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Axle Splines -
Spline count on an axleshaft is directly related to the strength, the more splines the stronger the shaft. Although its not the splines making the shaft stronger, its the size of the shaft. The splines stay the same size, the shaft just gets larger to accommodate the extra splines.
 
This picture will help. On the left is a 31 spline Ford 8.8 shaft, on the right a 27 spline Dana 35 shaft:
 

 
Related Writeups: | Axle Identification |
 
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