NUTS & BOLTS
QI’m in the process of converting my 1978 F-250 to fuel injection, and I had a question about fuel pumps. Several people I’ve spoken with tell me I should do whatever I need to do in order to have the fuel pump in the tank. This is kind of a big pain. It would be really easy to just add an external high-pressure pump and mount it on the framerail, not to mention much easier to access should the pump go bad. I understand there are very specific mounting requirements for an external pump, but I already have a great spot to put one that meets all of them. Are internal pumps really that much better? How am I supposed to add a pump to a tank that isn’t designed for one?
CHARLIE M. Via email@example.com
AIt’s hard to deny the benefits of fuel injection these days, especially for offroad use. Retrofitting a fuel-injection system is easier than ever thanks to the variety of good aftermarket systems on the market, and because of this, more and more fuel pump solutions are available all the time.
You are absolutely correct. Most of the time adding an external pump to a fuel system that originally fed a carburetor is much easier than going with an internal pump. That said, we would still recommend going with an internal pump if possible. Although it’s a lot more work up front and harder to access for service, the main advantage to an internal pump is cooling. Because the pump is immersed in gas, the pump stays cool and lasts much longer. The biggest enemy of anything electrical is heat and moisture, and external pumps are subjected to a lot of both. Mostly for this reason, it has been our experience that nine times out of 10, an internal pump is going to be more reliable and is therefore worth the extra installation hassle.
Your internal pump options include using a bed-mounted fuel cell, retrofitting a latermodel EFI tank to your truck, or retrofitting a pump to your existing tank. There are different costs and installation difficulties associated with each one, but retrofitting a pump to your existing tank is easier than ever with Aeromotive’s Phantom fuel systems (aeromotiveinc.com). The system is pretty slick and offers a comprehensive, easy way to add an in-tank pump. You cut a hole in the top of your tank, and the kit includes everything you need to install, secure, and seal an in-tank pump. The Phantom kits are available as both return and returnless systems to match whatever fuel injection system you use.
If you still decide to go with an external pump, we would recommend using a common one and carrying a spare. We’ve had varying degrees of success using a Ford E2000 pump. For whatever reason, some of our vehicles have done well with an E2000 and others have not. An E2000 pump puts out about 80 psi, so it will need to be regulated for most EFI systems and it will also need a return line. Mount the pump as close to and even with the bottom of the tank as possible, and buy the highest-quality pump you can find. Aeromotive offers some external brushless fuel pumps that we’ve heard good things about as well, but those aren’t available at your local parts store if one happens to go bad.
One last option is to use the existing mechanical low-pressure fuel system to feed an underhood sump containing a high-pressure pump that in turn feeds the EFI, such as what is offered by Edelbrock (edelbrock.com). Some people feel the system is overly complicated because you’re relying on both a mechanical and electric pump, but this option is the least invasive if the priority is to remain as close to stock as possible or to go back to a carburetor. The sump takes up some room, but with the cavernous engine compartment on your F-250 it shouldn’t be a problem finding a place to mount it.
SPICER 18 TO DANA 300
QI am in the middle of doing a front and rear axle swap in my 1950 Willy’s
CJ-3A, and I’m trying to figure out what my options are for centered rear output transfer cases. The Jeep is equipped with a T-90 three-speed transmission. I recently pulled the Spicer 18 transfer case off my Jeep T-90, and I have a T-90 with a Dana
300 out of a Scout II. My thought was I could swap the IH Dana 300 onto the Jeep
T-90, but I’ve been reading that the input shafts might be different. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
COREY H. Via firstname.lastname@example.org
AFor starters, it’s doubtful that you have a factory International Harvester Dana
300 and T-90 combination. While IH used both T-90s and Dana 300s, the two were never used together in a factory application. If you’re certain that you have an IH
T-90, then most likely you have a Dana 20 attached to it (which is not a bad thing). If you’re certain that you have an IH Dana
300, then you probably have a different transmission than a T-90 (though it is possible to bolt an IH T-90 to an IH Dana 300; more on that in a minute).
IH Dana 20s and Dana 300s are often mistaken for one another, as they look similar. The best way to tell them apart is knowing that the Dana 300 has an aluminum tailhousing for the rear output while the Dana 20’s is cast iron, and the Dana 20 has a 1-inch-deep
sump in the inspection cover while the Dana
300’s is fairly smooth and flat.
If you have an IH Dana 300, then you have a very rare and desirable transfer case. Used for only one year (1980), the Scout Dana
300 uses the same “Texas” bolt pattern and output shaft style as the earlier Dana 20, which allows it to bolt directly to many Jeep and IH transmissions that were originally mated to Dana 20s while also offering a
2.61:1 low-range. This was a major improvement over the Dana 20’s 2.02:1 low-range. Because the Dana 20 and the Spicer 18 also used the same bolt pattern and drive gear style, this opens up the transmission selection even more. Further, the mating adapter can be as short as an inch long depending on the transmission, which is a big help on driveshaft length.
