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Help me understand the Super 35 kit

SvtLdr

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He used the wrong word, I was just trying to help him figure it out.
I don't know about you but I'm interested to see this trailer that was mentioned... and just why it's given him such a reputation?
 

BlueC

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What a timely thread revival as I currently find myself needing to upgrade my rearend/axle (currently Dana 35 open diff). After reading through this thread and a few others, I have surmised that a good quality Super 35 kit is more than strong enough to handle up-to a 33" tire with locker, and that a good quality Super 35 is on par strength wise with a stock 44.

However, what I'm not sure about is how a Super 35 with locker will handle 35" tires, which I plan on going to soon (currently on 33"). For those with experience or some other knowledge, what are the prevailing thoughts and opinions of a S35 vs a 44 when running 35" tires? (Maybe this has been addressed and I didn't see it.) FYI I'm not a rock crawler or "hardcore wheeler" and this Jeep will never be used for that, but I'm not afraid of the skinny pedal which is how I originally found out about the weakness of the Dana 35 :rolleyes:

While not the final factor, I also have to consider that an S35 kit starts around $1,500 and goes up. Locally, a stock TJ 44 pull out cost $1200-1,500 plus likely regearing. Which way would you go and why?
 

NashvilleTJ

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SvtLdr

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What a timely thread revival as I currently find myself needing to upgrade my rearend/axle (currently Dana 35 open diff). After reading through this thread and a few others, I have surmised that a good quality Super 35 kit is more than strong enough to handle up-to a 33" tire with locker, and that a good quality Super 35 is on par strength wise with a stock 44.

However, what I'm not sure about is how a Super 35 with locker will handle 35" tires, which I plan on going to soon (currently on 33"). For those with experience or some other knowledge, what are the prevailing thoughts and opinions of a S35 vs a 44 when running 35" tires? (Maybe this has been addressed and I didn't see it.) FYI I'm not a rock crawler or "hardcore wheeler" and this Jeep will never be used for that, but I'm not afraid of the skinny pedal which is how I originally found out about the weakness of the Dana 35 :rolleyes:

While not the final factor, I also have to consider that an S35 kit starts around $1,500 and goes up. Locally, a stock TJ 44 pull out cost $1200-1,500 plus likely regearing. Which way would you go and why?
I can offer advice on the Super35 but I don't have any experience with a Dana 44.

I've been running the S35 for 3 years now. I have an E-locker with 4.88 gears and shafts from Revolution. I'm on 35" KM3 tires. My usage has been fairly rough but not extreme. I do like to play on the rocks but I'm also mindful of the fact that anything can be broken with the right kind of abuse. The Super35 has held up well for me, I'd recommend it.

I have buddy with a similar set up, Super35 with a Detroit and 36" TSL tires. He really punishes his rig and the rear end is still holding strong for him also.

I'd recommend building the S35 as it can be done for quite a bit less than an equivalent Dana 44. Just my 2 cents.
 
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JMT

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What a timely thread revival as I currently find myself needing to upgrade my rearend/axle (currently Dana 35 open diff). After reading through this thread and a few others, I have surmised that a good quality Super 35 kit is more than strong enough to handle up-to a 33" tire with locker, and that a good quality Super 35 is on par strength wise with a stock 44.

However, what I'm not sure about is how a Super 35 with locker will handle 35" tires, which I plan on going to soon (currently on 33"). For those with experience or some other knowledge, what are the prevailing thoughts and opinions of a S35 vs a 44 when running 35" tires? (Maybe this has been addressed and I didn't see it.) FYI I'm not a rock crawler or "hardcore wheeler" and this Jeep will never be used for that, but I'm not afraid of the skinny pedal which is how I originally found out about the weakness of the Dana 35 :rolleyes:

While not the final factor, I also have to consider that an S35 kit starts around $1,500 and goes up. Locally, a stock TJ 44 pull out cost $1200-1,500 plus likely regearing. Which way would you go and why?
S35 will be fine for up to 35” tire.

An S35 is more economically sensible. You get more clearance.

A Dana 44 has better reputation out in the world.
 

Wheeler

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If you’re eventually getting bigger tires then yes. But if I were you I’d wait till I decided on a final gear ratio for regearing. Do it all at once.
I’m running 4:11s right now and while I won’t say never, I currently have no plans for taller tires or regearing, not with the 4 banger.
 

