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Old 01-09-2018, 09:44 PM   #1
Puke160
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Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

I have been tossing around the idea of doing a SAS on my duramax. I know there are kits to put a ford Dana 60 under the truck. But most of them that I have seen all are for six inches of lift or more. I want to stay as close as possible to stock height. I would not mind two or three inches, I can just stack more leafs in the rear.

I also thought about modifying the Dana 70 front axle out of a Kodiak. But I have never heard of that being done.

I know most people will say it's not worth it. But I have plans for the truck in the future and it involves putting a much heavier engine in it. The stock IFS is soft. It works great for a gas truck that never leave pavement. But my truck sees a lot of time in the field and driving over the berms and though water ways. Even going slow I can feel the front of the truck drop. That is with an 800# duramax. Eventually the truck will get a DT466 or a 3126. Both weight north of 1,400# And I know even with upgrades the IFS will not hold up well.

Has anyone done the SAS. Is it a pretty straightforward swap? Or is it one of these swaps that the little things you need end up taking longer than the actual putting the axle in?
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:53 PM   #2
RADustin
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

from my research its best to go older Ford kingpin dana 60 with leafs to keep it low. There are several kits out there.

Going later model super duty 60 you have to run radius arms or a 4 link and a min of ~6" of lift. OR use a super duty 60 that is re-tubed to move the diff a little more centers to make room for the leafs. You'll have to figure out what to do with the inner Cs though and trim the radius arm mounts from the diff casting.

GMs IFS is great for the road. Too many moving parts for often offroad, even casually. I agree the SAS would be nice, but too often people try and cut corners and end up with a subpar result.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:03 PM   #3
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

When you say the older Dana 60 you are talking early and mid 70's right Ford's right? There is a guy not far from me that has 7 or 8 of them just sitting the the cow pasture. The bodys are destroyed but they are all 3/4 or 1 tons.

And I want leaf springs. I think they will hold up a little better and you can have a set made for cheap. With the setup I have now with the flat bed, tools, welder, torch, and two 75 gal L tanks the truck weight 12,870#. And that's if there are no parts on it. I'm not worried about adding weight it. I just need to hold up to the constant weight of the truck it self.

The most off road that truck will ever see is a little mud checking cows and or rough water way. It will never see an off road park or sand dunes. But I did think about putting an air locker in the front if I actually do the SAS.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:55 AM   #4
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

Hmm. What are you planning to do with this truck? I've gone through the process of SAS and lived to regret it. It's not that the finished product wasn't good, its just that it was expensive and unnecessary. I always have the mindset that I want the most capability out of a platform when in reality I'm just a materialistic dumbass sometimes. A few things: That Duramax is a well engineered motor. Don't jack with that. In these modern times, IFS has more opportunities than they had ten years ago. The main reason SAS is so popular is because for the longest time there were no options to upgrade IFS. There is now. Dynatrac makes a Dana 60 centersection. You can get bulletproof half shafts. Lockers. Custom A-arms. There are options to maintain the well engineered attributes of the truck. Don't drink the SAS only koolaid and certainly don't replace the DMax.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:27 AM   #5
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puke160 View Post
When you say the older Dana 60 you are talking early and mid 70's right Ford's right? There is a guy not far from me that has 7 or 8 of them just sitting the the cow pasture. The bodys are destroyed but they are all 3/4 or 1 tons.

And I want leaf springs. I think they will hold up a little better and you can have a set made for cheap. With the setup I have now with the flat bed, tools, welder, torch, and two 75 gal L tanks the truck weight 12,870#. And that's if there are no parts on it. I'm not worried about adding weight it. I just need to hold up to the constant weight of the truck it self.

The most off road that truck will ever see is a little mud checking cows and or rough water way. It will never see an off road park or sand dunes. But I did think about putting an air locker in the front if I actually do the SAS.
yep should be drivers drop kingpin 60.

look here-

https://www.offroadunlimited.com/oru...?idCategory=16
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

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With the setup I have now with the flat bed, tools, welder, torch, and two 75 gal L tanks the truck weight 12,870#.
I just saw this. Have you considered trading your truck for a medium duty platform. We used to try to run our welding trucks and service trucks on top of one ton platforms. Ultimately, they're just the wrong truck. They don't have enough frame or brakes for that weight. It just beats them to hell. You'll kill a truck in an accelerated time. We have 6.6L Duramax equipped class 6 service trucks that have 300K without a rebuild.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

The truck is pretty much just a service vehicle. It only sees pavement maybe 25% of the time.

I know the duramax is a good engine. It has decent power and it is reliable. But the motor has 250,000 miles now and I have no clue how many hundreds of idle hours. It will need rebuilt or replace at some point. And I know I will get a lot of grief for this but I like the DT466 and the 3126 better. I know both are medium duty engines, but both of them will eat that duramax alive if you are pulling a steep hill with a heavy load. And it's just because they make there torque lower in the rpm band and they stay flat longer.

I rebuilt the front end a few years back. It did help but I used all energy suspension parts and Bilstein shocks. I've just never been happy with the IFS in the truck.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:32 PM   #8
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

I have thought about upgrading to a 5500 and there is one on truck paper now with the duramax, service bed, and a 46' bucket. It would be a great setup up and I wish I had it. But, it is a lot easier for a small farm to eat six or seven thousand dollars to up grade a truck then it is to buy a 46,000 dollar truck. If I can find one cheap with a blown motor or transmission. I think I could justify that much easier. For a truck the will sit idle most of the time I just can't see me buying something that expensive. There are thing I need on the farm much worse than another truck.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:01 PM   #9
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

I've seen some 5500 4x4s in the 20s. Quite a few. Now add a bucket and that's an extra 10k+.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:49 PM   #10
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

250K is a lot of miles, no doubt. I think you're cost estimates to do all you plan may be low. I still feel there is a value opportunity in the class 5 trucks.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:03 PM   #11
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Id look into a regear before engine swapping.

