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Too many broncos!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Figured I would document my road to SAS. Sick of fighting the TTB, sick of the ever changing camber and ride height issues.. and besides, what else am i going to do? ;)

anyway here is what i'm starting with: 1978 Bronco D44 bought for $50, its been sitting in a field in the middle of Colorado for a long time, I think its in pretty good shape...

I have already stripped off the stock radius arms, guts and will be cleaning it up next to see what I have.



I have a long way to go.. have only begun to acquire parts for the swap but will post up what i have as I go.

I have seen many other D44 and always with this bolt removed. I have cranked on it and used PB Blaster but not sure this is coming out. Anyone have some advice?



Here be the Shopping List! (UPDATED)

Front Dana 44 Parts and Plans
ARB Locker ($720) (Installed)
4.88 Gears and Pinon ($220)(Installed)
High Steer Arms ($200?)(Installed)
Chevy Flat Top Knuckles ($150) (Installed)
Hardware for high steer arms ($50?) (Installed)
Deaver Front Coils ($180) (Installed)
Big bearing Spindles ($100) (Installed)
Chevy Rotors (Installed)
Chevy Calipers (Installed)
Radius Arms (Installed)
Steering (Installed)
Adjustable Coil Buckets (Installed)
Upper Shock Mount (Installed)
Shocks - single Bilstein 7100's 365/80 valving - 250 PSI (Installed)
Warn Premium Hubs ($220) (installed)
D44 Overhaul Kit ($224) (used and installed)
Diff Cover ($100)(Installed)
Extended Brake lines (Installed)
Tapped 94 steering box for hydro assist (Installed)
PSC 1.5 x 8 Ram, mounting kit and high pressure lines ($260) (Installed)
Track bar mount (Installed)
Track bar ends (Installed)
Steering rods track bar (Installed)
Radius Arm Ballistic joints (Installed)

Rear Dana 60 Parts and Plans
35 Spline axles ($350) (moser 35 spline installed)
35 Spline ARB Locker ($800) (installed)
4.88 Gears and Pinon ($280) (installed)
Rear disk brake conversion kit ($320) (installed)
Rear Diff Cover ($100) (installed)
Shocks - Bilstein (keeping 5100's for now moving lower shock mount up 1.5"-2")
D60 Round Yoke ($94) (installed)
Rear Hefty shackle flip kit (Fabbed - Ready) - not needed, will be running 1" zero rates to level out the truck for now, probably go with Alcan springs in the long run and better shocks.

Misc
RCV Performance Axles and Joints from RCV Performance ($1,285)
 

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Cranked on it how? If those are the only threads on it I don't see how it could be threaded into the piece it is through. Maybe it's pressed in?

Anyways, I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong, as I know you will) that is the original panhard bar mount? If so, if it isn't reusable in a panhard sense, why not use it as a strong mount for a steering stabilizer or hydro assist?
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
ya that's what i thought, it seems to be to be pressed in, maybe rusted in more like it.. but just wanted to make sure,

I have lots of research to do and it's actually quite fun but decided to start this thread to give me some motivation and to keep track of my build.
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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17,038 Posts
ya that's what i thought, it seems to be to be pressed in, maybe rusted in more like it.. but just wanted to make sure,

I have lots of research to do and it's actually quite fun but decided to start this thread to give me some motivation and to keep track of my build.
take your time. That is probably an original bolt, it's rusted in good. Don't go smashing it side to side. heat and PB, there is no press in. And then you can replace it with a nice grade 8 and some antisieze.

 

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Heavy and slow fun
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1,152 Posts
You sure you dont want to run that TTB for a while more? Have it chew up tires some more,have it aligned 2 or 3 more times for nothing? :haha
Right on Chris. You need any help....you can give me a shout anytime or if you just want to look at mine.
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You sure you dont want to run that TTB for a while more? Have it chew up tires some more,have it aligned 2 or 3 more times for nothing? :haha
Right on Chris. You need any help....you can give me a shout anytime or if you just want to look at mine.
Thanks dude! I recently just changed out my battery, the new one weighs a bit more then the old one.. and it's making my front end sag on one side by about 2" now, in addition the camber is negative on one side and positive on the other, sick of fighting it. not so much the sag.. its just the fact that any little thing causes the front end to become all wacky, which in turn is ripping right through my tires..

A little update, picked up a couple more pieces:





 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
take your time. That is probably an original bolt, it's rusted in good. Don't go smashing it side to side. heat and PB, there is no press in. And then you can replace it with a nice grade 8 and some antisieze.

