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Old 11-02-2017, 08:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sterling shafts

I'm building a rear steer axle with the Sterling center and the D60 outer stuff. The spline angle is different between the 2 I'm told and I've also read (can't recall where, possibly here but can't find the thread) the D60 spiders are interchangeable with the Sterling.

Does anyone spline the correct angle to leave the Sterling as-is or easier just to swap the spiders?
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can swap the spiders, I would. Especially if the shafts you are planning on using have rolled splines. No other help for the compatibility.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about the side gear swap. I think what you're getting at is the 60* vs 45* pressure angle. Is it Mark Williams that does 45* spline?
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about the side gear swap. I think what you're getting at is the 60* vs 45* pressure angle. Is it Mark Williams that does 45* spline?
Yes, the spline angle is what I'm referring to
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have several 60 35 spline carriers sitting around if you need some side gears to find out .


Edit: Just out of curiosity why didnt you just use a 60 ?

Last edited by Valley Rock; 11-05-2017 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Edit: Just out of curiosity why didnt you just use a 60 ?
Sterling is stronger... I don't know what he's doing but lots of guys can't make a 60 live in the rear.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The splines are definitely different. If you doing a rear steer im assuming your doing custom shafts? Anyone doing shafts that's worth a shit will know how to make them with the splines you need. Im running a rear steer sterling\SD 60 like your talking about. Branik can do them for sure. In fact i have one in the mail from them for the one i broke.
You'll just have to tell them where the seal sits on the shaft depending on how you work that out.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 06silverback View Post
I'm building a rear steer axle with the Sterling center and the D60 outer stuff. The spline angle is different between the 2 I'm told and I've also read (can't recall where, possibly here but can't find the thread) the D60 spiders are interchangeable with the Sterling.

Does anyone spline the correct angle to leave the Sterling as-is or easier just to swap the spiders?
I read a similar thread, but it was referring to ARB side gears. The guy was building a Sterling front and having this same issue, wanted to be able to run off the shelf D60 shafts. ARB said that the side gears for a Sterling ARB and D60 ARB would interchange and that if he called and special ordered they would send him a Sterling locker with D60 splines.

Not sure if regular D60 side gears will swap into a Sterling carrier.

Last edited by jcgrobbe; 11-06-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sterling is stronger... I don't know what he's doing but lots of guys can't make a 60 live in the rear.


The Sterling is indeed quite strong, a long stout pinion with big ass bearings on each end is a win win .

I have to wonder what part of a 60 fails for people using them in rear steer, is it the ring and pinion ?

If so, the Sterling will certainly solve that problem, but if it's the axles or joints, then nothing would be gained by continuing to use everything 60 from outside of the carrier .

"I think" that if I was going to go to the effort to make a custom one off axle assy for rear steer, I would want to build it for a zero fail in it's environment, that being said, use the big ass Sterling center section and gears, but if you are going to bother with replacing the side gears with something other than stock then go bigger than stock Dana 60 35 spline axles .

Figure out how to shove some 40 splines in there and never look back, is that a possibility ?
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The Sterling is indeed quite strong, a long stout pinion with big ass bearings on each end is a win win .

I have to wonder what part of a 60 fails for people using them in rear steer, is it the ring and pinion ?

If so, the Sterling will certainly solve that problem, but if it's the axles or joints, then nothing would be gained by continuing to use everything 60 from outside of the carrier .

"I think" that if I was going to go to the effort to make a custom one off axle assy for rear steer, I would want to build it for a zero fail in it's environment, that being said, use the big ass Sterling center section and gears, but if you are going to bother with replacing the side gears with something other than stock then go bigger than stock Dana 60 35 spline axles .

Figure out how to shove some 40 splines in there and never look back, is that a possibility ?
Ring and pinion for me. Just not enough. Now that i have a sterling center the axle shafts are the weak point. Using cromoly 35 spline stuff right now on a 4500 lb box on 42's is pushing them to the max. I have not called ARB but I did not find anything in 40 spline for the sterling looking online.
Im saving nickels for spidertrax 35 spline 300m stuff right now. If i cant make those hold its time to build a new axle. Rear steer is just brutal on the axle as a whole.