The issue with the IH Dana 300 is availability (both the cases themselves as well as parts), and only the drive gear from manualequipped IH 300s are adaptable to transmissions that were equipped with Jeep or IH Dana
20s. The drive gears from IH 300s behind
TF727s are different and not compatible. Like the cases themselves, the IH 300 drive gears are no longer available new. With such a unique combination of attributes and knowing that just 30,000 1980 Scouts were made (many of which were equipped with automatics), it’s easy to understand why Scout 300s are rare and command high prices.
Back to your project: According to the information we were able to gather on the subject, regardless of whether you have an IH Dana
300 or Dana 20, as long as it was originally behind a manual transmission with a 13⁄8-inch six-spline input, you should be able to use what you have behind the Jeep T-90 without much issue. You could also use the IH T-90, but input shaft stick-out lengths often vary within different Jeep and Scout applications, so you’ll most likely need to swap the input shaft between the two transmissions. We’d just use the Jeep T-90 if it’s in good shape.
We would be a little leery of using the Scout Dana 300 just because parts are scarce, and it would be a lot of work to put it in only to have a possible issue down the road and not be able to locate replacement parts. Alternatively, you could use a Jeep Dana 20. As a bonus, 3:15:1 low-range kits are available for Jeep and IH Dana 20s from Advance Adapters (advanceadapters. com) or TeraFlex (teraflex.com). If you need Dana 20 rebuild kits or shifters for your project, Novak (novak-adapt.com) is a great resource for parts as well as knowledge of vintage Jeep drivetrain combinations.
QI was wondering if anyone could help me with a few questions. I have a 1992 Ford Bronco. The steering box is brand new, but it’s stock. There is still so much play in the steering that it’s scary to drive. What can I do to this truck to highly improve the steering?
Also I wanted to do a 1-ton rear swap on this truck. How would I do this, and what kind of suspension would I need to make it work?
If someone could help me with my questions I would greatly appreciate it.
DAVID S. Via email@example.com
AScary steering is almost always caused by worn out components with excessive play. The steering box is a good place
to start, but many other components can cause your Bronco to wander like a drunken sailor. Have someone wiggle the steering back and forth while you closely inspect all of the steering linkage for signs of wear or excess play. Pay close attention to tie-rod and drag-link ends, as well as the steering shaft that connects the steering column to the box. TTB Ford steering was pretty mediocre when new, so even just a bit of play can wreak havoc. If the steering checks out, then move on and closely inspect the ball joints, wheel bearings, and axle and suspension pivot points. If you still don’t find anything, it may be time to throw in the towel and take it to a professional.
As for the 1-ton rear, your Bronco uses the same basic leaf-spring rear suspension as
F-250s and F-350s. Dana 60s from F-250s and
F-350s are plentiful and cheap in junkyards, and they are pretty close to the right width for your Bronco. You will probably have to move spring pads and shock mounts, but the physical installation won’t be that big a deal.
The trouble is that a 1-ton axle will be eight-lug, while your front axle is 5-on-51⁄2. This necessitates converting your frontend to eight-lug. If you can get your hands on TTB Dana 44HD knuckles-out assemblies from a TTB F-250, you can convert your five-lug TTB Dana 44 to eight-lug with bolt-on parts (solid-axle Dana 44 outers are not compatible with TTB Dana 44s). You’ll need everything from the knuckles outward, though the locking hubs will be the same. We’d also grab the axleshafts just to be safe. Be careful when sourcing Dana 44HD parts, however, as
F-250s also came with Dana 50s (which are actually more common), and Dana 50 parts will not interchange with the Dana 44 stuff. The easiest ways to identify Dana 44HDs and Dana 50s is to look at the hub centers: Dana
50s will have larger, 4 ⁄ -inch-diameter hubs. The respective axle numbers will also be cast into the center differential housing.
A second option would be to convert the
1-ton rear to 5-on-51⁄2 with custom axles. I did something similar for Jp Magazine when I built a custom Dana 60 for a Jeep using a housing sourced from an F-250 a few years ago (“Rear Dana 60 Build: Moving the Fuse,” goo.gl/qduTgT). You lose a little strength and some width going from a full-float axle to a semi-float, but you can take the opportunity to upgrade to 35-spline and get much of that lost strength back. This option will be more expensive than converting the front axle to eight-lug, but the front axle parts may be harder to come by. In the end, keep in mind that your existing 8.8 rear should be fine with up to 35-inch tires and moderate use, even with a locker.