Hey guys, I've got a couple questions for everybody. I want to convert to 4wd. Now this isn't exactly going to happen in the near future, but I like to do a lot of research and find out if anybody else has done what I plan on doing. I'm not just going to do a traditional "buy a donor truck and swap over all the parts", because I cant find a decent donor truck for less than $4-5000!
So my plan was, to do it in 2 steps. Which step first, it doesn't really matter.
Step 1: Get the front axle in the truck (the easy part, that I think i have 100% figured out)
Buy D60 from 95-97 so I can reuse my brakes and have no issues with swapping there, unless i can come up on a good deal for a different one. Yeah, newer sounds nice but I like my wheels and dont want to have to buy adapters, or convert anything, unless like i said, I get a really good deal.
Well, I dont want to do a leaf spring setup like most guys do, I work in an offroad shop, so I want it to have my own twist on it. So Ill make a radius arm suspension with a panhard bar (easy part, done it on dozens of trucks, and am actually currently doing it to an older bronco), and run a 10-12" coilover (depending on desired ride height) under the factory coilbucket (with custom bracketry to mount inside factory coilbucket). I wanted to do this to eliminate having to cut off stock brackets if I dont have to, this way I only remove the factory radius arm bracket, and if need be, it can be re-bolted in place. Then create a heimed steering system, and keeping my stock F-350 pitman arm. (everyone says they are longer and have a better turning radius, but is this the same for 2wd pitman arms?).
After step 1 is complete, the truck will atleast be driveable again, and should ride exceptionally well compared to the junk I-beams it has.
Step 2: Install Transfer Case. (Hard part, that I dont have a whole lot of experience in)
Now, I know my trans isn't in perfect shape, but i really dont feel like tearing it apart so I can search for a 4x4
tailshaft and matching transfercase to put in. Knowing my luck, it'll open up a can of worms that I dont want to deal with. So, I want to install a divorced NP205. Now since the truck has a 168" wheelbase, there is PLENTY of room under the truck to mount one under there lol. I see it as a win win in several ways, 1) divorced 205's can be found pretty cheap and commonly, 2) a 205 can be very stout, even in stock form, 3) no tearing apart tranny to install it, 4) sets the front output yoke further back in the truck, creating a longer front driveshaft, getting a better angle depending on desired ride height.
Now my plans are to run a 14-16" long jack-shaft, and since the stock driveshaft slips inside the tailshaft, I won't need a slip-joint like most jack-shafts, keeping costs a little lower.
Now mounting it, I dont have one to look at in front of me, but from my understanding, you can create a crossmember to go under or over. Well this thing isn't exactly a rock-crawler, So i'll probably mount it under, for simplicity.
Shifter linkages: ??? no idea how to accomplish this part
Driveshafts: Front driveline i will obviously need to get made custom, from what I can measure, it will probably end up being roughly 60" long. I most likely will not use a double cardone joint as it wont be necessary, since the driveline angle will be minimal (unless someone thinks otherwise?). The rear driveline I would like to get made into a one piece, as the stock carrier bearing will end up being really close to the rear output of the 205, so I'll probably take my stock driveshaft down to a shop and have it lengthened however long necessary and re-use it, shouldn't be more than 8" or so, but we'll see.
Anything else I might be missing? What do you all think? I've got a while to stew on this and figure out everything I need before starting, I just like to learn about this kind of stuff!