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Old 01-20-2020, 01:02 PM   #21
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Keep in mind the axle is going to cost $350 to $700 from a salvage yard. I found mind for $500 from an 01 van in a Phoenix salvage yard. Despite the low mileage of 105,000 miles (for an axle) and the claimed "excellent condition" when I pulled the axle shafts what gear oil that came out was foul smelling and almost black in color.


I decided to do a rebuild for peace of mind. New carrier and pinion bearings and races, seals and slingers was $300. Add in another $300 for the labor but they let me supply the parts.


At the other extreme is a new drop-in replacement for $8k like a Dynatrac Prorock 80!
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:04 PM   #22
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One other thing if you're thinking about finding a new axle is some are available with Ford's version of limited slip called trac loc.
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Old 01-22-2020, 05:27 AM   #23
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Since last posting I've searched for FF rear axles both locally, on-line (eBay mostly) and LKQ's online site as well. I'm finding prices from $68 (sixty eight dollars ) up to $750, all salvage or used parts. Some are relatively low miles, others well over 350K--the price not greatly reduced with higher mileage.

Ratios indeed ranging from 3:55 to 4:10, the desired 3:73 in ample supply. The $68 axle is tempting mostly because I expect to inspect and more than likely rebuild anything so I have maximum reliability. Its located 160 miles from me but as it turns out I'll be within an hour's additional drive sometime in the near future. It wouldn't be too difficult to swing by the yard where it is---if its not already removed I might be able to pre-pay and have it ready to load as soon as I arrive. Traveling with a friend on his own mission for box truck body parts we'll have plenty of room to haul it back home.

New seals, gaskets, bearings and lube would be minimum. I have a trusted mechanic/friend who'd do most if not all of the transfer and refreshing work, his charges more than fair. Most likely new rotors and pads, I'm assuming calipers etc will swap over?

I'll weigh my options and assess if there's a real cost vs benefit to my needs---I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:48 AM   #24
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Here's an option to consider....you probably know this but the axle shafts are not the same between the SF and FF. (full-floater has 1.37" 32spline and the SF 35spline 1.5"). You may need (or want) 35spline to work with the differential internals you wish to swap over. Something to check anyway. I ordered mine from Dutchman.


Another thing on internals. If your going to replace the differential ring and bearing, pinion and wheel bearings making sure they were either Spicer or Timkin. There's a good chance those are made in the US or Japan. Anything from National or Moog is Chinese or made in Mexico. I used the Dana Spicer BOM lookup table to figure out part #s.


I can't remember what's on your front? You may want wheel spacers or reuse the old ones to match the WMS-WMS. Lots of threads on this but with a FF out of an E series you will need wheel spacers to match the wms-wms on the front.
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Old 01-23-2020, 05:39 AM   #25
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Thanks for the info JoeH---good things to ponder.

I hope to minimally do anything to the "new" axle, hoping to just find the proper Ford direct replacement so there'll be no need to do extensive rebuilding just to have a usable axle. In my ideal world once the axle has been refreshed it'll be a one-day job swapping it over to my van. That will require careful planning and scheduling to absolutely minimize down time---this is a money-making vehicle I rely heavily on.

I don't believe I have a need or desire to add wheel spacers front or rear---the E-Series I drive seem to behave well enough with the mostly highway driving I do. The full floater should certainly handle wheel spacers but they're just not for me.

Should I need any internal parts I'd use nothing but Dana/Spicer or Timkin---they're pricy but I'm sure their longer-term quality is worth the extra cost. I prefer doing something right the first time and hope that leads to longer-term reliability. During normal use within an axle's rated capacity its rare to have a failure but it's only smart doing it right to fend off the Ford motto: Found On Ooad Dead.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:53 AM   #26
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Sweet, good luck with the swap! The wheel spacer thing is really only to match the wms-wms on the front if it's got a dynatrac 60.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:04 PM   #27
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I have seen a rating for the semi float rear axle of 6,250 lbs.
Your total van weight of 8,460 lbs doesnít exceed the 9,100 lbs the van is rated for which can handle by design some reasonable 4x2 off roading safely.
So I donít know what the Strong concern is...for ... here...

Iíd recommend the Monroe shocks with assist coils they can come with. They only give a lift boost automatically when needed.
You do need to keep those rear tires to the 80 psi so the tires donít flex crush and over heat since you are getting close to max.

Remember the rear drum brakes are Self energizing in that when applied, the shoes get pulled into the drums even more from the spinning action.
Most of the braking is on the front disc brakes.
All round disc are over rated except for sports track cars.
Geeze, even Rear disc brakes still come with tiny drum brakes for the park brake! Lol
If it ainít broke donít fix it, fix our mental obsessions instead where the real fixing is needed imho

Take care
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:12 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtmcdaniels View Post
I have seen a rating for the semi float rear axle of 6,250 lbs.
Your total van weight of 8,460 lbs doesn’t exceed the 9,100 lbs the van is rated for which can handle by design some reasonable 4x2 off roading safely.
So I don’t know what the Strong concern is...for ... here...

I’d recommend the Monroe shocks with assist coils they can come with. They only give a lift boost automatically when needed.
You do need to keep those rear tires to the 80 psi so the tires don’t flex crush and over heat since you are getting close to max.

Remember the rear drum brakes are Self energizing in that when applied, the shoes get pulled into the drums even more from the spinning action.
Most of the braking is on the front disc brakes.
All round disc are over rated except for sports track cars.
Geeze, even Rear disc brakes still come with tiny drum brakes for the park brake! Lol
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, fix our mental obsessions instead where the real fixing is needed imho

Take care

Ha, this is a van enthusiast forum. We obsess and have severe upgradeititis!


But worth mentioning the OP has a 2005 van so it has rear disc brakes.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:40 PM   #29
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Well I was always taught that if we care enough, it's wisest to first start with asking if the desired change is needed or just an unfounded worry.

I mean, am I mistaken or is he over the 9,100 lbs GVWR manufacturer rating?

When I was young and silly, I use to have a little ford Ranger and I was moving dirt from my back yard and I over loaded that bed with the dirt, up to the top of the cab with the addition of side rails.
So I went way over the GVWR and it didn't break on me but I was lucky and I didn't do off roading with all that weight, just hauling over the street.
So my point is that Ford seems to design some leeway into the GVWR so even going over a tad at times may be ok although I'd worry about the tires then lol.
This gentlemen is under the GVWR so I don't understand his concern is all, it seems unfounded and extreme actions will only add unnecessary headaches and weight to our vans.

Wait till our next gas prices hike hits like when we go to war with Iran or something.
Isn't it amazing how some additions to our vehicles can cause the MPG to just plummet?

Take care
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:50 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtmcdaniels View Post
Well I was always taught that if we care enough, it's wisest to first start with asking if the desired change is needed or just an unfounded worry.

I mean, am I mistaken or is he over the 9,100 lbs GVWR manufacturer rating?
There have been multiple failures on this forum over the years, where the SF axle shaft sheared off at the hub, causing the wheel assembly to completely leave the van. Yes, some of these were probably a little over their ratings, but regardless, it's a mechanism of failure that can ruin a trip, or worse. A EB-high-roof van can be impossible to control without a rear wheel. A FF axle simple cannot fail like this.

And here's the rub... It doesn't even need to be overloaded for this to happen. One of the failures on here was due to pitting at the seal, where moisture had gotten it, initiating the failure.

I do agree that HWA is a low-risk, and could get by without one. But he found a great deal on a FF replacement, and there's little downside of installing one, besides cost, and less locker options due to spline count.
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