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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Vanners! I finally scored the elusive WIDE Dana 70-2U, Full Floater, 4.10 gears, out of a 2001 E350 SRW Cutaway box van with 106,000 miles on it! :grin2: I could tell from the pics that it is much wider than my Dana 60 HD Semi Floating rear axle. It is about 2 1/2 hours away from me at a junk yard. It is always difficult getting Dana axle BOM info from sellers, but that may be why nobody else scooped it up already! Not sure if it is open or limited slip yet, and when they sent a photo of the door sticker, the axle code was blank! I guess that's because it is a cutaway chassis.

I asked them to leave the E-brake cables, rotors, calipers, and brake lines connected to the axle. I am planning to open up the differential to inspect all and put new synthetic gear oil in it. I had considered buying Fred Groeske 2" wheel spacers for my D60 but I got the whole FF wide track axle instead! Sweet!

Do any of you know for sure if I can just bolt my calipers to the new axle so I don't have to open up my brake system? Any other tips for install are appreciated.
 

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Nice score Stock! Same thing I scored a couple months ago! I am pretty sure the calipers will bolt right up but cutaways could have a different mount/setup. Any specific reason for switching to this ratio? Towing? Adding a locker or LSD if there isnt anything present?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks dj! I'm hoping they are bolt on. The funny thing about it is I rarely see 4.10 or 4.56 gears here except on lifted 4x4 trucks here. Most people in central TX want 3.55 or 3.73 for all the flat highway miles. The body builders manual says all cutaways in 2001 had 4.10 with the 5.4 gas engine. I have been looking for a wide 70 for a long time with no luck. I currently have the narrow 60 semi float so I was considering buying the Fred Groeske hub centric 2" spacers, but at $400 for the pair, I'd still have a semi float, open diff, 32 spline 60 with the smaller carrier! Not ideal for what I'm doing. The vin sticker was left blank for the axle and the junk yard couldn't find an axle tag or BOM #. I told them it was a gamble for me so I offered a low price. They took it. They said they would remove it and leave the brakes, E-brake cables, etc. attached. I will be picking it up in the next few days. I am hoping I may get lucky and find 3.73s and limited slip. That would be perfect. If not, it will be ok anyway, because I'm slowly collecting parts and setting this up how I want it. I would ideally like to run 3.73s, 35 spline axles, and a True Trac. The suspence is killing me but I'll have to post back what this SRW box van actually has in it!
I thought I remembered you finding a DRW 70, but I could be wrong? Anyway, I saw your awesome van on other forum recently. Very cool ride! Nice work!
 

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Thanks Jason! Its been a journey thus far building this thing but Im learning alot and enjoying the build. Yes yu are correct I did pickup a D70 recently setup for a SRW van but I ended up returning it and the hubs on it were different than my Full floater D60 and I couldnt get a confirmation that I could just remove swap the hubs from my D60 onto the D70. Plus it was probably more work and effort than me just rebuilding and re-gearing my 3.55 FF i currently have. I still have a credit at that wrecker yard so hopefully i can re-coupe the money I spent on it. At any rate, I just got a true-trac for my D60 and have yet to order the 35 spline shafts I need along with the pinion and ring gear. Need to find an installer locally as well to get it all done. I almost bought a trac-lok LSD unti but when I hear all the horror stories of the clutch packs failing and adding the right amount of addictive, i figured the true-trac was worth the extra coin it required not to mention I get my axle shafts upgraded too. Hoping that you get the right setup you are looking for. There are a MILLION vans still on the road but finding the right axle ratio you need at the right price is a headache lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
UPDATE ON DANA 70-2U REAR AXLE

. The goal of this project is to end up with a beefy full floating axle that is both wider than stock (read: tracks even with the front) and heavier duty than my semi-floater. I also wanted an axle that gave me more locker/limited slip differential options than the Dana 60.
After getting minimal info from the wrecking yard about the rear axle on the 2001 E-350 SRW Cutaway box van, I took a gamble and drove a few hours to Dallas to get it. I figured the lack of info from the yard may be the reason it wasn't gone already. I built a wooden pallet using rough dimensions from my existing stock Dana 60 semi-float. Lucked out in several ways. The donor van had only 106 K on the clock, and was brought in with a non running 5.4L gas engine. Really clean Texas vehicle and not wrecked.
I had them pull it ahead of time due to length of my trip and asked them to leave the drive shaft yoke, E-brake cables, and brakes, rotors, lines, and sensor intact. They did and thanks to my pallet and their forklift, we were able to set the axle on the pallet and then fork the pallet right into my van. 15 minutes and $400 later, I was heading for home.
I have researched this swap for a long time, and found bits and pieces of information from numerous threads both on this forum as well as others. I am gradually building a heavy duty van that works for both business and recreation, camping, etc. Capable of towing a 9500 lb. job trailer, or a fishing boat.
I had also considered other options as well. One was going with the Sterling. Great axle, but requires significant work, including relocating spring perches and shock mounts, and has the newer lug bolt pattern. Another was simply upgrading or converting to the Dana 60 FF, and then adding 2" steel hub centric wheel spacers, like Fred Groeske's ($400 pair). Then I read about the somewhat rare Dana 70-2U found in single rear wheel cutaways, some ambulances, mini-buses, and in a few 15 passenger vans.
That was it! It has the bigger 10.5 inch ring gear, the same 49 3/8" spring perch centers, same shock bracket locations, uses the same calipers, and same 8 on 6.5 lug spacing, but is 5" wider than my stock axle. My Dana 60 measures about 67 1/2" between wheel mounting surfaces(WMS). The 70-2U measures exactly 72 5/8" WMS. Dana uses a BOM (bill of materials) # stamped into all of their axles for identifying all of their components. The BOM on this axle is 606523-1. The 1 at the end signifies open differential. 2 would have meant Power Lock limited slip. Entering my BOM in Dana/Spicer's website gave me a parts list of components.
Almost all of the cutaways came from the factory with either 3.55 or 4.10 gearing. This one is 4.10. I need 3.73 for optimal gearing with the tire size I will be using. This axle was hard to find locally and I got it for a decent price so I don't mind upgrading it from 32 spline shafts to 35's, and adding a True Trac limited slip as well.
The main reason I'm posting all of this is because it might be helpful for others to find all of this info in one thread. I know it would have made it easier for me! I'll post as many pics as I can as this all comes together. Let's try to keep the thread as clean as possible and on topic for the next guys that need it! Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dana BOM Location

