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D44 axle shafts

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 70~K5, May 7, 2002.

  1. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    Will the stronger axle shafts from a '73 up 1/2 ton D44 swap into a '72 3/4 ton D44? Or do I need to find a set from a 3/4 ton D44?
     
  2. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    You can use any D44 shafts. The 73- shafts are actually preferable because they use the larger 297 u-joint as opposed to the 260's that the pre-73 ones use.
     
  3. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Yup, I second that....
     
  4. JIMs70K25

    JIMs70K25 1/2 ton status

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    Hub design plays no part correct? In regards to internal or external. I too would like to upgrade my axle u-joints from the 260 to 297.
     
  5. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    Same here my current setup has external locking hubs. Are the shafts still the same as internal locking hubs?
     
  6. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    The only hub difference that matters is auto vs manual hubs. The auto hub shafts have one extra snap ring grove on them.

    To use the newer 297 shafts all you have to change is the spindle seal. The kit that I got had a metal ring that made the old axle look like the newer one and so they both use the same seal but the older ones have to use the ring (and the newer ones throw it away). The p/n is BK1 (SKF brand) for that kit.
     
  7. JIMs70K25

    JIMs70K25 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks!
     
  8. Steve_Chin

    Steve_Chin 1/2 ton status

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    To add to the confusion, some late '72s supposedly got axles with the 297X universal joints. At least, that's according to Randy's Ring and Pinion.
     
  9. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    My 72 had them (297)when I bought my rig and as far as I could tell when I rebuilt my D44 ALL the parts looked stock. I don't know for sure thouh...
     
  10. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    How wide are the 297s compared to the 260s? I'd be able to measure without taking it apart I think. My front is out of a '72 K20, don't know if it was early or late '72.
     
  11. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I don't know the measuremnts but you can tell the larger one from the smaller one with out pulling the axel.
    Go to a parts house with your rig and ask for a Spicer 5-297x Ujoint and you should beable to hold it next to the axel in your front and tell that way..
    Good luck
     

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