Dana 50 vs Dana 60

Off-roading and Dana axles go hand-in-hand, and there’s quite a selection in their product lineup. We’ve covered the differences between the Dana 44 and Dana 60 , as well as the Dana 35 vs the Dana 44 - so now it’s time to talk you through choosing between a Dana 50 and Dana 60.

Dana 50 vs Dana 60

Axle Information

The Dana 50 is a unit used exclusively by Ford for 25 years. It’s positioned in between the Dana 44 and Dana 60 in strength, weight, performance, etc. It’s most commonly found under Super Duty Ford trucks, but is sometimes used by others. The Dana 50 has 30-spline axle shafts and a 9" ring gear. Gear ratios vary from 3.54:1 through 5.38:1. In many ways, the Dana 50 is a slightly beefed up Dana 44.

The Dana 60 is an extremely popular axle that was first offered back in the 1950s. It’s a heavy-duty upgrade for many 4x4's, and a popular choice for 3/4 and 1-ton trucks. The Dana 60 is pervasive, and it has been used in everything from muscle cars to International Harvesters. Newer D60s have 30-spline axle shafts and 3" to 3-1/2" axle tubes. A Dana 60 ring gear is 9.75" and available in a (dramatic) ratio range from 3.31:1 to 7.17. The D60 is a very strong axle, very popular, and a great choice for a lot of different heavy duty vehicles.

Interestingly enough, the D50 and D60 are nearly identical in appearance. The only difference between the two axles (appearance wise) is the “50” that's cast into the carrier housing.

Which Axle Is Best?

The Dana 50 has a bit of a bad reputation – many people say it's nothing more than a glorified D44. While that's not a fair reputation, there are some great reasons to upgrade from the D50 to the D60:

  • If you're running tires 38” or larger, you're going to want a D60
  • If you're running a vehicle that's been upgraded to generate substantially more torque, a D60 is a smart upgrade
  • The D60 offers more configuration/customization options

Still, the Dana 50 is adequate for trucks that are slightly modified. A truck with 35” tires and a “stage 2” level of torque output should do just fine with the D50... but if you have your choice, you would be wise to choose the D60.

Finally, feel free to give us a call about any axle questions so we can get you setup with the right choice for your application.

  • Posted on   07/22/15 at 09:35:00 AM   by Jason  | 
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Tagged with dana, dana 50, dana 60

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