E350 1993 rear axle drum to disc swap questions???? In a jam please help!!


New member
So I find myself in a bit of a jam here, this question is about my work van, not my camper van, but really the same vehicle anyway.
I discovered my rear ring gear is probably gonna explode any day now.
A search of the junk yards found no suitable straight forward changeout from and older 92-97 Full floater E350 van
I`m about to retire the van so I`d rather not spend the full money simply having a shop install all new gears bearings etc.
Other obvious option is swap in an disc brake axle from a later, post 1999 e350 van.
Looks like the axle itself is a bolt in, but the yoke on a 1993 E350 is not the same as the later model axles. Earlier models used the old style yoke that used the strap bolts that clamp the Ujoint caps into the yolk.
The newer 1999 and up axles have a round flange that the driveshaft bolts up to.
anyone know if you can swap newer post 1999 yolk to the old style, or do I have to mod the drive shaft? the donor van is a long wheel base and the driveshaft is also bent.
I found a bit of swap info, but nobody seems to say anything about the proportion valve. anybody know how to deal with this?????? Help I`m in a jam here.
I though there would be tons of info on this swap but a quick search didn`t find anything. I need this van everyday, and I have no idea how much further it will go.
Also does anybody know if a semi floater is a bolt in for this van??? I just need a couple more months drive time out of this beast then its retirement time its got 290,000 miles
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To Infinity and Beyond!
You will have to change the master cylinder and the prop valve at a minimum. Your rear drum brake master cylinder should be replaced with the one from the donor and hope it's the right volume/pressure to safely work the brakes. There are calculations to figure this out however I doubt you are into that. The prop valve on the van NOW will have a residual pressure setup in it to keep about 10 PSI on the rear drums to make them react properly when applied. That means you gotta gut the prop valve or replace with an adjustable valve. You may have issues with the rear brake line fittings at the hose from the body to the rear-end however adapters could overcome this IF a problem. If a parking brake is needed you then have that nightmare of trying to make that work. Now ya gotta deal with the flange issue to somehow bolt the driveshaft up. Just because a later model rear-end will bolt the van does not mean the conversion will be easy.

Buy are rebuild kit for what you already got in that van build that rear-end and get on with life!
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New member
Thanks for the reply, after getting a chance to look a little deeper into it this morning, as well as a second trip to the salvage yard I had decided to do just as you suggested.
It just sucks to spend $900 rebuilding this current axle for a van I plan to retire in under 3 months.
I had really hoped for a quick swap in axle from another van.
Oh well Stuff happens


If you only need 3 months, why not run it until it actually lets loose?

Also, could you just pull the carrier and pinion from another van and bolt them in. All the precision of a proper ring and pinion setup (with associated cost) is intended to create long life. Used gears installed with a mallet and impact will last 3 months if you put a tiny bit of time in checking the pattern and adjusting the pinion depth.