TTB van pics please!

wyndsurfr

Observer
thank you very much Timjim, I think I may have miscommunicated though. The thing I need to see is the connection of the twin traction beams (the front axle) to the Engine Crossmember. Those are the Radius arm brackets. That is still a huge help though, and I really appreciate it :) every bit of information can possibly save me from a mistake!
 

wyndsurfr

Observer
Philos, at least for me, I'm hoping the ABS is plug and play, or "solder" and play.... I don't know enough about abs to know for sure, but if all it is doing is using a sensor to read wheel spin, then since mine already has ABS, that should be just hook it up and go.... Maybe someone else with more information about that would know for sure. I've been thinking of doing a ttb swap for years, I was quite dismayed when I got under there and started measuring to find out vans/trucks don't share a frame, but.... I think it'll get done. I would honestly prefer a 3/4 ton van and a d50, but, I have what I have, the van is an "extra" one that I swapped an old tractor for and I got all the parts off of a free donor truck that my stepfather wanted the transfer case out of. So, all in all, I have about 2 grand in this entire thing so far, although in my area I could probably sell the van for 4 grand as-is, but finding a 3/4 ton would be tough for that price that isn't ugly and worn out, so, this looks like the next most logical step rather than selling mine and trying to find the van I really want. If this goes well, or if it doesn't, I plan on converting my 2003 chevy express. I've seen a few different ways to do this, I have a full frame under this van, so I could easily do the solid axle solution, but, I have seen the front carriage bolted under one to use the age appropriate chevy truck parts and that would be ideal to me... anyhow, another build for another thread :)
 
Last edited:

philos

Explorer
Some D44 axles already have an ABS sensor if I remember right. In that case, it may just be a case of soldering if the pulses are in sync.
There was never a factory D50 TTB with ABS, although the later solid axle D50 did sometimes.
I love junkyard builds, my favorite car ever was my 71 Jimmy I converted from 4x4 to 2wd with a disc 72 clip from a pickup. All junkyard parts. Drove it to Cabo. Twice. Sold it in 03, still regret it. It was a wonderful machine.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

wyndsurfr

Observer
Thank you TimJim... You are a Gentleman and a Scholar :-D !!! Seriously though, thanks a bunch, that helps tremendously. I never would have thought it was built like that.
 

Timjim

Observer
Thank you TimJim... You are a Gentleman and a Scholar :-D !!! Seriously though, thanks a bunch, that helps tremendously. I never would have thought it was built like that.
Well thank you too!!

But no worries. If you are brave enough to go for the DIY TTB I can certainly crawl under there and give you some pics. If you need any other angles let me know, I am sure that you can get some ideas and emulate something you know works. Good luck!! I love the TTB, it's silly in the dirt.
 

bcaine

New member
Still going

Believe it or not, my project still lives on... I have done a ton of research and will gladly share my best guesses on things. Here is what I have learned so far:

1) you have to SERIOUSLY trim the ECM... I did trim a little, check the fit, trim more, check the fit... Repeat. I now know how far back it had to be trimmed and if you want to give me a reference point I will measure.

2) I have PDF files for the curves of the profile of the ECM where you will need to place the brackets. The profiles came from ford cad models and someone who was able to provide me with cross-sections at those points. Heck, shoot me a pm and I'll mail you the pieces I had printed on a plotter and now have cut out of hardboard.
image.jpg

3) I have had a set of spring mounts cut on a jet and have the dxf files for those. The picture is not very explanatory. These pieces sit on the d50 axle and give a flat surface for the springs to mount to. The height is based on the ride height for my van with cc880s springs installed before I took the 2wd system off. If you want those files let me know. It may save a few hours of trial and error. I have already welded a set to my jig and the fit is nice.
image.jpg

4) I will be using the spherical bearings in the picture you see above instead of the stock bushings.

As you worry about moving the axle forward to match agile, you will soon find that it is a matter of necessity and not design. It's the only way to get enough spacing between the beams. I have about 50 pictures on my ipad of ttb setups. My plan has always been to share what I learn.

Final piece of advice. If time matters, just buy the kit. I love to tinker and my wife and I have had two boys since I began the project. Making children takes less effort. From what I understand maintenance costs on the van and children should run about parallel over time. For now, at my snails pace, It's a cheap hobby to just plug away at. I gave myself a five year timeline and am glad I did. No stress, just fun learning.

Oh and here's another underneath shot from a different van. image.jpg

Have fun!
 
Last edited:

wyndsurfr

Observer
well, there are significant differences in the dana 50 and the dana 44, mainly in that the beam lengths are not the same. As per trimming the ecm, I will gladly take some info on that :) I'll get a couple measurements and get some crude idea of a way for us to talk about reference points and know what each other are saying. I plan to do a bunch of work on it tomorrow.... I'm optimistic on timing, but, I have a full auto shop at my disposal with the van on a 2 post lift with nice plasma cutters, welders and experience with these transmissions, so, as far as I can tell, getting that TTB mounted and safe is really the only hurdle I am having.... Ramsey posted a couple photos in your thread that were quite helpful (at least I think it was ramsey, I could be misremembering) in how to get it set up for mounting... Tomorrow my hopes are to get the original stuff off of the van and the TTB all disassembled so it's easier to handle, I wanted to today, but a fella came by with a truck that needed fixing. Pretty cool truck, completely off topic, but it's a mid 90's toyota extended cab 4x4 5 speed with a mid 80's mercedes turbodiesel 5 cylinder shoe horned into it. Really poor conversion job and the guy bought it knowing nothing about repairing any cars let alone a complete custom job like this.
 

bcaine

New member
Oops, I somehow missed that you were doing a 44.

When you remove the passenger side beam pivot (which mounts to the drivers side of the ECM) you will see three holes in the ECM. One or two of those are also where the motor mounts bolt to the ECM. They make good reference points.

Pretty sure this is a 44 based on beam length. You may have seen them already...
image.jpg
image.jpg
 
Last edited:

bcaine

New member
Not trying to clutter... I'm just looking for what I think may help.

If you study this one closely, you can see how the ECM was cut. Pay close attention to where the front lip is and isn't cut away.
image.jpg

And here's the agile jig. The three bolt holes I referenced above (some factory rivets) have the grade eight hardware in this photo. This with the earlier shot from under should give a really good idea. This is for a d50

image.jpg

I have many more photos I've collected for this job. Let me know what parts of the job. More 44 pics too.
 

wyndsurfr

Observer
I think with some mods the drop brackets I have off of the donor truck may be enough, Good thing I have a fullsize bronco here I can reference for t-case angle so I can get a decent idea of where that front driveshaft is going to go. My plan is to gut the ttb so it is a little easier to handle and tack weld it to a few likely spots to get placement so I can play with up/down movement and check for possible interference with the front driveshaft....
 

wyndsurfr

Observer
I'm also quite curious as to how necessary it is to move the whole rig forward, I'm hoping it will make more sense when I get the ttb under the van. Again, I'm not looking to go up to like 35 inch tires, I think 31x10.5 would be more than adequate for my needs, might even stick with stock tire size although some 31's would open up a whole world of tread choices. Once I get under there, I'll know more :) I plan to document this adventure well.
 
Top