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Old 03/26/10, 01:11 AM   #1
DanWheeler
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Dan Wheeler's Dana 60 / 3 link Build Thread

Just picked up a Dana 60 tonight. Bought it private party from Jeff at JustDifferentials.com in Cashmere, WA. What a great guy. Obviously he gave me a great deal on the axle but also spent a couple hours talking to me about all kinds of stuff including some good tips on gear setup. The plan is to collect parts and pieces over the summer and get the axle assembled and then swap it in in the fall as well as a new full width rear like a 9 or Sterling.

Specs:
- 89 F350 Kingpin Dana 60 High Pinion
- Paid $750 complete except for carrier, rotors and calipers. Disassembled
- Stock 35 spline inners
- Stock 30 spline outers
- Great Lakes diff cover
- One spindle looks like it may be pitted and may need to be replaced
- Needs bearings, lock nuts, kingpin rebuild kit

Plan:
Finally ditch the C-bushings and build some sort of 3 link. An alternative would be to use Duff long arms with the Dana 60 mounts but my preference is to build a zero-bind, neutral suspension and use a sway bar for the highway driving.

Outers will be upgraded to 35 spline most likely using drive gears/flanges/slugs - whatever you want to call them instead of Warn lockouts. Since i'm using drive flanges I'll be putting an ARB up front. (BTW - ARB is running a special until end of April - buy an ARB and get a compressor free. Buy 2 and get the heavy duty compressor free - this justdifferentials.com place is selling them for $850 which is even cheaper than polyperformance and completeoffroad. I plan on ordering 2)

I think i'm going to leave it full width. WMS is 69" which is insane and IMO looks funny (like a little kid with huge ears) and is probably going to cause me issues in the Northwest woodsy wheeling but seems like almost everyone says leave it full width.

Inners will be left stock for now to save money

Tires will probably be 38 or 39.5

Tie-rod will probably be Chevy 3/4 ton tie-rod ends straight across from knuckle to knuckle.

Drag link will connect to a Ballistic hi-steer arm just on the passenger side. Hoping to add hydraulic assist at some point.

Suspension - this is the big ??? I would like to do a 3-link plus panhard but as well all know, 3rd link placement is difficult. Not quite ready for coilovers but maybe.

Rear will be 35 spline 9" or Sterling. Probably keeping it leaf springs since I'm very happy with the flex from my Wild Horses 3.5" springs. Almost makes me want leafs in the front.

Thats all I can think of for now - here's the pics:






Last edited by DanWheeler; 12/03/10 at 11:10 AM.. Reason: title change

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

Click here for pictures.
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Old 03/26/10, 01:36 AM   #2
br0nc0xrapt0r
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just an obsevation... I would run the 60 5 on 5.5 patern and a full width 9 with 35 splines for less wieght more ground clearance and not have to change rims.

SEMPER FIDELIS

69 Exxon Valdez, 37" locked front and rear, Daily driver.
http://classicbroncos.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=163762

WTB pulley cover for 1959 Homelite 9-23
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Old 03/26/10, 02:09 AM   #3
DanWheeler
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well a Sterling axle can be had for 1-200 bucks and already has 35 spline axle shafts and I would be able to find a full floater. I can't seem to even find 35 spline axles for a 9" and the Warn full float kit for 9" is discontinued.

blackbirdcustoms.com has a 5x5.5 conversion kit for $260 but even then I dont think my 15" wheels will fit over the calipers if I remember reading correctly on pirate a long time ago.

so $260 plus whatever 35 spline axle shafts cost IF my 15" wheels fit. Even still i'd like to keep it mostly stock so I can walk into NAPA and order rotors or calipers.

or $200 for a full floater 35 spline 10.25" rearend which matches the exact 69" WMS of my Dana 60 whereas a full width 9 I think may be slightly more narrow.

also, the Sterling I think would come with disc brakes while the 9" would require a kit of some sort.

wonder if the sterling can be shaved?

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 03/26/10, 02:12 AM   #4
DanWheeler
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of course... there's always the 14 bolt option too

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 03/26/10, 02:58 AM   #5
br0nc0xrapt0r
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Did you try complete offroad? they have tons of stuff But I never looked for full width 9. Crap didn't think about the rims, well I know you can grind the piss out of those caipers and brackets but 17 inch rims would be much better.

SEMPER FIDELIS

69 Exxon Valdez, 37" locked front and rear, Daily driver.
http://classicbroncos.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=163762

WTB pulley cover for 1959 Homelite 9-23
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Old 03/26/10, 07:46 AM   #6
70EB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWheeler View Post
well a Sterling axle can be had for 1-200 bucks and already has 35 spline axle shafts and I would be able to find a full floater. I can't seem to even find 35 spline axles for a 9" and the Warn full float kit for 9" is discontinued.

blackbirdcustoms.com has a 5x5.5 conversion kit for $260 but even then I dont think my 15" wheels will fit over the calipers if I remember reading correctly on pirate a long time ago.

so $260 plus whatever 35 spline axle shafts cost IF my 15" wheels fit. Even still i'd like to keep it mostly stock so I can walk into NAPA and order rotors or calipers.

or $200 for a full floater 35 spline 10.25" rearend which matches the exact 69" WMS of my Dana 60 whereas a full width 9 I think may be slightly more narrow.

also, the Sterling I think would come with disc brakes while the 9" would require a kit of some sort.

wonder if the sterling can be shaved?
Dan,

Sterling is a great choice with the aftermarket support growing. Like you said, 35 spline stock. Get rid of the drums with a disc swap and you are set. Highly recommend welding a bead at the housing/axle tube junction as this is a known failure point since they tubes are pressed in then pinned. good reinforcement bead and you are good to go.

