Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

a 10 bolt question

Discussion in 'OffRoad Design' started by moose35, Apr 24, 2001.

  1. moose35

    moose35 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2001
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Simi Valley, Ca
    I have a 10 bolt in my Blazer and run 35 tires, and I have heard that they are really weak, although I've used mine for 10 years and not had a problem yet. I don't do alot of hardcore wheeling but I occasionally climb a few rocks. Is it worth all the $$ to replace and upgrade to another axle or could I just replace the 10 bolt innards with hardened stuff and get by. My motor is not a monster and I tend to be very conservative in the way I drive, both on road and off.

    Due to limited funding, it's easier to keep the 10 bolt and build it. Warn's kit it to much $$ and I am trying to keep the wheels I have. Is hardening the 10 bolt a waste of money?
     
  2. Sammy

    Sammy 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2000
    Posts:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try to find a 12bolt. If you can't find one then you could upgrade the 10bolt. A 14bolt would be unbreakable BUT, these things are very heavy and use 8lug rims.

    If you do upgrade the 10bolt, (or even the 12bolt) drop in a locker. I've just bought an ARB airlocker to put in my 12bolt (which is not under the Blazer yet). It has 4 spider gears, instead of the 2 an open diff has, and that is a bonus to the locking.



    "K5 Grand GT Blazer Silverado in the Netherlands."
     
  3. BMRCCR

    BMRCCR Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Posts:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    A set of upgraded axleshafts for around $100 will keep shafts from breaking for a long time if you are resonable with the throtle. Yeah, 12 bolts are easy to bolt in, but if you are upgrading, why not upgrade to a 14 bolt FF? You can get them at a junkyard for $300 or less. And it is a fourwheeler's dream axle. Virtually indestuctable. Put it this way: Stephen uses this axle with 42" tires and a built big block. But you may have to change out gears to match.

    Anthony
     
  4. Hathaway

    Hathaway 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Posts:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Missoula Montana
    Didn't Stephen run a 10bolt in the front with a 12bolt in the rear for along time with 37's or 38's on it... I'm sure it cost him alot to beef the things, I seem to remember him trying to sell em for 4500 for the pair. And 14FF add alot of weight and take the clearance down alot. I personally don't wheel enough or hard enough to justify a 14ff. Once I get around to axle beef I'm either going to put the warn FF kit in my 10 bolt or pick up a 12 and put the FF in that.

    Dan, '86 K5, 5.0L v8, NP208, TH700R4, open 10bolts front and rear, 3.43gearing, K&N filter, 31x10.50R15 Trailhandlers
     
  5. TheGeneral

    TheGeneral 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Posts:
    556
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NC, USA
    Moose, I just got done putting on my 14 ff on and it was probably cheaper than harding my 10 bolt. I paid 500 for 14 ff and just had to put new bearings, seals, lube, and pads and drums on. All in all about 625. The worse part of it was moving the damn thing and putting on new drums. I figure disk brakes will come in future for weight savings. Your rig sounds like my and so does your driving style. I figured with the 35-38, the 14 ff will last forever unless I do something stupid. If you want a 14 ff, there are a couple in yards around hear for cheap. Lots of luck.


    If you ain't hurt, you ain't playin' hard enough.

    The General
     
  6. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Posts:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    BC Canada
    A 6-lug 14-bolt semi-float (9.5") should be cheaper than high-strength axles for the 10-bolt. The axles are 33-spline and there's about three different track-widths to choose from.

    Its not as tough as the 14-bolt FF, more like a 10-bolt on steroids. Because they only come in 88-up trucks and 96-up vans, spring perches and shock mounts need to be fabbed.

    Personally, I'd wait till I broke the 10-bolt before doing anything.
     
  7. BogginChevy

    BogginChevy Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2001
    Posts:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im sorry, but you paid 500 Dollars for a 14 bolt full floater, then had to put bearings, and new drums on it? Ouch... 150.00 here in the junk yards, and theres about 10 to choose from in each yard so you could find a good one. I paid 500 for my 14 bolt FF and my dana 44 front, rotor to rotor both axles with rims and tires, bolted them in and wheeled hard for 2 years before the ring gear let go in the front. Crazy how prices vary for things in different parts of the country.

    -Ryan
     
  8. WhiteWhomper

    WhiteWhomper 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2000
    Posts:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO.
    I have run 28 spline 10 bolts with 36" Swampers for about two years and after my first axle pop, I went with Moser axles in the rear at a cost of $280. I made a few trips without any problems until this past Easter in Moab and sure enough, I ended up snapping one of the Moser axles. Thanks to some good help on the trail, we were able to swap in my spare axle in just over an hour, but the hassle of the change has now driven me to doing the 14 bolt axle set up. My advice is if you are planning on doing any type of hardcore wheeling is to spend your money on the heavier duty axles instead of upgrading the 10 bolt. However, if you do decide to stick with the 10 bolt, make sure you are familiar with how to change a broken axle and carry spares and the correct tools, jack stands, gear oil, etc. When a c-clip axle busts, you are dead in the water untill you fix it. Just my $.02 worth.
     
