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Ford F250 Super Duty Drivetrain Upgrade - Putting Some New Guts In A HD Truck's Drivetrain

Rebuilding Our STD Instead Of Buying A New Truck

Jerrod JonesPhotographer, Writer

Full-size heavy-duty trucks tend to see a fair amount of abuse. After all this is why they are purchased -- they are used as work trucks. Whether it is as a chase truck, support truck, or tow truck, a well-used HD truck can wear out parts a little more quickly than a fancy half-ton truck or Escalade that some suit is daily driving to his squishy job every day.

Trucks that work for a living are built to take the abuse, but nothing lasts forever. Our own Super Duty support truck, the STD, is a good example. The odometer still shows less than 70,000 miles, but practically everything underneath was worn out, obviously due to six years of hard off-roading, tow duty, and parts hauling. It was definitely time to rebuild the drivetrain of this truck. Even though we knew that it would be expensive endeavor, it would still be much cheaper than buying a new truck. And in this economy, buying a new truck is just not an option for us right now.

Instead of making 12 different phone calls to get parts, we decided to make just one call to National Drivetrain who was able to supply us with everything, from ball joints to driveshafts, we needed to get our truck back into tip top condition. National Drivetrain is one of the largest mail order drivetrain shops in the world, and they have great archives and parts databases. With one phone call and some simple driveshaft measurements, a sales guy was able to get us the correct ball joints, ring and pinion gearsets, install kits, ARB lockers, hub rebuild kits, and driveshafts without us even knowing what size U-joint our Super Duty's driveshafts came with from the factory. And we like that everything was mailed to us in just a couple of big boxes, instead of dealing with a bunch of phone calls and running around for parts.

But even with the advantage of the one-stop shopping at National Drivetrain, we still needed to visit our favorite drivetrain shop, South Bay Truck & 4x4 in Hawthorne, California, to get everything installed. National Drivetrain may be able to box up all the parts, but you cannot mail order all the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of a good drivetrain installation shop. It was a big job, but South Bay Truck had everything from National Drivetrain into our truck and ready to go in a day and a half.