E99 F550 Upgrade Project - 2wd to 4wd, Turbo, etc - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-09-2019, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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E99 F550 Upgrade Project - 2wd to 4wd, Turbo, etc

THE TRUCK:
Early 1999 F550, 7.3L, ZF-6, 2wd, crew cab, 210K mis, stock except for 4" turbo-back exhaust. I probably put less than 3000 mis per year on it, mainly hauling around a big slide-in camper with a small toy hauler in tow. An F550 is probably a bit overkill for this, but I like having the extra payload (and brake!) capacity when needed. My main objective for this truck is fuel economy and longevity. I don't want to sink a ton of money into this truck, but I don't want to go cheap either. I'll spend a little more to have a reliable long distance hauler.

THE PROJECT:
4wd conversion - The existing "reman" ZF-6 (with about 50K mis on it) started jumping out of 5th gear a while back and just recently started rattling really bad so it's time for it to go. I've been wanting to convert this truck to a 4x4 since I've owned it so I procured a 4wd parts donor.
Also needing attention... the up-pipes are leaking and the clutch pedal will occasionally hit the floor after a long highway run.

THE DONOR:
2000 F550, 7.3L, ZF-6, 4wd, single cab, 150K mis, stock. It's a total rot-box being an ex-PA plow/sander truck. It ran but had a miss and fluids were leaking everywhere so, unfortunately, I only got to drive it around the yard.

THE PLAN:
Here is where the questions start to pile up...
- Is the 4x4 trans/tcase going to bolt right up? I already know I'll need to deal with driveshafts and floor shifter. Anything else?
- Is there any wiring harness/control stuff involved in the trans swap?
- What clutch should I use for best driveability and durability for towing/hauling?
- Any recommendations on clutch hydraulics?
- And the BIG can-o-worms... do I stick with the early 99 turbo set-up or do I swap in the 2000 set-up? If so, why? ...and how?
- Any other things I should consider swapping/upgrading/eliminating while I'm in this deep?
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Last edited by bull gear; 07-09-2019 at 09:04 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-10-2019, 08:25 AM
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We need to see photos of these sexy beasts!!!

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-10-2019, 08:49 AM
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Transmission and case will bolt to engine. You will need crossmember from donor truck. The 4x4 mounts differently due to transfer case. Wiring should be the same other than IDM from the 99 will be the 110v and the 2000 the 120v. PCM will work from either bit I'd keep the 2000 for a spare or testing. The stock 550 clutch will do pretty much all your towing needs. You will also need to install the front axle that wasn't mentioned. You will need everything for that not sure if steering box is same or not. The turbo from the 99 is no different than the 2000 so use what's in the best condition. Make sure to check piping and use new gaskets, o-rings and seal even if they look good best to do now than in a month after driving.

It's a fairly straight forward swap.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-10-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Got the donor truck on the lift today and discovered that the trans case is cracked at the block interface. That really throws a wrench in the works!!!
Any recommendations on where to find a good reman 4x4 ZF-6? It's either that or carry both transmissions to a bench rebuilder and have him try to mix and match parts to make good one.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-11-2019, 07:37 AM
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I take it the Ford version isnt like the Garbage Motorsand bellhousings aren't removable? If same as GM just swap bell housings.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-17-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Case and bellhousing are one piece so it's pretty much f'ed. That pretty much torpedoed my whole plan, but I gotta do something because the existing 2wd trans sounds like a gravel crusher. I bought another 4wd zf6 that supposedly just needs a shifter roll pin. We'll see. I think I will just start tearing these things apart and see if I can mix & match enough pieces to make one good one. I really dread the thought of changing out bearings and setting preload in that rear load monstrosity, though.

Somebody asked for a pic and I realized I didn't have any good ones. This is the day I drug the slide-in home...
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