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C-clipped axles

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Leadfoot, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I have not had to deal with a C-clipped axle in a truck before thanks to my previous rigs being full floaters front and back, but I am looking at a mint 78 K10 pickup with 10 bolts front and rear. The front is a full-float design, but the back uses C-clips. It has been babied, but was used for plowing. The axle has never been touched except to do brakes, diff fluid change, and outer bearings. The differential is what it was in 78. My question is do C-clip axles have a "life span", i.e. wear out after x amount of miles. I know bigger tires, burnouts, airtime, lockers, etc. will kill axles (especially c-clipped ones) quicker. I just don't want the axle to unexpectedly come out on me one day with the wheel attached. Is there anything to check for when pulling the cover or do i have to pull the axles to check and what should I be looking for. I know to check the c-clip for obvious wear as well as the axle, but is there any specs (i.e. C-clip thickness or axle groove thickness). Sorry I know this isn't your average everyday stuff, but I was hoping somebody would know. Thanks in advance,
    Chris

    See my rig at <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot> click here </a>
     
  2. bigmack

    bigmack 1/2 ton status

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    Leadfoot, C-clip axles (10&amp;12 bolts) in my experience will live a long and happy life if they are not excessively abused. I have had one or the other for the past several years and the only ones that I had any problems with were the ones in my 4x4 before I went to a 14ff. I don't know what the thickness should be for the c-clips but just for the sake of doing it you could go to a dealership &amp; but new ones, they shouldn't be more than 2 or 3 bucks each.

    '80 K10 350/350/NP205/14B/10B/4.10/4"Lift/Q78-Buckshots
     
  3. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    After 100K miles or so, it's not a bad idea to pull the shafts out from time to time and look at the area where the wheel bearing rides on the axle shaft. The shaft itself is actually the inner race for the bearing rollers. When you see that area start to pit, it's time to start shopping... [​IMG] While you have them out, also see if the splines are getting twisted at all. If so, then replace them ASAP. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  4. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with the fellows here. Nothing real bad on c-clip rears. If strength is an issue there are a few easy ways to crutch up one. Steel caps, a reinforcing diff cover, and/or arp arrier studs all will help with gear deflection. Other then that pick up a couple new c-clips and a couple aftermarket axle shafts and bearings. I definetly see no reason a semi-floating axle can't survive within reason. Just remember the R&amp;P size is gonna be your weakest link after you secure up the axle shaft/c-clips/bearing issue, so all the better reason to prevent the deflection issue.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    How well it will hold up really depends on how you drive it. I managed to rip teeth off the ring gears of 3 12-bolt rear ends in as many years under a 77 Blazer that I used to own. Maybe my username should be Leadfoot! [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  6. K5Jimmy

    K5Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Thinkin' an original 78 should have the 12B rear.....simple upgrade is to go to Moly axle shafts (Moser 1340H) in either 10B or 12B.....pinion bearing is a weak point, as is the Gov-loc......the C-clip itself is rarely the source of the problem to the best of my knowledge.....

    Stuck?...Hell no..I still got some gas left..
     
  7. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    i got 38.5's and a 12 bolt, and i dont tke it easy on the rears, and she hasnt grenaded yet, and i havent even thought to worry about it. i attribute it to open diffs and the wrong gears

    beligerence doesn't justify intelligence.
    <font color=blue>wheelers hate posers.</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>79k15/400/700r4/205/38.5</font color=red>
     
  8. kool

    kool Registered Member

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    I've got a Camaro and an Elcamino that I race or romp on. Both have c-clips in them with no problems. I replaced the Camaro rear end and reused the c-clips. The guy that I have rebuild rear- ends and trannys says that if there's more than a 20 thousanth of an inch groove or wear, than throw them and get new ones , there cheap. Thay will last a long time. What about c-clip eliminaters if your worried ?
     
  9. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    C-clip eliminators are a no-no on the street! They are bad news once you stop gooing dtrainght and start turning.

    Also note the 12B rears in cars is stronger than the truck rears.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     

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