Keep the 8-lug. Cheaper in the end. Slap a set of cheap 17" H2 aluminum rims (like in the pic) and get the 5" backspace to tuck it in some until fancy beadlocks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg atlasII 013 (Large).jpg (141.1 KB, 281 views)

70 Sport, 351W SEFI, ZF, D20, 3.5" SL, 1" BL, 35 KM2s on slots, Sunset Orange Metallic
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Old 03/26/10, 07:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWheeler View Post
well a Sterling axle can be had for 1-200 bucks and already has 35 spline axle shafts and I would be able to find a full floater.?
Good Score
This is true but take your time and you could find one for FREE. I have a friend that gets them all the time for that price (free) Also they are a big and cost $$ to build. Look for a Dana 70 U 35 spline axles and a smooth bottom can be had for the same price and cheeper to build. I picked one up for free last week ( Hole truck) traded it for a ZF. I had a Dana 60 like yours the bad thing about the newer short side ones is the diff. sit's right under the frame. You could cut the long side down and that will move it over. I ended cutting mine down and will be 80" out side of tires with 3.5" of back spaceing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyflyer View Post
I bet you could pull a kitten through the axle tube with a rope and it would act much like swabbing your shotgun barrel with patches...
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Old 03/26/10, 01:26 PM   #8
DanWheeler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70EB View Post
Keep the 8-lug. Cheaper in the end. Slap a set of cheap 17" H2 aluminum rims (like in the pic) and get the 5" backspace to tuck it in some until fancy beadlocks.
Those are nice looking wheels but are they 8x6.5? or 8x165mm?

they have 5" backspace? thats definitely a plus.

There are a few of them on craigslist right now for $4-500 a set. How much did you pay?

DiscountTire shows stock 16" steelies for $60 which would also work and I think you can get whatever backspacing you want if you can wait for a custom order.

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 03/26/10, 01:26 PM   #9
DanWheeler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70EB View Post
Keep the 8-lug. Cheaper in the end. Slap a set of cheap 17" H2 aluminum rims (like in the pic) and get the 5" backspace to tuck it in some until fancy beadlocks.
btw - what size and type of tires are those?

thanks

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 03/26/10, 01:28 PM   #10
DanWheeler
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Originally Posted by br0nc0xrapt0r View Post
Did you try complete offroad? they have tons of stuff But I never looked for full width 9. Crap didn't think about the rims, well I know you can grind the piss out of those caipers and brackets but 17 inch rims would be much better.
yeah i tried complete, poly and a couple other places... it's like 35 spline axles dont exist for the 9"

I guess Dana 70 would also be a good choice for the rear since it sounds like it can be shaved. I haven't heard anything about the Sterlin being able to be shaved.

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 03/26/10, 09:24 PM   #11
daves bronco
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nice pick up it looks better then I thought it would. I called on the same one but I didn't have the time to go get it, and got a little scared of it when he said it was trusseted, looks like I should have gone and it. intersted to see what you come up with in the front.
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Old 03/26/10, 09:43 PM   #12
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Did you try Moser Engineering for the 35 spline axles ? They are in Indiana

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Old 03/27/10, 01:31 AM   #13
DanWheeler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Homan View Post
Did you try Moser Engineering for the 35 spline axles ? They are in Indiana
couldn't find anything from Moser. Finally found some on broncograveyard of all places.

even still they are 5x5.5 and semi-float. Ever since Bronko69er showed me an axle shaft that had snapped on him while driving, I wanted full float axles.

Probably just gonna get a Sterling. 1.5" thick 35 spline, full float and most importantly, the WMS is the same as my Dana 60 (69.5") while the other options (14 bolt, 60, 70) would be wider or more narrow. Also, the Sterling (and 14 bolt) have carrier bearing adjusters so no shims needed for gear setup which is nice.

it's between the 14bolt and the Sterling. Sterling has WMS width going for it while the 14 bolt has "shavability"

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 03/29/10, 07:12 PM   #14
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Just posting some info here for my own reference regarding the Sterling rear axle. Having a hard time deciding between Sterling and 14 bolt. From what I've read, it sounds like the Sterling actually has better clearance than a 14 bolt. Shaved 14 bolt is about equal to stock Sterling.

Sterling has known issues with pinion issues well documented here:
http://www.fourwheeler.com/techartic...ips/index.html

so I think i'll be looking for a 93+ Sterling although a new R&P set should have a pinion with the longer splines so maybe it doesn't really matter. Not seeing a huge advantage to the 14 bolt at this point. I can get 5.38s and an ARB for the Sterling.

problems can be solved with larger yoke, pinion with longer splines and an ARB w/ 4 spider gears should solve the other problem caused by only having 2 spider gears.

Disc Brake Upgrade for Sterling:
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/63...-are-here.html

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 03/30/10, 08:11 AM   #15
70EB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWheeler View Post
Those are nice looking wheels but are they 8x6.5? or 8x165mm?

they have 5" backspace? thats definitely a plus.

There are a few of them on craigslist right now for $4-500 a set. How much did you pay?

DiscountTire shows stock 16" steelies for $60 which would also work and I think you can get whatever backspacing you want if you can wait for a custom order.
Not my wheels or tires but put the pic in as an example. H2 wheels are stock 8x6.5

70 Sport, 351W SEFI, ZF, D20, 3.5" SL, 1" BL, 35 KM2s on slots, Sunset Orange Metallic
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