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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So with all this hassle of finding a posi diff for my 8 3/4, I've been seriously considering just finding a junkyard dana 60 and rebuild it.  I've gotten to the point with my Dart where I won't stop until I make everything safe & reliable.  I want to go through everything and upgrade it and I figured my rear-end would be a good place to start.  I've done some research on this board and others trying to figure out what exactly would have to be done.   Here's a list of what I think, please let me know if I'm missing anything and/or what you think of this idea.
1)Buy a Dana 60 from an old Ford truck.  I really want 3.73 gears and it must have a posi.
2)Take my rear out and sit them side by side to see how much I need to shorten the Dana to fit in my Dart & keep the pinion offset in the right place
3)Sell my 8 3/4 for money for the Dana
4)Have Dana housing shortened and have new housing ends put on (I can just put on 8 3/4 ends to make it a non-floating rear-end?)
5)Have custom axles made by Moser
6)Replace all bearings/seals that are outside of the diff
7)Have backlash set :: Do you guys usually take your rear-ends to a shop or can you do it at home with the right tools (Mancini sells a Differential installation kit, but don't know how easily this can be done by a novice)

Would all this really be worth it? Right now I have an 8.75 w/3.91 gears, Moser axles w/green bearing conversion, long studs, & 4.5" bolt pattern.  It's a really good set-up but I really can't stand the thought of not exactly knowing how fresh everything is.  I figure I can get a decent amount of money from my 8 3/4 to put towards the Dana.  I would figure out the exact cost of everything before I started.  If the Dana is $400+ more to build then what I can sell my 8 3/4 for then I don't want it.  It just seems like in order to get a posi diff used, I have to buy the whole center section and that seems way too costly since I would also have to pay to have the backlash set.  I'm done blabbing now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
loiq said:
Seems like a lot of work to go through to end up basically where you started. ???
*Sigh* I know. I really want a Dana though and I want to build the rear myself so I know exactly what's going on inside of it. Just trying to make the two come together in an inexpensive way.
 

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allblknblue said:
*Sigh* I know.  I really want a Dana though and I want to build the rear myself so I know exactly what's going on inside of it. Just trying to make the two come together in an inexpensive way.

I say if that is what you want (Dana 60) then do it.  I got a Dana 60 HD truck housing (free).  I cut the floater ends off with a saw-zall.  I bought Moser housing ends ($80) and new perches ($20).  Measured it all out and had Moser shorten and weld the new ends on ($110).  I had them put the perches on at the right degree for my 4-speed car ($50).  The biggest cost is the sure-grip (Power-Lok $465) and the Moser axles (custom length, studs, and green bearings $415).  My differential came with the Spicer 4.10 gears so I left them in it.  Dana 60 3.73 gears are very common so that shouldn't cost too much (maybe $50-75 used if the housing you pick-up doesn't already have them in her).  Plus the 8 3/4 you sell will pay for 2/3 of what I just spelled out.

-Michael
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sycboi said:
I say if that is what you want (Dana 60) then do it.  I got a Dana 60 HD truck housing (free).  I cut the floater ends off with a saw-zall.  I bought Moser housing ends ($80) and new perches ($20).  Measured it all out and had Moser shorten and weld the new ends on ($110).  I had them put the perches on at the right degree for my 4-speed car ($50).  The biggest cost is the sure-grip (Power-Lok $465) and the Moser axles (custom length, studs, and green bearings $415).  My differential came with the Spicer 4.10 gears so I left them in it.  Dana 60 3.73 gears are very common so that shouldn't cost too much (maybe $50-75 used if the housing you pick-up doesn't already have them in her).  Plus the 8 3/4 you sell will pay for 2/3 of what I just spelled out.

-Michael
Damn! Thanks Michael! That breakdown helps me a ton!! I really had no idea of what kind of figures to look for so that is just what I needed to see. Thanks!!
 

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Sounds like a great idea... but I was told that Dana's out of trucks don't have pinion snubbers. If that is the case can a person but a snubber and drill and tap to mount it?
 

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You are correct. There is no provision for a snubber on a truck Dana 60. I run another traction device so I didn't need the snubber anyways. That's the plus side of it...unless you are using stock type springs and a snubber about all other traction devices call for the removal of the stock snubber.
 

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mopowers said:
Does the truck Danas have 3" axle tubes? 
They range from 2 7/8 to 4" or so I believe...
 

