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Discussion Starter #41
IT CAME OUT NICE.....

IT LOOKS A LITTLE HIGH IN THE FRONT.....BUT WITH NEW SPRINGS.....IT WILL PROBABLY NEED A COUPLE OF WEEKS TO SETTLE.....

GOOD JOB.....
Thank you it measures 1.5" higher then it was with the 6" lift 2WD suspension that was in the front. Still thinking/deciding if I really want it this high.
 

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Thank you it measures 1.5" higher then it was with the 6" lift 2WD suspension that was in the front. Still thinking/deciding if I really want it this high.
IF THOSE ARE NEW SPRINGS.....WITH A COUPLE OF WEEKS OF DRIVING IT SHOULD SETTLE DOWN ABOUT AN INCH.....
 
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Discussion Starter #43
So to get back to the swap:
After getting the driver’s side brake line worked out I went to the passenger side. It seemed that all that was needed was to put a 180* bend in the hard line, in the right place. Which like on the DS this would move the end of the hard line from the rear of the spring mount to the front of it.
After some thought on it I decided removing the spring/shock mount would make this a lot easier so I unbolted it from the frame. Took some measurements and put a 180* bend in the tube. I also bent the end out and down to meet the soft line stock 2008 brake line.
I drilled two holes for mounting these top brake line mounts on both sides of the chassis. A 3/8” hole for the 90* bent locking tab. With a ¼” hole for the bolt. I used an old shelf threading course thread sheet metal type bolts for this. It took some slow work getting them to cut into the thicker chassis metal but they worked great. NOTE: these bolts came out of a chassis somewhere, so they were meant for this type of use.
With the passenger side hard line in place and bolted to the old stock line, I bolted the passenger side spring/shock mount back to the chassis.
NOTE: I seem to have not taken a picture of the PS hard line bent with the mount off the chassis – sorry.

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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
I started the next day with going around under the truck and double checking ever nut and bolt.

I then set to work getting the front brakes functional. I was at a point of decided what front soft brake lines to go with. All the research I had done showed that about half of the 4.5” front lift kits used the shock front lines. I really wanted to go with longer braided stainless steel lines but opted to go with the stock rubber lines for now.

So with rebuilt calipers, new pads, new front rubber lines and new caliper hardware I set to assembling the front brakes. Got everything installed and started the bleeding process. The bleeding process did not go as usual. After a couple of hours of messing with the front calipers I discovered that the driver’s side caliper had a leaky bleeder valve, bottom was scared and would not seal in caliper. The vacuum bleeder would not build vacuum on the driver’s side. I thought my pump use bad, but decided to try the passenger side and it worked great there.

So I pinched off the rubber brake line with a pair of vise grips and ordered another DS rebuilt caliper. I also went to Napa and picked up some new bleeder valves. As I determined the rebuilder were using used ones.
So after a span of two days I was able to bleed the brakes and get them working.

Review or note about the rotors, they were rusty as was the whole front end. I used an abrasive wheel and hand drill to clean things up. When I did the rotors I discovered that they were almost new with no wear cuts or hot spots on them. In the pictures they look bad because I did not totally clean them to shinny surface.
I also cleaned the hub rotor mating surface and inside of rotors.

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Discussion Starter #45
I had settled on the ICON 4.5” front suspension for the build. The hardest decision was “what shocks to go with?” We use our truck of off grid – offroad camping. I had gone through a couple of pairs/brands of front Bilstein 5100 shocks with the 2WD front suspension. Dirt roads can shake your teeth and kill smaller body shocks. Even with the tires aired down to 25 PSI. So I gritted my teeth and through down the cash for ICON’s 2.5” adjustable shocks. I sure hope they are worth it!!!

I had to unbolt the track bar from the frame and lower the front axle down to the ground. I still could not get the springs into place, top spring center locking cone is pretty long. So I had to jack up the truck about another 1-1/2” more to get them on.

With the springs in place I jacked the axle back up to where I could reinstall the track bar to the frame. Once I had it bolted back on I jacked up the axle putting the full weight of the truck on the new springs. I then replaced the jack stands under the axle and installed the shocks. At this point working on the front end was getting a little cramped.

NOTE: When I opened the shocks and saw the heim joint bottom mounts and looking at the axles mounting bolt angles. I took as much caster out of the axle as I could using the Superlift adjusters on the radius arms.

After installing the front springs and shocks I loosened everything up again and put all the caster I could back in. The springs had a huge bow in them that did not look good.

