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Axle strength?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 81K5GUY, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. 81K5GUY

    81K5GUY 1/2 ton status

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    I have just joined and after searching and reading a lil bit I have seen where alot of guys swap front and rear axle assemblies for stronger units.My question is how strong is my setup.I have a GM Corporate 12-bolt (8.7/8-in. 1.31 Axle Dia. 30 Spline) in the rear and a 10 bolt (8.5) in the front.I am planning a 4" lift and adding 35" tires will these axles hold up for moderate wheeling or should I be looking ahead at carnage and replacement.Most of the wheeling I do is in mud.Thanks!


    Bill
     
  2. wetbackZO

    wetbackZO 1/2 ton status

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    I've got 10bolts f&r and they've held up in mud and some moderate wheelin, I believe that they've survived because of the auto tranny and cause they're open, and cause I know their limits, and I won't floor the gas to get unstuck, he he he he....
     
  3. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    I've wheeled with 40's and a 12 bolt/Dana 44 combo with no problems, mostly all mud. I've also broken many 12 bolts with stock tires and lots of abuse. As long as your not too abusive they should hold up.
     
  4. 81K5GUY

    81K5GUY 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the replies guys.I tend to use more finese when wheeling as apposed to balls to the wall throttle ,but sometimes you gotta put the ole right foot down .Im gonna stay with em until they break anyway but just wanted to know if I needed to make future plans to replace em
     
  5. SUPER'BURB

    SUPER'BURB 1/2 ton status

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    With 35" you should be able to keep them alive. Just keep some extra shafts around, they are cheep and abundant.

    I didn't swap out my 12bolt till I got 14.5" wide tires (I broke several shafts caus I like to slide side-ways in a feild by my house and with a 'burb that is ALOT of stress). When I go to 38" x 15.5" I will upgrade the front to a 60 but (knock on wood) so far so good under the nose.
     
  6. nmud2deep

    nmud2deep Registered Member

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    i had a 10 bolt front and rear under my blazer but i went through 3 rear ends and front locking hubs within 2years. tore 1st time with32inch tires ,2nd time with 35 and 3rd time with 37 than i went to 10bolt 8lug front and 14bolt ff rear with 4.11gears and auburn lockers before i had 3.08gears w/govloc.
     
  7. wkbrdrob

    wkbrdrob Registered Member

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    I have 10 bolts front and rear and after the 4 inch lift and 35's went on, I blew up a auto hub that weekend. (ran out of time to put in the Warn's that were laying on the workbench) I've got an under-powered 305 and have toasted my ring gear too. I've got a 14 bolt and a D44 that I'm going through in my garage right now.
     
  8. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I think this has to do alot with the general condition of your axles/truck I ran 35s on a 12b d44 combo for a while open diffs no problems at all. I have two brothers that both run 36s one with 10b front and rear and the other has a 12b d44 both with rear lockers no probs so far run them and keep your eyes out for some 3/4 ton axles for cheap. basically I think you will be fine
     
  9. TDAWG1

    TDAWG1 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey guys I've got a simular question. On my 87 JIMMY F/S I am runnin 10bolt front and rear right know with 33's. Soon I am upgrading starting with a 6" lift
    A good ole boy on this site found me a 12bolt rear. I am going to run 35's keepin the 10 up front until I can find a 44 or it breaks. I will be going to 4.56 gears and detroit in the rear ARB out front. My question is can I up grade the axleshafts to a stronger brand or kind and keep the same bolt pattern I have know? If so who do I go with. Easy out of a Junk Yard what about YUKON gear and axle? Thanx guys and gals
     
  10. wkbrdrob

    wkbrdrob Registered Member

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    If I were you, I'd save up for the D44 front too before you put an ARB in it. By the time you buy the gears (100~200), the ARB (650ish~750 without compressor system), and install kits(100ish), you'll hit a grand easy and that's if you don't put new bearings and seals in. And you'll have to get rid of it all and do it all again for a D44. Just my two cents though....
     
  11. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    You can buy aftermarket shafts for any of the GM axles (search for yukon, superior, alloy usa). I don't understand why you would bother replacing a 10 bolt with a dana 44, they are nearly identical. I would not recommend putting a detroit or ARB into either of those axles, even with 35's you will regret it down the road. If you want lockers now, check into aussie lockers (google it). Locked on 35's with a fullsize is just asking for trouble...
     
  12. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    I have a D44 with an ARB in it and wheel with 35's. I am puttiong 37's on at the end of the month. Keep in mind I am running Chromo shafts with CTM's, in the 2 years of rock crawling I busted one ox u joint on Hells Revenge in Moab. I replaced it with a CTM and haven't had any problems. I am not always light with the throttle and I feel pretty confident in the front end.

    You don't need a D60 to wheel, but then again you can get one for the price of a beefed up D44. Of course it will be bone stock.
     
  13. TDAWG1

    TDAWG1 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Thought well taken
     
  14. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    I run a high compression 383 stroker with a 10 bolt front and 38.5's and a TH400 with no breakage. Drive with your head and not your right foot and they should hold up for you ok.
     
  15. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Why would you swap in a D44 over a 10 bolt? What are the advantages to doing this? Are you confusing a D44 and a D60?

    There are basically no advantages to having a D44 over a 10 bolt. The only advantage is the aftermarket supports is a little better for the D44 then the 10 bolt. The D44 and the 10 bolt share most all the same weak points that should break at approximately the same time in all given circumstances.

    Harley
     
  16. TDAWG1

    TDAWG1 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Nice thought but not going to happen
     
  17. TDAWG1

    TDAWG1 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Just some info I recieved about the 44 being stronger. but hey if I can keep my 10 and save some money for now I am all for it.
     
  18. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    FYI I ran a 10 bolt front open with 38" swamper radials never had a problem just keep up on the mantaining it. With a little TLC these front axles are pretty good
     
  19. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    The D44 and 10 bolt are basically the exact same strength wise. When they break they break in 2 or 3 places typically. The ujoint, the inner axle neckdown, or the stub shaft. The 10 bolt and D44 use the exact same ujoint and stub shaft and both of there inner axles are neckdown versions in stock form.

    The 10 bolt does have a couple advantages in my mind. The replacement parts are typically cheaper to get ahold of and easier to get ahold of if or when you break something.

    Dana 44's have a better aftermarket following because of there use in Jeeps and Fords and such. This makes aftermarket parts more available and they have a broader selection. This is a double edged sword though because the D44 is more saut after as a replacement axle and typically cost more money to buy and buy parts for then 10 bolts. Also the D44 has been out of production in Chevy's since the late 70's and they are becoming harder and harder to find as the trucks are becoming less and less common. The 10 bolt front was produced up to the early 90's and are much more common then D44's.

    The 28 spline 10 bolt front is the most common and most desireable IMHO and was available from the late 70's to late 80's.

    If you have a D44 already it is not worth it to swap in a 10 bolt or vice versa unless there are extenuating circumstances like you are swaping axles and the other front axle is part of a matched gear ratio set.

    There is endless stuff to be brought up about the 10 bolt vs. D44 but there is a search feature here if you need more info or you can ask more specific questions about one vs the other if you like.

    Harley
     
  20. wkbrdrob

    wkbrdrob Registered Member

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    I guess most of what I've heard is that the D44 is stronger than a 10B. Reading misc articles, like http://coloradok5.com/axleswap.shtml , seem to tell me that the D44 is slightly strong the a 10B. Better aftermarket support means more gear, axle, locker, and u-joint support to beef up the axle. Personally, I'd buya D60, but it's kinda cost prohibitive for me. And plus I got a D44 for a steal!:laugh:
     

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