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Dana 60 conversion questions???

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 55Willy, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    We have a few people looking at different model 60's to do swaps..Shannon with a fulltime dodge unit, and Scott with a drum brake set up... So here are some questions on 60's since those that are looking for them know what to avoid and what they have instore for them if they do:

    Whats it take to get a dually front converted?
    Whats it take to get a dodge under it?
    Steering set up problems??
    Brakelines?

    All I have been able to find is a Dodge 60 with disc..in Washington for $1,000 [​IMG] Too rich for my blood.



    <hr></blockquote> Do not write below this line

    <hr></blockquote>
     
  2. Commocozy

    Commocozy 1/2 ton status

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    I like this idea alot. Maybe we could try to gather all the info possible into one thred, so you have a one stop shop..

    I think it would be great if there could be Ford D60 problems,Dodge D60 problems, and Chevy D60 problems if any.

    I know for a fact i am looing to go 1 Ton and i am new so i know nothing!

    <font color=blue>79 Jimmy. Pretty much stock right now but in a few months she will be all grow up</font color=blue>
     
  3. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    thanks! maybe i'll get some help now.

    --Scott, 1989 GMC Suburban 2500 4" lift, 36" TSLs
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/muddysub>http://community.webshots.com/user/muddysub</a>
     
  4. nvrenuf

    nvrenuf NONE shall pass! Premium Member

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    Here’s some front Dana 60 trivia I’ve learned over the past few years;

    There are different styles of front 60’s. This info is directed primarily towards the standard kingpin style found in a Chevy from 77 to 91. The later ball joint knuckle axles are all different and have smaller axle shafts, in my opinion they are strong but don’t offer what most people think they are getting.

    I don’t think a drum brake axle can be converted to disc, I think the bearing hubs are different. Also, all of the drum brake 60’s (and front 70’s) that I have seen are closed knuckle axles. These do not have the big inner axles, they have the small Dana 44 size axle shafts.

    A dually axle can be converted to single wheel by changing the bearing hubs. The spindles, caliper brackets and outer axles are the same (I’m pretty sure the rotors are the same but I’ve never checked). I’ve heard of having the dually hubs machined down similar to single wheel stuff but I’ve never actually seen it done.

    A Dodge housing will fit a Chevy truck (seen it done), the housing is about an inch different in width but it will work. NOTE : with the housing being different, the inner axles are NOT the same as a Chevy BUT the outer axles and spindle will interchange. Most Dodge axles have the external style locking hub (you can see 8 9/16” bolt heads – the hub usually looks like a door knob). No one offers the 35 spline lock outs for the external hub axles, later Dodge axles used the internal style and can be upgraded to 35spline outers.

    As for steering, everyone says cross over is the way to go and that will cause you to buy all the necessary parts anyway. I personally run stock type steering with a 10” lift and have no problems. The big problem for tall trucks is that the lift kit companies only offer 9” of corrective parts, so think about that before you buy a 12” kit!

    Brake likes are easy. Chevy’s are set up like a ½ &amp; ¾ ton with a line from the frame to each caliper. A Dodge has one main line front the engine cross member down to the middle of the housing, then they split from there.

    For anyone thinking of buying a Ford 60 for spare parts for their Chevy axle – they ain’t the same! I bought one years ago only to find that the only common parts are the cover, carrier, yoke, axle joints, and bearings. Ouch! Ford axles also have two different housing widths, 70’s body vs. 80’s body.

    The Chevy and Dodge brakes can be ground down to fit a 15” wheel. I’ve done it and would only recommend it for 3 ½” (or less) backspace wheels, it can be done on bigger offset wheels but you really have to grind A LOT! I studied the brakes on my Ford axle and I don’t think you could do it on that style.

    Here on the gulf coast, around $850 is an average price so $1000 isn’t too bad (but it’s definitely not cheap). The biggest thing to remember when looking at the price tag is that they don’t make the real 60’s anymore. I’ve even heard that Dynatrac can’t make a kingpin style housing any more.

