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10 Bolt axles...worth a ring and pinion swap?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by zx672, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. zx672

    zx672 Registered Member

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    Currently have 10 bolts in my 84 K-5. This is a daily driver, so I was wondering if it is worth buying new heavy duty axles (Dana, 14 bolt, etc.) or just swapping out the ring gears (4.56)on the 10 bolts. I plan to go to a 35 inch tire. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. kombi59

    kombi59 1/2 ton status

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    Thats what I did with mine 456's, heavy duty axle shafts, lockers and 35's. works for me, but I dont get too crazy cause it is my daily driver too.but I do "use" it. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gifmost of the guys here swear by the 60-14ff though. Chad
     
  3. zx672

    zx672 Registered Member

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    Your Blazer is awesome, very nice. Where did you get your soft top?
     
  4. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    the front axle is worth the swap. the rear axle is questionable. It would be ok if you rebuilt the entire axle and if your driving style is soft. Also if it is a Govlock axle I would recommend a replaceing that with a full case differential.

    I personally wouldn't want to run a 10 bolt rear with 35's if you use it unless it was built up well. I got rid of my 10 bolt rear. I blew the govlock out and had the axle rebuilt with an Auburn limited slip. It was on its way out again when I swapped in my 14bff. The pinion nut was backing out and tore up the gears.

    If you are going to run 35's and you have a 700R4 trans I would go with 4.88 gears. I have the same setup (700R4, 4.56's, 35's) and it leaves a little to be desired. I wish I would have went with 4.88's even for a DD.

    After I put the 35's on (ran 32's for awhile) I lost all the power the gear swap netted me when I went from 3.73's to 4.56's and from 32's to 35's. It was a complete wash after the 35's went on.

    I was absolutely hating life after putting the 35's on. the only thing that made it better was when I swapped in fuel injection. The FI really made my low end torque go back up and I am liking the 35's 4.56's alot better since. I would still like more though. So if you have a strong motor then 4.56's are ok but 4.88's are better.

    Harley
     
  5. kombi59

    kombi59 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks its a Specialty top fastrac they have a write-up in the product reviews. Chad /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. kombi59

    kombi59 1/2 ton status

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    oh yeah fill out your profile, so we know what ya got. Chad. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  7. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    I'll second not using the 10 bolt rear. I'm not sure about the front though. Here is a pic of my 10 bolt rear with my 33's. You could imagine how 35's would make it feel. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
    [​IMG]
     
  8. 1989k5

    1989k5 Registered Member

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    Paxx, that is one hell of an angle you have on that rearend. Looks like the drive shafts goes nearly straight up. What gives. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif Doesn't look like you sit much higher than stock. I've been debating regearing my 10b front/rear to 373 from 308. Once I switch to 33's this spring I will need the gearing to pull with. By the way I'm running the same Hankook tires as you have and love them. They are load C tires and heavy duty. 31x10.50
     
  9. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    I think that is a picture of a major breakage /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  10. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I think that is a picture of a major breakage /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    lol, yup. Broke the welds and twisted the pumpkin on the axle tubes. At first I thought that the axle must have twisted in the u-bolts until I saw that the shock mounts were where they are supposed to be. /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif If you look at the pic you'll see the driveshaft is disconnected.

    I was just giving an example of why regearing a 10 bolt for 35's would not be worth it if this is what 33's can do to it.

    And I do like the tires as well /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif I got them used at the start of winter with 50% tread and studs for $100 mounted and balanced. I loved em. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  11. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    You are right about being stock height and I currently have 33's with 3.73's and I find it to be perfect /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif I think you would be happy with em.

    To all reading this thread though I see no reason not to upgrade to a 14bff for the rear. After seeing how easy it was to bust up the 10 bolt I will be going that route myself. Also you could most likley find a beefier set of axles with a better ratio than what you have for less than the cost of re-gearing.
     
  12. offroad87

    offroad87 Registered Member

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    i have a 12 bolt rear, is it really any better than a 10 bolt?
     
  13. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    i have a 12 bolt rear, is it really any better than a 10 bolt?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    No, it's not better.
    It's in the same range, it's stronger on the ring and the shaft (30 spline), weaker on the pinion, the 12b has really small pinions.
     
  14. 1989k5

    1989k5 Registered Member

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    I have two concerns with going to a 14ff, one is the initial cost. Seems to be around $1500 + parts to upgrade or fix what is broke. The other point is, 14ff has a lot more centrificle mass requiring more power and torque to turn, not to mention the hit in gas mileage. The end point would be what is the purpose of your k5, is it to rock climb, sling lots of mud etc, or daily drive and occassionally go off road or trail ride. The cost of ring/pinion with shims seems to be around $200 or so for the 10b 8.5inch. Also a working knowledge of installing is required. By the way, I do like the Hankooks as well. I paid $85 per mounted/balance for 31X10.50s. I was just getting ready to purchase some 33x12.50's and noticed my local dealer that featured them closed. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif I originally picked them up to pull a 22ft camper. The sway I had from some Cooper Discoveries was wicked, even with a sway bar and equalizer hitch. Anyway, I have an eye out for a 14ff just in case one lands in my lap for a bargain. Take care. By the way, I saw your thread on another post with your pic and explanation of the angle on your rear dif. Tough luck!
     
  15. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    I'm not speaking of going to a brand new 14bff. I'd be surprised if you had to pay more than $150 for a used one. The pick a part here sells em drum to drum for $75. As far as fixing a broken one there is next to no one that I know of that has ever broken a 14bff.

    I, by the way, do not wheel nearly as hardcore as many of the guys on the site here. It is my DD and I do run trails fairly hard for the stock k5 but I try not to break things when I do go out. I would definitly say not to go over a 33" tire with your 10bolt though. Even at a 33 with a gov lock I would be a bit worried. I don't even have one and mine gave out.

    If your worried about the size and mass look into a 14bsf. They are much stronger than a 10/12 bolt but still a lot smaller than the ff version.
     
  16. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    Oh and a 3/4ton 14bff is a direct bolt on replacement. A lot of people have told me that their driveshaft was fine after as well. A couple said they had to shorten it but not many. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  17. JIM88K5

    JIM88K5 1/2 ton status

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    I've got 10blts frt & rr on my daily driver and am satisfied with their performance. 4.56'S with tru-trac posi.
    With my 700r and 35in MTRs, I wish I had gone with 4.88's.
     
  18. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    i have a 12 bolt rear, is it really any better than a 10 bolt?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    See that pic above? That's exactly what my 12 bolt looked like when I extracted it.

    I'm on my 4th set of axles, I hope this set is my last set.
     
  19. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    if you want to run 35's, i wouldnt spend any money on the 10b rear. find yourself a 14b with the right gears(military?) and regear the front to match. if you said you wanted 33's and didnt want to go bigger i would go ahead and regear the 10b. thats what i did to mine (4.56,f+r arbs,alloy shafts,33's) and im very happy. my thinking is if you want 35's now you'll probly want to upsize in the future, and 35's are the absolute max for 1/2 ton gear in general.
     
  20. TravisO

    TravisO 1/2 ton status

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    Tell me more about which 14ff are direct bolt in replacements for 10b in my Blazer.
    Travis
     

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