ArmyRN

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I don't know about you but I'm interested to see this trailer that was mentioned... and just why it's given him such a reputation?
Since you asked about the trailer... here you go (and then some!).

I built a lil' adventure trailer based off a 4' Harbor Freight trailer frame starting about 2010/2011. It was a long build over time (and a very long thread) with a couple design changes along the way. I use it on my overlanding trips, and to bring camping gear if I'm going to a four-wheeling event. The build thread is linked further below. If you ever want to build a lil' trailer like this one, this thread has all the information you need. Not just from me; lots of other folks contributed to the thread (and they gave me ideas while building my trailer). And quite a few folks used the thread to build a lil' trailer of their own. You can only put so much stuff in the back of a TJ. And it is small enough to be pulled behind a Willys (I so want to take the Willys and trailer on an overlanding trip). No real welding involved - pretty much all bolt together.

If you check out the first few pages of the build-thread you'll see how it started, then look at the pictures now. Same basic frame (modified and more than once). Different suspension (4th or 5th set of springs - lost count), different axle (I'm on axle #4 actually), body mods, rear bumper, tire & wheel upgrades, bolt-ons, etc. (sounds like a Jeep build!).

The RTT on top of the trailer is really a Cabela's two-person tent-cot that I repurposed as an RTT (custom cover made for it).

Famous last words... I think I've done about all I can do with the trailer. The big stuff anyways - but just like a Jeep build you're never really done - there's always a tweak to be done somewhere.

This trailer's been up into Canada a couple times (did the Dempster Highway), all around Alaska, crisscrossed the country a couple times (Overland Adventure East 2019, Route 66, TAT, WBCDR, Pacific Crest overland route, etc.) and it just makes taking the TJ more enjoyable on my adventures. The 4.88 gears really help the 2.5 turn the 33" tires (30 front/44 rear) and when pulling the trailer. The TJ's 2.5 is working even harder when pulling the loaded trailer I will admit. Fortunately the trailer in itself is pretty light. Trailer tires are 235/75/15" with no plans to go bigger as it sits level, and there's already quite a few more inches of clearance under the trailer's axle vs. the TJ's rear 44 pumpkin. Bigger/heavier tires would just make it heavier to pull. It carries a matching spare. Trailer has electric brakes, and both Jeeps are wired for a brake controller.

Let me know how I can help you build one if interested... after you've read though the whole trailer build link. I do this for fun (I'm a nurse, not in the trailer business but I know trailer stuff).


Glamor shot from FourWheeler Magazine's Overland Adventure East 2019.

Overland Adventure.2.jpg


Someday buddy - you & me & the trailer are going on an overlanding adventure. I promise.
I had this flatty 20 years before I got my TJ (got the 98 TJ in 2008 and built it for wheeling) - I built the flatty and learned to four-wheel with it. I've only had it on its side twice. It is a 1946 CJ2A (3A windshield frame), 2000cc Pinto engine (Novak adapter), T90 (with T90C gears)/Spicer 18/Warn OD, 5.38 gears in the Dana 25/44 f/r, Lock-Rights f/r, Rancho 2.5" lift & Rancho 5000 shocks, 31" tires on 15x8" black spokes, 11" drums rear, Brennan disc brake conversion front, Saginaw manual steering, Ramsey 6000lb winch (what ever happened to Ramsey anyways?), 69 Firebird seats, 5-pt racing harness, full cage, custom aluminum diamond plating to cover ugly/mangled sections, lots of other stuff. It is a long story, but I kinda built the trailer with the Willys in mind too.


Willys and trailer.6 (2).jpg


The trailer gets around. It makes taking the TJ possible on these long adventures and not having to leave stuff behind that you'd rather not leave behind. It is amazing how much you can put into one of these little trailers. The base of the tub only measures 40" x 50". Here I am getting ready to start the Alaska Highway (not the first time the trailer's been here).

Arctic Trip.3.jpg


This next picture is of my overlanding buddy on one of our first trips we took with the Jeep and trailer. Gotta start somewhere. Picture two full-sized guys trying to pack everything needed for a couple day camping trip (we've been overlanding long before we heard of the term "overlanding"). Thank-goodness for the lil' trailer. If you look closely you can see stuff piled up in the back of the Jeep too. I learned a lot about my new lil' trailer on that trip (on this trip we did the highway 101 loop around the Olympic Peninsula after I came back from Iraq the second time), and we started making changes/upgrades. But this is where it first began. Good times - good memories. That's what the trailer does for me.

