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Help! I need d35 advice! (long)


NAXJA Forum User
Asheville, NC
I really need help on this one. My wife's 96 sport has recently started to make a low grinding/growling sound from the d35. I was hoping it was just a wheel bearing but a local shop guy thinks it's a pinion or carrier bearing. I put it on jackstands and let it idle in drive and it does sound like it's coming from the pumpkin. The noise isn't really noticable at higher speeds, but very obvious at low speed, especially when coasting to a stop. A real metal on metal sound. It doesn't change with braking and the shoes are in good shape
I just pulled the cover and the fluid was fairly clean looking, though there is a little black sludge in the bottom that has silver sparkles in it, but I was expecting to find much more. How much is normal?
Shop says he can't give me a rebuild quote until he has it apart because it may just need bearings or metal frags may have damaged whole carrier. I really can't spend big bucks on this d35. Its a DD and never goes offroad.
We bought this xj used and it only has 105K on it currently.
DS universals are both tight, and pinion has no lateral play either. This jeep has had a clunk (some "freeplay") in the drivetrain since we bought it but I thought it was in the TC. Maybe its related maybe not.
If anyone has a d35 (3.55 open ABS) in the back of their garage I could really use it. Called the local "recycler" and they have a perfect match but they want $650(!!!) for it. I'm afraid getting this one rebuilt will cost close to that.

What should I do?

Post a request in the "Wanted" section of the classifieds. Lots of people remove Dana 35s to replace with stronger axles -- there must be one available. If you were farther north, there are u-pull yards around where you can have any axle you want for $75 but you have to remove it.

Try a search on www.car-parts.com. $650 for a Dana 35 is a ridiculous price.
You should be able to get just bearings for around $70 and find someone to change them out. This sounds like typical bad carrier bearing noise from your description.
Ghost -
I tried to reply to that email but it didn't work. Anyway its 4wd, 4.0, auto, 242, d35, ABS.
We're in Asheville, NC.
The ABS is in the brakes on the ends of the axle's correct? I am in the middle of swaping to 4.10 geared axle's. I'd be glad to let my extra carrier go at a reasonable price plus shipping. But the problem you will have is that replaceing a carrier means resetting the R & P and that can be tricky and expensive. I was quoted $250 labor per axle. Let me know if you think it will help. That e-mail is [email protected] I know it works b/c I get notice from NAXJA on it. You can also try [email protected]
There are places all over to pick up dana 35 rear ends try http://www.azvjc.org/ they have several in the classified section and for a lot less than 650 you can grab one and have it shipped or spend some gas money and pick it up yourself....