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'79 Jimmy Front axle and seats

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by AngusF, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. AngusF

    AngusF Registered Member

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    \'79 Jimmy Front axle and seats

    Hey there... I'm looking at buying a '79 Jimmy. It's just about perfect for me. 350, SM465, 205, 12-bolt, and 10-bolt front. The only problem is that the front axle has a toast u-joint, and a REALLY bad bearing. When I locked the hubs and turned the pinion, it looked like all the needle bearings had fallen out of the joint, and the inner shaft was flopping around like it had no bearing. Will I have to press the new bearings in, or will I be able to do it myself (without a press)?
    Now for the OT/description:
    The engine is pretty strong, running dual exhaust with one cherry bomb and one normal muffler - lol - but it sounds good. It's on 285/75r16 tires, basically 33s.

    Ahh yes - one more question. It has bucket seats with a center console, and the driver's seat leans right back. I've got an '80 1/2 ton pickup parts rig with a bench seat, and I'd like to swap that seat in. Would there be any major hassle to do it, or am I better off buying a junkyard seat?
     
  2. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: \'79 Jimmy Front axle and seats

    The Axle shaft floats. No bearings on the housing side. One set of roller bearing in the back side of the spindle and they do need to be pressed in and out. Pretty rare for them to fail unless the seals are bad. Without seeing where it's "Flopping" it sounds like you just need a new u-joint. So $12 bucks or so and your good to go. If it's that loose I would not engage 4wd till it's repaired. It is not uncommon that when a u-joint fails that the axle shaft fork hit the ball joints and damage both the shaft and the the ball joints. It can happen to the extreme that it can cut the nut off the ball joint that the whole Knuckle assembly come off.
    Now the fun part. If that shaft was let to be like that for so long it sounds like the front axle has not had regular maintance. Might be time to go through it. To complety replace all seals, ball joints, tie rod, drag link and some alowance for bearings your looking at $500.
    Ball joints I like Moog and TRW. available at Advanced auto parts. Napa also sells quality units. Looking about $120 for all 4.
    Seals... DANA MADE IN THE USA. Japaneese and Chinees rubber products just plain suck! Avoid them. NAPA sells real Dana Seals that the axle came with from the factory (Dana Built the 10 bolt on contract from GM. Many parts are interchangable between the D44 and it runs all the same seals. Now Dana is getting cheap on us. before you pay for the parts take them out of the package and make sure it says MADE IN THE USA on them. I have pulled out Chinese seals out of new Dana packaging and the packaging said USA but the seal wasn't and wasn't near the quality.
    Get you a shop manual. There are imprtant preload procedure to follow when installing these parts. Also need to pick up a hub socket and a spanner socket for the ball joint preload sleave. The spanner socket is hard to find. Most of us have had to make them with a cut off wheel and a deep well socket.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  3. AngusF

    AngusF Registered Member

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    Re: \'79 Jimmy Front axle and seats

    Thanks for the reply, Grim. Yep, it's the inner shaft flopping around. It looked more like a lack of maintenance failure than a broken joint. The yoke was still in one piece, and it looked like all the needles had either fallen out or been worn to nothing.

    Glad you like the stuff NAPA sells - I work there :)

    Bad news, though... The guy I was going to buy it from had taken out a few loans using the truck as collateral. There were 3 liens on the Jimmy's title, so I didn't buy it. Too bad I'd already bought a set of 50/60 watt headlights, 2 gage battery cables, and a couple u-joints. Ohh well. We'll see what presents itself in the future. I'll probably end up buying an S-10 to drive for a while.
     
  4. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Re: \'79 Jimmy Front axle and seats

    Grim the socket for the adjusting sleeve is on most Snap on trucks.
    #S9613. I just got one today to do my ball joints. $15 for the socket.


    <font color=green> Too bad ignorance isn't painful </font color=green>
     

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