NOTE: adjusting the Superlift caster cams in their radius arm with the shock and springs in place is not easy!!!

The daylight was coming to an end so I decided this was a great place to clean up and go in for a class of wine and start again tomorrow.

PLUS I WAS HURTING - have I said I am an older member of PS.com?

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FIRST.....GREAT PHOTOS.....KEEP THEM COMING.....

AND THAT IS A LOT OF BOW.....IT MAKES ME NERVOUS JUST LOOKING AT THE PHOTOS.....
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Thank you Getfurious.

I got rid of the bow in the spring. I had all the axle caster out of the axle the Superlift radius arms would remove, in the picture above.

I seem to not have taken a picture with the caster added back in. Currently the spring is straight.

Also after a couple of weeks the springs have settled about 1" lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
So looking back over my last two post, POST #44 has the bleeding the brakes issue with the bleeder valve in it. I actually did not get to bleeding the brakes until I had the ICON suspension fully installed and adjust on the truck.

So with the springs and shocks in place and the track bar and steering drag link adjusted, I installed new stock rubber flex brake lines. I did this because I was on a time crunch to get the truck drive able. We had tickets to go the show the truck at the FOUR DRIVE show March 7th at the Orange County Fair Grounds.

So the rest of the work is pretty much straight forward assembly stuff along the lines of installing new brake parts and bleeding the brakes. With the exception of the bad bleeder valve.


Once I was done with the brakes, suspension adjustments and triple checking all the mounting bolts and stuff. I went about BLEEDING the hydroboost - power steering system. I did the "Turn the wheels lock to lock 5 times each way. Than push the brake pedal down 6 to 8 times and start over" This was done with the front axle up on jack stands and the engine off. I did this process for about 40 minutes, one of the times after refilling the pump resevor I forgot to completely seat the cap. So I had a break from turning the wheel and pumping the brake pedal to clean up the mess!

At this point I sat down looked at my check list. I felt I was ready to put the wheels and tires on the truck and set the front end down on them.

Again I sat down and took it all in.

Check list still had stuff on it:

Reinstall AFE intake, filter, New Riff Raff silicone charge tubes and clamps, bumper, batter and battery cables. The I re checked the tranny cooler lines ans other lines I had installed to make sure they were not going rub and wear any place.

So at this point I felt ready to start the engine.

Truck did not!! I had been having trouble with the batteries since the first of January, Turns out they were both bad. They were 4yr batteries that were 4.5 years old. So I had to buy, full price, two new ones.

Our Old Girl should be happy for a long time with all the money and attention she has gotten in the last three weeks.

Engine did not run well for about 50 miles or so, was slow off of stop and tranny was sluggish in shifting. But after a couple of days of driving around the house she was back to her good old self.

I had not installed front driveshaft at this point, near did I get the front sway bar on. At first attempt it did not seem like the 2008 sway bar would fit. Task for a later time along with the drive shaft.

This post was a three day time frame, as I was slowing down and really wanting to make sure I did not forget anything.

Also because of my mistake with the power steering pump cap, the truck dripped fluid for a few days after getting it running.

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Discussion Starter #49
So after driving the truck about 140 miles or so, with no front sway bar or steering damper, thruck drive really nicely. No the street and on the freeway at 70 mph. Ride on the new front suspension was nice as is the turning radius. Seeing we are coming from a coil spring 2wd front suspension it is all about the same. New front shocks will not show their stuff till we get it off road.

Took it a couple of weeks ago and got a front end alignment on it. The suspension had settled about another 3/4" of an inch so felt it was good to do.

More pictures of the finish up work.

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TRUCK IS LOOKING GOOD.....

AND IT IS ALWAYS NICE TO HAVE AN ASSISTANT.....



GREAT PROJECT.....ENJOY THE 4X4 RIDE.....
 
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Discussion Starter #51
YES it is!

MY wife is great! We are a team - we have done MANY projects together around the house. Yard remodeling for the last 18 years and a total kitchen rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Just this week I had the front drive shaft rebuilt.

Should say "I HAD TO HAVE IT REBUILT". I went to install it last week and while moving it around I heard something clanking inside the main tube. I took it to the local drive shaft shop for them to fix. Turns out that a big thick washer usually welded to the axle end of the spline had falling off.

They said "it was the first one they had ever seen in all the years of doing drive shafts."

Me - "Of course it is, it is mine!"


