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The "other" Dana axle. SuperDuty Dana 50 - axle gurus?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by DavidB, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    I'd like to have a hi-pinion axle for my Blazer, but Ford 60s are $$$. Came across an article in 4Wheel Drive and Sport Utility on the Dana 50. Tri County gear has 35 spline shafts and ARB lockers for 'em. I wonder if a 35 spline D60 spool could be modded to fit, for a cheaper and more reliable diff.

    I wonder what the WMS-WMS is, and how hard it would be to change the bolt pattern. Pretty sure it's metric. Wonder if you could just swap on 8 on 6.5" balljoint 60 outers?

    Anyone got any more ideas or things that might get in the way?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2006
  2. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    what about a HP44? we just located one for my buddy's SAS swap today for $200
     
  3. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    Not beefy enough for my 39" tires and right foot.
     
  4. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    chromos and good joints, you'd probably be good to go. parts availability will probably be an issue with the Dana 50.
     
  5. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    Historically, yes...but it looks like it's developing some aftermarket support. The article I found was from Dec '04. Who knows what's come up since then?

    Keynotes of article :

    35 spline shafts now available

    Same size U-joints, knuckles, balljoints as 60

    Ring gear 1/2" Smaller than 60, 1/2" bigger than 44

    44 Pinion 1.375"
    50 Pinion 1.377"
    60 Pinion 1.625"

    Gear ratios 3.54 - 5.13

    35 Spline ARB by changing side gears - could this be done with other lockers?

    Thicker housing because of smaller ring gear/carrier = more can be shaved, less pinion walk.

    Could a 60 spool be remachined to fit the 50?
     
  6. Confedneck79K30

    Confedneck79K30 3/4 ton status

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    50s are not that strong, i saw one break the pinion shaft in half on a gas sd with a 5.4 and 35" a/ts... if you're gonna sink some coin, hunt a 60...
     
  7. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    The pinion shaft in the D50 is a VERY small 1.375" . For comparison, the D44 and 12b have a 1.437" pinion shaft, and the 10b and D60 have a 1.625" pinion shaft. Such a small pinion shaft is going to be fragile under high load. I would wait and pony up for a real D60 if I were you...
     
  8. big dan

    big dan 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    for the money it would take to buy one beef it up and install it you could get a good d60 that will have a stronger ring and pinion plus more parts available.
     
  9. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    Prolly close. Initial cost of the 50 is much less, and after that it's the same thing - gears and locker, except I'd hafta get shafts for the 50. I have a shop, I think I could take care of the bolt pattern myself one way or another.
     
  10. jason m

    jason m 1/2 ton status

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    all the 50's i have seen have balljoints, this would be the week spot to me, jason.
     
  11. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    I beat on a Cummins Xcab Longbed Dodge (heavy truck) with a balljoint 60 for years. No problems with them.

    At this point, I probably won't do it, sounds like the pinion is too puny.
     
  12. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    The "balljoint is weaker than a kingpin" is largely a myth as far as I can tell. On a D60, the balljoints used are comparable in size to the kingpins that were used on the older axle. I think this mostly came from comparing the D60 to the D44. In that case, it isn't really a ball joint vs kingpin issue, it is a size difference - D60 kingpins (and balljoints) are substantially larger than D44 balljoints. OTOH, it is easier to put a highsteer setup on a kingpin axle :wink1:.
     
  13. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    True on the histeer. Balljoints seem to have less mystery regarding death wobble too.
     
  14. 6.2puller

    6.2puller 1/2 ton status

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    Strength wise the ball joint vs kingpin may be the same but wear wise the ball joints need replacement way more often. My brother tows with a F250 SD PSD and has gone through 2 sets of ball joints in 4 yrs 60K miles. He runs 31" tires and a stock driveline height etc. He is known for hauling 20-24K to the scrap yard but I don't see how that would change the wear on the front end.
    Oh yeah, stay away from the stock hub set up with the vacume crap. My other brother runs an excursion with the D50 and 6" lift with 37s. He has a ton of trouble with the hubs and stub shafts. Currently has a broken stub shaft and unit bearing right now. He has had it and is looking for a SD D60.
     
  15. blazersnburban

    blazersnburban Registered Member

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    when did the d60's go from kingpin to balljoints?
     
  16. 6.2puller

    6.2puller 1/2 ton status

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    Ford was 93 I believe. GM never did and Dodge was mid 90s also.
     
  17. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with the wear problem, esp under a heavy diesel. Mine went throught front end parts like nothin'. Probably partly due to minimal maint and lots of dirt and water miles.
     
  18. hunterguy86

    hunterguy86 1/2 ton status

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    Aint most of the Dana 50's TTB from F-250s?
     
  19. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    Many are...they can make nice frontends for go-fast and crawler combo trucks. I think Ramsey El Wardini is putting one under his Blazer. But Almost all F-250 Super Dutys have a straight Dana 50. F-350s have a Dana 60.
     
  20. SCOOBYDANNN

    SCOOBYDANNN 1/2 ton status

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    If you do decide to go this route I can head down to Juarez and check to see if that yard still has all those axles.

    Dan
     

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