2nd Gen 1500 to 2500 Axle Swap - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
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Old 06-17-2005, 02:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2nd Gen 1500 to 2500 Axle Swap

Thought I would throw this out there for the next person searching, should have some useable info....

Axle Swap – ’01 Dodge Ram 1500
• 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Dana 60 front (32 spline inners, with CAD)
• 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Tie rod (Napa)
• 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 Dana 70 rear (32 spline)
• ARB RD-95
• Trachtech Detroit Locker 225SL107C
• Precision 5.13 Dana 60 gears
• Spicer 5.13 Dana 70 gears
• Yukon install kits
• 1998 Dodge Spicer 70 front pinion bearing (Napa)
• 1979 Chevrolet K20 rear spring plates (Junkyard)
• 5/8” x 3.5”x 14” u bolts (Drivetrain Industries)
• 1977 Chevrolet K20 pickup calipers (loaded, Autozone)
• 1979 Chevette Brake hoses (2) (Autozone)
• 1989 Ford F-350 Rotors (2) (Napa)
• Ford Explorer (7/16”) banjo bolts (2) (Napa)
• Great Lakes caliper brackets
• Biondo electric Line lock (Summit)
• Misc. Weatherhead brake fittings (Napa)
• 2004 17x8 Ram 2500 Aluminum wheels
• Shortened front driveshaft (Drivetrain Industries)
• Shortened rear driveshaft and converted to 1410 (Drivetrain Industries)
• Spicer 1410 yoke, Spicer 1410 strap kit, Spicer 1410 u-joint
• 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 “wheel” nuts (32) (Autozone)

Spare Parts
• Front axleshafts
• Rear axle shaft
• Spicer 806X ujoints
• Spicer 1410 u joint
• Spicer strap kits
• 2001 Ram 2500 tie rod


Front Axle Install:

Installing the axles is for the most part a bolt in procedure. In the front, the draglink, brake lines, track bar and control arms may all be reused. I replaced my lower control arms at the same time with some custom built, stronger DOM control arms. If using a vacuum central axle disconnect, you can use the one that is on the Dana 60 axle. If using a cable disconnect, you need to disassemble both and put the shift fork from the Dana 60 into the unit on the truck. The Dana 60 tie rod needs to be utilized as the Dana 44 tie rod will not clear the differential cover. If using the stock Dana 60 tie-rod and draglink, there should be no need for an alignment. My driver side upper control arm relocation bracket needed some slight grinding to clear the diff and the front driveshaft had to be shortened. Other then shortening the driveshaft, it’s a very simple procedure, requiring only regular tools. The Dana 60 is hard to maneuver due to its weight so having two people and two floor jacks helps out.

Front Axle locker/gear install:
I had a shop do this but one thing to note is upon reassembly the CAD collar must be placed in the axle tube before the inner axleshaft as there is not quite enough room to put it in afterward. In order to slide the shaft into the collar, you may need to tap it with a hammer. Or you can grind 1/16” off the end like the shop did on mine, which I don’t recommend.

Rear Axle locker/gear install:
I had a friend do this as well, the only hurdle was the front pinion bearing supplied in the master install kit does not work on the ‘94+ Dodge Dana 70s. A slightly smaller one must be used but is available at NAPA.

Rear Axle Install:

The rear axle spring perches are slightly wider (3” vs 2.5”) then the stock axle. This makes it a good time to flip the u-bolts. I had custom ubolts made and used Chevrolet spring plates. The brake lines are interchangeable but since I was putting a linelock inline I needed some adapters for it. I removed all the e-brake cables, but one could likely mate the new axle’s cables to the cable coming out of the body. The vehicle speed sensor from the truck needs to be installed in the new axle, and simply pops in place, and is held down by one bolt. The speedometer on my truck gained accuracy as the new tone ring has more teeth which compensates for bigger tiers. My tires are about 20% bigger then stock, the new ring gear has 13.5% more teeth so, my speedo is only off by ~ 6%. The GPS verified this. The rear of the truck gained 1-2” of lift from this and required new shocks as the previous shocks would not even reach the mounts sitting static. I bought shocks for a Ram 2500 with 4” of lift. The rear driveshaft needs to be shortened and converted to a 1410 u-joint. I also installed a new yoke on the axle.

