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Changing to 1-ton diffs, some ?'s on shock and spring locations (long)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by chevyin, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. chevyin

    chevyin 1/2 ton status

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    Hey guys. I have a 1973 K5 Blazer. Im switching out the 12bolt/Dana44 for a 14boltFF/Dana60 combo out of a 1984 chevy 1-ton4x4 (K30...?). Ive recently come to the realization my 84 axles have the wrong spring perch spacing. IIRC the 14bolt has 41 to 41-1/2" spacing while the 12bolt we took off has a 42" spcing and the truck seems to have about 43". I realize the perches need to be ground off and re-welded, my questions are this:

    1) Is there is a simlar problem in the front switching out to the Dana60? Everything Ive read suggests its a direct swap, but again until recently I thought the 14bolt in the rear was too. If there is a difference, Im not sure what the fix will be as the spring literally bolts to the D60's housing in one place (rather than the 4th U-bolt), so Im assuming its a direct bolt-on replacement, but is my assumption correct?

    2) My other question is about shock placement. From researching here, Im understanding I also need to relocate my shock mounts. First off, can anyone confirm this? Second, since Im moving the shock mounts anyway (I assume), should I be doing anything... special? Ive considered dual shocks, since Im mounting a new bracket anyway. I figure thats alot of the hard work either way, why not go duals, or mount them in a more ideal location/position. I have to admit I like the dual shocks in the back in the V position, seems it would help wheel hop/axle wrap maybe, and perhaps towing. Or maybe just singles... but then should I move them to the stock location... or something else? Any insight in these areas would be appreicated. :)

    3) Pinion angle. Im putting an 8" Skyjacker spring lift in the truck also. The springs came with little angle blocks at the bottom, I assume for compensating pinion angle. Is this angle exactly what I need to set my pinion angle back to where it should be (assuming stock t-case location... which mine isn't... but for simplicity of the discussion here)..? Should I consider setting my pinion angle via relocation of the spring perches instead, or just use this angle block? I must add Im also changing out th drivetrain, including the engine, tranny and t-case, and will be ordering new driveshafts once its all together and measurable, so while setting pinion angle by the perches seems like a more elegant solution than a shim block, it also adds a complication of timing in that I need this put together to change over to the 'drive-train sub-project' (who knew finding a good deal on 1-ton axles at the local junkyard would turn into a project of this complexity lol). In short, I need some expert guidance to send me down the right path at this point.

    4) Should I figure on re-using the stock spring perches, or should I look into something aftermarket? Same with the shock mounts. If going dual, obviously I'll have to get some sort of brackets (or make them), I assume ORD or someone makes some good brackets for this? What about if I should go single shocks, stock brackets relocated, or some aftermarket ones(if there is such a thing)..?

    Basically that's it. If you've made it this far into the post, thankyou. lol :D If you guys can answer any or all of those questions, or if you see where Im coming from here and have any advice, I would appreciate it. TIA.

    And keep Chevyin.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2005
  2. OLD DAWG

    OLD DAWG 1/2 ton status

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    I can answer the 1st one for you. The 1ton spacing is different than 3/4 or 1/2ton. Although the spacing is the same between a 1ton and a pre73. As far as the front 60 it is basically a bolt in but generally will require a different u-joint. Also you might want to consider going to cross-over steering when using a lift >4" to make the steering a little more consistent. But that's just my 2 cents. :o
     
  3. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    front needs new ubolts and bolt in. then rear 1 ton is 40.5 on center and your 1/2-3/4 ton is 42.5 on center. need to move the mounts for shocks and springs. or find a 3/4 ton housing and swap gears to fit from the 1 ton.
     
  4. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    I'd hunt down a 14 Bolt FF from a 3/4 ton, they run from about $100 to $150. You'll probably spend more than that retrofitting your 1 ton 14 Bolt to fit. Forget the dual shocks, you'll hate the ride, especially with an 8" lift. I have a 14 Bolt FF with 4:10 gears from a 3/4 ton ... if yours is a single rear wheel 14 bolt, I'll swap you. But, you gotta come to San Francisco!

