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Dana 60's Swap


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So I just picked up an 89 Pioneer 4.0 auto. Has 35/30 setup. I picked up a late model Ford Rear 60 with 4.10's, LS, Discs. Going with a matching late model Ford front 60. Has anyone run this setup? Rear should be simple, staying with packs sprung over at 6". Trying to decide on the front end, links? Covert to packs? Any advice would be appreciated. Staying with the 4.10's. Selectable in front and 35's. For now running stock tranny and T-Case. Likely build a 4.2 with 4.0HO Head this winter. Going rail bed on this project too, bed will be up for grabs in classifieds.

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More than likely that rear 60 has 30 spline axle shafts.  Its not much stronger than a dana 44, but it will hold up to 35's fine.  Depending on year/variation, it might have 35 spline axles.  Running 35's and 60's, you're going to hit many things with the pumpkins so be sure reverse works.

 

Going with leafs or links up front is a personal preference but links tend to outperform leafs and will require less work on the frame to install.  Fab up your own brackets and links or buy a long arm kit.  Check out the cherokee section on pirate4x4 for ideas.

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You're not going to like 35's and 4.10's with 60's.

You're adding about 750 pounds by going to tons, at least. Plus the weight of the links and new heavier crossmember. So say a thousand pounds plus the heavier tires. Your overdrive will rarely be used.

Friend built an XJ with tons, four link front and rear, cage and was running 36" swamper SX's and his weighed 5500 pounds. He runs 5.13's and they feel just right.

I'd say you want at least 4.88's for gears.

I ran 4.10's with 32's and they were right on. 35's are a lot bigger.

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You scored with that rear.  Figure out a plan and regear once.  Wontons are heavy like FrankTheDog mentioned.  With 35's you should definitely go with 4.88's.  If you're planning on running taller tires, gear accordingly.

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Update, picked up axle. It's a 3/4 ton 2004 E250 Semi Float 35 spline limited slip with dual piston calipers

 

If it is 8 lug that might have the funky 8 x 170 metric bolt pattern, not the standard 8 x 6.5 pattern that Chevy, Dodge and older Fords use.

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That's a LOT of axle for 35's. Personally, I'd flip it and get an 8.8 and HP44 for the front. That's just me, though.

 

Problem with the 44 is that it still uses the same u joints that were (in my case anyway) failing on the 35.

 

I run 37s now with the D60, and even though I want to go taller at some point in the future, I'm happy with them now.

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Good score on that rear. It is a solid upgrade....especially considering the vast majority of MJ's came with D35's.

 

Even the semi-float Dana 60's are definitely stronger than a Dana 44 rear. On average the tube diameter (2.5-3."...2.75 in an MJ vs 3.0-3.5") and thickness ( commonly .25" vs .50" ) is greater  The ring (8.5" vs 9.75") & pinion (1.375" vs 1.625") are stronger, as well. You will probably find that the SF D60 has a GVWR of at least 150% of the average D44. Equal in strength? Hmmm... Although people say "well they are both 30 spline..."  the 44's shaft will probably be about 1.31" in diameter while the 60 will be 1.46".  Sure they have the same spline count but don't get caught up in internet "well every one says...."  Spline count is hardly the be all/end all that some web wheelers think.  If you happen to go a to full float D60 then your axle shafts are basically much stronger than their dimensions as you have removed much of the load on them.

 

For the front you probably have seen all of the various kits out there to put the factory suspension on a new axle. Tube space is often a trouble with those, though.  I am a big fan of Barnes 4wd for builder parts but ruff-stuff makes some great parts,too. Although it may look easier I think the average front leaf spring conversion would take away from the inherent qualities of even the factory 4-link system. I will eventually 3-link mine when I go bigger on the axles. Something like this whether I source all of the parts individually or buy a kit:

http://www.barnes4wd.com/Three-Link-Suspension-DIY-Kit-1-14-Chromoly-Heims_p_182.html

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Keep in mind I never recommended the 44 in the rear. I mentioned a HP44 in the front with an 8.8 in the rear. Is the 60 stronger? Definitely. It's also big, heavy, and IMHO, not needdd for anything less than 39's. I've seen 8.8's survive behind stroked out L6's spinning 37's with the addition of full case locker.

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8.8 from an explorer is 58" wide (or there abouts).  There are full width versions available too.

 

I ran a rear 60 in my old rig (on 37's) and won't do it again unless I end up building a more dedicated crawler that will see little or no street and have 40's or so with dumb low gears.  The D44 front and rear 60 were overkill in both strength and weight for an I6's power output and the type of driving I was doing.

 

Is this your first build?

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The 8.8 out of an Explorer IS on the narrow side, but it is very, very strong, particularly with a full case locker like an ARB or Detroit. I've never really looked at thr full size 8.8, but it may be worth looking into, especially if you want to keep the weight down. I have a K5 on Tons (60/14FF) and you can definately feel the weight on the street and when trying to go even moderately quickly off road. That thing rides on 37's, and I think I did over-axle it. If low weight is thr goal, I'd go with either an 8.8 in the back or a beefed up 'Yota axle in the rear. The front is kind of hard. Depending on what you're doing, a D30 (even beefed) may not be enough, leaving you with either a choice of a D44, or something exotic like a Hi9.

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