  9. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2000
    Posts:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Temp. Ft. Walton Beach Fl. home=Tucson, Az.
    What were you doing when the axle broke ?
    Any idear what your weight was at the time of brakage.
    Can you give a quick run down on the rig.
    TIA
     
  10. WhiteWhomper

    WhiteWhomper 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2000
    Posts:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO.
    I was climbing up the last obstacle on the Prichett Canyon trail (yellow hill) and had the front tires trying to climb a small ledge while the left rear tire was in a hole and trying to climb up. I gave a slight bump to try and pop over, but the bind was too much for the axle and it snapped. Luckilly, I was third in line going up the hill so there was someone up top to winch me up and the axle was able to stay somewhat in the housing since I was leaning left. (I did drop alot of fluid that the others in the group helped clean up-Thanks guys)

    I am not really sure at the curb weight for my rig, but I was with Steve when he weighed his rig at +/- 5,800 lbs and his and mine should weigh about the same with me having a top and him without, but he has the 14 bolt FF and Dana 60. Plus I carry about 400lbs of gear in tha back of my rig for tools, 4 spare axles, misc. bolt box, and all types of fluids, recovery equipment, etc. So my best guess would be that I should have been over 6000lbs at the time of breakage.

    As for my rig, it is an '87 Jimmy, full interior and top, 4" Rough Country lift, 305/700R4/208 3.73 gears, 28 spline 10 bolts, rear Detroit ez-locker, front winch bumper (w/o winch) no rear bumper (building one) 36 x 12.5 Swamper SX tires on 15x8 steel wheels and trimmed fenders to clear. Now I have completed the front axle conversion to eight lug and I will hopefully have the rear converted to 14bolt FF in the next couple of weekends.
     
  11. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2000
    Posts:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Temp. Ft. Walton Beach Fl. home=Tucson, Az.
    Thanks for all the details. I guess is just a matter of time(tough Trail) when my 12 bolt brakes an axle.
     
  12. orangepirate

    orangepirate Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    calgary alberta canada
    If I was you and havent snapped an axle in 10 years I would stay with 10 blot and yes upgrade it with stronger axles. But if you do decide one day that you want to take that crazy trail where you know that 10 bolt will fail. Then spend your money on the big toys and upgrade to a 14 bolt FF. If your really stuck on keeping your wheels then the 12 bolt will beef it up some. My 12 bolt took alot of abuse untill the may long weekend when it took too much along with my drive shaft and 10 bolt on the first day out. And it really sucks to be with out a vehicle all weekend. But I don't think you wheel as hard as the group I run with, if you do though now is the time to start saving your pennys and start looking for that 14 bolt, rims and parts to swapped the front axle to 8 bolts if you wanna have 8 bolt rims all round.

    Kurt
     
  13. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Posts:
    17,669
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IL, USA
    I swapped to an 8 lug 14 bolt semi floater or 9.5" or metric 14 bolt, whatever you want to call it. It's got 4.10 gears, a posi, and it's not a 10 bolt on steroids, it's a 12 bolt on steriods! It has very large axles shafts, and I'm not worred about breaking it. I made my own backing plates for it from the ones from the 10 bolt and bought 11" drums for the year truck it came from and I can run 15" wheels.

    I haven't put the new front axle in yet, but that shouldn't be a problem. It'll be an 8 lug, 4.10 geared axle from the same K20. The only bad part about that will be the steering arm. The other steering arm has only been on my truck for 6 months though.

    I really am going to enjoy my truck with the new, tough axles. I know it's not a full floater and a Dana 60, but I know that my axles will take some severe punishment. My rear axle might be C-clip, but it's NOT small. It's the biggest C-clip axle I've ever seen. And at least I can run 15" wheels if I want.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  14. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2000
    Posts:
    4,227
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Carbondale Colorado
    Moose, there's some good advice floating around on this post, consider it all. My opinion on this: if you haven't beefed it up at all, haven't broken it at all and don't plan on getting any rougher on it, what you have will work as long as it's reasonable fresh. If you're looking to drop some cash on gears and a locker, I'd at least start with a 12 bolt, and better would be a semi-14 6 lug. I'd run the semi-14 with no questions with any tires as long as it's paired up with a 10 bolt front.
    It sounds like you're after doing this one part at a time, but you really should look at it really close because it would be wise to at least run a 30 spline alloy axle shaft. This would require a new diff in the 10 bolt (assuming you have a 28 spline now) and if you're buying a new diff, you should look into a new assembly.
    Just to follow the freight train of next steps, you could also go to 8 lug for the bigger brakes and beefier axle choices in the rear, then you're talking new wheels at the least, maybe new tires (15's don't bolt right on).
    If you're staying with 35" tires, I would go with a lighter duty axle than the 14FF. I drug mine around for years with 35-ish tires and the peace of mind was great, but I did literally drag it everywhere.