Last edited by shaggy10000; 11-06-2017 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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yea 60s break sterlings never break
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I have to wonder what part of a 60 fails for people using them in rear steer, is it the ring and pinion ?

Figure out how to shove some 40 splines in there and never look back, is that a possibility ?
In the D60 rears I've witnessed being abused, steering or not, once 35 spline shafts are utilized, it seems the pinion shaft is the weak link almost every time.

As for the beef, why not just grab a D80 for center and have 35 or 37 spline option stock, and more than enough room and support for 40 spline. I plan to do a D80 center with 05+ SD60 knuckles for 40 spline and 1550 capability down the road, but probably just chromo 35 spline 1480 stuff to start.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Sterlings are everywhere and cheap, no carrier break and have good clearance, factory lockers are available now as well. Not the same list of benefits but very similar to how 14bolts became popular, they were everywhere and strong. Now that every F250/350 since 87ish has been built with one its a solid choice.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I called Branik last week and we will get shafts from there. We are using the 99-04 SD knuckles since I make kits to run a uni-ball upper joint instead of the smaller ballpoint that 60 uses. The Sterling uses a 60* pressure angle instead of a 45* of a D60 (or vice versa...can't recall). It's going under an 05 Jeep LJ with the 4.0L so I think it'll survive just fine....at least til he goes and puts an LS in it.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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For what it's worth the Sterling went to a 37 spline pinion same as a Dana 80 in 2011 when the factory elec locker became available .

Also as additional side note, if you are putting aftermarket gears (which are all 10.25) into a 2008-2010 housing, you need a 120 thou shim underneath the head of the pinion, that is in between the pinion head and the bearing .

I ended up with 143 thou under mine to get the pattern I wanted .
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I called Branik last week and we will get shafts from there. We are using the 99-04 SD knuckles since I make kits to run a uni-ball upper joint instead of the smaller ballpoint that 60 uses. The Sterling uses a 60* pressure angle instead of a 45* of a D60 (or vice versa...can't recall). It's going under an 05 Jeep LJ with the 4.0L so I think it'll survive just fine....at least til he goes and puts an LS in it.
Just for the sake of clarification in this thread. Sterling would be the 45 and Dana the 30. 60 would be included angle.

Branik is great to deal with and seems to always have their shit together. At least when I need them they do. Got a link to this uniball kit?
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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For what it's worth the Sterling went to a 37 spline pinion same as a Dana 80 in 2011 when the factory elec locker became available ..
I haven't had my hands on that new of a housing yet. Any idea if that 37 spline pinion fits in a 99-04 housing?
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I haven't had my hands on that new of a housing yet. Any idea if that 37 spline pinion fits in a 99-04 housing?

No whey hose A .

That pinion is a big ass mother with a big ass bearing on it .

Now theoretically you could possibly machine out the housing, but I am not sure there is enough meat in the older housing to take that cut .

It would be silly anyway, just run the right housing for that pinion, unless it's the 05+ width that is a problem for you, then I don't know .


I thought I took a pic of the new and old pinion side by side a while back when I was swapping a bunch of guts around, but damn if I can find it .
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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No whey hose A .

That pinion is a big ass mother with a big ass bearing on it .

Now theoretically you could possibly machine out the housing, but I am not sure there is enough meat in the older housing to take that cut .

It would be silly anyway, just run the right housing for that pinion, unless it's the 05+ width that is a problem for you, then I don't know .


I thought I took a pic of the new and old pinion side by side a while back when I was swapping a bunch of guts around, but damn if I can find it .
None of its a problem for me. Im pretty happy with my setup and it works well. It was just curiosity is all. I figured the bearing would have a larger OD but sometimes im surprised what GM will do to save a buck.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:25 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Just for the sake of clarification in this thread. Sterling would be the 45 and Dana the 30. 60 would be included angle.

Branik is great to deal with and seems to always have their shit together. At least when I need them they do. Got a link to this uniball kit?
I had a thread on it, but when photobucket shit on us it doesn't show much lol. PM me your # or search for "American Iron Offroad" on FB and I'll add you so you can take a look.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:37 AM   #21 (permalink)
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search for "American Iron Offroad" on FB and I'll add you so you can take a look.
Done
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