Most of this article covers the rebuild
of a Dana 60 (donated from a F-350) including Detroit Locker and its
installation into a F-250, IFS to Solid front
axle, other topics discussed include rear disk brake conversion for the Ford 10.25 full float axle, MileMarker
Winch, power steering pump, and cool front bumper :).
From 1980 to 1996 all F-250s had Independent
Front Suspensions (IFS), early F-350 also had IFS front suspensions.
In 1986 Ford started putting Dana 60 solid front axles (the monobeam) in
F-350s but F-250s still had IFS with either Dana 44-HD or Dana 50 axles.
The Dana 44 is considered too weak when running 35″ tires and a locker,
the Dana 50 has larger axle shafts than the 44 but only slightly larger
ring gear and suffers from lack of available aftermarket parts (limit of
4.10 gear ratio, no detroit locker). One alternative to the aftermarket
parts problem is to use a Dana 44 3rd member from a F-150 (if you have
the Dana 50) with a Detroit locker modified to accept the Dana 50 30 spline
axles, which any good drive train parts supplier should be able to get.
But you’ll probably blow up the diff if running 35″ tires.
Unlike the coil spring F-150 the F-250
has a front leaf spring suspension which is identical to the leaf spring
set up found on F-350s. This is where things get interesting, if
you can find a wrecked F-350 from 1986-91 you can toss your Dana 50 IFS
(and the comfy ride) and replace it with the bullet proof Dana 60 from
the F-350. 1992-96 may benefit from the swap as well, but I believe
the frame dimensions changed for those years so I can’t say for sure if
the spring pads, steering linkage, etc… will interchange. However
after a few minutes with a tape measure you’ll know.
You’ll need all the steering linkage from
the pitman arm (including the pitman arm) on down, the track bar and cross
member bracket, sway bar and brackets (make sure to get the ones that bolt
to the frame), one u-bolt bracket (the other is welded to the axle housing)
and driveshaft. Make sure the goon cutting the axle out of the truck
is careful, he’ll be tempted to cut through the track bar bracket and/or
bar and sway bar rods. If the yard wants too much for the steering
linkage it maybe cheaper to just buy it all new, most likely it will be
worn and need replacing any way.
If you plan on a gear change and locker
the time to do it is before you install the new Dana 60. Its much
easier to install and setup the gears with the differential in an open
spot, than laying underneath your truck. In fact I would never attempt
to do it with the differential installed.
Some 1986-96 F-250s came equipped with
a semi float c-clip Ford 10.25 rear axle, earlier years had Dana axles.
Semi float axles have a lower weight rating and don’t fail gracefully.
The wheel will fall off when an axle is snaped. With a full float
axle you can remove the broken axle and continue driving.
Another draw back is that there is no locker available for the semi float
(correction, you can get a Lockright but this isn’t recommended for serious
off road use with 35″ tires, it isn’t strong enough especially for the
rear). Full float 10.25 axles came on all 1986-96 F-350s and some
F-250s. You can recognize full float axles by the large hub, no hub
then its not a full float. My F-250 had a semi float axle, out it
I’ve tried to keep track of all the costs
so you can get a more accurate idea of how much the swap will really cost
you , not included are special tools bought during the swap. Ever tried
to remove an upper king pin? you need a 7/8 hex (male) socket with a 3/4
drive. The pin takes at least 700 ft lb. of torque to remove, I had
an 8 foot bar attached to the 3/4 drive socket wrench to break it loose.
The one socket cost $55.
If you are happy with the stock gears (4.10
or 3.55) in the Dana 60 and they match your rear axle and you don’t want
a locker than you’ll save a lot.
Front Axle – Dana 60
|ITEM||Part Number||Price (Canadian)||Price US ($1= $1.5 Can)|
|Used Dana 60||-||$600||$400|
|Right Tie Rod (shorter)||Moog DS1068||$177.17||$118|
|Tie Rod Left Inner (From above item To
|Ford E7TZ 3304 B||$100.00||$66.67|
|Tie Rod Left Outer, note this has the
same part number as above item, cheaper at Ford
|Percision Gear Dana 60 4.56 Gears||Drive
Train Direct PG60D/456R
D60 35 SP 4.56 Up
Train Direct DL225SL-29A
Train Direct SA35-2034
|Dana 60 Axle tube seal||Drive
Train Direct DS36487
|U-bolts / Nuts Front||-||$27.68||$18.45|
|2 Front Hub Seal||ZD 06-415960||$24.98||$16.65|
|2 Front Axle U Joints||ZD 06-374 (greaseble)||$118.76||$79.17|
|2 Spindle Bearing Kit||Canadian
Tire 93-1300-8 or SBK3
|Upper King Pin||Ford D6TZ 3115 A||$25.42||$16.94|
|Lower King Pin race||Ford CITZ 3126 A||$14.50||$9.66|
|Lower King Pin Bearing||Ford D6TZ 3113 A||$19.00||$12.67|
|Lower King Pin Cap||Ford D8TZ 3123 A||$7.35||$4.9|
|Upper King Pin Seal||Ford E5TZ 3254 A||$11.19||$7.46|
|Lower King Pin Seal||Ford E5TZ 3332 A||$21.30||$14.2|
|Upper King Pin Spring. Note do NOT
buy this at Ford, they want over $45!
|Upper King Pin Bushing||Spicer 41886||$5.98||$3.96|
|General Motors Gear Marking Compound||GM (ah!) Part
1052351 Compound 08800
|Drive Shaft Shortened 1″||- Labour||$32.00||$21.33|
|Drive shaft U-joint||5-213X or UJ270||$23.41||$15.60|
|Total||-||$2527.01 (holly *&@^!)||$1684.50|
Rear Axle Ford 10.25 Full Float
|Used (blown) 10.25 Axle||-||$125|
|TSM Disk Brake Conv.||-||$448.85||$299*|
|2 1980 Chev 1/2 ton calipers||Canadian
Tire 13-2072-6, 13-2073-4 or
|$77.98 ($38.99 each)||$51.98|
|2 3-9/16 Clamp – Holds bracket for brake
|$1.98 (.99 each)||$1.32|
Tire 13-0122-0 or D526
|Flexible Brake line From 78 Pontiac Perisian
w/350 (1 only, had one good used one)
Tire 13-4512-2 or BH36797
|2 Brake line clip (U shaped), flex to
|Jamar Brake Lock (for parking brake)||JC
|Superior Ring & Pinion Gear Set||Drive
Train Direct SAF102456
Train Direct SA35-2046
Train Direct DL225SL-56A
|10.25 Axle Oil Slinger||Ford – D5AZ 4670 A||$2.21||$1.47|
|2 Hub Seal, Note I would go with the Ford
Seals, not only cheaper but better made. But I had already installed the
Tire 13-8261-0 or Ford F4TZ 1177 B ($20.82 each)
|2 – 2″ Wheel Spacer||Performance Wheel & Tire
|$285.00||$190.00* ($95 each)|
* Bought from US distributor, all other
parts were bought from local Canadian sources. Note about Canadian
prices, while I provide a rough conversion to US dollars you may find that
the US prices above are lower than what you can find. That is because
generally a 5 dollar part in Canada is a 5 dollar part in the US, well
for common parts anyway.