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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Couple of years ago I found and bought a complete F350 2008 Dana 60 front end - chassis. Along with 2002 7.3 4x4 4r100 and parts. Also a 2003 electric shift transfer case.

Well we got pushed into an unscheduled start to our 4x4 conversion two weeks ago.

While driving home from Salt Lake City three weeks ago a transmission cooler line pooped off on the highway coming into Saint George at 70 mph. After getting off the highway, fixing the line and replacing the 9 quarts of fluid that it pumped out, I was able to nurse it home. But it was not good and needed rebuilding.

So while it was getting rebuilt I had the tranny 2wd tail shaft replaced with the 4x4 tail shaft I had along with the rear housing and transfer case installed. I was also able to get the Banks converter that was in the truck rebuilt with new clutches.

So now the hard part of the conversion, I can not do is done. Next comes the front axle swap from 2wd to 4wd.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
This is the front end I bought three years ago. Took it to a do it yourself truck wash and cleaned it up. Took it home and pulled it apart. Did the usual task of drilling out the rivets and taking the needed mounts off the frame.

Then cut up the frame and scraped it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
While the transmission was out of the truck I put in a new flex plate as the old one had four teeth that the starter was grinding down.

Also had a new rear seal put in as it was just seating there exposed. Mechanic said the seal was dry - but I already had the new seal so it went in.

Currently the truck has 262,568 miles on it.
 

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Good project documentation... keep it up, helps other DIYs see that nearly anyone can do most of what needs done to these trucks with basic tools and sheer will-power!

I've thought about the later model front suspension, but I'm pretty invested in my current trucks, having 4 of them that all share common spare parts that I keep on the shelf, wheel bearings, brake parts, tie rods, etc... hate to have to start a new collection!

Good luck on your project!
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Dieselcrawler:

Thanks - if you have more then one keeping them all the same is the way to go.

Too me it just seemed easier to unrivet the 2wd spring and shock mounts ant bolt the 4x4 one right back in the same place. Also everyone says the coil spring front ends ride smoother and have a tighter turning radius. This helped my decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well getting pushed into the front axle swap sort of too, now. While on our trip to Baja California, total of 1,533 miles with about 350 to 400 off road, the original power steering box decided to take a pee. Sort a bummed that it only lasted 21 years and 265,400 miles, I mean whats up with that?



Now that it is leaking it is time to replace it and up grade to the 2008 steering gear so I went ahead and purchased I Red Head unit, now just need to get to work.
 

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Very cool upgrade going on! Keep the updates coming!

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I ordered these radius arms today from "Superlift" - I like that you do not need to add radius arm lowering mounts.

I am going to be piecing out the suspension parts as I need them. The front suspension came with an aftermarket heavy duty adjustable track bar. I am thinking a 4" lift will be all I need - I hope? Lower bolt on axle has an adjustable eccentric system for adjusting caster.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
By the way - any one in So Cal with a 2wd wanting to do a 6" lift I will be selling my complete front suspension with Fabtech lift.

1999 F250 2WD complete front suspension up for sale. It has a Fabtech 6" lift, front end was rebuilt 5 years ago - new ball joints, front end has adjustable upper ball joint fittings, bearings/seals, Polyurethane I-beam bushings, calipers, rotors, all new tie rods/ends. Complete front suspension and all Fabteck 6" lift parts/mounts that came with the Fabtech kit as a group -

Not sure if I need to keep the brake lines. The Bilstien shocks are no go - too old.

pick up only. Riverside area southern Calif. $600.00 or best offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So it is 2/26/2020 and as of today I have been working on the 2008 4WD front axle swap since 2/15/2020.

I average about 7 to 8.5 hours a day working on it, lot is a lot of up and down and mostly slow work. Being 67 I do not move as fast as I once did and drilling out rivets and enlarging holes in the chassis is rough on the wrist.

Now that I have all my whining out of the way here comes the - how I am doing it with pictures and hopefully good usable data. Not going to repeat info and how to's that are already on line in great detail just going to say I did this and that.

OK

To start with I pulled the 99 power steering box out - witch meant removing the DS battery, AFE air intake, DS charge tube. I also removed the steering shaft from the column to the steering box. I did this because the new steering gear box is for the 2008 and may 99 coupler/steering box input shaft are not the same.


While removing the shaft from the inside of the column I noticed the dust boot on the hydro-boost for the brakes was wet. So while I have things apart I decided to take it out and have it rebuilt. I took it to a local shop I have used in the past - Karps Custom Power Brake Shop in Upland Ca.
-Great people excellent service they ship nation wide, you send yours in they fix it and send it back.
Custom Brake Shop | Karps Power Brake Service
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now that the power steering stuff is out of the way and out for repair.

I got the truck up in the air so I could remove the 2WD suspension. Again it has/had a Fabech 6" lift on it when we bought it.

Witch means a good number of the stock rivets for the suspension had already been removed and replaced with bolts to install the Fabtech lift kit pieces.

First came the remove of the drag link - tie rods and sway bar links. Then the "I" beams, radius arms with the front spindles and everything else. With the 99 2WD the springs are bolted to the top shock mount and the I beams so not much, just tedious.

Moving the front suspension assembly around is rough as they as a unit or heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Now that both front suspension groups were off of the truck and out of the way. I got busy unbolting the Fabtech mounts that were bolted in, thought this would be quick and easy. Well almost true. :haha: But still I got it done.

Time to check the 2008 mounting bracket and compare their mounting holes (sizes and placements) to the ones in the 99 chassis. Not looking as easy as just bolting them up in place.

