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are 10 bolts axles strong enough?

Discussion in 'OffRoad Design' started by **DONOTDELETE**, Mar 15, 2001.

    I have an 84' jimmy w/ the 6.2l diesel. I don't mind it at all. The stock axles are under it still. I understand that they a too weak I am afraid of breaking them. They have 3.73's w/35's. What opinions are there about changing the gears? Will a lower gear be more inclined to break axles? I just broke my driveshaft. It broke the front u-joint and both yokes on the rear driveshaft. I just moved from Utah to Deleware amd embarssingly enought got stuck in the flatest state in the union. Will the 10 bolt handle a locker? I don't want to change my tires and rims. The truck used to see moab with open diff's and did fine. Now it will see more mud(if it gets to see anything here). I don't beat it but I diffinetly like to use it. My real question is "are to 10 bolts strong enough and if not, what is the strongest least expensive option? All sugestions are welcome.
     
  1. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I'll offer my opinion.....
    I have a '90 with the 6.2 diesel and auto trans. The original rear 10-bolt chucked the Gov-Lock out at about 80,000 miles, but that was after it was stolen and presumably run really hard. I usually consider a Gov-lock the weak link in a 10-bolt.
    Anyway, I rebuilt the rear with a Detroit Tru-Trac, aftermarket 4.10 gears, and heavy duty axleshafts (30-spline). The truck has spent the last 3 years as a weekend trail toy that sees fairly tough trails. I ran two years with 33's and the last year with 35's and I have had no problems from the rear. To let you know how hard it's used, I've broken two front axleshafts, 1 body mount, and the front shackle bolt in the last 12 months while on the trail. One thing to keep in mind is that the 10-bolt with all of the aftermarket upgrades should, theoretically, be a good bit stronger than stock. Also, we don't have many rocks around here so most of the hills and trails are covered in mud which seems to be much more forgiving than the rocks.
    Now with all that said and done, I am currently building a 14 bolt ff to put in the rear. The reasons for this is that I wanted to move up to a full locker (Detroit) and bigger tires, and I found a 14 bolt in really good shape for cheap. I honestly think that a 10-bolt with the proper upgrades (full case locker or posi, 30 spline axle shafts, and aftermarket gears) can hold up pretty good with tires up to 35", if the driver doesn't get crazy with the go-pedal.
     
  2. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>You can build up a 10 bolt to stand up to 35s, but it will be expensive (lockers, shafts and gears cost a lot plus you have to have them profesionaly installed unless you are a pro [​IMG] ) and you still have the small ring & pinion, thin housing and small wheelstuds. For about as much as it costs to upgrade your 10 bolt rear you can find a set of 3/4 ton axles. Many had 4.10 gears and they'll bolt right up. All you need is a hybrid u-joint for the rear (napa part # 447), new rear u-bolts and new rear u-bolt plates. Oh yeah, you dont need to buy new tires. You can get 15" wheels in 8 lug for about $40 each new. All you need to do is grind the top of the front calipers and they'll fit.</font color=blue>

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Funny that you should mention Napa part#447 because I just had a 3/4 ton rear driveshaft cut for my jimmy and that was the U-joint I used. I have found a set of 3/4 ton axles out of a 77' chevy truck with a detroit locker for $400. I will need to replace some worn parts on the steering but they have 4:10 gears. What do you think? Is that the way to go.
     
  4. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>What parts need replacing? How are the brakes? If the brakes are good and it only needs tie rod ends or something $400 sounds good. If it needs ball joints or some brake work, let the seller know and try to reduce the price. If you have a 3/4 ton driveshaft connected to your 10 bolt, you need a 1350 u-joint when you put in the 14 bolt. I dont know the exact year, but chevy also changed the p-brake cables so you might need new ones. Check the rear to make sure theres no gear oil dripping around the bottom of the backing plate. Some people on this site have had problems with the seal area on the spindle being worn and leaking oil. Heres an article on how to do an axle swap <A target="_blank" HREF=http://coloradok5.com/axleswap.shtml>http://coloradok5.com/axleswap.shtml</A></font color=blue>

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    I think the built 10 bolt would work ok for you, or you might be able to find a 12 bolt that's set up better also. Economically speaking, the 3/4T axles are probably the way to go. They're cheap enough that you could throw a few hundred into them and still be ahead. You'll have to go to 15" 8 hole wheels, or 16's, but wheels and tires are pretty easy to sell so you could gt rid of the old ones no problem. You could also sell your old axles. Or keep the front for parts for the new front, they may be the same.
    The 14 bolt wouldn't be such a good axle to swap to if it wasn't so cheap, but they are really cheap, so putting up with the clearance, etc is usually worth it. Do some careful math on the prices and the time, etc that you'll get into both ways.

    Making the world better, one truck at a time.
    [​IMG]
    SW-ORD
     

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