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Old 10-03-2011, 01:50 PM   #1
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Rear Dana 60 pinion bearing issue

It seems the pinion bearing on my Dana 60 rear axle is shot, taking the ring and pinion with it. It looks like heat is the most likely contributor to the early demise of those parts. But with only 70K miles on my van, i'm worried that these parts should've lasted longer and there might be something else contributing to the problem.

The plan moving forward is to replace with pinion, ring and bearings, install the Mag Hytech dif cover, break them in appropriately (first 200 miles) and then put in Amsoil fluids. That should get me rolling again and fix the over-heating issue. Side note, the limited slip components are in good shape do not need to be rebuilt.

Has anyone else run into a problem with their Dana 60 rear end pinion bearing/seal/ring? Did you find the cause of the failure (beyond overheating)? Any other advice to share?

Thanks all.

-Marc
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: Rear Dana 60 pinion bearing issue

You van has the Dana 60 semi-float?

If that's the case, you should consider a D70 swap.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:15 PM   #3
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Re: Rear Dana 60 pinion bearing issue

Depends on the ratio you have, but the cost may be about the same.

My D70 cost $700 + 400 for a ratio change and + 400 for a new limites slip unit. $1500 to me is cheap to avoid an axle failure hundreds of miles from help.

Mike
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
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Re: Rear Dana 60 pinion bearing issue

Ditto, if you're doing all that might as well start with a full floater from a junkyard.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
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Re: Rear Dana 60 pinion bearing issue

My van has a Dana 60 full floating rear axle (dual wheel bearings). Now that we've got it apart and fully inspected, it looks like a shim between the two pinion bearings sheared and sent metal bits everywhere via the fluid. This caused the inner bearing to fail and allow the driveshaft/pinion to move inside the housing. At least the wheel bearings and LS unit are still in good shape.

The recommendation given here on replacing the axle with a Dana 70 unit is good advice, as a Dana 70 has a larger pinion bearing which is helpful given extra torque of a chipped 7.3PSD. In my case, I've got enough time and $$ into pulling this one apart, that the cost of replacing the pinion and ring gears is far lower than buying and installing a D#70.

We suspect heat and broken down gear lube were the primary contributors to the early failure in my D#60. With the addition of the Mag Hytec cover, the additional fluid it holds, proper break-in period and Amsoil post break-in fluids should keep this problem from recurring.

For those who think their rear-end is in trouble - definitely consider the Dana 70 as a potential solution before you get too far into it.

-Marc
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:17 PM   #6
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Re: Rear Dana 60 pinion bearing issue

While you're buying the Mag Hytec (I just installed mine) consider the LE 1605 SAE 110 oil:

http://www.mag-hytec.com/store/index.ph ... ucts_id=87

LE make a lot of heavy duty industrial oils, and they're not a MLM company like Amsoil. (I have issues with that, and will never buy products from any MLM.)

http://www.le-inc.com/
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:43 PM   #7
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Re: Rear Dana 60 pinion bearing issue

It looks like the main culprit on this one is the Dana factory. The pre-load on the pinion was not set correctly - just a bit too loose. It took four attempts to get the new pinion bearings/shaft set perfectly and pre-loaded correctly. It was a pain in the rear (pun intended) to get it right. But now that it's set right, it should last a long time. My guess is the guy on the factory line threw it in and moved to the next one without verifying a perfect fit - maybe it was a Monday morning axle.

With the gear out, it was really easy to see how the pinion gear was only partially engaging the ring and was creating a new wear pattern half way up the gear tooth. The bearing were similar - new un-even wear patterns developing. This thing was going to blow-up someday. Glad we caught it before it did on a backcountry road!
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