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14 Bolt semi-floater vs. full-floater questions?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by levib, Feb 12, 2006.

?

Free 14Sf, 14FF, spool or detroit?

  1. 14SF Locker

    8.0%
  2. 14SF Spool

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 14FF Locker

    80.0%
  4. 14FF Spool

    12.0%
  1. levib

    levib Registered Member

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    I'm looking for a stronger axle than my current 12 bolt rear, and I got this 14 bolt free off of a 3/4 ton. It's not the FF 10.5, its the SF 9.5 and has eight lugs. I run a 6.2 diesel, 4.88 gears, 40' swampers, and want a detroit locker or spool in the rear. I wont be driving the truck on the street at all. How do the two different 14 bolts compare in strength? Is this going to be strong enough for my needs?
     
  2. perp

    perp 1/2 ton status

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    A Diesel and 40's, I say 14ff and a Detroit all day
     
  3. Ronnie4wd

    Ronnie4wd 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Me too
     
  4. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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  5. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    the SF is a piece of crap in my book. it is stronger than the 10 bolt and 12 bolt but not a whole hell of a lot. It is still a semi floater axle, that is one of its big drawbacks in strength. They wear out over time(know a lot of people that had to have them rebuilt at about 80,000 miles, in stock trucks). I'd definetally go 14 bolt FF even if it costs a bit more.
     
  6. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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  7. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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  8. timmay

    timmay Registered Member

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    7

    ...
     
  9. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    14FF with a detroit or spool will be your strongest option. But I think the 14SF with a detroit would be a strong option too.

    How hard on the truck are you? Do you enjoy full throttle or are you a finese driver? And what type of terrain do you go after? All rocks(since you're in AZ) or do you prefer mud?
     
  10. 6.2puller

    6.2puller 1/2 ton status

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    The price difference in the two detroits is enough to go pick up a FF and still be ahead of the game.
    I run a SF in my suburban and have no issues but for your application it would be silly to spend all that extra to detroit a SF axle when you can pick up a FF axle and detroit it for less than the SF detroit alone.
     
  11. jk3078

    jk3078 1/2 ton status

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    The 14sf is a good intermediate axle, I've had mine in my K5 for two years now with no problems. Used it hard with my old 37'' boggers but will be swaping it out for a ff now that I got the 38.5's.

    14bsf pros, much lighter, better ground clearence, strength comparible to a 60, brakes are easier to service, and you dont have to tear down the carrier to weld it.
    Cons, c-clip axles, not as strong as a ff, smaller brakes.

    14bff pros, very strong, ff axles, cheap detroit's, very common over many years, bigger wheel bearings.
    cons, HEAVY, less ground clearence at the diff and at the drums, any locker or weld job requires pulling the carrier, brakes are a pain to service.

    For your truck I would say 14ff weld it, shave it, good for 3/4 to 1'' of clearence and forget it. Skip the detroit if its off road only and spend the money elsewhere.

    In a light,lower powered rig a 14sf with some good aftermarket axles would be great with 38'' or smaller tires.

    Just my take on it!
     
  12. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    me 8!
     
  13. REDCRO_REDNECK

    REDCRO_REDNECK 1/2 ton status

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    I would use what you have. I have run a 14bolt semi for 2 years now with 40s lockright. half of the time I was running a 4 speed and hot 350, now I am running the same motor with a th400.

    The only reason I am swaping it out is I have bought a d60 front and want 5.13 gears.
     
  14. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Me 28! :D
     
  15. perp

    perp 1/2 ton status

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    My name is in the quote box so often lately I am starting to feel like i am a quote slut:eek1: , but I kinda like it! :wink1:
     
  16. levib

    levib Registered Member

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    I'm more of a finese driver and stick to sand and rocks. I was thinking that with 4.88's in the 14bsf and a spool or welded would be my cheapest/lightest option but I have some doubts that its strong enough.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2006
  17. jk3078

    jk3078 1/2 ton status

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    How about a 14bff with a disc conversion? Not sure of the weight savings but gada be at least 100#'s. Shaveing it would get the clearence close to that of the SF.
    Un-sprung weight isnt all bad as it helps pull the springs down and keeps the tires on the ground longer when getting twisted up.
     
  18. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    As to the 14SF's supposed weakness, yes it is essentially an overgrown 8.5", but there seems to be very little go wrong with them.

    Short of the rebuild comment at 80,000 miles, that's the first I've heard of any real problems with them.

    The shafts, ring, pinion, bearings, axle tubes, housing, brakes, and carrier are all larger than 10 bolt stuff. Even on the 10 bolt, the REAL problem is the gov-lock in most cases of their failure outside of age problems. (bearings mainly)

    So what about the c-clips, if it were a real problem people would be busting them right and left losing axles, as it is only the 10 bolt gov-locks seem to have a problem losing axles, and that's only after the carrier turns into multiple pieces.

    I'm not saying 40" tires is something to scoff at, but I've yet to hear of any more problems with the 14SF than really the 14FF. I mean people break axleshafts in THOSE things...anything will break.
     
  19. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    One thing with the 14SF is you wont be able to go wih a full spool. With the c-clips, it wont work. I think randy's has a min spool though.... And you dont want to run c-clip eliminators. They weren't meant for the sideloads that come from wheeling..
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2006
  20. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    How many 14SF c-clips/axleshaft ends have been broken by the folks on this board, not including failures induced by other components failing first? (or any other place where the failures are mentioned)

    Serious question, I don't see the C-clip issue being relative. I've been accused of inciting haten before, :) I'm seriously not trying to get tempers riled up. Just trying to figure out if c-clip failure is an actual valid concern for MOST usage. The failure rates of the c-clip seem VERY uncommon, even with the guys that are pushing their 10 bolts to the limit all the time. May break axleshafts regularly, but I don't hear of the C-clip failures.

    I'm sure it does happen, I'm not questioning that, but I have a feeling there are just as many 14FF axleshaft failure examples as there are c-clip failures. I totally understand all the benefits of strength (and potential safety) the 14FF offers, I just don't know that for most it really is an issue. Lots of folks just go straight to 1 ton stuf anyways, so the failure of the lighter stuff may be somewhat inaccurate if it isn't used until broken.

    I just can't recall an example (from the amount of time I've been on this board) of the c-clip being the sole cause of a problem.

    As a design function, at any time, (sidehilling), only one c-clip would be under stress. The other side would be pushing an axleshaft end against the pinion shaft.
     

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