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What typically fails on a front kingpin Dana 60 axle?

Lil'John

Former #278
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Title basically states it.

Is it inner axle shafts? Stubs? U-joints? Knuckles? What about collateral damage?

Upgrading to a Super 60 isn't an option. I've got three rigs running same/similar setup for common backup parts.

I'm trying to figure out what spare parts to keep on the shelves.

Specific. I've got three rigs similar to the following(Toyota FJ55):
Outside1.jpg

Basically a "small" full bodied rig running Dodge Dana 60s and Ford E350 Dana 60 rear.
Rig one(the above) 6.0L LS, 4.56 gears, ARBs, and 35s. Narrowed to 60" WMS. Chromo shafts and stock Dodge knuckles. Inner C reinforced. Yukon lockouts.
Rig two: turbo 5.3L LS, 5.38 gears, ARBs, and 43s. Full width with Welder Bill knuckles. Inner C reinforced. Front center is HP. ECGS drive flanges for Dodge external hubs.
Rig three: Cady 472, 3.54 gears, Spartan locker front, and 35s. Narrowed to 60" WMS. Stock Spicer shafts and Dodge knuckles. Yukon lockouts. Gearing not set but it is what I've got:homer:
 
I'm going with the Dodge knuckles in your case.

Followed up with axle joints then stubs.
 
I've read that the Ford knuckles are a ticking time bomb. Are the Dodge knuckles significantly weak?

Is the longer or shorter inner shaft weaker?
 
I'd say 30sp outer shafts will go first, then stock knuckles, then C's.

I don't see you breaking any ring and pinion with your small tire rigs, but the turbo LS on 43s might be a contender for a broken R&P from time to time depending on what shafts you got.
 
I guess I should have specified that in my case, I'll have 35 spline outer shafts:homer: The green one is chromo of some sort... it has been 10+ years since I bought them so I don't recall brand.

The shafts for the turbo LS with 43s will more than likely be RCVs.

The cady is up in the air currently. Yukon 4340s or stock spicers.

The inner C's on two of mine have been reinforced similar to this:
innerc.jpg

I think they were a little "shorter" but it is what my axle guy does(WelderBill)
 
RCV 35sp 300M shafts are stronger than a HP60 ring and pinion. So that will be your next weak point, assuming the Cs and Knuckles don't let go before.
 
How big of a failure point is the knuckle nylon bushings? Is it worth upgrading from nylon to bronze?

How big of a failure point is the knuckle spring? I see numerous "springless" conversion arms.

In my case, the green one is nylon with springs. The 5.3L turbo version is actually using WelderBill knuckles that use normal bearings in place of the bushings. The cady version is going bronze springless. I'm halfway temped to upgrade the green one to bronze but was curious if it was worth it.
 
I’d plate the knuckles. It’s easy enough to do and will prevent cracking.

in you case I’d up grade the turbo rig with some fancy knuckles and keep those as spares. Stubs with joints maybe hub and spindle on hand.
 
I’d plate the knuckles. It’s easy enough to do and will prevent cracking.

in you case I’d up grade the turbo rig with some fancy knuckles and keep those as spares. Stubs with joints maybe hub and spindle on hand.

I'm not sure I can get more fancy than WelderBill knuckles:
welderBill1.jpg

Not a picture of mine on the rig. But in talking with him, he has had maybe one or two failures. I talked with one of the failures(Camo) and it was a high speed multi-roll that broke the steering arm.:eek:

On plating the factory knuckles on the other two rigs, they are Dodge knuckles that I can't seem to find pre-done plate kits for:homer:
 
I've been running the same set of Dodge knuckles since 2007 with 40's and HA or full assist but no high steer. They currently reside on my buggy with full hydro 50* steering and Sky double sheer arms. I have a set of spare but just never has been a issue. I've broken every other part besides a C-hub too. I looked a few years ago and no one sells a plate kit for the Dodge knuckles. I prefer to use them though as the tie rod is higher on them than a GM but they are stronger than Fords.
 
