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Are Heavy Duty Axles necessary?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ThreeBills$, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. ThreeBills$

    ThreeBills$ Registered Member

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    I have a 89 K-5 with 35 inch tires. I currently have the stock axles (10 bolt, 30 spline) both front and rear. I was wondering if beefing up the front and rear ends is necessary, or should I spend my money on something else? Thanks
     
  2. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I'd spend your money other places if you must. Nice exhaust, headers, maybe some traction aids if you care. 35s on 1/2 tons is as big as I would go but there isn't anything wrong with it. If you start really hard wheeling and breaking things all the time, then consider an upgrade. Sounds like you haven't broken anything yet though.
     
  3. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    depends on how hard you wheel,how often,what type of terrain,if you want lower gears,if you have a govlock,if you plan to go with bigger tires later on,etc. 35's are pretty much the max for those axles tho.
     
  4. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    I agree with Sled_Dog. 30spline 10b are the best of the 10b selection, so at least you have that going.

    The only beefing up I did with my 1/2ton junk was Superior Gear's axle shafts from ORD in the 12b. I didn't think it was a bad investment at about $220.
     
  5. ThreeBills$

    ThreeBills$ Registered Member

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    I am thinking about getting bigger tires ( probably 37) Right now I have 4.11 gears. I havnt had any problems yet. I just received some money so I am trying to decide how to spend it. I thought about traction bars or even those truss things that help stop axle bending. All comments help, since I am a beginner at this. Thanks
     
  6. Silver84k5

    Silver84k5 1/2 ton status

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    It all depends on how your going to drive it.
     
  7. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Most axle trusses are worthless. They are under the axle trusses that take away alot of ground clearence and hang you up on things. As long as you aren't jumping your truck I wouldn't worry about bending an axle tube.

    If you don't wheel hard you probably will be just fine with 10 bolts front and rear. If you want to get into some serious offroading you better do some soul searching and cash counting on what you need and can afford.

    harley
     
  8. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    Definetally think about the path you go down. I've got a lot of money in offroad parts and no rig to show for it. I'm going to a hardcore buildup and wish I hadn't. but at this point I'm not backing out of it cause its still going to be fun and great. I just wish I still had my original K5.

    As for trusses, unless you are jumping don't worry about it. Not on a 10 bolt anyway. Under axle trusses are more effective but cut ground clearance and most of the trusses out there are junk. The only good one I know of for sale is the one Missouri Offroad sells.
     
  9. 1HighK5

    1HighK5 1/2 ton status

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    I run 35's now with 10b's but I am sick of break'n stuff. If you plan to go with bigger tires later keep that in mind and maybe save some cash for a 14b and a D44 in sted of spending it on 1/2 ton stuff. Its easier to spend the money once on 3/4 1 ton stuff then to keep spending it on the 1/2 ton stuff.
     
  10. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    actually d44 is a 1/2 ton axle. both the 44 and 10b can be had in 3/4ton versions(front). not really any stronger than the 1/2t version tho. if your plans are for 37's i'd just keep what you got for now until it breaks. your gonna want lower gears anyway for anything bigger than 35's with a 700r4 trans

    depending on how hard you wheel, you can get away with a 3/4ton setup with 37's. your gonna want at least 4.56 gears tho. things really start to get expensive when you start doing axle swaps, gear swaps, and bigger lifts. you should figure out a long term plan based on how you use the truck and what your budget is.
     
  11. ThreeBills$

    ThreeBills$ Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the opinions. You guys really help. I am going to research and ask more questions before I do anything else. Thanks again
     
  12. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    I would at least swap in a 14bff rear, they can be had for about $150, cause you are more likely to break a rear 10b shaft than you would a front, not to mention if you did break a rear 10b shaft there is nothing that will keep your tire to the axle so your who wheel would fall off, I wouldnt mess with a 30 spline front 10b, yes they may be a hair stronger than a 28 spline but you will have a hard time find axle shafts for them when they break. If you break a front 10b shaft you can just un lock your hubs and put it in 2wd and at least get out of the trail and drive home. :)
     
  13. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Actually 30 spline 10 bolt fronts are no stronger then 28 spline 10 bolt fronts. In theory the 30 spline should be stronger because it has more splines. The weak points in a 10 bolt front 28 or 30 spline is the ujoint or the spot where the inner axleshaft necks down. Both axles share the the same ujoint and the same neckdown therefore they are the same strength since they both share the same weak points and fail at those points before the 30 spline's possible strength advantage becomes an issue.

