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Can a 10-bolt be tough?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Blue85, Sep 12, 2000.

  1. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    I know that they have a bad reputation, but can't 10-bolts be upgraded from Junk to semi-stout?

    First of all, the carrier needs to go. That's ok, we all wanted a locker anyway, so this isn't really additional money. So in goes an Auburn, Detroit, ARB, whatever is a strong replacement for the carrier.

    Now, since you are changing the carrier, the ring and pinion needs to be set up again. So at this point, the gears can be replaced at only the cost of the gears. Now you have strong gears (from your favorite gear manufacturer) and the ante is only up by about $200.

    Finally, we don't want to snap the axleshafts, so we throw in chrome-moly ones. This is about $250, I believe. Or you can just wait until you break one and do the upgrade then. In the meantime, just carry a $25 junkyard spare axleshaft with you to get you off the trail.

    So, we're up to $450 for a good 10-bolt. I didn't include the cost of the locker since you would spend that on another axle anyway. I know that this wouldn't be as good as a FF 14Bolt, but wouldn't it be close in strength to a SF 14Bolt? An 8-lug SF 14 would cost more than this souped up 10-Bolt since you also have to buy a new set of wheels ($250-$600). If you're able to find a 6-lug 14Bolt, the cost would probably be comparable.

    This is certainly better than a 12-bolt or a Dana 44
    What do you think?

    And what are you guys paying for Dana 60's, 12-bolts, 14-bolts (FF, SF, 6/8 lug) and Dana 44's?

    '85 JIMMY
    '90 paint/grill/trim 5"susp 33/12.5/16.5
    Fresh 350 B&M '87 TH700
     
  2. MONSTR44

    MONSTR44 Registered Member

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    I have 38,50 Swampers SX on my rig, and have no problems with 10 bolts rear and front.
    Blazer K-5 1983, 6" selfmade lift, 6.2 diesel Corp.Gov-Lock front and rear.
     
  3. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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    I'l be following this one close. I wonder about the 10 bolt axel-strenght to. Wanna ride with 35" but afraid I'l wind up with axleshaft's and wheel's flying off.

    http://www.espen88k5.coloradok5.com
     
  4. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    10 and 12 bolts can be beefed to handdle street use, my old 10-bolt rear (may it rest in piece) was fine for the street with my 35's, but when I started getting more and more into extreme trails it blew up on me. One thing I don't worry about now is the strength of my 14 ff, but I do have to carry Dana 44 axle shafts, I keep blowing the ujoints, I plan on going to a 60 at some point.

    [​IMG]
    5,000 Pounds of American Rolling Steel
     
  5. Steve_87K5

    Steve_87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Depends on usage. My friend bent the housing and the bearing failed and the axle walked
    out of the housing. K5 was loaded to 200% capacity, rubber bumpstops were no good, trail
    rough. I have seen FF kits for the 10 bolt but have no experience with them. We did a trail fix
    by making a temporary C clip and removing rear shaft.
    K5 made it back on front drive only. No problem.

    SteveB
     
  6. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    I've got 12 bolts front and rear, possi front and rear, 38" Super Swamper front and rear.
    In a tough truck contest I Jumped the Blazer at least 6 feet in the air. No problems !
     
  7. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    You probably have a Dana 44 front. There were never any 12 bolt fronts.
     
  8. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    I think that this all comes down to the fact that a stock 14 bolt is still stronger than a built up 10 bolt. Even if you upgrade the carrier, axle shafts and make it a full floater, the ring gear will still be a weak link. If you really want a rig that you can drive hard, go for the Dana 60/14 bolt combo from the start. If I'm going to spend money in this area, it will be on getting strong axles to start with and not building up something that may still fail on you. Just like engines, you can get all the horsepower you want out of the smallest engine if you throw money at it, but a bigger engine will last longer at the same power output levels.
     
  9. Brians 60s

    Brians 60s 1/2 ton status

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    Can a 10 bolt be tough?? HHMM Does a chicken have Lips??

    MUDNUT
     
  10. nyyef

    nyyef 1/2 ton status

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    Executioner, jumping 6' in the air, with no problems?! what is your suspension setup?

    Knife.
    knife.coloradok5.com
     
  11. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    When I firs bouoght my Jimmy it had 10bolts front and rear and a Gov-lok in the rear....

    I ran 35" DTR's for about 4 years with a 4" lift and wheeled it about 4-5 times a week hard. I only had one problem with the rear breaking and I believe that would have happened with a 14FF also..
    See what happened was I was leading the trail when it narrowed and I was too busy watch the 5 ft drop off on my right when the left front dove into a 4ft hole and the whole a$$ end of the blazer went into the air and I came within inches of total flipping forward. Well when that happened I flew forward in my seat and my foot mashed down on the gas flooring it(i was a bad boy and not wearing my seatbelt). I was in 2wd so only the rear tires were spinning(at abouot 5K rpm). As the blazer came back down on the ground I still had my foot planted on the gas and the tires met the ground while it was floored.

