Re: Sterlings, D60s and ABS ?s
Yes, saying goodbye to the front ABS is a great solution, along with removing the bulb in the dash.
The 10.25 is still your best bet because you need the tone ring if you have an E4OD, and in order to make your newer speedo work. If you want to run a different rear there are ways to mount external VSS's but I'm not familiar with them. I'm sure you could also mount an older t-case with the VSS at the speedo drive gear, but it would take some putzing with wiring.
D60 fronts never got ABS, except for '02+ maybe. Don't bother with the weird 8 lug metric bolt pattern, so forget '02+
It's either Dynatrac or Warn that sells D60 front hubs already drilled for 5 on 5.5, and I understand they're only like $75 more than OEM 8 lug hubs.
The 10.25 SF is a c-clip axle, that's the only bad thing I could say about it. That, and they're not real common and have limited locker selection. Lockrite and *maybe* Detroit? are your only options for the SF'er.
I don't think you'll be getting a 5 on 5.5 wheel over the FF hub. Look at the pic Burned posted. That's 8 on 6.5. So reduce that bolt circle by 1" and you get the idea.........I'd imagine some time on a lathe might turn that hub down enough, but I don't know how much material is there to work with. I've never heard of anyone converting a Sterling FF to 5 lug, it's just not that great of a rear - people do convert the 14 bolt to 5 lugs quite regularly, but that's a better rearend, which, of course, does not have the tone ring you need.
All that said, I'd definitely do what you have to to stay 8 lug. IMO trying to go 5 lug is a waste of time and money. You end up with a bunch of custom, expensive crap that's not easily found or replaced. Just get it over with and go 8 lug.
You can run 2.5" backspacing and keep your 15" tires (I am with D60 front).
You do realize you can convert your TTB to 8 lugs until you can afford a D60 front????
Finally, you might search around 2bigbroncos.org, I think Kurt Hartsig fitted a tone ring to a D60 rear by drilling the housing, but I'm not sure how well it worked out.