Legacy 4x4 Conversion Kit Ford E-Series Gen 4 (1992-2014)
After building 200 or so E-Series van conversions and selling many many kits, we've got a pretty good handle on the 4WD E-Series conversions. Our legacy 4x4 van conversion kit contains all the components required for the coil spring conversion that are non-over-the-counter. This is the most comprehensive basic kit available for 4x4 van conversions and leaves you just the axle build, transfer case, driveshafts, wear items like shocks, brakes, etc, and the fuel tank to sort through.
New for the current release, we spent the last year of so fine-tuning a product that was already working very well. Recent updates to geometry include a better travel path for the 4 link swing, reducing caster delta, longer arms for that crucial clearance at the back of the front tires, and a wholly new track bar design that drops the heim joints and provides tons of pumpkin clearance. We have a freshly designed stabilizer system that reduces drag link deflection and crushes steering wheel feedback. This is our most advanced legacy kit yet.
Our 100 page manual is now a 140 page manual and provides more support than ever for variants, something we are consistently praised for.
If you are interested in having Timberline build any or all of these other items for you, we gladly offer that as well.
If this is your first stop on our site, take a little bit to review the vans, resources, and information on our "how do I convert my van to 4x4" page. We also have answered a lot of frequently asked questions on our FAQ page. If you have further questions, we'd be happy to answer them by phone or Email. It is our goal to make the process as seamless and productive as possible and we've gone to a great deal to design a product that is field-tested and made for a pain-resistant install.
Here are some sample pages from our Ford 4x4 conversion manual. Our manuals include detailed photography, mechanical drawings, torque specs and helpful tips.
We are dedicated to making the process as straightforward and easy as possible.
Why the 4 link? After working on Superduty trucks for years prior to working on vans, it was no secret to us that they were stiff, unforgiving, and purpose-built for work only. That's all fine unless you're trying to drive the vehicle daily with a variety of payloads, uses, and periodic ventures into the dirt. It is a popular opinion that having the additional point of pivot and the ability to dial in the placement of the axle and geometry of the suspension lends 4 links to just ride and drive better than a standard radius arm.
The difficulty lies in dialing in that geometry, which we've done over years of testing. Our standard system is plug-and-play and works every time with the rest of the parts we've compiled. The parallel 4 link design is simple and extremely durable, rarely requiring service. Utilizing extremely durable leaf spring bushings, all grade 10 hardware, and ease of bolt-up design are all important features.
Coil springs vs leaf springs
There's the big question, isn't it? We've met many people who were very happy with their leaf spring vans and we've had people ask us to build leaf spring kits, so there's got to be something good about them, but we chose to lean into the coil spring design. Our opinion on this isn't gospel, it's just an opinion, so here's why we do what we do:
1) Availability- the 2005-2016 Superduty axle is one of the most widely available axles in the country. Ford built scores of these trucks over a long period, and they're everywhere. You won't find Ford telling you parts are obsolete, every corner parts store carries parts for them, and they are very easy to work on.
2) Ride quality - Coil springs, your van came with them, that's how Ford designed it, and they've already picked out a coil spring rate for you in the front of your van that matches the basic weight and usage of your van. Can this be done with leaf springs? possibly, but we haven't driven one that felt right. This becomes a particular issue on lighter-weight vans. A dead empty gas 4x4 E-series cargo can weigh as little as 6,000lbs, and a fully built diesel high top can often weigh closer to 10,000lbs loaded. Bolting up a Superduty axle in place of your existing front end only adds about 200lbs per front corner, basically like adding an extra passenger, so keep your springs, and keep your ride quality.
3) Turning radius - Is this a big deal? Probably not for everyone. In the shortest answer, we've driven (and built) leaf spring vans and coil spring vans and there is a noticeable difference in the last bit of the steering that feels like the later model axle has the capacity to allow the vehicle to turn tighter. Ford vans have a 135" wheelbase which is not super long, so either choice is fine, but you can roll up to a standard American intersection and make a u-turn easily across 2 lanes and that's what makes our design feel like it works.
4) Compatibility - It takes exactly 3 different abs sensors to cover the entire program of E-series vans that all interface equally with the 05-16 Superduty axles. There is no additional programming required, RSC, ESP, TCS, 2WH ABS, 4WH ABS, whatever flavor you have, there will be no complications in the operation of your system. It just works. You won't need a drop pitman arm, we have steering solutions up to 8" of lift that require no drop-pitman arm so even in RSC vans, it just works.
Where do I get an axle?
We've found the site car-part.com to be the easiest solution to finding an axle across the country. You can use anything 2005-2012 F-250/F-350 either single-rear-wheel or dually design, and they're both the same. (Front dually axles have wheel hub spacers and the hub-studs have a different pitch, but they are otherwise identical)
For upgraded brakes, different gear ratio options, and a factory rear locker available, look at 2013-2016 axles. Yes, we'll be running down the 17+ axles soon here for testing and will report with results.
If you don't want to deal with your axle, we can build you one, we can also ship you a core if you'd like to build it yourself. Axle cores start at $500 and typically built axle runs about $5k completely gone through. As a sample: replacing everything on the axle new except rebuilding the guts (which very rarely needs to be done), should cost about $2500 in parts if done properly with good quality steering components. At the time of writing this, we are currently running Mevotech tie rods and TTX ball joints where we can, Motorcraft OE components, Timken hubs and standard over-the-counter brakes. The vans tend to stop pretty well just due to the rotor size increase. If you want the good stuff, EBC makes superb braking components. There are many options for these components and it can be done for less.
