1964 Chevelle Dana 60 - Estrange Your 9-Inch

A Dana 60 For Your A-Body

Andrew Schear Dec 1, 2004 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0412_01_z 1964_chevelle_dana_60 Rearend 1/14

Dropping the hammer in your A-body and melting a fresh set of slicks can only be rivaled by the nitrous squeeze that is soon to follow. Unfortunately, after a few dozen passes, the frail 10-bolt in your Chevelle is bound to fail. For Bow-Tie nuts who remember the good ol' days of dropping an Olds rearend into their '55, they also remember the spider gears exploding and sending them back to the junkyard on a regular basis. We've come a long way in rearend technology, making use of more accurate machining and higher-grade materials. But even with today's high-grade steels, the GM 10-bolt and 12-bolt is no rival for the mighty 9-inch.

Unfortunately for most of us, the cost is just a wee bit out of reach when it comes to paying the 9-inch bill. After purchasing the housing and axles, the third member nails your wallet, adding insult to injury. With a broken toy in the garage, we begin searching for answers.

Sucp_0412_02_z 1964_chevelle_dana_60 Lower_control_arms 2/14

With the rearend lifted into the general position, we connected the lower control arms to help guide things into place. We made no changes to the Hotchkis arms that we has installed just a few months back with the exception of adding a bit of grease to the bushings.

It was only one year ago we first heard about the Strange concoction coming from Morton Grove, Illinois. Rumor had it that the folks at Strange were building the bulletproof Dana-60 style rearend to fit Chevelles, Novas, Camaros, and Monte Carlos. Upon hearing the news, we had to get our hands on one for the Ultimate Tanning Machine.

The S-60 as Strange has dubbed it, utilizes factory geometry for each application making installation no different than OE. The ring gear measures in at a massive 9.75-inch diameter while the axles sport 35-splines, a massive improvement over stock. Utilizing fully welded 3-inch axle tubes and a one-piece center casting design, it would seem that Strange has given their 9-inch Ford kit a run for the money. With the total price tag hundreds below the 9-inch, the only caveat is the 30-pound weight difference and lack of removable center section.

Power Locks, spools, Detroit Lockers, and Trac-Loks can be installed into the S-60 with multiple gear-ratio choices to help get power to the rolling stock. For the Ultimate Tanning Machine we opted for the mellow and economical 3.54:1 seeing as our lil' convertible was built to cruise and was already equipped with a super-low first gear. In addition to the new equipment out back, we made use of a stronger driveline just to stay on the safe side. And wouldn't you know it, we were even able to keep our Stainless Steel Brakes without a single modification. Keep on reading and try not to salivate on the pages; you'll need them as a reference guide when your new S-60 shows up.

Performance Testing

  Before After
60-foot 2.75 2.01 seconds
1/4-mile 18.49 at 73.75 13.20 at 107 mph
1/8-mile 11.83 at 60.83 8.55 at 87 mph

(Note: all baseline test data was made on stock 283/Powerglide drivetrain)

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