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Old 09-06-2009, 08:51 AM   #11
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Re: Axle swap-Dana 60

Splines refer to how thick your axel shafts are. 30 spline would be the number of small teeth on the end of your axel that slides into the center section of the differential. Your current axle shafts are actually thicker and has 35 splines. The difference is that the weight of the rig along with the twisting force of the engine is applied to it. On a full float all the axel shaft is asked to do is spin the full floating hub. The hub caries the weight of the vehicle. My rig has a 35 spline semi float and I would not swap in that old 30 spline full float if you gave it to me. The shafts are thin and they do break. The ones I have seen break break inside of the carrier or locker. The fix is to pull both shafts and pull the ring gear carrier assembly. Then you drive the broken junk out with a pipe and hope a tiny piece is not left that will chew up your ring ,pinion and locker. At least the wheel won't fall off because it's bolted to the independent hub. You won't break that 35 spine axle any easier but if you do then the axle shaft winds up walking out with the tire attached. For what you do it will never happen.
Now lets say you want to build up that full float 60. The going rate for them is 200. You know that one will fit but relocating spring perches on any axel is easy. You grind off the old perch and lay the new ones on then bolt it up. You twist the axel to get the pinion/driveshaft angle right and weld the perch. Simple on any axle and the axle in question is nice because thats allready done but should not be a deciding factor.
You can get 35 spline shafts for it but then you will need a 35 spline locker and most likely will have to bore the hub spindles for the larger shafts. A very few were made with a larger spindle and that step can be skiped but if you don't take care of that issue then the lube won't get past the axel and lube your hubs and it will rub. Now you will have an expensive old axel because you got caught up in the hype that a dana 60 full float is the beef. They are not all the same so a much better option would be to buy a late model axle that has 35 splines all ready in it. Sterling ,GM corp 14 or dana 70 with disk breaks the corect 3.73 gears and posi all ready in it are common in junkyards for way less than you will spend on building that weak old 30 spline pos with crappy drum breaks. Best option is to change your diff fluid on the one you have to synthetic and call it good. While it's jacked up then grab a tire and see if any play is in the axle bearing. If the tire wiggles then have new bearings pressed on at Nappa. Those bearings carry the weight of the vehicle like the hubs on a full float do. Difference is you have a thicker axle and only one big bearing vs a thin axle with two outer bearings. Don't get caught up in the hype because they are both good.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:14 PM   #12
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Re: Axle swap-Dana 60

Thanks Stumpalump

There do appear to be a bunch of new, pulled (from what, I don't know) Dana 70s available with the disc brakes. The problem I ran into there is that a mechanic said they would not work with the existing ABS system.

I don't have strong feelings one way or the other on a Dana 60, I just want the higher load rating so I can load the van up for a long trip, tow the boat, and not be over my GVWR. I don't see how I can get there without a new rear axle. Is seems to be the limiting factor.

If the Sterling ,GM corp 14 or dana 70 can be made to work, great. The Dana 60 from an old E350 seemed like the way to go since I know it will fit. One less thing to worry with.

I'll keep researching....


Thanks for the different perspective.

Regards,

Tom
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:10 PM   #13
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Re: Axle swap-Dana 60

The ABS sensors are a factor if you are putting a diff into a vehicle that has already has ABS and you need to conect the sensor. If you go the other way around like you then you just leave the sensor disconected. If you want cheap and easy then don't let this info scare you from the 30 spline unit for 200. Just don't get stuck with a 2000 doller axle build to get it to where you may truly want it. That still may be your best bet if you run small tires and can toerate the 3.55 gears. Cromo 30 spline shafts are available for it but by the time you buy gears,breaks and a locker it adds up fast.
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:45 AM   #14
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Re: Axle swap-Dana 60

What is the drill for removing a rear axle. I've found a donor van with full
float but it is about an hour away and siting in a dirt yard. I've looked in
the archive but don't see what I need.

Like this:

-jack up
-block up on rear frame (using old steel rims?)
-unbolt
-roll out

That simple? I'd like to have the tools I need with me to avoid making two
trips.

Thanks

Tom
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:34 AM   #15
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Re: Axle swap-Dana 60

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog225
What is the drill for removing a rear axle. I've found a donor van with full
float but it is about an hour away and siting in a dirt yard. I've looked in
the archive but don't see what I need.

Like this:

-jack up
-block up on rear frame (using old steel rims?)
-unbolt
-roll out

That simple? I'd like to have the tools I need with me to avoid making two
trips.

Thanks

Tom
That's more or less it. Grab the u-bolts and mounting plates while you're at it just in case

Bring along:
1) strong friend(s)
2) Rust Blaster (or penetrating oil) for those rusty nuts and bolts
3) biggest, longest, strongest wrench and sockets you own (a pipe for a cheater bar wouldn't be a bad idea)
4) have a way of getting it into a truck (see #1)

Does it have the brakes you want or are you going to swap or add different brakes?


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Old 09-19-2009, 03:42 PM   #16
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Re: Axle swap-Dana 60

My first visit to a junkyard since college. Fun stuff!

Thanks for the advice. I was too late for this one. The rear end of the van was up on blocks and the axle was gone. But they had lots of wrecked ford vans and lots of them had full float axles

Brakes:

I only saw drums but I am getting the impression that if I switch to an axle with discs, I will have to do some fairly extensive brake work. Something to do with proportioning valve and possible replacing the master cylinder?) But I've also seen discussions about changing from drum to disc. I think I'm fine with either one.

Axles:

The two axles I looked at closely (they were closing) were both full float but, unlike the previous full float I looked at, they did not have "D60" or "60" or "70" stamped into the casing. They were both 10 bolt. What does that mean? The markings on the casing were no use as far as I can tell "248-001", "304", "AC", "NC4", "47510".

There were both 350's and club wagons with the full floats. As long as it is a full float, original equipment on a Ford van, late 1990s, and has the ABS sensor port in the differential housing, do I care which one I get? All I am after is higher weight capacity, limited slip, and possibly a locker later.

I'll ask around in other forums but does anyone know what brand full float axles were put in ford vans (350s and club wagons) in the late 1990s?

If there is a wrong one to buy, I'm certain I'll get it.

I appreciate all the advice so far. This is like looking for the holy grail....in mud.

Tom
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