We've seen yokes fail for many reasons. Most of the time, yoke failures are the result of improper U-joint retention methods, i.e., using straps instead of U-bolts. Straps have small bolts that thread directly into the yoke. By contrast, U-bolts pass through the yoke and are secured with four nuts from the back side. U-bolts are favorable for trail rigs because they hold more torque and are less likely to distort or stretch under pressure. Even better are U-joint griddles from Moroso (pictured). These are billet-aluminum retainers that feature more material in critical areas. We like them because they rarely if ever fail. From left to right, the pinion yokes shown here are what we typically would find on Dana 30, 44, and 60 axles. Each yoke has a specific U-joint size designation: A is 1310, B is 1350, and C is 1410.
This photo illustrates the difference between the OE Dana 44 knuckle, a Dynatrac Dana 44 knuckle, and a Dynatrac 60 knuckle. Aside from sheer strength due to size, the Dana 60 knuckle offers better steering leverage over the 44 knuckle. This is better when larger tires are desired. Also, both of the Dynatrac units pictured here feature provisions for hi-steer conversions.
Dynatrac had these cross-section samples of Dana 30, 44, and 60 axletubes for use to compare. The first thing we noticed was the difference in weight. The increased wall thickness of the Dana 60 axletube adds significantly more weight to the axlehousing. However, we feel the added weight here is worth it because of the increase in overall strength. Nothing is worse than bending an axlehousing out on the trail.
A majority of a vehicle's weight rides on the front-axle ball joints. Here, you can see the difference between the Dana 30, 44, and 60 upper and lower ball joints. The benefit of a Dana 60 ball joint over a smaller Dana 30 or 44 is very evident when a rig sees very hard use. Ball joints are not cheap, and replacing them is no easy task, so it is a good idea to consider a Dana 60 axle for any rig that may see sand dunes, competition, or extreme use.
Another reason we picked the ProRock 60 front axle is the bracketry. Dynatrac has some of the sweetest-looking bracketry we've seen. Designed to fit all OE mounting locations, these brackets are a huge improvement over the factory stamped junk. This picture shows all the brackets necessary for Teal's 60 swap.
Did we forget to mention Dynatrac's professional welder? This guy can stack dimes better than a robot.
Precision Gear supplied us with a 4.56:1 gearset, as well as an install kit with all the necessary bearings and seals.
ARB came through for us again with another Air Locker for our new axle. Luckily, we already had an ARB compressor installed on Teal-J. This made plumbing in the new locker a snap for the Pros at JC Fab and Design of Sylmar, California.