Dana Corp – still in Chapter 11 – has said that it has begun supplying drivetrain components, including both front and rear propshafts and front suspension modules, for the new 2007 Dodge Nitro.


Executives said the steel front propshaft utilizes magnetic-arc welding and staked-and-centered cardan universal joints, while the aluminum rear propshaft is friction-welded and features a splinted-tube design with staked-and-centered cardan universal joints.


The welding technologies were described as ensuring precise component orientation to improve initial propshaft balance characteristics. The staked-and-centered universal joints eliminate looseness and provide a smoother high-speed performance, executives said.


They described the launch of the propshafts in the DaimlerChrysler AG vehicle as representing a global extension of the product and said that within the next year, Dana plans to offer its Spicer Life Series propshafts to four automotive customers in six countries on four continents.


The front modules are assembled in a variety of two-wheel, all-wheel, gasoline and diesel configurations within a one-minute cycle time at Dana’s Toledo facility for just-in-time delivery to a Chrysler Group plant a mile away.


Dana has been operating under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code since early last year.