    Don't forget the parking brake set up. There were several different set ups over the years. You'll have a few more parts you'll need to dig up if you're putting 84 gear on a 73. Pull the parking brake cable off that 84 in the wrecking yard ... or pick up my 1974 14 Bolt, the brake set up should be the same :D

    Front D60 is the easy part of this equation, bolts right in. You'll need new brake line (go with the 84 1 ton lines). It's a single rear wheel D60 ... right? (Just checking!)

    Good Luck,

    Eric M.
     
  5. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    Surprised no-one mentioned the other thing.....1 tons have the shock mounts on one side of the axle while a 3/4 ton will have them on opposite sides like a half ton.......so changing shock mounts is not a surprise.

    My 3/4 ton 14 bolt was a direct bolt in. Even used the same lines to the drums as my 10 bolt did.
     
  6. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I made a beefy set of spring perches for a 14ff that i ended up not using. I'm willing to sell them to you if you're interested. I can dig them out and take pics later if you wish, they're made of 2.5" x .250" wall square box tubing and are a bit longer and have 3 center pin holes to allow you to move axle 1" or 1.5" forward or backward depending on which way you install them on the axle before welding them up. $60.00 shipped to you.
     
  7. chevyin

    chevyin 1/2 ton status

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    Sweet thanks for the info guys. Old dawg, Ive already purchased an X-over steering kit for the truck (Shakerbuilt), just haven't gotten to the point its ready to be installed (doing rear first, then front).

    I have the new U-bolts for the front already, I just hadn't checked the spacing to see if this was going to be a problem with the D60 as well.

    Eric, I appreciate the offer to swap, but I already have this thing painted/POR'd, and its just a matter of moving the spring perches, Im just gonna use this one. Id have to swich out gears if we traded also, Im running 4.56's. Thankyou though. :) When you ask single rear wheel, if you mean was it a dually, no it was not. It was a non-dually 1-ton 4x4 Chevy K30 piuck-up, ext cab/long bed with a in-line 6 and manual tranny. I saw the truck before the diffs were removed, but unfortunately that truck is long gone now, probably crushed. Im not very concerned about a P-brake. The thing is gonna be automatic (turbo 400) so I wont ever really need the P-brake. I dont think I mentioned earlier, but Im doing the disc-brake conversion on the 14FF using the Dana44 calipers, so Ive already lost P-brake, but like I said, dont really want/need it. Thanks for the heads up though. The brake lines Ive already purchased, from Skyjacker. I got the extended lines for the 8" lift kit, but iirc I could not just get the 1-ton lines because the lines on my truck are 1/2-ton. IIRC I had to get special lines, which Skyjacker did offer. I dont remember exactly off the top of my head now, but I have em here somewhere (my dining room is packed full of truck parts).

    Thanks for mentioning the shock mounts. Okay I guess that's a yes, they MUST be moved. :) Can you guys suggest how to find the correct location for them? I mean, is their exact location on the tube critical? I have a vote against dual shocks, any others? ;) I know dual shocks stiffen the ride, but I wonder if it would be bad just doing the rear. Like I said before, I like the idea of the V duals as it seems it would help with axle wrap/wheel hop/etc (maybe...?). And honestly, Im not sure a stiffer ride would be abad thing. Ive been in some lifted trucks with some pretty nasty sway to them before. I dont know, cant decide what to do here. lol I have the Skyjacker Nitro shocks now, you guys think Id be better off going with single shocks and just upgrading to some nicer external reservoir units later on?

    Thanks for the replies so far guys. Keep em coming.
     
  8. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Was this meant for me? Do you want the spring perches? If so let me know and give me a shipping addy and you can paypal me the money and i will get you pics first before doing anything.
     
  9. chevyin

    chevyin 1/2 ton status

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    I might be interested in those perches, they sound nice. :) If you could post some pics or PM them to me, that would be great. Thanks.

    Keep on Chevyin.
     
  10. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    You have pics in e-mail. :thumb:
     
  11. chevyin

    chevyin 1/2 ton status

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    Cool thanks 4X4HIGH, I'll look at them and get back to you a bit later. :)
     

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