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The Dana/Spicer Model 60 is an automotive axle manufactured by Dana Corp. and used in OEM "heavy duty" pickup applications by Chevrolet, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ford. Various construction companies use this axle. There are front and rear versions of the Dana 60. It can be readily identified by its straight axle tubes, 10 bolt asymmetrical cover, and a "60" cast in to the housing. Gross axle weight ratings are often lowered by the vehicle manufacturer for safety and tire reasons.
Every Dana 60 that was originally manufactured by Dana Corp (i.e. not aftermarket) is stamped with a build date and bill of materials on the back of the passenger-side axle tube. Owners can decode the bill of materials code here.
In the mid-1970s the Big Three (automobile manufacturers) all started using this axle. GM began phasing it out in 1988 in favor of Independent suspension, while still offering it in some higher GVWR trucks (V-30) until 1991. Dodge used a Dana 60 up to 2002. 3rd Generation Dodge Rams dropped the Dana 60 in favor of AAM axles. Ford still uses the Dana 60 front axle. Manufactured in both Kingpin and Ball joint variations, "standard" (low pinion) and "reverse cut" rotation (high pinion) variations and open and limited slip, and locking variations. The housing material is Gray iron in early axles and Ductile iron in later axles. GM and Ford Dana 60 axles utilize locking hubs. Dodge Dana 60 axles utilized locking hubs until 1994 when a Center Axle Disconnect (CAD) system was adopted. However model year 2002 Rams phased out the CAD system leaving some 2002 Dana 60 axles permanently locked in.
The Dana 60 front axle has a great deal of aftermarket/third-party support, including many upgrades. Stronger axle shafts, Universal Joints and ball joints are widely available. As well as a large selection of traction control devices such as Locking differentials and Limited slip differentials. Axle shafts, Universal joints and carriers made from chromoly steel are even available. High capacity differential covers are available that increase the amount of oil the differential holds. These covers also feature Heat sinks that help keep the axle cool.
The Dana Super 60 is an upgraded version of the Dana 60 front axle.
Differences in the Dana Super 60 versus the regular Dana 60:
This axle was used only as a medium duty unit until the Third Generation F-450 Pick up began production. The Third Generation F-450 pick up is a light duty truck. This axle is still used in the medium duty F-450 and F-550 4×4 trucks as well.
The Dana 60 rear axle was first introduced in 1955 as a full floating axle in Ford F-250's and is still used today.
A variation of the Dana 60 known as a Dana 61 was made to accommodate gear ratios that allowed for better fuel mileage. This was done as a direct result of the 1973 oil crisis. A 3.07:1 gear ratio was common for these axles and unachievable in a regular Dana 60. To allow for the different gearing, the Dana 61 had a greater pinion offset. This offset meant that a different carrier and a different ring and pinion had to be used. The Dana 61 was made in semi-float and full-float axles for select 4×2 Ford ¾-ton and 1 Ton Pickups and Vans from 1974 to 1987. A Dana 61 front axle was selectively used in Dodge 4×4 ¾-ton and 1 Ton pickups from 1987 to 1993. Although 3.07:1 and 3.31:1gear sets are common for a Dana 61, lower gear sets deeper than (4.10:1 on down) are not.
The Dana 53 first appeared in the late 1940s and is much like a Dana 60. Although all Dana 53's are semi-floating, rear axles. The Dana 53 was phased out in the 1960s. It was replaced by the Dana 60.
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'Dana Super 60'