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1/2ton spindles compatible with 3/4 or 1ton outers.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bigredblzr, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. bigredblzr

    bigredblzr 1/2 ton status

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    I am planning on changing my '91 10bolt from a 6lug to an 8lug pattern. I read that some of the later 1/2ton D44s had spindles that were compatible with the 3/4 and 1 ton outers. Does anyone know if this is true for my 1/2ton 10bolt?
     
  2. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Here is the often posted definative D44 bible by Wes thatK30guy

    GM has two different types of axles: the "first design" and the "second design". For those who dont know the difference, the "first" goes from 73-76. The "second" goes from 77 to 91. Some differences are:

    1. Backing plates are ALL diffferent. Both 1/2 and 3/4 ton for both designs are NOT the same thing. 3/4 tons are larger diameter than the 1/2 tons. There are currently 6 different types of backing plates. The 1/2 ton has the 73-76, 77-80, and 81-91. 3/4 ton is the same years, but only bigger around.

    2. Bearing hub and rotors are different. There are 4 types. 73-76 use a smaller wheel bearing on both the 1/2 and 3/4 ton. The 1/2 ton bearing hub is an internal drive. 3/4 tons were available in both the internal and external drives. 77 and newer bearing hubs are the same size wheel bearing. 1/2 and 3/4 tons are all internal drives. The differences in the rotor diameter is the fact that the 3/4 tons are larger around than the 1/2 tons. This is why the backing plates are larger around than the 1/2 tons. If you use a 1/2 ton backing plate on a 3/4 ton rotor, the caliper will NOT even align up with the bolts. If the 1/2 ton rotor is used with the 3/4 ton backing plates, the caliper will NOT have enough pad contact with the rotor.

    3. Spindles. 73-76 are one type only. They are "first design" small bearings. 1/2 and 3/4 ton spindles are interchangable. 77-91 spindles are "second design" and all interchangable between 1/2 and 3/4 tons. You cannot use a first design spindle with a second design bearing hub & rotor. The hub will wobble in place. If the second design spindle is used with a first design bearing hub, the hub will not even go on at all.

    4. D44 and 10B axle shafts are not interchangable. The D44 shafts measure: right - 36.13"
    left - 18.31"
    10B shafts measure: right - 35.46"
    left - 19.15"

    5. Steering knuckles. D44's have the infamous "flat top" knuckles on the passenger side. These are good for the crossover steering for where the steering arm is mounted on top of the knuckle after machine work and drilling has been done. The 10B knuckles have NO flat surface whatsoever. Machine work would be excessive to make the crossover work and therefore would be easier and cheaper to locate the correct knuckle off a D44.

    All in all, when doing a swap like this, try to round up the parts off one truck to use on the other. Such parts to swap over would be: backing plates, spindles, bearing hub & rotors, and if desired for crossover steering, the knuckles.

    The knuckles do NOT need to be changed if you do not plan on the crossover steering.

    It all boils down to this: D44 and 10B parts ARE interchangable from the knuckles out. Anything else from the knuckles in is NOT interchangable.

    Post stolen from Beast388

    I will go on to add that nothing is interchangable between the 1/2 and 3/4 ton D44/10bolt front axles and the 1 ton Dana 60. The lug nuts are about all that could be interchanged between a 3/4 ton and 1 ton axle. TOTALLY different axle.
     
  3. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    far as I know a D44 and 10b are the same from the backing plate out, but I'm not sure. SOmeone will correct me I'f I'm wrong. I do know the stub shafts are the same.
     
  4. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    1977 and later 3/4 ton spindles are the same as your existing spindles, 1 ton spindles on the other hand are completely different.
     
  5. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    wow that was fast /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Yes as stated above, same from the knuckles out.
     
  7. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    we're a team that works together. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  8. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    That's how it's supposed to work.
     
  9. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    yep /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. bigredblzr

    bigredblzr 1/2 ton status

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    WOW! You guys are fast, I just posted that this afternoon. Thanks for all the info! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    someone please correct me if im wrong but I belive you can use 1ton stuff as long as you change from the backing plates out, as long as its pre D60(76? or older) when the one tons came with D44's Ive seen 1 and the hubs are ture 1ton hubs (aka there HUGE)
     
  12. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I think what you mean by huge hubs is that they are the external style with 6 large 3/8" bolts holding them on and not the common internal style with 6 small allen bolts holding them on. I think 1 tons 76 and early used a D44 front axle though like you said.
     
  13. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Which are also weaker than the later D44.

    No 1 ton Chevy came with anything but a Dana 60.
     
  14. rugger03

    rugger03 1/2 ton status

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    76 and earlier one tons had a d44.
     
  15. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    76 and earlier one tons had a d44.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    There was no such thing as a 1 ton 4wd truck until 1977 as far as GM is concerned. This issue has come up over and over and just do a search because I won't waste my time.

    SFA K30s were made from 77-91, ALL had D60 fronts. Before then, you could only get a K20.
     
  16. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    Then how are there 1ton D44's OUT THERE? Have you ever seen what Im talking about? BTW I have seen the external 3/4ton external hubs and I have seen these also the 1ton D44 hubs they are the same size as a D60 hub
     
  17. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I have seen what you are talking about I think. A guy tried to sell my brother a 1 ton truck. It had really large hubs. I noticed on the hub about midway between rim and lock out there was a seam. I think it was a D44 hub converted to internal style lock out. A look under the truck for king pins revealed the truth. Ball joints and no king pins. I confronted him about it and he said it was 1 ton. LIAR.... We packed up and left. Watch out for this one. If he would have been smart and siliconed the seam and painted it I might never have looked. NAH, I would of looked. Watch out for that one.
     
  18. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Tim pretty much nailed it with his quote:
    [ QUOTE ]
    There was no such thing as a 1 ton 4wd truck until 1977 as far as GM is concerned. This issue has come up over and over and just do a search because I won't waste my time.

    SFA K30s were made from 77-91, ALL had D60 fronts. Before then, you could only get a K20.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sorry you've been misinformed about the confusion of a 1 ton D44. No such thing. D44 is either 1/2 or 3/4 ton, case closed. The size of that big hub you are referring to is simply the external style as stated above. Its still a D44 and only 3/4 ton.

    People need to quit looking at just the bearing hubs when comparing axles and starting checking the more important vital areas. Such are the kingpins, 3 u-bolts, "60-F" casting in the lower corner, and mainly the size of the whole assembly.

    There were only 3 front axles offered by GM. D44 & 10 bolt were used only in 1/2 & 3/4 tons. D60 was only in 1 tons. There were no 1 ton 4x4's before '77. Only 2wd's were available as 1 tons.
     
  19. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Wes, all great info BUT, when you consider how easy it is to swap a Dodge front into a GM (espically once lifted) I would not use the "3 u-bolts" as the sole way to ID, Dodge 8 lug D44s used them also. I am sure you know this, but when people don't know the diff between a balljoint and a kingpin, we should make them aware of this as well.
    Get educated folks or you will spend too much on an axle that is not an upgrade. All your "how come" this, and "I know for a fact" that will be usless when you are broke on the trail. If you kept your stock parts you might have at least been able to borrow some spares.
     

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