    bottom line, I'd look to 30 spline alloy axles when you start spending money and you should be fine. You've proven that it works for you, you'll just have some more room for error. Add it all up carefully though, axles are one of the most important and expensive parts of a 4x4. It's nice to do it once.

    Making the world better, one truck at a time.
    [image]http://coloradok5.com/logo_ordsmall.gif[/image]
    SW-ORD
     
  15. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Posts:
    17,669
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IL, USA
    Or, just go with a semi-14 and you get 33 spline axles right off the bat. I remember when I had my shafts out I put them next to each other and I never imagined there would be such a difference! The 14 bolt ones are huge compared to the 10 bolt and 12 bolt that were previously in my truck (shreaded both).

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  16. COYOTE35

    COYOTE35 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2000
    Posts:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alto, Michigan
    The time to change the axle is here...last week I went to go wheeling and exploded the axle. Everything stayed within the housing and the wheels didn't fall off but the rear wheels won't turn anymore. Thank go I was close to pavement and a flatbed truck.

    Time for a 14 SF or maybe a custom 9"
     
  17. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2000
    Posts:
    4,227
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Carbondale Colorado
    Once again, there's a lot of good advice and info in this post. The hardest thing is considering what you'll be doing with the truck in th future. I know I'm glad I had a 14 bolt around, I didn't have to build anything when I went to 42's.
    One more kink in the plan that's just recently popped up: shaving diffs. My 14 bolt has similar clearance to a stock D60 or a semi-14, and the mod could be done in a driveway. This could be the last straw to tip the balance fully in favor of the 14FF for just about every GM application. check out the pics at:
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://offroaddesign.com/TopTruck.htm>http://offroaddesign.com/TopTruck.htm</A>
    they're near the bottom of the page.

    I'm also fond of 3/4T or larger axles for the bigger brakes, they make stopping much easier with heavier weight trucks with larger tires.
    Once again, think it all through, axles are pretty pricey, and it's nice to do it once. It's hard to read the future for you and your truck, but your foresight could save you some money now also.

    Making the world better, one truck at a time.
    [image][/image]
    SW-ORD
     
  18. COYOTE35

    COYOTE35 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2000
    Posts:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alto, Michigan
    WHat are your thoughts for a hardened 9"? I just found one with dics for really cheap. Its in great shape and I can harden the axles and what not. I have several freinds running Bronco's with much bigger motors and tires then I ever intend to and it seems to hold up fine. I really don't drive that extreme and I would hate to carry all that weight around. I think the 14SF or 14FF is overkill for me.

    Your truck looks great, Congradulations on your ability and performance.
     
  19. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2000
    Posts:
    4,227
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Carbondale Colorado
    The 9" is a good axle, and holds up pretty well, depending on what parts they have. in a 31 spline version, it's not going to be a lot stronger than a 12 bolt with 30 spline axles. If I remember right, it's 10% or so. The big problem with the 9" is the low pinion. I don't know how it compares to a 14 SF or a 14 FF, but it's way down there. It could cause some problems with the driveshaft angles. If it's a good enough deal, you may want to just give it a shot. A GM axle will bolt in easier, but if you can fabricate a little, it's not too hard to move the perches and stuff around. Really the biggest drawback is the low pinion. Shaft wise, it's the same strength catagory as a 12 bolt, until you go to a 35 spline diff and axle shafts.
    Hope this helps

    Making the world better, one truck at a time.
    [image][/image]
    SW-ORD
     
  20. COYOTE35

    COYOTE35 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2000
    Posts:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alto, Michigan
    Well I did it. I put a lincoln 9' under my truck. The swap was relatively easy. I had custom, hardened axles made from Dutchman and replaced the 5-lug rotors (yes I now have 4 wheel disc brakes) with Chevy ones that were turned down to fit. Popped in a detroit, a hardened case and a CV driveshaft from Arizona Drivelines. Had a heavy duty mechanic friend come and do the cutting (used new perches from a race shop) and weldong.

    Everything works great. I have very good strength with minimal weight and no loss of ground clearance. Best of all the whole thing was relatively cheap. It's something I believe more people should look into.

    Whats wrong with big and wide?
     

Share This Page