Dana 44, Detroit NoSpin Locker,
Alloy USA Shafts and 4.56 Gears
 & Teraflex Disc Brakes

Teraflex LogoAlloy USA Logo
Detroit LockerQuadratecMoPar


Disc Brakes peeking throughAlloy USA Axle Shafts
Teraflex Disc Brake Kit for JeepDana 44


4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD! - Click here for details!

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!


The third Dana 35 was making sounds of giving up the ghost.  The locker was constantly and violently letting go, shooting the Jeep in random directions and alarming all passengers and often the driver.  It was time to swap out the Detroit locker...


It had a business trip in Maryland so I booked the Jeep in to Adrenaline Offroad and my friends Jeff and Mitch.  They promised to take a look at it and take corrective action.


I had a basic plan.  Keep the cost down and replace the locker.  But I left instructions that if there was any other damage at all, it was time to ditch the Dana 35 and move to a Dana 44.  I'd had enough with them and should have done the swap ages ago.

The phone rang with the news the passenger-side axle shaft was toast and that the locker was no good (no surprise on the locker...)  I was bummed to have to go whole-hog at this point, but Jeff promised he'd have it done in time for me to drive back home at the end of my trip. 

So I gave him the go-ahead and put it out of my mind for a week.  I got the call from Jeff that all was well and the Jeep was ready to pick up.  So I bummed a ride over with Maria when she came to visit and drove the Jeep back to the hotel.  I haven't had a chance to wheel it yet but it seems fine on the road - no more random course resets!

Old Brake Plates with ABS partsGood D-35 4.56 gears (for sale...)Old Detroit Locker for D-35 (for sale)Superior D-35 Shafts (for sale...)Superior D-35 Shafts (for sale...)


The experiences I have had with Dana 35's may not be typical but I will tell you what I can.  I don't know what kind of wheeling you do; you could theoretically go forever on the Dana-35 and not have any troubles.

Now I do have other factors that work against me.

1. I have a rear locker and a front heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This puts a lot of torque to the axle and housings.

2. I have 4.56 gears which transfer more torque to the axles and housings.

3. I run sticky 31" tires that do not lose traction - so again, all that torque stays in the axle housing.

4. Weight - I have steering, control arm, gas tank and engine skid plates, heavy duty front and rear bumpers, gas can rack, bike rack, winch plate, winch, roof rack, carry tools and spares, on-board air, have a hard top, back seat, two kids and wife, etc. If you think counting the weight of your family is silly, try it sometime.  I won't embarrass myself by giving you my numbers but it does add up fast!

When we go camping this...

Loaded - Click to Enlarge

expands to this:

Maria, Ted and Tom In Camp - Click to Enlarge

So in a nutshell a Jeep that comes from the factory, naked with 215/75-R15's, and soft top at about 3400 pounds, but ends up being 4400 pounds when fully loaded for a camping trip with all that extra stuff, (I weighed it at a DOT truck scale). I am pretty sure the Dana 35 isn't up to that.  My experience certainly suggests that I need something a little beefier!

I spoiled the spider gears in the first Dana 35 doing this:

Paul on Obstacle - Click to Enlarge

The advice I got at the time for getting over the rock was good - put my front wheels on the rock, hit it hard and expect the back wheels to kind of bounce up and onto the rock. I got air with both front wheels on the bottom rock, then I almost got sideways part way up the hill. Then I got air with both front wheels again, bashing over a pretty big bunch of rocks further up the hill before I got to "solid" ground and a good stopping place. The crowd went wild (they wanted carnage and they got it - my water cooler rolled all the way down the hill...) That night I heard crunching noises in the rear-end. When I got home I took off the cover and found the spiders were a bit chewed up. I drove it for six weeks while I waited for the Super-35 parts to come, then I fixed it.  Strike one for the Dana 35, even though I did abuse it badly.

I spoiled the D-35 housing and the Superior Alloy shaft doing this:


What? That doesn't look like anything you say? No, it wasn't - I was winching myself up a slippery hill. The problem was, I forgot to take my parking brake off. I put it in 4-LO and was powering to assist the winch. Since the brake was on, all that torque got transferred to the axle housing and damaged it. This caused a bearing to slowly fail, destroying the axle shaft. The housing was no good so I kept the other axle shaft, the locker, and replaced the ring, pinion, an axle shaft, the housing and all the parts to rebuild the housing. Ouch!  Strike two for the Dana 35.  Even though I made the mistake of leaving the brake on.

