Join Date: Nov 2013
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(All of my advice is assuming you want a practical load capacity upgrade, if you just want more wheels then disregard most of what I post.) I used to have a single rear wheel, only on my '99. Still, I recommend NOT trying to use the original SRW axle if you plan on doing anything other than looking cool. Unless I am badly mistaken, the SRW is a different axle entirely compared to a Dually, therefore everything will be smaller and weaker. My advice is to get yourself a Dually axle for your truck year. It will either be a Dana 80 or Dana 110, I forgot when they started dropping them in the F-350s officially.
Also, upgrade your leaf springs, otherwise you won't gain load capacity. The axles come stronger than the springs. Makes sense, I would prefer to pop a spring than to crack and axle... Look at an '05 F-350 dually and make note of the overload springs and ledges, you will need these as well if you plan to bump up your rear axle capacity.
Is your truck a 4X4? If yes, then MAKE SURE that the differential ratios are the same front and back, otherwise you lose any benefit of 4X4 as long as the ratio in the diff or tires are different. Also make sure that the circumference of the front and rear tires are the same (really close anyway). Sometimes Dually equipped trucks don't always have the same gearing that a SRW F-250 has, so keep this in mind. However if you have a 2WD or never want to use 4WD, then pick the ratio that you like. I personally like the 3.73 ratio for a diesel, even when hauling, but I use a manual. You might want a bit more leverage with an auto, or if you have a gasoline engine.
You can get front hub conversions so you have dually wheels all around, but I cannot speak for any of them as I have no experience in that regard. I found it was much easier and cheaper to carry a spare for the front and back. When I'm on hauling trips across the country, I just carry two spares for the back end, and I carry two SRW wheels for the front. Once I took the SRW axle out, I then had three SRW wheels, but two in front and two for the back is easier to carry. Murphy's law you know, if you have one spare, you will get two flats.
When you get a flatbed, make sure you get the 8 foot wide one to cover your dually completely and receive full benefits of owning a dually. If you are still rocking the pick-up bed when you do the swap/upgrade, finding some fenders in a salvage yard, removing them somehow, and bolting them to your bed is doable I think, however SRW beds and DRW beds are different, meaning that it won't be quite a OEM gig, but I'm sure by the time you swap the axles (a journey filled with learning) figuring out how to fab up some fenders will be a piece of cake.
Well, I'm running out of thoughts, you can usually find decent rear axles at a junk yard. That's where I found mine. Good luck and stay safe!
(Edit: SRW axles in F-250 and F-350 in '05 are still the Sterling 10.5, same as what I used to have. So simply bolting on Dana 80 hubs is not a suitable upgrade.)
'99 F-350 7.3 Powerstroke, 6 Speed manual, 4X4.
Last edited by Arctic Driver; 11-18-2013 at 05:32 PM.
Reason: I did research to verify that my memory served me.