2wd to 4wd Change over guide! - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain FAQ Frequently asked questions in the '99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain forum.

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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2wd to 4wd Change over guide!

After searching this and other forums for info on parts needed, and just the project itself, I found more questions than answers! TDS was a big help, but the forum is lacking a decent write up on the swap. I just changed my 2000 F-350 2wd dually into a SRW 4wd. Big project, but it really wasn't as bad as some said it would be. Definently NOT worth selling your truck and going through all the BS of finding another just to get 4wd. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again!

First and foremost, the only way to do the project for a reasonable price is to have a donor truck! There are quite a few nuts and bolts, brackets, and other pieces you probably haven't even thought of untill they are all sitting in front of you. In my case, I bought the axle lock out to lock out from one guy, and ALL the front suspension components from someone else off Craigslist parting out a '99. I only gave $200 for the front end suspension pieces! Going to the dealer for more than a couple parts will end up costing an arm and a leg, making the swap much less cost effective!

Here's a list of parts you will need. I'm focusing on the front end suspension and steering here. The trans and T-case is another story.

Front axle (obviously!) I would recomend buying one thats disc to disc or at least to the lockouts so your not trying to piece it together too. The rest of the list is assuming the axle is complete and doesn't include any axle parts.
front leaf springs
front mounting brackets
rear shackles and mounting brackets
front tow hooks if you don't have them
U-bolts
Upper shock mounts on frame
lower shock mounts/leaf spring top plate
4wd shocks
lower left side "axle cap" Thats the ford name for the part, I was missing it and it cost $66 at the dealer. This is the plate that the U-bolts go through that tightens up to the bottom of the axle on the drivers side. On the pass side, this is welded to the axle and is also the lower track bar mount
Upper track bar mount
Track bar and bolts
sway bar and linkage rods
linkage rod mounts at frame, sway bar clamps and rubber bushings at axle
Tie rods (all of them, I bought all this new, non of the 2wd stuff will work)
4wd pitman arm
All the nuts and bolts to bolt all these parts on! The guy that I got the front end stuff from had all the hardware that came off when the parts were removed. That saved a lot of money (esepecially if you go to the dealer). If you end up taking the parts off another truck, save everything! You can get generic bolts from the hardware store sure, but they wont have the little tang welded to them like the factory bolts. These tangs hit the frame or whatever is near by to hold the nut so you can tighten it down without holding it at the same time. That makes assmebly much easier!

There are a couple things I ran into that might be helpful to know for those of you thinking about doing this project:

You may notice I listed front tow hooks. The tow hook is threaded to recieve the three forward bolts that hold the front leaf spring mount to the frame. Without them you will be missing over half the bolts that hold the bracket to the frame.

The 2wd pitman arm looks like it will work. It has a little bit of a drop to it, and I figured that it would just help with tie rod alignment since I was putting a leveling kit on the front anyway. They do after all sell drop arms. WRONG! The drop is just right for the drag link tie rod end to smack into the track bar bolt. With the 2wd pitman you can only turn about 50% of the way left!

There are two different styles of front axle U-bolts. I only found this out because I got u-bolts with the axle, but the hardware and suspension pieces from the other guy didn't include them. There are squared top and rounded top. According to the dealer, there is no year break off, or vin number look up for this. Its just whatever the factory had that day. I had the rounded bolts but the shock mount/top plate was for the squared off style. The problem was obvious, the U-bolt didn't seat across the plate correctly and only made contact on the corners. The U-bolts are about $10 a piece from the dealer and don't come with new nuts! If you need them make sure to order them as well!

If the axle you get doesn't have brake hardware, don't sweat it. The 2wd caliper brackets, and calipers are the same and will bolt up. I used mine on the 4wd front end since mine were newer. The caliper bracket bolts are also the same so if the axle is missing the bolts no big deal.

I also reused the brake hoses, and just bent the metal line forward slightly. Only thing I need to come up with is a brake line bracket/mount of some kind. The 2wd spring perch held the metal line originally. The 4wd trucks have a independant little mount on the frame if I remember correctly. Not a huge deal at the moment. I installed a 2" leveling kit and the lines are long enough for that. If your just doing stock height it will be no problem at all.

