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14bolt:weld or detroit?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by misfit, Apr 5, 2001.

  1. misfit

    misfit 1/2 ton status

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    i do maybe 3 months of winter- condition driving, so what would be the pros and cons of each? the constant locking/unlocking of a detroit, or the simple lincoln locker? you KNOW you wont unlock with the welded gears. noise isnt a concern with the detroit.
     
  2. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    If you can find another carrier cheap, why not weld this oen up and then see if you like it? Although you would still have to reset-up the gears if you didn't and had to put in a new carrier for the Detroit...


    <font color=green><A target="_blank" HREF=http://emmett.coloradok5.com>http://emmett.coloradok5.com</A></font color=green>[​IMG]
     
  3. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    You drive it on the highway the rest of the year? A welded rear would wear out the tires pretty quickly if you drive on the street much. Plus, it will be harder on axleshafts (not that a 14 bolt can't handle it, but it is more stress) My Detroit doesn't give me any problems up in the snow (except when on a sidehill, it tends to sidestep a little, which the welded would do also)

    If this was a dirt only rig, I think the welded rear would be ok, but if it sees highway use, I would shy away from welding it...what does everyone else think? My detroit doesn't bother me on the road...
     
  4. elkboy

    elkboy 1/2 ton status

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    I think trustyk5 welded his 14 bolt awhile back, you might send him a email and get his opinion. I'm guessing either might be a little spooky on ice and snow. The new Detroit's are marketed as soft lockers which are supposed to be be better on ice and snow than the older ones because they don't lock as easy. It's been my experience that a loose limited slip is the best on highway ice and snow, unexpected differential lockup can send you spinning. I won't drive my K5 on highway ice or snow and I'll be running swampers so I'm planning on welding mine based on what I know for consistency in handling.

    [​IMG]<font color=red> Elkboy</font color=red> [​IMG]
     
  5. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    does ARB make an air locker?best of both worlds open on the road spooled off road.i just dont know if they make one for the 14 bolt.

    PURE INSANITY
    86 blazer silverado 400 horse 350 w/vortec heads 38 x15.5 swampers (40 hawgs next)10 bolts(blah)w/4:88s coming soon,14 bolt.
     
  6. gassman

    gassman 1/2 ton status

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    ARB doesn't make one for a 14 bolt, that's what I was told. Was looking for one for my 14 bolt too but had to go with the locker. Live in snow too. It's not to bad to drive just watch the throttle.
     
  7. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    i think ARB needs to wake up!itll sell like mad.

    PURE INSANITY
    86 blazer silverado 400 horse 350 w/vortec heads 38 x15.5 swampers (40 hawgs next)10 bolts(blah)w/4:88s coming soon,14 bolt.
     
  8. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I recently faced the same decision while building up my 14 bolt FF and chose to try the welded diff route first to see what it's like. I was able to weld the spiders and side gears together without actually welding to the case, basically I made a mini-spool. If I decide I don't like it, all I have to do is lift out the welded spiders and drop in a Detroit, plus I won't have to have the gears re-setup.....of course the 14 bolt FF is the only rearend that this can easily be done on.
    I did this by taking the case out and splitting it in half (just like you would if installing a Detroit). I then took one half of the case and laid it on the table, put the side gear in it and layed the cross with the 4 spider gears in the slots along the edge of the carrier (This keeps everything lined up), and tacked the 4 spiders to the one side gear. After this I took the other side of the case with the other side gear in it and layed the cross/4 spider gears (now with the other side gear welded to it) on that side and tacked the other side gear to it, making one big chunk. The "mini spool" was then pulled out of the housing and all of the gears were fully welded.
    This axle is going under the Blazer this weekend, so I should have a road test report by next week.
     
  9. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Just to add a bit of clarity, ARB doesn't make an air locker for the 14-bolt FF. They do make one that fits the 14-bolt SF with the 9.5 inch ring gear.

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com>http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com</A>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  10. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I welded mine up about 4 months ago, and its driven daily. I also did not weld anything to the carrier itself. With all the gears and stuff being heat treated and hardened etc. I figured less was more so to speak. I removed the carrier and split it in half, then removed the spider gears. On each spider gear i noted how they meshed with the side gears, and marked 4 "voids" between the teeth on each spider. I then welded up the 4 voids between the teeth on each spider so they would still engage the side gears but would be prevented from rotating. So far this has held up just fine, and I've wheeled it about 5 times since i did this. I'll probably dis-assemble and inspect it in a few months just to satisfy my curiosity...
    On street manners are different just like any traction aid (excluding the ARB) mostly a lot of understeer in the corners and increased steering effort in tight spots. I found that I got used to it fairly quickly and now its pretty well a non-issue.
    I've never owned a Detroit so I can't honestly give a fair comparison, all I know is the "stories" you hear...unlocking and locking through corners, banging and clunking etc. I'm sure these are mostly first impressions and exaggerated though. The welded diff is definitely predictable, and instead of geting sideways on wet pavement like I expected I just have way better traction. To get it to kick out takes a lot of skinny pedal. With the open diff any right hand corner on the wet pavement resulted in tire spin.
    So now I don't get the one-wheel peel syndroem anymore, but I do get a little tire scrub, I figure it evens out in the end.
    I do not have to drive very much 'city' traffic, mostly highway to work against the flow of traffic, so for me this has worked out fine.

    Rene

    [​IMG]<A target="_blank" HREF=http://jules.coloradok5.com>http://jules.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  11. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I guess one thing I didn't mention is that my Blazer is NOT a daily driver, but as of right now it is driven to the trails (at least a 150-200 mile roundtrip), so the driving characteristics in snow/ice or tire wear are not much of a concern for me.
     

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