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Yukon Ultimate 35 And OX Locker Kit Install - Dana 35 Upgrades

Posted in How To on April 3, 2007
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With the Yukon Gear Ultimate 35 kit and OX Locker installed, this Dana 35 rear axle will be able to put up with quite a bit more abuse than it would in stock form.

Yukon Gear & Axle's Ultimate 35 kit includes everything you'll need to upgrade your Dana 35 rear axle. Included in the kit are a set of chrome-moly alloy-steel axleshafts with new wheel studs and a Yukon Super Installation kit with new wheel bearings, shims, and all of the necessary setup items. The Yukon Ultimate kits can also be packaged with a locker of your choice. We elected to use an OX Locker from OX-USA for this installation. Ultimate kits are available for both bolt-in and C-clip Dana 35 axles as well as for Jeep Dana 44 applications.

The Yukon alloy axleshafts are offered in 27-spline and 30-spline, depending on your needs. Stock Dana 35 shafts are 27-spline, so the 27-spline alloy axleshafts are a good way to go if you already have a locker installed. If you upgrade to 30-spline axleshafts, you'll need to install a new 30-spline carrier or locker as well, but increased strength will be afforded. Even if you opt to go with the 27-spline axleshafts, however, you're still getting a much stronger shaft over stock. The Yukon alloy axleshafts are more resistant to normal wear and are less likely to bend or twist than stock axleshafts. Depending on the application, you can expect approximately 30 percent more strength from Yukon alloy axleshafts over OEM carbon-steel shafts.

For on-demand axle-locking capability, we installed the cable-actuated OX Locker. The OX Locker is constructed in the USA from 8620 forged and heat-treated steel and uses four spider gears with a back-cut gear-tooth design. The OX Locker includes an aerospace-quality, aluminum cable shifter mechanism and a unique forged-steel ramped differential cover that features an integrated shifter-fork mount. When the cab-mounted shifter is engaged, the cable moves the shift fork in the differential cover, which slides a collar over one of the side gears to lock it in place. This creates a spool-like locking effect for increased traction to both rear wheels. Once the shifter is disengaged, the OX Locker operates like an open differential again. In addition to the Dana 35 OX Locker, units are available for Dana 30, Dana 44, Dana 60, AMC 20, and Ford 8.8 axles.

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We also swapped the ring-and-pinion gears in the rear Dana 35 and front Dana 30 axles. Since we were replacing the stock 3.73 gears with a set of 4.56 gears, however, we also required a new low-ratio carrier for the front Dana 30 since we exceeded the carrier break point with the lower gears. The carrier break point of the Dana 30 case is 3.54 and down and 3.73 and up. In most instances that you require a new carrier due to a gear change, you should consider installing a locker or limited-slip differential at the same time. Aftermarket lockers and LSDs are typically stronger than a stock carrier, and you won't have to pay for a second installation when you eventually decide you need a front locker.

For installation of the Yukon Gear & Axle and OX-USA components, we sought assistance from the qualified crew at T&J Performance Center in Orange, California. The job was easily tackled in a day's time and included a thorough inspection of the old parts and the axlehousings to ensure proper fitment and operation. T&J also provided a new Dana 30 carrier and a Dana 35 pinion yoke to complete the installation.

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