The front discs are different, you will need 4wd ones.

About the tear down/assembly:

I removed the entire 2wd front end in about 5 hours by myself. I unbolted the I beams from the cross member, and unbolted them at the frame under the doors. Once you take off the little bracket that holds the spring on the perch, the whole works just falls off. (assuming you have the brakes and shocks disconnected already). Each side is pretty damn heavy, but once it was on the ground I was able to drag it out from under the truck myself no problem and get it out of the way. If you want to save some time and are worried about getting the truck going as quickly as possible, you don't need to remove the rear mounts off the frame. The leaf spring mounts are farther ahead so the 2wd stuff wont interfear with it. You can remove them later. The rest of the mounts need to come off though. The spring perches are by far the biggest pain in the ass of the project. They are rivoted on with huge rivots by a very big machine obviously. Even after grinding off the rivot heads, I still had to use the largest pipe wrench I have along with a 3 foot section of tubing to hang off to get them to bust off the frame. I took the pipe wrench to the top of the perch and pushed downward to pry it off the frame. It takes some time to work it loose.

Once everything is off, you will be happy to know all the 4wd stuff just bolts up! All the holes are already there, right down to the 3 bolt holes for the upper shock mount. They are behind the spring perch. There was no drilling or messing around with any of it. I got all the front end stuff on in about 15 hours. You need a friend to help position the axle under the truck as it is OH MY GOD heavy. Other than that, you can do the job yourself.

Overall I had around 20hours in the whole project. If you have the parts ready to go, you can easily do it in a weekend as long as you have a friend to help with the axle positioning.

Hope this is helpfull for those of you thinking of doing the swap. Thats pretty much it for the front end, I'll add more if I happen to remember anything I didn't list.

Jason

2002 F250 Powerstroke Crew Cab Lariat 4wd auto, Bone stock for now...

Wife's truck:
'00 Excursion Limited, 4" turbo back, Dura-Lite filter/intake, 20% tint all around.. The highway cruiser!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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I thought I would also ad in my investment in the swap up till now. Obviously its going to be different depending where you live and how you come about finding the parts.

Front end hardware/suspension stuff: $200
Complete front axle: $400
Misc stuff from the dealer: $116
New brake discs: $95
New tie rods and ball joints: $175

May not be all that comprable since I work at a auto performance shop and got some stuff at cost. Either way, I'm not quite a grand into it. Depending on what I have to spend either buying a 4wd trans and selling mine, or changing it over, plus a T-case, I really doubt I'll end up with more than 2k in the whole thing. Since I paid about 6k less than a comprable 4wd truck I'll be well ahead. The market for 2wd trucks where I live is VERY soft. This swap isn't for everyone, but if you have a truck with lots of mods or have had it since new and know its history and how its been treated, I sure as hell wouldn't give that up when its only a weekend of work away from being 4wd!

Jason

2002 F250 Powerstroke Crew Cab Lariat 4wd auto, Bone stock for now...

Wife's truck:
'00 Excursion Limited, 4" turbo back, Dura-Lite filter/intake, 20% tint all around.. The highway cruiser!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 09:45 AM
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Alright let's see some before and after pictures!!!


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 11:14 AM
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Jason,

Thank you so much for posting this thread!!

I'm doing the same project with a small twist: coil springs and a 2006 Dana 60. I just took delivery of the front axle last night. Just like you, I too have the 6spd manual tranny and I'm looking for a 4wd-6spd donor.

So far, the axle is all I've bought. But if I find a wrecked truck, I could easily sell it and take the truck as a unit.

I'd really like to see some pictures of the finished truck AND the project in process if you can.

You're absolutely right. The bolts, nuts, hardware, etc would be rough if you didn't just pull it off a rolling donor.

Keep the chronicles coming. I'm hoping to get mine started and finished in a weekend so I need all the advice+pics you can muster.

Thanks again and I look forward to more posts.

2000 F250 2WD 7.3L, 265,000 Miles, 6spd Manual, Hypertech programmer, 4" Flowmaster Exhaust,
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. 2006 Front and Rear axles and suspension parts installed.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-21-2010, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I didn't think to take any pictures of the progress as I did it.

