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Old 01-23-2017, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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'96 Super Duty Swap

My buddy has had a '96 for about 6 or 7 months now, and is really wanting to move to something bigger. Given my personal vehicle being a 1-ton swapped K5, I pushed him toward larger axles as being an important first step as I personally think wasting money on lockers for the stock 8.25" and D30 didn't make much sense if he wants to move to 35s or 37s. I've seen people break bigger axles on tires that size with lockers.

We ended up picking up a D50 and Sterling 10.5 from the junkyard for about $260 which I think was a pretty good deal, and although I know many people don't seem to like the 50, I think a 60 is even more overkill than the 50 is going to be for him.

The rear swap is pretty straight forward, just gonna move spring perches and bolt the thing in.

I'm not very familiar with linked suspensions though, as I've only ever done leaf springs or bolt in link changes, and so I'm trying to decide what to do about the front suspension and hoping somebody with some experience can push us in the best direction that fits the budget and needs.

I'm currently thinking going for RuffStuff's long-arm kit as it's very inexpensive and I think could be one of the easiest to implement. We'd probably try and use the coil buckets and link ends off of the 30 unless that turns out to be a total disaster. Curious if you guys think this is a bad direction to head in?

I know packaging on the drivers side is going to be a huge pain in the ass, but I need to get the jeep and new axles side by side some time this week and see what I think.

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Old 01-23-2017, 10:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Look up an artec truss kit. It has the coil buckets and link mounts already there just weld it on the 50 and go from there.


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Old 01-23-2017, 11:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bman22 View Post
My buddy has had a '96 for about 6 or 7 months now, and is really wanting to move to something bigger. Given my personal vehicle being a 1-ton swapped K5, I pushed him toward larger axles as being an important first step as I personally think wasting money on lockers for the stock 8.25" and D30 didn't make much sense if he wants to move to 35s or 37s. I've seen people break bigger axles on tires that size with lockers.

We ended up picking up a D50 and Sterling 10.5 from the junkyard for about $260 which I think was a pretty good deal, and although I know many people don't seem to like the 50, I think a 60 is even more overkill than the 50 is going to be for him.

The rear swap is pretty straight forward, just gonna move spring perches and bolt the thing in.

I'm not very familiar with linked suspensions though, as I've only ever done leaf springs or bolt in link changes, and so I'm trying to decide what to do about the front suspension and hoping somebody with some experience can push us in the best direction that fits the budget and needs.

I'm currently thinking going for RuffStuff's long-arm kit as it's very inexpensive and I think could be one of the easiest to implement. We'd probably try and use the coil buckets and link ends off of the 30 unless that turns out to be a total disaster. Curious if you guys think this is a bad direction to head in?

I know packaging on the drivers side is going to be a huge pain in the ass, but I need to get the jeep and new axles side by side some time this week and see what I think.

The problem with the SD50 is.........its all the exterior size of the SD60 without any of the benefits on the insides. Pull the cover off the D50 and see just how much of the casting is still there. Its like they screwed up the casting blanks and said fuck it!!!........change the assembly drawing with matching smaller parts to fit.

You'd be better off finding a matching D60 from a 01-04 Superduty to match your metric rear 10.5 and keep the D50 outers as spares.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bamaguy84 View Post
Look up an artec truss kit. It has the coil buckets and link mounts already there just weld it on the 50 and go from there.


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That was the direction we were thinking about going before we bought the axles, but when I saw it was gonna require movement of everything to fit, I had started thinking against it, but with the long arm lot I guess it doesn't matter. Probably will do this.

Artec suggests 4-5" lift minimum to clear everything and he just put on REs 3.5" kit like two months ago, might have to get spacers for now. Got the factory lift blocks with the rear.

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The problem with the SD50 is.........its all the exterior size of the SD60 without any of the benefits on the insides. Pull the cover off the D50 and see just how much of the casting is still there. Its like they screwed up the casting blanks and said fuck it!!!........change the assembly drawing with matching smaller parts to fit.

