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Changing spring pad width of 89 Dana 60

lagunaMS

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I have a 89 KP Dana 60 from a F350 and will be using it for a SAS on my 97 Chevy. I want to stay with leaf springs.

I want to get this axle modified to be the spring pad width of the 78-79 D60s so bigger tires won’t rub on the leaf springs.

What’s the best way to go about doing this? I’ll have to get a machine shop to do it, so I need to understand the process before I start talking to shops about it.

Is it as simple as shortening the long side and extending the short side?

How would a shop keep the caster angle exactly as it is now? Does the axle sit in a jig while it’s being cut and welded?

Does a sleeve need to be inserted/plug welded for support after the tubes are cut and welded back together? Or sleeved on the outside? Or trussed for strength after?

After all this is done I should be able to use my hubs and lockouts and just order new axles and stub shafts for the 78-79 axle right?
 

Lil'John

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You haven't defined what "bigger" tires are and intended use beyond SASing a Chevy truck.

I'd opt to go cheap and get rims that are more offset. My axle guy charges ~$250 a side to adjust an axle. My axle guy doesn't sleeve when he does lengthening of axles. OTOH, he is a certified welder(pipe fitter).

FWIW, I've got the super short Dodge axle and my 35" tires don't sniff the springs or frame.
 

lagunaMS

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You haven't defined what "bigger" tires are and intended use beyond SASing a Chevy truck.

I'd opt to go cheap and get rims that are more offset. My axle guy charges ~$250 a side to adjust an axle. My axle guy doesn't sleeve when he does lengthening of axles. OTOH, he is a certified welder(pipe fitter).

FWIW, I've got the super short Dodge axle and my 35" tires don't sniff the springs or frame.
37s to start. But eventually want to be able to upgrade to 40s without having to change anything. I also want a wider tire and not skinnys. So I know at these sizes I’ll be rubbing the springs at least a little bit

Intended use- mud and woods trails. Want to have some flex while turning off road but I don’t need anything extreme that crawlers do, just mainly don’t want to have limited turning both on the road and on trails
 

YotaAtieToo

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Basically what you said. Shorten the long side and lengthen the short side. If you want to mimick the 78-79 axle.

40s on a full size rig usually need wheel spacers or offset wheels to stay off the frame. I'd honestly think about going wider at the same time. The 05-17 axles are 72" wide and seem to work well on a full size.

69.5" and 2.5" bs is the same as 74.5" and 5" bs, fwiw.
 

lagunaMS

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Basically what you said. Shorten the long side and lengthen the short side. If you want to mimick the 78-79 axle.

40s on a full size rig usually need wheel spacers or offset wheels to stay off the frame. I'd honestly think about going wider at the same time. The 05-17 axles are 72" wide and seem to work well on a full size.

69.5" and 2.5" bs is the same as 74.5" and 5" bs, fwiw.
Must've missed your reply. I'm a loser that can't weld so I'll have to get a shop to do it so trying to make sure what I need to tell them.

Wanted to keep this axle because doing a SAS with leaves is an all bolt-on affair
 

YotaAtieToo

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Must've missed your reply. I'm a loser that can't weld so I'll have to get a shop to do it so trying to make sure what I need to tell them.

Wanted to keep this axle because doing a SAS with leaves is an all bolt-on affair
What I was trying to say was to widen the axle at the same time. Stock is around 69", I'd shoot for 72-73" for that full size.
 

posford

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Just lengthen the short side and move the passenger side spring perch. You have 36" spring perch width now, and want 32" width, thats 4" difference. Drivers side is cast into the pumpkin, so retube that side 4" longer than what it is now, and move the passenger perch 4" toward the center.

If I didn't fuck up the line of logic, you should have 32" spring perch width, and the axle would still be centered.
 

YotaAtieToo

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Just lengthen the short side and move the passenger side spring perch. You have 36" spring perch width now, and want 32" width, thats 4" difference. Drivers side is cast into the pumpkin, so retube that side 4" longer than what it is now, and move the passenger perch 4" toward the center.

