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Old 10-04-2015, 02:57 PM   #1
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Dana 50 ttb conversion log.

I'm putting this up since several members have also been inspired by Agile to attempt a ttb conversion. My van is a '96 e350 xl with the 460 engine. The dana 50 is from a 97 f250. The front end will need a full rebuild, but that will wait until I'm certain I can mock up bracketry I like.

In researching I stumbled across Ramsey's build of an equal length ttb for his bronco (Raquel). That gave me a starting place for how to go about engineering this whole thing. So I salvaged my old ladder rack for some square tubing and found some free stock rims on craigslist.

Thus it begins: wheels welded so that mounting surfaces are 69.25" apart. Perhaps my first mistake?


I know I will make mistakes and redo things, I'm putting this post up so others can criticize and guide, and hopefully provide answers when I get stuck.

If anyone cares to chime in on:
Distance between spring centers on axle?
Desired caster/camber?
Thoughts on cut and turn vs drop brackets for 3-4 inch lift?
"Resting" angle at center ujoint?
Radius arms vs j arms, either option will be longer than stock?
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:43 AM   #2
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Re: Dana 50 ttb conversion log.

Subscribing, this definitely needs to be documented.
You're going with coil springs right?
I wouldn't go with more than 2" lift that was my main consideration for going
ttb you get 4x4 without the high center of gravity.

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Old 10-05-2015, 06:42 PM   #3
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Re: Dana 50 ttb conversion log.

Going to subscribe to this thread as well.
I'm in the beginning stages of planning the same swap into my 2003 E350, so I'll be tuning in.
Mine is still probably a year or so away while I save my pennies, but I'll be planning and shopping in the mean time.

I also started a thread discussing this very topic over on Expedition Portal (someone sent me a link to this thread) and it's already getting some ideas going... You're welcome to drop in.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/t ... y-E350-van
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:02 AM   #4
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Re: Dana 50 ttb conversion log.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Good luck with your builds.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:52 PM   #5
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The project lives on!

I have no timeline and an 18 month old, so I don't intend on the van done quickly, but I have been working and here's some information and pictures for anyone who may be interested.

I've installed the moog springs onto my van before removing the front end assembly and my van (7.5L gas, extended body) compresses these springs to 14.5". One of the 2wd beams are very close to the same length as the dana arms (both around 28-29") so the leverage should compress the springs in a similar manner. I called moog to get a better idea of the spring rate since these are variable rate springs, but they only have an average spring rate.

Today I pulled the steering box so that I can put on the new pitman arm. I'm hoping to make the skyjacker fa400 work with all the other steering dimensions. Here's a shot before the stock arm is removed for anyone wanting a side by side.

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Old 02-10-2016, 08:07 PM   #6
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At one point I really wanted a side-by-side to compare the van and truck brackets. Well, my van brackets are now off so anyone who may also want this for some reason, here's an idea.

First the van and truck pivots for the driver side beam. Van brackets are above the truck brackets. This bracket mounts roughly under the passenger seat on the crossmember.

It wasn't until my buddy had these off of his truck that he realized one of the brackets was actually broken.





And the pivots for the passenger side beam.



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Old 09-18-2016, 02:25 PM   #7
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Small update for small progress.

Though the slow progress would drive some people crazy, I'm enjoying the process. With our little guy turning two and our second little boy due in the next few weeks the project gives me something to research and create in my few minutes of freedom.

Modifying a cross member is slow work without a plasma cutter, and when you're trying to keep as much material as possible.


I've been studying the Ramsey's (what a loss) work since the beginning and will modify my crossmember in a similar manner.

Using some plywood to mock up pivots and test locations.



I haven't even begun to work on modifying the rear of the crossmember. Tubing to replace the cutout from the flange seems to fit the bill here.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:42 AM   #8
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subscribed. I think TTB/coils is one of the best options for these vans.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:57 AM   #9
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Dana 50 ttb conversion log.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcaine View Post



Thus it begins: wheels welded so that mounting surfaces are 69.25" apart. Perhaps my first mistake?





If anyone cares to chime in on:

Distance between spring centers on axle?

Desired caster/camber?

Thoughts on cut and turn vs drop brackets for 3-4 inch lift?

"Resting" angle at center ujoint?

Radius arms vs j arms, either option will be longer than stock?


Hi,



I think you are on to something special here. More suspension travel was Ramsey`s mantra. The D50 TTB looks like the way to go from a reasonably available point of view.



Mounting distance- same as rear axle or...

Spring centers- match frame center.

Caster- laid back for less wandering 5*- match withing one degree of driveline angle to reduce front ujoint stress.

Camber- same as donor F250

Cut and turn vs... I don`t follow your question here.

Arms will be custom. So go beefy. There is a free program floating around on Pirate4x4 forum that does arm calcs.



Lower arm angle. FLAT. See MGM`s pictures.



I`d copy Ford`s dimensions as much as possible to get started. Then update as your research uncovers their built in compromises.



Best wishes on this.



Regards,



Gavin

Here's the frt crossmember in my 32 yr old Dodge. Note the use of C channel and flat plate to form a crossmember. You might be better of building a new one than fixing the old one. Better yet copy MGM's design when he unveils the mega Ford supervan.

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Old 09-28-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pntyrmvr View Post

Arms will be custom. So go beefy. There is a free program floating around on Pirate4x4 forum that does arm calcs.

Here's the file name for the link calculator. I can't find a downloadable copy though: 4 bar linkage calculator v3.0

It's quoted on pirate4x4 frequently.



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