4X4 GARAGE: DANA AUSTRALIA
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT DANA AUSTRALIA’S ULTIMATE 60 REAR AXLE KIT FOR THE LANDCRUISER 70 SERIES.
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.