Can A Dana 35 Handle 37-Inch Tires? 3 Necessary Mods
Trying to decide if you can put 37-inch tires on a Dana 35 axle can be tricky, and there are several factors you will want to consider. The desire to go big with tires is not new. Whether you are wanting to modify your vehicle for off-roading fun, or just like the overall aesthetic, replacing factory tires with something larger is a common place for many auto enthusiasts to start.
Table of Contents
- Can you put 37-inch tires on a Dana 35?
- Can a Dana 35 Axle Handle 37 Inch Tires?
Can you put 37-inch tires on a Dana 35?
A Dana 35 axle is not made to handle 37-inch tires, but it can be done if you are willing to do certain things, like leave the axle unlocked, check the condition of your vehicle’s chassis often, and be mindful of your driving style.
Going bigger is a common desire amongst certain vehicle owners, especially those who love the thrill of traversing difficult terrain and want the challenge that off-roading offers. But, without the proper upgrades, this kind of sport can be dangerous and is limited by vehicles that haven’t been modified in some way or another.
Learning how to properly adjust your vehicle to accommodate certain driving conditions can be a challenge, especially if you want to do something that industry standards are against. Putting 37-inch tires on a Dana 35 axle is not recommended by most, but let’s explore under what circumstances you can attempt it.
I enjoy vehicles and everything related to them. The bigger the challenge, the more I find it fascinating to try and work around it. Let my research help you figure out if 37s are in your Dana 35’s future.
Can a Dana 35 Axle Handle 37 Inch Tires?
The Dana 35 Axle is found in a variety of vehicles but is most widely used in many of Jeep’s models, including the Jeep Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler. It is mainly used as a rear axle but has also been found on some Ford models as a front axle.
The Dana 35 is built to be a solid axle for everyday use and to hold up well under heavier tow loads. But, they are not the best axles for hard-core, off-roading enthusiasts and this is a big reason why most experts agree that 37-inch tires will be too much for this axle to handle, especially if the driving conditions are going to frequently tax the axle and push it beyond its capabilities.
But – for those who still want to try and install 37-inch tires on a Dana 35 axle, there are certain modifications that may make this possible.
1. Leave the Axle Unlocked
If you decide to try and put 37-inch tires on your Dana 35 axle, one way to help your axle handle the size is to leave the axle unlocked.
When you lock an axle, you are driving your vehicle with full throttle, which is ideal for trail driving or attempting hardcore, off-road travel. By forcing both wheels on one axle to work at the same time, it allows for equal power on both sides of the vehicle and better traction.
But, it also means that significantly more strain is put on your vehicle’s drivetrain and axle.
Off-roading riders know this and are prepared to replace parts so their vehicles will go hard.
But, if you decide to put 37-inch wheels on a Dana 35 axle, you are increasing the chances of the axle snapping much sooner than you would otherwise. It’s a risk you have to be willing to take.
One way to alleviate this problem is to get in the habit of not locking your axle when you’re driving on a Dana 35. This may be contrary to off-roading because locking the axle is what gives you the power and traction to traverse harder and more exciting terrain. But the strain on your Dana 35 axle will be significant with those larger 37-inch tires.
You can try and lock your axle and see how your vehicle responds. As soon as the tires begin to spin, you will know you are putting unnecessary pressure on the axle and you are at risk of damaging it.
2. Check the Condition of Your Chassis Often
If you are going to install 37-inch tires on your Dana 35 axle, you’ll want to get in the habit of checking your chassis often and get comfortable knowing what you should be checking for.
Our vehicles are a complicated mixture of a lot of different moving parts, and I’m not just talking about what’s going on under the hood.
A vehicle’s chassis – also known as its undercarriage or underside – is made up of many moving parts. Knowing how these all operate and what condition they should be in will help you determine if your larger 37-inch wheels are causing damage or negative effects to the area underneath.
Some of the things you should look for are the condition of the axle and the axle’s bearings, the muffler and exhaust pipes, any gas tank damage, and the overall structural integrity of the chassis.
You’ll also want to have your alignment checked pretty frequently, as larger tires on a smaller axle can cause alignment issues to happen more quickly, especially if you are doing any off-roading with your vehicle.
Keeping an eye on any problems underneath your Jeep, truck, or SUV when you’ve installed 37-inch tires on a Dana 35 will be important for your vehicle’s long-term performance.
And, if you notice that something is out of whack with your suspension, it’s important you deal with it immediately, otherwise, you could be putting yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle in a compromised situation.
3. Be Mindful of Your Driving Style
Finally, for those of you who are still set on wanting to install those 37-inch tires on your Dana 35 axle, you will want to be very aware of how you drive your vehicle, whether it’s around the city, on the highway, or going out for some four-wheeling fun.
As you’ve probably realized, a Dana 35 axle is not going to be super supportive of 37-inch tires.
The axle is just not built for such large wheels and if you then add additional strain to it by challenging the drive train excessively or keeping the axle locked for long periods of time, it’s not going to respond well.
For a four-wheeling fan, this axle and those tires aren’t going to be a great, long-term plan.
But, if you are mainly going to be driving in conditions that will not put excessive force on your vehicle and drive train, then installing the 37-inch tires on your Dana 35 axle may be okay.
This is an ideal solution for a person who likes the look of the bigger tires but doesn’t necessarily intend to use their vehicle in intense driving conditions, like climbing up mountains or tearing across boulders and challenging trails.
If you want a more striking look, but don’t necessarily want a more powerful build, then these tires can probably work on your Dana 35 axle.
But if you’re wanting more off-roading capabilities, there are better options out there that will fulfill your needs and not cause harm or damage to you or your vehicle.