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Old 01-23-2020, 02:09 PM   #31
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Oh thanks for informing me up to speed, I didn't know this was a real problem with the SF axle.

My 96 EB Club Wagon 115K, I am turning into a party, light camping van with the rear 4 person seat discarded and the 3 3 person seats reorientated into a lounge C shape 11 persons w/driver max instead of 15.
So I'll never be at the GVWR and I like the factory size tires.

Concerning my van, where I've serviced the fluid with new synthetic and no leaking seals, the axle failure is still a concern..?

Or is failure more of a concern for adding big tires and/or lots of weight?
Does the failure have to do with high mileage on the van?

So one had pitting on the seal started it. So water got in past the seal and rusted the bearings or did the axle fluid leak out the seal running the bearings dry?

With the roll over hazard with our vans, a rear tire or axle failure would not be fun at all.

My brother had a Toyota pickup many years ago with a fiberglass topper and one time we lifted the topper off and OH mY Gosh that fiberglass topper was so very heavy I think it took 4 of us, compared to the light aluminum shell toppers like my Ranger had.

So I bet those fiberglass van toppers are heavy..

Take care
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:34 PM   #32
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jimtmcdaniels - Your '96 will already have a full-float. The only difference between your axle and the '99-'05 full-floats is you have drum brakes, while the newer ones have disc.

So... as long as water has not gotten in your axle, you have nothing to worry about. Synthetic gear oil is good for 150,000 miles.

I'm not sure the mechanism of water intrusion on that one example is fully known. It's possible the seal was old, or the axle vent tube was plugged, and driving into standing water caused some to suck in. But it's also possible the bearings were wearing, and any slop could likewise allow water in. Running an axle dry won't causing pitting, but it will cause the bearings to heat up, possibly to failure. At which point the same thing happens. And yes, both larger tires or running over the axle rating as likely causes of failure. Mileage does not seem to be a factor, but any really old axle seals are prone to drying out.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:10 PM   #33
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Oh you say mine is a full float..? I had done googling on that before and my door decal axle code is 33 and that shows as a Dana 61 3.54 ratio.
Google says Dana 61 can be semi or full float. I finally found a site that said it was semi float... Guess it was wrong.

Does my rear axle have any outer bearings that I have to repack?

So why does the original poster '05 E350 club wagon have only semi floating on their newer E350? Ford went lighter on the newer ones or what's gong on there?

Thanks
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:23 PM   #34
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Oh you say mine is a full float..? I had done googling on that before and my door decal axle code is 33 and that shows as a Dana 61 3.54 ratio.
Google says Dana 61 can be semi or full float. I finally found a site that said it was semi float... Guess it was wrong.

Does my rear axle have any outer bearings that I have to repack?

So why does the original poster '05 E350 club wagon have only semi floating on their newer E350? Ford went lighter on the newer ones or what's gong on there?

Thanks
As far as I'm aware, ALL '96 E250/350s were full floats. Easiest way for you to confirm is to verify the hub sticks out beyond the face of your wheels.

Starting in '99 or so, Ford starting phasing in semi-floats, starting with the E250 vans, then the E350 cargo vans, then the E350 RB wagons, and finally the E350 EB wagons in '02. Oh and also a handful of '97 vans got the 7-lug F250 light-duty axle. But then they brought back the full-floats in late '05 on vans with RSC. But then it went away again for the '09 model year across the board.

My best guess is accounting saw some potential for cost savings, and the phase-in gave them time to validate the semi-floats under normal conditions. The problem for us is, we may be using our vans under conditions not anticipated by Ford. Had the #vanlife movement started sooner, the story might have been different, as they seem to work a bit closer with camper-van upfitters now.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:08 PM   #35
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Wow thanks for the Great info!
My hubs stick out past the wheels so Yes they are full floating.

I understand the penny pinching and weight pinching Ford has to consider.
It's a shame it sometimes comes with reduced longevity.

