Swap Sport D35 for D44 LSD

Surfwagon

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So I’m seeing plenty of threads with the routine swap on a Sport being the Rubicon D44.

My question is, has anyone taken the D44 LSD (Willy’s, Sahara, etc.) and replaced their D35 with that axle? If so, is it a straight across, bolt for bolt install?

For reference I have a ‘19 Sport S auto with D30/35 combo. It’s my daily driver. My eventual plan is to sloooowly do the axle swaps and doing the rear to start is seemingly much more economical right now.

*edit: I’ll add that the type of wheeling I do is moderate trail runs, nothing really needing lockers. I don’t plan on doing rock crawling, or anything crazy. I’m light on the skinny pedal and take my time. My JLU is a daily, so I’m in no position to beat it up and can’t justify the cost of doing a full Rubicon swap right now.

any constructive input is appreciated!

 
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Some Random Guy

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They will bolt right up, but I don’t think you hear about it because it’s such a minor upgrade. Unless the axle is free and delivered to your door, you’re better off waiting for a Rubicon takeoff or spending to jump higher. I wouldn’t even drive to get one if I had a D35 rear, but that’s just me. It’s still a narrow axle, which limits flex. If you spend a lot of time in low traction maybe an argument could be made the LSD would improve your quality of life.
 
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Surfwagon

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They will bolt right up, but I don’t think you hear about it because it’s such a minor upgrade. Unless the axle is free and delivered to your door, you’re better off waiting for a Rubicon takeoff or spending to jump higher. I wouldn’t even drive to get one if I had a D35 rear, but that’s just me. It’s still a narrow axle, which limits flex. If you spend a lot of time in low traction maybe an argument could be made the LSD would improve your quality of life.
So you don’t think it’s worth it to go the a higher spline count and added R/P size?
 

Some Random Guy

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So you don’t think it’s worth it to go the a higher spline count and added R/P size?
My gut says you’re talking about whether a Mitsubishi Mirage or the VW Jetta is a better drag racer. Objectively it is an improvement, but there’s a reason people don’t spend money upgrading a JL to a D44 narrow. The capability climb isn’t worth the effort if you’re talking offroad.
Now, find a takeoff someone installed a locker on and I might take that back if you’re sticking to 33’s or lower.
 
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Gregj

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IDK, a D44 LSD would be a good upgrade from a D35 especially if it was cheap, and they are, the LSD has a bad reputation but it did seem to work ok on my Sport before I swapped to Rubicon axles.
Gregj

eta and I did run spacers on it for about 20k miles with zero issues.
 


Some Random Guy

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IDK, a D44 LSD would be a good upgrade from a D35 especially if it was cheap, and they are, the LSD has a bad reputation but it did seem to work ok on my Sport before I swapped to Rubicon axles.
Gregj

eta and I did run spacers on it for about 20k miles with zero issues.
Spacers solve the narrow issue and may make it worth it. Not for me, but to each their own. Without them I imagine you’d rub like crazy in the rear on anything bigger than the D35 could already handle.
 

grimmjeeper

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Given the reliability issues with the factory limited slip and the fact that the clutch packs wear out too quickly, I wouldn't go to all the trouble.

A Dana 44 is still better than a Dana 35. So it's not entirely a waste. But I'd factor in swapping over to something like a TrueTrac if one was available.

Still, all the suspension bits bolt right up so if you want to do it, it's pretty easy. The only thing to verify is if you need a shorter driveshaft. I know that the old generation of 44/35 had different pinion lengths so a d35 driveshaft would be too long for a 44. I don't know for sure if the same is true for the JL versions.
 

The Last Cowboy

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Wait until your axle breaks. Keep saving until then. With 32” tire your D35 will last until you save up $4-5k for the Rubicon axles.

 

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