So any the 4wd is almost ready to use, now I just need to work out getting the electric transfer case to shift.

Need to take a picture of the truck as it is now for you all.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
In "Hindsight" and Doing some reflection:

Would I do this again the same way?

I did a lot of research on line but what I found did not add up to what I have learned now that I am done. With posting the swap/build on the enter-web I have learned a LOT from your replies and replies from those in a PS facebook group. I will share these later on.

Answer - "Maybe not" Or "Maybe yes" - Not sure.

Because of the real time current knowledge of what it really takes to do this swap. And with what I have learned from others by posting what I was doing on social media. There are easier ways to do a 99-2003 2wd to 4wd swap with a coil spring front axle. The same applies to a 99-03 4x4 swap from leaf springs to coils.

HOWEVER - the reality of our swap and what we used was driven on how our circumstances/life played out.
Once the decision was made to convert our truck from 2wd to 4wd.

All things being the same, then Yes I would do it the same.

Our circumstances started with deciding to do the 2wd to 4wd conversion to our 99 F250 and not sell it and buy a 4x4 truck about 5 years ago. Why you my ask? Because we owned it – had 10 years. So I knew what was wrong with it and I had spent money maintaining it and replacing parts - some before they broke. I had also done a lot of personalizing stuff to it, building it into a camping vehicle.

My starting factors on what axle to buy:

First and really only factor was BUDGET:
  • So what was out there – what could I find to buy with the money I had.
  • What came with the axle, if anything
  • What would I have to buy to finish the axle swap
  • Do I have the tools and skill set to kit bash the swap – I do have the tools – skill ?
  • How long will it take me – our truck is my DD for the most part
So in a nut shell – conclusion for anyone:
  • What can you afford?
  • Do you have the tools already and skills to do it?
  • Once you buy it – IT IS WHAT YOU HAVE – stick with it.
  • So the best axle/suspension for your swap is what you can find and afford.
  • When do you start? – When you have as many of the parts you need – with the exception of what you need measurements after install for, to get the correct ones.
For us - I started looking on Craig’s list daily then weekly then every now and then. What I found was nothing filled my three simple things. Until about 7 months later when I ran across an ad for a complete 2008 F350 4x4 dully frame with running gear. So I texted seller about it, we agreed on a price and I drove to Phoenix Az to pick it up. I only needed the parts for a 4x4 conversion so when I arrived we cut the chassis behind the radius arm mounts and winched it up on the trailer.

He also had:
  • 7.3 4R100 4x4 tranny
  • 4 matching 17” wheels I would need for the bigger 2008 brakes. Big plus for us as we have an R/V trailer we use.
  • Front drive shaft
  • Transfer case mount – I thought – Turns out to have been for an older case with a power take off. Older as in only one set of mounting holes, did not have the holes for case without power take off.
  • I got it all for $1,400.00 = A SCORE TO ME!!!!
So we had most of the major FORD parts I would need to do the swap at home.

Still would have to buy:
  • Front lift kit suspension pieces to match the lift on the truck as a 2wd. (Need to install front axle and stock springs I got to know what to buy).
  • Possible new brake parts to replace worn out parts on axle I bought.
  • Rebuild my 2wd 4R100, which was going to be needed anyway. And convert it to a 4x4 4R100.
  • Buy a transfer case
  • Rebuild/size my rear drive shaft as needed for 4x4 (best to have transfer case on truck to measure and do this.
  • And I was sure other things would come to light.
I looked for a transfer case – manual ones in So Cal just did not seem to exist for less than $1000.00. I found a good low mileage electric shift one for $200.00 locally about a year later, so I bought it.

For me - this is what I found/had we could afford, and it took about 2 ½ years to get them all collected up. And then longer to get to it, I know the trans would cost a lot so was working on saving up for it.

Knowing what I know now:
* 2005 -2006 mounting brackets mount to the 1999 to 2003 frame with less over size drilling for bolts.
* There are some aftermarket bracket that claim to bolt up with no drilling needed. Issue with these is money if you have the money and want to safe time then I would buy them. Drill out the frame is no fun!
* The 2005-2006 track bar bracket seems to be a much easier install on the 1999-2003 frame. Not requiring you to make and weld on a frame extension as the 2008 bracket, as shown in my thread.
* If going from 2wd to 4wd buy a transfer case cross member that has the four TC mounting slots in it not one with only two.

HOPE this helps you help. More follow up to come.
 
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