I spoiled the second D-35 housing, locker and another Superior Alloy shaft doing this:

Done! - Click to Enlarge

That's right - parked in the driveway. The truth is, I have no idea what caused it. The thing is, I quit doing the crazy big rock crawling thing like in the first case; I learned my lesson about leaving the parking brake on in the second case; and all I know is the locker slowly started letting go at times when it didn't need to. It got worse and worse until I finally couldn't stand it anymore and had it looked at. The axle was ruined, the locker was worn out, and the housing was screwed up - again!  Strike three for the Dana 35.   And this time I can't take the blame - I just don't know of anything untoward I did that would have lead to the failure!


All I can say is, I should have learned from all the stories I heard from all the people who say the Dana 35 is no good. Basically, if you do any serious wheeling, even if you never abuse your vehicle, which I really work to avoid, they eventually will break.  If you have lots of weight on your vehicle, it will probably fail.  If you blow your nose sideways on a Wednesday with a tailwind and you've had more than two cups of coffee...?  Cross your fingers and hope.

So the lesson I learned was that I should have moved up the first time. I thought I was saving money by just fixing it. I didn't. Trust me. the Dana 44 has a far better reputation, has several structural advantages, not least of which is the weight capacity, larger axle diameter, heavier axle housing, larger carrier, floating axle configuration (vs. the "C-Clip" of the Dana 35). It is used in all the Jeep applications that accommodate the gross loaded capacity that I run when I go camping.

For the price of the first axle job I did in 2003 (which included putting a Detroit Tru-Trac and 4.56's in my front diff, and a Super-35 kit in the rear) three years later I got the Dana-44 with the Detroit and disc brakes described on my site. So basically if I had gotten the Dana 44 the first time, it is possible I would have avoided two catastrophic failures, later been able to install the front and rear ring and pinion gears and front locker, and still saved half the money I ended up spending over the long haul. The problem was, at the time of the first and second failures, going to a Dana 44 didn't seem necessary (DOH!) and I didn't want to spend the slight extra money...Hindsight and all that!

As for the disc brakes. They're great. In day-to-day driving I don't notice the difference except maybe a little less nose-dive. On the trail they are no doubt better because at the end of the day I can clean them off easily and they won't wear as fast at the drums. The parking brake works great. I did lose my ABS though, and I am disappointed about that. It would have been nice to keep it. I know the 2007's come with disc brakes and 4-wheel ABS on the Dana 44 so it might be possible to keep it if you used a factory rear-end in one piece (it would be pretty expensive).

So ask yourself what kind of wheeling you do? What kind of weight are you carrying around? Do you have heavy, high-traction tires? Are you driving on dirt roads or are you driving in 4-LO on rocky solid surfaces and climbing over things?

If you are not doing any of the crazy stuff and your Jeep is basically stock, you will probably be fine. It probably doesn't make sense to replace your Dana 35 until it either breaks or you decide to install lockers and gears.

If you break it, don't waste time on another.

If you decide to install lockers and gears, take the Dana 35 off in one piece and sell it towards the Dana 44 (and don't expect to get much for it...)


Here's a summary of the parts that went into the replacement axle.  The housing is a brand new unit from the dealer.  Jeff and Mitch assembled the parts and bolted it to the Jeep.

Teraflex Logo
Teraflex Disc Brake Kit for Jeep - 004354420

Teraflex Disc Brake Kit for Jeep

Teraflex Disc Brake Kit for JeepTeraflex Disc Brake Kit for JeepDisc Brakes peeking throughDisc Brakes peeking throughDisc Brakes BackingDisc Brakes BackingDisc Brakes Box labelTeraflex Disc Brake Kit for Jeep

Disc Brakes Backing

overview Application Warranty    
Brand: TeraFlex Manufacturing
Product Line: TeraFlex Rear Disc Brake Conversion Kits
Rear Rotor Included: Yes
Rear Rotor Construction: Solid
Rear Rotor Style: Solid surface
Rotor Style: Solid surface
Rear Caliper Included: Yes
Rear Caliper Type: Stock
Rear Caliper Piston Quantity: Single
Parking Brake Provision: Yes
Parking Brake Style: Internal drum
Rear Caliper Finish: Gold iridited
Rear Caliper Material: Iron
DOT-Approved: No
Quantity: Sold as a kit.
Disc Brakes, Rear, Solid Rotors, 1-Piston Calipers, Jeep, Cherokee/Wrangler, Chrysler 8.25 in./Dana 35, Kit

More stopping power for your Jeep.
These TeraFlex disc brake conversion kits are ideal for anyone wanting to add a quality brake package to their axles. These disc brake kits are designed for use as a bolt-on upgrade to replace factory Jeep drum brakes. A kit is also available for axles using the new "big Ford" housing ends, such as TeraFlex high performance axles like the Tera 60R, or CRD60R. The internal drum parking brake provides outstanding holding power when compared to other disc brake conversions.

