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2x4 to 4x4 question?

 
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:31 PM
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2x4 to 4x4 question?

What would it cost to do a 2x4 to 4x4 conversion on a 2001 F-250 Diesel? Would it be worth it? Where to do it (I live in Michigan-49068)?
 
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:11 PM
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Well you're only an hour and a half from me... I'll sell you my truck look on craigslist from Toledo all the way to Lansing and I bet you'll find everything you need. Your best bet is to find a wrecked truck or excursion that's 4wd someone's parting out. There's a couple that were in Detroit a couple months ago. Make sure you get a d60 and not a d50 if you plan to lift it and put bigger tires then 36-37s with the torque from that 7.3 go ahead... Ask how I know......
 
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:11 PM
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All depends on how much you pay for your parts. It is all bolt on but you will need a 4x4 trans or have yours built into one.
You can even directly bolt in the 05+ coil sprung front axle and suspension.
 
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:42 AM
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it is A LOT of work. it is easier to sell what you have and buy a 4X4.
 
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:40 PM
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It is all bolt on
it is A LOT of work.
I love the differing of opinions. I have asked many questions that get the same response.

So if it is bolt on then how can it be a lot of work? That still confuses me.

I am looking at doing the same with a 2WD F150. The way I figure it if I have a descent truck that I have fixed up over time why would I sell it and get a used truck with a potentially new set of problems? I would rather just add the things I am looking for (4WD) to this truck, especially if there is no custom fabrication needed.
 
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sporkacus View Post
I love the differing of opinions. I have asked many questions that get the same response.

So if it is bolt on then how can it be a lot of work? That still confuses me.
It's just because everybody has their own opinion of what they consider a lot of work.

Like for instance when I blew my electric-shift transfer case. Some guys just trash the old one and put in another one, they don't wanna bother rebuilding it.

But me, I spent more on parts then I did on a used manual t-case from the junkyard since I'd rather take the time to learn the inner workings of it. Now I have a stick shift t-case instead of soccer-mommy pushbuttons, and I know it'll last a long time with a fresh rebuild.
 
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:33 AM
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some people say it is just bolt on. but a 2 wheel drive has coil springs, and 4 wheel drive has leaf springs. there are no provisions for the leaf spring mounts in the frame, they have to be made. then you have to put the axle, springs, and track bar in.
then you have to change the trans to put in a 4 wheel drive one with transfer case.
and cut the floor for the t-case shifter.
and on some models there is some electrical to change for the indicator lights.
and if you ever go to sell it, it will be a four wheel drive conversion, and most people will not buy it because of that unless it is priced dirt cheap.
 
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for the clarification tjc. That is exactly the type of info I would want to hear when asking that type of question.

"Bolt on" or "a lot of work" are not very descriptive.

So it sounds like it is not 100% bolt on, but close with a few modifications. Then the question is how hard are the mods?

-find spare parts (a lot of parts)
-make modifications to frame (cut hole in floor, add leaf spring mounts)

Your point on resale is definitely valid, but for me I would be doing this to a 1988 F150, so resale is already low. Any added features for me are a bonus.
 
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:22 PM
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there is a member on another forum that took offense to one of my comments on a sorta like this thread. he bought a ford with a cummins engine and a chevy trans, and paid way too much money for it.
it has issues, and one of them is the speedometer and tach do not work. he was asking how they worked. i explained the speedo was electronic, with vss signal to computer to speedo, and tach was from an engine sensor to computer to gauge.
then i said we have no idea what kind of abortions the parts changer did to get all the unmatched parts to work together and he was going to have to dig into it with test lights and a wiring diagram.
well, as you can guess my comments did not go over very well.
 
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:16 PM
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Yeah, franken-trucks are a category of their own and that one sounds like even its own category apart from the rest. You can't expect everything to be easy or simple.

