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dilema, axle upgrades

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Jonny-K5, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    so here is the deal, ive got some insurance settlement money, and my rear 10 bolt is clunking when i put it in gear so i need to have some work done to it. so what should i do? my options are:

    1)re-gear both 10 bolts to either 4.10 or 4.56

    2)install the 4.10 14bff that i have in the back yard (needs new perches, spring mounts,spring plates and u-bolts) and re gear the front to match, machine the rear hubs and run 6 to 8 adapters to keep my rims and tires.

    i cant decide which way to go, everyone always says dont spend any money on 10bolts, but the 14bff seems overkill for me now. im running 33's. maybe 35's in the distant future but i doubt it, i dont want to lift any higher and i dont want to cut the fenders, the truck is too cherry. if i do go with the 14b then im stuck with the 4.10 and im not sure if i'd rather have 4.56.i've looked at the gear tables alot and still cant decide. i have a 700r4 and like to cruise around 70-75.

    what would you guys do? sorry for the long post!
     
  2. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    the question is why do you have a 14bolt in your backyard?
     
  3. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    old work truck(77' 2wd 1 ton), dismantled and kept the rear axle. accually in the back of the yard at work
     
  4. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    If you don't offroad much a 10 bolt rear axle can survive. If you have or plan on a big motor, big tires (35+) then get that 10 bolt out. Get a 12 bolt, 14bsf, or even the 14bff.

    I run 14bff w/4.56's and 35's. Prior to the 35's I ran 32's on the 14bff. If you like to cruise at 75 with 33's (which probably won't measure true 33") then 4.10's would be a better choice. If you want 35's then 4.56's are the way to go. This is with a 700R4 though. This won't apply well to anything other then a 700R4.

    Harley
     
  5. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 700R4, 35's and 4.56 and I wish I went lower. My engine is happiest at 75 mph+, but my truck doesn't handle like a sportscar, so I'd rather cruise at 70 and 4.88's or 5.13s would have been the way to go.

    If you don't offroad much the lack of clearance on the 14ff isn't really much of an issue. Without OD, 4.10s and 33's could be the ticket.

    Of course if you're re-gearing two axles, why not re-gear the 14ff as well?
     
  6. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know why everyone makes a big deal about running 8-lug wheels /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    Just run mixed wheels until the front needs a complete brake job - then upgrade the front to 8-lug. Then sell off the fancy 6-lug wheels and buy fancy 8-lug wheels.

    There was a local guy who did this. Swapped in a D60 dually front axle, with the dually wheels, and still ran his bling-bling aluminum wheels on the back with the stock 12-bolt. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Besides... my last 14bFF swap cost me a whopping $180 all told. $150 for the rear end, and $30 for new hub seals and two hard lines.

    As cheap as a 14bFF is, it may not even be worth changing the perches - just hunt for one that has the perch spacing and ratio combination you need.
     
  7. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Of course if you're re-gearing two axles, why not re-gear the 14ff as well?


    [/ QUOTE ]
    i was thinking about that after i posted the question. i will probly go that route.
    [ QUOTE ]
    Just run mixed wheels until the front needs a complete brake job - then upgrade the front to 8-lug. Then sell off the fancy 6-lug wheels and buy fancy 8-lug wheels.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    that is an option, but if i got a flat then im screwed. im trying to keep the cost to a min. since i have a tight budget.
    [ QUOTE ]
    As cheap as a 14bFF is, it may not even be worth changing the perches - just hunt for one that has the perch spacing and ratio combination you need.



    [/ QUOTE ]
    well i already own a 14bff, and its alot harder to find one that is a 3/4 ton and has lower(4.56) gears.

    this is what im thinking now. install the 14bolt with the 4.10's and see how i like it,i just wont be able to put it in 4wd. if i want to go lower i will get both axles done, if not just the front.
    One problem i have now~ how do i make the e-brake work? the axle is from a 76 i think. also, will 15 alloy wheels fit over one ton drums?
     
  8. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Ya, I agree with you on the wish I had went lower. I plan on 38's later, and I won't have enough gear for them. If I had known what I know now I would have regeared down to at least 4.88. 5.13's are probably the ticket for me, but it is too late now.

    I do know that 4.56's and 32's wasn't to bad. The only thing I didn't like was the kickdown at 70-75 mph. It pushes a little to many RPM for me. A true 33" tire might not be bad, but 32's (actually 31") was a little to low gearing.

    Harley
     
  9. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    The alloys will probably fit over a rear drum. But alloys won't fit over the front when you convert it to 8 lug.

    You can also buy a wheel adapter so you don't have to convert the front axle over to 8 lug. Just put the adapter on the back axle to make it 6 lug.
     
  10. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    how do i make the e-brake work?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Use 83-up backing plates on the 14FF... they use the "snap-in" style cable like your '89. Backing plates from an 83-up 14SF will also do the job - you'd just be limited to 2.5" wide shoes/drums. (Only 1-ton plates let you use the 3.5" wide stuff.)

