Mr.N's Dana Article Main Page

Dana 60 info: Front & rear plus Dana 61 

Copyright © 2002 All International Rights Reserved. This document may not be copied or published without prior written permission. Updated: April 07, 2003 - Mr.N

I'm covering the Dana 60 as it came under the Light duty Pickup.

Dana 60 Reverse Spiral was first released in Early 1977 under Ford F250 & 350's 1977.5

This axle has also been called the Dana 60 High Pinion, Dana 60 Reverse Rotation, Dana 60 Reverse Cut, Dana 60 High clearance and many more names.  A reverse spiral axle has the center line of the pinion contacting the ring gear above the center line of the axle, and thus has different lubrication passages.  This axle offers a strength increase over a standard rotation axle while in forward movement. It allows the drive shaft to contact the pinion yoke at a much higher level of connection, thus keeping the drive shaft several inches higher.  The gears are not interchangeable with gear sets that are designed with the pinion below the centerline of the ring gear, however the carrier is.  Reverse Cut refers to the direction the ring gear is cut for reverse spiral housing.  The axiom of the reverse cut is to strengthen the gear while in the front drive axle of operation.  Standard cut gears can not be swapped with reverse cut gears, however in the Dana 60 the ring gear carrier can be swapped.  High pinion, Hy-Pinion or Hi-Pinion are all slang used in and out of the industry for a reverse spiral axle.  High Clearance is a Ford marketing term used for the reverse spiral axle.  Reverse rotation: is the single most misused axle term.  Reverse Rotation is a slang term used to describe a reverse spiral cut housing.  Neither the axle nor the axle shafts travel in a reverse motion, or travel 'backwards' compared to a regular housing.  This term only shows the ignorance of the person or company using it.

Dana 60

(Looking for better picture)

Picture 45 is a regular Dana 60 solid front axle pumpkin from a 1975 Ford F250 Crew Cab 4x4. This axle is the same for the years 1974 to 1975 only found on the F250 4 doors. It is a low pinion, closed king pin knuckle with 5-86x u-joints and drum brakes. This design was running a front leaf spring setup and has the smaller 30 spline inner shaft. (Sure is similar to a HD 44).  Picture taken by unknown.

Picture 46 is a regular Dana 60 solid front axle from a 1976 Ford F250 Crew Cab 4x4. This axle is the same for the years 1976 to 1977 only found on the F250 4 doors. Notice the low pinion, open king pin knuckle with 5-282x u-joints and disk brakes. This design was running a front leaf spring setup and also has the smaller 30 Spline inner shaft.

Picture 47 Left is a Dana RS60 solid front axle from a 1979 Ford F350 4x4. This axle is the same for the years 1977.5 to 1979 on some F250 and all F350 4x4 trucks. Notice the open king pin knuckle with humongous 5-332x u-joints and disk brakes. This design was running a narrow front leaf spring setup and is very sought after. the drivers side tube is much longer than the 1985-1991 Dana 60 front.  Thus this axle fits under smaller 4x4's much easier. (The author will pay $200 cash for one ;)
Notice the similar hub design to the HD Dana 44.

Picture 49 Dana RS60 solid front axle from a 1979 Ford F350 4x4.  Notice the length of the 'short' tube, it is only this long for 1977.5-1979 axles.  The Dana 60 from 1985-92 'short' tube is much shorter.

 

Picture 5x is of a 1987 Dana 60 being ran under a Jeep.  This axle runs from 1985-1991.5 and has the stronger king pins.  Notice the very short drivers side tube, this is a limiting factor and a reason this axle is not as sought after as the 77.5-79 style.  Picture provided by Dust Puppy from POR.

Picture 48 Dana RS60 solid front axle from a 1979 Ford F350 4x4.   Compare this hub to the HD Dana 44 in Picture 24.

Picture is of the Dana 60 Reverse Spiral ball joint style knuckle.  

Picture is of a 1994 F350 Crew cab.  This in an automatic hub.

Picture 5x is of a 1994 Dana 60 axle.  This axle ran from 1992 to 1998 and has the weaker ball joints holding the knuckles on.  It runs the same axle shaft length as the 1985-91 style.  In 2000 Ford started using a Dana 60 again but with a metric bolt pattern and a new style hub.  This axle has it's own unique axle shaft length.  You can not swap axle shaft between this 2000 and up style with a 98 and older style -this is per Dana.

 

 

Recommendations from the author:

Suggested Axles: If you think you'll need it, get a Dana 60, but keep it a reverse spiral 77.5-79 for the 35 spline inner axle shafts.  Expect to pay three to four times as much as a Dana 44RS.

Shortening an axle:   I suggest if your going to shorten an Ford 60RS axle you do so by swapping in stock Spicer axle shafts.    If you are having trouble find these axle shafts, try Napa.  See axle shaft chart for lengths.

Dana 60 Reverse Spiral:   Little info on the Dana 60 Reverse Spiral Gear set (60RS).   Dana release the gears for production December 1976 for production, thus the first D60RS was seen in mid 1977 F350 and some F250 super cabs and snow-fighters.   This axle stayed the same until  it was replaced by the Dana 50 IFS in 1980.   The Dana 60 reappeared in the front during 1985 under the F250 / F350.

Dana 60 Rear axle semi-floating axle shaft chart is here.
                This Rear axle chart list all the semi-floating Dana 60 (and some semi-floating 61 info) from 1967 to 1980.  Ford info is listed 1980 too 2002.

Dana 60 Front Axle shafts Chart is here.
                The Dana 60 chart list the axle shaft's length and spline count for the Dana 60 and Dana 70 front axle for all makes up to 1978.  I'm looking for more factual data.

General Misconceptions:

  • 1: "Dana didnít produce the High Pinion axle until 1978"  or  "1977.5." 
    Wrong, this is bunk info that is listed as fact on some web pages.  I have positive confirmation from Dana on the dates used in this article.  Check Dana 44 article for dates.  The confusion may come from the first year for the F250 to get a reverse spiral axle, it was 1977.5.

  • 2: "If I would take a Chevy (passenger-side drop) flip it to a drivers-side drop and rotate the knuckles 180 degrees, That would make it Hi-pinion and reverse cut correct?"
    Wrong, the Dana 60 Reverse Spiral has a special designed housing to keep the pinion bearings lubed.  You can not flip an axle to make it a Reverse Spiral, not mention the fact the flipped axle would run backwards.

  • 3: "Can I use reverse cut gears in a regular housing?"
    NO!  You can not interchange gears between a regular and reverse spiral housing.  You can however interchange the carrier.

  • 6: "Reverse Rotation "
     This term is just wrong.  Neither the axle nor the axle shafts travel in a reverse motion, or travel 'backwards' compared to a regular housing.  This term only shows the ignorance of the person or (worse yet) company using it.       

  •  

    Links for Must Read tech articles on the Dana 44 and some Dana 60's:

    Links for more tech articles:

    Resources: See Dana 44 Solid Front Axle: Part 1 Reverse Spiral Housing

     

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      Warning! These pages are for information only.   If you want to modify your vehicle Or steering; take you vehicle to a qualified shop and let them do the work.  If done improperly you could not only lose your life you many take others with you!  This page is Pro-Life, including saving others and your own life, not to mention the un-born children.

    Copyright © 2002 All International Rights Reserved.  This document may not be copied or published in anyway without prior written permission.