97 TJ axle questions

Dvaniwaarden11

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Previous owner wheeled my Jeep hard. I’ve had to replace the 4.0, rewelded the 4 link 5.5 inch Tera flex long arm, replaced the shocks, and my rear driveshaft snapped recently along with finding cracked teeth in my 4.88 Dana 35. It had one of those automatic electric lockers (not sure on brand) that is no longer operational. I was planning on buying an Eaton/ARB and regearing the rear end, new shafts, and new bearings all at the same time. That’s going to cost me around 2500 total through a mechanic I’m working with (because i’ve never done gears and don’t want to screw it up).

I have a Dana30 in the front that’s trussed and the dana35 i was thinking of rebuilding is trussed. I was searching for a reasonably priced Dana 44 or a rubicon 44. However I haven’t found one reasonably priced.

Yesterday I found a ford 8.8 with 4.88 gearing and an ARB with disc brakes for 1500. 2k miles on the locker. I would need to reweld the truss for my 4 link and I need a new driveshaft anyways so measuring a new one wouldn’t be a problem. It would probably be a few hundred cheaper than rebuilding the trussed Dana 35. I feel like it’s a good deal but on my previous TJ I never changed the axles so I’m not super knowledgable on this. I heard the 8.8’s are decent but I wanted to hear some opinions from the more knowledgable Jeep people in here first.

Does this sound like a good idea? What are some pros and cons of running an 8.8? Would it work with my front Dana 30 fine?

Thanks!
 
I believe the 8.8 offsets your driveshaft slightly.

Barnes sells trusses as do others.

I went with a Super 35 kit from Revolution gear. Higher spline count. Theoretically as strong as a 44.

What size tires are you running? If they're bigger than 35s you might want to look at Superduty Axles.

-Mac
 
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Previous owner wheeled my Jeep hard. I’ve had to replace the 4.0, rewelded the 4 link 5.5 inch Tera flex long arm, replaced the shocks, and my rear driveshaft snapped recently along with finding cracked teeth in my 4.88 Dana 35. It had one of those automatic electric lockers (not sure on brand) that is no longer operational. I was planning on buying an Eaton/ARB and regearing the rear end, new shafts, and new bearings all at the same time. That’s going to cost me around 2500 total through a mechanic I’m working with (because i’ve never done gears and don’t want to screw it up).

I have a Dana30 in the front that’s trussed and the dana35 i was thinking of rebuilding is trussed. I was searching for a reasonably priced Dana 44 or a rubicon 44. However I haven’t found one reasonably priced.

Yesterday I found a ford 8.8 with 4.88 gearing and an ARB with disc brakes for 1500. 2k miles on the locker. I would need to reweld the truss for my 4 link and I need a new driveshaft anyways so measuring a new one wouldn’t be a problem. It would probably be a few hundred cheaper than rebuilding the trussed Dana 35. I feel like it’s a good deal but on my previous TJ I never changed the axles so I’m not super knowledgable on this. I heard the 8.8’s are decent but I wanted to hear some opinions from the more knowledgable Jeep people in here first.

Does this sound like a good idea? What are some pros and cons of running an 8.8? Would it work with my front Dana 30 fine?

Thanks!

Fill out your profile information and include your tire size so we can suggest a route to go.

Either way I’d say no on the 8.8. They’re big, clunky, offset. Clearance killers that don’t brr et long under a TJ.
 
Fill out your profile information and include your tire size so we can suggest a route to go.

Either way I’d say no on the 8.8. They’re big, clunky, offset. Clearance killers that don’t brr et long under a TJ.

Good call. Filled out my profile. What do you mean by big and clunky? Price wise it might save me money swapping the Dana 35 that I have to rebuild out for the 8.8 otherwise I’m looking at 2k+ just for a Dana 44 or rubicon that I would still need to regear to match the front.
How much clearance do you lose?
 
I believe the 8.8 offsets your driveshaft slightly.

Barnes sells trusses as do others.

I went with a Super 35 kit from Revolution gear. Higher spline count. Theoretically as strong as a 44.

What size tires are you running? If they're bigger than 35s you might want to look at Superduty Axles.

-Mac

I’m running 35s. Don’t plan to go bigger for probably 10 years when I LS swap and switch everything to 1 tons.
What do you mean offset? Does the differential sit in a different spot on the 8.8s? I figured doing a bunch of work to rebuild a whole dana35 didn’t make sense and now would be the time to replace the rear axle with something a little better.
 
Good call. Filled out my profile. What do you mean by big and clunky? Price wise it might save me money swapping the Dana 35 that I have to rebuild out for the 8.8 otherwise I’m looking at 2k+ just for a Dana 44 or rubicon that I would still need to regear to match the front.
How much clearance do you lose?

The 8.8 “used” to be a well-respected option, but over time it became evident that it made too many compromises. An S35 is a considerable improvement and easily up to 35’s. It’s lighter, has more clearance, is inline horizontally with the TCase output shaft, and is nearly wider (the differences vary based on what the 8.8 came out of and what year). The 8.8 boasts none of these.

A Dana 44 is not going to help you or be an improvement on a S35. Neither can handle a bigger tire than a 35”.

I don’t have the # for how much farther down an 8.8 hangs relative to a Dana 35. Some were 5” from centerline and others 5 3/4”. Which one? The Dana 35 I don’t know offhand, but you’ve got one and a measuring tape I assume.
 
Good info fellas. Sounds like I’ll be rebuilding my rear end with the S35 kit instead of regular Dana 35 axle shafts. Thanks for the input.
What about the super Dana 35 axle shafts makes the axle stronger?
 
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