Let's face it, you want to
play hard and you want a Dana 60, that's why you're here. Sure, you
could beef up your 1/2 ton Dana 44 or Corporate 10-bolt with chrome-moly axles
and maybe even larger u-joints, but would it have the strength of a 1
ton rated 9-3/4" ring gear, increased axle diameter, larger wheel bearings or
even a thicker axle housing and tubes, I think we all know the answer to
old Dana 44 served it's purpose admirably on mild terrain, but more
challenging trails were another story all together. In fact the last few trips to Moab
left us stranded
on the side of more than one 4+ rated trail with an axle tube full of
bent and twisted axle shafts and broken u-joints. Part of any buildup is
having an idea on what the final result will be, and our project Blazer
is no exception, with larger tires and increased horse power planned for
the future the decision was easy - Dana 60.
|Broken Dana 44
U-Joint and Axle Shaft
We had acquired a very used Dana 60 locally that needed
a lot of help, and the plan called for a complete rebuild with all new
bearings, rotors, seals etc. even a re-gear and installation of an ARB
air locker. After adding up the cost of all the parts and factoring in
the time we would need to thoroughly rebuild the axle we decided to shop
around for a complete rebuilt unit.
We placed a call to Boyce Equipment and spoke with Mark Boyce who quickly assured us that he could build us an axle
to our exact requirements including our choice of gear ratio and locker
setup. Our first question was "yeah, but how long will it take you
- two months" much to our surprise, Boyce could have a Dana 60
ready to bolt under our Blazer in approximately 10 business days. With
Easter Jeep Safari just weeks away and a very busy schedule on our plate
we decided to take advantage of Boyce's 40 + years of experience and
ordered up our Dana 60 with a 4.88 gear ratio, 1350 yoke and ARB air
locker. The axle arrived a few weeks later banned to a skid with
the hubs and rotors wrapped in shrink rap to protect from dust and
Installing a Dana 60 under a non-lifted
full-size GM is a direct bolt up, but there are some issues to take note
of especially if the vehicle does have a lift, the following list
details the items we encountered and some additions we made while performing the installation.
The caliper ends of our brake lines were
smaller than our old Dana 44 so new 34" long stainless steel lines were ordered
from AAI Motorsports. (note: Corp 10-bolt and Dana 60 calipers share the
same size brake line ends)
Dana 60 spring
perches are approximately 3/4" taller than the Corp 10-bolt and
Dana 44 spring perches. To keep the same ride height we removed our
1" hill extended shackles and installed ORD's 1/4" heavy duty
Because our project Blazer has
4" lift springs in the front, we had to install a Warn raised
steering block to keep the drag link close to the stock location. (A
cross-over steering system will be installed soon that will eliminate
the need for this block)
New larger spring plates and u-bolts will be needed to install a Dana
60, we ordered ours from Boyce with the axle.
The tail housing of the Dana 60 is longer that that of a Corp 10-bolt
and Dana 44. Because we now have about 5" of lift and the front
drive-shaft was never lengthened we found our drive-shaft to be the
connecting the drag link to the Dana 60 steering arm we had to adjust it
out by about an inch which gave us a much better turning radius.
After the install we bled the brakes 4 or 5 times and they were still
mushy so we had them power bled at a local 4x4 shop. After the power
bleed, we tested the brakes and about went through the windshield, at
that point we figured they were good to go.
Because our Blazer will see some serious trails, we decided to beef up
the tie-rod by installing a 1-1/2" thick Rock Rod built by Rock
To protect our investment from the rocks we called upon Four X Doctor
for a Dana 60 differential guard.
We ordered a beefier 1350 yoke to replace the stock 1310 unit. (a
combination u-joint was used to connect the drive shaft to the new yoke)
Boyce overlooked installing our larger 1350 yoke but shipped it
overnight so we could continue with our project, after it arrived it
only took approximately 20 minutes to install. Because our eventual goal is to run
1-ton drive-shafts at a later date, we used a combination u-joint in our
front drive-shaft that allowed us to connect to the new 1350 yoke.
|1310 VS 1350
||Dana 60 Side
Our Dana 60 came ready to be bolted under our Blazer
with new rotors and calipers as well as a new tie-rod and rod ends, in
fact, when we removed the steering arm we found new king pin bushings as
well. We installed a set of Warn premium hubs that we had traded a
bumper for a few months earlier, we also ordered a u-bolt kit from Boyce which
included the larger u-bolts and spring plates needed to install our
axle. After the Dana 60 was installed the only thing left to do was fill
the pumpkin with gear oil and we were ready to hit the trails. If you
need a complete axle that is ready to be bolted up, then this is the way
to go, we were able to order it configured exactly the way we wanted it
and have it delivered to our door within weeks.
Removed / King Pin Bushings
Block Studs Installed
Steering Arm in Place
||Clamps Used to
Hold Steering Arm Down
Steering Block Installed
|Four X Doctor
||Dana 60 with
||Rock Rod and
||Rock Rod and
What Boyce axles go through:
All axles are first disassembled
to the bare housing, then completely cleaned and checked for wear.
Any part showing undue wear is replaced.
Axles are then reassembled with
new seals, knuckle boots, brake pads and wheel cylinders.
At that time or reassembly, the axle
can be built with gear changes (limited slip-locking-differentials)
custom disk brakes, spring pads/moved, housing modifications with
little or no labor charge at the time of purchase.
Then, all axles are painted primer
or black and then packed and shipped. Boyce takes pride in sending you a
100% Guaranteed rebuilt axle.
Boyce ships your axle to you!
Boyce Equipment is a family run business founded more than 40 years
ago. They are dealers in the field of military trucks, truck parts and
equipment. They carry vehicles ranging from the 1 1/4 ton Dodge, G.M.S., 4
x 4's and 2 1/2 ton REO'S through the GMC 6 x 6's, Kaiser and A.M.
General 5 ton, 10 ton and 25 ton 6x6's.
They also offer original equipment power trains and specialize in heavy duty
conversions using Dana 44's, 60's, 70's and 2 1/2 ton thru planataries.
Boyce features a complete shop, located in Ogden, Utah and offers service and rebuilding on all their equipment.
They also deal with heavy-duty civilian equipment including custom made farm
tractors, crawlers, winches, generator sets and truck tires. Give them a
call to see what they can do for you. - Steve Fox