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Old 04-14-2012, 01:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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FORD F250 4x4 SAS (Solid Axle Swap)

I did a Dana 60 Solid Axle Swap on my1988 F250 4x4 diesel last year and I have noticed that it now has a slight dogleg(not apparent when driving forward but is real obvious when backing up) that it did not have with the IFS front end.

A few details of the swap and the Axle...

The truck the axle came out of was an 86 F350 and I got everything Hub to Hub including tie rods, steering Stabilizer, and the Panhard bar and bracket.

The Caliper setup on the axle (according to the parts stores) is a 1984 setup that uses the steel slide lock and single retention bolt.

There is no damage whatsoever to the Axle or any of the components associated with it.

I used the F250 IFS Springs when I did the Swap as I did not have the set of F350 springs and As a result it rides like a Brick on tires (It is a Diesel Truck)



I do know for a Fact the Chassis of this truck is undamaged and all of the suspension bushings are in decent shape yet and when I did the swap everything fit into place so easily that it was like I took the Axle out of my own truck and it only took me 8 hours from start to finish using nothing but hand tools (My air compressor had died a couple of months Prior)

Anybody have any ideas???

Last edited by Ford_Fanatic; 04-14-2012 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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did you install a tracbar?panhard bar i believe with the shackle in the front you are supposed to on those. ford did it from new on 350's
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fordf350dually View Post
did you install a tracbar?panhard bar i believe with the shackle in the front you are supposed to on those. ford did it from new on 350's

Yes Panhard bar is Installed.... Although on the 1980s series trucks it sits Behind the Axle
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Measure from center of hub to center of hub F/R on both sides of the truck and see what you find. Did you change springs at all? Maybe one was installed reverse and the center pin is not centered on the spring making the axle crooked.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mvanhelden View Post
Measure from center of hub to center of hub F/R on both sides of the truck and see what you find. Did you change springs at all? Maybe one was installed reverse and the center pin is not centered on the spring making the axle crooked.
The Front springs have never been out of the truck, at least not since I have had it.... With that being said, What is the magic number I should be looking for for a standard cab truck with 8Ft bed???
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ford_Fanatic View Post
The Front springs have never been out of the truck, at least not since I have had it.... With that being said, What is the magic number I should be looking for for a standard cab truck with 8Ft bed???
The same measurement from side to side
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Lol

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Old 04-15-2012, 10:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Make sure you haven't broken a center-pin on any of the leaf springs. Make sure that the calipers aren't dragging on one side, the rubber/steel caliper wedges do weird shit when they wear out. Have you checked the front spring shackle bushing up in the frame?

This thing must ride like a thousand pounds of bird shit on TTB diesel springs. Seriously look into a reverse shackle kit and removing a leaf out of the pack. Your kidneys will thank you.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Your problem could be your F250 springs. With the truck sitting lower than it is supposed to, the trac bar would be pushing the axle to the right side of the truck.
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Make sure you haven't broken a center-pin on any of the leaf springs. Make sure that the calipers aren't dragging on one side, the rubber/steel caliper wedges do weird shit when they wear out. Have you checked the front spring shackle bushing up in the frame?

This thing must ride like a thousand pounds of bird shit on TTB diesel springs. Seriously look into a reverse shackle kit and removing a leaf out of the pack. Your kidneys will thank you.

"This thing must ride like a thousand pounds of bird shit on TTB diesel springs"
You are not far off on that 1... I have thought about swapping over to to the not quite so heavy Solid axle front springs found in the F350 to see if that softens the rough ride close to what the TTB was ... Removing a leaf is not an option I am still running on OE springs and they only have 2 leaves as it is.


"Make sure that the calipers aren't dragging on one side, the rubber/steel caliper wedges do weird shit when they wear out."

I don't have the rubber and steel wedges anymore I have the Steel slide lock that is held in place by the 1 bolt it is the system that Ford used in the early to mid 80's and that is what came with the Axle so I used it. (I was on a stupidly tight budget when I built the axle)
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Your problem could be your F250 springs. With the truck sitting lower than it is supposed to, the trac bar would be pushing the axle to the right side of the truck.

I could understand this being a possibility with the 5k GVWR F250... I have the 8600GVWR truck, truth be told the damn thing is built more like an Fsuperduty than it is an F250/F350.... even has the 10.25 Sterling Full Float rear axle and heavy spring pack with overloads. I have had nearly 4000lbs of scrap metal in the back and it only dropped about 2 inches.... Hell the tires gave more than the suspension did LOL

More details with the track bar... I can actually unbolt it and remove it with the full weight of the truck on the springs.... so I know for a fact it is not binding there.....

I simply think the 8600lb gvwr front springs are simply too heavy in regards to the ride. as far as the alignment issues go... I am kind of at a loss yet but I still need to measure it front to rear.

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ford_Fanatic View Post
I did a Dana 60 Solid Axle Swap on my1988 F250 4x4 diesel last year and I have noticed that it now has a slight dogleg(not apparent when driving forward but is real obvious when backing up) that it did not have with the IFS front end.
Can you elaborate in detail on exactly what you are noticing?
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Can you elaborate in detail on exactly what you are noticing?
It has a dogleg... Estimate 2-3 inches overall but as I said it seems to be most noticeable when backing but not driving forward. If I pull straight into a parking spot the truck is nearly perfectly straight but if I Back in it is always crooked with the rear of the truck farther to the left than the front.