You'd be better off finding a matching D60 from a 01-04 Superduty to match your metric rear 10.5 and keep the D50 outers as spares.
I'm totally familiar with the 50. I can understand the idea of not putting a bunch of money into a 50, but I mean honestly between the lack of power, general light weight, small tires, and his planned use, I think it will be plenty. I survived for a year on a front GM 10 bolt with 36s and an LS wheeling way harder than he will any time soon. If he ever gets to needing a 60, we'll find one then, but I kinda doubt it.
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's not the power or worry of breaking the D50, it's just for the shear size compared to d44, pumpkin wise.

But run whatcha got. Just didn't want to see you dump a bunch of money into a boat anchor that is the D50, when a d44 is just as strong. Heck, find a d44 and put a set of RCVs and d50 ring and pinion in and you'd be way ahead of the game. If you weren't so far, I'd give you a late 70's F250 D44 housing. 3" x .5" wall tubes. Just to get it out of my garage.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I understand the whole ground clearance thing can be a massive pain. I ran my KP60 and 14b on 35s for quite a while, and it can definitely be frustrating, especially in the rocky stuff we've got out here.

My main argument is that the stock shaft joints in the 44 are pathetic. RCVs are great, but they cost more than half as much as he paid for the whole vehicle. I don't think this 50 will cost a fortune to run, should be plenty strong enough, and if he finds that it's a big issue for ground clearance, all that means is he's got an excuse to run bigger tires!
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Old 01-25-2017, 01:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Figured I'll just keep kinda updating this, hopefully somebody can let me know if I'm about to do something really stupid, except the whole Dana 50 thing, but whatever.

Here are the axles. Paint is all stripped off of the passenger side front for some reason. Missing all the steering stuff. I think I'm gonna try and figure out how to make the stock Excursion steering work with the Cherokee box, keep steering simple for now. Will probably get an upgrade at some point, but I've always been the "do things in stages" type, no money to just do everything at once.



We did order the Artec truss, should be here in a week or two hopefully.

Picked up a set of 2012 F250 wheels with the stock 265/70R17s on them, not bad looking wheels

Swap all done, looks good to me

Fitting 37s is gonna be fun. Definitely gonna have to get a bit taller and some fender cutting is definitely in the the books.


Sounds like we are also gonna send off for RuffStuff's frame plating kit along with the rear leaf perches and the DIY Jeep long-arm kit. I know a lot of people don't seem to like the radius arm stuff very much, but it's just so simple and inexpensive for now that it makes the most sense.

I am curious though about placement of the frame mounts. With the frame plating kit, is the frame on these things strong enough that we can just weld the hanger on the underside of the frame right forward of the trans crossmember, or should we look at making a new crossmember with the upper mounts integrated?
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If it was me I would do the mounts on the crossmember.


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Old 01-25-2017, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, I was thinking that was probably the more proper way to do it. I called the local metal supply shop and they've only got 3/16" 2x4" tube, for a decent price. Might try and start with that. I'd be a little concerned about the strength of 3/16s, but at the same time, the frame on my Blazer is the same thickness.
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So, went to bolt the sterling in tonight, and discovered the pinion is offset to the passenger side pretty considerably.

Why have I never seen anything about this, and is this how all Sterling rears are?
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Im interested on how the D50 works out. Ive been considering running one under my XJ. I want to run 37"reds and was thinking this might be the perfect axle for me.
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So, rear has been done for quite a while, finally got enough down time to start putting the front in. Got the truss and frame plating kit on and started looking at putting together the long arm kit. I decided against putting the mounts on the crossmember because I want to avoid requiring taking the front suspension apart to have to do something like a clutch. I am hoping to mount them right behind the trans crossmember straight to the frame.

