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Discussion Starter #81 (Edited)
Parts and tools

It's funny: when I have time I don't have much $, and when I have $ I don't have much time.

Haven't made much progress in the way of actual fabrication on the Bronco lately, but I did order some goodies.

RuffStuff Dana 60 and Sterling 10.25 diff covers:



RuffStuff 6" RSK for the Sterling:



RuffStuff Sterling rear disc brake kit:



I am very impressed with the quality of all of the RuffStuff items. The diff covers are 3/8" thick, the D60 cover weighs about 25 lbs. and the Sterling cover weighs about 40 lbs. The RSK brackets are 3/8" thick as well; they are well-built and super stout. The rear disc brake kit brackets are 3/8" thick (notice a trend here?) and look like they will install fairly simply. All of the hardware included is grade 8.

Borgeson steering shaft:



Yukon kingpin rebuild kits and Warn 35-spline hubs:



I don't think these new Warn hubs are going to work with the Dana 50 spindles that I got from a '97 F250 (the way the hubs engage the spindles on the '97 Dana 50 are significantly different). Which means I may have to adapt the dually hubs from the Dana 60 I already have or get a new set of spindles.

Also, I had planned on using Reid Racing bronze upper kingpin bushings. However, ECGS states, "designed to replace the OEM nylon cone bushings in severe-duty applications where the OEM bushings succumb to accelerated wear and premature breakage. Bushings are designed specifically for rockcrawling, rockracing, and other extreme off-road motorsports. Designed to be used with aftermarket adjustable-preload highsteer arms or shimmed "spring eliminator kits" instead of the OEM spring and cap retainer." High-steer arms are nice, but that's extra $ unnecessary for this build. I looked around fairly thoroughly for a kingpin spring eliminator kit and I couldn't find any mention of them anywhere.

Redhead steering gear:



USA Standard gear 35-spline stub shafts. I was going to use chromoly shafts, but decided against it when I saw the price difference. Realistically, this BKO will be on the road 90% (or more) of the time. If I break these, I'll upgrade:



ECGS kingpin removal tool:



This is a nice tool, but unless you're planning on rebuilding kingpin Dana 60s for a living, I'd pass. I misunderstood the listing on the ECGS website and thought I was ordering both this and the allen wrench. The cost was almost $40 shipped.

I also upgraded my MIG setup. I was using .035 Innershield flux core wire, but got tired of all the splatter. So I picked up a 150 cu/ft cylinder of Ar/CO2 75/25 mix, along with both .030 and .035 solid wire. I've been running the .035 and practicing on some 1/4" scrap steel I have laying around. It welds so much cleaner than the flux core. Since I now have a bottle to go along with the welder, I bought a cart to keep it all together and have it mobile. Much nicer to move around.

I also found the steel table you see in the picture below (to the right of the MIG cart) on craigslist. It has a 3/8" top, much thicker than the sheet metal work bench I was using before. I just need to get a oxy/acetylene torch, and the majority of my steel-working tools will be complete.



I still need to put an order in with Artec for the D60 and Sterling trusses and front 3-link kit, but I've made some decent progress on parts acquisition... now I just need to find the time to get this put together.
 

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Looks like you're getting ready to be busy. On the Warn hubs, aren't the Dana 50 outers exactly the same as the Dana 60 on the F350? On the rear disc kit, do those have a parking brake provision or will you do a drive shaft brake? Know the feeling about lack of $ and time. Now I have plenty of time, but not much money. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the front sheet metal to the '92 up style. That was probably the best looking of the full sized Broncos. A lot less boxy looking. That would be a bolt on operation. Just need the hood, fenders, grille and radiator support off the later style truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #83
On the Warn hubs, aren't the Dana 50 outers exactly the same as the Dana 60 on the F350?
I thought so, but when I quickly took a look at everything earlier this week, it appeared the hub body assembly mounted in to the Dana 50 hub/rotor assembly differently than the Dana 60. Also, on ECGS' website, they list these particular hubs for 76-93 GM & Ford 1-tons. The date was an oversight on my part.

