Dana unveils new driveshafts, tandem axles, and improved hub system

LOUISVILLE. Dana Holding Corp. introduced a trio of new or enhanced products-- the new Spicer Diamond Series aluminum driveshaft, the Spicer Pro-40 tandem axle, and an improved Spicer LMS hub system (called the LMSi) – here last week at the Mid-America Trucking Show

LOUISVILLE. Dana Holding Corp. introduced a trio of new or enhanced products-- the new Spicer Diamond Series aluminum driveshaft, the Spicer Pro-40 tandem axle, and an improved Spicer LMS hub system (called the LMSi) – here last week at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

According to Ralph Polehonki, Dana vp of global engineering, the Diamond Series driveshaft weighs 40% less than traditional, two-piece steel units, has fewer parts, and helps to reduce problems associated with noise, vibration and harshness. It combines steel end fittings with a single-piece, high-strength aluminum tube and includes the use of Spicer Life Series and Compact Series universal joints.

“In terms of strength,” he said, “the aluminum driveshaft is comparable to or greater than steel. We also do one-hundred-percent checking of each part to help ensure perfect welds.”

Designed for heavy-duty commercial trucks using two-piece steel driveshafts of 7.5 ft to 10 ft, the Spicer Diamond Series driveshafts are designed to reduce installation costs through the elimination of the center bearing and by reducing part count from three joint connections to two. There are also environmental benefits from eliminating the need to paint the units and from the metal inert gas welding process used.

The one-piece design is also intended to reduce component wear, while the use of aluminum offers resistance to corrosion and improved appearance. The Diamond Series driveshafts are scheduled to be available late in the fourth quarter of this year.

Steve Slesinski, Dana director of product planning, said the new Spicer Pro-40 40,000-lb tandem drive axles offer heavy-duty fleets reliable, lightweight, and competitively priced alternatives to currently available axles for linehaul, regional, and city delivery vehicles.

According to Slesinski, the Pro-40 provides dramatic weight reduction and improved power density, which enables customers to increase payload, improve fuel efficiency and improve their bottom line. The axle is more than 120 lbs lighter than the nearest competitive axle and 100 lbs lighter than the current Dana Spicer DS404, he noted.

“Rising fuel prices and incremental weight due to governmental regulations continue to spur the need for lightweight alternatives,” Slesinski said. “…Traditional 40,000-lb axles are designed to meet a huge variety of application requirements, which has left the majority of the primary linehaul segment over-spec’d and overweight. For fleets with predictable duty cycles, the Pro-40 delivers all the features that are required without the added weight.”

Like all Dana 40,000-lb axles, the Spicer Pro-40 is approved with 2-in. outset wheels with optimal 11 mm wall housing. It is planned to be available for initial shipments later this year in a popular range of ratios from 3.25 to 3.90 for commercial trucks up to 80,000 lbs GCWR with 9-, 10-, 12- or 13-speed overdrive transmissions, and with diesel engines up to 475 hp and 1750 lb-ft of torque.

Dana also showed off its new Spicer LMSi hub system, which incorporates the company’s LMS (low maintenance system) technology with new integrated features designed to deliver enhanced end-user and OEM savings and convenience. According to the company, benefits include improved retention clamp load for more reliable performance, reduced assembly and disassembly times as compared to conventional hub systems, and easier removal for improved shop safety.

The LMSi also aims to support a more eco-friendly position than other designs thanks to better control of contaminates during removal and a new seal technology that provides reduced friction for minimizing rolling resistance to improve fuel economy and reduce heat to boost seal life. Through the use of a standard aluminum hub, it also provides a 20-lb weight advantage per hub as compared to conventional iron hubs.

The new hub system is also designed to extend user service intervals to 500,000 miles and is available for a wide range of axle capacities for both steer and driver axles. LMSi hubs can be OE factory-filled with Roadranger FE75W-90 Synthetic Lubricants for further supporting fuel efficiency and are also compatible with Extended Life Roadranger Synthetic Lubes.

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