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8" lift, 36 Baja Claws, stock gears and axles, what to do?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bluecollarjock, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. bluecollarjock

    bluecollarjock 1/2 ton status

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    Hi,
    Thanks in advance for any assistance. This is a sweet site and already Ive hooked up talking to a guy in my area on here who knows his stuff. I tried to post but think it did not take. Tomorrow might be picking up an 86 K5, 8" suspension lift, brand new 36" Baja Claw radials, super sweet shape, but stock axles and gears.

    On a limited budget, what should I do? Financially I am blowing the bank on getting the K5 and will not have much money for a while due to medical reasons and not making my SWAT overtime and other duties (no SWAT, no lifting weights, no running for a year made me nuts so this is my emotional feel good buy!). I was thinking I could throw in 4.56 or 4.88 gears on the stock axles, maybe a locker in rear, and just do mild trail riding and street joy riding to church on Sunday and out to dinner with the lady. Would these stock axles hold up to that? It bogs with the gearing now, and I do not want to be driving around burning up the tranny since I assume its hard on it the way it is. Is there anyway to strengthen the 1/2 ton axles to make it reliable? Is it a waste of time and money since I have no tools or garage (city slicker for now) and will be paying a shop.

    Should I just park the thing and wait to buy 3/4 axles, then put lower gears in it? Will it cost a ton to put them on, like changing other parts? Will I not be able to use my brand new 36" radial claws and MT beadlock rims 6 bolt? They cost $2k alone and I do not want to swap axles then need to get new tires and rims that I cant afford!

    Steering is sloppy, but nothing more than any other lifted truck Ive driven. The nice guy from the forum told me I could get a crossover steering kit to help that. So, do I save for crossover steering, and 4.56 (or 4.88? it has 4 speed overdrive auto), a locker for rear, and take it easy...or park it until next summer to see if after my next surgery I can go back to working overtime and save for 3/4 axles, with a way to still use the tires and rims?

    Thanks, God Bless, Happy Thanksgiving!
    Matt
     
  2. spoolnaround

    spoolnaround 1/2 ton status

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    Use it till you can afford the 3/4 stuff.
     
  3. Avery4jc

    Avery4jc 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I ran 3.08's and 38.5" baja claw's (and still do) and no it isn't good on things, is comparatively sluggish to what it should be and will blow the tranny after a while but my tranny has been on its "last leg" for 8,000 miles now, lol.

    Ehhh, hard to say but I priced out doing gears in my 1/2 ton stuff and it was going to be more all said and done (done properly that is) compared to finding some 3/4 ton axles (which I found locally thanks to CK5 w/ 4.10's already in them) and getting some cheap 8 lug rims.

    So my vote is to get it if its in good condition then just know that the first thing you need to do is get your 3/4 ton axles and get the gearing taken care of. All said and done w/ the 14ff/8 lug 10b (w/ 4.10's), U-Bolts, conversion u-joint (so you don't have to have your rear driveshaft changed for the different output on the 14ff), 8 lug rims and misc. stuff I've had to buy I'll be into the project for about $700. Not too bad considering all 4 major local shops quoted $800 and up to put gears and master install kit into my rear 10b, yeah just the rear!

    Now I've also spent probably another $500 on tools but thats because I didn't have them so if you have access to the tools to do the swap then it cuts out a lot of money.

    EDIT: I didn't even see your steering/wheel delima...well yeah crossover steering would help but that would require the kit and some work to the knuckle you have (if you are lucky) or a hunt for a flat top knuckle to do the setup...plus either a 2wd steering box or some work to your steering box...depends on what you are doing...for now don't mess w/ that....make sure its safe but don't dump a bunch of money into crossover steering on a truck running 1/2 ton axles w/ stock gearing and 36" tires lol.
    As far as the rims go...I don't know what to tell ya' buddy. You could go w/ a 6 lug 14sf but it isn't as strong as the 14ff. If it was me I'd sell the rims/tires you have and that would be enough to get your 3/4 ton stuff then get some cheap steelies from Summit (thats what I just ordered and they are like $55 a rim and look great) then get something less expensive tire wise...like I said before...I run Baja Claws in the 38.5" flavor and they are great but on the expensive side. Lots to think about.