Fitment Designed For:
Van Side: 1992-2014 Ford E-150/E-250/E-350/E-450, Cab and chassis/cutaway variants included
Truck Side: Fits 2005-2012 Ford F-250/F-350 SRW or DRW axles, 2013-2016 Ford F-250/F-350 axles (For largest brakes)
Included in kit:
- 4 Link Kit
- Track Bar Kit
- Transmission Crossmember Drop Kit
- Rear End Lift Kit
- Transfer Case Shifter Kit
- 4x4 Indicator Light Kit
- Transfer Case Hardware Kit
- Shifter Trim Kit
- Front Brake Line Kit
- Sway Bar Kit
- Spring Perch Kit
- Bump Stop Kit
- Stabilizer Shock Mount Kit
- Install helper kit
- Drag link adapter sleeve
- Fuel tank blank
- Necessary additional "no-pain" hardware
- 140ish page full-color manual w/ detailed install photos, mechanical drawings, and torque specs.
We have a standard list of tools that we recommend listed in the front of our manual. Not every single tool is required, but having these at your disposal will facilitate your build. If you are familiar with most of these tools, you're darn capable of pulling this off.
You’ll survive without some of these, but having them all will help
⬜ Air compressor / pneumatic tools
⬜ Angle grinder / cutter
⬜ Automotive lift (2-post preferred) (High height jack stands can suffice)
⬜ Ball joint / u-joint press or kit
⬜ Bro / Brah - a few steps require some extra help
⬜ Cherry picker, heavy cart, or forklift can be helpful to maneuver
axle when hanging
⬜ Combination wrenches metric and SAE
⬜ Deadblow or plastic-coated hammer
⬜ Deadman ideal as backup lift support / trans support
⬜ Drill bits / cutting oil - minimal drilling required
⬜ Electric impact gun
⬜ Electric or pneumatic and conventional ratchet
⬜ Flare nut wrenches (brake line wrenches) 10mm, 13mm
⬜ Floor jack
⬜ Hose pick
⬜ Jack Stands
⬜ Magnetic or headlamp
⬜ Oil drain and catch
⬜ Panel popper
⬜ Plasma cutter (preferred but a good angle cutter is ﬁne)
⬜ Pry Bar(s)
⬜ Rags and cleaning supplies, gloves
⬜ Ratcheting wrenches
⬜ Ratchet straps
⬜ Snap ring pliers (to replace ball joints)
⬜ Socket, Torx, hex bits sets
⬜ Soldering iron + ancillaries (not required)
⬜ Torque wrench
⬜ Transmission jack
⬜ Vice grips - let’s hope you don’t need these
⬜ Welder - 220v w/ Shielding gas ideally - Max material thickness is ¼”
⬜ Wire brush
Additional consumable materials checklist:
⬜ Brake cleaner / degreaser of your choice
⬜ Brake ﬂuid
⬜ Cutting wheels, sanding, + ﬂap disks
⬜ Chassis paint (included in master kits), clear coat to ﬁnish
⬜ Electrical tape / heat shrink / butt connectors
⬜ Gasket maker (TA-29 or TA-31 Ford silicone)
⬜ Gear oil ( calls for Motorcraft 80/90 ) 5.8 quarts
⬜ Mercon ATF ﬂuid 2+ quarts for transfer case
⬜ Paint pen (included in master kits)
⬜ PB blaster, WD40 or your choice of penetrating catalyst
⬜ Plasma cutter consumables (if you’re using one)
⬜ Posi-trac friction modiﬁer (if you have LSD axle)
⬜ Transmission ﬂuid (check manual/dipstick for ﬂuid type, Mercon, Mercon V, Mercon)
⬜ LV, Mercon SP ) check appendix for ﬂuid capacities
⬜ Welding wire, argon gas
(It's a lot of parts, please visit individual product listings for more information on this.)
Tips / Skill Level:
1-10 (10 being most difficult) Level 8. There's a great chance if you've made it this far, you more than have the skill-set to complete this conversion. It is involved, but it's very straightforward. If you've done things like lift kits, pulled a transmission, and done a set of ball joints, this will just be another job at the shop.
This product may work with other model vehicles.
Please read through this site, read through the FAQs, the product listings, and familiarize yourself with the conversion, you're going to have questions, we have answers, just let us know how we can help!
Price, Shipping, Fulfillment, Taxes, Quality and Returns
- Price + Shipping: Price of kit does not include shipping. Flate rate LTL shipping and handling to the contiguous US is $295. We have a Canadian export license and can ship directly to customers as well as handle duties. Alaska, Hawaii, and International shipping is available on request.
- Our kits are carefully wrapped and packaged and ship LTL freight. Residential delivery and liftgate service add $85 each to shipping. Local Colorado customers may pick up in person for no additional charge, pickup times vary.
- Shipping time for full kits: We typically have a 1-2 week assembly requirement to package and prepare your shipment. You will be sent tracking information and signed up for email alerts unless otherwise instructed.
- Taxes: Colorado residents must pay sales tax of 7.5%, no sales tax is collected on out-of-state shipments currently.
- Quality and Returns: We are consistently complimented on the quality of our products and the ease of install. Components are hand-built here almost exclusively in Colorado by seasoned professionals who are fanatics about design and execution. If you are in any way disappointed in the components we will issue a full refund less the cost of shipping when the product is returned. If you decide to return any components that didn't apply to your build or you changed your mind about, shipping and a 15% restocking fee will be deducted from the purchase refund.