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Old 01-20-2007, 11:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sterling Axles

What is the deal with the Sterling Axle? I don't see anybody talking about them or running them in there rig's. I got a 2000 model Sterling out of ford F-250 for free. 35 spline axle shafts and disk brakes. I also have a Dana 60 out of a 97 Dodge truck 30 spline drum brakes. I would like to here the pro's and con's between these two axle's and what one you would run?
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Only bad thing about the one you got is that it uses a metric bolt pattern for the wheels, but youu might be able to use parts from a pre superduty truck to fix that, but yeah that and aftermarket parts haven't quite caught up to what people are used to with axles like the 60 and 14 bolt, but the sterling has a better axle seal (o-ring) and you don't have to dissassemble the rear end to get the brakes apart either (sterling's with drums require only poping the wheels off and baking the brake shoes off to pop a drum off, and not taking the entire spindle/hub apart). The are a simple strong axle, i useone in my comp. mud bogging truck, and so far i love it and would never use anything else .
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do you know of any company's makeing a spool for it or do I have to weld the spider gears? Detroit is over $600, forget that.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Pre superduty (metric) sterlings were all drum, so you have that lame metric bolt pattern. I have heard of talk of industrial applications with spools and 7.17's, dont know if its true or not. Mine is welded and so far it has held up. Itd be cheaper to get an older sterling and make it disc braked instead if thats why you want to keep it. Good axle tho.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i just acquired a sterling 10.25 in a purchase. it came free with a HP60 from a 79... all for $1000!!! i'm psyched!!!

but anyway... i assume you're talking about a sterling 10.25?
i'm not sure about the 10.5"... it may be what you're asking about, because i think they came in the newer fords.

if you are talking about the 10.25"
the clearance is 6.3" below centerline, giving you more clearance than a dana60... and LOTS more than a 14FF. the stock 1.5" 35 splines are really nice, but have shorter splines than a 14bolt.

people generaly rate the axle at about the same strength as a 14 bolt or a dana70.

aftermarket support is growing for the sterling, because it IS a really nice axle. you can gear to 5.38 or 7.17(iirc), but nowhere inbetween.
locker selection is just about on par with other axles... but shafts aren't as available as the 60. but i think there are some out there.

there are some problems with axle seals, and pinion seal bolts iirc, but can be fixed (or may even BE fixed on newer models) for cheap.


what front are you using? i assume you could switch the fronts to run a metric pattern and have matching F+R. you could probably even trade someone for their metric if you have SAE fronts.

i would run the sterling with the discs over the 60, 8 days a week

Last edited by senatorfrisky; 01-21-2007 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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they do not make aftermarket shafts that I have ever found, but you dont really hear of people breaking them either.

The hub seals do have a tendency to leak, but there is an upgrade ceal from CR.
The pinioins are known to leak, and the short pinion had failure probs IIRC. If you regear, go to a longer one (this is on the 10.25)


Why does everyone bag on the metric? You can get a metric 60 way cheaper than regular 60 to go along with the 10.5 and have the rear discs with parking brake. yeah, unit hubs are arguabley bad, but you can always change that out too. The newer 60's have a bunch of upgrades IIRC also.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't have a front axle yet. I'm on a budget like the masses. I am trying to figure out what direction to go in. Getting a newer Dana 60 to match the rear sounds like a good idea. Dyna Track has a conversion for the unit bearings. Monday I am going to call around and get a price on a newer Dana 60. So what truck was it in? I know alot of them had the Dana 50. Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=senatorfrisky;6381649]i just acquired a sterling 10.25 in a purchase. it came free with a HP60 from a 79... all for $1000!!! i'm psyched!!!

they used the 10.25 in 79? i am not qeustion you i just did'nt know that, jason.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i think 92 and up are metric
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=420willys;6381922]
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Originally Posted by senatorfrisky View Post
i just acquired a sterling 10.25 in a purchase. it came free with a HP60 from a 79... all for $1000!!! i'm psyched!!!

they used the 10.25 in 79? i am not qeustion you i just did'nt know that, jason.
i don't know what year the sterling is. i don't think it's a 79. all i know so far is that is has matching gears (3.54) as the 60 does.

any link to a BOM list for sterlings out there?
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i think 92 and up are metric
99 up are metric, pre 99 are standard 8 on 6 1/2
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't have a front axle yet. I'm on a budget like the masses. I am trying to figure out what direction to go in. Getting a newer Dana 60 to match the rear sounds like a good idea. Dyna Track has a conversion for the unit bearings. Monday I am going to call around and get a price on a newer Dana 60. So what truck was it in? I know alot of them had the Dana 50. Thanks for the help guys.
that conversion is pricey. seems a new set of axles for the rear to match a standard pattern would be cheaper.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Time to get some facts straight.

