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3/4 ton axles and breakage.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Jagged, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    Allright, I already know the answer here is "1-tons" but just bear with me a bit. For running tires 36-38", primarily in mud, some trail (but mostly mud). How often would 3/4 ton axles be breaking? Some of the guys I've seen here are running 36" tires on 10 bolts and haven't broke their axles since they've had the 36's on.

    I guess this would largely depend on gearing, driving style, and how often you have to 'jerk' someone. Any thoughts?
     
  2. jays68yak

    jays68yak 1/2 ton status

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    with 36s you would stand a better chance. 38s you asking for more trouble. I broke a few d44 ujoints on 38s, but then again I have a heavy foot. :D
     
  3. BigOrange90Jimmy

    BigOrange90Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If you get a full-float rear axle, you shouldn't have any problems with breakage. The 14b semi-float axle still uses c-clips, but is not as prone to breakage as the 10b or 12b. Stay away from gov-loc limited slips in any of them. I know some here have used them with success in the 14b, but I still try to stay away from them.

    As for the front, it is just a half ton axle with bigger brakes, and depending on the year, the bearing design is different. Basically, the newer the better. I personally wheeled half ton axles forever, but upgraded because they were just so cheap and easy.

    But breakage is all dependant on the driving style, condition of the axle, actual vehicle weight, and tire size. I say use what you have and see if you deem it necessary to upgrade instead of just forking over money on something you may not need.
     
  4. monster man

    monster man 1/2 ton status

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    My 3/4 axles have held up well to my 38.5" Boggers, and the u-joints have hundreds of thousands of miles (and gears for that matter) with no lube. The 3.73 Gov-Bomb has even held up to several on-pavement burnouts. Well, not real burnouts but it's left twin patches of rubber at many stoplights around town :whistle:

    the key is not to get on the throttle if your tires are stuck or you're off kilter like one wheel in a ditch, any other time in loose terrain you'll have a low chance of breakage
     
  5. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like I'm just asking for trouble. I have a 3/4t 10b up front, 14bFF out back. 454 making 390/490. 39.5x18x15 Boggers.
     
  6. lrazer

    lrazer 1/2 ton status

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    i have a 3/4t 10b in the front haven't had any problems yet but they do seem to hold up better with an open diff
    still plannin on gettin a 60 just usin what i got for the time being
     
  7. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    You've had problems with it locked?
     
  8. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    I've got 3/4 Tons (open 10b up front, detriot 14bff in back) 4:10s, 38.5 Swampers and a fuel injected 383 stroker, and they've survived some pretty hairy trails. I do carry spare axle shafts for the front just in case, but I run a very VERY light foot which is why I think they have survived.

    Mike
     
  9. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    I've never changed an axle before (the actual axle shaft)... How difficult is that, an how much more difficult is it on the trail?
     
  10. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Not particularly difficult per se. You take out the six little bolts in the hub and remove that. Pull out all the internal hub stuff. Use the magic socket to remove the spindle lock nut, then pull out the lock washer. Use the socket again to remove the inner locknut. The brake disc and hub will now come off. There are six or eight 9/16" nuts that hold the spindle on to the knuckle, remove those. The spindle will now come off and the axle shaft can be pulled out. The trick is if you break the shaft off down in there getting it out. Replace everything in reverse.
     
  11. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    My 10 bolt front did me fine with 35's and a locker in the rocks. I never actually broke an axle. I did egg out the ears around ujoints to the point that they had to be replaced or they would have broken. I crawled it pretty hard by most people standards and it did fine. I just kept my right foot under control as much as possible and had some good spotters that knew the limitations of a 3/4 ton front. I made sure that if I needed to get on the gas that I had the wheels as straight as possible.

    In a low traction environment like mud a 3/4 ton front (even locked) would survive pretty well. The only problems would be the 38's will beat up the ball joints pretty hard and if you ever to grab some good traction with the wheels spinning you can probably kiss that axleshaft goodbye.

    Harley
     
  12. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    Hrm, not too much more work than changing a hub.
     
  13. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    what engine and t-case are you running? Driving style is a key factor... but in the end its torque (+ torque multipliers) and/or bind that breaks stuff...

    j
     
  14. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Nope, eight nuts and a pull. The hub is most of the work. The thing I hate most about it is that when you're done, everything is covered in grease.
     
  15. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    I'm such a noobie... All of this stuff is like Chinese to me... is there a website with a picture of each of those parts you are refering to? I would really like to be able to change out axleshafts, but I haven't a clue about the internals of an axle..
     
  16. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    In a mud/slop environment, I try to use as little of the skinny pedal as possible. The area I normally get out to is really slick right after it rains. I keep my wheels spinning fast enough to keep the tread cleaning, but slow enough so that if I catch traction it doesn't shock the driveline.

    Now for running through a mud-hole, it depends on which hole I'm going into (some of them I had to hit fast to get past some holes or shelfs, others I can idle into). But once I'm down in it, the truck is normally at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle, steering from left to right. Only reason why I used the steering technique was because at the time I was in my stock K5 on 32" mud tires.

    The only time I've done anything that I think would have posed a threat to a small axle with big tires is jerking someone out of a hole. Of course I don't jerk people all the time (crawl, walk, run, sprint, you get the idea). I think an investment in a winch would save the axles from breaking in a recovery situation.
     
  17. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    Well, I don't know about engine yet :) I'm thinking about buying a shortbed pickup from MichK5, and am just trying to get an idea how much trouble I'd get into with 3/4 ton axles.

    Anywho, the engine would be either a built 350 (a la 383) or a 454, TH300, and an NP205.
     
  18. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    Hrm, I seem to recollect something mentioned a while back ago about hubs that shear part of themselves to prevent axles from breaking... anyone else remember or do I need to lay the crackpipe down?
     
  19. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    205 doesn't have much for reduction... 350 doesn't have tooo much torque. Prolly be safe. If you had said blown 502 + 5:1 Atlas and 5.13s... it would have been time to say "go 60!". ;) :thumb: IMO, you'll be fine... if I was you, I'd make 37s the max tire size tho. Good selection in that height anyway.

    j
     
  20. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    I believe they were call Warn Hub Fuses.

    Before you bother trying, get the special socket to remove the locknuts. It should be about $10-20 at practically any autoparts store. You should be able to get the book for your vehicle there too, it will explain. Don't know of any websites, someone else may know of an article though.
     

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