    -Avery
     
  4. savagek5diesel

    savagek5diesel 1/2 ton status

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    i would also agree on the 3/4 ton swap to. find a set of axles with 4.10 / 4.56 gears and throw them in. I paid $600 for my set from a local friend with his on axle shop. He even threw in an extra set of wheels and 37" military tires until i could buy some 15x10 8 lugs to put my BFG muds back under the truck. bought the conversion Ujoint, snagged some 14b spring plates from one friend, and used another buddy's factory ford f350 rear Ubolts for the rear after we put a lift on it(worked perfect with a 4" block and 2" add a leaf for me). The deals are out there, you just have to keep your eyes open and ask around. It's just a band aid though, i'de imagine your gonna have some driveshaft issues right now as it is and more issue's will occur as you drive and play with the truck more.
     
  5. Avery4jc

    Avery4jc 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Thats true...driveshaft problems...
    It's probably just pulling the tailshaft out of the transfer case right now unless they lengthened it.

    But hey at least if you do the 3/4 ton swap you can cut the spring perches and take care of some of the d-shaft problems in the rear. Plus a 14ff will push the rear d-shaft in compared to the stock 10b you have in there now.

    -A
     
  6. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    its got a new rear shaft, stock front shaft
     
  7. Avery4jc

    Avery4jc 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    ok, I didn't see that....


    honestly man I think its a toss-up. I got my truck w/ lift and tires already done and now I'm having to re-do everything drivetrain wise (and lift/tire wise too, lol but thats another story).
    So in my opinion unless you can get it for a smokin' deal (a smokin' deal depends on where you live...I got my rust free '85 K10 w/ a 9" lift and 38.5's w/ a rebuilt engine from the heads up for a touch less than $4,000) then go for it. Otherwise start looking in the classified section on here...there are many trucks that have nice drivetrains (especially for what you want to do) that you could get and have something reliable to play w/ then as you get the money do a lift and larger tires, etc.

    -Avery
     
  8. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    no biggy, i dont think he mentioned it in the post, he mentioned it to me earlier when we spoke.

    the price hes getting it for is definitely worth it. k5's around us are rare, and clean ones are even rarer. a buddy sold a '91 k5 with 6" lift and 35's with a tranny that didnt shft right with everything else stock and lots of dents for $6500. this truck sounds like a good foundation to build a nice capable offroad rig. he mentioned that its more of a show truck, so its likely not been beat'n on.
     
  9. bluecollarjock

    bluecollarjock 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, I emptied my bank account today and picked it up on the lunch break. Drove it home grinning ear to ear, but the gears gotta go soon before I drive it more. Ill have to figure out how to get axles and figure out the wheel issue....I just love the looks of the MT beadlocks and Baja Claws, Id love to keep them....I cant imagine what shops around here will charge me so Im screwed...this thing is in amazing condition, except for the gearing being so bad it seems like a slug and is not responsive at all. Also, there is some oil spray from the rear of the engine that goes underneath, I noticed it when I looked at it but the engine was just installed and a new crate 350, it dripped when I stopped, but the dripping stopped after parking it and shutting it off, there is just sprayed oil all over the rear of the engine and undercarriage. I dont want to blow the new engine, so that needs to be addressed (dang it I dont know anything about engines!), and then the axles or gearing. I really am attached to these wheels and they are so dang sweet, but it is my ultimate goal to have a wheeling rig, not a show rig, and not something I can only drive on the streets for fear of blowing axles. I already blew 2 rears on my 87 K5 I had growing up...one time I was in the middle of a hill climb, and the axled popped, I backed down the steep incline with the axle and wheel working its way out, the c-clip just blew up and the pumpkin grenaded...so I cant risk that in city traffic...try driving a 8" lifted truck, 36" FAT mud tires, in rush hour DC traffic like I did today...haha...the dixie air horn was cool and the stereo pumps, but I could ditch that for having performance!!!!

    I might be able to live with the steering too, but not the gearing....I want to be wheeling by spring, I need to figure this out, its cool sitting in the driveway and looks like a beast, but my homework is cut out for me...first this oil spraying issue, then the axles....ugh....wish I lived back in OH or PA where I had tons of friends who would work on this for free and loved doing it, all it cost was a few cases of beer and a couple hundred bucks to do axles swaps in high school when I blew my old K5 up back to back until I put a 12 bolt in it!
     
