The Continuing Adventures of the Ultimate Dana 60™ Axles
Riding with Jeep® throughout its long, legendary history means that genuine Spicer® parts from Dana® have seen some pretty intense action across the globe. That’s why it was an immediate “yes!” when Dana was asked to contribute a set of genuine Ultimate Dana 60 axles. In preparation for the Nitto Tires JK Experience Alaska (JKX) expedition, we sent these axles out to a team from ARB, Australia’s largest manufacturer and distributor of 4x4 accessories. The adventure would include a group of Jeep Wrangler® JK enthusiasts spending seven days traveling 2,500+ miles across Alaska – navigating trails, rocks, streams, swamps, canyons and glaciers toward a final destination in the Arctic Circle.
The ARB team rose eagerly to the challenge as well. They were excited about the opportunity to showcase the capabilities of a Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited built completely with bolt-on components, and prove that you can build a very rugged vehicle without fabrication or welding skills. To that end, they purchased a brand-new Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited.
This is where the Dana axles began to shine. The bolt-in front and rear Ultimate Dana 60s allowed the ARB team to buy their vehicle on a Wednesday evening and hit the road with their customized Jeep on Sunday morning. The team left the following day for the 2,200-mile journey from Seattle to Anchorage.
The Jeep performed impeccably during the trip through Canada into Alaska, with a few standard stops to torque suspension components. Soon, the true challenge began. Armed with food, clothing, tools and spare parts for seven days of travel – the teams were required to be self-sufficient – over a dozen JKs set off for a muddy ride on the Baldy Mountain trail. The Ultimate Dana 60 axles proved more than worthy of the test, but the steep, wet and muddy conditions on this day were nothing compared to what was to come.
On Day Three, the teams encountered muskeg, a boggy mix of water and partly dead vegetation that’s often covered by a layer of moss. ARB’s JK with the Ultimate Dana 60s met the challenge, and the team was free to tackle the drive to Deadhorse-Prudhoe Bay. This trek is on many Jeep enthusiasts’ bucket lists, with drivers experiencing 1,000 miles of inconsistent terrain on the Dalton Highway to arrive at the Arctic Circle.
In the end, the Dana-sponsored vehicle flew through all the trials, and the Ultimate Dana 60 axles performed flawlessly. You’ll have that when you mix a passion for pushing the limits with proven quality and performance. Along with tackling an incredible range of terrain and weather, the teams made time to take a rafting trip, enjoy a few BBQs, and sit around the fire telling Jeeping stories.
We hope that we inspired future bucket-list adventurers down the road with this journey. Trust Dana axles and genuine Spicer driveline components to make your next adventure, large or small, a high-performance reality.