If I didn't fuck up the line of logic, you should have 32" spring perch width, and the axle would still be centered.
This is what I was thinking about as well. The numbers I found were 36.5 and 31.5 though? :confused:

My 97 is 36.5" no idea what 78-79 is though.
 

lagunaMS

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What I was trying to say was to widen the axle at the same time. Stock is around 69", I'd shoot for 72-73" for that full size.
Makes sense now. I won't be doing anything crazy wide, just don't want pizza cutters and I don't want to be rubbing the leaves everytime I turn at a stop sign
Just lengthen the short side and move the passenger side spring perch. You have 36" spring perch width now, and want 32" width, thats 4" difference. Drivers side is cast into the pumpkin, so retube that side 4" longer than what it is now, and move the passenger perch 4" toward the center.

If I didn't fuck up the line of logic, you should have 32" spring perch width, and the axle would still be centered.
Dude thank you for this. I didn't even think about the long side being able to just cut the perch off and move it. This method will make it even cheaper than I was expecting and is much simpler.
This is what I was thinking about as well. The numbers I found were 36.5 and 31.5 though? :confused:

My 97 is 36.5" no idea what 78-79 is though.
I have a 89 d60 and is the same 36.5 as yours, the 78-79s are the same spring width as the Chevy axles, I see 31.5 everywhere but ORD's website says 32. I didn't go with a Chevy 60 because I wanted to keep my 241c tcase and have the shifter stay on the driver side too. 78-79 Ford 60s are nowhere to be found for a reasonable price so I bought the later version. The above mentioned method seems like the cheapest way to get the narrow spring width of the 79-79 60s
 

YotaAtieToo

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I would not be afraid to run 74" wide with some ~4.5" bs wheels on a full size truck. The only bummer is that you would probably end up with wheel spacers in the back of that matters to you.

Or go find a 73" dually 14b.

Edit: Google says 90s k2500 ifs is 71" wide.....
 
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lagunaMS

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I would not be afraid to run 74" wide with some ~4.5" bs wheels on a full size truck. The only bummer is that you would probably end up with wheel spacers in the back of that matters to you.

Or go find a 73" dually 14b.

Edit: Google says 90s k2500 ifs is 71" wide.....
I wouldn't mind widening the axle that far and I would be okay with small spacers on the back, just don't want 3" on each side to match. My 14b is from a 95 Suburban and I have the WMS measurement written down as 67.5

If I could find the van or dually 14b that would be perfect
 

arse_sidewards

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I wouldn't mind widening the axle that far and I would be okay with small spacers on the back, just don't want 3" on each side to match. My 14b is from a 95 Suburban and I have the WMS measurement written down as 67.5

If I could find the van or dually 14b that would be perfect
Rotten Chevy motorhomes are typically free if you dispose of the motorhome. They all have wide dually rear axles. You get an axle, trans and big block that way.
 

lagunaMS

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Rotten Chevy motorhomes are typically free if you dispose of the motorhome. They all have wide dually rear axles. You get an axle, trans and big block that way.
good idea, I didn't think of that. More shit to prowl craigslist for
 

Dan

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Pickup drw has the axle you seek. Van axle will be a little shorter around 70" or get the motor home axle.
 

Covecrawler

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For my brother’s Bronco axle build we added 4” to the short side of a late 80s Ford kingpin. It worked out perfect. Highly recommend not shortening the long side if it’s going under a fool size.
 

lagunaMS

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Pickup drw has the axle you seek. Van axle will be a little shorter around 70" or get the motor home axle.
Sweet I’ll keep looking for them
use front dual hubs wide but off frame
I measured those when they were still installed on the axle and came out to 78” WMS, would be able to fit any tires but don’t really need it that wide

For my brother’s Bronco axle build we added 4” to the short side of a late 80s Ford kingpin. It worked out perfect. Highly recommend not shortening the long side if it’s going under a fool size.
Good to hear it was that easy. Did you just weld in the 4” section or did you sleeve it inside or outside too? After y’alls advice I’m planning on just adding the 4” like you said and leaving the long side as-is minus moving the spring pad.

did you have to put it in a jig or anything to keep the outside end from rotating on you while you were setting it up?
 