    I hope I answered a lot of questions without putting anyone to sleep. Happy hunting!!


    80 K10 w/ 468 and 1 ton stuff
    I got chunks of guy's like you in my stool!
    www.nvrenuf.fws1.com
     
  5. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    you have a ton of interesting but misleading info in that post.
    you cant blanket state "dodge has this" and be even close to correct as all the 'facts' you posted pertain to ancient dodge stuff.
    wish i had a big red marker and i could write my dodge isnt like that.

    also have good info in there but you need to edit and add some vintages, these axles have been in use for decades and saying ford this dodge that simply isnt going to get it correct. my 1990s dodge axle has same style brake lines as chev. my axle is more like 2" narrower, looked great with 16" wide tires but kinda dumb with the 11" wide ones. I am told only the short side shaft differs from the chev and the long is direct swap. my axleshafts are the really fat version, larger then 1.5 in the 'body' not the necked down ones that chev used.
    the dodge steering arm when retapered for chev DL from the top side is about a 2"+ gain in steering. by the time you pay for the parts to keep stock style steering you have lost money over a crossover kit so it is foolish to keep stock steering on a lifted truck.
    2" drop pitman for stock style is $10 more then 4" crossover pitman.
    steering arm is a bargain from ORD, and IMO it looks like a better piece then the Avalanche one.
    I paid $22cdn for the steel to make my DL payed 3x that to have it threaded though.

    formerly 77chev
    still a jerk though<P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by m j on 01/23/02 11:25 AM.</FONT></P>
     
  6. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    where is that guy that could make poly bushings?
    if someone would make offset bushings to fit the narrower then stock common aftermarket springs that would pretty much make it a bolt in as far as spring perches are concerned.
    the next comparo has to be the mounting studs on the PS cast centre section. I cant help there as that area of mine was all custom due to the turning. if they differ you will have to fab a mount if you intend to keep the chev style swaybar(why you would do that is beyond me though)

    formerly 77chev
    still a jerk though
     
  7. RGF

    RGF 1/2 ton status

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    OK, I have messed around with the 3 different Dana60 fronts(79Dodge 60 in a GM truck, GM60 with Ford from the king-pins out on a daily driver Blazer, and Ford HP60 with GM from the king-pins out on a project rig under slow construction) I have to agree with most of what nvrenuf said but yes that was early Dodge stuff.The early Dodge is 67" WM to WM and the others are 69", as far as inner axle lenghts go I dont know but it appears the difference is all in the short side.
    When I was looking at the calipers the Dodge and GM looked the same but had different part #s and I determined that one was alittle longer than the other so that would mean the caliper mounts were different.
    I was able to use the GM brake hoses on the Dodge caliper by drilling the hose connection block @ the caliper to a larger size.

    As far as axleshaft diameters go, all the early D-60s reguardless of make had the neckdown style shafts until the 80s when Dana/Spicer started using the fat shafts in all the fronts

    Putting a Dodge 60 in a GM is not that bad of a job and the off-set bushings will save some headaches, use the Dodge u-bolt plates/no swaybar or built a new plate for the passenger side with a mount for the swaybar, toss the Dodge brake line set-up and adapter the GM stuff.

    The retapered Dodge arm does work well and will help with lift correction,Im using one on my Blazer but you will have to crank your draglink ends all the way in on the sleeve which makes it even shorter and we all know what a real short draglink will do on bumps,make sure that the slope is slightly higher in the front and it will be OK.