Rear Brake Install:

I installed the linelock at the end of the factory hardline. Napa had an adapter that allowed the two to simply thread together. I then bolted the line lock to the frame. I grounded one wire there and ran the second to a switch on the dash with constant power and 5 amp fuse. The brake hose from the axle mated to the line lock with another adapter.

Installing the disc brakes involved removing axleshafts, the rear axle nut with a 2 9/16” socket and the hub. Once off the backing plate was removed. The studs were pounded out of the hub and the f-350 rotors were placed on the back of the hub. The studs aren’t quite right for this and I will probably try some Dodge dual rear wheel studs. It will hold together fine though. The caliper brackets bolt to the diff side of the flange, the hub and rotor slide on and the hub nut is torque to 130 ft-lb. Then the Chevy caliper and pads can then be installed. The Chevette brake lines attach directly to the factory oem hardlines, however they will have to be bent to get everything placed properly. Once the lines were bleed, the truck was ready to roll.
My build thread: [url]http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=508537[/url]
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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did you have problems with your axles in the UA?
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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04 UA? Both I think.
Just a pile of parts at this point...
5.3L, TH400, NP205, HP60/10.5", CO's, 43's, H1's
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Old 06-19-2005, 08:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Problems? No problems....

Broke a rear shaft on the first obstacle....

Broke two right front ujoints and destroyed shafts... one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota. Then broke a left inner on Die trying a couple weeks later and one on Rusty Nail in November.... So have broken every time I have wheeled in recent memory.... I'm going to UA 05 so I want to avoid it again.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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out with bad.... in with the good... lol
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Old 06-22-2005, 01:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i like the external cage! what type of long arms are you using? have you considered doing a shackle flip in the rear or relocating the spring hangers to the bottom of the frame. i was considering doing it to my 99' wonder what you though on that.
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would just add a suggestion when trying to find a front swap in axle, try to find a 98 and lower year d-60 front, as it has a different style kunckle that is stronger than the 2000 and up axle, the ball joints press into the kunckle instead of the axle ears. Just a little better design, and the ball joints are bigger inthe older model. The only draw back is that it is 30 spline inner axle shaft, but jsut man up and go 35 spline stuff! The older axles also allow you the option to get a manual hub conversion kit when money allows.

I like the no bed look...hmmm....

Where did you get your caliper bracket for the rear at RamV? I am looking for some for my rig, but I don't like the high dollar for something should be relatively cheap, know what I mean?
00' Ram 1500++ QC 4x4 with a few mods...

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Last edited by TheBeast; 06-22-2005 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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GreatLakes Off-road. I think they are a vendor on here. ~ $65 for the set with shipping, not bad for those of us who lack fab skills.....

I went with the later axle for the bigger axles being able to retain the CAD (since my front d/s is usually bent, (its hard to upgrade the inners and retain CAD) and the bigger front brakes. Your points are good on the older one, for me though, this made sense.

My lowers are custom made, stock brackets at both ends, upper relocation bracket and arms are Skyjackers 5" models. I am only lifted 3" total over stock, so I don't really need much.