  10. Avery4jc

    Avery4jc 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    lol, we do it all the time...my dd is 9" of lift and 38.5's rofl...you'll get used to it after a while.
    Yeah depending on what you will be doing you could put a 12b in but although a 12b is "larger" it isn't stronger in all areas so thats something to keep in mind as well.
    My truck also has oil lightly misted under the truck that then drips off after I shut it off and it sits for a sec...for me its the rear main seal so it drips down the front of the tranny then sprays over everything. I'm also leaking a wee bit from the pan gasket but thats another story....point being a lot of guys have trucks that leak some oil...keep an eye on it and fix it when you are doing other big projects...for example I'll fix my rear main leak when I pull the tranny to have it rebuilt down the road, for now I just keep an eye on it and it doesn't hurt a thing.
    Yeah gearing would be the first thing to take care of...so sit down and decide what you want to do w/ the rig...maybe spending a good chunk of change to re-gear your stock axles is worth it...maybe you could find a 14sf or a 12b w/ gears already done...maybe you'll get over your love affair w/ those rims and you'll get a 14ff and matching 8 lug front axle and get some black steelies from Summit for dirt cheap and be on your way...its up to you and what is available in your area.

    Hit up Craigslist.org and start looking around...you'd be surprised at what you'll find. I found a guy the other day selling a running early 80's K20 for $800. Body was pretty straight too so you can get stuff like that or sometimes find stuff for even less just to rob axles out of.

    Have fun!

    -A
     
  11. b454rat

    b454rat 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I drove my old 84 3/4 ton Chevy down there, 6" lift, 35s, 408 TH400, 4.10s and one nasty front bumper made out of leave springs and well casing. Thing weighed bout 200#. Might have a pic of it. But whenever I drove on 395 or God forbid the beltway, people didn't cut in front of me!!! Anyways, I gots a set of 3/4 ton axles, Dana 44 HD front and Dana 60 HD rear. The front is in decent shape, probly just brake stuff. The rear will need perches and brakes, been sitting awhile. $250 for the pair, that is what I paid for them. 4.10s too.
     
  12. bluecollarjock

    bluecollarjock 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks! With 3/4 axles, are the 15" rims out the of the question, or could I get 8 lug rims that still fit the tires? I guess I could do without the rims, but getting the same type of tire will cost $2k tires alone...at least all the online shops I looked up 36" radial baja claws...I could ditch the rims, steelies would still be good to go I dont have an issue with that...after all, I did buy this thing because Ive been missing wheeling all these years...

    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/car/236007786.html

    I dont mind oil leaking, but wont be confident till I know what it is...its not a minor leak, stuff is sprayed all over the undercarriage (no rust under there though!)
     
  13. b454rat

    b454rat 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    You can get 15" 8 lugs, I have a set of 8" and 12" wide wheels. Only get them in steel tho. But Summit has 15x10s for around $40 or so. The front just needs a little grinding on the caliper and the mount, rear will need nothing. If you get 3" b/s might not need grinding.....
     
  14. bluecollarjock

    bluecollarjock 1/2 ton status

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    hmmmm....if no one buys them, and I could figure out how to make it work on my truck, and get them here, i might need to take you up on it....i know your location, went to Colgate and always had to pass through there
     
  15. bluecollarjock

    bluecollarjock 1/2 ton status

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    about you driving 395..the few big 4x4s i see im drooling and giving thumbs up...the liberals and yuppies around here hate them...imagine me on 66 today, still had the kids tags on them have to give them back, totally politically incorrect, his tags read "SPK-ENG".....if you know this area, you know what he is talking about...took them off as soon as I got home so the truck didnt get vandalized
     
  16. spoolnaround

    spoolnaround 1/2 ton status

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    Fix your oil leak before you burn the rig to the ground. You can get steel wheels in 8 on 6.5, you have to do sime research on the aluminum ones.
     
  17. jamber2541

    jamber2541 1/2 ton status

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    use it as is for now untill you get the funds to upgrade, I run15x10 8 lugs with 4 inches of backspacing and I had to do very little ginding to get them to fit, I agree with spoolnaround and fix all your leaks and everyhting else you can until you are ready to upgrade, starting with a good foundation is half the work and will make everything else easier
     
  18. bluecollarjock

    bluecollarjock 1/2 ton status

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  19. spoolnaround

    spoolnaround 1/2 ton status

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    Thats a nice looking K5. Looks like you have a brake cylinder leaking too. After looking at at all the pics it looks like both sides are leaking. Brake cylinders or axle seals?

    81.jpg
     
  20. Avery4jc

    Avery4jc 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    It sure is nice to see someone else running Baja Claws...nice looking rig man.

    -Avery
     

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