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Old 06-12-2016, 10:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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WTF am I doing... 4x4 conversion. Take 3.

I've been here before, contemplating what goodies might fit. Bench racing and spinning my wheels.
First go round was a VW westy but I ended up coming to my senses and just selling it off because it didn't really meet my needs.
Second go was a massive cab over diesel but the heavy duty parts I would have needed to complete the project ended up being far more rare than I originally thought and the zeros that come after rare where too much for my wallet...
So either I like spinning my wheels or just like to abuse my ego when I have to give up...
But... I still am after that elusive "perfect" (for me) expo/adventure rig.
This time I picked up this beast.
Not rare (at least the truck part), not unique and the camper checks all of my boxes. Shower, head, furnace, frig and more.


But... It's not a 4x4.
It's an 88 E250 2 wheel drive with coil spring IFS and leafs in the back.

What my needs are:
Not a off-road jeep trail rig but an explorers rig.
Desert gravel/sand washout
Mountain FS and Fire road/graded but sometimes muddy
Mountian pass snow and mud.
Far north gravel/muddy roads
Maybe some Ice roads.
Nothing too rocky/boulders and not too far off camber. Mostly graded, albeit long ago and poorly. Just needs to not get stuck... In sand or mush.
Yes, I'm looking for something shiny.

I think I'm probably out of my mind but 05-10 F350 super duty dually axles would fit the bill. The front has coil springs so it looks easier to fit to me than leafs. The radius arms, steering box, etc look like they land in similar locations as my current IFS.
Big dually axle out back with some fender flares.
Don't want to get too tall but I do want lots of floatations. 285's maybe? My GVAW is 3250/5300 currently and the super duty Dana super 60 an Dana 80 are rated at 6k and 10k+.
So gross overkill or just enough crazy to be a very solid gravel traveler?
Would a 60/70 combo be better?
Or even a TTB 44 and a 60? If leveled correctly it might handle well... Or not.
Or a TTB 50 with coils and 70 out back (dually conversation 60 hubs?)
I'd really like to hear from someone with some experience but we're just bench racing at this point so throw in your two cents.... Scotty, you lurker you.
Anyway, if I do dually or single I'd be keeping them all the same so I would only need one type of spare... Although I'm planning on carrying two.
What say you?
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd do a d50 ttb. It's the best way to get compression travel without lifting the van to the sky. Great on dirt gravel roads as well. If you were building a crawler an sas would make more sense.


Look at Emievel's van for reference.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think you may be right. I looked around some and found a number of TTB 50's converted to coil spring with longer radius arms... Me like!
It's also in my comfort zone as far as fab work is conserned.
What I'm not sure of is if DRW hubs fit it or not... And I found some mentions of Superduty brakes might fit?!?!?...
Need to research smor... But if anyone knows on the top of their head I'd like to hear from you.
Soo, Dana 50 TTB with Superduty brakes and DRW hubs in front and a Dana 80 3.73 and lower in the back is currently what I'm trying to figure out.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Emievel's van is pretty awesome and the TTB works really well. He's got the trail pics to prove it!

Here's some inspiration for ya Boomer the Quadravan Boomer the Quadravan 4x4 Camper - Expedition Portal yeah it's already 4x4 but lots of good info.

The TTB can sit lower, but more difficult to set up than a solid axle (leaf spring or coils) if you find a TTB donor snag the factory crossmember for the pivot points/factory geometry.

Later model Ford van with +05 F350 radius arms MG Metalworks Van Build - Page 66 - Expedition Portal
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have done several 4wd ttb transplants into 2wd rangers. You absolutely need to change/fab ttb pivots or cross-member when adding 4wd. I have been considering getting a dana 50 ttb with the front frame section and storing it till I'm ready to do the ambulance (may be couple of years).
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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lots of cool TTB fab stuff in here

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gener...cer-build.html
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Emievel's van is pretty awesome and the TTB works really well. He's got the trail pics to prove it!

Here's some inspiration for ya Boomer the Quadravan Boomer the Quadravan 4x4 Camper - Expedition Portal yeah it's already 4x4 but lots of good info.

The TTB can sit lower, but more difficult to set up than a solid axle (leaf spring or coils) if you find a TTB donor snag the factory crossmember for the pivot points/factory geometry.

Later model Ford van with +05 F350 radius arms MG Metalworks Van Build - Page 66 - Expedition Portal
I just read through the entire Boomer thread and killed my Saturday night. I saw a picture of that van a while ago...and bought this! It will be getting a TTB conversion as soon as I can sell off a truck or two.

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Old 06-19-2016, 01:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Levi Harris View Post
I've been here before, contemplating what goodies might fit. Bench racing and spinning my wheels.
First go round was a VW westy but I ended up coming to my senses and just selling it off because it didn't really meet my needs.
Second go was a massive cab over diesel but the heavy duty parts I would have needed to complete the project ended up being far more rare than I originally thought and the zeros that come after rare where too much for my wallet...
So either I like spinning my wheels or just like to abuse my ego when I have to give up...
But... I still am after that elusive "perfect" (for me) expo/adventure rig.
This time I picked up this beast.
Not rare (at least the truck part), not unique and the camper checks all of my boxes. Shower, head, furnace, frig and more.

