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Dually Conversion Q's


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#1 Lock

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:44 PM

I've talked about my Dad's '02 3500 before, and while he's not currently driving, we still have it.  Its a one owner, mid 60k original mileage, and near perfect still except for some fading clear coat on the roof that's developed recently.

 

My oldest is ready to start driving this year, and the wife and I have been looking at vehicle options for him.  One thought we had was to convert the 3500 dually to a single rear wheel and let him drive it.  Its slow, good economy, dual airbags and should be safe.  Its perhaps a little bigger for a new driver, but should be safe.  I did a search on conversions but had to piece together info, and I called a local diesel shop but they didn't have much to offer either.  From what I've pieced together, here's what I need to change to make this work:

Front hubs

Rear axle

Wheels (including the spare)

and we're looking at a small flatbed to replace the bed.

 

Has anyone done this before?  is this a stupid endeavor that will just end up with a messed up truck after all is done?  By converting it to a single rear wheel (and likely using a 2500 rear axle) will I need to have it inspected by the State Patrol?

 

If this truck had normal mileage for an '02, I wouldn't bother, but the low mileage and family history has made me at least think about it and start researching.

 

Thoughts?

 

Thx


Edited by Lock, 10 January 2018 - 02:54 PM.


#2 GTroyer

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:10 PM

single tire Dana 80's are out there so the weight rating wouldn't necessarily change it you look at the newer single tire 3500's

 

I don't believe you'd go wrong doing this but IMHO save the bed [hang it in the garage rafters] and all the dual stuff so you could change it back or at least offer it to a buyer down the road.

 

as to the flat bed , if that's what your going with then why change out everything else , just change the bed and call it good. BTW flat beds are not low $$ items even used they are not low $$  ... and used ones usually need a ton of repair as I found out , by the time I was done converting mine and the repairs I could have bought a new one.

 

if you decide to change out to 2500 stuff the rear ends are not usually easy to sell and folks want them cheep .... but hold your price as the disk brake ones are not easy to find and $$$$ [in the $1000.00 range] beds are usually cheep , easy to come by and oft times near give away prices unless someone thinks he has gold. also suggest you do not store rear axle out in the weather as they will rust up badly and lower the value a bunch.


Edited by GTroyer, 10 January 2018 - 07:39 PM.


#3 HOSS

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:14 PM

What color is the truck? What gear ratio?
I have a patriot blue 2002 single rear wheel with 4:10 gears and I would be very interested in doing a dually conversion.

#4 GTroyer

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:18 PM

now there's the answer ... paint price isn't all the bad Hoss  LOL



#5 HOSS

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:21 PM

now there's the answer ... paint price isn't all the bad Hoss  LOL

Yeah but if it were a blue truck it's a no brainer! Free and free! It will take some work if the gear ratios are not the same but still cheaper than buying parts!

#6 GTroyer

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:24 PM

amen Hoss

 

then you could change yours to a flat bed  .... great hay and wood hauler  ..... BUTTTTT get a cut bed not a square one [they don't do well with pull trailers or fivers UNLESS you have a extra long stinger .... need not ask how I know  :(



#7 Lock

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:53 PM

Hey Hoss,

Its Dark Garnet Red (more of a maroon color).  I'm not 100% sure what the rear ratio is, but I don't think its a 4.10.  I want to say its a 3.54 IIRC.  I'll check tonight.  



#8 HOSS

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:12 PM

I would be interested in swapping you my axle for yours and my bed for yours. I guess I could just add dually fenders to my bed but I think if your. Bed is good a repaint and swap would be easier. They are both disc brake rear ends which is a huge bonus for swapping them. Finding a disc brake rear is not as easy as a drum brake one.

#9 HOSS

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:13 PM

The bed on my truck is far from prefect! Hauled lots of hay and wood.

#10 Lock

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:44 PM

I may not need the bed at all - just the axle;  we were thinking of going to a smaller flatbed, but Gary's advice above is good.  I need to price out a flatbed - I had figured around $1500 to $2000.  Now he's got me concerned, LOL.

 

I'll PM you.  Thanks!



#11 GTroyer

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:35 PM

do your homework ... prices are all over the board on flatbeds ! !



#12 HOSS

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 05:11 AM

I may not need the bed at all - just the axle;  we were thinking of going to a smaller flatbed, but Gary's advice above is good.  I need to price out a flatbed - I had figured around $1500 to $2000.  Now he's got me concerned, LOL.

 

I'll PM you.  Thanks!

You figure out which way you want to go and we can iron out the details. me buying dually fenders and painting them will work for me just fine. 



#13 Packards42

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:52 AM

disk brake rear end are difficult to find in single rear axles.  I bought one out of Texas to put on my truck.  then it need new disks and rotors.and probably caliptiers too, as one appears to have been sticking. wore out the disk, I surprise someone would drive that long.



#14 yogi_160

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:48 PM

disk brake rear end are difficult to find in single rear axles.  I bought one out of Texas to put on my truck.  then it need new disks and rotors.and probably caliptiers too, as one appears to have been sticking. wore out the disk, I surprise someone would drive that long.


Good to know guess I will pickup when they are cheap.

#15 Lock

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 10:46 AM

Hoss, sent a PM.  Been a few days off the board with work and kids activities.

 

Long story short, we wanted to install a slightly shorter flatbed if we went this route in order to reduce the overall length of the truck (since my son is a new driver).  Very, very costly as soon as you go anything "custom".  Even the off the shelf generic flatbeds were pretty costly with all the parts needed to install, wiring, etc.

And to top that off, the liability for a new driver in a 3/4 ton or larger truck is excessive.  According to our agent, statistically, since new drivers have a higher probability of accident involvement, the bigger and heavier the vehicle actually costs more since they cause more damage.

So we're looking at other alternatives at this point - likely some sort of 1500 short box if we locate one that hasn't been hammered. 

 

Thanks to all for the great info in this thread.  There was very little in TDR and other sources on these types of swaps.  Lots of folks wanting to go to a dually, but not much interest in a dually to a single conversion. 






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