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
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.