But... It's not a 4x4.
It's an 88 E250 2 wheel drive with coil spring IFS and leafs in the back.

What my needs are:
Not a off-road jeep trail rig but an explorers rig.
Desert gravel/sand washout
Mountain FS and Fire road/graded but sometimes muddy
Mountian pass snow and mud.
Far north gravel/muddy roads
Maybe some Ice roads.
Nothing too rocky/boulders and not too far off camber. Mostly graded, albeit long ago and poorly. Just needs to not get stuck... In sand or mush.
Yes, I'm looking for something shiny.

I think I'm probably out of my mind but 05-10 F350 super duty dually axles would fit the bill. The front has coil springs so it looks easier to fit to me than leafs. The radius arms, steering box, etc look like they land in similar locations as my current IFS.
Big dually axle out back with some fender flares.
Don't want to get too tall but I do want lots of floatations. 285's maybe? My GVAW is 3250/5300 currently and the super duty Dana super 60 an Dana 80 are rated at 6k and 10k+.
So gross overkill or just enough crazy to be a very solid gravel traveler?
Would a 60/70 combo be better?
Or even a TTB 44 and a 60? If leveled correctly it might handle well... Or not.
Or a TTB 50 with coils and 70 out back (dually conversation 60 hubs?)
I'd really like to hear from someone with some experience but we're just bench racing at this point so throw in your two cents.... Scotty, you lurker you.
Anyway, if I do dually or single I'd be keeping them all the same so I would only need one type of spare... Although I'm planning on carrying two.
What say you?
The dually rear fenders will get ripped off by vegetation. I'm not kidding, I cringe at the branches scraping down the side of my van!

In my (experienced) honest opinion, a set up like mine works great and it's not too hard or expensive to do. Here are my suggestions:

GM 14 bolt in the rear. You can find them at surplus lots that have just been rebuilt for $450-$650. The military version will come with 4:56 gears and a Detroit locker. I hated the Detroit in mine (on pavement) so I installed an ARB. It's stupid strong and a full-floater in case it does break, you still get home. You'll need to buy the disk brake conversion kit. You will absolutely want the 4:56 gears with that much weight and the bigger, heavier tires.

TTB Dana 50 up front. There simply is no better option for ride quality. I've owned five 4x4 Ford vans and every single one sucked in comfort. My green van had a solid front axle, and as cool as it is, I barely drove it. Now it has the TTB and I drive it everywhere.

Agile Off-Road has the spring rate and Fox shocks already tuned for camper vans with a TTB. They've got the steering dialed as well. I don't think there is much difference in Ford van chassis from that generation to the newer body style.

You might want to look into moving your dump tank valves. You will end up doing it one way or another! LOL. Also, the propane tanks usually hang pretty low but it's not hard to move them up a few inches. One guy completely ditched his frame mounted propane tank and did a portable set-up off his rear bumper/tire carrier.

Here is my van on 35's




And it gets used!


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Old 06-19-2016, 01:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Damn, loving all the love these vans are getting lately! Bought this beast a couple of years ago with a 4x4 swap in mind so I will be watching this thread.



Really like the idea of the TTB 50, ride comfort about has to be top of your agenda, if it isnt, it will be the first time you go down a dirt road and all of your cabinets fly open and shit gets scattered everywhere.

Anyone have any good links for TTB 50 info? I am somewhat lucky that this van came equipped with a D60 rear. Although the EFI 460 in the thing can barely get out of its own way.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Damn, loving all the love these vans are getting lately! Bought this beast a couple of years ago with a 4x4 swap in mind so I will be watching this thread.

Really like the idea of the TTB 50, ride comfort about has to be top of your agenda, if it isnt, it will be the first time you go down a dirt road and all of your cabinets fly open and shit gets scattered everywhere.

Anyone have any good links for TTB 50 info? I am somewhat lucky that this van came equipped with a D60 rear. Although the EFI 460 in the thing can barely get out of its own way.
agileoffroad.com has the TTB swap dialed. It's not a super popular conversion (yet), so you won't find a whole lot of other info on it.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Oh yeah, I was already planning on moving the dump valves, grey water tank and the propane.
They hang down way too low even for a street only camper and have been bit by road debris a couple times already.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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So I spoke with Agile and may have them hang the TTB as they have a jig already and know what their doing. Their full conversion is way to rich for me but the front end might be doable. I'll know in a week or so when they provide me a quote for the bare bones stuff we discussed.
As for the rear... Turns out I've got Dana 60HD 35 spline with 1.5" axles. I think the rating is 6500lbs or so.
Think it's beefy enough or should I ditch it for a 70 or maybe even an 80?