The sterling 10.25" found on 83-97 F250/F350s were all drum brake 8 on 6.5 axles.

The sterling 10.5 found on 99-07? F250/F350s were all disk brake 8 on 170 mm axles.

To clear up the leaky hubs get CR Scotseal Plus #34386.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=senatorfrisky;6381928]
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i don't know what year the sterling is. i don't think it's a 79. all i know so far is that is has matching gears (3.54) as the 60 does.

any link to a BOM list for sterlings out there?
the best way to tell what year the rear axle it is ( other than the BOM ), is to figure out what front you have. if it has only three inchs of tube expososed ( the dana 60 ) then its a 86 and up more than three inchs then its the 79 till 77 dana 60. of course you could just search the BOM of the dana 60 here in the bible. the other thing is maybe somone swapped a 10.25 into your 79, jason.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I thought that sterlings didn't come out till 87 when they switched to the newer body style, and the heavy rear they used was the dana 70/dana 80 (dana 80 in the 450-550 trucks with disks)
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Sterlings were not in use in 79.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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the cast center section of the sterling is succeptible to spinning on the axle tubes under high torque loads...
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I plan on welding the tubes to the center section and trussing the axle for my four link. If I have to I will run two different style rims. This will be a trail rig only with bead locks. I can replace a tire back at camp if needed. Tire rotations not needed. Besides I haven't got my transfer case figured out yet. I might need a passenger drop 60. I have a line on a Jeep Dana 20 and maybe a 203. I guess I can double these up and get the gearing I need. I need to read up on this set up before I decide. I am in the process of getting a red star so if you guys know the link for that doubler I will need it. Again thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=420willys;6382315]
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Originally Posted by senatorfrisky View Post

the best way to tell what year the rear axle it is ( other than the BOM ), is to figure out what front you have. if it has only three inchs of tube expososed ( the dana 60 ) then its a 86 and up more than three inchs then its the 79 till 77 dana 60. of course you could just search the BOM of the dana 60 here in the bible. the other thing is maybe somone swapped a 10.25 into your 79, jason.


I was the one who mentioned a sterling and a 79 D60. i bought them together.. not out of the same truck. out of the same guy's garage. i was never under the impression that the sterling was a '79

still, any links for a BOM list?

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Old 01-21-2007, 02:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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they do not make aftermarket shafts that I have ever found, but you dont really hear of people breaking them either.

The hub seals do have a tendency to leak, but there is an upgrade ceal from CR.
The pinioins are known to leak, and the short pinion had failure probs IIRC. If you regear, go to a longer one (this is on the 10.25)


Why does everyone bag on the metric? You can get a metric 60 way cheaper than regular 60 to go along with the 10.5 and have the rear discs with parking brake. yeah, unit hubs are arguabley bad, but you can always change that out too. The newer 60's have a bunch of upgrades IIRC also.
yeah i wasnt really bagging on them but you need to run a metric front which sucks. getting away from the unit bearing hubs, from what i have seen is a rediculous amount of money.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:01 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhama78 View Post
the cast center section of the sterling is succeptible to spinning on the axle tubes under high torque loads...

so does the 14 bolt. and probably just about every other axle housing out there than has the tubes pressed in and held with those little tiny ass weld spots.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
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If I remember correctly the axle tubes are pressed in and then pinned not spot welded. Im not at home to confirm this but, after it's welded it dosn't matter any more anyhow.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Sterlings are spot welded in 2 places on either side, top and bottom.
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:28 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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so does the 14 bolt. and probably just about every other axle housing out there than has the tubes pressed in and held with those little tiny ass weld spots.
I never said that they were any worse or better than any other axle, but I have witnessed a 10.25 in a 1990 f350 self destruct by turning the pinion up to the bed. factor this in as well as the cost of the 600+ dollar detroit for a sterling and a 14B or D 70 looks a lot better... my.02
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:39 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I never said that they were any worse or better than any other axle, but I have witnessed a 10.25 in a 1990 f350 self destruct by turning the pinion up to the bed. factor this in as well as the cost of the 600+ dollar detroit for a sterling and a 14B or D 70 looks a lot better... my.02
but CLEARANCE!!!
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