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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    southern California
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    I have researched this axle swap in great detail for my truck and intend to do it at some future time. Here is what I have found.

    To swap to a dually axle on that year F250 (and my '92 F350SRW as well), all you need is the Ford/Sterling/Visteon 10.25" DRW model axle from an '86-'97 F350 DRW pickup, as well as the wheels/tires. The DRW pickup axle with bolt straight up, as will the springs. Rear springs are the same length and width (3" wide) on the F250/350SRW/350DRW pickups in those years. It is best to get the whole axle complete, hub to hub, including the brakes and the springs. The duallys use slightly wider (1/2") and slightly larger diameter (1/8") brake drums and shoes.

    Since your truck is 4wd, you will need to match the axle ratios of both front and rear axles. Factory stock axle ratio in these trucks was 3.55. 4.10 was optional on all F250-350 pickups, so the axle you find can have either ratio. There should be a tag attatched to one of the differential cover bolts stating the ratio. It can also be stamped into the cover. You can also count the teeth on the ring gear and pinion gear and divide to find the ratio. There is also a ratio code on the door jamb vehicle info sticker that states the ratio. I believe '39' is the code for a 3.55 ratio with an open differential. If there is a letter in the code, the differential is a limited slip. Numbers only, no letter is an open differential. I forget the code for 4.10.

    The springs are also heavier to match the axle's increased capacity. The dually 10.25" axle is rated for 8250 lbs, versus 6250 lbs for the F250/350SRW model 10.25" axle. Springs are rated appropriately higher at 7500 lbs for the dually versus 6000 lbs for the F250/350SRW. Get the upper auxiliary overload spring setup from the dually while you're at it.

    The rear sway bars are a little different too between the F250/350SRW pickups and F350 DRW pickups. Your F250 probly doesn't have the sway bar, so this would be a good time to add it from the dually donor truck.

    Do not choose an F350 DRW chassis-cab as the donor truck because the chassis-cab axle is not wide enough and the spring pads and shock mounts are mounted in the wrong places to fit the pickup frame, due to the chassis-cabs having 34" frame rail spacing versus the pickup's 37" or somewhere thereabouts frame rail spacing.

    Do not use a '99 or later truck as the donor truck either, unless you want to make the swap more complicated. The wheel bolt pattern is not the same (8 on 6.5" with 9/16" studs for the early trucks versus 8 on 170mm with metric studs for the later trucks). Frame rail spacing and axle width may also be different. The newer trucks' single rear wheel axles are wider than the older trucks. Not sure about the duallys. The newer trucks use rear disc brakes, which probly means also swapping the master cylinder and possibly brake booster. The discs would be a good improvement in braking though.

    If you want to run the overloads, you will need to remove the overload spring bumper brackets from the donor truck's frame (grind off and punch out the rivets) and bolt them to your F250 frame (which should already have the holes) with regular grade 8 bolts or huck bolts.

    To make it street legal with the duals, you will need to add the 3 red marker lights in the rear center below the tailgate and the 5 amber marker lights above the cab, as well as the amber and red marker lights on each side of the truck bed. Any vehicle over 80" wide must have the lights to be DOT legal.

    You could run single rear wheels and tires on the dually axle to keep the width under 80", but you lose the additional capacity of the dual sets. You will still need a hub-centric type of wheel though, to use the dually hub as the support for the wheel.

    The transfer case will be the Borg-Warner 13-56. It was used on all F250/350 old body trucks from the mid 80's through '97. Ford used the BW 13-42 on Broncos and F150's in those years. They stopped using New Process 203/205/208 transfer cases in the mid 80's, actually probly earlier than that for 203 and 205.
    Last edited by Desertrider33; 06-22-2010 at 10:08 AM.
    Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
    Millermatic175
    MillermaticPassport/Q300
    HTP MIG200
    PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
    ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
    DialarcHF, Radiator-1
    Hypertherm PowerMax 380
    Purox oxy/ace
    Jackson EQC
    -F350 CrewCab 4x4
    -LoadNGo utility bed
    -Bobcat 250NT
    -PassportPlus/Q300
    -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
    -Suitcase8RC/Q400
    -Suitcase12RC/Q300
    -Smith oxy/propane
    -Jackson EQC