    My buddy has a '76 K20 that has factory 4.56 gearing. Looks like it was an option on 3/4-tons right through '78. Like you said, its probably harder to find, but when you're on a tight budget, you gotta look harder too! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Unless you can can do the work yourself, moving spring perches and shock mounts will run more $$$ than buying the right one.

    My buddy had 15x8" steel spoke wheels on his 14b with the 13" drums. Not sure what his backspacing was - but it looked fairly "normal".
     
  11. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Maybe it's easiest to consider what you have to change with each scenario:

    It sounds like your existing 10-bolts might be 3.73s or worse, since you're talking about regearing to at least 4.10

    So for EVERY scenario, you are paying to re-gear axles


    ($$ ____________ Insert local costs for labor, parts, etc here.....)


    The 14BFF you have doesn't really get you anything you need....it still has the wrong gears, and reduces your ground clearance with the small-ish tires you plan to run. Also, it introduces the whole 8-lug wheel problem that you currently don't have.

    ($$$____________ Insert costs to re-gear, buy 8-Lug wheels, and convert front axle to 8-Lug) /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif



    Personally, if you know that you're REALLY not going larger than 35's ever.....I'd just look around for a cheap 10-bolt that someone else is getting rid of, re-gear it and slap it under. Re-gear the front when you have the extra money (take the front driveshaft out in the meantime to avoid expensive noises!) /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif


    I think your situation perfectly captures the "temptation" of upgrades. Your truck is probably perfectly setup for the tire size you want, with good clearance under the pumpkin. Most of the "upgrades" you could do will add weight and reduce that clearance AND cost you more money than a more conventional fix.



    Just my $.02

    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I think your situation perfectly captures the " <font color="red"> temptation </font> " of upgrades. Your truck is probably perfectly setup for the tire size you want, with good clearance under the pumpkin. Most of the "upgrades" you could do will add weight and reduce that clearance AND cost you more money than a more conventional fix.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    very true. thank you for the advise. its really easy to stray from what i actually need. its also very refreshing to hear something besides "dont spend ANY money on a 10bolt!,there junk! go find some 1 tons!" Especially from someone who accually has 1-tons.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Personally, if you know that you're REALLY not going larger than 35's ever.....I'd just look around for a cheap 10-bolt that someone else is getting rid of, re-gear it and slap it under.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    instead of finding another 10 bolt for cheap and re gear it, , why dont i just have the axles under my truck re geared? the PO blew up the gov diff and went to a tru trac and new 28 spline axles . it just has too much backlash or somthing, besides having 3.73.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Re-gear the front when you have the extra money (take the front driveshaft out in the meantime to avoid expensive noises!)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    if im just re gearing the axles i have i have enuf money in the budget. but if i did just do the rear, i wouldnt have to remove the driveshaft with my 241 and locking hubs right? just keep it out of 4wd and keep the hubs unlocked.

    thanks again greg72. you have brought a slice of common sense to my temptation driven mind. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  13. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    OK,

    I figured the existing axle was wasted completely....if it's repairable (and re-gearable) then just do that. (A lot less work than pulling out a 10-bolt and putting in ANOTHER 10-bolt! ) /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    My comment about the front driveshaft was only semi-serious. Obviously, if you never put the truck in 4WD...no problem. The problem comes if you have a moment of forgetfulness, or maybe lend your truck to someone who isn't aware that you have two different gear ratios in the axles. Removing the front driveshaft just adds a "safety margin" until you can get the rest of the upgrade completed.

    Temptation is a bad thing. I have to say honestly, that after going 1-Ton, I'm still trying to get my truck to drive as nicely on the street as it used to with 1/2-Ton axles and 35's. Of course OFF ROAD it's no contest, the new setup is way better.... but 1-Ton isn't all roses and poetry, that's for sure. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  14. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you plan to wheel this truck or pull a trailer or...? This makes a diff when deciding what axle to use. A FF14B would be great if you plan to use this truck to tow with. If you are going to wheel it, you've just added a boat anchor unless you will soon be adding a 36" or taller tire. If you are staying w/ a radial 35x12.50 or smaller on an alum rim AND you removed the bad part of the 10B (gov-lock) just keep it and gear to match your tire size.
     
  15. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    i see what you mean about the front driveshaft, i think im just gonna regear em both and get it over with tho.. my truck is a daily driver and i only go offroad a few times a year, so onroad peformance is as important as offroad at this time.thanks again for your help. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    what brand should i go with for gears? ive heard some people having noise issues.
    anyone used 4wpw for gear swaps? they seem to do it all there, but every time ive gone there for small things(shocks,bushings etc.) they give me the wrong stuff and it takes three trips to get the right parts. big PITA
    i might give them a shot tho.I've heard they do the swaps pretty cheap. what do ya guys think?
     

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