver's seat lift
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