Covecrawler

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Sweet I’ll keep looking for them

I measured those when they were still installed on the axle and came out to 78” WMS, would be able to fit any tires but don’t really need it that wide


Good to hear it was that easy. Did you just weld in the 4” section or did you sleeve it inside or outside too? After y’alls advice I’m planning on just adding the 4” like you said and leaving the long side as-is minus moving the spring pad.

did you have to put it in a jig or anything to keep the outside end from rotating on you while you were setting it up?
I pressed the old inner C off, beveled the end and cut 4” of tube and a Dodge inner C off another axle and bought a section of DOM to sleeve the inside and welded it all back together, no jig.
 

lagunaMS

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I pressed the old inner C off, beveled the end and cut 4” of tube and a Dodge inner C off another axle and bought a section of DOM to sleeve the inside and welded it all back together, no jig.
Thanks. Do you just buy axle shafts for a 78-79 D60 once it’s done?
 

lagunaMS

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Dutchman...
Sweet I’ve poked around on his site before

when you sleeved the inside of the tube, did you drill holes in the outer tube first and then plug weld it? Or if that’s not what it’s called basically how did you weld the inner tube sleeve to the outer tube
 

u2slow

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Thanks. Do you just buy axle shafts for a 78-79 D60 once it’s done?
I pre-bought the 78-79 Ford alloy shaft (short side) on amazon when the price tanked ($70?)

Getting the housing sorted out is still a ways off for me...
 

YotaAtieToo

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I pre-bought the 78-79 Ford alloy shaft (short side) on amazon when the price tanked ($70?)

Getting the housing sorted out is still a ways off for me...

That wouldn't do what he's wanting.

To get the pad width right without shortening the long side, you'd have to go longer on the short side than the factory 78-79 stuff.
 

u2slow

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That wouldn't do what he's wanting.

To get the pad width right without shortening the long side, you'd have to go longer on the short side than the factory 78-79 stuff.
Meh. I'm on the fence. I don't need 78-79 spacing; just less than 80-97 spacing for the same tire rub reason.
 

YotaAtieToo

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Meh. I'm on the fence. I don't need 78-79 spacing; just less than 80-97 spacing for the same tire rub reason.
I just wanted to be clear that won't work for him.

It all depends on back spacing and tire size obviously. 78-79 short side is what ~2" longer than 80-97? So that only gains you an inch per side. Still not a bad width though.
 

lagunaMS

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That wouldn't do what he's wanting.

To get the pad width right without shortening the long side, you'd have to go longer on the short side than the factory 78-79 stuff.
So assume I’m extending the short side by 4”

I will still use the spring pad cast into the center chunk for the short side right?

I will have to move the spring pad on the long side toward the center by 4”

That will give me the desired 32” spring pad width for tire clearance. It will also give me a 4” wider WMS for a about 73.25” overall. I can use stock inner axle and stub shaft on the long side and will have to get custom length inner shaft made 4” longer for the short side and use the stock stub shaft for the short side. Right?
 

u2slow

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The 78-79 shaft is 18.68". The later shaft is either 15.96 or 16.17 depending where you look.
 

lagunaMS

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I'm confusing the shit out myself with the math on this and I want to be absolutely certain before bringing the axle to a machine shop.

I'm going to add 4" to the short side, making the new WMS-WMS width 73.25"

Current spring pad spacing is 36.5. I need the new spring pad spacing to be 31.5, which is obviously a 5" difference.

I don't understand how you make sure the axle is still centered under the truck. Can't move the short side spring pad, so I have to move the long side spring perch inboard 5" to get the 31.5 spring pad spacing. Wouldn't that make the axle stick out an inch more on one side? :confused:

Do I need to get 5" added instead?

Help, my head hurts :homer:
 

lagunaMS

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This is what I was thinking about as well. The numbers I found were 36.5 and 31.5 though? :confused:

My 97 is 36.5" no idea what 78-79 is though.

You could be right.

OP make it 5" :flipoff2:

For my brother’s Bronco axle build we added 4” to the short side of a late 80s Ford kingpin. It worked out perfect. Highly recommend not shortening the long side if it’s going under a fool size.

can y'all weigh in on my above post, i'm not understanding the math
 
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