This was brought up on my build thread on OilBurners. I'll post some pics up later this weekend to show exactly what I mean.

On the rear disc kit, do those have a parking brake provision or will you do a drive shaft brake?
The particular brakes I ordered do not have the parking brake option. The reason I went with these instead of the El Dorado rear discs is because it seemed brakes designed for a car probably would not adequately stop an FSB in a panic situation. (I'm not sure what the curb weight of this will be, but it will be quite a bit heavier than a stock Bronco.) I'm pretty sure these (non-parking brake) calipers are the front brakes from a mid-70s to mid-80s Chevy fullsize pickup. I will be installing a driveshaft brake, but I'm not 100% on the specifics yet.

I was wondering if you ever considered changing the front sheet metal to the '92 up style. That was probably the best looking of the full sized Broncos. A lot less boxy looking. That would be a bolt on operation. Just need the hood, fenders, grille and radiator support off the later style truck.
Meh. Everybody and their brother runs the 92-97 front clips. I like those, but this will be a bricknose. I need to figure out exactly what I'm going to do, but I have some ideas. I can say this for sure: it will be unique.
 

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Discussion Starter #84 (Edited)
Hub body comparo

As promised, some pictures.

Here's all three hub bodies, 1997 F250 Dana 50 on top, 1985-1991 Dana 60 in the middle, and the Warn 35-spline on the bottom:



Here's a profile shot. Warn on the left, Dana 60 in the middle, and Dana 50 on the right. Notice how much taller the Dana 50 hub body is?



I took a lot of pictures comparing height dimensions, but I'm not going to post them all. Suffice to say, the Dana 60 31-spline hub body and Warn 35-spline hub body are pretty similar and the Dana 50 is not.

Here's the back side of the three. First is the Dana 60:



The Warn:



And the Dana 50:



As you can see, the back of the Dana 50 hub body is significantly different. It has a recessed plastic doohickey that the other two don't.

Now, here's the Dana 50 hub body mounted in the Dana 50 hub/rotor assembly:



Dana 60 hub body mounted in the Dana 50 hub/rotor assembly:



Warn hub body mounted in the Dana 50 hub/rotor assembly:



It's pretty obvious the Dana 60 and Warn hub bodies don't seat in the Dana 50 hub/rotor assembly like the Dana 50 hub body does.

Here's a shot inside of the Dana 50 hub/rotor assembly. As you can see, there's a c-clip a little ways down the stub shaft:



That is a different spot than where the Dana 60 stub shaft has it's c-clip. There's no groove for a c-clip in the same spot:



I haven't taken the Dana 50 hub/rotor assemblies apart yet, so I suppose there's a possibility everything will work out. I'm not holding my breath, though.
 

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If you look at Warn's hub catalog, there is only one hub assembly listed for all 3/4 ton and 1 ton Ford trucks from '78-97. Were you're F250 units off one with the auto locking hubs? If so, the catalog says you need a spindle nut conversion kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
If you look at Warn's hub catalog, there is only one hub assembly listed for all 3/4 ton and 1 ton Ford trucks from '78-97. Were you're F250 units off one with the auto locking hubs? If so, the catalog says you need a spindle nut conversion kit.
Interesting. I hadn't looked at Warn's catalog, just ECGS' website. The F250 had manual hubs, not automatic. There may be hope. :)
 

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According to the Warn application chart for the premium hubs (which I believe is what you have), your part # should be 38826. Here's a link to that site. https://www.warn.com/truck/hubs/premium_application_chart.jsp I believe there may be light at the end of the tunnel yet. The guts of the stock factory hubs probably vary some but apparently Warn came up with a design that one size fits all.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
I got the chance to spend some time in the garage today, tearing into both the Dana 50 and 60. It appears that in order to be able to use the Warn hubs, I'll need to use the hub and spindle from the Dana 50. What's interesting is the spindles are basically the same, but the Dana 50 spindles nuts are completely different. With the Dana 60 spindle nuts on the Dana 50 spindle, it looks very likely that I will be able to get the Warn hubs to work.