I think we are going cut it off completely and build a new lower track bar mount. I'm going to run the Chevy high steer setup, and i know from your experience and others i will have a clearance issue anyway with the current placement...

Shado a quick question, iam debating on keeping the 5 5x5 bolt pattern or going 8 lug.. i have read the pros and cons, but what have you found to be the truth as far as wheel/tire combos, availability, price and selection? I guess from my quick look around i would be running a 16" rim at that point as well as it doesn't look like the selection of 15" rims is non to stellar.. honestly i will probably running a steel rim for the foreseeable future so might be ok...


I have a line on a Dana 60 out of 94 f-350 Van.. full float, with tone ring and sensor for vss.. only 34k miles on it.. no rust, guys wants $350 was going to offer $300 IF its not a 16 spline... trying to get the BOM number from him so i can look it up. Anyway, most likely i will have to run 8 bolts if i go this direction, i was originally going to truss and beef up a extra 8.8 i have in the garage and run that, however regardless I will be doing a complete tear down and rebuild to whatever axle goes in the rear...

Thoughts?
 

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Heavy and slow fun
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1,152 Posts
You need to be aware of the wheel bolt patterns.Ford is a 8-170mm on the super dootie but not sure about the van. Vans also have odd lengths sometimes. 1994 Van....probably ok but check the width. You might be able to get a later axle with disc brakes.
 

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Too many broncos!
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Discussion Starter #11
This is what i know about it.

Dana 60 rear axle that was removed from a 1994 Ford E350 1 ton passenger van. The axle is the full floater with the 8x6.5 wheel bolt pattern, ratio is 3.54,The axle was unbolted so both the hydrolic lines and E-brake cables are still attached and completely usable. Nothing was cut, This is an ABS axle so it has the factory sensor on it for the tone ring. WMS to WMS measurement is somewhere around 65 inches
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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If you check that axle out, spend the time and pull a shaft. That could be one of the newer 60's with the bigger spindles (in order to accomodate 35 spline baby!!). That would make the axle very very nice.

If you go this route, I have a set of (4) 8 lug 15x8 steelies I'd sell you real cheap. Would look great on your rig!:toothless:beer

Edit: oh, it definitely should not be 16 spline. Pretty sure any of the newer applications that were fullfloat were all 30 spline, with some 35 in the more heavy duty applications (like 1 ton vans). that 3.54 ratio makes me think this is a D61 with35spline. As I recall we used to shun these since no one knew if the wheelbase would work (65" is close, my 60 I think is 66", just wider than an 8.8), plus there was no higher gear offering. But now they make like a thick gear for it for numerically higher ratios and all the stuff is the same as any other D60 (except you'd need to buy a locker for a 35 spline D60)!!! this would make a great axle for tires in the 38-40" range, you'd have great clearance, light weight (with the disc brake kit), and plenty strong for those tires.


double edit:

on the 8 lug question and tires/rims, I have some experience here :toothless

There really isn't great availability on 16 or 16.5 stuff in either rim choices or tire sizes if you are picky and looking for very particular items.

15" there is still good selection, it used to be better 5 yrs ago.

17" is where it's at now, especially aluminum wheels. But IMO having just slapped some new 37's on, you need this big of a tire or you end up with the biggy wheel look with tire sizes less than 37". I'm still getting used to my new look vs. having 37x12.5x15's.

I still like my choice of going chevy 8 lug due to having the exact same rotors, calipers, front/rear (this would not be true if you want an Ebrake setup, caliper is of course different, not sure if the pads would be). You can do 15" wheels but would need to grind the calipers a bit, it's a close fit. 16's would fit with no grinding if you can find a wheel choice you like. Which is why I recommend just bumping to 17's and getting more selection. I mentioned my 15 wheels for sale only because if you have new tires now this would save you that expense.
 

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Too many broncos!
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Discussion Starter #13
just got an email from the guy:

" believe when I ran the BOM last year it stated it was a 35 count. I think all of the Dana 60 full floaters that were put in the E350 1-ton vans came with 35 spline shafts. "

told him i would like to check it out and probably pick it up today or tomorrow..
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
If you check that axle out, spend the time and pull a shaft. That could be one of the newer 60's with the bigger spindles (in order to accomodate 35 spline baby!!). That would make the axle very very nice.

