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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 03-07-2012, 05:39 PM
kirks71 kirks71 is offline
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1988 f250 4x4 IFS front axle

Hello, I have a 1988 Ford F250 4x4 Diesel 5 speed that I have been playing with as a project. It has the Dana 44 IFS front axle in it. I was wanting to change this to a solid axle. Does anyone know which solid front axles will fit into this truck as a bolt in, year wise or if any years are a bolt in (proper width, etc.) Thanks for your help, its greatly appreciated. Kirk
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:51 PM
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The Bronco guys have this down to a science: Solid Axle Swaps - FSB Forums
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:18 PM
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It's more likely that you have a D50 front end, but none the less, I've done the swap.
It's actually pretty straight forward. I used a Dana 44HD from a late 70's hi boy as a front axle. If you use a Dana 60 from a 4x4 F350 around the same year (it will be a king pin front end, which is tougher) it should pretty much be a bolt in deal. Anyway though, you need to get a straight axle, a drag link for it, some kind of steering set up (when I did mine we made tie rods for it that are thicker for off roading). When I put in my axle I also lifted the truck with F350 springs from a 90.
The downside of using the older axle in my truck, was that the spring perches were to close together on the 44HD and had to be moved over, but that was only about a 7 minute job.
All in all, a SAS will probably take you a couple days. When I did mine, it took me and two other guys (both of which had done the swap with hi boy axles before) about 2 and a half days to get her back on her wheels. Taking the old axle out took about 3 hours, maybe less. Taking the other axle and measuring it out and centering it, moving the perches over and such, took probably 4 or 5 hours. Bolting the axle itself in to the new U bolts and putting the bigger springs in took about 3 hours or so. Putting in the steering and drag link probably took 4 or 5 hours (that includes making the tie rods though). And it was good to go from there. I think it was definitely worth the time and effort to do. It rides way better than the D50 did
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-1989 F250 (RCLB) 4x4, 4speed NP435 tranny, SAS D44HD, 351w, 3.55 (L/S front and rear), F250/350 Hybrid Suspension, Pacesetter Shorty Headers, into 3" Summit Racing Street and Strip Mufflers, 235/85R16 Uniroyal Liberators.
-1994 Thunderbird LX, Moonlight Blue, 4.6L, Automatic, Bone Stock
-2012 Focus SE
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:24 PM
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Dana 60 from a 85 1/2 to 97 F-350 is a direct bolt in.
if you can, look for an axle out of a 85 1/2 to 91 F-350, this will be a kingpin axle, and then when you go for front end or brake parts all you will have to do is ask for parts for a 88 F-350 4X4
you will want to get all the parts associated with the front axle. track bar and mounting bracket, steering components, and springs if you can get them.
you can use the 250 springs, but it will ride better with the 350 springs.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:41 PM
kirks71 kirks71 is offline
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Thanks so much guys for your time and knowledge. sounds like the right way to go.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNR22 View Post
It's more likely that you have a D50 front end,
Not true. only way to get a dana 50 in this year truck from the factory was to have an extended cab. all reg cab f250s came with a ttb dana 44hd, even the diesels.
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1989 F250 4x4, 351W, ZF S542, 4:10s, Upgraded to Dana 60 SFA, 4" suspension lift, 33"s for street fun!
1993 F350 4x4, 7.3L N/A, ZF S547, 4:10s, 285/75/16 recaps
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:03 PM
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What years is that true for? My 89 had a D50.
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-1989 F250 (RCLB) 4x4, 4speed NP435 tranny, SAS D44HD, 351w, 3.55 (L/S front and rear), F250/350 Hybrid Suspension, Pacesetter Shorty Headers, into 3" Summit Racing Street and Strip Mufflers, 235/85R16 Uniroyal Liberators.
-1994 Thunderbird LX, Moonlight Blue, 4.6L, Automatic, Bone Stock
-2012 Focus SE
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:07 PM
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Not true. only way to get a dana 50 in this year truck from the factory was to have an extended cab. all reg cab f250s came with a ttb dana 44hd, even the diesels.
nope. the 2 88 F250 regular cab diesels i had had Dana 50's in them.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:17 PM
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There was a long drawn out thread on here before on what triggered whether or not a F250 got a D44 or D50. I do not remember the details, but long story short it is best to just look at the hubs to figure out what you have. Ford seems to have no real rhyme or reason in the methodology from year to year or gas versus diesel and other factors.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:56 PM
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Thank you gentlemen. I knew I wasn't crazy because I have seen both combinations. I figured that the Diesel combo automatically had a D50 though. Thanks for clearing it up.
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-1989 F250 (RCLB) 4x4, 4speed NP435 tranny, SAS D44HD, 351w, 3.55 (L/S front and rear), F250/350 Hybrid Suspension, Pacesetter Shorty Headers, into 3" Summit Racing Street and Strip Mufflers, 235/85R16 Uniroyal Liberators.
-1994 Thunderbird LX, Moonlight Blue, 4.6L, Automatic, Bone Stock
-2012 Focus SE
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Rebel View Post
Not true. only way to get a dana 50 in this year truck from the factory was to have an extended cab. all reg cab f250s came with a ttb dana 44hd, even the diesels.
Not true at all. Yes, you automatically got the Dana 50 with the extended cab but you also got it with the snowfighter package even with a regular cab.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:41 PM
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Ford seems to have no real rhyme or reason in the methodology from year to year or gas versus diesel and other factors.
What I should have said was I have never seen, in person or on the internet, an 87-91 reg cab truck with a dana 50 axle from ford. Every reg cab ive run across in junk yards, at truck pulls, and randomly running around has had the d44hd. I know i havnt seen it all, just waiting for proof im wrong

GNR, do you have any pics of your truck from before you swapped the axle?
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1989 F250 4x4, 351W, ZF S542, 4:10s, Upgraded to Dana 60 SFA, 4" suspension lift, 33"s for street fun!
1993 F350 4x4, 7.3L N/A, ZF S547, 4:10s, 285/75/16 recaps
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue Rebel View Post
GNR, do you have any pics of your truck from before you swapped the axle?
I'll do a little bit of digging and see if I can find one.
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-1989 F250 (RCLB) 4x4, 4speed NP435 tranny, SAS D44HD, 351w, 3.55 (L/S front and rear), F250/350 Hybrid Suspension, Pacesetter Shorty Headers, into 3" Summit Racing Street and Strip Mufflers, 235/85R16 Uniroyal Liberators.
-1994 Thunderbird LX, Moonlight Blue, 4.6L, Automatic, Bone Stock
-2012 Focus SE
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:08 AM
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Kewl, thanks. Not doubting, just never seen one in person, or even a pic of one.
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1989 F250 4x4, 351W, ZF S542, 4:10s, Upgraded to Dana 60 SFA, 4" suspension lift, 33"s for street fun!
1993 F350 4x4, 7.3L N/A, ZF S547, 4:10s, 285/75/16 recaps
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:22 AM
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I found 2 pictures of it before the swap, and neither one are from the front of it. It's actually the 2 pictures that were on craigslist when I bought it.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Which is a lot different from this
Click the image to open in full size.
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-1989 F250 (RCLB) 4x4, 4speed NP435 tranny, SAS D44HD, 351w, 3.55 (L/S front and rear), F250/350 Hybrid Suspension, Pacesetter Shorty Headers, into 3" Summit Racing Street and Strip Mufflers, 235/85R16 Uniroyal Liberators.
-1994 Thunderbird LX, Moonlight Blue, 4.6L, Automatic, Bone Stock
-2012 Focus SE
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:22 AM
 
 
 
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