Keith on 101 trip.jpg


I even have a high-lift jack bolted to the trailer! (PLEASE - not trying to start a love/hate high-lift jack debate). There was an empty spot on the trailer, and now one less thing to carry in/on the TJ. I don't want to admit it is partly there for bling (it is fully deployable and functional), but I wouldn't put up too much of an argument if you wanted to challenge me on it. This is my Jeep and trailer's picture claim to magazine fame.

Four wheeler picture overland east.jpg


Here's a picture with the tent fully deployed. It is great to sleep in and comfortable, but that's about it. Can't really sit up in it. Very watertight (we've been in some storms). Notice I've done a drop-down tailgate conversion on the Jeep. Makes a nice cooking surface when overlanding, a place to rebuild a driveshaft (that's another story) or for just a place to sit. Dirtworx rear bumper.

Overland Adventure.7.jpg


And yes, I can open the trailer's lid with the tent fully deployed. Get tent opened up first, then start thinking about cooking.

Overland Adventure.6.jpg


I've been pretty lucky hammering the trailer like I do offroad and not breaking anything (usually). The suspension gets a workout. Only time I broke something that required fixing then-and-there was the one time I snapped a leaf spring. We ratchet strapped a piece of wood between the axle and frame (fortunately the break was behind the axle), dropped the trailer's tire pressures real low (that was all the suspension that one side got), drove it the rest off the trail (it was the last day of a week running the WABDR), and then dragged it literally a couple hundred miles home on pavement. Then another set of springs and upgrades (like spring bump stops).

Trailer spring broke.3.jpg


trailer spring broke.2.jpg
 
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SvtLdr

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Since you asked about the trailer... here you go (and then some!).

I built a lil' adventure trailer based off a 4' Harbor Freight trailer frame starting about 2010/2011. It was a long build over time (and a very long thread) with a couple design changes along the way. I use it on my overlanding trips, and to bring camping gear if I'm going to a four-wheeling event. The build thread is linked further below. If you ever want to build a lil' trailer like this one, this thread has all the information you need. Not just from me; lots of other folks contributed to the thread (and they gave me ideas while building my trailer). And quite a few folks used the thread to build a lil' trailer of their own. You can only put so much stuff in the back of a TJ. And it is small enough to be pulled behind a Willys (I so want to take the Willys and trailer on an overlanding trip). No real welding involved - pretty much all bolt together.

If you check out the first few pages of the build-thread you'll see how it started, then look at the pictures now. Same basic frame (modified and more than once). Different suspension (4th or 5th set of springs - lost count), different axle (I'm on axle #4 actually), body mods, rear bumper, tire & wheel upgrades, bolt-ons, etc. (sounds like a Jeep build!).

The RTT on top of the trailer is really a Cabela's two-person tent-cot that I repurposed as an RTT (custom cover made for it).

Famous last words... I think I've done about all I can do with the trailer. The big stuff anyways - but just like a Jeep build you're never really done - there's always a tweak to be done somewhere.

This trailer's been up into Canada a couple times (did the Dempster Highway), all around Alaska, crisscrossed the country a couple times (Overland Adventure East 2019, Route 66, TAT, WBCDR, Pacific Crest overland route, etc.) and it just makes taking the TJ more enjoyable on my adventures. The 4.88 gears really help the 2.5 turn the 33" tires (30 front/44 rear) and when pulling the trailer. The TJ's 2.5 is working even harder when pulling the loaded trailer I will admit. Fortunately the trailer in itself is pretty light. Trailer tires are 235/75/15" with no plans to go bigger as it sits level, and there's already quite a few more inches of clearance under the trailer's axle vs. the TJ's rear 44 pumpkin. Bigger/heavier tires would just make it heavier to pull. It carries a matching spare. Trailer has electric brakes, and both Jeeps are wired for a brake controller.

Let me know how I can help you build one if interested... after you've read though the whole trailer build link. I do this for fun (I'm a nurse, not in the trailer business but I know trailer stuff).


Glamor shot from FourWheeler Magazine's Overland Adventure East 2019.