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Old 06-21-2016, 10:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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So I spoke with Agile and may have them hang the TTB as they have a jig already and know what their doing. Their full conversion is way to rich for me but the front end might be doable. I'll know in a week or so when they provide me a quote for the bare bones stuff we discussed.
As for the rear... Turns out I've got Dana 60HD 35 spline with 1.5" axles. I think the rating is 6500lbs or so.
Think it's beefy enough or should I ditch it for a 70 or maybe even an 80?
I would try to swing that TTB no matter what. It will give you more off-road capability, and then finish the 4x4 conversion later. The reason I say this is because you will want larger, more aggressive tires, so the TTB will give you the lift you need for 33's, and the suspension travel you need to cruise down some trails without bottoming out all the time. Are you getting the Fox shocks? It will complete your ride package...

The next thing I'd do is change the rear axle (get a full floater but make sure there are gears and lockers available). 35's would really help you clear that long overhang. As you can see, my van isn't sitting too tall. Get a selectable locker so you can crawl over stuff instead of bouncing. I like the GM 14 bolt...
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Just some info for you on the Dana 70 axle. The 70 is a hybrid of the Dana 60 and the Dana 80. You get a Dana 80 center section and Dana 60 tubes, axle shafts and axle bearings. So there is not a great load increase over the Dana 60.

I agree with EMIEVEL. Go with a Chevy (GM) Corporate 14 bolt. Its plenty strong enough and having full floating hubs provides a major increase in load capacity (8600 lb. GAWR) as well as serviceability. With full floaters you can change a broken axle shaft without even removing the wheel. Full floaters are also much easier on the axle shafts. In non-full float axles the axle shaft does two jobs. It shares load bearing duties with the axle tubes and it transmits torque to the wheels. In a full float axle the shafts have only one job, transmitting torque to the wheels. That's because the full float hubs ride on spindles (with two bearings like older style front hubs) bolted to the axle tubes so, the axle tubes carry all of the weight. As EMIEVEL said they are very, very common so parts are available anywhere.

SGLTRK
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've never had a semifloat 8 lug 60, but from what I've seen of them I would think it should hold up as long as you don't use your van as a crawler. Up to you though. I wouldn't do an 80, they are gigantic-er than a 70. 70s are slightly bulkier in the middle than a 60, but nothing like an 80. I think your current axle would be fine if you're only talking 285s(33s).
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't have much to add but I do run f350 diffs in a chevy van .
You cant beat how cheap the diffs are . I run both the pu truck diffs because of the metric bolt pattern

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Old 07-31-2016, 07:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Well, I scored a Dana 70 for a whopping $60 so that's what I'm gonna do.
Considering I'm not gonna wheel this thing hard and only doing 33's the 60 that's in it would probably be fine but this gives me a little piece of mind. This is gonna be our snowboarding hut/daddy's crazy gold mining rig so it's not like we're going down the rubicon.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Or not... He sent some photos and it's a sterling 10.25 not a Dana 70.
Which is still pretty damn strong and got 1k higher load rating than my 60.
Think I'll still do it.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well... I am, in fact, out of my fucking mind.
Just put down the deposit to Agile for a TTB front end. I'll still be doing the rest of it; transmission, transfer case, OD, exhaust, drive lines and my monster rear axle but at least now it's in the works.
Don't nun'ya bastards tell my wife how much this really cost! She thinks $500 is completely fair!
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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this weekend on the 14 mile long black diamond Miller Jeep Road. you won't be disappointed you spent the $$. impressive to say the least
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:32 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Wouldn't it be simpler to just use the axles as is for single wheels and go with a nice wide tire? In my eyes that is what I would do.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Just a test fit. Rubs something awful but it won't after the lift. I already yanked off the running boards but it still rubs a little... Not for long!
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Couldn't stand it... Can't wait for the new suspension.
Yanked off the running boards and beat the piss out of the lower inside edge of the fenders so there's no rubbing even with it still low. I really didn't want to drive it all the way to San Diego with all the tires and wheels in the back.


Relocated the propane tank four inches higher than before... Still might ditch it for rear/high mounted 20lbs cans.

Gonna need to beef up the spare mount too but it'll work for now.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:56 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Well... I am, in fact, out of my fucking mind.
Just put down the deposit to Agile for a TTB front end. I'll still be doing the rest of it; transmission, transfer case, OD, exhaust, drive lines and my monster rear axle but at least now it's in the works.
Don't nun'ya bastards tell my wife how much this really cost! She thinks $500 is completely fair!
You are going to be so damn happy with that Agile kit. It'll be the best $500 you ever spent!

Those waste tank valves need to get moved before you ever go on any kind of trip where you need 4x4. Otherwise, it'll get shitty - quick.
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Old 10-03-2016, 05:24 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I can tell this is going to be a sweet thread! keep it going.
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