swapping in a solid front axle - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Ford 67-96 F-Series, 78-96 Bronco All discussions of 67-96 F-Series Trucks and 78-96 Broncos

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-17-2000, 01:21 PM
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swapping in a solid front axle

I decided to start my own thread about this. Im thinking about swapping n a solid axle. So, say I decide to go find a dana 44 solid out of a 78-79 f150/Bronco. Isnt there some type of bar that keeps the axle located? Ive heard its called a panhard bar maybe. Where is it? (im not talkin bout the radius arms)Is there a decent aftermarket for 78/79 Broncos? Will I be able to find a lift kit that flexes well? ONE MAJOR PROBLEMO!!! there is a frame crossmember under the engine that the TTB axles bolt to. It hangs awfully low. Im afraid the new axle will hit it. any info will be greatly appreciated!

Roland

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-17-2000, 09:55 PM
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Stay with the TTB!!!

For simplicity's sake! There are many easier ways to "improve" your Bronco! The TTB flexes than a stock straight axle. Compare how you can "stuff" the tires inside the fender with a TTB. It also will always ride better to and from the trail. Instead of all the work of swapping in a straight axle, improve on the TTB. You can lift it 2" with just springs, and not affect the ride or handleing. And bigger lifts cost about the same as a good straight axle lift of the same height. I kept my swaybar on mine, and completely stock, drove thru a ditch without lifting a tire. My brother drove thru the same spot with a 93 cherokee sport with 5" lift and no swaybars, and still lifted a front and rear tire as he drove thru! Mine is a daily driver and long trip vehicle thopugh, so I want to keep the ride and handleing like stock. Just my opinion... I'm going to improving my TTB.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2000, 12:50 AM
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Re: Stay with the TTB!!!

I've lifted my Bronco, installed extended radius arms, removed front and rear swaybars, confirmed that the shocks are the correct length, removed my rear lift block and replaced the leaf springs, and I still want more articulation and wheel travel!!! I would also like it if the TTB didnt eat tires, didnt use drop brackets, and had the traction characteristics of a solid axle (one wheel rises, and the other is forced down) If you can help me...let me know.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2000, 02:19 AM
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Solid Dana 44

If I was to swap a solid Dana 44, from a 78-79 Bronco, into my 90 Bronco, would I need new coil springs. If so would they be smaller or bigger?


post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2000, 08:27 PM
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Re: Solid Dana 44

I've also been thinking about putting in a solid front axle, and I too was considering one from a 78-79 Bronco. But, would the front axle from a 92-96 (or whatever model you happen to have) F250 also work? I don't know much about this but I wouldn't think Ford would have made it difficult to interchange them.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2000, 12:36 AM
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Re: Solid Dana 44

Anything's possible with a welder and some work, but the F250 used a Dana 50TTB with eight lug wheels. You have a Dana 44 TTB with 5 lug wheels now. Wouldn't make much sense to swap one for the other unless you do it for the sake of strength.

Mark
post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2000, 12:48 AM
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Re: Solid Dana 44

maybe i am wrong, but I have always known the f150s to have an HD dana44 up front. Not a dana 50.

post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2000, 12:51 AM
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Re: Solid Dana 44

if you are planning on swapping in a dana44 from a 78-79, yes, you will need new springs because one of the spring seats is different. HOWEVER!!!, I have been told that when swapping in a solid axle, the truck needs to be lifted AT LEAST 6inches in order to prevent the axle from hitting the frame crossmember during wheel-up-travel.

Roland

post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2000, 10:11 PM
 
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Re: Solid Dana 44

I know a guy who mounted a Dana 60 (Solid) axle on his 91 Bronco. Mounting a Dana 44 is easier than that, and should be doable but not that simple. You would need the Axle and radius arms from the donor (78-79) Bronco or F150. You would need to get a Track Bar, also, and fabricate a mount for it on the Frame or Crossmember. Indeed, that TTB Crossmember can cause problems. I don't know how my buddy got around that, but I think that the issue can be resolved by keeping the lift sufficiently high and/or removing the crossmember and replacing it with something of a lower profile. You would probably want to buy lift springs made for the 78-79 and you might want the spring frame mounts off of the donor vehicle. You would also need locate the radius arms on the frame so that you still maintained a positive caster angle (otherwise the truck would really drive like a squirrel). I have contemplated this swap myself, a little, but it would take some research and fabrication skills to properly complete. If you keep this question posted, I'm sure that someone who has done this before might see it and give you all of the dirty details. Good Luck!

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2000, 05:05 PM
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Re: swapping in a solid front axle


It's been done, but is much easier with leaf springs using a pre-80's
F250 dana 44. IMO, there is not much to be gained by swapping one dana 44
for another. The only things you will gain are;

1. Losing one U-joint and the relatively weak slip joint on pass axle.
2. Allow easy 8 lug conversion with solid axle 44.
3. No more wild camber swings with susp travel.
4. Align will hold up better.
5. Somewhat easier dissassembly for maint.

As for flex vs susp, stock bronc's ramp about the same(usually shocks limiting factor) and I've seen both solid axle and TTB ramp 1000 on a 20 degree ramp without going nuts on exotic susp stuff. Most of the flex in the rear susp anyway.

The dana 50 has different length traction beams and uses leaf spring, so it's not a good candidate either. Also uses bastard dana 50 ring gear, although they are using that in front of some new super duty's, so parts may soon be avail for it.

IMO, either swap to a solid axle dana 60 front, or don't bother. BTw, that crossmemeber needed to be modded when one guy swapped ina a dana 60 front for his dana 50 TTB. Dana 44 pumpkin is much smaller and would prob be OK with a mild lift.

See http://www.ford-trucks.com/articles/buildup/dana60.html


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