On the other hand, there are plenty of "hacks" or "mods" that if done enough are considered commonplace. I like to seek out these things as well (such as converting 2WD to 4WD) especially if there is a good community in place (such as here on FTE) that can help with the process. Sometimes they don't pan out, but sometimes it has already been done and well documented. It is always the hope that this is the case.
 
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:57 PM
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there are a few ways to do it, and do it properly.
quite a few have been converted, including a few vans.
but you have to know your way around a shop to do it safely and properly.
with the introduction of the coil sprung 4X4 superduty trucks in 2005, a lot of people have started looking for these axles to stuff under 2 wheel drive trucks. but these axles come with their own headaches. the spring mounts are offset a bit, and if i remember correctly the universals are different sizes.
then you have the different wheel bolt pattern, which requires changing the rear axle also, or carrying two different spare tires.
then you have the headache of remembering what all the parts came from so you can order the proper parts if something breaks.
otherwise you end up calling the parts counter man insulting names when you go in and ask for rotors or wheel bearings for a 1997 F-250 4X4 and bitch when they do not fit the 2006 F-350 axle you have under the truck.
 
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:42 PM
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The frames on the Super Duty trucks have all the suspension mounting holes punched for both 2wd and 4wd. It truly is bolt on on them, but let there be no doubt that it is a huge amount of work.
On an 88 F150 it is a bolt in as well, the floor even has a bolted in plate where the shifter needs to go.
However, 2wd F150's 80-96 had 2.5" wide springs while 4x4's had 3" springs. I never bothered to change that on my 4x4 converted 81 F100.
If you have a donor truck and take the time to put in the wiring and indicator lights no one will know the difference unless you tell them. The same goes on a Super Duty.
 
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:20 PM
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Thanks for the info 82F100SWB. So a few questions though if I may threadjack from the OP's 2001 F250 and ask about my 1988 F150.

1. Tom above said
there are no provisions for the leaf spring mounts in the frame, they have to be made
but then you say
all the suspension mounting holes punched for both 2wd and 4wd
I may just be mixing up years/models but could you clarify if there is any "custom" work that would need to be done on an 88 F150 2WD?

2. I understand that the term "bolt on" means different things to different people, but I take it to mean that if I collect all of the parts needed from a 4WD donor truck that it would only be a matter of taking parts off and putting the new parts back on. Is this correct? (yes I know this is an over simplification, but you know what I mean)

3. I had heard about the springs (2.5" vs 3") before and have also wondered if that was a necessary change when doing a conversion. Are there any downsides to not switching them?

I am fairly new to working on this truck (and vehicles in general) but I don't mind rolling up my sleeves and getting dirty if it is truly "bolt on". The only issue is that I don't have access to many tools/equipment. I assume there are going to be many specialized/expensive tools that a person such as myself wouldn't have. Would you guys mind listing off a few of them so I know who to make friends with in order to do an operation such as this?
 
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:52 PM
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Your F150 is a different animal than a 250/350.
Your era of F150 uses coil sprung twin I beam in the 2wd and twin traction beam in the 4x4. It is a 100% bolt in. They use the same mounting points, steering, brakes, shocks, etc. I have swapped the front axle itself in under an hour before. It is literally 6 bolts, 2 tie rod ends and the brake calipers.
For the transmission you will have to swap to the 4x4 unit with transfer case and its cross member.

On the rear springs, you can get lift springs and blocks in 2.5" wide. The only downfall to running the skinny springs is that the factory 4x4 lift block won't bolt right in.
I have done the swap on 5 80-96 F150's.
 
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 82F100SWB View Post
The frames on the Super Duty trucks have all the suspension mounting holes punched for both 2wd and 4wd. It truly is bolt on on them, but let there be no doubt that it is a huge amount of work.
.
not on the 2000 F-350 and 2004 F-250 two wheel drives.
i have them both at the body shop that the owners wanted to use the frames to put under their 4X4 trucks with bent frames.
there is no provisions for the leaf spring mounts. i have to make the mounts to put leaf springs in these trucks.
 

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