4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

TO kick-start our 4x4 Garage se­ries – a six-part in­side look at some of Aus­tralia’s best 4x4 af­ter­mar­ket com­pa­nies – we’ve taken a peek be­hind the scenes at event spon­sor Dana Aus­tralia’s Mel­bourne fa­cil­ity, where the com­pany de­signs and man­u­fac­tures the Ul­ti­mate 60 rear axle kit for the Landcruiser 70 Se­ries.

The lo­cally de­signed and man­u­fac­tured Ul­ti­mate Dana 60 rear axle kit was an idea spawned to rec­tify the fac­tory short­com­ings of the love­able Toy­ota 70 Se­ries. Peter Lang­wor­thy, Dana Aus­tralia’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, ex­plained: “We saw an op­por­tu­nity about two years ago with the leg­endary Landcruiser 79 Se­ries, for us to en­hance that prod­uct above its nor­mal ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“We iden­ti­fied that there were cer­tain ar­eas of op­por­tu­nity for us to im­prove on the orig­i­nal equip­ment axle.”

The re­search phase of the de­vel­op­ment process saw Dana speak to pro­fes­sional 4x4 work­shops, fleet cus­tomers, and pun­ters who tow long dis­tances, to find out what is­sues needed ad­dress­ing.

“The feed­back we re­ceived was along the lines of rec­ti­fy­ing the track is­sue to en­able bet­ter use of the ve­hi­cle in sand, bog or mud,” Peter said. “There were also is­sues around oil degra­da­tion, be­cause of the low oil ca­pac­ity in the orig­i­nal axle – in other words, we needed to in­crease the amount of oil lu­bri­ca­tion.”

An elec­tronic Elocker was also high on the list, as well as the abil­ity for the kit to in­cor­po­rate other af­ter­mar­ket good­ies like heavy-duty sus­pen­sion prod­ucts and big­ger shock ab­sorbers.

Cus­tomers were also adamant that the GVM of the ve­hi­cle needed a spike.

“A lot of fleets have been talk­ing to us about the need to im­prove the GVM ca­pac­ity of the ve­hi­cle. Pre­vi­ously, the orig­i­nal axle was a lim­it­ing fac­tor for be­ing able to in­crease legally and in full com­pli­ance of a GVM im­prove­ment.”

An­other key de­sign cue brought up by cus­tomers prior to pro­duc­tion was for the half shafts to re­tain the full float­ing ap­pli­ca­tion, as per the orig­i­nal equip­ment.

Count­less hours of re­search and de­vel­op­ment re­sulted in the Ul­ti­mate Dana 60, a rear axle that is sup­plied as a com­plete af­ter­mar­ket bolt-in kit.

The com­plete kit in­cludes the axle, heavy-duty sus­pen­sion brack­ets, axle shafts, heavy-duty drive­shafts and all in­stal­la­tion hard­ware.

“The elec­tri­cal com­po­nents are ready for you to plug straight into the OE wiring loom fit­ted to the ve­hi­cle,” Peter said.

In­cor­po­rated into the diff cen­tre is an Ea­ton Elocker. Own­ers must en­sure that their ve­hi­cle was orig­i­nally op­tioned with a fac­tory locker, oth­er­wise a switch on the

Tub­ing and diff cover are made in Dana’s Mel­bourne fa­cil­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.