We pro­duce our own tubes, our own spin­dles, our own half shafts. We’ve de­signed those so you can fit the OE wheel end, brakes, hubs and rims

4 x 4 Australia - - 4x4 Garage -

dash will need to be in­stalled.

The man­u­fac­tur­ing process takes place en­tirely within Dana’s Mel­bourne as­sem­bly fac­tory.

“We have a large range of com­po­nents that are made lo­cally. We push the tubes into the hous­ing, build the diff cen­tre it­self, in­cor­po­rate the Ea­ton Elocker, weld the spin­dles and the tubes to the hous­ings, and then we also as­sem­ble the whole kit ready to bolt into the ve­hi­cle,” Peter said.

How­ever, all of the in­ter­nal dif­fer­en­tial parts are shipped in from in­ter­na­tional Dana fa­cil­i­ties be­fore they are housed lo­cally. “The base ele­ments of the axle it­self, be­ing the car­rier, the hous­ing and the in­ter­nals, re­main sim­i­lar to ev­ery other Dana 60 around the globe, but we’ve pro­duced our own tubes, our own spin­dles, our own half shafts. We’ve de­signed those lo­cally to suit the Toy­ota Landcruiser. There­fore you can fit the OE wheel end, brakes, hubs and rims to the ve­hi­cle.”

As we toured Dana’s Hal­lam fac­tory, Dana’s gen­eral man­ager of af­ter­mar­ket, Brad Wol­sten­holme, ex­plained that the busy staff used to pump out 450 drive­shafts per day dur­ing Holden and Ford’s hal­cyon days. That num­ber has now been re­duced to ap­prox­i­mately 100 shafts per day – still im­pres­sive.

The fac­tory was a flurry of ac­tiv­ity as we eyed the pro­duc­tion line, in­clud­ing wit­ness­ing the 50-tonne press insert­ing the Ul­ti­mate 60’s tubes into the car­rier.

The fi­nal prod­uct is a con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment over the OE axle in many ar­eas: oil ca­pac­ity in­creases from 2.4L to 3.25L; axle width jumps from 1460mm to 1555mm; tube thick­ness from 6.3mm to 10.0mm; tube di­am­e­ter from 80.0mm to 88.9mm; axle weight from 86kg to 105kg; and the­o­ret­i­cal Gross Axle Mass from 3318kg to 4746kg.

Su­pe­rior lo­cally made al­loy spin­dles and axle shafts re­place the OE gear, and the Ea­ton Elocker re­places the op­tional TMC locker (if op­tioned).

Can cus­tomers per­form the in­stal­la­tion at home? Ide­ally not, ac­cord­ing to Peter: “It’s im­por­tant any­one do­ing this in­stal­la­tion is ei­ther qualified or cer­tainly well-adept at do­ing that type of work. Our pref­er­ence would be that it is done at a qualified pro­fes­sional 4x4 garage, but cer­tainly if some­one is ca­pa­ble of do­ing it, it can be done – we in­clude all fit­ting in­struc­tions for that to oc­cur.”

The Aus­tralian-de­signed and built Ul­ti­mate 60 is backed with a 12-month/30,000km war­ranty, and Peter was adamant that cus­tomers will have no prob­lem get­ting the nec­es­sary le­gal ap­provals.

“It’s our pref­er­ence that the owner does this through a reg­is­tered work­shop, and those work­shops can help the owner through the process of legally fit­ting the mod­i­fi­ca­tion to the ve­hi­cle.”

Dana Aus­tralia pro­vided an in­dica­tive price of $9990 for in­stal­la­tion of the Ul­ti­mate 60, but that can vary for each cus­tomer. All the ap­pro­pri­ate in­stal­la­tion pa­per­work is pro­vided by Dana’s en­gi­neers for the car to gain ap­proval.

50-tonne press in­serts the lo­cally made tubes into the Dana 60 diff car­rier, be­fore they are welded in.

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