Ford Super Duty Dynatrac Dana 60 Free Spin Kit Install
Free Wheeling: Better MPG and Less Wear with Dynatrac
When a new vehicle is designed, some of the key thought processes are simplicity in building and parts longevity. Take the Ford Super Duty front end for example. The factory uses unit bearings to attach the hubs to the axles. That’s because they are easy to install and, under normal conditions, they work just fine. However, add larger wheels and tires to the equation, and these bearings are prone to failure. It is because the bearings themselves are narrow and the bearings cannot be serviced or greased. Another problem with unit bearings is that the front axles, front differential, and front driveshaft are all spinning whether the truck is in four-wheel drive or not. That is a lot of parasitic drag taking away from the engine output and causing needless wear on very expensive parts.
Luckily for Ford Super Duty owners, the axle gurus at Dynatrac developed a Free Spin kit that switches out the front hubs along with the unit bearings. The kit (PN: FO60-3X1104-C, $1,989.00) converts the hubs to a fixed-spindle design and free-spin hubs. It comes with wheel hubs, spindles, outer axleshafts, bearings and races, and manual locking hubs, along with all the required hardware. To test out this system, we ordered a kit for an 2011 Ford F-250 that was driving around on a 10-inch Kelderman lift and 40-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts. Since the front end would be torn apart, we decided to order Dynatrac’s rebuildable upper and lower ball joints (DA60-2X3050-A, $659.00) as well. This setup will hopefully find a few more mpg and extend the service life of the factory axle parts.
1. To make sure we had everything we needed, we laid the parts out on the workbench.
2. With all the parts accounted for, we began tearing apart the front end. This involved unbolting the tie-rod end and removing the brake caliper and rotor.
3. Next, the factory locking hub was removed from the vehicle and tossed in the scrap pile.
4. Removing four nuts from the back of the hub allows it to be removed from the vehicle.
5. The hub was then pulled out and also tossed in the scrap heap, as it will be replaced with new Dynatrac parts.
6. After the C-clip that holds the axleshaft in place was removed, the axle slid free of the front end.
7. To finish the disassembly, the ball joint nuts were removed and the steering knuckle was dropped from the vehicle. This is the only major component that is reused.
8. Removing the ball joints is as easy as knocking them out with a hammer and rod.
9. Side by side, the difference is dramatic between the factory ball joint and the Dynatrac replacement. The cool thing about the Dynatrac units is they are rebuildable. So rather than spending $300 or more for new ball joints, you can rebuild these again and again.
10. The new ball joints were pressed into the knuckle with an impact and C-clamp. It may look like the knuckle is new, but we just sprayed it with a fresh coat of flat black spray paint.
11. We followed the directions to assemble the new hub and spindle unit. It is immediately obvious that the Dynatrac parts are much better designed and use better materials than the factory parts. These will last for a long time to come.
12. Proper grease packing is required for new bearings. We made sure all the bearings were packed with new grease before slipping them into the hub.
13. To keep all that grease inside the hub, we tapped the new bearing seals into place.
14. After setting the hub on the spindle, a set of lock nuts was spun down onto the spindle, holding everything in place.
15. With all the components torqued to spec, we slid the axleshafts (with the new Dynatrac outer shafts) into the axle housing and installed the new hub and spindle assembly on the knuckle.
16. Again carefully following the directions, we put all the pieces of the new locking hubs together. There are a lot of small parts and springs in the locking hubs, so it is recommended that you let an authorized shop do the work.
17. To finish the install, we tightened down the end cap and buttoned up the front end. After a testdrive, we immediately saw a difference in the feel of the truck. We are confident these parts will ensure a long life and better fuel economy out of this Super Duty.