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Houston, Tx.
    Posts
    378

    Default

    I have not checked the prices on the used market for these winches. New they are quite pricey as they are heavy duty to say the least. You will be most likely to find what you are looking for on a salvaged rollback style wrecker. The winches on these are rated around 10,000 lbs. single line pull. None of the winches described so far are made for overhead lifting, so for saftey's sake keep that in mind. There is plenty of room to mount the pump underhood on your 7.3. The wreckers I described ran the same setup for the winch. The pump will have an electromagnetic clutch and pulley so you can turn the pump on or off via a switch. You will also need a way to boost the engine rpm while the pump is operating. Some trucks used a manual cable setup, but most had an electric solenoid at the injection pump with another switch in the cab. With this type of setup there is no need for a PTO at the driveline. You will of course have to supply a hydraulic tank, hoses, and controls ect. This winch would be overkill for your rig, but the likelyhood of finding a smaller hyd. winch on the salvage mkt. might be more difficult.
    Electric winches are o.k. but they get expensive as capacity increases and they draw a lot of amperage. By the time you set up an electric with a high output alternator, good batteries, power cables and short circut/overload protection, your still in it for some $$$.
    Sometimes there's no second chances.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Shattuck, OKlahoma
    Posts
    12

    Default

    That axle swap doesn't sound too hard, I looked at another F250 a little while ago that had been swapped to a DRW axle, but the mechanic that did it wasn't home where I could talk to him, so thanks for laying out the procedure for me. As far as the winch goes, I'm still trying to weigh my options on price and usability. Thanks again and I will keep everyone posted once I start taking on this project.

    Bryce
    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
    1980 Ford F150 Custom
    1985 Ford F250 4x4
    Assorted Hand & Power Tools

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Shattuck, OKlahoma
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Here is a winch I found for sale, may be a bit overkill though. Let me know what you all think.

    Bryce

    WINCHES, CABLES & ACCESSORIES


    WINCH 8,000LB RAMSEY W/FREESPOOL
    $1,100.00
    JD350

    well it was supposed to have a picture with it
    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
    1980 Ford F150 Custom
    1985 Ford F250 4x4
    Assorted Hand & Power Tools

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Houston, Tx.
    Posts
    378

    Default

    Search hydraulic winch on Fleabay. There's a 9000# Warn hydraulic winch new with free shipping for about $1200.00.
    Sometimes there's no second chances.

  6. #16

    Default

    well if you really want truck space we took a 01 f450 with the CAT c6 under the hood

    i stretched and extended the frame and put a 12' truck bed made out of 350srw and the stock 450drw beds welded and finished into a long bed with plenty of room for tools and material and it still turns pretty good for its size.
    Leblond Makino mills
    HAAS CNC SL-40 lathe
    American Pacemaker lathe
    wells index mill
    hydrotel rebuilt
    syncrowave 250
    diversion 165
    Miller Elite Vintage USA

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central CA
    Posts
    781

    Default Frame

    If you are going to load the 3/4 ton pu frame more than the 8600 gvw limit, you had better strengthen the frame as I have broken my frame before.
    One ton frames have a deeper web and wider flange than 3/4 tons frames.
    Good Luck,
    Bob
    Millermatic 252 w/30A
    Big Blue Air Pak
    Ellis 3000 Band Saw
    Trailblazer 302 Air Pak w/ Wireless Remote
    8-RC
    Dynasty 200 DX
    XMT 350 MPa w/S-74 MPa Plus
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    SA-200 Green Lite '84
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    SA-200 Red Face '69
    SA-200 Red Face '66
    SA-200 Green Lite '81
    '70 Black Face Round Barrel

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    southern California
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
    If you are going to load the 3/4 ton pu frame more than the 8600 gvw limit, you had better strengthen the frame as I have broken my frame before.
    One ton frames have a deeper web and wider flange than 3/4 tons frames.
    Good Luck,
    Bob
    In the particular year/model trucks we are talking about, the frames are the same for the F250/350SRW/350DRW pickups, except for the front section of the 4wd F250 frame, which is made to accept the TTB Dana 50 front axle, where as the F350's use the monobeam Dana 60 front axle. From the engine cross member rearward, the frames are the same. F350 chassis-cab frames are different than pickup frames, but we are talking strictly pickup frames here.

