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· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back working on the truck! (97 F-350 CC 4WD Diesel) Several years ago had a "complete" resto of the truck done. Hot dip galvanized and epoxy coated the frame, painted underside of truck body color, etc., etc. Now mechanical issues are cropping up. Apologize as I am sure some of these topics have been covered but I am very "digitally challenged". Don't know if I am using wrong search terms or what. Searches don't seem to be coming up with definitive answers. Please let me know if there are related forum discussions I might have missed. I need to go through the front axle and steering. Needs ball joints, drag link, etc. Looking to the group for recommendations on the following;

1-Dana 60 front axle needs inner seals. Want to do the best job possible. I have read it's best to stick with stock parts, also opposing opinions that there is a better seal to use from a later axle. Is there a general consensus as to what is best? I am willing to spend more to have a better/longer lasting job. Also, can I pull the pumpkin and re-install without having to re-configure shims/tooth engagement?

2-Need the usual ball joint/tie rod/drag link. Going to do all this when I do the inner seals. I have read about XRF kits. Also the enhanced drag link from Carrick Customs. What is the thought here of XRF? Is there anything comparable or better? Is Carricks drag link set up worth the $750.00 they are asking? If so I will wait, because apparently there is a back order for several weeks. If XRF is comparable, I will stick with their complete kit.

3-Is there an upgraded brake cylinder/caliper/rotor kit available that will last/perform better than stock? Have replaced multiple calipers and they never seem to last. Leak or get sticky.

4-I have dual tanks. Wanted to replace 1 or both with larger 40 gallon tanks, but keep the stock selector valve. Anyone have any experience either good or bad with this? I will eventually be replacing the lift pump with an electric unit and remote filters. Would be interested in recommendations for different kits. I would prefer an all inclusive kit if possible, but would piece one together if that is the better way to go.

5-Realize this is not the proper forum for this but I will ask anyway. Will repost in drivetrain forum if necessary. I have a complete 97 2wd diesel with a running motor. As much as I love the 7.3 it seems the cummins is a more solid, more powerful and less complicated engine. What benefits does the 7.3 offer over the cummins? I was thinking of pulling the motor out of the 2wd and having it completely gone through, or if it's a better option I can sell the whole truck to finance a cummins build.

Thought it more concise to have 1 complete post. If forum rules dictate I repost questions unrelated to steering/suspension, please LMK and I will repost. Thanks to all for any advice you can provide. I love this truck and want to do all I can to make it the best it can be.

· Registered
563 Posts
Boy, it's been a while since I've posted! I don't have in depth knowledge on all of your questions, but I'll do my best.
1. I replaced my inner seals with superduty versions. Some material needs to be shaved off, but they are a better design. The internal piece spins with the axle shaft.
No shimming or anything like that. You will be removing the entire center section (carrier). It's heavy and can be a pain to get out. I used a come-a-long connected to another truck and slowly maintained constant tension. You do need to mark the races left, right, top and bottom. They need to be reinstalled exactly how they came out. Check torque specs for proper reinstallation. (80 ft lbs?)

2. Not much to add here. I've had my eye on Carrick's for a while (price just went up I believe). Clearly, he is a thorough, attention to detail kind of person. I will pay extra for that. Everyone that has his stuff seems to love it. I've never done any research on XRF besides ball joints. I own nothing from either company, so take it for what it's worth.

3. Replacing that many brake calipers? Stop buying from big parts stores and buy motorcraft? Hard to say because I haven't had issues.

4. You'll have to do your research on tanks. There are options, I'm just not familiar with them. I have hazy visions of a thread about someone putting a 6.7 era tank in their obs.
I installed a Mark Fugazzotto e-fuel. It's complete, with the exception of wiring, and easy to install. I used Strictly Diesel's wiring harness because I'm an imbecile when it comes to wiring.

5. Just my 2 cents. They are both great engines. History has proven that. Your truck was engineered to fit a 7.3. That makes life a lot easier in the grand scheme of things (although Carrick makes an entire Cummins swap kit!). When taken care of and with a few upgrades, they make decent power and they make it for a really long time! Especially if you're putting a freshened block in there! "Complicated" is a relative term. Albeit more complicated than the Cummins, the 7.3 is not a "complicated" engine by any stretch.

Hopefully I said something useful!

· Premium Member
2,204 Posts
A lot of what you are asking for: the answers will depend upon your ability and if you have access to a shop to work in. Do you have any helpers? What is the configuration of your truck? Lifted etc or stock?

1)I would not attempt this in your driveway. I would use the Dana/Spicer parts. Made for the axle.
2)if you are stock again stay with OEM, go adjustable if you have a lift.
3)stick with Ford warranty/OEM grade brakes on these big trucks.
4) S&B has some good tanks. Not sure for your specific model though.
5) there are kits to put a Cummins in the Ford, but I would leave the 7.3in there. Lots of people still driving around with a 7.3. Some have a million miles on them.
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