Compression Ignition Addict
Join Date: Jun 2010
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All you Dana 60 folks...
Well, after much pry-barring the front end to check the ball joints (all good) after noticing that my front camber is visually off, and the front tires were wearing unevenly, I decided to take her in to one of the few garages that can still align vehicles this big to get an idea of what all is going on.
My '97 has the split beam front suspension (complete with slow seep leak that I am unsure of how to correct), and I thought my inside edgewear was due to the negative camber angle in addition to the toe angle. Turns out the toe and caster were dead-nuts (wheel is off-centered but eh, I'll deal for now), camber angle (as I expected) was two tenths of a degree negative from the minimum allowable on the driver, four tenths below allowable on passenger side (now I know why she pulls a bit). I had him balance and rotate the tires to give the rears a bit of a rest, and buy me a bit of time to ponder my strategy and picking brains around here. I could of course have the ball joint shims put in, correct my camber, and keep my comfy ride.
After reading a few articles, I have been seeing a bit of feedback that not too many folks like the independent front ends due to the rather significant weight of the 7.3 bearing down on it tends to cause tire wear issues. I have also been told that converting to a solid axle in the front gives a far $h1ttier ride than the independent front axle, but a friend of mine has an '05 F250 5.4 gasser with a solid front and it rides very similar to my '97 PSD. For those of you who have converted, how much worse is it? (I know, I know... no matter how bad, it's still better and cheaper than blasting through tires every 15K)
I love this truck, but 5K worth of driving took nearly-new tires in the front and chopped up the inside edges pretty good. I am also not a fan of the high rpms at 70-75mph. Should I convert this truck to a Dana 60 front, and change the ratio to the 3.73? I'm assuming that at 65 mph with 2200 rpm I'm running a 4.10 ratio. Can this be done on the cheap, as in a thousand bucks to get a used axle, buy the steering parts, and do the work myself and then get it all aligned?
I'm guessing a 3.55 ratio would be suicidally low for the transmission. Please shower me with all thoughts and saved rounds.