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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

Dana 70 to 60, anyone ever done this?

 
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:54 PM
Stilllookin
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Dana 70 to 60, anyone ever done this?

Ok, so recently I acquired a 2002 E350 cutaway with a Knapheide box (KUV) to use for work. Its got rust issues among other things but I got a good deal on it and its well worth fixing. The main issue that's bugging me, the pinion bearings in the Dana 70 (axle code 56) are toast. I drove it 500 miles home and it screamed at me every time I leaned on the gas a little. I even topped the fluid up (was a 1.5 qts low) before I set out, so I know their gone. One the first issue, its a 4.10 gear. I drive almost all highway so I'm going down to the lowest I can for that rear end should I HAVE to rebuild it (3.55 I think). Second, its open slip, so its worthless to me in terms of our snowy Kansas/Missouri winters, and third, its a Dana, and I'd prefer to not play around and disassemble/re assemble it 50 times to try out the shims. The balance of rebuilding something I don't really care to vs. replacing with something I have already and prefer is my point of topic. And wither or not can be done.

My thought, I've parted out numerous regular E350s so I've got like three Dana 60s laying around that are good. I have a 3.55 open, full floater w/disc that I could use, but I'm asking this before I go yanking out that big beast in its entirety.
Question 1, is the frame width and spring perchs on the cutaway the same as the regular van?
Question 2, The Dana 70 in this so my limited research has told me is its actually a dually setup (it does have the stub outs), but they just used single wheels on it. Could the stub outs on the 70 work on the 60? I'd like to keep the "wide track", this is the most stable E van I've ever driven, I know the wide axle contributes to that.

As for weight, the 60 that came from the 2001 E350 I had had a GVWR of 9500lbs, this KUV is only 9600, so not really concerned there. Also, this truck will never be loaded to full capacity so its no bigge to me on the DOT having an issue or anything with it, not concerned.

I think that bout does it. The wheel base is the same 138 inch as the standard van, so driveshaft shouldn't be an issue, I have the ones from those donors too if needed, as well as the 3.55 set up PCM from the 01 E350. They are/were both federal emissions same engine/tranny and options so it ought to work in this one to adjust for the axle ratio and shift patterns.
This post may be pointless, but just firing it for effect to see if anyone has ever attempted this before, maybe, maybe not just asking.

Can this be done?

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:16 AM
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I can't answer most of your questions, but I would not put higher gears in it, in my opinion. I have 3.55's in my E350 and I hope to switch to 4.10's at some point. With that heavy box, I can't Imagine 3.55'S working well.
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:38 AM
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I thought about that but I just can't live with the 4.10 buddy. Every E van I've owned has been 3.55 except one that had a 3.73. I drive 60 miles one way to work, and that's my closest of 37 locations. I need a highway gear. Driving 70 I only averaged 11.5 unloaded coming home, so yeah.
On the box, it's not any heavier than a maxi E350. I junked three maxi cargo van (body only) and with rust they came out to 2100 lbs each. Knapheide says the KUV I have weighs 1700. Factor in the cutaway cab and it's prolly about the same. Far as wind drag, I bought the low top KUV so at it's widest point it's only 4 inches more than a regular van so it's good. I just need to confirm the 60 will fit.

I'll measure the spring spacing this weekend, I may just end up doing it for the hell of it see if it works
 
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:15 PM
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To close this thread, this project never got done. I sold the KUV a few weeks later and broke even. This was the biggest gas hog I've ever owned outside of a 454 Chevy powered RV I had. 11mpg no matter what. FAIL
 
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:08 AM
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Did you ever determine if the box and regular fram spring mounts were te same distance apart?
 
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:26 PM
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I didn't measure. I changed the fluid that was all I did to the differential. Never got far, it had brake problems, rust problems, exhaust problems. I mean a lot was not unseen and missed when I looked at it first. Now, on that note, I do believe that spacing to be the same. The frame was same as a maxi body E350, no wider nothing else special even same wheelbase. The Dana 70 in it had extra long stub outs (was actually a dually axle with single wheels) so the brakes and everything were well inset from the wheel. In point of fact so much that I was able to change the RR caliper without pulling the wheel there was so much clearance. So in hindsight, I think a Dana 60 standard width would swap in no problem.

I literally drove this three days and 750 miles and I'd had enough. I put $80 in gas in each morning, that's $240 in three days. I drive my 4.6 longbed F150 (KUV predecessor and again successor) on $160 in five days. I get only $250 a week or so in gas reimbursements, so you can see why I was upset. I did a full deal on this thing, repainted the box, stripped interior and replaced everything but the dash, new tires, all fluid changes, brake parts, new lights, rhino lined bumper, Rust Bullet coated all the side boxes, cut out and welded in new cab rockers and more I care to not remember. I paid $2000 for the truck and put another $1800 into it. I sold for $3250 just to be rid of the gas hog POS. Never again. Unless you run a business that banks big, I can't recommend a KUV. Chevy or Ford I'm sure they both get poor mileage.
 
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:33 AM
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Man, that is bad.
Thanks for getting back with the info.
 
 
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