Thought I might fill you guys in on a little project I undertook a few weeks ago.
My 2wd F350 crew cab truck didn't have the traction to pull our boat out at the boat ramp. So, last year I bought a 5 speed 4x4 F350 for this purpose. It worked great, but the wife was concerned that she couldn't run the clutch and back in/pull out the trailer and boat.
So, I needed an automatic 4x4.
I put the auto 2wd truck up for sale, and was getting ridiculous lowball offers. I got mad, and took matters into my own hands.....what follows is a tale of a dedicated man on a mission of cheapness.....I decided to convert my 2wd truck into a 4wd.
It all started with the purchase of a 4x4 donor truck. Found one for $900 bucks. Got it running, to test all the 4x4 stuff, and everything was OK.
After grinding 50 rivets, cutting frame sections out, removing the entire drivetrain, etc we dropped off the carcass at a buddy's salvage yard for $300 in scrap value:
Now I had all the stuff to do the conversion.
Started with this:
Installed all the 4wd stuff in the rear (keeping the original 2wd axle). Ground off so many rivets up front I was going crazy. Installed all the leaf spring mounting hardware using 7/16" grade 8 bolts. Ever try drilling a 7/16" hole in a truck frame? How about 40 or so? No fun. Ended up here after about a week:
It was then that I took a week off to go to work! LOL..... When I got back, it was time to install the trans... the 4wd trans has a different output section so the transfer case can bolt up. Well, between '93 (the year of the donor) and '95 (the year of the recipient) they changed the electronics in side the trans, making them incompatible. So, a call to a trans buddy of mine confirmed I could simply swap the electronic guts between the trannies and be A-O-K. Additionally, I needed to swap the front pump and torque converter as well. That was a fun day.
Got the trans/transfer case in and hooked up with no real issues. There was a wiring harness already in place to hook to the transfer case to indicate 4x4 and low range on the instrument cluster. AND, there were bulbs in place as well! That was the first and one of the only things that was easy about the swap.
The front axle had 4.10 gears in it. The rear had 3.55's in it. It was time to install a 3.55 gearset in the front axle. I had never done a Dana 60 gear swap before. Now was the time. I found a cheap used gearset from a guy on another forum, and bought a ring and pinion installation kit. Believe it or not, although labor intensive due to the 4wd crap that needed to be removed first, the gear swap was simple. I literally removed the 4.10 gears, and installed the 3.55's without changing a single shim. I checked the gear pattern and it was perfect! Amazing. Slapped it back together and put it in the truck.
After swapping the brake lines and hoses over, I hooked all that stuff up and bled everything.
Threw the wheels and tires on the truck and took it for a spin. It was awesome! At least till the trans quit shifting.
Luckily that was caused by a bad switch on the transmission, simply swapping the 2wd switch over corrected all the issues.
So far, I have pulled a 23' pontoon in and out a few times, and also our 33' go fast boat and the truck has performed flawlessly.
So, instead of taking a $1500 hit on the sale of the 2wd truck, only to take another $ 1500 hit on a replacement truck, and a further $1000 hit on sure to be needed repairs and upgrades to the replacement truck.... I am instead out a total of $750 for the entire swap, and I still have my same trusty and dependable truck.
As a side note, this swap involved an estimated 160 man hours. Since I work for free that's not a cost factor, but it WAS a lot of very hard and dirty work. Not recommended for the faint of hart.
I have already decided tha tI will never do this swap again..... just too much pain involved! LOL....
Sorry for such a long post, but I thought you guys might like to see why the driver's side floor pan is still incomplete on the '60.