The Dana/Spicer Model 60 is an automotive axle manufactured by Dana Holding Corporation and used in OEM pickup and limited passenger car applications by Chevrolet, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ford and Land Rover. 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. They are also lowered to reduce loads on other powertrain components such as transmissions and transfer cases. Dana 60 Axles are also increasingly swapped into many custom offroad applications to accommodate larger tires and deep compound gearing with locking differentials.
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 right hand axle tube.
In the mid-1970s the Big Three 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 (American Axle & Manufacturing) 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 axle.
Differences in the Dana Super 60 versus the regular Dana 60:
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.
Dodge Cummins pickups from the "First Generation" that are not equipped with an overdrive transmission commonly have the 3.07:1 Dana 61 front axle because the higher gears are necessary to achieve reasonable road speeds at the low 2500 rpm governed speed of the Cummins engine in those pickups.
The Dana 61 was made in semi-float and full-float axles for select 4×2 and 4x4 Ford -ton and 1 Ton Pickups and Vans from 1974 to 1987. A Dana 61 front axle was selectively used in Dodge 4×4 -ton and 1 Ton pickups from 1987 to 1993. Although 3.07:1 and 3.31:1 gear sets are common for a Dana 61, lower gear sets deeper than (4.10:1 on down) are not.
Dana 61 external case is similar to Dana 60 HD in its use of dual ribbing: a reinforcement truss extends from the tube all the way around the differential case, in addition to raised cover flange. This is better than on Dana 60 "standard duty" where tube reinforcement extends diagonally to join with the cover flange.
Some Dana 61s shared a common carrier with the Dana 60 part #706040x, which means the gearsets (3.07-4.10) will interchange between the two. Dana differential case #706400 (3.07-3.73) shows in Dana's parts catalog to be Dana 61-specific. The 706040x carrier can be purchased relatively inexpensively and used to install lower gears in a Dana 61 axle, such as when replacing a broken or damaged Dana 60 with a Dana 61 while retaining the factory gear ratio.
The Dana 53 first appeared in the late 1940s and is much like a Dana 60. Although all Dana 53s are semi-floating, rear axles, 9.25" ring gear diameter. It was used as OEM in 1960s full-size (C-body) Chrysler passenger cars equipped with the 440 CID engine. The Dana 53 was phased out in the late 1960s, replaced by the Dana 60.
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Dana "Super 60"
Dana 60 is known as a Salisbury 60 in the UK. In 1919 Spicer purchased the Salisbury Axle Company (US). In 1939 Spicer's UK license holder created a company named "Salisbury Transmission Limited." With permission to manufacture a British model of the Dana 44. Land Rover Salisbury axles are compatible with some but not all parts related to their American counterparts, including differential covers, bearings, and some shafts. Many Land Rover applications used 10 or 24 spline shafts. Defender applications were a right-hand drop.