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1 Ton Conversion ?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by landsmasher, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    Planning to convert to 1 ton on my 78 K5. Going to start searching the junk yards. What trucks/vans should I be looking at and why? Also how do I tell what gear ratio is in the rear ends and how do I match the front end to it? Thinking of doing the spindal conversion to 8 lug. Is this a good idea or should I be looking for a 1 ton front end if there is such a thing?

    Lot of questions for one post I know. But help if you can. I'm new to this stuff...
     
  2. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I have questions for your questions. What type of wheelin do you do? How much power do you have/plan to have? How big of tires do you plan to have? Is your driving style heavy? What type of driving do you do. (alot of highway, city only?)

    As for rear end. 3/4 ton 14 bolt full floater. It will bolt into a K5 with no mods except maybe for e-brake cable and a conversion ujoint. (and new wheels)

    Front end will be answered by the questions above. Possible Dana 44 but maybe Dana 60.

    If it turns out to be a D44 then you can convert your current axle. If it is a D60 then you will need to find one out of a 1ton pickup with single rear wheel. From 77-91 I believe.
     
  3. StonerK5

    StonerK5 1/2 ton status

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    Do a search on those questions...If there is one thing that has been discussed and then discussed again, and again, then a little more, it's the lovely 1 Ton conversion.
    Believe me you will find out more that way
    Chris
     
  4. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    Hossbaby 50... Currently I have had no problems with the types of wheelin I have been doing. But then again I don't blindly follow the big trucks into bad situations, but would like to in the future. Tires will eventually be 35s to 37s or who knows? Driving... it is a toy and just needs to be able to get to the trails on it's own and back. May trailer it at a later date...
     
  5. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    Will run a search on my questions.. Thanks...
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    If you don't drive with a heavy right foot, a D44 properly set up can handle 35-37" tires. I am going to do the exact same thing. I am converting my 10 bolt to 8 lug and plan on 35" tires. Maybe 37's one day. My truck is an all around rig. So it has to drive me to and from, and four wheel too. I am upgrading to a 14bff in the rear and 8 lug 10 bolt axle in the front. If you decide you want to go bigger then 37's or so and you want to wheel her hard then a D60 is probably in order. Or if you decide to go with a big motor, and big tires then a D60 is probably the better choice. If you are low on funds then the D44 conversion might be the way to go, but if you have the money, the D60 will be cheaper in the long run. Not to mention alot stronger.
     
  7. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Hossbaby, but still confused... 14 bolt FF 3/4 in the rear and D44 in front? Is D44 what I have now as a stock vehicle? Then I would do the conversion to 8 lug 3/4 spindals in front? and what about gear ratios?
     
  8. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Your 78 K5 should have a D44 in the front already. So to convert it to 3/4 ton you need to get 3/4ton backing plates, hubs (wheel hubs, not locking hubs), and rotors. This will convert your D44 to 3/4 ton 8 lug. You will need 3/4 ton parts off a 77 or later 3/4 ton D44.

    For the 14 bolt full floater a 3/4 ton model is better if you can find one. It is better because there is less work involved in installing it. On a 1 ton 14bff you have to move the spring perches and shock mounts on the axle which takes some work, where the 3/4 ton axle they are already in the right place. 1 ton axles do have bigger brakes (13" drum I believe) where 3/4 ton's have 11" drums. But you can find 3/4 ton 14bff with the big 13" drums.

    As for gear ratio you can figure that out a couple of ways. One is to look on the options tag in the glove box. It might say in there what ratio you have. If not then the next best way is to drop the diff cover. It is usually stamped in the ring gear in a code like 41:10 or 41:11. You divide the first number by the second number for the ratio. Or if that doesn't work, count the number of teeth on the ring gear, and divide it by the number of teeth on the pinion gear.

    You might have got lucky, and got a good gear ratio from the factory. 4.10, 3.73. If you did, and you like the gear ratio then you can just swap the rearend off a 3/4 ton with the same ratio and it is easy. If you didn't get a good ratio then you either can find matching 3/4 ton axles with a good gear ratio you want, or get the 14bff for the gear ratio you want and swap in the same gear into the front D44 you already have.
     
  9. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks again Hossbaby, now we're cooking... Going to be asking more questions so keep checking on me. Love this site! Check out my new Project Page listed on my Sig...
     
  10. TrcksR4ME

    TrcksR4ME 1/2 ton status

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    Did Blazers ever come with good ratio's in the 70's...mine came with the ultra yucky 3.07's...ewww, what were they thinking /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

    Just did this swap and you will probably be better off finding the parts you need from individuals vs junkyards...cheaper probably, was for me. Or swap meets are good for parts.
     
  11. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    1-ton or death. Even with 37" tires, I'd go 1-ton. To run reliably you'd have to trick out a D44... why put all the extra $ into it? Just get a 60 and be happy.

    J
     
  12. 72THING

    72THING 1/2 ton status

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    I hear ya. If you're going to do some heavy wheeling, then D60 is the only way to go. Most people start small and then go to big tires anyway, so I say skip the 3/4 ton front and go straight to D60. Just my .02

    Will
     
  13. TrcksR4ME

    TrcksR4ME 1/2 ton status

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    If you are not gonna run bigger than 35's for a while though, you can do the 8 lug conversion pretty cheap. Dana 60 would be cool of coarse, but is a small fortune. If you can afford it, go for it. If not do the 8 lug for now, and upgrade to a Dana 60 when you can. JMO
     
  14. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    I don't blindly follow the big trucks into bad situations, but would like to in the future

    <hr></blockquote>

    I think a D60 is in your future!...You could convert to 8-lug in the front till you find a D60 (it will take allot of time and $$$ to get one) and see how long it takes you to break it. I am running a 3/4 ton front (just like most of the other Big Dawgs) and haven't had too much trouble yet...but I have only owned it for a year.
     
  15. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    Me personally, I say 1 ton and be done with it. But who am I to say anything. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     

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