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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need lower gear ratio (4.10 at least) for larger tires so
I'm now looking for some 8 lug axles or Dana 60's (I guess) for the front and back of my 88 RC.
What is the prefered axles I should be looking for?
GM, Dodge? What year models truck should I get them from?
Should I also get the leaf (I'm assuming 3/4 ton) springs with them?

I've never done any work on axles or suspension for that matter. so any and all inout would help.
Thanks Rod
 

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a one ton GM will have a 60 front and 14bolt, 60, or 70 rear. the front should fit no problem, the back might need the spring perchs moved. a dodge one ton will have a 60 front and rear, or 70 rear. these will be direct bolt ins. no, you dont need the springs as you will probably be using lift springs anyway. as far as strength, 60 front is king until you talk really big axles. for the rear, the 14 bolt is probably the strongest, with a 70 a close second. the 14 bolts limitation is you can only get 5.13s as of now. maybe when you plan to go lower, they will have lower gears. either way, they will be good upgrades from what came stock.

Duane
 

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Ram-Rod said:
I need lower gear ratio (4.10 at least) for larger tires so
I'm now looking for some 8 lug axles or Dana 60's (I guess) for the front and back of my 88 RC.
What is the prefered axles I should be looking for?
GM, Dodge? What year models truck should I get them from?
Should I also get the leaf (I'm assuming 3/4 ton) springs with them?

I've never done any work on axles or suspension for that matter. so any and all inout would help.
Thanks Rod
Swapping axles isn't too hard if you know what to look for.

Don't just count lugs as there are smallish Dana 44s that use 8 lugs. These are just like the 1/2 ton 5 lug axles, but use bigger brakes and three extra lugs.

There is also an 8 lug Chevy 10 bolt front axle you might want to avoid too.

The best front axle option will be the Dana 60 open knuckle axle, the most direct fit will be Dana 60 axles out of a 72-93 one ton Dodge Ram. The next best option are Dana 60 axles out of 73-87 Chevy one ton trucks. These may require minor mods to make fit a Dodge truck.

You might come across a Dana 70 front axle, but most of these tend to have weaker closed knuckles and axleshafts which are smaller than those on the Dana 60 open knuckle axle. No matter which axle you choose, you may still need to address steering components mounted to the axle.

For the rear axle, there are plenty of options. Not only do you have more options, but rear axles are far easier to come by cheap. Dodge used both the Dana 60 and Dana 70 in the 72-93 Rams. After 94, it's possible to find huge Dana 80s, but these require some mods to make fit. Some Dana axles may have dual wheels. You can easily convert dual wheels to singles. Some axles were equipped with a tone ring inside the carrier for the ABS. You can still use the axle, but you won't need to convert to ABS especially if you eventually plan a rear disc brake conversion.

Beside Dana axles, there is the popular GM 14 bolt rear which is about the same strength as the Dana 70,
There is also the big Ford-Sterling axles and big axles from AAM, which is the current supplier of HD axles for Dodge and GM.

Any rear axle from a non-Dodge product will likely need relocated spring perches, driveshaft mods and shock mounts.

Since some of these axles also come with some seriously big brakes, you should consider a brake booster and master cylinder swap and you may need to swap out the stock proportioning valve for an adjustable proportioning valve.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
this is good stuf,so if I look for:
RXT said:
...
The best front axle option will be the Dana 60 open knuckle axle, the most direct fit will be Dana 60 axles out of a 72-93 one ton Dodge Ram. ...
I should be good to go
The "direct fit" part sounds real attractive ;D
Thanks

What markings or identifiers (if any) should I look for?
Thanks again
 

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I don't think 72 were part time, and I think they were closed knuckle. I am not sure what year they stopped that but I do know the 80's had the open knuckle, but the external lockout hubs. I have a set of those, the only thing that makes the internal lockout 60's better (like the 91-93 cummins dana 60) is that if you ever want to upgrade to 35 spline outers it is cheaper and easier to do with the internal lockouts. Not to mention you have a much larger selection of hubs to buy. Some say the external lockout setup is weaker, not sure if that is true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Sam
you mentioned $500 earlier - is that each? or for the set?
now lets say I find the axles 91-93 Dana 60 cummins. what should I do to make ready?
ya'know they don't always look too good.
 

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I paid 2200 bucks for a Chevy dually 60 front,4.56 gears,welded up,14 bolt rear,4.56s with a detroit,4-44" Gumbo Mudders and 10" 8 lug wheels. That kinda gives you a idea though,the weak link on the axles in the small 30-spline stub shats on the 60. You can get 35-splines and just put the Spicer joint back in it for about $250 I believe.
Yes a 14 bolt will bolt right up under a Dodge to.

Jimmy
 

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ya just have to look. deals are few, but they are out there.

I just missed a 78 ford f250 by 2 hrs !!! It had the 6.8 diesel, on board air, 44" tires, 1 1/4 ton axles, 10,000 warn winch, and a host of other goodies....all for $ 1200.

I was gonna use the winch, axles, and tires....sell the rest.......but oh well.
 

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Ram-Rod said:
this is good stuf,so if I look for:
RXT said:
...
The best front axle option will be the Dana 60 open knuckle axle, the most direct fit will be Dana 60 axles out of a 72-93 one ton Dodge Ram. ...
I should be good to go
The "direct fit" part sounds real attractive ;D
Thanks

What markings or identifiers (if any) should I look for?
Thanks again
For the front, you know to ignore any axle that has less than 8 lugs, but look at the rest of the axle. Look for open knuckles and king pins. This is one give away that the axle is a Dana 60. But if thats just not enough, look for the number "60" cast into the pumpkin near the yoke.

