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-   -   1988 2wd f150 3/4 ton drivetrain swap (

3/4halfton 01-15-2013 11:11 PM

1988 2wd f150 3/4 ton drivetrain swap
I am undertaking my first major project with my trucks. I have a 1987 f250 4x4 6.9 diesel 4speed regular cab long box with a very very solid drive train but a extremely rusty body and rusty just about everything else. I picked up a very clean low mile 1988 f150 2wd supercab short box and am planning on swapping the dana 50 ttb front, 10.25 sterling and 6.9 diesel 4speed and transfer case.

I am starting with the front ttb right now as it seems like the most difficult thing. The plan is to keep the dana 50 axle completely intact and convert it to coils and radius arm. I know that it would be easier to just go solid axle but this is what I have and I like doing things that are different. The goal is to have a heavy duty 8 lug that can achieve about 12 inches of wheel travel in the front.

I have both front ends out of each truck right now and looking at the differences it looks like the hard part is going to be locating the axles properly as the lengths are different. The 2wd beams are longer and they sit up in the cross member further. I am planning on fabricating brackets for the dana 50 beams.

I am wondering if anyone has done a swap like this ever and if they have any advice or helpful hints. I understand that I am taking the road less traveled on this one and remember that I fully understand that there are easier ways of doing similar things. This is my first time documenting things like this and I will be trying to take pictures along the way.

3/4halfton 01-15-2013 11:16 PM

Quick side note I actually have no idea how to upload pictures on here so help with that would be great.

ewalt98 01-16-2013 08:38 AM

Sounds like fun, but I wonder if the light duty 1/2 ton frame can handle the stiffer springs and heavy Diesel engine without introducing a lot of flex, or worse?

3/4halfton 01-16-2013 12:57 PM

I am still working on researching that part of the equation. So far what I can tell is that they are very similar. I need to do more measuring. The frame on the f250 is so rusty that I think the f150 is still stonger. Thank you for the reply

3/4halfton 01-16-2013 10:59 PM

From looking at and measuring the frames they appear to be the same but with obvious differences like the cross members, spring hangers, engine mounts. I know the f250 uses 3 inch wide leaf springs in the back whereas the f150 leaf springs are 2 1/2 inches wide.

For the front suspension I am contemplating trying to remove the cross member from the f250 diesel and putting it in the f150. Has anyone done this? if so what kind of problems can I expect?

83capril 01-17-2013 03:01 PM

The F250 will be a thicker frame. If it was me I would find another F250 to do the swap. Yes being different is good but putting money into something then quiting because it was a bad decision is not. I'm all for this idea, I just think you will see that it will be a big project. Why not sell the F250 and buy a donor F150? I am in no way trying to crush your dreams as it sounds like a neat project. I would just hate to see someone give up after they sink money into something.

Phy 01-17-2013 08:20 PM

Several people have put IDIs in Broncos. They would have good info for you...

3/4halfton 01-18-2013 12:38 PM

Thank you for the heads up I will have to check out the fsb forum

3/4halfton 01-19-2013 05:13 PM

I will not be swapping crossmembers for the front suspension/ motor mounts as I just found a serious crack forming near a very rusty area. The good news is that I found it is not going to be very hard to transfer the pivot brackets off of the f250 onto the 2wd 150. I was able to get one of them installed before I ran out of time today. I hoping to have the dana 50 ttb 8 lug front end pivots and beams installed by the end of the night Monday then the real fun of making the coil and radius arms work starts. It is going to involve a bit more fabrication for that part.
Just for your information just installing the f250 pivot brackets compared to the f150 original pivot location provides about a 3" drop for the pivot points. This in my case is a good thing because I am looking to lift the truck about 4 inches from the low factory f150 2wd stance.

3/4halfton 01-20-2013 10:36 PM
This is the 1988 f150 with 86,000 original miles that will be receiving all the f250 parts.
This is the 1987 f250 4x4 diesel that the body/frame is falling apart on. It will kindly be donating all of its drivetrain

3/4halfton 01-20-2013 10:44 PM
The f250 cross member and pivot brackets. Showing how the driver side pivot point is located closer to the drivers side due to the drivers side arm being shorter.
This is the f150 2wd cross member and pivot brackets. Notice how the spacing is different and how the pivots sit up higher inside the cross member.

3/4halfton 02-17-2013 09:05 PM

Update: Haven't been in the garage as much as I should. I have decided in the interest of getting the project back together before I deploy again to hold off on the coil conversion and just swap over the leaf spring parts. I have the front shackle mounts off of the 3/4 ton and mocked up on the 1/2 ton frame.

Lining the mounts up on the front is very easy as both the 1/2 and 3/4 trucks have the body mount brackets in the same location and three of the holes in the shackle bracket are riveted through the body mount bracket. The rear should be fairly easy as well but will actually require some easy measurements.

I do plan on reinforcing the front frame section but haven't decided how yet. I will be relocating the sway bar crossmember which should help keep the frame rigid up front

3/4halfton 04-08-2013 11:37 PM

This is after getting the Front Dana50 TTB and leaf springs installed. Just thought I would jack the rear up to get an idea of what it will look like after the 10.25 sterling.

I currently have the truck sitting on the 10.25 rear end and the factory 2 inch blocks. With the factory F150 leaf springs it still sits about 2.5 inches low which I will plan on making up with either a larger lift block or extra leaf springs + re arching.

One thing I am considering is adding air suspension to the back to supplement the rather weak f150 leaf packs. One other concern is axle wrap. If I choose to go with a larger lift block the axle wrap would be amplified. Hopefully Traction / ladder bars will cure any problems with that and I can keep the plush ride of the f150 springs.

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