Ha ha ha, I knew this would get a reply!
I have a '97 Dakota 4x4 and I was doing some other work and noticed the
front axle tube (Dana 35 IFS 3.55 Ratio) is cracked, actually broke all the
way around right next to the diff. The tube looks like aluminum, but may be
some type of alloy. I pulled it out and was wondering if these could be
welded? I wonder if that would be wise as the axle alignment geometry with
the diff could possibly be off is the weld was done and was off a hair? I
priced a couple diffs from salvage yards, and around North Fla they want
$500 for the assembly. I haven't been buying salvage parts for 20 years now,
but it sounded high to me. I used to get rear straight diff/axle assemblies
for $150 - $250. Is the $500 price fair market value these days?
Thanks for your comments,