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1/2, 3/4 or 1T

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by possum, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. possum

    possum Registered Member

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    I have a 78. 12b rear and Dana 44 front. Can these be built to be tough or would I need 3/4 or 1T diffs? I want 4.56 (3.08 now), LocRite in rear and Trutrac in front going to an ARB eventually. Can the Dana and 12b take that or would I need to upgrade the axles? Everytime I get a line on some 1 tons they are gone by the time I get there or the person has changed their mind. So I'm wondering how many people run their 1/2 tons and experience no problems and are quite confident wheeling with them.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/possum1970>78 K5</a>
    we're not always who we are
     
  2. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    As usual, the answer is, it depends. How much power you pushing? What is your driving style? What kind of trail rig you want? Rocks? Mud? Just "trail running"? How big are the tires you'll run? And those are just the main points to consider. Unless you can find a 1 ton setup really cheap, this is not an easy decision.

    Also, look back through the archives (search). This has been done to death and comes up at least a couple of times a month...

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked, 4" lift, 42" tires
    Some day: massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  3. possum

    possum Registered Member

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    Stock 350, Style is whatever it takes, I guess. I start out slow, though. I want a rock and mud trail rig and I have 33's now and won't go bigger than 36 but probably 35s

    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/possum1970>78 K5</a>
    we're not always who we are
     
  4. Overkill

    Overkill 1/2 ton status

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    If you're sensible with the right foot and only plan on going max 36" tire you probably could get by with 10/12/44. Might want to upgrade to hardened axle shafts and beefier u joints though. If there is a possibility that the bigger tire bug is gonna bite, you might as well go 1 ton and then you know without a doubt that you will have the max amount of options available. If you eventually go bigger than 35/36 then you will have to go through the whole axle swap again. Might as well only do it once and do it right the first time. Just my thoughts.

    Pics at <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/jlblmkh>http://community.webshots.com/user/jlblmkh</a>

    (Formerly heaj1)
    Swimmin like a rock, slingin like a stock, but not for long.
     
  5. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Possum,

    You ask a "classic" question.....The switch to 1-Ton running gear is something everyone would do if they could. It's basically the "ultimate" setup for 98% of the guys here!!!

    The problem is that it requires a HUGE number of changes (wheels, u-joints, drivelines, shock locations, spring pad locations (sometimes).....and on and on...

    It's a BIG and EXPENSIVE step......and if this is your "daily driver".....there will be a lot of down-time during the conversion.

    I'd say it's fine to plan for the swap someday. If you find a "bargain" Dana 60 out there somewhere.....snag it! Just start acquiring the parts you'll need slowly. In the meantime do some more wheelin' and find out how hard you really are on your parts.....if you drive smoothly, they may last a long time.....if you really STOMP it, you may need to do some Chrome Moly axleshafts and HD u-joints to keep things going until the 1-Ton stuff is a reality for you.

    In either case, don't let the lack of 1-Ton running gear keep you from going offroad. Carry some sensible spares and tools, and enjoy the great outdoors! [​IMG]



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  6. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Drive it till you break it, then replace the broken axle with a bigger one. If you end up with one axle at 3.08 and the other at 4.56, that is fine, just take off the front drive shaft until you have the money to do the other.

    If you never break it, then you didn't need an upgrade

    <font color=green>Want to see a happy guy? Look at me as soon as my new wheels and tires arrive!</font color=green>
     
  7. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    In my oponion if you have to swap gears and get hardened shafts and a full float kit for the 12 bolt and lockers you might as well look for a set of 1 tons with the gears you already want. I have about $1500 in my 1 ton axles plus a set of $200 steel wheels so I could run 15" tires. I would compare cost first before sticking money in the 1/2 ton stuff. Just my $.02 worth.

    See <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Waynes-Toy>Project Mighty Mouse</a> here.
    <font color=blue>Wayne<font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>Happy Trails<font color=blue>
     

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