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Thread: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

  1. #1
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    XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    I finally picked up an 8.8 axle from a local junkyard and am getting rid of my Dana 35. I wanted to post a little about the swap for those who are interested in doing it themselves.

    A little about the axle:
    31 Splines
    Disk brakes
    Axle shafts rated at 6,500 Ft-lbs of torque, stronger than a Dana 44!
    5x4.5 bolt pattern (same as XJ)
    Width = 59.5" (1" shorter than XJ). I plan on getting 1/2" wheel spacers to get it back to stock width.
    3.25" axle tube diameter, gives about 1/2" of lift over Dana 35

    Axle on its way home from the junkyard.


    Also picked up a spare set of axle shafts for cheap.



    Got it home and started to clean it up and remove the brakes, shafts and brackets.


    Cleaned up rotors


    Cut off existing brackets


    Cleaned axle tubes and housing to prepare for welding and painting


    Got 4.10 gears for a little more power and better gas mileage than my 3.55 gears I have now. But I will have to regear the front when I install it or else I won't be able to use 4 wheel drive.


    The gears look good even with 176k miles on them. I will just clean everything up before I put it all back together.

    I plan on replacing the axle seals and all the brake pads and shoes before it goes in.
    I got ebrake cables from a 95+ ZJ which are a direct fit for the 8.8. They are even a little bit longer than the stock XJ cables so they work with my lift.

    I bought a swap kit from Iron Rock Offroad with a truss included, that should be here this week sometime. I also got a Solid differential cover because the factory stamped steel cover is very weak. You will also need a 1310 flange adapter for the stock drive shaft to fit the yoke.

    A few of the issues I have to work out are the brake lines, and the pinion angle. There isn't much on the internet about either so I will be as detailed as possible when I do them. The swap kit instructions say a pinion angle of 10 degrees but I have seen a few others say 13 and 17 degrees. It all depends on your lift and tires, and I am assuming it will work best to measure it out. I am thinking around 13 will probably work best for me though.
    I hope to get it installed in the next month or so and will post more pictures as they come.

    I also wanted to make a list of the items I purchased and how much each one cost:

    1. Axle assembly with brake lines and cables - $103
    2. Extra set of axle shafts - $60
    3. Swap kit with truss and flange adapter - $260.78 (shipping included)
    4. Solid differential cover - $66.45 (shipping included)
    5. Brake shoes and axle seals - $21.45
    6. Paint - $16
    7. HD U-joint and 8" piece of brake line - $15.39
    8. shocks? (not sure if I will need them....yet)
    9. Sold Dana 35 for $150
    10. E-brake cables from ECGS - $115.74
    11. Brake lines, gear oil, brake fluid, new brake hose and miscellaneous parts - $75


    Total = $583.81
    Last edited by Pinoy59; 02-03-2017 at 05:31 PM.

    97 Cherokee with NP242 T-Case/skid plate, front/rear skid plates, tow package, RC 4.5" LA lift, front locker,trussed 8.8,410s, dual steering stabilizer on 33x12.5 mud claws with 15x10 rims. Custom rock sliders, rugged ridge fender flares, & 9k lumen light bar.

  2. #2
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    UPDATE:
    I got the brackets and drive shaft adapter in the mail




    I measured 3 11/16" from the inside of the flange and marked where the perches go, and 6.5" for where the center of the shock mounts go. I test fitted the brackets and truss, and they fit perfectly



    Then I taped off the parts that need welding and gave everything 3 coats of primer and 2 coats paint



    I painted the areas that the truss will cover becuase they will not be accessible once the truss is welded on. I just left about an inch unpainted where it will be welded.



    Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk

    97 Cherokee with NP242 T-Case/skid plate, front/rear skid plates, tow package, RC 4.5" LA lift, front locker,trussed 8.8,410s, dual steering stabilizer on 33x12.5 mud claws with 15x10 rims. Custom rock sliders, rugged ridge fender flares, & 9k lumen light bar.

  3. #3
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Nice 8.8... i wished i could do all that work my self...

  4. #4
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Nice deal on the axle!
    Do you have a SYE with double cardan DS yet? You will most likely need them, I did on my TJ.
    Also, get your pinion angle figured out before you weld the truss. If you are doing the welding yourself, do some reading on the process of welding on a truss.

    Good luck, have fun, a lot of people on here have done this swap, post up if you have questions.
    Get Down With the Sickness!

  5. #5
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugs View Post
    Nice deal on the axle!
    Do you have a SYE with double cardan DS yet? You will most likely need them, I did on my TJ.
    Also, get your pinion angle figured out before you weld the truss. If you are doing the welding yourself, do some reading on the process of welding on a truss.