Since everyone says knuckles tend to fail, is it worth plating them or wait till they fail and upgrade to Reid or solid knuckles? Already have solid inner c’s and using dodge knuckles. They’re stripped and I won’t make my original dead line so have some extra time to maybe do them. A dodge kit would be great but not opposed to making my own. Thinking 3/16 is good?

how do you weld them? Heat on a bbq and weld with regular mig wire or buy the fancy nickel wire? When welding inner c’s on an axle tube, are you heating to a certain temp then welding them on?
 
Since everyone says knuckles tend to fail, is it worth plating them or wait till they fail and upgrade to Reid or solid knuckles? Already have solid inner c’s and using dodge knuckles. They’re stripped and I won’t make my original dead line so have some extra time to maybe do them. A dodge kit would be great but not opposed to making my own. Thinking 3/16 is good?

how do you weld them? Heat on a bbq and weld with regular mig wire or buy the fancy nickel wire? When welding inner c’s on an axle tube, are you heating to a certain temp then welding them on?

There was an old thread on pirate about this. I make my own out of 1/4”. I used my oven because I’m single and don’t have a women to complain. BBQ would work to though. I heated them up with the plates tacked on with normal mug wire. Then burned them in hot put in oven and turned it down slowly over 8 hours. That was 7ish years ago.

we did my buddy’s that were cracked fords st same time. And they cracked through the gusset. I think it’s too late once they fail.
 
Slightly off topic. I just picked up a Chevy KP 60. How do they hold up compared to Ford or Dodge? I've done zero research as this thread triggered me to think about it.
 
Slightly off topic. I just picked up a Chevy KP 60. How do they hold up compared to Ford or Dodge? I've done zero research as this thread triggered me to think about it.

For the most part, the Chevy and Dodge are equivalent. The difference is mainly the knuckles(Dodge has tie rod up higher)

The earlier Dodges were external hub while later Dodge and all Chevy were internal hub. In my opinion, the only real downside of the external hubs is lack of 35 spline lockouts but there are 35 spline drive flanges. Some folks have issues keeping the bolts tight.

Ford knuckles are known to be weaker than the Chevy/Dodge.
 
For the most part, the Chevy and Dodge are equivalent. The difference is mainly the knuckles(Dodge has tie rod up higher)

The earlier Dodges were external hub while later Dodge and all Chevy were internal hub. In my opinion, the only real downside of the external hubs is lack of 35 spline lockouts but there are 35 spline drive flanges. Some folks have issues keeping the bolts tight.

Ford knuckles are known to be weaker than the Chevy/Dodge.

This one is a Chevy with 35 spline and Yukon Lockouts & shafts. (don't know the specific year) Since I just bought the rig, I have not pulled it apart to compare it to my Ford.
10 years ago when I did my other rig I paid attention to this stuff but now have forgotten anything I knew. :( My other rig is a Ford KP 60 with Reid knuckles and all Branik shafts. I've wondered if I can swap the outers and knuckles.
 
This one is a Chevy with 35 spline and Yukon Lockouts & shafts. (don't know the specific year) Since I just bought the rig, I have not pulled it apart to compare it to my Ford.
10 years ago when I did my other rig I paid attention to this stuff but now have forgotten anything I knew. :( My other rig is a Ford KP 60 with Reid knuckles and all Branik shafts. I've wondered if I can swap the outers and knuckles.

I forget all the wierdness that is axle shafts between the brands other than Chevy and Dodge long side are the same while Dodge short side is 2" shorter than Chevy.

I believe knuckles swap with no issues.
 
The Reid Ford knuckles are the same forging/casting? as the Chevy, just drilled for the Ford spindle instead. That is, you lose the higher factory steering arm. I believe they said they used the Chevy pattern because it was more common. It’s possible that GM knuckles work on Ford but not the other way, for steering or brake caliper reasons.

I went Reid (from Ford) because I had limited time and I was able to install the Reid in a fraction of the time it would have taken to prep, fit, heat, weld, cool the factory knuckles.
 
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