1997 Ford F350 2wd auto to 4wd manual conversion.

Discussion in 'General, Performance, Upgrades & Accessories' started by jsm1573, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. jsm1573

    jsm1573 Registered User

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    So I thought that I would open this thread up even though it may have been done before to help those that want to do a swap like this and for myself to learn more from those who have done it. I am in the final stages of doing this swap. I bought a 1997 Ford F350 crew cab 2wd dually and the transmission pump took a dump so it only drove when it wanted to. I had a wrecked 1994 Ford F250 4wd ext cab with a zf5 so I planned on stripping down the 1994 and putting all the parts on the 1997 including the rear axle since I only wanted a SRW truck. Since the 1997 was a coil spring front end and the 1994 was a leaf spring I knew i had alot of converting to do. I purchased a 2" lift front shackle reversal kit, frame box kit, and low profile rear shackle hangers from Sky Manufacturing in order to get my leaf spring dana 60 under the 1997. My 1994 had a 4" lift on it already and I did not want to go much higher which is why I bought the low profile rear shackle hangers. Sky Manufacturing doesn't sell anything shorter than a 2" lift front shackle reversal kit so by purchasing the low profile rear shackle hangers it only added maybe an inch of lift overall once installed. The kit was decently priced for what you get in my opinion and all the parts are very well made and come with nice grade 8 hardware with nylon aircraft nuts. Instructions for installation are provided on the website and if you are converting a 2wd to 4wd like I am you have to print out a frame template in order to drill the holes for the frame box kit. The frame box kit is needed in order to mount the front leaf spring hangers since the 2wd frames are not boxed in. I removed my front bumper and cut the welds for the brackets to get them out of the way. I held the template up to the frame and shined a flashlight through the backside to match the holes up and then center punch the holes you need to drill. I had to notch the frame box kit some in order to get it to slide forward enough due to the frame having an incline in it as it moves to the front. Once the holes are drilled then it was as simple as bolting everything up for the front hanger just make sure you use red loctite and i also ended up welding the frame box kit as well for added security. Now for the rear shackle hangers there was no template on how to mount them since I was mounting them to a 2wd frame that did not previously have a hanger like the 4wd frames. So I took my dana 60 with the leaf springs still attached and rolled it up under my truck and attached the leaf springs to the hangers in the front. Then I grabbed the low profile rear shackle hangers that I purchased and held them up on the frame and pretty much made the best guess on where to mount them. I made my decision based on how I thought the shackle angle would be once I dropped the weight of the truck on the suspension. I will attach pictures to show where its mounted but it ended up straddling the cab mount. I measured where I mounted it and mimicked it on the other side. Don't forget to loctite these bolts too. Once that was done the axle was pretty much mounted and you could put the weight of the truck on it. The shackle angle ended up being straight up and down. The steering part is straight forward and the only other thing for the front axle that was different was track bar mounting. The track bar ends up sitting right in between the crossmembers if its mounted on the axle like mine which is down on the u-bolt plate. So pretty much you can either use spacers to mount it which might still cause play or fabricate something solid or what I ended up doing is buying a crossover pan hard conversion kit from Sky Manufacturing, as you can tell I like their products. I think its worth it if you have the money because it secures your axle a lot better and it also comes with the stuff to do a u-bolt flip and the top u bolt plate has a shock mount on it that can be used for single or dual shocks. So thats basically all for the front axle conversion if I missed something lemme know.
     
  2. jsm1573

    jsm1573 Registered User

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    Now for the manual swap I already had a 4x4 zf5 so once i bought the solid flywheel and clutch kit for the engine in the 1997 it was a direct bolt on. You have to use the frame support brackets for the manual transmission and get the pan in the cab with a cut out so your shifter tower can work. I ended up taking the driveshaft out of the 2wd auto and getting it shortened instead of finding a whole new one since they are a pain to find at least where I am. And the wiring and stuff like that is still to come so if anyone has pointers on that I'm all ears. One thing I am wondering is I heard you have to use PCM out of a manual but does that mean it has to be a PCM out of a obs with a powerstroke since my 1994 I'm using is an IDI. All the clutch pedal assemblies and slave cylinder mounts right up. Here are some pictures of everything I've done to the truck from when I got it to where its at now

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  3. jsm1573

    jsm1573 Registered User

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  4. jsm1573

    jsm1573 Registered User

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  5. jsm1573

    jsm1573 Registered User

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  6. SebastIDIan

    SebastIDIan Full Access Member

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    I didn't buy those hangers when I did mine but I'm seriously considering it now. I got way too much lift with the factory ones, also the sky hangers move the shackle mounting point 1" forward which will get me a better angle.
     
  7. jsm1573

    jsm1573 Registered User

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    Did you do a conversion or shackle reversal? And yea I knew I didn’t want a crazy shackle angle so I figured straight up and down would work well. Gives it plenty of room to move around
     

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