I did however just swap in the 4wd trans, and came across something kind of cool. When I unplugged the wire harness from the reverse light sensor, I noticed it had an extra plug wrapped up in the wiring, that was plugged into a dummy plastic reciever cap. Turns out, the wiring for the 4X4 light in the dash is already in the truck. I plugged it into the transfer case (mine is a manual) and the light even works! Kinda cool I thought.

I don't remember if I mentioned it in the first article, but the knockout for the shifter boot for the manual t-case lever is already there in the body, you don't have to go cut anything out, just pop out the panel and cut the carpet.

Jason

2002 F250 Powerstroke Crew Cab Lariat 4wd auto, Bone stock for now...

Wife's truck:
'00 Excursion Limited, 4" turbo back, Dura-Lite filter/intake, 20% tint all around.. The highway cruiser!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 03:26 PM
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how are you going to solve the trans/transfer case issue?? i see your signature says you have the 6 speed as so do i. im hesitant about starting the project because of the trans/transfer case question. Are we supposed to pull out the 6 speed and go back with the auto trans and transfer case combo? or search for a t case to go with the 6 speed??
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 09:27 PM
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you could try using s divorced transfer case such as a np205 that way you use a small drive shaft to connect it to the transmission
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 09:05 AM
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Nice write up. Thank you
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 05:14 PM
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Sorry to bring this post back but I was wondering if anyone has done this swap with an automatic transfer case? I recently bought a donor truck and completed the swap other than the transmission and transfer case. The donor came with an auto transfer case which I'm hoping to use but I don't know if the wiring is on the 2wd truck. I can't trace it back on the donor truck due to the wiring getting ripped out from a thrown front driveshaft. I cut into my trucks dash to mount the selector and the connection was plugged into a dummy plug. I tried to trace the wires but they go into a huge wrapped bundle of wires. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thereal241 View Post
Sorry to bring this post back but I was wondering if anyone has done this swap with an automatic transfer case? I recently bought a donor truck and completed the swap other than the transmission and transfer case. The donor came with an auto transfer case which I'm hoping to use but I don't know if the wiring is on the 2wd truck. I can't trace it back on the donor truck due to the wiring getting ripped out from a thrown front driveshaft. I cut into my trucks dash to mount the selector and the connection was plugged into a dummy plug. I tried to trace the wires but they go into a huge wrapped bundle of wires. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks
You should be able to use an ESOF transfer case. You'll need a wiring diagram from the Ford Service Manuals (or an AllData subscription). The GEM (on a '99-'01 truck) or IIRC the instrument panel (on an '02 or later) will need to be programmed to control the transfer case relays (which you'll need to install under the hood). I don't know the specifics, but much of the wiring should be in place (as you found under the dash for the selector).

First truck -- 1929 Model A Ford pickup, restored from ground up. Wish I still had it!
'99.5 F250 PSD Supercab LB 4x4, ZF-6 w/SB Con OFE, 3.73LS, Boost & pyro gauges, Swamps S175/146 injectors, DP 80 HP Econo PCM (classic version
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 01:22 PM
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So I've been working a lot on trying to finish this project up and the wiring is still giving me trouble. I found the hub locking solenoid under the hood on the passenger fender which the vacuum lines go to and from. And also found the transfer case control module behind the glove box. All of these were on the donor truck and I'm swapping them into mine but I'm still struggling with the electrical connections on the transfer case itself. I believe I'm going to have to buy a transfer case wiring harness but I'm not sure if I have the plugs under my truck somewhere. Sorry if this doesn't make sense, when it comes to electrical I'm useless. If anyone has done this swap with the electronic transfer case I would love the input and if no one has then I'll make sure to document all my findings and post back here.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 06:21 PM
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Today I found a guy with my truck and electric transfer case so I crawled under and followed the wires. Looks like the transmission wiring harness splits off and connects to the transfer case so I'll be buying a 4x4 transmission wiring harness because mine won't work. Does anyone know if that's all I need: hub locking solenoid, transfer case control module, and 4x4 wiring harness? If anyone has info I would appreciate it.
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