Swapped In The New Front Axle

So I woke up this morning and decided to get something done that I have been meaning to do, a sold axle swap (SAS) into my two wheel drive tow rig.

Some might remember that I bought an axle almost 2 years ago, I finally got around to re-gearing and converting it to dual rear wheels (DRW).

Donor axle from a 2006 F350 stripped down, ready to be re-geared

The new axle waiting to be swapped in…
Ford Hub extenders from a 2014 F350 installed. These were hard to find at a decent price, as a matter of fact they actually cost more that the whole axle!

The swap is really straight forward. It’s basically a direct bolt on upgrade. I started at 10 AM, and pulled the truck in.

The truck, rolling into the shop on a beautiful Sunday morning

Started unbolting things…

The driver side twin traction beam was the first to fall off

Soon the other side fell off…

The passenger side fell off not lung after

Then I just bolted in the new axle, with done of the usual cursing… 8 hours after I started this job I was done.

The swap is now complete, Look at those lock out!
The front pinion, ready for its new drive shaft

There are some things left to do

  • Order & install new shocks
  • Install a ABS sensor on the driver side.
  • Install Steering Stabilizer

Other than that I am super happy how well this went! I did learn a few things that I did not realize before I started…

  1. The spring buckets on the frame are different for 2WD & 4WD trucks
  2. The axle will work with the 2WD springs, and the bump stops appear to be in the right spot to prevent and hard hits.
  3. The ABS sensors are different between 2WD & 4WD

This is the first step towards the 4WD conversion, and I feel that it was the biggest step. Hopefully next month I can her the transfer case installed and get the rear drive shaft cut down.

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