    My buddy heard a *snap* and when he went to hook up the chai to the rear spring chackle he had to reach up to get it(he is about 6 ft 3" tall)..

    The only thing I broke during this was an axleshaft, everything else was fine. I replaced the axle once I found one and I wheeled that rear for about another 2 years with no problems.

    My Blazer is wheeled hard and that is the only problem I ever had with my 10 bolts! It think a 14FF would have broke in the same way!



    Mike [​IMG]
    See <font color=green>EMMETT</font color=green> -&gt; http://emmett.coloradok5.com
     
  12. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I've always supported the 10-bolt axles. With the proper modifications and reasonable use, it should be able to survive. I currently run a rear 10-bolt with a Detroit Tru-Trac, aftermarket 4.10 gears, and 30-spline heavy duty aftermarket axleshafts.
    I ran 33x12.50's for about 3 years and have now been running 35x12.50's for about 8 months. The truck goes on serious fourwheeling trips about once per month and I have had no problems so far (knock on wood). To give you an idea of how hard some of the trails are, I have snapped two front axle u-joints in the last 5 months.
    In my opinion a built 10-bolt can be as strong or stronger than a stock 12-bolt. The 30 spline shafts in the newer 10-bolts are the same size as the 12-bolts and a new carrier like a Detroit is stronger than a stock 12-bolt carrier (in my opinion only), but you are still limited to the size of the ring gear. Because of that I don't think a built 10-bolt could be as strong as a stock s/f 14-bolt, though MAYBE the chromoly axles and Detroit in the 10 might be comparable to the stock s/f 14-bolt parts.
    There seem to be several guys in magazines or internet sites who are into "hardcore" wheeling that like the smaller rear axles. The project Blazer on the 4x4review.com site supposedly went quite a while with a 28 spline 10-bolt that was stock except for a Lock-Rite (which I would think would be the worst combination to run when it comes to strength) and running 35" tires before breaking an axleshaft. The project Blazer in Fourwheeler also kept a rear 10-bolt that was fully built, and it was running a well built diesel (aftermarket turbo, etc.) and 35" tires. Steve Watson at ORD also swapped out the f/f 14 for a 12-bolt on his green Jimmy, though I don't know if he's had any breakage with it.
     
  13. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    I agree and the 10 bolt has an 8.5" ring gear while 12 bolt has a 8 7/8" ring gear. How much added strength is that 3/8"??? (did I do my math correctly??)

    Mike [​IMG]
    See <font color=green>EMMETT</font color=green> -&gt; http://emmett.coloradok5.com
     
  14. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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    "can't 10-bolts be upgraded from Junk to semi-stout?"

    Yeah, if you have a V-6 and no locker. Otherwise stick to driving on the street to/from work. Everything is a tradeoff. Weight, ground clearance, cost, strength, etc. For every little bit further you want to go, it takes more money. Like a drag-car, the difference between running 9's and 8's is much greater than 13's and 12's.

    My first word of advice for anyone starting out on a buildup is to LOSE YOUR ATTACHMENT TO SIX HOLE WHEELS! That will solve so many problems. Now, almost anything you find will be strong enough no matter if it's Ford, dodge, GM, international, etc.

    Sorry for the yelling. I'm tired of 6-hole wheels and the dumb problems associated with them. Unfortunately not everyone has enough fore-sight to plan a buildup down to the wheel choice.

    Squash
    http://www.trailrunners4x4.org/users/realsquash
     
  15. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    At that time it was Trailmaster 4" lift springs in the front, with Trailmaster 2" traction lift(kinda like ladder bars)
    the rear was a big block, and Rancho Kicker Schocks. Dual RS5000's at all four corners. Full 5500lbs, I think
    the trick was tire air pressure, if I remeber right is was like 14 +/- 2 psi.
     
  16. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Yup, it was a 12 bolt up front.
     
  17. Shawn

    Shawn 1/2 ton status Premium Member Author

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    I've have yet to see any 12 bolt fronts. Have any pictures of this front 12 bolt myth???

    My old 10 bolt broke twice (once with LS and without LS) with 31" tires. My father broke a C clip and the entire tire and axle shaft came out going down the road. Also seen and heard many other 10 bolts break just from street use. Maybe it's bad luck...

    Shawn
    87 K5
    few mods
     
  18. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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    People routinely break pinions and front shafts on 10 bolts just getting into a place where I have gotten stuck. It is very bad with a mechanical locker (detroit, lockright, etc). Just this year, a fellow club member has broken front shafts (D44) 3 times, that last time it was a Warn super-duper shaft. And it's all on just slippery-trail riding, not even in the mud or rocks! He used to have a 60 w/o problems up front, but the weight bothered him and he switched. Too bad for him.

    Squash
    http://www.trailrunners4x4.org/users/realsquash
     
  19. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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  20. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    Let's see a picture of it!
     

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