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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

1984 F-350 Dodge Dana 60 Swap

 
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:26 PM
jjjjaaakke
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1984 F-350 Dodge Dana 60 Swap

So before I started this project I searched to no end trying to find a detailed writeup on this. I found one person but he seem to leave some details out. So here we go. First, yes I know dodge d60's suck (CAD, low pinion, etc.) but a $300 price tag worked perfectly for me for the extra work. Second, everything is a pretty straight swap. The brake line works with some massaging, the steering works sketchily (I plan to convert it to crossover steering anyhow), the driveshaft hooks up fine and dandy. Nothing was abnormally hard about this swap.

Disclaimers:
Yes my welds aren't pretty
This is not complete
This is gonna be a trail truck and not driven on the street


Here we Go...
I found an axle not too far away that matched my rear gear ratio so I bought that for $300. I took no extra time away and immediately caught off all the stock brackets.

Pulling the D50 is not hard. If you need help with that you should not be doing this swap...

Bye Bye TTB!

I then slid the axle underneath the truck and measured about 10 times to make sure it was completely centered. I marked where I was going put the spring perches. I also hooked up the front driveshaft so I could set the pinion angle. I set the perches on the tube, let the weight of the truck down on the springs (so they were on the same plane), then I tacked the perches on.

The big issue was the driver's side perch because of the diff. I trimmed the perch as necessary and sat it on top tacked it. Now this is where things took a bad turn. I did all this at work after hours. I couldn't keep my POS inside the shop so I rigged it together (only the passenger side had ubolts on) and drove it 100 yards to its parking spot. Well the next time I drove it two days later to finish it this happened....

I started to turn when the truck was stopped to get out of the way of some traffic. When I did that the leave spring centering pin popped out of the driver's side perch (all i heard was a gentle thump). I let my foot off the clutch and pretty much drove over my axle. The pinion went straight up and ripped the ujoint out of the front driveshaft. Regardless of how bad it looks, all I had to buy was a $15 U-joint. The only reason I had to buy that was because the needle bearings fell out when all this happened.

I sorta got it back together with a forklift and a few ratchet straps. I brought it back inside and sorta finished it that night (still not complete). I reset everything and welded the perches back on. Now the issue with how to secure the leaf springs to the axle like U-bolts are supposed to do. If you google ruff stuff u-bolt eliminator, that was essentially what i was trying to replicate, but only on the inner side of the leaf spring perches. I welded some bolt retainers pretty much. and stuck some 9/16 bolts through and bolted them from the top. On the outside of the spring perches I used regular U-bolts. Right now I just have a piece of 1/4" steel that I plasma cut holes into that is acting as a leaf spring retainer. When I go back to finish everything ill get some 3/8" stock and properly drill holes and get it looking all fancy.

My jerry rigged perches

The flash really did make the welds look a lot worse than they really are...

The steering hooked straight up from the dodge. No point in covering that. The brake lines were pretty easy. I had to take the 90 degree bend out of them ( I made sure they did not kink when I bent them) and grinded one side of them and drilled the holes for the banjo bolts out to 3/8" I believe to fit on the dodge calipers. That was literally all I had to do for the brake lines.
Stock brake line

stock brake line

modified brake line

The plan is to swap some rear f-150 leaves into the front and back of this rig, you know get some leafs that actually have some sort of give because I am pretty sure the stock leafs were made to only give you back problems. Once I get around to doing that, Ill finish welding everything, properly make a spring retainer for the top, get new shocks and actually mount the shocks, and do a proper steering setup.
 
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:51 AM
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Don't forget a track bar. You could possible incorporate the track bar mount into one of your 3/8 thick u-bolt plates.
 
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:10 PM
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So do you have to order dodge parts for brakes and steering components?
 
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jackietreehorn View Post
So do you have to order dodge parts for brakes and steering components?
I am sure he does on the brakes. The steering to a point.
 
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:08 PM
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The calipers and brake pads came with the axle, so yes those are dodge. The brake lines hooked up to the calipers after some modifications, but the brake lines are ford. I had some new brake lines lying around for the ford so I modified those. I do not know if dodge brake lines would work. the tie rod end going to the pitman arm seemed to not fit 100% but I have not looked at it closely. It hasn't been my realm of concern right now.
 
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Franklin2 View Post
Don't forget a track bar. You could possible incorporate the track bar mount into one of your 3/8 thick u-bolt plates.
Anything on this point?
 
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Franklin2 View Post
Anything on this point?
I donít plan to ever add one. Itís a trail truck that wonít be going fast. I just think that for what Iím building it for a track bar will have the opposite effect of what Iím looking for. I ordered a shackle kit and some plate from ruff stuff so hopefully Iíll get the front end dialed in this week end or next weekend
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:50 AM
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Not all 4x4 leaf spring trucks had track bars.
None of my full size Blazers (73 / 78 / 86) or my 73 Toyota L/C had them and were fine on the street.
Only 4x4 truck that did was a 67, 69, 77 Bronco's and they had coil springs up front so needed it to keep the axle centered.
Dave ----
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:56 AM
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It's a guarantee against any kind of death wobble. It also makes the steering feel a little more precise, since when you turn the steering wheel, if the axle can move sideways easier than turning the tires, it will. The leaf springs will hold it, but it can be difficult sometimes. And thick stiff leaf springs will hold side to side movement in check better, but of course they give you a stiff ride also. That's one of the drawbacks of a leaf spring system, they have two jobs to do at once; Be a spring for the suspension and located the axle at the same time.
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Franklin2 View Post
It's a guarantee against any kind of death wobble. It also makes the steering feel a little more precise, since when you turn the steering wheel, if the axle can move sideways easier than turning the tires, it will. The leaf springs will hold it, but it can be difficult sometimes. And thick stiff leaf springs will hold side to side movement in check better, but of course they give you a stiff ride also. That's one of the drawbacks of a leaf spring system, they have two jobs to do at once; Be a spring for the suspension and located the axle at the same time.
Track bars will help with body roll but once again this will be a slow trail truck. The resistance that trAck bat gives is when itís not designed correctly. The leaf springs will try to pivot one way and the track bar is trying to pivot the suspension another way (if not designed properly, thatís why you get pump steer in leaf springs a lot too). If you have a track bar that is run parallel you wonít have that issue but then you run into space constraints. The goal is to have the max amount of travel possible, not the best street manners. The only time this thing will go more than 20mph is if it got drove off a cliff.
 

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