As you know, the front axle is the largest & most expensive component of the 4x4 conversion. There are some options, and I hope this page will point you in the right direction.
I always recommend to explore all options with axle choice. The most economical way to get a front end is to search locally and look for a good deal. Check your local papers, auto recyclers, Craigslist, eBay, etc. The donor needs to come from a 99-04 F250, F350, or Excursion. Try to source a "complete" front end. You want the axle, upper u-bolt plates (also serves as the front lower shock mount), the drivers side lower plate, sway bar, and all associated hardware. These parts can add up if you have to source them somewhere else.
If you're having trouble sourcing an axle, or just don't want to bother with it, I offer axles in several stages. All of my axles include a full rebuild. All wearing parts get replaced. This includes: MOOG upper & lower ball joints, front unit bearings, axle u-joints, brake rotors, pads & calipers, complete tie rod assy, and a set of Warn Premium locking hubs. This is the only way I will build an axle. I guarantee my work, and this is the best way to do it.
Axle options can get confusing, so I've broken down the choices into stages to make it easier.
Stage 1 axles are the entry level. The axle is complete, with 3.73 gears & an open differential. The stage 1 axle can be upgraded with a different gear ratio if needed.
Stage 2 axles include a gear ratio change as well as a limited slip front differential. I use a Power Lock or True Trac for the front.
The new RSC upgrade is required for any van that has the factory RSC system, but can be installed on non RSC equipped vans. This is a big upgrade, with much more than just the RSC revision. Included: New steering knuckles, spindles & hubs, serviceable wheel bearings, ABS tone ring & sensor mount, 35 spline stub shafts, F550 diameter brake rotors (14.5") & calipers, crossover steering, and a high clearance tie rod assy. This kit can be used with a 17" wheel. Please see pricing & installed picture below!
** Detailed RSC info: RSC equipped vans have a special ABS sensor & tone ring that cannot be modified. If you simply unplug the ABS wire, the van will go into a limp mode. You can turn off the RSC system via the button on the dash, but the "service RSC system" message will chime until it drives you mad. In order to make the RSC sensor work with the new 4x4 front axle, the sensor must be mounted to the spindle horizontally above the tone ring. The standard brake rotor diameter won't allow this, so the larger F550 diameter rotor must be used. The entire RSC upgrade is basically the Dynatrac free spin hub conversion that has been modified to my specs. The pricing works out pretty well too. Please email me if you have any questions!!
******* The RSC kit is only available with complete UJOR axles. Parts not sold separately. ******
** UJOR also offers rear axles.
Stage 2 Dana 60 w/RSC Upgrade
Stage 1: $3200.00
Stage 2: $4295.00
RSC Upgrade to either stage axle: $2295.00
$100 Crate fee on axles.
We also sell Sterling 10.5 axles for your install. The Sterling 10.5 is a heavy duty full floating rear axle from the F250/F350 trucks. We prefer to use the 05-07 version for its wider WMS to WMS specs. Like every UJOR axle, all wearing parts are replaced no matter the condition. We offer the Sterling in several stages, from a stock style limited slip to a Detroit True trac and all the way up to a full locker like an ARB, Detroit or Grizzly locker. Please email me for more details/info!
Stage 1 Sterling (Factory posi, 3.73): $1950.00 Stage 2 Sterling (Detroit True Trac, gears of your choce): $2750.00 Stage 3 Sterling (ARB or Detroit/Grizzly, gears of your choice) $3750.00