    Harley
     
  14. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    so so that just shows that the 30 spline is no stronger so if you break one it is a little tough to find a replacement/spare to have.
     
  15. atho

    atho 1/2 ton status

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    If you can find larger axles for a decent price, then go ahead and snap them up. Take me, for instance. I originally set out to just find a disc braked front axle for my '69. I did a lot of light wheeling in my truck, never broke anything, and had a ton of fun. However the whole "no brakes when its wet" got old, quick.

    I went to the junkyard and out of the blue, a dodge D60 front appeared at a D44 price. It will cost way more to build up, but now I have lots of room for growth. I am already 3/4 ton so I didn't have to worry about my rearend, but if I were you I'd at least find a set of matching 8 lug axles from a 3/4 ton with a 14 bolt ff. That will be a big jump in strength.
     
  16. yeild2me

    yeild2me 1/2 ton status

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    Amen bro.... :frown1: Dana 60 and rockwells dont break.....cause they havent left the freakin pavement,,,,

    This is prolly the best advice I have read on here in a long time. I say this to my buddies quite a bit.

    Rob
     
  17. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    i say find a ff14b for the rear and (for now) keep the 10b front. Lockers are dirt cheap, the axle is almost invulnerable and if you get in a really hairy spot, you can throw it in 2wd and hammer down without fear of breaking a front shaft...

    j
     
  18. 87BrnRsd

    87BrnRsd 1/2 ton status

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    I wouldnt recommend anything larger than 35's with your stock 10 bolts. If you actually wheel it, you will end up breaking shafts and u-joints. Since you said you want to step up to 37's I highly recommend upgrading. 37's on a rear 10 bolt will break very very easily if you wheel it. My friend broke his rear 10 bolt with 35's just flexing out in a ditch. Snapped a shaft and the tire came off a half mile later when he was doing 40 mph down the road. :crazy: At least step up to a 14ff in the rear because that is what you drive on most of the time and it recieves the most torque. A front 10 bolt will hold up to 37's for a while if you keep it open and keep a semi light right foot. 14ff's are a dime a dozen and at least if you get one, you will have the peace of mind knowing it wont break. My advice (contrary to what some others have advised) is to start off with a strong set of axles and build around them. Just my $.02.
    -Harrison
     
  19. joez

    joez 1/2 ton status

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    Spend your money elsewhere, or just plain save it. You are close to the limit, but i wouldnt worry about it much. I heard all the good ones, "your gonna break it in your driveway", "it wont last five minutes", "i broke mine on 33's on the street","your an idiot" blah blah blah. Am i "hard core", nope. Do i wheel my truck regularly, you bet. I know how to drive, and when to back of. Ive been running a 36" tall TSL for almost a year now, but have only been locked since arround the first of the year though. Still have 4 trips on it locked, and while i fully expect to break it (i carry 3 spare shafts, and all the guts of the diff with me at all times), i havent yet. Im sure ill get the "then you dont wheel hard", all i can say to them is that at least im out wheeling.

    I plan on upgrading one day, but only when i need to. I suggest the same, when you have problems with breakage, upgrade, until then, just wheel it. You could always carry a spare shaft, just for piece of mind. Unless of course you are a throttle jockey, if your foot loves the floorboard, then maybee you would want to upgrade. just my $.01
     
  20. k5freak44

    k5freak44 1/2 ton status

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    im running 36inches on my 1/2 drivetrain and i havent had any problems yet except a broken front shaft. i do wheel it harder then i should and i flex it out alot too.

    but with the help of all the ck5ers i have decided to get a 14b wich i have sitting in my garage.
     

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