The tube stands up much better then the sheet metal when bashed on trees and rocks.... ;-)
My build thread: [url]http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=508537[/url]
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Old 06-23-2005, 06:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm going to swap an 01 dana 70 out of a 2wd cummins into my 97 1/2 ton 4x4 this weekend. You said that the back of your truck was about 1-2 inches taller after the swap, thats just because of the axle housing is thicker and spring pads are taller right or did you tweak something to give you that extra height? Also how much did you shorten your driveshaft? Did you have to swap master cylinders? I don't know if the volume of my 97 master cylinder will be adequate for the rear 01 disc brakes. The spring pads on the new axle are wider like you said, but does the center pin line up ok and is it the correct size? The center pin whole in the axle looks pretty big, but I'll be keeping the rear factory blocks in mine so should that take care of things right? Sorry for the ton of questions. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-23-2005, 07:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The center pin is smaller.. It concerns me some, but I don't have a good solution. I have stock 1500 springs and blocks. I swapped to chevy disc brakes and have an '01 so I couldn't tell you on the M/C but mine seems fine. The rear driveshaft was shortened around 2" I think. (I never measured the length before).

The springs line up fine, but they require some effort to pull them together. I used a big ratchet strap.

The 3/4 ton spring pads are mounted higher on the diff, may not be the same for the 2wd housing. Also the shock mounts are lower, so they require longer shocks.
My build thread: [url]http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=508537[/url]
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Old 06-23-2005, 08:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The reason that you got more height out of the rear is more because the axle tube size, gives a little more due to being bigger diameter. I never encountered the center pin hole being smaller in the pad, but I have a '96 model axle so maybe there was a difference. As far as the driveshaft measurement, I REALLY suggest measuring if you have the time and ability to do so, so that way it is perfect length. I shortened mine 1", but really I didn't have to. But again, I am running 10" of total suspension.

As far as the CAD goes, I had the same setup on my truck, but I did away with the CAD thing altogether with the HP Ford 60. I just siliconed up the holes on the t-case where the vacuum lines attach, and it is good to go. Downfall: your 4wd light will never come on again, but owell, the little things we sacrifice...

So, tell me how does one get to be on UA? I was always curious, and maybe wanted to try and apply...I think I got something to offer in the way of a stout rig... ;-)
00' Ram 1500++ QC 4x4 with a few mods...

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Old 06-24-2005, 07:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The perches were actually taller on the 70 then the 9.25" as well as the tube being bigger...

My T'case doesn't have vacuum ports.

Just fill out the form when they have it in the magazine.. Usually around January?

You email your specs to the editors, and then they pick the 3 or 4 readers vehicles that will be making the trip.
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Last edited by ramv; 06-24-2005 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 06-28-2005, 06:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Very nicely done dude, always liked how you have done you rig, different but very cool.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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1500 to 2500 Axle swap issue

Hoping everyone can help with a project of mine because I am stuck. I have a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD with a 5.9L automatic. The rear end was going out so I proceeded to do that 2500 axle swap. On the rear is now a Dana 70 I believe was a 96 or 97 Dodge 2500 4WD with a Cummins. Did not really have any issues in the rear, grinded down the perches to use the stock leaf springs but added some camper leaf springs to it for a stack of seven. Driveshaft was cut and a 1410 yoke was added and balanced. Now the front has been quite a pain. Everything is bolted up, with a 3 inch coil spacer, cummins springs, new wheel bearings, rotors, calipers and pads. Bought rough country shocks for a 5in lift all around. The problem I am having is with the front stabilizer or damper. The one that came original on the truck is still bolted on the front Dana 44. The one on this Dana 60 seems from pics on the net is it bolts to a frame bracket on the passenger side. I have called a couple places trying to find that bracket so that I might have it welded on to my truck. If anyone has any ideas or info for me so that I can finish it I would be extremely grateful. I just started the account so try to PM or I hope that it notifies me to anyone's response on the forum.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I highly doubt you're going to find something like that custom made for your application.
Make one, or buy something to make one out of.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That is a factory mount on some earlier trucks, it's called a high mount but I'm not aware of anywhere that sells one. As the guy above me said, you can just get two tabs and weld them to a flat piece and you'll have the same thing. It's nothing special. It bolts up on the drag link instead of the tie rod and they went away from that design pretty quickly, to the standard mount in front of the axle like your Dana 44 has. Either way is fine. That stabilizer doesn't really do anything - I have driven my truck on 41" Iroks (37" Toyos before that) without one for years.
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