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frame and axle specs

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by freeflow, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. freeflow

    freeflow 1/2 ton status

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    Im looking for a newer truck for my DD and tow rig. Im looking at either a 90's chevy extended cab short bed or a 94-98 dodge ram extended cab short bed. I would like to get a diesel but not sure if i wanna spend the extra coin. The heaviest thing it would tow is my 84 suburban-if i turn it into a trail rig on a trailer

    What are the diffrences in the 1/2 and 3/4 tons for them years of trucks? is it just axles and brakes?

    or are the frames diffrent?
     
  2. tarussell

    tarussell 1/2 ton status

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    Yes there are differences in the frames and suspensions between 3/4 & 1/2 tons.

    GM has two basic designs in the years that you are looking at . A half-ton and a light duty three-quater ton are very similar frame wise. The LD 3/4 ton will have slightly stouter spring pack and larger brakes on the rear axle . The rear axle is also a semi=floater 14 bolt that is usually found with six lugs.
    There is also a HD 3/4 ton version that has a frame very close to spec's of a 1-ton chassis. This version has much stouter spring packs and larger brakes in the rear along with larger front brakes/bearings and such. This style truck can come either semi-floater or full floater - both having eight lugs. Obviously the HD 3/4 ton should be you choice for towing a Suburban.

    As for the Dodges the same type of options exist. The LD 3/4 ton dodges of early years offered a semi-floater version of the 9-1/4" half ton axle with eight lugs . This axle is gay - gay -gay and should not be considered for towing duties.

    The HD 3/4 ton Dodges are fairly good but come with a varity of rear axles. All of them are full-floaters and Dana 60's are usually found in gas burner trucks - the Dana 70's are found in automatic equiped diesel and V-10 trucks and finally a Dana 80 is found under standard tranny diesel's and V-10 trucks.
    Rear spring rates vary greatly on Dodge trucks so each truck will have to be looked at instead of a blanket answer - some are very stout while others are just enough to get the job done but all full floater Dodges are capable if the engine is right for the job.

    HTH's Tom
     
  3. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I recently bought a 1998.5 Dodge 2500 Cummins. The truck stock has a good amount of power. More power can be had for not alot of cash either. For a towrig that might see some heavy hauling I wouldn't even consider a 1/2 ton Chevy or Dodge. There tranny's are suspect at best for heavy hauling. 3/4 ton is the minimum especiallly if you plan to haul a Burb around.

    For a Chevy I would try and find a 3/4 ton with a 454. For a Dodge I would say a 3/4 with a diesel. The Diesel will get better mileage, tow better then a 454, and last longer then a 454.

    Dodge didn't offer 3/4 ton shortbeds until 98 at the very earliest and those can be very hard to find especially in diesel.
     
  4. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    GM didn't do a real 3/4-ton shortbed until the late 90's also... and no full-floater unless you got the 454 or 6.5TD - or stepped up to a 1-ton. Hard to find a 5-speed also.

    Hopefully Dodge was more liberal with the full-floaters and 5-speeds. ;)
     
  5. JpEater

    JpEater 1/2 ton status

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    Just put a Cummins in the Suburban and then have one insurance payment! I saw a guy a while back in a 1 ton mid 80's Chevy towing 3 cars on a wedge trailer and heard that unmistakable Cummins sound. Stopped and talked to him and he had swapped in a 12V Cummins. It rocked!
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    When you get the 5 spd in a Dodge you get the D80 rear. That was one of the major perks of having the 5spd for me. I like the 5 spd better and I like the fact that I have the big boy Diff outback.

    Harley
     

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