design - Land Rover section


The Salisbury myth


While everyone agrees that the Land Rover Salisbury Axle assembly is indeed a Dana 60 and the strongest axles that the Rover factory put under series Land Rovers, there have been some myths built up over time regarding the origin of these axle assemblies.

Most people believe that these heavy duty Land Rover axles were built in Salisbury England under license from Dana, a division of Spicer. Well as it turns out there is no axle manufacturer in Salisbury England. And if one researches the Salisbury name:

The Salisbury Wheel Company was founded in Jamestown, New York, in 1901 when C.W. Salisbury, a key-maker and mender of umbrellas, patented an automobile wheel, then pooled his life savings with two colleagues, Scott Penfield and E.D. Sherman, and started manufacture.

Salisbury's first customer was the E.R. Thomas company, maker of the Thomas Flyer. In 1905, the company started manufacturing front axles. Two years later rear axles were added to its product line.

Acquired by Spicer in 1919, Salisbury was moved to Toledo in 1929, closer to the center of the automotive industry. Salisbury axles became standard equipment in thousands of automotive vehicles. At the outbreak of World War II the light, Salisbury's rugged axles proved ideal for the Jeep. The Jeep proved so popular that in 1945 Salisbury had to build a new plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1970, the Salisbury Axle group was renamed the Spicer Axle Division.

The Salisbury axle was well known in England during and after WWII because of the Jeep. So in typical English fashion, the English never stopped calling the axle type "Salisburys" even after the division and their products were renamed.

Think of "Salisbury" as being the English term for "Dana 60". This means of course the Dana 60 parts fit into Salisbury carriers.


Salisbury rear axles are standard equipment on series III 109s and are bolt on upgrades to older 109s. The stock series III rear prop shaft is required. They can be adapted to fit 88s. The spring mounts will need to be moved inwards.

The Land Rover series III one ton used a Salsibury axle front and rear as did some heavy duty commercial specials, the forward controls and some military versions (Before Series III, ENV axles were used). This means that series front axles can also be upgraded to Salsibury as a bolt on upgrade. The 101 forward control Salisbury axles are wider than the other series axles and would require some machine work to make them fit properly.

Salsibury axle housings are larger than the weaker Rover axle housings. As a result you loose around a half inch of ground clearance. The one ton Land Rovers made this up by using the Land Rover extended shackles and 900X16 tyres (34 in. dia). The extended shackles added 2 inches of body clearance for the two inch taller tyres. This combination raised the ground clearance about an inch over the stock 760X16 tyres and more than made up for the deeper Salisbury.

Upgrading the Salisbury:

The Salisbury 24 spline axle can be replaced by a much stronger 35 spline axle.  This requires a new spider gear in the differential carrier, axles, a modified hub and stub axle.  BCB Off-Road provides a 35 spline upgrade kit for those who need extreme axle reliability. 

The 101 forward control uses much thicker axle housing tubing than the series III version.  BCB Off-Road can also supply a 101 Salsibury housing from a 101 that has been cut down for the series vehicle.

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