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Will a Dana 35 axle handle 33 inch tires?

RL_MJ

New Member
Mar 4, 2019
10
Denver
I want to run 33s on my tj but have heard that the Dana 35 on my tj sport won’t hold up to it , currently installed a 4in suspension lift want to upgrade tires as well. And if I can run 33s what all do I need , won’t be doing any rock climbing with it but am thinking of hitting some light to mid dudy trails. Front axle Dana 30
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,625
Escondido California
A Dana 35 normally holds up ok to 33's providing there's no locker and you take it easy on it. Just don't get into a situation where you get the rear-end bouncing trying to get up/over something. I wheeled my previous TJ fairly hard with 33's on its original Dana 35 for several years without issue.
 

Alex01

Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Mar 23, 2018
2,053
Martinez, CA, USA
I had 33x10.5s on a dana 33 for a good amount of time and never had an issue. Like Jerry said just don't beat on it and you'll be fine. If you decided to do more technical trails and put bigger tires on down the road throw a super 35 kit in.

What axle ratio / transmission are you running?
 

qslim

I think I need a bigger hammer
Supporting Member
Sep 17, 2018
127
Utah
I got my '99 last year with your same setup (33s, 4" lift, Sahara w/ a D35, 3.73s (not sure of your gearing though)) and have decided based on input and research on this forum that I'm good to go. Our Jeep is our family's escape (to include little kids), I stick to mild trails (mud when I can find it) and generally take it easy. If anything I might re-gear one of these days, but based upon what I've read here from dudes like @Jerry Bransford I'm pretty confident that my setup supports my Jeeping intentions.
 
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Duckdawg1

New Member
Mar 14, 2019
7
Northern Cali
I run 35s on my stock d30 and d35 (open) and haven’t had a problem yet. 2000 tj 4.0l with a 5.5” rubicon long arm. Use it mostly for deer hunting. I did run 35s on stock yj 4.0 2.5” spring over trough the rubicon a few times and never broke an axle. I did go through a couple u joints though. Your stock d35 should hold up to 33s with now problem
 

Hook_62

TJ Enthusiast
Mar 7, 2019
164
PA
I have 33's on mine. I say, "Run em till they break, then fix it". I'm not spending any hard earned money on shit that ain't broke. once broke, then I'll look at upgrades, I don't care what anybody says,,, except for the guy who has to tow me home.
82433
 

Alex01

Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Mar 23, 2018
2,053
Martinez, CA, USA
I have 33's on mine. I say, "Run em till they break, then fix it". I'm not spending any hard earned money on shit that ain't broke. once broke, then I'll look at upgrades, I don't care what anybody says,,, except for the guy who has to tow me home.
View attachment 82433
That "guy" has a pretty sweet jeep. I think she could use a bit more side wall on her tires though. 😛
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,625
Escondido California
I have 33's on mine. I say, "Run em till they break, then fix it". I'm not spending any hard earned money on shit that ain't broke. once broke, then I'll look at upgrades
Keep in mind that while your Dana 35 shafts are unlikely to break with 33's, it really, REALLY, sucks when they do. If you don't have spare shafts with you, you will be screwed. Not to mention if it happens on a really tough trail it's going to affect everyone in the group in a negative way.

When the friend of mine broke her axle shaft, there were 4 of us wheeling that day, it prevented us from finishing the trail we were about 1/3 of the way on. We had to strap her wheel into place with a Hi-Lift stand so she could drive on it well enough to get back to camp. We all ended up turning around.

This is her Jeep after we got it ready to turn around to head back to camp...

82439


The moral to this story is if you're wheeling on something known to break that will prevent you from driving out on it, don't. Not saying your shafts will break with 33's but worrying about an axle shaft breakage only when it happens is the wrong time to worry about it.
 

qslim

I think I need a bigger hammer
Supporting Member
Sep 17, 2018
127
Utah
@Jerry Bransford what were the circumstances of that particular instance? Was she on a pretty technical or difficult part of the trail?
 