TeraFlex’s Disc Brake Kit is modeled after the 1990’s Ford Explorer, 93-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ) and the new Jeep Rubicon's. Any of those applications will have the same pads and shoes. The kit is made to be interchangeable with the factory rear disc brakes on a 1990's Grand Cherokee ZJ and are also interchangeable with the disc brake rotors and pads on the Wrangler Rubicon with factory rear disc brakes.

Parts Included

  • 2- Rear rotors
  • 1- LH rear caliper
  • 1- RH rear caliper
  • 2- Brake pad kit (LH & RH)
  • 2- Preload spacers
  • 4- Bolt caliper
  • 8- Retaining Bolts
  • 8- Nuts
  • 1- Plate Assembly L
  • 1- Plate Assembly R
  • 1- Flexible brake line kit

Installation Instructions (PDF)

TeraFlex E-Brake Cable Kit for 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ

Teraflex Disc Brake Emergency Cable

Alloy USA Logo

Alloy USA 30 Spline Alloy Dana 44 Axleshafts for 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ

Alloy USA Building
Alloy USA Axle Shafts

Dana 44 Housing ShapeDana 44


Quadratec Part No: 52400.604

High Strength Rear Axle Kits
High strength alloy is double heat-treated to produce these heavy-duty axles that are up to 35% stronger over stock. Exclusive 10-Year warranty. Shafts come complete with both passenger and driver side shafts, bearings, seals and wheel studs. Available with 30 spline upgrade shaft ends for Dana 35 Axles. Dana 44 shafts are available with stock 30 splines or 33 spline upgrade. Kit includes both axle shafts. For use with the Rubicon Edition Wrangler & Unlimiteds. Works with factory lockers. Dana 44 Axles with 30 spline (stock count) for '97-'05 TJs.
30 spline for use with 30 spline differential carriers only

Alloy USA 4.56 Ring and Pinion Kit for 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ with Dana 44

Alloy USA 4.56 Ring and Pinion Gear

Ring & Pinion Sets by Alloy USA
These affordable high strength gear sets come in all the popular ratios to satisfy everyone's gearing needs. Oversized tires require higher ring & pinion ratios to restore performance. Made from high quality 8620 forgings and Gleason gear cutting technology, these gears are made to last. Complete Overhaul Kits are available separately to complete the job. Exclusive 3-Year warranty. Available in 3.73, 4.10, 4.56, 4.88 & 5.13 ratios. The 5.13 ratio is available only for Dana 44 axles. Specify ratio when ordering. Dana 30 (4.56) Front Axle for '97-'05 Wrangler



Dana 44 Master Install KIt
YokeYoke Install info

Kit includes Pinion & Carrier Bearings, Crush Sleeve, Oil Seals, Diff Cover Gasket & Axle Bearings.

Detroit Locker
NoSpin Warning Sticker

Detroit Locker for 30 Spline Dana 44 with 3.92 and Numerically Higher Gear Ratio

Detroit Exploded View
Detroit Locker
Detroit Locker

Product Details

The legendary Detroit Locker began the revolution in performance differentials and still leads the industry today. The Detroit Locker is the most durable and dependable locking differential available.

The Detroit Locker maximizes traction by delivering 100% of the torque to both drive wheels. It is engineered to keep both wheels in a constant drive mode, and has the ability to automatically allow wheel speed differentiation when required.

The Detroit C-Locker is built for C-Clip style axles. The Detroit C-Locker functions with the same technology as the Detroit Locker. The manufacturer's standard C-Clips are used when a Detroit C-Locker is installed.

The Detroit SL Locker or SofLocker is a Detroit Locker with a twist. Accelerator adjustments (drive to coast) are made frequently during normal driving. The Detroit SofLocker makes noise when the drive member reengages the driven members during these adjustments. The Detroit SofLocker employs a pre-load spring pack to keep the drive and driven members engaged and dampens this noise. The pre-load does not affect the speed differentiation function when required while turning corners. The Detroit SofLocker provides the same performance of the Detropit Locker with reduced noise.

No other performance differential has the reputation for delivering traction in mud, snow, rocks and on the track. The choice of professional racers and off-road enthusiasts around the world! The durability of the Detroit Locker is unmatched!


  • Legendary Durability
  • Ultimate Performance
  • Fully Automatic Locking Action
  • 100% Locking
  • No Individual Wheel Spin-Out
  • Maintenance Free
  • Proven Design

    Royal Purple Synthetic Oil

    Royal Purple Synthetic Logo

    Royal Purple Max Gear Oil


    Alloy USA





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