    Good luck, have fun, a lot of people on here have done this swap, post up if you have questions.
    My neighbor is a welder by trade and is helping me with the welding. I am going to have him tack it in place and check to make sure it's all good before I weld it on fully. I hope I can get my stock drive shaft to work for a little while until I can get a hack and tap SYE and a custom drive shaft. I have the NP242 transfer case so its hard to find a full sye for it.

    Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk

    97 Cherokee with NP242 T-Case/skid plate, front/rear skid plates, tow package, RC 4.5" LA lift, front locker,trussed 8.8,410s, dual steering stabilizer on 33x12.5 mud claws with 15x10 rims. Custom rock sliders, rugged ridge fender flares, & 9k lumen light bar.

  6. #6
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Funny you should say that lots of people on here have done the swap, because I posted a question a while back and all I got was attitude and no one had anything helpful to say. That is why I decided to post this thread and hopefully be able to help someone else who wants to do it as well.

    http://www.virtualjeepclub.com/showthread.php?t=90595
    Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Pinoy59; 04-26-2016 at 07:19 AM.

    97 Cherokee with NP242 T-Case/skid plate, front/rear skid plates, tow package, RC 4.5" LA lift, front locker,trussed 8.8,410s, dual steering stabilizer on 33x12.5 mud claws with 15x10 rims. Custom rock sliders, rugged ridge fender flares, & 9k lumen light bar.

  7. #7
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Are you planning on going to a double cardan? If so I would wait. The set up for the axle is different. For a standard style shaft you have to keep the axle and the transfer case level. For the double you basically just point the pinion at the transfer case. When you swap over you would most likely have to cut and the mounts. When I did my 8.8 the pinion went way up with the double. Granted I checked all this through the Internet and may be wrong.

  8. #8
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy59 View Post
    Funny you should say that lots of people on here have done the swap, because I posted a question a while back and all I got was attitude and no one had anything helpful to say.
    Yeah sorry, I forget there are a growing number of dickheads on this forum, that's why so many have left!
    There are some good people here, just have to sort through the muck...

    JB may have the correct SYE for your 241 TC. I've had their shorty SYE 231 in my TJ for a about 20 months with no problem.
    http://www.jbconversions.com/product..._j_std_sye.php
    Get Down With the Sickness!

  9. #9
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Thank you. Do they have one for the NP242? It's the awd version of the 231. I appreciate your advice!

  10. #10
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Tacked everything in place. Starting the swap tonight.



    Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk

    97 Cherokee with NP242 T-Case/skid plate, front/rear skid plates, tow package, RC 4.5" LA lift, front locker,trussed 8.8,410s, dual steering stabilizer on 33x12.5 mud claws with 15x10 rims. Custom rock sliders, rugged ridge fender flares, & 9k lumen light bar.

  11. #11
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Looking good!
    You will love the piece of mind having that back there and not a D35!
    Get Down With the Sickness!

  12. #12
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    8.8 was a great upgrade in my XJ. was stout enough I raced on it in Ultra 4 at KOH one year and a season in Dirt right before going to a shaved 14. Stupid strong for little dollars
    From race-car to weekend warrior. XJ to JK...

  13. #13
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by sally View Post
    8.8 was a great upgrade in my XJ. was stout enough I raced on it in Ultra 4 at KOH one year and a season in Dirt right before going to a shaved 14. Stupid strong for little dollars
    Thanks. I am excited for the peace of mind. Can't call myself a hardcore jeeper with a Dana 35 in the back.

    Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk

    97 Cherokee with NP242 T-Case/skid plate, front/rear skid plates, tow package, RC 4.5" LA lift, front locker,trussed 8.8,410s, dual steering stabilizer on 33x12.5 mud claws with 15x10 rims. Custom rock sliders, rugged ridge fender flares, & 9k lumen light bar.

  14. #14
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    I hooked up the drive shaft and there is almost no angle on either end. I am pleased with how it turned out. I don't think I will need a sye and custom shaft.

    Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk

    97 Cherokee with NP242 T-Case/skid plate, front/rear skid plates, tow package, RC 4.5" LA lift, front locker,trussed 8.8,410s, dual steering stabilizer on 33x12.5 mud claws with 15x10 rims. Custom rock sliders, rugged ridge fender flares, & 9k lumen light bar.

  15. #15
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    Re: XJ Dana 35 to Ford 8.8 Swap

    Nice job / write up.
    LetzRoll Offroad racing 4493
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    98 TJ - This is really my 4 year olds (she thinks)
    07 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 Diesel - Wife ride
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    letzrolloffroad@gmail.com

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