If you go this route, I have a set of (4) 8 lug 15x8 steelies I'd sell you real cheap. Would look great on your rig!:toothless:beer
ha sounds good.. iam running a set of steelies.. and honestly for what i do with my rig they are perfect.. no bling all bang :)


Edit: oh, it definitely should not be 16 spline. Pretty sure any of the newer applications that were fullfloat were all 30 spline, with some 35 in the more heavy duty applications (like 1 ton vans). that 3.54 ratio makes me think this is a D61 with35spline. As I recall we used to shun these since no one knew if the wheelbase would work (65" is close, my 60 I think is 66", just wider than an 8.8), plus there was no higher gear offering. But now they make like a thick gear for it for numerically higher ratios and all the stuff is the same as any other D60 (except you'd need to buy a locker for a 35 spline D60)!!! this would make a great axle for tires in the 38-40" range, you'd have great clearance, light weight (with the disc brake kit), and plenty strong for those tires.
well he swears up and down its a D60.. he seems to know his stuff so we will see, i will have my phone with me to look up any numbers i need to, but from what i have seen the 61's were mated to a bit earlier vehicles..

From Wikipedia:

"A variation of the Dana 60 known as a Dana 61 was made to accommodate gear ratios that allowed for better fuel mileage. This was done as a direct result of the 1973 oil crisis. A 3.07:1 gear ratio was common for these axles and unachievable in a regular Dana 60. To allow for the different gearing, the Dana 61 had a greater pinion offset. This offset meant that a different carrier and a different ring and pinion had to be used. The Dana 61 was made in semi-float and full-float axles for select 4x2 Ford 3/4 Ton and 1 Ton Pickups and Vans from 1974 - 1987. A Dana 61 front axle was selectively used in Dodge 4x4 3/4 Ton and 1 Ton pickups from 1987 - 1993. Although 3.00:1 and 3.07:1 gear sets are possible from a Dana 61, lower gear sets (4.56:1 on down) are not."


double edit:

on the 8 lug question and tires/rims, I have some experience here :toothless

There really isn't great availability on 16 or 16.5 stuff in either rim choices or tire sizes if you are picky and looking for very particular items.

15" there is still good selection, it used to be better 5 yrs ago.

17" is where it's at now, especially aluminum wheels. But IMO having just slapped some new 37's on, you need this big of a tire or you end up with the biggy wheel look with tire sizes less than 37". I'm still getting used to my new look vs. having 37x12.5x15's.

I still like my choice of going chevy 8 lug due to having the exact same rotors, calipers, front/rear (this would not be true if you want an Ebrake setup, caliper is of course different, not sure if the pads would be). You can do 15" wheels but would need to grind the calipers a bit, it's a close fit. 16's would fit with no grinding if you can find a wheel choice you like. Which is why I recommend just bumping to 17's and getting more selection. I mentioned my 15 wheels for sale only because if you have new tires now this would save you that expense.
Well I have made up my mind on the 8 lug, i will go that route and I will have to convert the rear to disc brakes if i want to anyway, so i can wait on rim size for the time being...

Thanks for the info really helps!

EDIT: "Weighs in near 500lbs"

great.. well i can get it in the back of the bronco.. question is can i get it out! ha
 

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Will we be seeing some new Hefty Fab stuff under there.



. But IMO having just slapped some new 37's on, you need this big of a tire or you end up with the biggy wheel look with tire sizes less than 37". I'm still getting used to my new look vs. having 37x12.5x15's.
Not to hijack but, Where's the pics Shadow.
 

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Uh, I highly doubt a battery (no matter what size) will cause your bronco to lean to one side by 2 inches.

:histerica:histerica:histerica
 

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Too many broncos!
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Uh, I highly doubt a battery (no matter what size) will cause your bronco to lean to one side by 2 inches.

:histerica:histerica:histerica

well i already had a "lean" to the passenger of about 1" before i swapped in one of these:



Here is a better photo i found..



My old battery (traditional) was spewing acid out the side after the last few wheeling trips, sears warrantied it for 100% of the cost. So for $50 more I picked up a Marine Battery, Platinum PM-1 - Group Size 31M, 1150CCA Closed Cell battery, but it weighs 75lbs...

and that pretty much pushed the passenger side down close to another inch.. maybe less but enough to screw with the camber... regardless i have no way to recover the sag without moving my coil towers up.. i thought about getting 6" Deaver springs... but.. well that's why this thread was started i guess ;)
 

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just got an email from the guy:

" believe when I ran the BOM last year it stated it was a 35 count. I think all of the Dana 60 full floaters that were put in the E350 1-ton vans came with 35 spline shafts. "

told him i would like to check it out and probably pick it up today or tomorrow..
I don't believe this is correct. The FF D60's from Econolines have 32spline shafts in my experience, but the spindles are already large enough to accommodate 35spline aftermarket axle shafts.
 
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