View attachment 305385

Someday buddy - you & me & the trailer are going on an overlanding adventure. I promise.
I had this flatty 20 years before I got my TJ (got the 98 TJ in 2008 and built it for wheeling) - I built the flatty and learned to four-wheel with it. I've only had it on its side twice. It is a 1946 CJ2A (3A windshield frame), 2000cc Pinto engine (Novak adapter), T90 (with T90C gears)/Spicer 18/Warn OD, 5.38 gears in the Dana 25/44 f/r, Lock-Rights f/r, Rancho 2.5" lift & Rancho 5000 shocks, 31" tires on 15x8" black spokes, 11" drums rear, Brennan disc brake conversion front, Saginaw manual steering, Ramsey 6000lb winch (what ever happened to Ramsey anyways?), 69 Firebird seats, 5-pt racing harness, full cage, custom aluminum diamond plating to cover ugly/mangled sections, lots of other stuff. It is a long story, but I kinda built the trailer with the Willys in mind too.


View attachment 305386

The trailer gets around. It makes taking the TJ possible on these long adventures and not having to leave stuff behind that you'd rather not leave behind. It is amazing how much you can put into one of these little trailers. The base of the tub only measures 40" x 50". Here I am getting ready to start the Alaska Highway (not the first time the trailer's been here).

View attachment 305388

This next picture is of my overlanding buddy on one of our first trips we took with the Jeep and trailer. Gotta start somewhere. Picture two full-sized guys trying to pack everything needed for a couple day camping trip (we've been overlanding long before we heard of the term "overlanding"). Thank-goodness for the lil' trailer. If you look closely you can see stuff piled up in the back of the Jeep too. I learned a lot about my new lil' trailer on that trip (on this trip we did the highway 101 loop around the Olympic Peninsula after I came back from Iraq the second time), and we started making changes/upgrades. But this is where it first began. Good times - good memories. That's what the trailer does for me.

View attachment 305389

I even have a high-lift jack bolted to the trailer! (PLEASE - not trying to start a love/hate high-lift jack debate). There was an empty spot on the trailer, and now one less thing to carry in/on the TJ. I don't want to admit it is partly there for bling (it is fully deployable and functional), but I wouldn't put up too much of an argument if you wanted to challenge me on it. This is my Jeep and trailer's picture claim to magazine fame.

View attachment 305397

Here's a picture with the tent fully deployed. It is great to sleep in and comfortable, but that's about it. Can't really sit up in it. Very watertight (we've been in some storms). Notice I've done a drop-down tailgate conversion on the Jeep. Makes a nice cooking surface when overlanding, a place to rebuild a driveshaft (that's another story) or for just a place to sit. Dirtworx rear bumper.

View attachment 305399

And yes, I can open the trailer's lid with the tent fully deployed. Get tent opened up first, then start thinking about cooking.

View attachment 305400

I've been pretty lucky hammering the trailer like I do offroad and not breaking anything (usually). The suspension gets a workout. Only time I broke something that required fixing then-and-there was the one time I snapped a leaf spring. We ratchet strapped a piece of wood between the axle and frame (fortunately the break was behind the axle), dropped the trailer's tire pressures real low (that was all the suspension that one side got), drove it the rest off the trail (it was the last day of a week running the WABDR), and then dragged it literally a couple hundred miles home on pavement. Then another set of springs and upgrades (like spring bump stops).

View attachment 305409

View attachment 305411
Very cool, thanks for sharing, and thank you for your service. It's obvious you've really put in the work to create a finely-tuned trailer that functions very well. I have a '98 TJ also in the same color as yours. Love that Gun Metal Pearl!
20201116_155922.jpg
 
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BlueC

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The Super35 has held up well for me, I'd recommend it.
S35 will be fine for up to 35” tire.
Thanks for the replies.

Can y'all tell me what all is involved with the install of a S35 kit? Or point me to a thread that does. I assume it would basically be a complete rebuild. Would I be able to swap my current ring gear over to the new carrier and set it back in as currently shimmed? (i.e. I wouldn't touch the pinion gear and wouldn't need to go through setting up the gears again?)
 

JMT

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Thanks for the replies.

Can y'all tell me what all is involved with the install of a S35 kit? Or point me to a thread that does. I assume it would basically be a complete rebuild. Would I be able to swap my current ring gear over to the new carrier and set it back in as currently shimmed? (i.e. I wouldn't touch the pinion gear and wouldn't need to go through setting up the gears again?)
I’ve never installed one, but you’d have to check backlash. It may be dead on or you may have to shim differently. I have the same issue trading out a lunchbox locker for an e-locker. I keep putting it off out of fear, lack of an extra $1K, and good lunchbox performance. Bottom line is o think it’s pretty easy if you have a few tools.
 
