Dana 60 Big 35 Spline Inner and Stub Axle upgrade from 4WDFACTORY.com
By BillaVista


 

Part 2 - Teardown

 

Start by removing the 6 small bolts that hold the manual lockout cap on. They may be allen head or Torx bits, depending on brand / age.

Just look at that tired, beat up hub cap. I will not be sad to see the end of hassling with these things. The Warn drive flange caps stick out far less from the end of the hub.

Once you have the cap off, remove the 2 snap rings - one on the stub axle, and one just inside the hub.

I find the "2 screwdriver" method the best to lever out the big snap ring just inside the hub. Some patience is required. The small snap ring in the end of the stub shaft can be removed with a screwdriver, or with snap ring pliers if it is the type with the holes for the pliers

Once the snap rings are out, you can remove the body of the manual lockout hub. If it is stubborn (as most will be), you can easily fabricate a hub removal tool. I used a scrap piece of 1" strap, drilled to take 2 of the hub cap screws, and a big chisel behind it. To use it, just screw 2 screws back into the hub through the tool, then put a bar or chisel behind it and yank out the hub.

An interesting note, if you drill the holes in the scrap for 2 adjacent holes in a D60 hub, it will also work for D44 hubs, 3 holes apart.

[NOTE: My photos didn't turn out for the next 4 pics, so the photos shown are actually a full-float rear axle, but the parts are exactly the same for this step, so bear with me]

Once you have the locking hub removed, the hub will look like this. Bend the little tabs on the spindle lock-washer outwards so the outer spindle lock nut can be removed.

The proper way to remove and install the spindle nuts is to use the proper 6-slot socket. of course, if you're a high-tech redneck like me, you can bang them out with a hammer and screwdriver!

Note - there are a huge number of different lock washer and spindle nut arrangements out there. Some are 6 slot as shown some are 4 slot, some are a large hex head and some are a special rounded hex head. Also, some lock washers use tabs as shown, and some have holes that index onto little "tits" on the spindle nuts. You will have to adapt, improvise, overcome.

Once the outer lock nut is removed, fish out the lock washer with a screwdriver / pick.
And then the inner nut can be removed. Behind the inner nut will be a flat, indexing washer. Once you have fished all that out and set it aside carefully, you are almost ready to pull the whole hub/rotor assembly off the spindle.
But first you have to remove the brake calipers. There are several different styles. You may have to remove caliper slide bolts as I did, or you may have to remove a grub screw and knock out some locating wedges.
Once you have the caliper removed, and the hub/rotor assembly pulled off (careful not to drop the outer wheel bearing in the dirt as you slide the hub/rotor off), this is what you are left with.
Remove the nuts that secure the brake caliper mounting bracket and spindle to the knuckle.
On a Chevy Dana 60, the brake caliper bracket comes off first. I persuaded it with a large chisel. But be careful not to beat things to death.
Finally, you can tap off the spindle. You can use a soft-faced hammer to tap on the spindle itself, but do not strike a bearing surface. On the GM Dana60, there is a notch in the knuckle to allow for the large single-caliper 1 ton brake calipers, and it provides a place to carefully strike the back side of the spindle to help loosen / remove it.

The final step is simply to grab the shafts, and gently slide them from the housing.

Be careful as you remove them from the housing, so as to avoid damaging the inner axle seals

When you are all done, you'll have the old axles removed, and ready to be replaced.

But first, let's compare the old with the new, to make sure we're not just replacing these parts because it's the latest cool thing to do, but because there's a good reason.

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