So you have a killer D350 (or any D series truck) and you love it so much, but there has been one thing keeping it from being your ideal truck, 4x4.
The next phase in your truck project is taking on a 4x4 swap, but how is this done? This guide will help give a broad start to building your dream.
Step 1: Gather parts
Time to scour junkyards, facebook marketplace, craigslist, your buddies parts stash, and check out Hogback Fab's website ;)
Frame Brackets: The first piece of the puzzle, luckily we've got you covered on the leaf spring hangers. Our HD main eye and HD shackle hangers/shackles will get this party started.
Engine crossmember: This one is best grabbed from a donor truck, otherwise with some fab skills one can be made.
Leaf Springs: If you are looking to lift your truck this is a good time to kill two birds with one stone and go with your desired flavor of lift height. Otherwise if you are looking to keep it stock 4x4 height there are also manufactures of stock springs.
Steering: Depending on if you are lifting or not you can pick up some stock 4x4 steering components or move on to crossover steering. If you are doing crossover you can keep the steering box in the 2wd location if you are going to be using 4x4 steering components you will need to move the box to the 4x4 location.
Transmission/transfer case: Now this one has a wide array of options. From picking up a used 4x4 transmission t case combo to having something HD built by a company.
Axle: This one can be tough or easy, depending on your location in the country. For the ultimate in strength you are going to want to get a Dana 60 (be ready for a hefty price tag). Look for a Kingpin Dodge Dana 60 as it will be the easiest to swap in. They are a passenger side drop but can be easily mixed up with the GM Dana 60. Your other option is a Dodge Dana 44, which can be pretty good for 35s and under (of course driving style is a big factor).
Drive Shafts: If you are keeping it stock drive shafts from a stock truck of your transmission, tcase, and wheelbase combo will work. After that custom is a great upgrade to go.
Many of these items are easier to deal with if you pick up a whole donor truck. Also a great template to pull measurements off of.
Bonus items: Some things you may need that we can help you with
Rear of truck height since 2wd is lower or if you are wanting to lift:
If you are rebuilding your Dana 60 front axle
Step 2: Assembly
So once you have all the 2wd components removed (easy right?) its time to start building the 4x4. A good place to start is bolting the front main eye bracket in. This will go in place of your stock core support mount. A few holes will need to be drilled in the frame.
Now you will need to locate where to position the front HD shackle hanger. This is done by measuring back from the front main eye hanger. This measurement is very dependent on the type of leaf spring you are going to be using to get a good shackle angle. If you email us all the details on your leaf spring we can help with a recommendation. For example using a stock spring we suggest 47.375" Center of bolt to center of bolt (Main eye hanger to HD shackle hanger), but for something that has a high arch like a tall lifted spring that measurement would be different.
Once those two main things are set the rest can be positioned pretty easily. It will be like putting a 4wd truck back together.
Step 3: Have fun with your new 4x4
Take it out and do what trucks do best, explore the great outdoors!!
Okay so this might not be a step by step Haynes or Chilton manual (People still use these? I know I still have mine), but it gets the gears going in the right direction of planning.
Keep building cool trucks!