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AMC 7-9/16 rear ends

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Found this on a Ford Explorer forum of all places...


Mine is inferior :bs:





DANA 35c

The Dana 35c has a 7 9/16" ring and pinion and uses one piece axles (2.625" in diameter). Starting in 1990 Jeep switched to an inferior C-clip Dana 35c. The "c" in Dana 35c does not stand for C-clip, it stands for custom. They are custom because they are shipped incomplete from the Dana factory to Chysler and Chrysler completes the build. The two versions have different shafts, bearings, and carrier. There is a C-clip elminator kit available for the Dana 35c. The Dana 35c is probably on the small side for hard four wheeling with larger tires and lockers. If these are your intentions, you might be better off swapping in a Dana 44 or better.

Early YJs built from '87 until '89 used a 10" rear drum instead of the 9" drum used in the later YJ and TJ Dana 35c. The axle in the picture above has the 10" drums.

The R&P ratio ranges supported by the carriers are 2.73-3.31 and 3.55-4.56.

The Dana 35c is the axle used in all YJs (Wrangler) from '87-'95 and it is the standard axle in the TJ (Wrangler), ZJ (Grand Cherokee), MJ (Comanche), and XJ (Cherokee). The Dana 44 is an optional axle on the TJ, ZJ, MJ, and XJ. Some XJs were built with the corporate Chrysler 8.25 axle as standard. The TJ and ZJ versions are coil sprung, the XJ version is leaf sprung (spring over), and the YJ and MJ versions are leaf sprung (spring under).

10 Bolt Cover


Vehicle Model Year:

Jeep Commanche MJ 1986-92 Dana 35C (C-clip 1990-92)

Jeep Cherokee XJ '84-

Jeep Wrangler YJ '87-'95

Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ '93-

Jeep Wrangler TJ '97-

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Yep, the 7 9/16's AMC axles were the original counterpart to AMC Model 20's

(7 9/16" axles were also called "AMC Model 15"s back in the day).


Seems like (as with the M20's) AMC custom spec'd them out for Dana to build,

only with the M15, at some point Dana/Spicer renamed them (Dana 35), and started offering them to other manufacturers.



I don't know the first year AMC used the M-15 - 7 9/16's, (probably some time in the 1960's)

but they used them throughout the 1970's\80's.


Lightweight to middleweight vehicles (Gremlin-Javelin) got them with L6's, or less.

V8 Gremlin/Hornet/Spirit/Concord/Javelin = M20

L6/L4 as above = M15


Bigger AMC's (Matador, Ambassador, etc) all got M20's, no matter what.



M15's used 2 piece bolt together axles, just like the M20's through these years.


Even the 7 9/16" axles used in 84-85 XJ's are supposed to be 2-piece shafts, though you can't tell by looking at them.

I never took one apart, but supposedly the shafts were 'friction welded' to the ends.


If you look at the shafts of an 84-85 they are very different from 87+'s.

Instead of a keyway in the center of the wheel surface, there's a round center.

Carefully examining them, there appears to be a seam between the two pieces, but that's as far as I got to proving, or disproving this story.


Either way, later 87-89 shafts will swap right in, though they are a slightly larger diameter, so you should swap the axle seals at the same time.

I ran a set of 84-85 3.73 axles in my 87' XJ for a while, and I swapped in the later shafts for more durability.

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So basically the 84-85 D35 was an even crappier D35?




They did beef up the axle with the 4.0L's introduction,

judging from the M15's use in the past, and the 4.0L's HP/Torque ratings (WAAAAYYYY higher than anything ever used in front of an M15 before),

it's possible the 'improved' D35 was just AMC's stopgap measure till they could fully ramp up D44 production.


Either way, it's really doubtful AMC spec'd Dana to build a specific XJ D44, just so they could cancel it after one model year.

Maybe I'm jaded, but I chock the XJ-44's demise to another Chrysler cost cutting measure.


The biggest joke was when Chrysler kept the D35 (originally spec'd to be a 120hp/3200lb vehicle axle at best), and slid it under loaded V8 Grand Cherokee's. :rotf:

AFTER further weakening it with C-clips. :rotfl2:


Redesigning the XJ HP D30 to use the (at the time, dropped from production) low pinion D30 center for use in the ZJ even further showed exactly where their feelings towards Jeep axle durability were.

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I'm stripping out a couple '84-'85 Cherokee's getting ready to send them to the shredder. Thinking about saving the drive train for 4WD conversions but not familiar with the AMC 7's. Are they any good? are they junk? Anybody want one? Jim




Back to the OP,

FWIW, 84-85 are one of the few places your gonna find 3.73's in an XJ,

the ft & rear axles are worth saving for that alone (good combo for an otherwise stock XJ).


You can swap in 87-89 D35 shafts for more strength (comparatively), and the ft axle is the same, except for the way the track bar bolts in (same location, but the back of the bolt hole isn't opened up for nut access).


They also have the crappier 2-piece outer knuckles & 260 joints, but all early XJ's do.

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After getting smarted up this morn I went out to do something useful. Change a broken right front coil spring on a '88 MJ, 2.5, AX4 2WD. The donor being one of the aforementioned '85XJ'S. After getting the front axle dropped and the spring out on both vehicles it occurred to me that I was half there in converting the '88 to 4WD. Checked ratios. Both 3:73. The TC and AX5 were already out of the donor. The driveshaft I'll worry about when I get to it, which should be sometime tomorrow afternoon. Won't be the first one I've cut, welded. How do things get so far out of hand?Was just gonna swap a spring was all. :dunno:

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You mean like changing fluids, notice a leaky seal, think about swapping a tranny, realizing that you have a donor that would match that other engine in the corner, but it'd be so much easier with the body off, then the wife opening the door to the garage 1.5 hrs later going "What the.....????" :D

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You mean like changing fluids, notice a leaky seal, think about swapping a tranny, realizing that you have a donor that would match that other engine in the corner, but it'd be so much easier with the body off, then the wife opening the door to the garage 1.5 hrs later going "What the.....????" :D

see thats why i can't ever get anything done to my jeep. every time you start, you just find more to play with.... :dunno:

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Thinking maybe this thread should be in 'Projects'. But then, that's not the way it started out.Got to looking at all the pieces laying around and decided it wouldn't hurt to install some new bushings, I mean would it? Quick browse thru EBay, PayPal, they should be here in a week.

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