After tacking up one of the arms and putting it in, with the lower end being a bushing, the upper mount is wanting to sit inside of the frame rails just a tad. Trying to figure out the best way to fix this without putting the bushing in a bind.

I know the best solution would be to get heims for the lower end of the arms, but this requires money and time and I'm hoping to avoid either. I figure my options on the cheap are either bending the arms (bending 2" .250 wall tubing will not be fun) or notching the tube so that the bushing end isn't straight on the arm. Something tells me the second option might not be a good idea though, hoping somebody can chime in?

A third suggestion was to perhaps run the bushing at the frame?
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Check out Clayton's and Iron Rock Offroads's long arm kits for crossmember ideas. Both have removable center sections so that you don't have to touch the suspension for engine related tasks and both position the link mount "inside" the frame rails. Check out the Poly Performance long arm kit (no longer on their site, but still comes up in Google Images) for ideas on non-crossmember mounts.

Check to see if you don't already need to put a bend in the LCAs to clear the tires at full turn. These SD axles have a crazy high max angle. Bend the tube if you need to, but at the small angle you're talking to move the frame side mount under the frame from "just inside", don't hesitate to angle the bushing relative to the tube. Do whatever it takes to not run a bushing at the frame side on a y-link setup, it will kill articulation and the bushing. The y-link is bound to the axle by the geometry of the mounting locations and the rigid triangle. Any play you get will be rotation about an axis between the two mounting locations. Not really in a useful direction... It doesn't matter what "joint" you use.

Mid-body frame reinforcements alone are not sufficient to equalize the body with the axles you're putting under there. If you only do mid frame stiffeners, the body will without a doubt fail at the windshield frame long before anything you're putting under there will. I'd put money on it happening with just mids on a DD running SD axles and having never left the pavement. IIRC, an SD D60 is in the 700lb range with a D30 around 200. Full structural cage is a requirement IMO...

I have 05 axles in the shed and there's only so many examples to look at. Pictures of problems are more helpful that pictures of what works. There's never too many pictures...
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Following. I just did the same build sd 50/10.5 do to cost and availability. I have three sets of spare shafts and when the right super sixty comes along I will buy it. The biggest bitch with it was the welding to cast but it seems like you have a plan. I run a radius arm three link because that is all that would fit around the v8 in my grand Cherokee. I plated the entire front and mid section of the frame with hd off-road mids and dbm fronts. In addition I have added more plating on the id of the frame.

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Old 05-11-2017, 09:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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'96 Super Duty Swap


I drilled a hole in the back of the mounts and slid them under the crossmember then ran the bolt back through the mount and crossmember then welded it up to the frame. You can still drop the crossmember if need be and the bolt was just for a little added protection incase my welds suck.


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Old 05-11-2017, 11:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Sorry for the lack of photos, I don't have a functional computer right now, everything gets done on my phone, and I'm too impatient to put the photos in on my phone. Figured I would update to the current status since I just skipped a bunch.



First off, rear axle has been in for a long time. We originally put it in about the beginning of February. I shortened his rear driveshaft and we just ran it like that for a while. Driveshaft angle was awful, had to do quite a bit of clearancing on the flange for the Sterling to keep the u-joint from bottoming out. Had him pick up one of Advanced Adapters SYE kits and we got that put on and the pinion angle fixed about a month ago now. For his 4 door with the AX-15, a stock front driveshaft out of a cherokee with an auto is exactly the right length, just bolted it in.

I've been tackling welding up the truss since February. I'm a senior electrical engineering student, and so I've been super busy with classes, but just doing a little a day. It's been done for about a month or so now, but we put off tearing the jeep apart until after classes were done. The cast welds were definitely a huge bitch. Even running nomacast rod, I had a hell of a time, and they look like utter shit, but they didn't crack, and after talking to a welder buddy, I'm not worried about them being weak. There is so much of the truss welded properly onto the tube that a few shitty welds on the cast section don't worry me.