First the holes in the radius arm mounts for the 2008 were .610" (right at 5/8") with powder coating in them. While the somewhat mating holes in the chassis were between 5/16" and 3/8" and not perfectly inline with those in the mounts. :crying: So much for a quick bolt on.

Side NOTE: After 13 years or so in R&D of after market truck accessories, I am well aware build tolerances in frames of Plus or Minus 1/16" to 1/4". Especially when it comes to the placement of mounting holes. This is why everything like bumpers have SLOTS for mounting holes, this allows the assembler the ability to adjust the fit as needed per vehicle.

I found the 2008 spring mounting brackets to have 3/8" to 7/16" holes (not really round) while my 99 frame holes were 5/16" to 3/8" holes.

So for the radius arm mounts I planned/decided on opening them all up to 5/8" holes - did not worry about if they lined up or not at this time.

For the spring mounting brackets I planned on opening them all up to 1/2" and again not worrying about how they aligned with each other at this point.

Took my shopping list to my local "MEN CANDY STORE" McFaddendale Industrial Hardware store. Going to this place can be painful on the wallet as there are SO MANY COOL THINGS THERE !! >:)

All the hardware I bought is Grade 8 bolts, grade 8 SAE washers and the nuts are Steel Type Top (crushed) Lock Nut. While there I also picked up some new 5/8", 1/2", 17/32", 9/16", 1/4" and 3/8" drill bits, mine are really used up. I figured with all the holes I had to drill I need good bits! :grin: Bill total - can not say wife may read this....

So the count:
16 grade8 5/8" x 1-1/2" bolt - 2 extra
36 grade8 5/8" SAE washers - 4extra
18 grade8 top locking lock washers ones with crushed top to pinch bolt threads - 4 extra

14 grade8 1/2" x 1-1/2" bolts - 2 extra
32 grade8 SAE washers - 12 extra
16 grade 8 top locking lock nuts

Let the drilling and wrist tweaking begin... :frown2:
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
More picture for above text.

And note; The 2008 spring/shock mounts have a dimple formed in them that is pushed out about 1/2" that fits into a dimple in the 2008 frame. The 99 frame is flat at his point so I used a 2" hole saw and cut it out/off.

When I got the stock 99 springs mounts off the frame I found some rust. I chipped and ground at it and then painted it up. More time/hours of work to do it as right as I had drive to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
More picture of frame and parts.

So with the mounting of the 2008 brackets to the 99 frame. two to three holes matched enough to bolt the brackets in place.

As far as the other holes went some were close and others not so close. As well as the radius arm brackets for the 2008 had more hole the 99 did not.

I bolted the brackets up with the hole I could and then used the brackets as drill jigs to open up or drill the others as needed.

This used up drill bits fast as it was.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Here are some pictures of the Drivers side Radius arm mounting bracket installed. It was slow going drilling out the frame holes to 5/8" with the fuel pump, fuel lines and wiring harness all there. But I got it done with no damage to any of these.

To help make sure I cut a piece of 5/8" heater hose I had and put it over the drill bit to act as a stop. I left 3/8" of drill bit sticking out of the end. I also stuck a piece of 1/8" plate out inside the frame shielding the stuff.

I still have one hole on each side to drill in the frame at the top rear. But I have decided to do these at a later date when I can get the truck up on a left.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Drivers side spring mounting bracket added a little more work to the install then the Passenger side had. As the track bar mounting bracket mounts over the front of the spring bracket at the front.

The frame for the 2008 has a different shape to it than my 1999 frame. Basically the 2008 bends down/gets wider at the spring mount while the 1999 stays flat here.

I cut and pushed in a piece of 3/16" thick steel. I did this so when I finally bolted up the track bar mount the frame would be up against the spring bracket. Because in the final assembly the spring bracket is pinched between the frame and track bar mount. I welded the spacer to the spring mount bracket so it would not move or fall out.

In the pieces some of the orange is surface rust and some is mud from Baja needing washed off still.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
As mentioned above the 2008 frame and 1999 frames are not the same in the spring mount to steering gear box mount area.

This required some work and fitting time for determining what I need to do to get the track bar mount installed.

I figured out I needed to add to my 1999 frame to match the 2008 track bar mount. With my past work experience this was not much mental work - the test fitting and fab part did take some time. I was made a lot easier as one of the companies I use to work for is only a couple of miles from home. Being on great terms with them all, still great friends with them. I was able to go and get a piece of 1/4" steel cut and bent to size and shape as needed.

I used a hole saw to drill out a 1-1/4" hole in the 1999 frame to make room for the 2008 factory 14mm lock nut to fit between may addition and stock frame. I bolted the track bar mount in to my frame about 5 or so times marking holes and checking thing as I went forward.

NOTE: Over time I decided - came up with a "help/hack" for hole sawing in metal. With a 1/4" drill in the mandrel as the guide for the hole saw, you get a lot of issues and hole size changing going on. This occurs because the drill bit can still cut the side of the guide hole as the saw pushes it into the metal. SO: what I do is first drill a 1/4" hole in the metal to be hole sawed out. THEN I use a 1/4" drill blank as my guide in the mandrel instead of the supplied 1/4" drill bit. Try it - this really makes a difference.

I also had to drill two holes in the frame cross member for the track bar to mount to. I was lucky in that the 99 frame had one slot already in the correct place for one of the holes.

I used the 7/8" hole in the spring mount bracket as a guide to drill a 5/8" hole for the frame rear mount of the track bar mount.

Once I was sure it was all going together as planned - fit it all in and out of the frame a few times before the drilling and welding started. Basically it took a good day and a half's worth of planning work for me to get the track bar mounted to my frame.

If you have any questions - please ask I have a lot of pictures I am not posting.
 

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