Dana 44, Dana 50 TTB Steering Stabilizer Install

How to Install a Steering Stabilizer on a Dana 44 or Dana 50 TTB Front Axle

Ford's twin traction beam (TTB) front axle setup leaves much to be desired. In their defense, independent front suspension wasn't entirely an industry standard in the 1980s and the company's attempt to pioneer a unique solution to the rough ride attributed with a solid front axle earns them some form of commendation. The Dana 44 and Dana 50 TTB setup doesn't represent a completely flawed design as much as it has simply become a relic of the past. Modern IFS designs simply provide a superior ride quality and steering feel that one could have only dreamed of decades ago. Want to take some of the play and uncertainty out of your TTB steering? Installing a steering stabilizer just may be the answer you're looking for.

Applicable model years: Various 1980 to 1991 Ford F-150/F-250 w/ Dana 44 or Dana 50 TTB front suspension
Ranch steering stabilizer: Rancho RS97481

Click any thumbnail to view high resolution, fullsize image w/ details

Power steering pump cooling lines

• If your vehicle has cooling lines for the power steering pump mounted to the crossmember below the engine, remove the bolts securing the clamps to the crossmember and gently push the lines out of the way.

Rancho steering stabilizer

• Familiarize yourself with how the steering stabilizer and its hardware are to be oriented. The Rancho steering stabilizer kit for 1980 to 1991 F-Series trucks includes bushings and brackets that must be installed in the correct fashion. Refer to the image at left to understand how the pieces fit together correctly.

U-joint bracket installed

• Jack up the front end of the vehicle so that the tires do not contact the ground. Support it with jack stands appropriately rated for the weight of your vehicle - never work underneath a jack alone.

• Install all included brackets and the related hardware to the stabilizer.

• Turn the tires completely towards the passenger side. Loosely install the u-bolt clamp on the steering rod side of the steering stabilizer. As a starting point, install it a few inches towards the driver side of the threaded adjustment sleeve near the passenger side tie rod.

Steering stabilizer measuring

• The next step requires determining the rough location that the steering rod side of the steering stabilizer is to be mounted. Fully extend the steering stabilizer and evaluate the position of the stabilizer mounting bracket where it will be mounted to the crossmember below the engine oil pan. If the stabilizer needs to be moved towards the passenger side, slide the u-bolt bracket (steering rod end of the stabilizer) towards the passenger side of the vehicle. If the stabilizer needs to be moved towards the driver side of the vehicle, slide the u-bolt bracket towards the driver side of the vehicle. You do not need to be perfectly centered on the crossmember, you just need to leave ample room to drill your mounting holes (refer to bracket).

Steering stabilizer bracket installed to crossmember

• Once you've positioned the bracket where you believe it needs to be, retract the stabilizer piston 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. If the mounting position of the bracket is adequate, clamp it in place. If it is not, make any necessary adjustments. Once you have the bracket in the appropriate position, clamp it tightly and test the steering. If the wheels are able to move left-to-right without under or over exerting the damper, proceed to the next step. If there is a clearance issue, make the necessary adjustments and snug down the clamp.

Drilling stabilizer bracket

• Drill the three required holes through the crossmember to mount the stabilizer bracket, using the bracket itself as a guide. To make sure the bracket is mounted square, drill one hole, install the corresponding bolt, and use a caliper or tape measure to make sure that the sequential bolt is drilled an equal distance from the edge of the crossmember. Note that the lip of the bracket will NOT line up with the lip of the crossmember. The bracket will need to hang over the edge of the crossmember so that the hardware can be installed. Refer to image above and attempt to center the bolt holes across the width of the crossmember.

Ranch steering stabilizer installed

• Once the necessary holes have been drilled, install the steering stabilizer bracket using the supplied hardware. Once again test the full range of movement and watch for any clearance issues. After verifying that there are no issues with the current mounting position of the stabilizer, tighten down all hardware. If there is an issue, make the appropriate adjustment at the u-bolt clamp.

• After driving the vehicle, re-tighten all hardware.