As I said It did not have this problem until AFTER I did the SAS....


1 other detail I just remembered... The locating pins on the springs are a slightly smaller diameter than the holes in the spring pads on the axle however when I tightened the U bolts down I used ratchet straps and pulled the axle as tightly forward as the holes would allow so this could be but shouldn't be an issue.

All of the parts used in this SAS were OE ford parts.... so I am not sure where the problem lies.. the only thing that seems to make sense to me...
is the possibility the 88 TTB suspension used offset locator pins on the front springs offset approximately 1/2 inch from left to right because 1/2 inch over a the wheel base of the truck would translate to about 4 inches....

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Old 04-15-2012, 09:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Maybe you just suck at driving in reverse....
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Maybe you just suck at driving in reverse....

Never been a problem before.....
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I assumed you meant "dog-tracking", but wanted to double check.

Have you taken any diagonal measurements from front axle to rear, and from references points on the frame to the axles?
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Your problem could be your F250 springs. With the truck sitting lower than it is supposed to, the trac bar would be pushing the axle to the right side of the truck.
I'd give this a look. I know the ttb springs were stiffer but the F350's rode higher.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:25 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'd give this a look. I know the ttb springs were stiffer but the F350's rode higher.
there is absolutely NO pressure on the track bar... I can unbolt and remove it with out any problems just need a couple of wrenches and a rubber face hammer to smack the bolt 1 time to pop it out would take me all of about 5 mins TOPS... that is why I know the track bar pushing the axle to the right is NOT an issue.


Oh btw I did forget to mention... This truck sits on 39" tires with no lift kit....And that is no bs... below is the truck I am dealing with... Pic is about 6 years old but it has not changed much except for the SAS it even still sits the same as it did in that pic.

I think I may need to get somebody that is local to Columbus Ohio to wander over and take a look and see if they can help me figure this thing out...


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Old 04-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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How did you get those to fit? Do they rub?
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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That looks like it rubs like a motherfucker. Have you been out of the mall much?
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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there is absolutely NO pressure on the track bar... I can unbolt and remove it with out any problems just need a couple of wrenches and a rubber face hammer to smack the bolt 1 time to pop it out would take me all of about 5 mins TOPS... that is why I know the track bar pushing the axle to the right is NOT an issue.
Does that change any if you drive in reverse?
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Does that change any if you drive in reverse?
Not that I have noticed.

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That looks like it rubs like a motherfucker. Have you been out of the mall much?
Actually used to do alot of mountain road driving and beginner crawler trails with it when I lived in AZ but the suspension is so stiff I get more frame flex than I do suspension travel so I never really had a rubbing issue as far as sheet metal goes took care of that when I put em on if you look close the front bumper and fenders have been trimmed just enough to allow for adequate clearance. I still try to do a fair bit of off roading with it when I can find trails but money is tight right now so not wheeling much as of late.
(the pic I posted was taken under I40 in Needles, CA about 6 months after I got the truck and I am sitting on top of nearly a 5 foot high hill)

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How did you get those to fit? Do they rub?
Honestly, when I got em I just bolted them on... I only had to clearance the front fenders/bumper for turning and never did have any rubbing problems out of them.

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #23 (permalink)
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How do the tires wear? Have you had an alignment? This is a very easy problem to diagnose. Buy a fucking tape measure.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:37 PM   #24 (permalink)
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How do the tires wear? Have you had an alignment? This is a very easy problem to diagnose. Buy a fucking tape measure.

Tires actually wear pretty good... but good luck finding a Replacement set... They have been on the truck since just after I got it in 2006 and have a FULL 3 years of use, 3 years sitting in the sun(engine died took that long to find a replacement in my budget), and 1 trip cross country from AZ to Ohio and a Trip from Ohio to Roanoke, VA and Back. I estimate total mileage to be in the 40-55k range Can't tell you for sure as the Speedo is WAY off...

Have not had it aligned since Installing the axle but tie rods are still set just as they were on the truck it came out of and have not been broken loose yet... I do know though that an Alignment as you are talking will not cause the dog tracking that I am experiencing... It will however cause weird tire wear and steering/Handling issues....as far as the tire wear since Installing the axle I have noticed a little bit of random yet minor cupping in the lugs which is associated to the REALLY harsh ride because of the springs.....

I have a few different directions I can go with the ride issues 1 of which I am considering building a Massive Winch bumper that incorporates built in tool boxes (this coincides with a desire to build a FREAK of a wrecker out of this thing) OR Getting softer rate springs.


PS I Already Own 4 or 5 tape measures LOL
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Edit to my Original post..... Earlier this morning I crawled underneath and it appears that the rubber bushings in the springs have started to deteriorate.... and as a result are sagging a little bit. I am going to have to source some Polyurethane Bushings and replace them before I can go any farther on this Dogleg issue..... Non-Existant Budgets SUCK!!!!!!!!

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