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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MJF, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    I'm trying to get an understanding of front axles. So is a D44 the same from 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton except for 6 lug & 8 lug.(this ones kinda been answered).

    If they are the same: If a 6 lug & 8 lug both have 4.10's & the 8 lug has messed up gears, which is easier to do: swap the gears or swap the 8 lug axles into the 1/2 ton housing?

    Here's what I have. I have a perfectly good 1/2 ton 44 & a busted ring & pinion on my 3/4 ton 44 & drum brakes on my 70 1/2 ton. I want to use the good 1/2 ton 44 for the gears in my 3/4 ton & use the disc brakes to convert my 70 over. SO do I use the one axle as a donor or swap the 8 lug axles into it & use the 3/4 ton discs for the conversion?
     
  2. 1979Jimmy

    1979Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I was a little confused but i would say swap the r&p from the 1/2 ton to the 3/4 ton.....
     
  3. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    I was under the impression swapping the R&P was difficult & required some precision. I suppose I would have to break down & pay a shop to do it. What's involved in an axle swap?
     
  4. 1979Jimmy

    1979Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah i wasnt sure about your techical expertise a ring and pinion install is pretty involved if you got the right tools it can be done though.... i wouldnt try it though.
     
  5. chulisohombre

    chulisohombre 1/2 ton status

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    depending on the year axles you have,all you have to swap is the hubs,spindles and backing plates that hold the calipers onto the axle.if you have drum brakes i dont know if the axle shafts are the same but they just slip out oif the donor axle and into the axle you are switching to.the swap is basic bolt in and no mods as comparesd to changeing ring and pinion .it is a axle by axle basis.not every axle was made exactly the same.evey thing has to be made exact from axle to axle..if you have the r&p the same it would be much easier to swich out the outer hubs,spindles and backing plates than the ring and pinion
     
  6. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    I would do the knuckles out swap due to not having the tools to do a ring and pinion.
     
  7. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    Will the 1/2 ton be as strong as the 3/4 ton? I thought the 3/4 ton would have a beefier axle shaft.

    Sorry for all the stupid questions, but I'm seeing all this 4wd stuff for basically the first time.

    Mike
     
  8. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Mike,

    Don't worry about the questions....we've all been where you are when we first started! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

    The basic scenario sounds like you have a perfectly good 1/2 ton axle under your K5 now, but it's 6-Lug and it has the drum brakes because it's a 1970. Am I right so far...?

    Second....you have an 8-Lug axle with disc brakes that you could use for parts but it has a broken ring gear, so you can't simply swap the whole axle under... Right?

    OK, the only question is: Do you actually WANT 8-Lug up front? I know that you want disc brakes, but are you also looking to change to 8-Lug Wheels? If so, it sounds like all you have to do is swap over the spindles, hubs and backing plates. I've done that, and with the exception of needing a special socket for the hub nut, it's pretty straightforward.

    As far as what makes a 1/2 Ton axle different from the 3/4 Ton (and I'm probably gonna get this wrong) but I think the axleshafts and center sections are the same, the 3/4 Ton only adds the larger brakes and beefier spindles & hubs.

    In any case, it sounds like you already own all the parts to achieve what you want...so it's just going to be a matter of finding one of the local "Nor Cal Dawgs" to come over and supervise while you do the swap.... /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  9. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    I guess my first post was a little confusing. I hate to type so I try to condense everything so it doesn't take me an hour to type it.

    I have: a 79 GMC 1/2 ton, a 76 3/4 ton, & a 70 1/2 ton. I plan to build the 3/4 ton combining the parts from the 79 & 76.
    While I'm at it, I would like to use the spindles from the 6 lug to convert my 70 to disc brakes.

    The 3/4 ton has broken R&P. The 1/2 ton is perfect. When I get my truck built it will be 8 lug w/44 fr & 14Bff rear. Does this make any more sense? Maybe a spindle swap all the way around would be best.

    They are all pickups though. Eventually I'll get a k5, but not until I finish some ofthese projects.
     
  10. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    the 70 MAY have smaller steering ujoint and therefore different axles shafts, some of the earlier 44s had a 260x joint rather then a 297x.
    I missed the drum brake reference when I first read this post, had I noticed I would have kept my nose out as I have no idea what a drum brake 44 would have as far as similarities or differences. good thing Greg was all over that aspect.
     
  11. bobsurf

    bobsurf 1/2 ton status

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    I'm pretty sure the 3/4 ton 44 has beefier axle shafts as well.
     
  12. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    1/2 ton and 3/4 ton D44's are identical as far internals (axle shafts, ring & pinions gears) are concerned. Aren't the early drum brake D44's closed knuckles?

    John
     
  13. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    I'm not sure exactly what the difference is between open & closed knuckles. Everything looks exactly the same between the disc & drum setup as far as being able to see the ujoints on the hub. I haven't measured the diameter of the ujoints yet.

    If all else fails, I will just buy new gears for the 3/4 ton. If I do that I'll just swap the entire front 44 out of the 79 into the 70 as long as it'll fit & the gears are the same
     
  14. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The "easy" answer is that if you can SEE the u-joints in the steering area, that's open knuckle...

    The closed design looks like a big enclosed "ball and socket" area between the upper and lower ball joints. The idea was to keep dirt and debris out of the u-joint, but I guess in reality, it just trapped stuff inside anyway.

    /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     

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