Project Brazen Charger will need a stout rearend if Associate Editor Shaw's plans of a thu
Since the ends of a truck Dana 60 need to be replaced for an automotive application, they
After removing the axles, the open differential and gears are removed. Be sure to mark the
With all the internals removed, we cleaned the housing with engine degreaser and wire brus
Since our Dana is going to be the standard B-body width, we used the 8 3/4 as a guide for
Every performance-oriented car person, whether on the street or at the track, knows the prowess of the Dana 60 rearend. Sure, some might say the Chrysler 8 3/4 is a little lighter, the Ford 9-inch is almost as strong, or the GM 12-bolt has slightly less rolling resistance, but when it comes to brute strength, even the brand-X guys know the Dana 60's reputation as indestructible. Generally considered a truck rearend because of it's massive 9 3/4-inch ring gear and stout construction, the Dana 60 only found its way into two brands of musclecars during the late '60s and early '70s, and both those brands were Mopar. So why did both Dodge and Plymouth offer this brutally strong rear differential in their musclecars? We say it's because they were the only two manufacturers whose engines made enough power to warrant the burly Dana 60. But what if your car, like our project Charger, wasn't equipped with a Dana 60 from the factory? Not to worry, you can build one yourself.
If you're lucky enough to own a car that came equipped with a Dana 60 then you are aware of the benefits of this rear differential. Most Dana 60s will outlive the car, the transmission, the driveshaft, several engines, and maybe even the driver without any maintenance at all.
So when we were ready to get Project Brazen Charger rolling, there was really no choice other than a Dana 60. Since there are many sources for the Dana 60 rearend, we had to decide which avenue to take. There are a couple of companies that manufacture new "Dana" 60 housings, and it sure would have been nice to get a complete rearend to just bolt in, but, unfortunately, our budget dictated that we look elsewhere. Though not as easy to come by, original Dana 60s that have been removed from cars are still available. A quick check of prices on our favorite internet auction site, however, eliminated this from our realm of possibilities as well. Fortunately, if you don't mind a little work, there is another source for the Dana 60 rearend.
While very few cars came equipped with the Dana 60, literally hundreds of thousands of trucks utilized this beefy differential. Nearly all 3/4-ton and larger trucks-be it Dodge, GM, or Ford-came equipped with this rearend, and many are still available in scrap yards today. When we put the word out to our friends that we were looking for a truck Dana, it only took a day to find someone parting out a Ford F-250, and we purchased the rearend for $50!
While some truck housings are a few pounds heavier than the units used in cars, the internals are basically the same. Externally, however, there are several differences. The truck rears usually don't have a provision for a pinion snubber, so the housing has to be machined for one if it's needed. Since our application will utilize aftermarket bars to prevent axle wind-up, we won't bother with a pinion snubber. Also, truck housings are too wide for any car, and the axle end tubes are incorrect. This will be remedied by cutting off the ends of the axle tubes, and welding on proper Mopar ends that we obtained from Moroso. Mounting pads on truck rearends are also generally mounted on the top of the axle tubes, so we'll cut those off as well and replace them with a new set of Competition Engineering perches.