Ford Quadravan 1973-75
Early model Quadravans used a Ford Bronco style Dana 44 front axle housing, radius arms and Ford style c-bushings. The transfer case was a Spicer Model 20. Front brakes were Dodge 3/4 ton drum brakes with Spicer big hubs. The tie rod ran from left to right steering knuckles. The drag link ran from the pitman arm to a second tapered hole (ahead of the tie rod end) in the right side steering knuckle.
Ford Quadravan 1976-1977-1/2, E-250, 350
These vans received the first custom Dana Corporation built model 44 axle housings, which remained in service until 1991. These early Fords had GM knuckles, spindles, brakes, hub and rotors. Some where equipped with Spicer style externally mounted locking hubs. Better known as "Spicer Big Hub".
The tie rod ran from left to right knuckles. The tie rod had a tapered hole on it's right outer end. The hole was located 8 inches from the center of the right outer tie rods ball joint.
The drag link ran from the custom pitman arm to the tapered hole in the right outer tie rod.
The drag link consists of two removable ends which were both right hand 1.0"-18 thread.
The dual track bar system was redesigned in 1976 and remained unchanged through 1991. There are minor differences between E-150 and E-250,350 models. The OEM Ford cross member was heavily modified to except the ends of the track bars.
The radius arms beginning in 1976 were also redesigned, using a cast yoke and square tubing. The radius arms now use a new style axle to radius arm bushing which replaced the Ford style c-bushing. Stock 2wd OEM coil springs were reused.
The transfer case is now a New Process 205. A custom extension housing allowed the N.P. 205 to be bolted onto the stock 2wd transmission. The transfer case shifter handle bolted to the side of the extension housing, pivoting on a shoulder bolt with nylon bushings. Some were built as full-time 4wd using a New Process 203, but these are rare.
Ford Quadravan 1977-1/2 to 1978-1/2
Wheel ends and brakes were changed to OEM Ford, the same as pickups of the era. The
E-250 models can be identified by their dual piston calipers, where the earlier GM brakes had single piston calipers.
The tie rod is similar to the 1976-77-1/2 but now has the tapered hole 4-1/2 inches from the center of the right outer tie rods ball joint.
The radius arm design was changed from square tube to a special fabricated unit, similar in shape to Ford ½ ton pickup trucks. The cast yoke was also redesigned, adding more strength. The bushings on both ends of the radius arm remain the same.
Ford Quadravan 1978 to 88
In mid 1978 Pathfinder changed the tie rod design of their Dana 44 models to the inverted "Y" style. The drag link now spans the distance between the pitman arm to the passenger side steering knuckle. The right outer tie rod end screws directly into the end of the drag link, and is held in place by a single clamp. About 7-1/2 inches from the center of the pitman arm end of the drag link is a tapered hole which the left inner tie rod assembly attaches to.
Pathfinder also built a limited number of E-350 series vans with a coil spring suspension using a Dana 60 series axle. Very rare.
Ford Quadravan 1985-88
The transfer case was changed from the New Process 205 to a Borg Warner 1345.
Ford Quadravan 1988-92
Transfer case was changed from a Borg Warner 1345 to a 1356. The rear output has now been changed to a "slip yoke" style. A limited number of Dana 60 model units were converted in 1992. Production ceased in 1992.
Ford Quadravan with Dana 60 front axle, 1980-92
In 1980 Pathfinder began building HD E-250 and 350 models with Dana 60 axles with leaf spring front suspensions. E-series with leaf springs have their shackles located at the front of the front spring, with the fixed hangers at the rear.
Dana 60 series axles can be identified by the appearance of the steering knuckles. Dana 60 axles use trunnions, whereas Dana 44 axles use ball joints. The trunnion caps are held on by four ½ inch diameter bolts in a rectangular pattern. The lower trunnion is flat with grease zirk protruding. The upper cap has a dome shape in it's center with a grease zirk in the center of the dome.
Dana 60 models used a custom made tie rod assembly. With a custom made boss welded to two machined adjusting sleeves. It used two replaceable tie rod ends. The drag link was custom as well, using a bent non adjustable sleeve. The lower drag link end was welded into the sleeve and is not serviceable. The pitman arm end of the drag link is replaceable