Here is where you find the BOM on a Dana axle. It is stamped in small 1/4" high numbers on the rear of the passenger side tube. You may have to scrape off either undercoating or rust depending on where you live. It is always a six digit number followed by a dash or space and then another single digit number (example:606523-1). There are other numbers stamped in other locations on both axle tubes. The one you are looking for is about 5-6 inches to the right of the cast axle housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is a view of the front of the Dana 70-2U housing. Notice that "70-2U" is cast into the gussets on the top right and left. Did the best I could with lighting in the garage!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here's a look inside. That's the 10.5" ring gear and open case. The gear oil was really clean in this one and you would never know this had 106,000 miles on it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
More later! I'll post info on where to get 35 spline axle shafts and what vehicles to get them from as soon as I find mine! Just need more time. Oh, and more money too! Yeah that helps too.
 

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Score! That is actually the EXACT same axle I had picked up locally (a made a post about) but your is in far better condition! Dare i Say it is MINT? Mine also had 4.10 gears (what i was after) and open diff like yours. IF my van was running stock wheel bolt pattern, I would have kept it but I am running the superduty pattern of 8 x 170 (to match my super duty F axle up front) using the 2" steel spacers in the rear which also convert the 8 x 6.5 pattern to 8 x 170. The more I thought about it and the more I researched, it would have been a pain to swap hubs etc. Nonetheless, this will work perfectly for what you are doing. Looking forward to what you find for the 35 spline axles. I have the D60 true trac already, just need new pinion/ring gear and 35 spline shafts. Here are the part numbers for the 35 spline shafts that I found for the d60 FF from Yukon --> Yukon #YAFF35-36.5 & #YAFF35-39.5. Not sure if the length will be the same you need but they do specify the fit D60,D70 & D80. Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dana 70-2U SRW Hub

Here's one more pic I forgot to post earlier. It shows how the hub assembly looks on the Dana 70-2U that comes on the SRW Cutaway chassis. The calipers are exactly the same as the stock ones on the Dana 60, which means I can hang mine from the frame and just bolt them on the new 70. No brake bleeding for this axle swap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks DJ, I am excited because van parts are extra hard to find around here. There's no shortage of truck parts though! Haha! I also did a little research for you on your 60 FF axle build but I'm going to PM you so this doesn't turn into theDana 60's, 70's and 80's mosh pit! LOL
The shaft lengths on the 70-2U are 37.4" on the right and 40.75" on the left.
Just so other readers and new van owners don't get confused, I want to point out that Yukon makes great aftermarket 35 spline shafts for upgrading Dana and other axles. They are stronger than standard 35 spline shafts and are made from 1541H Alloy and they come in different standard lengths increasing in 3-4" increments. They are ordered by the nearest size longer and cut down to your exact measurement. The shaft lengths for the Dana 60 FF on a pre-2008 Ford E-350 van are 34.92" RH, and 37.64" LH, so the measurements from a 60 will not work on the 70-2U. This is because the shaft goes all the way from the carrier to the end of the extended hub.
However, the Yukon #YA FF35-39.5 that DJ mentioned above is the part you would order for the short side (RH) of the 70-2U, and you would have it cut down to 37.4". Then you would purchase Yukon #YA FF35-43.5 for the left and have them cut it down to 40.75". Also, if you found a 70-2U with open or Powerlock diff. in the gear ratio that you wanted, that will work perfectly fine for what 95% of people do with their vans. I like Yukon axles but I'm pretty sure I can find strong 35 spline shafts in the exact lengths I need for around $100 each and I'll post how...if it works!
 

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Nice! Thanks for the info! Looking forward to that PM and what you find as an alternative to the Yukon axles.
 
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