I thought the axle max rating came from Dana so I wonder how Dana's rating compares between the full vrs semi in my van vrs the others since full is suppose to take so much more weight.
I saw mine is rated 6250 lbs. hmm

Say, so then are my outer bearings packed in grease that I have to repack so often?

ThankX
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:52 PM   #36
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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...
YOU are welcome to run anything you drive or own under any circumstances you feel are "good enough". I don't agree with that approach---running a bit too close to the upper limit of anything just isn't something I want to do.

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If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, fix our mental obsessions instead where the real fixing is needed imho

Take care
Are you the same "jimtmcdaniels" over on FTE? If yes then your posts there mostly explain this one---you don't strike me as a reliable or knowledgeable source of much more than opinions, "thoughts" and/or assumptions based upon who knows what.

If my mental obsession is a problem for you by all means regale me with your way to "fix the real thing"---I'll eagerly await your direction.

For everyone else part of this discussion as usual for here I've learned a lot and hope to use it all in the near future.

As CarringB says I've found a good deal on what might be a decent starting point--have to confirm what this seller has will be a direct swap. Once the new axle is deemed ready for installation I want a simple in and out exchange, don't want to halt the operation dealing with a mismatch or forgotten possible conflict. I'll re-use my existing calipers but new rotors, brake pads and hardware will be on-site ready to install as needed.

I've also secured the services of a trusted big truck mechanic who'll go through the new-to-me axle and even install it---my contribution will be internal parts and lunch for the shop (five people at most--but they're big eaters so this might be costly).

Along with servicing their own big trucks they are into hot rodding which is a spirit I greatly admire. They're also long time customers of mine, I've known them for close to 15 years now. These guys are the real deal---working on my puny E350 is like working on toys for them. They giggle at my 8,400# fully loaded van.

I'm still a few weeks off beginning this swap but certainly welcome additional comments and yes I promise to update this as I discover more or things get underway.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:02 PM   #37
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I saw mine is rated 6250 lbs. hmm

Say, so then are my outer bearings packed in grease that I have to repack so often?

ThankX
That sounds right for a Dana 60. I'd suggest trying to find the model stamping on the housing, just outside the diff cover. The door tags don't always match up. I take the door tags to be more of a "minimum". Some vans, especially E350 wagons, actually got Dana 70s. My '94 did, which made it really hard to buy the correct brake shoes (fwiw it actually took 3.5" brake shoes for the listed for duallies, but the parts counter would give me 3" every time).

And no, you don't have to re-pack your rear axle bearings. They are lubricated by your differential oil.
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:48 PM   #38
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Here are 3 photos to help identify Dana rear axles:

1- turned sideways, the lower left of the center section clearly shows a 70

2- BOM (bill of matetials) to the right of the center after a serious wire wheel cleanup on a southern vehicle with 11,000 miles on it. Rust may prevent accurate reading so play with the numbers when referring to them.

3- enlarged photo of #2. Keep this handy. Go to Dana's website and it will tell you all the part numbers and specs of the internals.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-24-2020, 01:26 PM   #39
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While the F series did have a bolt pattern change on the new body style including 99 and up to a 8 on 170mm, the E series remained 8 on 6.5 standard I think till end of production as far as I know.
Info on the axle can also be obtained from the pumpkin tab if your lucky enough to still have it attached!
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:41 PM   #40
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Wow thanks for the great info!

Ok here are my axle id pics, one says 6114 so i think that means my axle is a Dana 61.
Attached Thumbnails
6B74C8ED-8AB0-4367-94A5-BD6193960343.jpeg   842DCAE8-B568-450D-A5CA-5707D3D616C8.jpeg   4515431E-10E3-4E67-A49D-1195AAD8C20B.jpeg   6A00934E-F212-4301-8FAE-C19355AE23B2.jpeg   7FE96D6A-35E9-4D49-BC33-69F999B611AB.jpeg  

0797BE4B-1E2A-4D0C-9E94-36C65A23B835.jpeg  
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