There are some differences: the '97 Dana 50 rotors are 13" and the late '80s kingpin Dana 60 rotors are only 12.5". The caliper assemblies are completely different, but my thinking is that I may be able to install the Dana 60 rotor on the Dana 50 hub. I'll use the Dana 60 calipers on the Dana 60 knuckles; basically, all that will be different will be the hub and spindle from the Dana 50. Based on first impressions and rough measurements, it should work.

So far, the only snag is removing the DRW Dana 60 rotor from the hub. Unlike the Dana 50 (and, I assume, SRW Dana 60s), where the rotor is attached to the hub by eight lug studs and the root of the hub pressed in to the rotor, the rotor is actually bolted to the hub. To say these eight bolts are frozen by almost three decades of rust is an understatement. You can imagine how much fun I've had trying to separate the two. They're soaking overnight in Corrosion X. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be able to get 'em separated and see if my hybrid hub/rotor assembly will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #89
I got the Dana 50 torn down and the rotors off the Dana 60 hubs. The rotors need to be turned down, they're in pretty sorry shape.

The good news is it looks like the Dana 50 spindles and hubs with the Dana 60 spindles nuts and rotors will work!
 

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Sort of surprised that the Dana 50 rotors were larger than the Dana 60. Another thing is the parts catalogs show a different rotor for the SRW and DRW. Not sure if you'll run into any issues there. Also, new rotors are pretty cheap if you don't want to turn the old ones. Just keep a list of anything you change so you'll have a record in case of needing repair parts. Sounds like you're making progress on the positive side.
 

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Discussion Starter #91 (Edited)
This project has fallen on the backburner the last few months, so I'm trying to spend at least a couple hours a day working on it. Prototype jackstand:



This ended up being out of square (because I eyeballed it) and too short. So, I'm working on my beta version.

Some Spicer goodness:



The completed axleshafts with the new ujoints and 35-spline stub shafts:



The passenger side axleshaft had some wear:





So I touched it up with some 600-grit sandpaper. When I picked up the completed axleshafts from the machinist, I asked what he thought and he said they'd be fine.

Complete Sterling (minus passenger drum) awaiting teardown:



Draining the gear oil. I hadn't looked at a Sterling axle cover in years. It's about 1/16" thick. :eek: The RuffStuff cover will be a welcome upgrade. I was surprised, this oil didn't smell at all but was very dark:



Gears look good; there is some wear on the spider gears, but they won't be staying for long:



I'm unsure what to do next. I'm going to have ARB lockers installed both front and rear. I am under the impression the correct way to install new gears in some axles is to press out the axle tubes to align the gears correctly. Since this isn't going to be a dedicated offroad rig that will need them right away, I was thinking about having the ARBs installed next year (once my pocketbook has recovered). However, I'm going to be installing a truss on both the Sterling and Dana 60. I don't know if that will make aligning the ARBs impossible. Any thoughts? Do I need to install the ARBs before I weld trusses on these axles?

Edit: According to this, separating the tubes from the pumpkin is not necessary. In fact, this writeup makes it look easy enough that I might attempt it myself.

http://ck5.com/forums/resources/arb-air-locker-install.29/
 

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Discussion Starter #92
A little more progress:









I just realized that I need to paint the RSK brackets black. If I install as you see them now, that'll be too much red.

Got the passenger side of the Sterling torn down:



There was a little rust built up near the axle flange, but it cleaned up fairly well with some Corrosion X and 600-grit.

This anti-roll bar design ain't gonna work:



So I'll have to remove it and figure out a way to mount the roll bar I will use in front of and above the Sterling, with links coming down to tabs on the front of the axle. I have a general idea of what I want, but I still need to do some more investigating to nail down exactly what I'm going to use.

I'm almost at the point where I need the Artec Industries truss. I've been slacking and still haven't ordered it yet, so I should get to it tomorrow.
 

