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Old 01-19-2019, 01:32 AM   #1
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Your opinion wanted

Hello all, new member Chad here, after all these years finally a van owner and forum member.
Recently purchased a new to me 2010 E350 4x4 RB, it was almost exactly what I was looking for, 5.4L with a lot of life left in it (I have an '08 F150 FX4 with the 5.4 and love it). It's an XLT Wagon with power doors and windows, gray int., white ext. Method wheels the standard 285 70 17 tires all in really nice shape for a decent price.
Now my dilemma, this van has everything I was wanting except the Dana 44 up front, I had decided it wasn't a deal breaker as I'd just swap in a 60 and then it would be the perfect (for me) van.
Problem is the more I drive it the more I like the way it drives. I brought it to my axle/fabrication guru for his opinion and after 5 min under the van on a creeper he rolled out and basically said it was a really nice conversion and was I sure I wanted the swap.
I knew it was a really clean conversion, the fabrication and design are top notch and my guy Jim says all the angles and engineering are done right. I drive it down the freeway with one hand, has no bump steer etc., just a nice driving van.
I basically have two choices, swap in the 60 or keep the 44 and toughen it up. Chromo axles, big u-joints, axle sleeves and gussets, etc.
One thing going for me is my weight, I've swapped in 4 Sienna buckets and a jump seat, installed a 6' bed slide in the back, will finish a bunk and a few other thing and be done. I just weighed it with all the above installed or the materials to finish in the van. I'm at 6540 lbs with a full tank and a 80 pound pitbull, I won't ever be over 7000 lbs.
I'm very experienced off road and spent many years in the Southwest deserts in just about everything but a 4x4 van. Opinions?
I'll get some pics up when I figure out how.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:58 AM   #2
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I have a Dana 44 under my '69 Bronco, and its probably at the limit for my rig and how its (occasionally) driven. Stressing factors for my front axle: occasional hard core 4 wheeling, 35" tires, ~5000lb curb weight, 300+HP at the rear wheels, lots of torque from the engine (351W) essentially multiplied by a very low granny gear and a 5:1 transfer case.

If you do upgrade the 44, I think you have a good game plan. More than anything, it's going to be how you drive it. I know people who do some hard wheeling in the earliest Broncos that came with Dana 30's.

You may also be limiting yourself to the size of your front brakes though if you decide to upgrade at some point.


New thought; what are the bolt patterns on the front and the back? Do they match?



Herb
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:25 AM   #3
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Your opinion wanted

Did I miss this.....whose conversion is it? Do you know?
Either way, some valid points but in the end it really depends on how you plan to use the rig and how you drive it. Also depends on If you’re looking at putting on bigger tires or keeping the current running gear. I’d say the 44 should be adequate for your current weight and and buildout, and with the 5.4 being in there. You may find it already has some of the upgrades, at least the internals, already done. If you’re able to provide or track down any additional info on the conversion you may be able to find out without tear down.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:53 PM   #4
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I received quite a bit of documentation, maint. records etc with the van but nothing about the conversion. I did get the window sticker and shows it was shipped through a company called Transglobal LLC. This company does special edition, one off vehicles, custom parts etc. for the manufacturers.
I wasn't familiar with them so I looked up their address on google maps and from Google street view you can see a building surrounded by a few hundred vans.
The bolt pattern are 6.5 front and rear, I checked the numbers on the front calipers and they are the proper brakes for the van.
My guy says the front diff housing looked to be from a chevy truck, then re-tubed to get the left side drop, proper width etc..
The rear is the stock D60 semi float which I'm not as concerned with for this build.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwbuild View Post
Hello all, new member Chad here, after all these years finally a van owner and forum member.
Recently purchased a new to me 2010 E350 4x4 RB, it was almost exactly what I was looking for, 5.4L with a lot of life left in it (I have an '08 F150 FX4 with the 5.4 and love it). It's an XLT Wagon with power doors and windows, gray int., white ext. Method wheels the standard 285 70 17 tires all in really nice shape for a decent price.
Now my dilemma, this van has everything I was wanting except the Dana 44 up front, I had decided it wasn't a deal breaker as I'd just swap in a 60 and then it would be the perfect (for me) van.
Problem is the more I drive it the more I like the way it drives. I brought it to my axle/fabrication guru for his opinion and after 5 min under the van on a creeper he rolled out and basically said it was a really nice conversion and was I sure I wanted the swap.
I knew it was a really clean conversion, the fabrication and design are top notch and my guy Jim says all the angles and engineering are done right. I drive it down the freeway with one hand, has no bump steer etc., just a nice driving van.
I basically have two choices, swap in the 60 or keep the 44 and toughen it up. Chromo axles, big u-joints, axle sleeves and gussets, etc.
One thing going for me is my weight, I've swapped in 4 Sienna buckets and a jump seat, installed a 6' bed slide in the back, will finish a bunk and a few other thing and be done. I just weighed it with all the above installed or the materials to finish in the van. I'm at 6540 lbs with a full tank and a 80 pound pitbull, I won't ever be over 7000 lbs.
I'm very experienced off road and spent many years in the Southwest deserts in just about everything but a 4x4 van. Opinions?
I'll get some pics up when I figure out how.
can you precise the name of the thread? Nobody will ever take a profit of the thread via a search, because this says just nothing.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:15 PM   #6
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Regarding the Dana 44. As long as you don't over-stress the axle shafts or the u-joints...aka rock-crawling with a heavy gas pedal...you should be fine. I drove a stock dana 44 under a 78 F150 4x4 with 37" BFG tires and never broke anything. I now have a dana 60 with 39" BFG tires, and don't worry about anything.

If you're a conscientious driver, the 44 should be fine. Upgrading from a dana 44 to a dana 60 shouldn't change how the vehicle rides or drives, except the 60 should have larger brakes. Since you have 17" rims, and an 8-lug dana 44, you may already have larger rotors and calipers.

Now, if you're doing rock-crawling, try the 44. If it breaks, then you know what to do!

Upload pictures to your "Garage," which is located within the "Registry" dropdown, and then link to the pictures in a post.


Regards.
Chris
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:27 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone who replied, you've really helped with me with my decision. I'll put some tough bits in it and drive it. If it breaks, then I'll change it out for a D60.
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