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How can you tell in a wrecking yard if it's a dana 60? I've heard of a dana 70. What kind of gears did the truck dana 60s come with? What kind of truck would I be looking for? Can 8 3/4 axles be re-used in a dana 60, if the dana was cut properly?
 

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i honestly think you can spend the money on something better. you need a case spreader, a press and a set of loose fitting bearings,"set up bearings" to set the gears and install the bearings. you need a fixture to hold the ends on to narrow the housing. well i guess you can do without the spreader. i wanted to buy the tools to do the gears myself, but the tools cost more than to pay a very reputable shop to do it for me. he already did one and it worked flawlessly, so for me it was ano brainer. the housing i narrowed myself. i did the danas in my cars just because i had nothing to start. it is easier to find a dana than an 8 3/4. if you wanted peace of mind, take your chunk to a shop and have it checked out. maybe new bearings installed.
 

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I do the same thing as you're doing. Overthinkin' it. Doing it twice or three times when it would've been fine the first time. Bigger and stronger and bigger and stronger and bigger and........ you get the picture. Spend the money on wheels or tires or cal-tracs or carpet or paint or adjustable shocks or heads or fuel injection or steak and lobster.


The Dana is simply not necessary, and it will cost more than $400. You're one part away from having a great rear end set-up. The splines for the Dana are larger than the 8-3/4. 35 spline for most. So unless you've purchased 35 spline axles for the 8-3/4, you will need axles. That's $400 with bearings and studs. You can always have passenger car axles cut down if you've got passenger car axles for a Dana.

There are a few tricks to setting pinion depth without the pinion depth tool.

If you've never done it then you'll need a class or hands-on direction to get it right, if you're doing it yourself.

A new bearing kit will set you back $100. and then the perches, ends, labor, etc. This is if the gears and posi are OK. You'll be in it for $600. if you do it all yourself. And in the end the car will go slower because of the weight of the Dana.

It's really overkill for a 400/727 a-body. Purchase the posi and the bearings and install that yourself and gorget about it.

I teach a manual drivetrain class. We spend a full week just setting up rear-ends until they have it right. You need to be a tremendous self learner to get this without instruction, and get it right. Alot of techs think they've got it down from just doing it without formal instruction. They are really only getting about half right. The other half is either luck or short lived.

If you do decide to do it yourself feel free to ask questions. I'd be glad to help.

Good luck and stick with the 8-3/4
 

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Nothing wrong with the higher pinion. I think they may be a bit stronger. The only reason I mentioned it was that some of the parts may be different. So you my have to watch and make sure you are getting the right parts.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
moparteacher said:
I do the same thing as you're doing. Overthinkin' it. Doing it twice or three times when it would've been fine the first time. Bigger and stronger and bigger and stronger and bigger and........ you get the picture. Spend the money on wheels or tires or cal-tracs or carpet or paint or adjustable shocks or heads or fuel injection or steak and lobster.


The Dana is simply not necessary, and it will cost more than $400. You're one part away from having a great rear end set-up. The splines for the Dana are larger than the 8-3/4. 35 spline for most. So unless you've purchased 35 spline axles for the 8-3/4, you will need axles. That's $400 with bearings and studs. You can always have passenger car axles cut down if you've got passenger car axles for a Dana.

There are a few tricks to setting pinion depth without the pinion depth tool.

If you've never done it then you'll need a class or hands-on direction to get it right, if you're doing it yourself.

A new bearing kit will set you back $100. and then the perches, ends, labor, etc. This is if the gears and posi are OK. You'll be in it for $600. if you do it all yourself. And in the end the car will go slower because of the weight of the Dana.

It's really overkill for a 400/727 a-body. Purchase the posi and the bearings and install that yourself and gorget about it.

I teach a manual drivetrain class. We spend a full week just setting up rear-ends until they have it right. You need to be a tremendous self learner to get this without instruction, and get it right. Alot of techs think they've got it down from just doing it without formal instruction. They are really only getting about half right. The other half is either luck or short lived.

If you do decide to do it yourself feel free to ask questions. I'd be glad to help.

Good luck and stick with the 8-3/4
Thanks teach, for the very good advice. I'm young, I have my whole life to build a Dana. ;D
 

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Ok Gentlemen, may I change one number in the equation and say that the car has the little /6 rear end.  If you were to start from scratch would the 8 3/4 be cheaper to get and build than the dana?

Also I have been wondering about the smaller but very stout dana 44's? Anybody using one of those?
 
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