Just a few days ago, we ripped that little 30 out and got to work figuring out the front suspension. After talking to RuffStuff about the angle issue, I ground the arms so the bushing would sit at a slight angle because like I said, the frame mount was wanting to sit just an inch or two inboard of the frame.



We decided to keep the links full length rather than put them in front of the trans crossmember. Put's them right on the little angle up on the frame stiffeners right behind the crossmember.



I hadn't thought about the tire clearance issue. I just kinda assumed (I'm not always the most thorough haha) that the width of the axle would make it a non-issue. After CrazedManiac's suggestion up there, I just checked today, and with the 2012 F250 wheels he's got, even with the little 31s he's got on there for now, they just barely rub. No good for going to 35s or 37s eventually.




So now I guess I've gotta figure out how to bend a 2x.250" tube.... I've got access to a JD2 Model 3, as well as the ever chintzy Harbor Freight hydraulic tube bender. I've also got access to a 20-Ton Dake hydraulic press, but the only tube I've ever bent before was 2x.120" and even that was a bitch on the Model 3. Any suggestions on how I should go about getting this tube bent?

I was thinking about going about 17" up from the LCA end of the tube, putting it right about where the stock upper mount is, and bending it inboard so that the arm is parallel with the frame until that point. Does that sound reasonable?
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It's not the power or worry of breaking the D50, it's just for the shear size compared to d44, pumpkin wise.
I have a D50 that stares at me from under my work bench... I bet the pumpkin can be shaved/plated down to D44 clearance. Lotta unused space in there.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a D50 that stares at me from under my work bench... I bet the pumpkin can be shaved/plated down to D44 clearance. Lotta unused space in there.
This is my plan.

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Old 05-11-2017, 03:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Remove the stock upper bushing mounts and 3-link it - no bind. I didn't truss my front D50, figured it was just fine under the front of a Power Stroke Diesel F250 and should be good under my WJ. Here's my Ford SD axle swap for reference.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-...-sd-axles.html

I get tire rub on the lowers with my setup - '06 wheels and 315/70-17s (35s). I'm leaving it because I'd rather have the adjustability of being able to turn an unbent (straight) arm in or out to fine tune wheelbase or adjust alignment over the hassle of unbolting, turning, and bolting a bent lower. I have Rusty's forged flex ends all around which seem to be holding up and also used 10* angled lower mounts on the axle to relieve the angle of the lower arm ends.
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah, at this point, already set on the radius/long arms. Would have been fun to try a 3-link, but we've got what we've got, and we're gonna work with it. Plus, doesn't solve the issue of the tire rubbing on the link.

Also, the Artec truss wasn't for strength so much as for providing places to put the UCA mounts.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:10 PM   #21 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Luke95;40723817]This is my plan.

/QUOTE]

Didn't think of that but very good idea.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Also, the Artec truss wasn't for strength so much as for providing places to put the UCA mounts.
Easy to fix - cut off the existing mounts and add new passenger side upper control arm mounts for the 3-link. No bind.

I'm also using a Clayton's trans crossmember and cobbled together parts from others to round out the "kit".
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Maybe eventually. If we did do this, it would mean the two upper arm tubes and hardware we have for that would be useless, and we would have to purchase new tube and heims for the UCA. I'm not somebody who likes changing plans unless it is absolutely necessary. I know the long/radius arm setup gets a lot of hate around here, but we're gonna give it a try. If it sucks, making the change to 3-link won't be hard. I doubt we'll have an issue with it though.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:09 PM   #24 (permalink)
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No, I hear you. Always time to mod later if you need/want to and going to a 3-link at that point is fairly easy.
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:18 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Im using a similar setup in my FSJ, Dana 50, link suspension, but 37's. Idk what the stock offset of the Ford wheels are but im running 17x9 -12 Raceline's and i just barely rub at full lock. Only problem would be the overall width but might be easy to fix with some fender flares or something
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