Chrysler 8.25 Vs Dana 35 Rear Axle Differences

The Chrysler 8.25 and the Dana 35 axles are two of the most popular rear axles for heavy-duty trucks and SUVs. Some people like to debate which is better, but it really comes down to what you want and your vehicle’s needs.

The Chrysler 8.25 has a lower first gear ratio, so off-roading enthusiasts prefer this type of axle because it can get into low gears quicker than other axles with higher ratios such as the Dana 35 that starts out in third gear instead of first gear – but then again if you’re not an off-road enthusiast, all those gears might be more confusing than helpful.

chrysler 8 25 vs dana 35, Chrysler 8.25 Vs Dana 35 Rear Axle Differences

The axle tube size, ring gear size, and the number of leaf springs are what distinguish the two different rear axle assemblies. A Dana 35 rear axle with a 7.5-inch ring gear is most common in OEM applications, including Jeep Cherokee XJ Cherokees, Toyota Tacoma pickups, and 4Runner successors from 1990 to the present.

However, many aftermarket axles are also based around the 7.5-inch ring gear. In terms of leaf spring size, a Dana 35 axle with a 4-leaf spring design is fairly standard in OEM applications and many aftermarket versions have reproduced this design as well to save on cost and increase reliability by simplifying the overall assembly process.

A Dana 35 rear axle with a 6-leaf spring design is also used in OEM applications, including Ford Explorer and Mazda B4000 pickup trucks from 1991 through 2004.

What Are The Differences Between The Two Axles?

The 35 and 8.25 are the rear axle designations used by the Jeep Division of Chrysler Corporation. The Dana Spicer 35 is a lighter axle, and the Chrysler-made 8.25-inch axle is designed for greater strength. The two axles have similar housings and it can be difficult to identify which axle is installed in your Jeep.

Dana Spicer 35 has 26 splines. The crown on the Dana Spicer 35 is 7.562 centimeters and the pinion diameter is 1.406 inches. The Dana Spicer 35 is 175 pounds. The crown gear, pinion, bearings, shafts, and housing are all part of underpowered.

Chrysler 8.25-inch axles produced between 1991 and 1996 have 27 splines. Starting in mid-1996, they were built with 29 splines, making the axle stronger. The crown is 8.25 inches. It’s pinion diameter is 1.626 inches.

The Chrysler 8.25-inch axle is slightly thicker and stronger than the Dana Spicer 35. It’s housing, gears, tubes, and carriers tend to hold up to the strongest use. The Chrysler axle uses larger bearings than the Dana Spicer 35.

chrysler 8 25 vs dana 35, Chrysler 8.25 Vs Dana 35 Rear Axle Differences

The Dana Spicer 35 design allows the axle to flex, causing some potential for breakage during hard use, or when using tires that are larger than OE tires. JP magazine states that on the Dana Spicer 35, the half shafts are often the first component likely to fail. Aftermarket improvements can be made to increase the strength of the Dana Spicer 35 axle. One recommendation is to install a truss axle identification

On most trucks, you can determine which axle is used by counting the bolts around the center deck and by observing the shape of the center deck. It is more difficult to differentiate between the Dana Spicer 35 and the Chrysler 8.25-inch axle because they both have the same number of bolts and are very similar in shape.

Dana Spicer 35 has a “35C” marking on the housing. It has a 10-bolt oval-shaped housing, which is slightly rounded at the bottom. It was initially installed on Jeep models such as the 1984 and 1997 Wagoneer, 1984 and 1993 Cherokee, 1984-96 XJ Cherokee, and 1993-2000 Grand Cherokee. It was also original equipment on some Ford trucks.

Chrysler’s 8.25-inch axle has an oval, 10-bolt cover. It was initially installed on Jeep models such as the 1996 and 1996 XJ Cherokee and 1991 and newer and newer Cherokees.

chrysler 8 25 vs dana 35, Chrysler 8.25 Vs Dana 35 Rear Axle Differences
Chrysler 8.25 rear axle differential opened

Maintenance On The Chrysler 8.25 Rear Axle

The Chrysler 8.25 Rear Axle is fitted to Jeep Cherokee KJ from late 2002 to 2007, equipped with disc brakes. The Chrysler 8.25 axle is the most common axle on the KJ. It replaced the Dana 35C axle which is equipped with drum brakes.

A simple operation to do every 20,000 Km, 30 minutes of work per year that will save you a lot!

List of ingredients needed:

  • 2 L of MS-8985 synthetic 75W140 nonadditive oil
  • 120Ml Jeep Quadra-Drive Deck Oil Additive MS-10111
  • 1x Tube of Loctite® RTV Silicone
  • 1x Rubber plug (if the old one is dry or leaking) you can also replace the crankcase with our model RT20027 threaded plug
  • 10x housing screws (if necessary, the screws should only be replaced if they show signs of wear)

List of tools needed:

  • 1x 1/2 inch socket
  • 1x rubber mallet
  • 1x drain pan 3L mini
  • 1x spatula
  • Rags, brake cleaner,

Time required: 30 minutes.