Duallys run 4.10s, most SRW are 3.73. I think kodiaks are around 4.30 and higher. Kodiaks have the ally 2000 as well with the higher gear set.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:11 PM   #12
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

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250K is a lot of miles, no doubt. I think you're cost estimates to do all you plan may be low. I still feel there is a value opportunity in the class 5 trucks.
I'm just talking about the SAS. Around here you can buy a school bus with a dt466 or a 3126 paired to an Allison for around four or five thousand dollars then I will have all the big parts I will just need a divorced transfer case.

I could buy one of them. Chop the entire center of the body out reweld the back right behind the driver seat. Then put a flat bed on it. I could get it built for under 10000 dollars. It would just look really redneck and it might be hard to get insurance. And It would just be 2 wheel drive though
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:41 PM   #13
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

As of right now I'm not dead set on anything yet. And for an engine swap I it was something I want to do on my 2000 k2500 with the 350. But i cracked the frame so it got parted out. But, I still like the idea of putting one of them in a light duty truck. The duramax is a much better engine for a work truck that the 350. Isuzu have made good engines for a lot of years. Just a mild build on a duramax make a great setup. But, I also now what caterpillar and International are capable of.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:32 AM   #14
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

I don't even know where to start lol. First, the engines you mentioned are entirely too heavy to put in a 1 ton truck. Second, they won't make the power of the Duramax. Third, noisy as hell. Fourth, prolly won't get the fuel economy as max either. Fifth, I dunno if they would even fit under the hood or between the fenders without some serious work.

You need a Dana 60 from a 86 to 92 Ford. They have the wider spring perch width, so be stable. They are cheaper and easier to find than the 78/79 style. The Dana 70 from a Kodiak is stupid wide, and don't know what the perch width is. It also has 10 lugs, so would have to change the rear out to match.

it sounds like you need a heavier truck than a 1 ton. They are a ***** to find, but a 3500HD, 15k GVW or something like that. But a 4wd is beyond hens teeth to find and not as easy to convert to 4wd.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:25 PM   #15
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Red face Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

I'm not going to argue with you that they are both heavy engines of a one ton platform. As for as size the 3126b is 1.4 inches wider, so a small amount of work on the inner fenders. 2 inches taller, but it with the motor mount locations on the block it will sit about the same height in the engine bay. And a solid front axle will increase the useable room under the truck. It is quite a bit longer. But that can be solved with modify the firewall and a low profile electric fans.

I will say the duramax have a massive amount of aftermarket support. And you can build it as wild as you bank account will allow. But in stock form the LMM has 365hp at 3100rpm and 660 foot pounds of torque at 1800rpm. And that is its highest performance version of it. Now, if you compare that to the highest performance 3126. That has 330hp at 2400rpm and 880 foot pounds of torque at 1400 rpm. And if it is not enough power catapiller has a full line of factory performance parts.

I honestly could care less about fuel economy but you brought it up. So my truck averages 12.79 mile per gal. My 79 k25 get less the 7 mile per gal. Fuel is cheap if I was considered with fuel usage I would sell everything I own move to town and buy a prius.

And I love the sound of the older style diesel engines. Oh and you can have Jake brakes put on both of them.

I have done my research on the both motors. I know the history behind both of them and the companys. I have work on and driven both of them. And in my opinion the 3126 is a great motor when it comes to the performance side of things. But the DT466 is slow but if you consider that International and Navistar made the DT series for 41 years and just updated it along the way speaks volumes about the strength and reliability of the engine. But I'm done talking engines for now. the swap may never happen. It is just something I thought would be cool because I only seen them swapped into light pickups once each and they were both in ford trucks. If I do go ahead and do the swap is will require a SAS. That is the only reason I bought it up.

I just wanted to talk to the people that have personal done the swap to see if they would do it again. The problem involved in it. Which axle is best for my setup. May find someone that had found a different kit that was just a small amount of lift. No matter what I'm keeping the truck. Even if I buy a medium duty truck tomorrow. I will just put a bale bed on the duramax and keep the 2 L tanks. So no matter what happens the truck will still be loaded most of the time it is being driven. It will just see more road time.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:30 AM   #16
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Re: Thoughts on Solid Front Axle Swap on 2007.5 3500 hd

You can go low on an SAS, but I have zilch for experience/knowledge on anything newer than a 2000 model. I just read an 80-some page post where I guy took a 2wd crew and converted it to 4wd. It has 285s on it and looks insane. I’d say it 3-4” over a stock 2wd, maybe 2-3” over stock 4wd. It just looks killer, and even running stock rims. Not having done a low SAS, it seems to me the biggest concern is tierod. Need to go crossover, but goin on top of the arm will put the draglink into the frame. Could always notch it and brace with tube cut in half. Can’t really go under cause the spring will be in the way. Seems the best way is to go inverted Y, which is what 1/2 ton Ford did on the 150s and broncos. It connects on the pass of the tierod, where the steering stabilizer would go. Do a search, not just here but on google, I’m sure there are some other builds out there to get info from.
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