Solid Axle Swap
I have an ’81 Ford F-150 regular cab, longbed, automatic with a 5.8L engine. I am going to be swapping out the suspension and driveline for 1-ton components. I have never done this kind of thing before but have heard of it being done. Do you have any tips or can you point me in the right direction before I get to ripping and tearing away the old parts?
While it’s not really a good project for a first timer it can be done if you have extensive welding, fabrication, and chassis experience. Jeff’s Bronco Graveyard (www.broncograveyard.com) has the parts you need to make the swap, including the axle. This particular conversion uses the older C-bushing-style radius arms for simplicity.
I have a ’77 Jeep Levi Honcho shortbed pickup. It has the 360 V-8 in it. I bought it from a guy out here in Vail, Arizona. There are no dents and the tailgate is in perfect condition. The only problem that I have is that the person that I bought it from had taken off all the emission stuff. We used to have a junkyard here that did Jeeps, but he went to other pastures. Do you know where I can find the parts? I can’t get tags until it passes emissions.
How do you feel about the 401? I really like the torque that they put out in low, low. I call it tank mode. But I am also thinking about putting in a 350 Chevy in the ’77 Jeep.
I’m not totally sure what was factory for smog equipment in 1977. But, if I remember right, in Arizona you only need to pass a sniffer test, no visual. So if that’s the case (and even if it isn’t), I would recommend the smog-legal Howell Fuel Injection (www.howellefi.com).
Your 360 will run way better and cleaner than the carb ever did and you don’t need any of the related smog stuff except maybe the air cleaner and the hot air intake. Plus, if it is just the sniffer test, dump the factory ignition system and get a Performance Distributors (www.performancedistributors.com) Davis Unified Ignition (DUI) distributor. Then open up the plugs a bit for a hotter spark.
With the EFI and the new ignition you’ll think you have a totally different engine under the hood.
The 401 is cool but hard to find and all of the AMC engines can be expensive to rebuild. I’ve been pretty happy with my 360, but I’m not really a hotrodder. Swapping in a GM V-8 ain’t cheap either, and may not be the most cost-effective option when you add up exhaust, add-ons, and the cooling system. The little stuff adds up quickly.
One Wheel Peel
I have a ’00 Silverado Z71 and I cannot figure out why the front tires will not lock and pull. I have already replaced the front axle motor/actuator due to it not working before. I can hear the axle motor and transfer case engage. Prior to replacing the axle motor, I could not hear it engage.
I put the truck up on jacks and put the truck in 4-Lo. All four tires turned at the time, but when I put the truck back on the ground, the front tires will not pull.
Can you help me with this?
If you have it on jackstands and all four wheels spin then the front drive is working fine. However, maybe you are mistaking the function of your open front differential for the front drive not working. Only one front wheel will spin if you get the truck in a twisted up or stuck situation. An open differential will cause the tire with the least amount of traction to spin.
2 By 4 Too
I have a two-wheel-drive ’88 Chevy Suburban. I want to make it four-wheel-drive. A friend is giving me a ’94 Chevy 2500 4x4 pickup rolling chassis for free and I am trying to figure out if the 4x4 system on the truck will fit the Suburban. Also the sub is a ½-ton. The truck is ¾-ton. Normally I would just build the ’94, but it is beyond repair—the only usable part is the drivetrain.
It’s not really a cost effective swap. The two frames are very different.
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