    RGF
     
  8. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    for wms-wms what years
    when is 67/69 split?
    are you talkin coil spring years or are we still in the leaf era?
    interesting info on the brake calipers I also assumed they were same-same.
    anyone have a plan to compare the parts, measure from where to where? simple as inside the caliper ears distance?
    I have images with ruler showing from end of shaft to yoke for my dodge shafts.
    also better add the new greaseable wheel joint part # in this thread somewhere "spl55-4x" it is a nice piece to add

    formerly 77chev
    still a jerk though
     
  9. nvrenuf

    nvrenuf NONE shall pass! Premium Member

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    I must reply with an apology. formerly 77chev was right that I made a blanket statement that does primarily apply to ancient Dodge stuff. I certainly hope that my horribly inacurate misinformation about brake lines and actual housing width differences did not did not cause anyone undo stress or complications while doing their 1 ton conversion. He is also correct that being more specific as to vintages would have been more helpful than using generic statements. I’m sorry….


    Excuse me for a moment while I look for MY red marker….


    Ah, here it is….


    formerly 77chev should be careful not to call the kettle black. By using the “blanket” statement about “my 1990s dodge axle” could include you with the later central axle disconnect 60’s. Or do you have a kingpin style axle? A more specific vintage would help narrow this down. I agree that your 60 probably looks better with the 16” wide tires but I don’t really know why you’re telling me this. ? My reference to Dodge inner axles being different than Chevy comes from an experience a friend had while repairing a broken axle (granted, second hand info and an ancient Dodge 60). As for your statement “my axleshafts are the really fat version, larger then 1.5 in the 'body' not the necked down ones that chev used” – you’re a little bit wrong. I’m pretty sure that most, if not all, open knuckle 60’s older than 80 or 81 had inner axles that tapered down in the middle. Both ends were 1.5” but the shaft looks to be the size of a 44 in the middle ¾ of it. From 80 or 81 on GM, Ford &amp; Dodge all used the axle shafts that are slighter fatter in the middle than on the ends.

    To say that “it is foolish to keep stock steering on a lifted truck” is a very narrow, my way or no way opinion. I congratulate you on being able to fabricate a cross over set up without the usual high cost. BUT the average cross over kit cost around $500 PLUS the cost of the 2wd steering box. A person buying the stock style steering parts would spend around $300. It’s not so much about foolishness as it is cost vs. practicality, my truck drives and steers great – I want the cross over but I just can’t justify the cost while not having any problems. The redrilling of the Dodge style steering arm is a great mod if you can find one.

    I’m sure both formerly 77chev and I have the same objective with respect to providing good info for other readers and he did state a lot of good info, but this is not a forum to be graded like a school paper. Constructive criticism is great but “grading” without being absolutely correct is another.

    By the way, formerly 77chev, if your 60 has kingpins be aware that ALL factory 60’s have ball joints now….welcome to the ancient 60 club.



    80 K10 w/ 468 and 1 ton stuff
    I got chunks of guy's like you in my stool!
    www.nvrenuf.fws1.com
     
  10. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    gee, and i didnt ever ask what vehicle the chevy balljoint 60 with smaller shafts came in.

    with out dates and applications what you posted was useless. rather then going back and laying some hard facts to go with your generalization you wanna play flames. I will try and resist just this once though it is very out of charactor for me.


    formerly 77chev
    still a jerk though
     
  11. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    so i can't convert drums to discs? if so that sucks.

    --Scott, 1989 GMC Suburban 2500 4" lift, 36" TSLs
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/muddysub>http://community.webshots.com/user/muddysub</a>
     
  12. blazen91

    blazen91 1/2 ton status

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    I am trying to buy a leath. After I do, I will looking for someone to send me their duelly front hubs and I will do a tech artical for Steve to post on how to convert a deully to a single.

    <font color=blue> WHO SAYS YOU NEED BIG TIRES?? </font color=blue>
     
  13. BozoWise

    BozoWise 1/2 ton status

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    Does anyone have any pictures of there D60 swap and steering. What vehicle was the donor of your axel?
     
  14. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Looking for anything specific? Pics on my site below - go to the one ton conversion page. It is a total bolt in job, at least in my case it was, my D60 is out of a '78.
     

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