    The whole rear of the 250/350 pickup chassis are the same, except for the DRW axle, spring packs, overload spring bumpers, DRW brakes, wheels, tires and sway bar (and the 4" tall versus 2" tall riser block under the rear springs, which was only used on the F250/350SRW 4x4 models, 2" for the F250's and 4" for the F350's). These are all bolt-on parts and easily changeable.

    The F250 and F350SRW are nearly identical, except for the overload springs and sway bar that came stock on the 350SRW and were optional on the 250, so there are some 250's out there that are exactly identical in the rear chassis to the 350's, with exception of the 2" taller riser block under rear springs of the 4wd models. F350DRW pickups in these years were not available with 4wd, so the riser block is not present on duallies like it is on the SRW 4wd's.

    He will need to use longer u-bolts and add in his 2" tall rear spring riser blocks when he swaps in the axle from the 2wd dually pickup, to retain his truck's current rear ride height and front/rear nose-down unloaded stance. I would advise at this point though to swap to the 4" riser blocks from an F350SRW 4x4 instead of using the F250's 2" blocks, so the truck will sit at the same 2" higher rear ride height that the F350SRW 4x4's sit at, versus the F250's. This allows 2" more drop in the rear springs under load before back end of the truck drops below level.

    This was the reasoning behind Ford giving the F350SRW a 9200-lb GVWR versus the F250's 8800-lb GVWR because, the additional 2" of rear unloaded ride hieght, together with the standard upper aux overload leafs, allowed the F350SRW truck take more 400 lbs more weight on the rear axle before dropping below level than the F250 trucks could take. The rear 5-leaf main spring packs, aside from the overload leafs, are the same for the F250 and F350SRW, in these years.

    On my F350SRW 4wd, I swapped out the stock 5-leaf packs for heavy duty 7-leaf packs using 3/8" thick leaves, versus the stock 1/4" thick leaves, in addition to a much thicker bottom overload leaf than the stock spring packs had. My springs are rated 4300 lbs per pack, versus the stock springs' rating of about 3000 lbs per pack. I kept the stock single upper overload leafs and the stock 4" riser blocks under the main packs.

    The new heavy duty springs sit at pretty much the same stock ride height when unloaded cause although the packs are thicker (taller) the springs have less arc, so the spring eyes are close to the same position as stock in relation to the bottom of the pack. When loaded though, the springs don't drop much at all, so the truck stays level or slightly above, even with the rear axle loaded up to 7500 lbs, which is 1250 lbs over the capacity of the axle itself.

    The truck rides hard when unloaded, but rides very firm and controlled with the heavy load. My truck normally weighs close to 11,000 lbs in daily use, though it weighs only about 7000 lbs with an empty bed. Most of that weight goes on the rear axle. This is the reason why I want the DRW axle. It is rated to take the weight I am loading the truck to and the brakes are slightly larger and should stop better. Though I'm not expecting them to be a HUGE difference, every bit helps.
    Last edited by Desertrider33; 06-22-2010 at 08:30 PM.
    Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
    Millermatic175
    MillermaticPassport/Q300
    HTP MIG200
    PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
    ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
    DialarcHF, Radiator-1
    Hypertherm PowerMax 380
    Purox oxy/ace
    Jackson EQC
    -F350 CrewCab 4x4
    -LoadNGo utility bed
    -Bobcat 250NT
    -PassportPlus/Q300
    -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
    -Suitcase8RC/Q400
    -Suitcase12RC/Q300
    -Smith oxy/propane
    -Jackson EQC

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