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SvtLdr

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Thanks for the replies.

Can y'all tell me what all is involved with the install of a S35 kit? Or point me to a thread that does. I assume it would basically be a complete rebuild. Would I be able to swap my current ring gear over to the new carrier and set it back in as currently shimmed? (i.e. I wouldn't touch the pinion gear and wouldn't need to go through setting up the gears again?)
Installing the S35 is just like any other carrier swap. I'd also recommend replacing the seals and bearings, plan on a full rebuild because of what you're investing in the new locker. Yes, you can re-use your current gears as long as they're in good shape. Just make sure you get the correct carrier for your gear ratio. Re-installing used gears is slightly different than setting up new ones so do your homework on the differences. There are some good threads available on this. As far as swapping it directly over with the exact same carrier shims - not likely. You might luck out but don't plan on it working for you. Be prepared to make adjustments on both the pinion depth and carrier location.

 
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NashvilleTJ

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Thanks for the replies.

Can y'all tell me what all is involved with the install of a S35 kit? Or point me to a thread that does. I assume it would basically be a complete rebuild. Would I be able to swap my current ring gear over to the new carrier and set it back in as currently shimmed? (i.e. I wouldn't touch the pinion gear and wouldn't need to go through setting up the gears again?)
The super 35 replaces the carrier, so it does require a gear setup even if you reuse your gear set. Use the current shim stack as an initial setup, take a pattern, and go from there. You may luck out and get a good pattern to start, but that’s unlikely.

Edit: two good replies above as I was typing.
 
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SvtLdr

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Bottom line is o think it’s pretty easy if you have a few tools.
I'm not sure I'd call it easy, at least the first time. ;)

It's definitely do-able though for anyone who's willing to do their homework and ask questions. Patience is key.
 

NashvilleTJ

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I'm not sure I'd call it easy, at least the first time. ;)

It's definitely do-able though for anyone who's willing to do their homework and ask questions. Patience is key.
Well, for me “patience” is what keeps me from throwing the carrier through the window. “Persistence” is what drives the result. Nothing like pulling a 14 bolt carrier in and out a dozen or so times…
 
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SvtLdr

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Well, for me “patience” is what keeps me from throwing the carrier through the window. “Persistence” is what drives the result. Nothing like pulling a 14 bolt carrier in and out a dozen or so times…
I'm sure there's a CrossFit workout that could implement something like that?
 
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Rober2wo

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It also sounds like the 8.8 isn't ready to hang under your Jeep, so there's some fabrication that needs to take place also. Correct?
Yup but nothing the shop guy has never done before...
I wouldn't install an 8.8 under my TJ if it was free. Really. Its pinion shaft is offset to the side of the tcase output shaft which makes the DC joint work harder (in two directions), it's heavy as a pig, and it has reduced ground clearance.
I trust Jerry, he sems like a guy with a lot of exp

To be fair, any TJ with a rear trackbar creates the exact same dual plane misalignment as the suspension cycles and the track bar moves the axle back and forth side to side as well as the up and down motions.

As someone who used to run the Teraflex arms with their hard bushings that tore up control arm mounts, that's one is in your back pocket.
but, this guy has a point too...

BUT... the 8.8 IS very heavy indeed...

i know the clearence from the 8.8 to the Dana 44 is 1'' less
Don't know the Dana 44-Dana 35 tho

i still have time to think about the 8.8...
The only doubt i have left is, will super35 be enough for 35''s? or just go for sure with a Dana 44?
Is there something like a super30 for the front?
Consider some >average offroading, not crawling tho, ignore engine/trans/etc

Ok i just read the las page of the thread
S35 good enough for 35''s and good offreading, incluiding some light rock play...
Can disk brakes be installed on the 35/s35?
I can find sir lockers for the s35, right?
Also, considering price, s35, new costs about the same as a used Dana 44 with locker...
 
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Jerry Bransford

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The only doubt i have left is, will super35 be enough for 35''s? or just go for sure with a Dana 44?
The 30 spline 1541H axle shafts in the quality Super 35 kit from Revolution Gear & Axle are slightly stronger than the carbon steel 30 spline shafts in a Dana 44. The Super 35 kit was developed for and heavily tested while rock crawling on 35's in some of the toughest rocky trails in the US, it's more than up to trails that not many in this forum would have the skill or experience to run.