As for the rear, first thing to look for is the axleshafts. Look for the big center hub sticking out of the rims. The big hubs will indicate that the axle is a much stronger full floater axle. If there is no hub sticking out, the axle is a less desirable semi floater. Some (Furd) vans had one ton semi floating axleshafts, but for the price, get the full floater, you won't be disappointed.

Although Furds came with some heavy duty hardware, including the Dana 60 front axle, Furd uses a different layout requiring much more mods to make fit into a 72-93 Dodge truck. Beware of late model Dana 50 axles from Furd. These are nothing more than a Dana 44 with a larger diameter ring gear, and it still only as strong as a Dana 44.

Ed
 

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Like everyone else get a 60 for the front with internal hubs. 91-93 Dodge will bolt up no prolbem. One from a GM the spring perches are a bit wider, it will spread your springs out an 1/2 inch wider on both sides. You could either move the perch that's not part of the housing or make some offset 1" blocks to move the spring perch eye.

On the rear I would definitely go 14 bolt. You can usually find one for around a 100 dollars or less. Also you can shave them to have the same or less clearance than a D44, it requires quite abit of work but it can be done. Also the detroits are alot less expensive for them than a Dana 60 or 70. On the limited 5.13 ratio, you can make that up in your t-case gearing. Another good point about the 14 bolt is the pinion support bearing, I believe it is the only HD rear axle to have this. Makes for a very strong and long lasting pinion gear.

Just my .02 worth. Good luck on your search for whatever you wind up with. There are good deals out there, you just have to really look for them. ;D
 

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RCC_SaMiaM said:
if at all possible, get the axles out of a 91-93 1 ton cummins. They have the more desireable dana 60 fronts with internal lockouts and the dana 70 rear. 14 bolts have a big pumpkin, so have less ground clearance then a 70.
But try to avoid the high geared Dana 61 common in some early Cummins trucks, they can be regeared to lower gears, but it's more of a headache. As long as the gears are 3.54 or lower (numerically higher) you're good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When ya'll refer to "14 bolt" does this mean around the pinion or lugs?
Thanks for all the input
 

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14 is the number of bolts on the diff cover.

Duane
 

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tv_larsen said:
RCC_SaMiaM said:
if at all possible, get the axles out of a 91-93 1 ton cummins. They have the more desireable dana 60 fronts with internal lockouts and the dana 70 rear. 14 bolts have a big pumpkin, so have less ground clearance then a 70.
But try to avoid the high geared Dana 61 common in some early Cummins trucks, they can be regeared to lower gears, but it's more of a headache. As long as the gears are 3.54 or lower (numerically higher) you're good to go.
the 91-93 1 ton cummins had 61's? I thought only the 3/4 cummins did? But TV is right, if it has higher gears then 3.54 (numerically lower) don't get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK, I've done my initial search - in the more obvious places
found a set of 1 ton D60 from a 97 - they want $2000
found a set of 3/4 ton D60 from a 96 - these guys want $800 for rear and $1000 for front
I didn't expect to find them quick, but looks to me it will require some real work. I'm too cheap to pay those kind of dollars.
Sam I think your right the best way will be to find a whole truck. I have a brother in-law with a dealer's license and get him to buy me a cheap auction truck.
Whould late model Ram truck be OK?
 

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Ram-Rod said:
OK, I've done my initial search - in the more obvious places
found a set of 1 ton D60 from a 97 - they want $2000
found a set of 3/4 ton D60 from a 96 - these guys want $800 for rear and $1000 for front
I didn't expect to find them quick, but looks to me it will require some real work. I'm too cheap to pay those kind of dollars.
Sam I think your right the best way will be to find a whole truck. I have a brother in-law with a dealer's license and get him to buy me a cheap auction truck.
Whould late model Ram truck be OK?
You're still looking in the wrong years. You will not be able to use either the 96 or 97 front axle. If you find a Dana 60 axle out of a Dodge truck, it should be from a truck made between the years 72 to 93. After 93 Dodge made some really big changes to their front axles. Firstly, after 93, the pumpkin was switched from the passenger side to the driver's side. The axle is also fitted for a 4 link, coil sprung suspension, not leaf springs, and it now has less desirable unit hubs which are prone to failure with larger than stock size tires. It would take alot of work to make one fit an older Dodge truck.

If you go with Chevy sourced Dana 60 front axles, you need to look for trucks made between the years 73 to 87. After 87, Chevy switched to an Independent Front Suspension (IFS) system. These are incompatable with your truck.

You can use the rear axles out of newer trucks, it's finding the right Dana 60 front axle that is difficult.

Ed
 

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Seems like all the one tons from 75 and earlier had the closed knuckle D70 front. You don't want that one. From 75 to around 80, the one ton Dodges came mostly with 4.88 gears. That's a plus if you plan to run big tires. After 80, most that I've seen have 4.10s. Try to find a set from a Doge with the rear 70. Its just as good as the 14 bolt (14 bolts for the ring gear? Not the cover?).

I am scoring an 82 W350 crew cab this weekend with a 4.10 D60/70 set for $1500. The truck is a rag, but I can always try to sell the running 318 and keep the married 435/205 for future 74 ramcharger project!!!! I consider $1500 a damn good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I should have stated that i did not ask for those models
that is all they had in 1 ton D60's
But Thanks
 
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