Fixing The Front Axle: Upgrading Your Dodge Dana 60

Upgrading Your Dodge Dana 60 to Handle Serious Power

Cole Quinnell
Aug 1, 2012
Photographers: Cole Quinnell
Weak links. Every truck has them: the part in the system that’s just a bit weaker than the rest. Some become apparent when you add copious amounts of power. Others make themselves known with age. The front axle in the ’99 to ’08 Dodge 2500/3500 and ’99 to ’04 Ford Super Duty trucks are great examples. Overall, these are pretty good assemblies, but they use unit bearings, which become a weak link over time. It’s natural for bearings to wear, but when these fail, the front wheel can part ways with the truck. And if you’ve added more power and larger tires, you’ve shortened the life expectancy of the stock unit bearings considerably. The other big weak link in these front-axle assemblies is the steering joints. The stockers are generally OK if you haven’t added power or larger tires, but do both and you’ll find the limit pretty soon.
Photo 2/22   |   fixing The Front Axle Upgrading Your Dodge Dana 60 2003 Dodge Ram 2500
We decided to be proactive and upgrade both the steering joints and the unit bearings in this ’03 Dodge Ram 2500. The truck has moderate power upgrades and stock tires. The unit bearings were starting to make noise, which means the pin had been pulled on the grenade and it was just a matter of time. We took the truck to Unlimited Offroad Centers in Fenton, Michigan, to install a Spyntec hub conversion kit that replaces the non-serviceable unit bearing with a traditional spindle, hub, and bearing assembly. We also upgraded the axleshafts with an RCV Ultimate CV axle set. The shafts are made from aircraft-quality steel and the CV joints are engineered to handle serious abuse while eliminating the crow hop you experience while turning corners in four-wheel drive. The new axleshafts and CV joints are so strong that RCV offers a “You break it, we replace it” warranty. We’ll give it our best shot.
Photo 3/22   |   fixing The Front Axle Upgrading Your Dodge Dana 60 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Stock Tires
Photo 13/22   |   10. The Spyntec hub conversion kit comes with brand-new hubs and spindles, forged from chromoly. The kit includes all the bearings and seals you’ll need, as well as selectable hubs. It replaces the non-serviceable unit bearings with a setup that is completely serviceable. It retains the ABS function and the factory (or aftermarket) wheel’s fit. As an added benefit, you will now be able to disengage the hubs for a fuel economy gain in two-wheel drive.

Sources

RCV Performance
Loves Park, IL
815-877-7473
RCVperformance.com
Unlimited Offroad Centers
Fenton, MI 48430
810-936-7000
http://www.unlimitedoffroadcenters.com/
Spyntec Industries
North Lima, OH 44452
888-290-2953
http://spyntec.com/

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