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Smithy's Suburban
10-31-2013, 11:45 AM (This post was last modified: 10-31-2013 12:27 PM by Smithy.)
Post: #1
Smithy's Suburban
Working on my 1999 Chevy Suburban. It's a 3/4 ton, 6.5l turbo diesel, 4l80 trans. The truck was originally owned by TLC Medical Transport, over on Burnett Ave, and was used as a first response EMT truck. I picked it up in non running condition, at auction in 2010. After a few quick checks I found the PMD was fried, no real surprise on a 6.5. I installed a Heath Diesel remote PMD kit, and its run like new ever since.

Up to this point I have added 285/65/16 tires on 3500 steel wheels, trimmed the fenders to fit. Built my own bracket and added a second 120A alternator. Installed a pyrometer, boost pressure, and trans temp gauges. Built my own stainless exhaust from the downpipe back, cat and muffler delete.
[Image: 026_zpse44a4a8c.jpg]



This is a long term project, I will update this thread as things progress.

One goal for the truck is a solid axle conversion. I already had a Dana 60 in my old plow truck. It's a 1997 F350.

[Image: 014_zps8c493d71.jpg]

I have spent the past few years gathering parts for the swap. Used, build leftover, open box or on sale whenever possible.

Pulled the 60, stripped it down.

[Image: 008_zpsc418e6ec.jpg]

[Image: 010_zps4c4e93c5.jpg]
Blasted and painted the housing.

[Image: 003_zps3aa08704.jpg]

Replaced everything that moves, and swapped out gears for 4.10s to match the 14B Full float rear.

[Image: 005_zps43a3b891.jpg]

Too Many Projects . . .
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10-31-2013, 01:55 PM
Post: #2
RE: Smithy's Suburban
Thank for posting this looking forward to this SAS.

Alvarez Metal Works
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10-31-2013, 03:56 PM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2015 08:20 AM by Smithy.)
Post: #3
RE: Smithy's Suburban
(10-31-2013 01:55 PM)AlvarezMetalWorks Wrote:  Thank for posting this looking forward to this SAS.

(10-31-2013 02:20 PM)yellowx16 Wrote:  x2, looking forward to seeing it completed.

Me too. lol.

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One reason why most guys dont use these axles is the ball joints and lack of flat tops. Fortunately I found a used Dynatrac high steer knuckle that was machined for a Ford. It was already set up with a D44 style arm.

[Image: 011_zpscdf647a5.jpg]

[Image: 009_zps17dab24f.jpg]

Link to building the tie rod:
http://www.upstate4x4.com/thread-118.html

I reamed out the hubs to fit 14x1.5mm studs to match the rear. The first set I tried had too long of a shoulder. When I fitted the wheel center I couldn't tighten the lugs all the way. oops.

[Image: 005_zpsebfb5b9c.jpg]

[Image: 003_zps74b512d6.jpg]

[Image: 004_zpsf25f3d19.jpg]

Found a set that fit perfectly but forgot to take a picture.

Offroad Design brackets in bare steel, I had them powdercoated. They are definitely strong. All 1/4" plate steel.

[Image: 002_zpsd60d5a80.jpg]

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10-31-2013, 04:33 PM
Post: #4
RE: Smithy's Suburban
Why do you have a new wheel center? Are you planning on building your own wheels?

Alvarez Metal Works
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11-01-2013, 07:05 AM
Post: #5
RE: Smithy's Suburban
(10-31-2013 04:33 PM)AlvarezMetalWorks Wrote:  Why do you have a new wheel center? Are you planning on building your own wheels?

I plan on recentering a set of 24 bolt HMMWV wheels.

[Image: 028_zps261ed982.jpg]

After the truck is drivable and all the bugs are worked out of course.

------------------------------------------------------------------

I want to run an old school brake setup, with one hose in the center of each axle instead of one hose at each wheel, less chance of rub-through on a tire. Welded a few tabs on the housing near the knuckle, and a mounting stud in the center.

[Image: 027_zps964dc75b.jpg]

Front IFS out!

[Image: 038_zpse9bdbeb5.jpg]

Hangers in

[Image: 040_zps2dd0be25.jpg]

[Image: 043_zpsecd518e5.jpg]

For the front springs I'm using 47" long K-truck leafs. I picked up a used set of Rough Country 2" springs, they seemed a bit stiff. Then found an set of 2.5" Superlift springs, which may be a bit soft. So I went with the Superlift springs, we will see how it works out. Can always swap them out later.

[Image: 013_zps2ae6cd26.jpg]

Dana 60 ready for its new home

[Image: 014_zpsbe8b6540.jpg]

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11-01-2013, 10:51 AM
Post: #6
RE: Smithy's Suburban
I did have to chop an ear off the downpipe flange to clear the rear spring brackets.

[Image: 054_zps96305e89.jpg]

Truck lowered down onto the axle

[Image: 016_zps6a74f329.jpg]

All bolted in.

[Image: 020_zps6e4a79b5.jpg]

Wheels on and setting pretty!

[Image: 021_zpsc5a0b947.jpg]

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11-01-2013, 02:39 PM
Post: #7
RE: Smithy's Suburban
I'm assuming you know how to setup gears? Is so I need the tools to learn how to do a dana 44. The ring gear just needs a good stable magnet base and a dial indacatora or whatever they are called. The pinion is what has me stumped. I can't find any videos showing me what is needed there. Or how to do that part.

Alvarez Metal Works
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11-01-2013, 08:03 PM
Post: #8
RE: Smithy's Suburban
(11-01-2013 02:39 PM)AlvarezMetalWorks Wrote:  I'm assuming you know how to setup gears?

Yeah, it's not as difficult as it seems.

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Rear shackle flip

[Image: 024_zpsfb4f6a5e.jpg]

[Image: 025_zpsdac8c725.jpg]

Rear axle moved back 1"

[Image: 051_zps81ddfc67.jpg]

For the steering I used a Ford pitman arm. Ford uses 4 blind splines while Chevy uses 3.

[Image: 002_zpsd5e5f1f4.jpg]

Filed each one so the arm will fit in any position.

[Image: 033_zpsc5c0266e.jpg]

Reamed out to fit a Chevy tie rod end.

[Image: 038_zps50d9a349.jpg]

Reamed the arm also

[Image: 048_zpsa457e51a.jpg]

Using the 2nd hole in the arm because it measures closest to the length of the pitman arm.

[Image: 047_zpsaa1503e9.jpg]

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11-01-2013, 08:41 PM
Post: #9
RE: Smithy's Suburban
You work fast!

Alvarez Metal Works
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11-02-2013, 10:41 AM
Post: #10
RE: Smithy's Suburban
Wow! Nice build. Are the bolt patterns the same between the two? Hub vs Lug centric?

Mike
2000 XJ Cherokee - 3.5'' lift / 32'' Tirerecapper Pizza Cutters / Front Locker
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