1. Checks & Drainage Of The Deck

Checks to be made before draining:

Drive about 10 miles to bring the oil to temperature and warm up the deck. Remove the filler cap and check the level before draining, the oil must be flush with the hole, a level too low indicates a leak that must be repaired!

The color of the drained oil indicates the condition of your deck. In a normal oil change interval as indicated in our maintenance chart, the oil should be the same color as the new oil.

If the oil has completely lost its color, plan to change it twice, at intervals of 500 km. This discoloration indicates an overheating of the axle due to a lack of oil, a difference in tire wear that is too great, or irregular maintenance.

Check the oil for filings.

2. Chock the front wheels, lift and support the vehicle.

3. Remove all but the top crankcase bolt

Your JeepCherokee KJ’s deck does not have a drain plug, so the rear pan must be removed to drain it.

4. Remove the sump with a mallet

5. Drain

Let it run for 5 minutes

6. Clean the joint of the bridge and the inside of the body with a cloth

Do not use any brake cleaner, steam, or petrol for cleaning as this could damage the bearings or the differential.

7. Clean the housing

Remove the original sealant from the housing surfaces

8. Make the seal

Apply a bead of RTV to the housing cover

9. Install the housing

Install the cover and any identification labels. Tighten very gradually (by 1/4 turn) by turning clockwise the cover screws to a torque of 41 N-m

10. Fill the bridge

First, empty the additive vial completely. Next, Fill the differential to the edge of the filler hole with 75W140.

11. Replace the cap (The cap is made of rubber, replace it every two oil changes)

12. Testing

Perform a test drive and slowly turn in figure-eight 10 to 12 times. This will pump the lubricant through the clutch plates to eliminate any chattering noise.

13. What’s next?

The most important thing if you want to make your deck last is certainly this: check the level and appearance of the oil at EVERY ENGINE DRAIN, and if you notice a drop in level or unusual discoloration of the oil, fix it right away!

Tip: If your oil was well oxidized (black or grey) or your axle was squeaking in tight turns, double the dose of additive and change it again normally after 500 to 1000 Km.

chrysler 8 25 vs dana 35, Chrysler 8.25 Vs Dana 35 Rear Axle Differences
Dana 35 rear axle differential

FAQs – Chrysler 8.25 vs Dana 35

1. Is A Dana 35 Worth Building?

A built Dana 35 is an excellent choice for those who don’t plan on running anything larger than 33″ tires, but it’s not the answer if you want maximum strength. Although the Dana 35 has proven itself to be fairly bulletproof, it’s not as strong as the D44 front axle that is included in TJs that are equipped with 4.10 or higher ratio rear differentials.

The reason that the Dana 35 isn’t as strong as the Dana 44 is because of the crew at Corporate; every official statement has confirmed that the Dana 35 front axle was designed with weight savings in mind.

Although limited-slip differentials are available for the Dana 35, most TJ owners choose to upgrade their front axles to a stronger unit. This article will cover how to rebuild your D35 and install a new unit from Currie Enterprises or TeraFlex.

2. How Big Of Tires Can A Dana 35 Handle?

The front end typically handles 35-inch wheels just fine but anything over that should get some attention from an expert mechanic before driving any further with such odds against them (pun intended).

The size of your tires can make a world of difference in how well they perform. Don’t push the limit and try to run 38s or larger in the back, it’s not worth risking an accident because you think it will be fine!

3. Can A Chrysler 8.25 Handle 37’s?

37’s fit on this wheel well. Besides that the Chrysler 8.25 can handle both sizes of tire with ease and grace; it doesn’t get much better than that!

Note: Some people have mentioned that a 3-4″ body lift might be necessary for a 37 to clear the wheel well. I don’t doubt it but I think one could get away with 1.5″ due to the increased offset of the 37 which should keep it inside the stock fender line; at least you can make double sure with a tape measure.

The offset of the 37 does push it out about 1/2″ further than stock but I don’t think this is much to worry about unless you are running super narrow body fenders anyway.

4. How Much Does A Chrysler 8.25 Axle Weigh?

175lbs (80kg) with diff grease included and free of brakes.

5. What Gear Ratio Does A Chrysler 8.25 Have?


6. Is The Chrysler 8.25 Limited Slip?

Yes, the Chrysler 8.5 rear axle has limited slip.

chrysler 8 25 vs dana 35, Chrysler 8.25 Vs Dana 35 Rear Axle Differences

Main Takeaways – Chrysler 8.25 vs Dana 35

Conclusion paragraph: The Chrysler 8.25 axle is a heavier duty, an all-steel rear differential that can be found in Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks with the exception of 2009 models. It also features an optional electronic locking feature for increased security at speeds up to 25 mph when it’s engaged by pressing a button on the dash or remote key fob.

In contrast, Dana 35 axles are lighter-weight aluminum units originally designed as OEM replacements for Ford Ranger pickups from 1983 through 2011, but they’re now used across many applications where durability is desired without adding too much additional cost.

They offer either standard open gearing or closed differentials with 4-, 5-, 6- or 7 1/2 inch ring gear sizes available depending on application requirements such as a drag racing rear end vs. a rock crawler.

Thanks for reading and stay dirty


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