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Old 07-26-2020, 03:14 PM   #1
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'05 E250 2wd limited slip, semi float rebuild/upgrade suggestions

I read forum for an hours.......no I don't want a full float axle.

We have a 2005 E250, 5.4l, 2wd with Ford limited slip, 3.73 gears, Dana 60 semi float axle, sway bar upgrade, Bilstein shocks, LT245/75-16 tires, Alcoa alum rims with rear spacers. Powerstop rotors. 80k miles total @10k/year.
Trips fully loaded are couple hundred highway miles (70-75mph) to fire/logging roads for OHV bike riding. Offroad sand as we dare down in Ocotillo Wells area. Snow at elevation. We carry snow/mud chains. Air pump to drop tire pressures. Max loaded we're total 8600lbs, Front 3800, Rear 4800

The LSD has been opened in the past, no idea what was done but we're starting to have some slight plate chatter coming off highway into first turn.

Would like to install an Eaton TrueTrac but not available for Dana60 semi-float. I don't really think we need a locker since the LSD and chains have gotten us out of our bad decisions so far.

QUESTIONS:
Whats the bang for buck repair/upgrade to this Dana 60 LSD and semifloat rear axle for "off roading" and general safety considering the above? I'm not interested in changing to a full float axle.

1) Add some diff additive and call it good. Fingers crossed.
2) Rebuild LSD diff with OEM kit or aftermarket farkle parts. Who's kit (carbon fiber plates , etc?)
3) Upgrade axle and bearings to after market "heavy duty". What brands?
4) We else should I consider to tighten up her rearend?

Mike
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:38 PM   #2
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If the chatter is your only concern, just can add a half bottle of LSD additive. Then add the other half later if it still does it or returns. The chatter means it's gripping more than is ideal for on-pavement driving (on the flip side, it'll be making better traction off road now), but at the expense of possible premature wear. I've run mine a LONG time with chatter. I never bothered with it, since I'd always blow up the diff before I'd wear out the clutches.

Carbon fiber has a lot of benefits. Frictions surfaces are not one of them however. You need quite a bit more surface area to match a traditional friction lining, and since diffs are oil bathed, you don't need the extreme temp performance of carbon.

I'm not sure why you'd you consider "aftermarket heavy duty parts" over a full float however. That just doesn't make sense. You'll spend more, and still have an inferior axle.
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Old 07-26-2020, 04:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by racer_rr View Post
Max loaded we're total 8600lbs, Front 3800, Rear 4800 Would like to install an Eaton TrueTrac but not available for Dana60 semi-float.

QUESTIONS:
Whats the bang for buck repair/upgrade to this Dana 60 LSD and semifloat rear axle for "off roading" and general safety considering the above? I'm not interested in changing to a full float axle.

3) Upgrade axle and bearings to after market "heavy duty". What brands?
4) We else should I consider to tighten up her rearend? Mike
Hi Mike, If I'm not mistaken, the front GAWR is 3700lbs (at least on my 2001 E250), so your already over weight there. Rear GAWR is 5200lbs, so your 300lbs under, but still at the max GVWR of 8600lbs. I'm sure you know that the semi float uses the axles for the inner bearing race, and tend to wear a groove in the axle eventually, possibly resulting in a wheel coming off. Adding spacers doesn't help either as they increase the leverage the wheels have on the bearings, increasing their load and making them work harder. I'm unaware of "heavy duty" bearings that will increase your allowable weight rating, and they will still be riding on the axle.

As for general safety recommendations, if you unable to upgrade to a full float, at a minimum, I'd want to occasionally inspect the axles for wear in the area of the bearings. Additionally, I'd use an infared temp gun to check the bearing housing temps after a hard run.

How are your springs? They too are part of the calculated allowable weight, and over time they sag, and occasionally one will break. Fortunately that doesn't usually result in a complete loss of control.

I just installed a Trutrack in my D60 full float, but I think the difference may be that you need a 35 spline carrier and axle, but you can add one. While you in there, a set of 410 gears could improve your off road capability's but may not be needed with your smaller tires. The entire reason I upgraded to a full float was because I was right at max GVWR, and I was always concerned about breaking an axle, just as I did in my old Dodge truck with a heavy camper.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback so far guys.

As Carringb suggested maybe I leave the EOM diff as-is with an occasional chatter but "better" grip. Its not broke, why break it.
And as Arctictraveller noticed I'm right at the front axle GAWR so I'm rolling the dice there. Handling is fine with the new shocks, bearings, steering dampener, and rotors however I'll need to keep an eye on bearings. I understand the rear spacers the last owner installed are not helping the semi-float axle life.

When I mentioned 'heavier duty' components I was referring also to better quality. I saw "Chrome-Moly Aftermarket Shafts that at 20%" stronger. Although stronger doesn't mean tougher. I could also ensure I have quality bearings...and check them often. $600 in new semi float axles and bearings seems reasonable CYA compared to time and cost of sourcing and rebuilding a Dana 60 full float.

I also came across somewhere in the interweb of a repair rear bearing existed which was intended to ride on the fresher surface of a damaged axle. If thats the case maybe there is a double wide bearing as an "upgrade". Or press two bearings per side? yes.....silly.

http://autoam.timken.com/techseries/...airBearing.pdf

I'm not a rear-end guy. More of a top-end guy.
We semi-floaters could also install wheel tethers like F1 cars.......
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:23 PM   #5
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.
And as Arctictraveller noticed I'm right at the front axle GAWR so I'm rolling the dice there.

We semi-floaters could also install wheel tethers like F1 cars.......
Actually, if the figures are correct, your over weight in the front. The safest thing to do would be to remove some weight

Well, that's probably not happening, so for piece of mind, you might just pull the axles for inspection and if the bearings and axles look good, just run it as is, just try not to overload it.

What the heck is a "wheel tether"?
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:35 PM   #6
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There's no reason to fret over your front-axle weight. It might hit the bump-stops sooner, and the camber might be off slightly. But the only mechanical difference is the springs themselves. All other front axle components are common between the E250 and E350, with FAWRs up to 4,6000 for that year.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:49 PM   #7
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There's no reason to fret over your front-axle weight. It might hit the bump-stops sooner, and the camber might be off slightly. But the only mechanical difference is the springs themselves. All other front axle components are common between the E250 and E350, with FAWRs up to 4,6000 for that year.
That's good to know. Is that true for 4wd conversions too, such as mine with a D44?
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:10 PM   #8
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That's good to know. Is that true for 4wd conversions too, such as mine with a D44?
No. The Dana 44 had a max FAWR of 3,500 pounds. And depending on the original application, may have been even lower.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:47 PM   #9
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I'd be curious if you have a factory installed limited slip since the tag doesn't indicate that (3.73 vs 3L73)

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Old 07-30-2020, 04:46 AM   #10
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I'd be curious if you have a factory installed limited slip since the tag doesn't indicate that (3.73 vs 3L73)

Scott

Both my 98 and 2011 E250s had/have LS and the tags are the same as shown here. The “LS” code is at the bottom right of the tag.
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