Alex01

Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Mar 23, 2018
2,053
Martinez, CA, USA
It was not a particularly tough section of trail, I do it all the time. With 35's on a Dana 35 it doesn't take much to break an axle shaft. That large of a diameter of tire has a lot of leverage against the axle shaft.
What are your thoughts about 35s on the stock dana 30 upfront? Did your friend decide to put stronger axle shafts in the front or has she ran it stock?
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,625
Escondido California
What are your thoughts about 35s on the stock dana 30 upfront? Did your friend decide to put stronger axle shafts in the front or has she ran it stock?
She went whole-hog and replaced both axles with JK Dana 44's.

A Dana 30 is pretty much up to 35's as-is, keep in mind the front axle seldom sees more than about 50% of the stress the rear axle commonly sees. It's time to replace the front axle's inner/outer shafts with 27 spline 4340 chromoly shafts when it gets a locker with those 35's though.
 
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ErikOffroad

TJ Enthusiast
Nov 13, 2018
313
Texas
I’m running 33’s on a stock open 35 right now. So far no issues but I do have spare stock shafts just Incase. I’m going to upgrade to a super 35 and a locking diff in the fall. After I do that I will most likely have the stock parts on Craigslist. If u are concerned about braking the axle make sure u have the parts to fix it and the ability to do so.
 

Hook_62

TJ Enthusiast
Mar 7, 2019
164
PA
Keep in mind that while your Dana 35 shafts are unlikely to break with 33's, it really, REALLY, sucks when they do. If you don't have spare shafts with you, you will be screwed. Not to mention if it happens on a really tough trail it's going to affect everyone in the group in a negative way.

When the friend of mine broke her axle shaft, there were 4 of us wheeling that day, it prevented us from finishing the trail we were about 1/3 of the way on. We had to strap her wheel into place with a Hi-Lift stand so she could drive on it well enough to get back to camp. We all ended up turning around.

This is her Jeep after we got it ready to turn around to head back to camp...

View attachment 82439

The moral to this story is if you're wheeling on something known to break that will prevent you from driving out on it, don't. Not saying your shafts will break with 33's but worrying about an axle shaft breakage only when it happens is the wrong time to worry about it.
Yeah, thinking of it that way way, I know your right! Only problem I have, is finding stronger diff's. Used Dana 44 are over $1K, that's just one! If you want to go full bore (G2 diff.) your talking $2K for just the housing, no gears, no axles. that's just highway robbery in my opinion. I'm just a low income bum with 3 teenagers, who loves this but can't afford it! Maybe I should take up hiking instead? Not!
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,625
Escondido California
Yeah, thinking of it that way way, I know your right! Only problem I have, is finding stronger diff's. Used Dana 44 are over $1K, that's just one! If you want to go full bore (G2 diff.) your talking $2K for just the housing, no gears, no axles. that's just highway robbery in my opinion. I'm just a low income bum with 3 teenagers, who loves this but can't afford it! Maybe I should take up hiking instead? Not!
A Super 35 kit isn't cheap either but it's more than up to 35" tires and it doesn't require that the axle be swapped. Super 35 kits also include a locker. With a Super 35 it'd be more than up to even 35's.

Or for a cheap upgrade replace your D35's axle shafts with aftermarket (like from Yukon) 1541H 27 spline shafts. That'd give you a nice strength upgrade without breaking the bank. If you see 4340 shafts don't go that way, they're inappropriate for a Dana 35.
 
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Westtown Willy

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
May 10, 2018
646
West Chester, PA, USA
The moral to this story is if you're wheeling on something known to break that will prevent you from driving out on it, don't. Not saying your shafts will break with 33's but worrying about an axle shaft breakage only when it happens is the wrong time to worry about it.
my bigger concern would be breaking it on the road. We've all read stories where people claim they broke a shaft in their D35 'backing out of the driveway' or 'driving normally down the street'. Now, I don't know if there's any truth to those claims but to the extent it's possible I'd hate to be in the Jeep that's just driving normally down the highway when it decides to let go maybe after hitting a pothole or something given the C-clip.

I suspect that perhaps the shafts in those stories were already compromised from prior overuse or abuse & were ready to break when they did, though from a metallurgical standpoint I'm not sure if that's possible. Either way, and particularly for a TJ you bought used with no knowledge of prior use/abuse on those shafts, if those tales are true I wouldn't be crazy about leaving them in for any purposes with the larger tires.
 
OP
R

RL_MJ

New Member
Mar 4, 2019
10
Denver
So if I wanted to upgrade later on to 35s would I be fine doing so with the super Dana 35 kit ?