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74 Dana 44 swap to 97 Dana 60

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  #1  
Old 04-23-2016, 10:31 PM
79finally 79finally is offline
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74 Dana 44 swap to 97 Dana 60

Here goes nothing.
I have a 74/79/76. The frame and drivetrain is originally a 74 F250 4x4. In the late 80s my dad was buying it wrecked from a guy. He worked on it for a while with the agreement there would be a title. While he had it, he took the wrecked body off and used his parts to rebuild. In the process he shortened the frame. No title could be found so he gave it back along with all the parts. It was never run again and I bought it 3 years ago for $100! I reworked one hub, rebuilt the carb, custom fuel tank, and bought used set of swampers with wheels. I have placed in every mud bog I have entered!! Enough bout the history.

Here is what I started with:
74 frame and axles
79 cab
79 460
76ish bed
4 speed, divorced 205, all 3 custom driveshafts.

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Now, where I'm going.
I just had the 460 rebuilt with goodies(the shop estimated 425-450hp). I have a C6 ready to go back together with all new clutches and manual reverse pattern valve body and the married 205 to go with it. I found and rebuilt a 97 dana 60, all new seals, new stub shaft, Warn hubs, Miller locker.

I am currently swapping in the Dana 60. As most know, the spring perches are wider on the newer axles. I have done a lot of reading and searching on the options to relocate the shackle mount. I have been running newer lift springs on the front already and don't want to go any higher. I have always pondered the idea of flipping the mounts to the outside of the frame. This is where the first line of the thread comes in, here goes nothin'. Tonight I slotted the frame for the inner shackle to drop through. Now for the pics.

I read the perches where ABOUT 2.5" wider each side, well here is proof, with the axle centered, from edge of locating pin to edge of the pad hole, 2.5"!!

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Starting width inner dimension outboard shackle to outboard shackle 35"

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After grinding the rivets and removing the mounts, I had a local spring guy put new bushings in. I mocked them up and with them spaced 1/4" temp with washers I have just under 40". Good enough for me.


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As she sits tonight, one frame rail slotted but the shackle needs a needs a little breathing room around it. I will be using 1/4" to plate the side and bottom of frame to get my spacing and strengthen the whole area.


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The current plan for her is to always be a bogger. I don't have a title and it's quite a process to get one with what I have. I may change my mind down the road.

Now for a question, I have some steering components from the 97, steering shaft and gearbox. Has anyone used them on the older frames and how did they work?
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:35 PM
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co425 co425 is offline
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I hate to tell you, but that rear shackle is a frame break waiting to happen!
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1974 F250 4X4
Cummins 12v, NV4500 , np205, Dana 60 Front, GM 14 bolt rear.
Cummins swap/truck upgrade thread
http://m.ford-trucks.com/forums/show....php?t=1181279
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2016, 08:41 AM
79finally 79finally is offline
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The frame is 3/16 thick. I will be plating with 1/4, full height and a little wider on the bottom. I think the original passenger side spring had been sprung, at rest on flat ground there was maybe 1/8" between the spring eye and the frame, every good bump it would contact the frame. There is some wear on the bottom of the frame on that side. Plating will ease my mind on possible crack in this area too. This is the best picture I have of the rub area, just below the aft rivet. Also, I was really surprised how symmetrical the 3 holes in the mount are, the rivet tails fit right back in the frame holes for mock up.


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Old 04-24-2016, 12:34 PM
nutter3 nutter3 is offline
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Following this with interest! I also have later model D60's for my projects.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:22 PM
79finally 79finally is offline
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If anyone else decided to replace the bushings in the mount, the bore is less than 1.5", a common replacement bushing is 1.5" dia. Not sure where to get a direct replacement but the guy that did it for me had to work the id of the mount and still crushed one bushing trying to get them in. Guess what I'm saying is you need a good press to do it or have a shop do it.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:54 AM
73 Crew 73 Crew is offline
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Have you bolted up the axle & springs to rear hanger conversion yet to determine if it all lines up. I thought about doing the same set up to bolt in a later Dana 60 I have in parts storage. I think the comments by CO425 could be addressed by forming some 3/16 or 1/4 plate that wraps from top of frame under to edge of bottom flange and bolted /welded to frame. The front mount could be similar to factory mount and widened and new perches welded the correct width of the 97 Dana 60 axle. Keep us FTE members posted with progress of your axle swap.
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Old 05-01-2016, 09:41 AM
79finally 79finally is offline
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Things around the house got real busy this past week, trying to keep up with the 5 year old and all her stuff, helping a buddy build fence posts, etc. I will be back at it this coming week. The frame will be plated and I built new front spring mounts last year when I upgraded front springs, just have to move them out. I will keep this updated till it's finished!

I still have the question about using the 97 steering box and if anyone has info on it?


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Old 05-01-2016, 10:15 AM
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That front mount looks really nice. I would ditch the washers on the rear mount in favor of a piece of plate steel. That mount is cast. I'm not saying it would ever break but it would be more structurally sound with the whole thing up against a piece of plate. I don't think there will be any problem with the slash you cut in the frame.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:29 AM
73 Crew 73 Crew is offline
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If you use the search function for power steering swaps for High boys there should be several swap options FTE members have done. They have been done with the integral PS boxes from the 78/78 F-250 4WD trucks with 4 bolts bolted to inside the high boy frame were old manual steering box was located. Most swaps done required the frame be boxed and sleeved when installed. Some have used 2WD boxes with frame boxed and sleeved but some think sector shaft is long and prone to breaking under hard use off roading. I see several different shots of front cross member. What does the final setup look like. Keep up the good work and posting your progress with the build.
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:24 PM
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I hope your plating it idea works. Plating and boxing would be better. Having a hole, especially one that big is a no-no so close to the bend in the frame. If you look along a factory frame you won't see a hole within an inch of the bend.
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1974 F250 4X4
Cummins 12v, NV4500 , np205, Dana 60 Front, GM 14 bolt rear.
Cummins swap/truck upgrade thread
http://m.ford-trucks.com/forums/show....php?t=1181279
LIBERALISM IS PESTILENCE!!!
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:52 AM
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Could the inner shackle piece be bent in such a way to clear the frame?

Like wide up top and narrow on bottom.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:07 PM
79finally 79finally is offline
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73Crew: see below, mocked in place. The shackle mount area will be plated. I held the 97 steering box up and will need a drop pitman, but if it were boxed it might fit nice.

Mark a. : the washers are just for mock up and spacing.

co425: I am fairly confident the plating will be sufficient. Trying not to box as that area will hold mud.

Zark-eh: I have seen a picture of offset shackle like you are thinking, they require extra room(lift), trying to keep from going up as I already have lift springs.

Now for the updates.

Both frame rails are slotted. The mounts are flipped and spaced out using temp washers for space of plating. The springs are hanging from the shackles. Axle is bolted to the springs and front mount unbolted from the frame. The front mounts were offset from the outer edge of the frame by 7/16 when attached. They are now just under 3" offset( 2.5 + 7/16 = 2 15/16). I'm quite suprised the measurements are coming out as good as they are. Next is new supports for front mounts to frame.


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Old 05-04-2016, 10:09 PM
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Little more done. Had to adjust the bumper mount a bit. Still needs gussets and bolt holes. Everything is 1/4 think and a little over kill, but, they not going anywhere! Heading to OKC for the weekend so might get more done next week. The aft bumper mount bolt does clear the core support rubber.


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Old 05-05-2016, 12:44 PM
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Looking great.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:36 PM
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Front mounts finished, need to rebuild cross over support tube then finish up the shackle end. At least it can sit on it's own for a little bit.


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