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I was just wondering if you think trussing the Sterling is really necessary. That is an extremely strong axle. I'm assuming you're planning some very serious off road activity. With double lockers in the plans I'm sure of it. I'd consider doing the front locker first. I've never done any serious back woods driving, but found a front locker got my ox out of most bad situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #94 (Edited)
I wasn't able call Artec yesterday until after they had closed. Monday I'll be getting ahold of them.

I was just wondering if you think trussing the Sterling is really necessary.
No, it's not absolutely necessary. But why not? ;)
 

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I wasn't able call Artec yesterday until after they had closed. Monday I'll be getting ahold of them.



No, it's not absolutely necessary. But why not? ;)
Because It's unsprung weight. Still a cool project though!
 

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Discussion Starter #97
Because It's unsprung weight.
That is true. I ordered a couple of suspension books on Amazon. I need to have a better understanding of vehicle suspension dynamics before I start welding.
 

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Those parking brakes are cute little puppies. Not exactly cheap, but then what good parts are. I've seen an article showing how to adapt the Ford Dana 70HD hubs off the E350 van to the Sterling. It wasn't all that complicated and you'd have all stock Ford parts. Of course you're getting beyond that point now.
 

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Discussion Starter #99
I've been able to get a little done in the last couple of weeks:





Getting it in the air was a hurdle. I was going to make four custom jackstands; one for each corner. I fabbed up two, got lazy and bought two of these instead:



And then I did this:





In order to install the RuffStuff 6" RSK for the rear axle, I need to drop the gas tank. It's a 'universal' RSK kit, so the bolt pattern doesn't match the factory Ford pattern. We'll see how much of a PITA it is to drill eight 9/16" holes in the frame. I have a feeling I'll be wishing I had bought an RSK kit that matched the factory holes. Oh, well. Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get to it.

The correct pinion angle and exact location for the Sterling are another couple pieces of the puzzle I am sorting out. I ordered a digital angle finder on Amazon earlier today; it should be here on Wednesday. The 8.8 came with angled spacers between the spring perches and leaf springs and the 10.25 came with 2" lifting blocks (that have the bumpstop catchers cast into them). I may ended up needing zero rate add-a-leafs because 6" of suspension lift is going to shift my axle forwards a bit: http://www.offroaddesign.com/catalog/Zero Rates.htm Stuff to think about.

The factory 8.8 rear had these on it:



The D44 IFS front has them as well. 5X5.5" spacers, 1.5" thick.

The baby rear pumpkin that came out:



And the full-size rear pumpkin that will be going in:



I was at a point where I really couldn't move forward on the Sterling placement because I needed my truss... and then Brown Santa showed up today:



Here is what was inside:



I haven't purchased from Artec before, but based on my initial impression, these are high-quality engineered and manufactured parts. The trusses look cool; the individual pieces that make them up go together and come apart easily (until I weld them together). The fit and finish is damn good.

(My only complaint: during shipping one of the misalignment spacers came out of it's heim joint and got a little chewed up from rubbing on one of the trusses. It wouldn't press back in to the heim. It wasn't a big deal: a minute with a file and it fit right back in the heim like it was supposed to.)

The smaller truss on the left is for the Sterling, the truss that's upside down is for the Dana 60 and all of the other stuff is a 3-link kit for the Dana 60.

The 3-link kit: the top three pieces of DOM are 2" OD .25" wall with heim joints that are 1 1/4"(the 3-links), the smaller piece of DOM on the bottom is 1.5" OD .25" wall with 7/8" heim joints (the panhard bar), they're all 48" long; some misalignment spacers, rod ends, jam nuts and tube adapters; and various brackets and mounts to keep the Dana in place while flexing during offroad activities.

Time for some axle strengthening and suspension fabrication! :dustin:
 

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Aside from strength, those front axle spacers will make the steering harder(even less of center point steering), wear the wheel bearings more, put more stress on front axle(bending).

Ed
 
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