Replacing rear Spider Gears TJ Wrangler - Tight or loose fit? -
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post #1 of 2 Old 11-24-2016, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 51
Replacing rear Spider Gears TJ Wrangler - Tight or loose fit?

Hello everyone, a few weeks ago I posted about having a clunk noise in my rear diff. I must've been going too hard on it as it happened after going up some crazy hills. We opened it up, and there was a pretty big size chunks missing from the bottom and top spider gears. We ordered a set for 100$ from 4wheel parts that took a week to get here. Well, we ran into a problem where the spider gears were not fitting at all. In the end, I had ordered 3 sets of spider gears: 2 from 4 wheel parts, and 1 from east coast gear supply. 2 were dana oem spider gears and one from crown. Turns out none of them fit while trying to put in the bottom and top spider gears. I then checked east coast gear supply's gear set for DANA 35's for 93' and older models. Turns out they have a bigger outer diameter for the side gears than the 94' and older models. After measuring mine with a caliper, it measured 1.625". This meant that my TJ came with a 93' or older version of the DANA 35 i guess. I bought it used, so possible they swaped it after something broke. The top and bottom spider gears are also a bit shorter after checking with a caliper once they came in. I compared it with the other new sets that weren't fitting. (My diff cover has a date of 96' though which is weird???) ALSO: I can find my ring and pinion set #42722 under TJ Dana 35 axle in a catalog. Cant post the link but Is it possible to have a TJ ring and pinion and 93' or older spider gear set??

So we try installing the 93' and older spider gear set which measure 1.625 just like the ones i had in before. After watching a couple youtube videos we figured out how they should be installed.

Wast too hard, except we had to force the bottom gear in a bit for it to fit with the shim. So in this video, both the bottom and top spider gears have shims, when spinning either axle though, everything moves as a unit. If we spin them opposite ways the spider gears do move but they sort of lock again until you apply the same force again and make them spin again.


Here is the same thing except we removed the hard to put in shim for the bottom spider gear (NOTE: The top spider gear fits in nicely with a shim):


At this point im questioning if we have the right gears or not. Whether we were just not installing the first ones right. Im confident that my dana 35 is not limited slip though. If you guys have suggestions or can find me the parts that are correct then please let me know. Or maybe having them too loose is okay? Maybe after driving a bit they will loosen up if i have both shims in there?

Im saving up for a ford 8.8 swap that i can order beginning of january. Just need to get this thing running again. Thanks for any help.

Last edited by Civeng1741; 11-24-2016 at 02:23 PM.
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post #2 of 2 Old 11-24-2016, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 51
I couldnt post a link. So if you want to check out the diff cover and ring gear numbers/info you can go to imgur and paste this after it: /a/M43zo
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jeep , replacement , spider gears , tj

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