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Axles for my truck, opinions anybody???

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by laketex, Mar 13, 2000.

  1. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Ok guys, I'm about to sling axles under my truck but I have a dillema as to what to get. I've got a '79 Blazer with 36" Swampers,
    going with 38's when these wear out. Just got a Tuff country 4" front kit, and am making a homeade rear shackle flip. Here's my 3
    choices as it stands now:

    1) I've got a stock 14 bolt with worn out LSD 4.11 gears, and worn brakes coupled with a D44 open with 4.11s and fulltime hubs/ no
    brakes which I would have to convert and rebuild.

    2) Found a 14 bolt/10 bolt combo with 4.11 gears and Detroit rear, rebuilt for $950

    3) Also found a 14 bolt/D60 combo with 4.56 gears, Detroit rear, Tracklock front rebuilt 7K ago for $2500

    What to do, what to do. I'm not made out of money, but plan to do pretty hardcore stuff with the truck. Light rockcrawling, heavy
    mudding, and lots of good hard trailrides. I'll be running a TH400 and NP205 case and want a pretty bulletproof truck, but do yall
    think it's worth an extra grand and a half? I guess I already know the answer but I thought I'd see what yall would say. Thanks for the
    input guys !



    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Durant, Ok
    '79 Blazer in progress
     
  2. BlueKnight

    BlueKnight 1/2 ton status

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    Well the last choice is the ultimate. I have 38's on mine with a 12 bolt rear and dana 44 up front with 4.56's The gearing is a great combination with the tires. They are bit weak I know but Ive trussed the housings and have put in much beefier components in them. The guys at the off road shop tell me I should be fine in any serious off road situation. So far no breaks.
     
  3. Rockblazer

    Rockblazer 1/2 ton status

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    You didn't mention the motor but I am assuming a 350. You are really pushing the 10 bolt with 38's. What is wrong with your current 14 bolt? Is it FF? I would go for the 14/60 combo, but shop around a bit first. Sounds a little high. If you stick with the 44 or 10 bolt you might want to consider the warn axle set. At least when you break them they get replaced.
     
  4. Goose

    Goose 1/2 ton status

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    I would think you could rebuild your 14bolt and buy a d60 for a chuck less than $2500. This would be a good time to convert to rear discs and but in a locker of some sort in the 14bolt.
     
  5. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The Dana 60/ 14 bolt with 4.56 gears would work great with 38's and be bulletproof, but I'm not real sure about the price. Check out Boyce equipment as they offer completely rebuilt axles with, what I think, are comparable prices. I'm also one of those guys who thinks the Dana 44's, 10 and 12 bolts are decent axles if built properly. A couple of hundred of pounds and 2 inches of ground clearance can go a long way....
    Well, I guess my best advice, if money is a major issue, is to decide how badly you want the 4.56 gears and traction adding diffs, or if you can live with 4.10's, open gears and 38" tires. In my opinion, the traclok isn't that great of a diff as far as equally transferring power in off-road conditions, though it is better than an open diff.
     
  6. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    I'd like to jump in on this one to give my opinion and to seek advice as well. I agree with those who say that it depends on how you use your rig. You've indicated that you plan to use your rig for light rock crawling and mostly mudding and trails. That being the case, I'd go with the Dana 60/14-bolt combo. I'm like you in that I'm not made of money (that's what banks are for!!) so it's cheaper to do it right once than a number of times wrong! I've seen lots of pics of broken 1/2 and 3/4 ton axles and it's often not the parts that the upgrades address that break. The problem I see with a D44 or 10-bolt front is the housing itself. The knuckles are much smaller than a D60 and so is the tubes, ring gear diameter, spindles, bearings, etc. Sure you can truss and gusset the housings but that's more money into the axle and it's still not as strong as a Dana 60.
    For the rear, I am a little less certain and this is where I would like advice. Where is the limit of use where you need a full-floater instead of a semi-floater. If you upgrade to a full-floater kit like Warn's, then is the axle strong enough? As I've stated before, I plan to tow with 36" tires and I would think that the ring gear diameter would be the big factor in what's strong enough and what's not. A 8.875 GM 12-bolt might be plenty strong to carry a Blazer on the trail with 35's but maybe the 10.5 inch ring gear is needed to tow with 36's or bigger?!?

    Sorry if this rambles but I'm dying with a flu and the mind tends to wander!!

    Brian
    Still in search of the TBI KING!!
     
  7. ken

    ken 1/2 ton status

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    Do it ONCE and do it RIGHT!! Save your money up and get a 14/60 combo. For that size tire, you'll always be "wondering" if you're gonna break something with the 38s you plan to run. Why not just eliminate all doubt? $2500 for a 14/60 is too much. I've bought complete used military CUCVs (84 K30 one ton 4x4s) for $1400, which comes with a Detroit 14 bolt and a Trac-Lok Dana 60 front with 4.56 gears. Shop around.

    ken
     
  8. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I think I'm gonna shop around a little more and figure this thing out. I really want 4.56 gears and Detroits f/r. So I may go ahead and build the rear axle now that way, and slap the stock 4.11 front in there minus driveshaft just to get me rolling and then see where I am money wise for the front. I've got about $3000 which has to take care of axles, driveshafts, transmission rebuild, 205 tcase, new gauges, and all that little stuff I know I'm forgetting. Thanks for all the advice and opinions. I'm still lost as to what to do, but I believe bulletproof is the way to go the first time. And I also forgot to mention that I tuff truck the Beast from time to time also. Dunno if those 36's and a 10 bolt would survive a 3 foot nose dive. Well appreciate it, I'll get back on here and look at the posts later.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Durant, Ok
    '79 Blazer in progress
     

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