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Custom 5x5.5 Full-Float Dana 60 Axle

Posted in How To: Transmission Drivetrain on May 1, 2011
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Early Fords, Jeeps, and Suzuki 4x4s often came with 5-on-5 1/2 bolt pattern axles. They weren't always the strongest tire spinners. In the realm of rear axles, Ford's 9-inchers aren't bad, Jeep's two-piece axles aren't great, and Suzuki's little Samurai axles are, well, little. Don't get us wrong; these axles all hold up fine when it comes to spinning stock size tires, but add deep gearing, bigger motors, heavy rubber, and an American work boot wrapped around an adrenalin-junky driver's right foot, and things can get messy.

You can upgrade axles completely, or just upgrade the axleshafts to stronger alloys. Or you can upgrade to full-floater hubs and alloy axleshafts from Solid Axle and Spidertrax, the option we like. We started with a junkyard Dana 60 housing and built it into an overkill idiot-proof bash axle that'll laugh off whatever the numbskull behind the wheel throws at it.

We wanted to build a rugged rear for an old Jeep with a passenger offset rear transfer case output, so we started with this oddball low-pinion, driver-side front Dana 60. This was a custom front axle that didn't use off-the-shelf shafts, and all the internals and steering knuckles were missing.

This project is a good mid- to high-skilled endeavor, requiring precision machining and welding, so if your barn has a lathe and a MIG machine you're in business, if not, you may want to take it to a professional.

We took our project to Fabworx Off Road in Santa Rosa, California, to get it done quickly. Getting the inner Cs (also known as end forgings) off the axletube requires heating and beating.
Solid axle Full-floater kit $1,120
Solid axle Drive flanges 200
ARB Diff cover 170
Yukon Gear Gears & install kit 365
Yukon Gear Spool 240
SpiderTrax 300M axleshaft 900
TOTAL *$2,995
*Plus the cost of a junkyard housing and
labor to machine, weld, and set up gears
PhotosView Slideshow


Miller Electric
Appleton, WI 54912
ARB 4x4 Products
Renton, WA 98057
Yukon Gear
Spidertrax Off-Road
Longmont, CO 80503
Fabworx Offroad
n/a, CA
Solid Axle Ind.
North Lima, OH 44452

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