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Front axle advice

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by dysphemism, Oct 30, 2001.

  1. dysphemism

    dysphemism 1/2 ton status

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    I am in need of a new front-end. My 38" swampers wear out the bearings and ball joints way too often for me to put up with any longer. I recently blew the rear 10-bolt and wanted to upgrade. I did not want to purchase new tires and wheels, so I attained a 14-bolt SF with a 6 lug pattern. It is plenty strong for me, however it leaves me in a tough situation as far as a stronger front-end. As a last resort I would swap in a Dana 60 and get a 15" rim with 8 lugs, if that will even work!? A Dana 44 6 lugger is another alternative but I am not sure how much added strength it would yield. Please give me your advice on where to go from here, as I am up a creek without a paddle!

    1986 GMC Jimmy 38" swampers, 14 bolt SF 6" springs, 3" body
     
  2. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    well, w/o grinding the brake calipers u need 16.5" rims for the D60. i *think* a d44 will hold up if it is built right & will accept 15" rims. but a d60 is a sure thing & just go to 16.5" rims IMHO

    -Zakk
    '77 K5 SB 400 TH350 NP203 p/t 6" Lift D60 14BFF 4.10's 36"Wrangler II's

    [​IMG] CK5's MOAB 2002 OR BUST!! [​IMG]
     
  3. K10ANDYKHAMNIC

    K10ANDYKHAMNIC 1/2 ton status

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    16.5 rims are no good for wheeling , period . they break the bead when aired down , unless u have beadlocks .

    WHATS WRONG WITH A 305 ?
    81 K10 GOODYEAR 35" MTRS
    TH350 NP 208
    O R D's axles
    NO BREAKAGE :)
     
  4. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Check out Offroad Design. They have parts to strengthen you 10 bolt. A D44 and a 10 bolt are pretty much equal in strengh. Either upgrade you 10B or get a D60. With 38's the D60 is the better choice. You can convert your 14BSF to 8 lug to match the D60. You can grind the calipers on the D60 that way you can use the 8 lug 15" rims and reuse you 38's. Otherwise you have to carry 2 spare tires.

    My Chevy isn't broken, its just out of gas.
     
  5. dysphemism

    dysphemism 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah I'd like to keep the 15" rims as my tires are new and will not be wearing out for another 2 years or more now that I have stopped 4wheeling due to college taking up all my time. I plan to have my truck on 40's next set of tires, so I need to find a new axle before even attempting to run 40s on a 10 bolt!
     
  6. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Yeah, there is no appreciable difference between a D44 and C10. And 38s on the front are going to seriously stress even a built up C10/D44 if you do even moderate wheeling. And, you can pretty much forget a locker up front without spitting out pieces of axle ever time you lock in. Without a locker, and using lots of finesse, you might keep it together for a while. Now, I this is just my opinion and there have been several debates on this point (do a search) but most agree that 38s are pushing beyond reasonable limits for those axles. IMHO, an 8 lug D44/C10 isn't going to help, all you really get is better brakes and 8 lugs...

    Now, about D60s (or 8 lug C10/D44) and wheels. 15" *steel* wheels will definitely fit with a little grinding on the caliper (and often the backing plate). How much grinding depends on the wheel design and backspacing. 16s will fit on any 8 lug front without grinding and you can even use most (all?) aluminum wheels. I have stock 16s on my K30 D60 right now. If you plan to air down, do NOT get 16.5s unless you enjoy changing tires or plan on using tirelock/beadlock systems. The only benefit of 16.5 is better selection and cheaper tires (than 16"). However, 15s are even better in both categories and will not blow a bead nearly as easily. Generally, using 15s and grinding is considered your best bet if going over 35" or so (due to cost and options).

    Oh, I wouldn't even consider running a dual pattern. One 38" spare is MORE than enough to deal with...

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Some day: 4" lift, 44" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  7. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    Just my $.02. You can get a 60 set up for 15" wheels without grinding and also have it converted to 6 lug but it is expensive. I have 15x10's with 4 1/8" backspacing on a 60 with the stock parts. Don't even ask about how much grinding I had to do.[​IMG] After grinding though the calipers still have more beef then a 10 bolt caliper.

    See <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Waynes-Toy>Project Mighty Mouse</a> here.
    <font color=blue>Wayne<font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>Happy Trails<font color=blue>
     
  8. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    You could buy my set of 8-lug axleshafts and drums for the SF (I just went 8-lug to 6-lug on one), use 3/4 ton outers on your front 10-bolt and run 8-lug steel 15" wheels all around. If you check around, you will find that these parts are very expensive.

    <font color=green>There's nothing like the smell of a rich V-8 in the morning...</font color=green>
     
  9. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    If you are really wearing out new Dana(Spicer) ball-joints, and Timken bearings. What are you doing ?
    I have put new parts as stated above, in both Dana 44's and Corp. 10 bolts.
    And whacted these Blazers/Trucks compete in Tuff Truck Compitions for many years now, and have yet to hear
    about wear/brakage of the above componets !
    Now if your takling about unkown used parts, well unfortantally you can't get the same wear as new parts
    can you ?
     
  10. dysphemism

    dysphemism 1/2 ton status

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    i abuse it until it doesnt work anymore basically. I once jumped it about 4 feet off the ground and dismounted the radiator. I broke the ball joints and 2 front right side shocks all at once when i hit a rock in the middle of a mud bog. so thats how those parts broke and it happens pretty often the way i abuse it.
     
  11. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    When you find the solution please post back !
    Good luck
     
  12. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    You definitely need a Dana 60 for that kinda wheelin. Don't bother spending money to upgrade the 10B just get a 60.

    My Chevy isn't broken, its just out of gas.
     
  13. dysphemism

    dysphemism 1/2 ton status

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    Ive decided to get a Dana 60 and now must begin the long road to obtaining one. Hopefully I'll find one within the next few months. Ill keep posted on how it truns out with 15" rims if I find one.
     
  14. White Knight

    White Knight 1/2 ton status

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    Judging from the way you describe your driving habits I would suggest a Tank, or a Armored Personnal Carrier, I would say a Humvee but I think you'd break that also.....Might offer up a suggestion pull your foot out of it and learn finesse instead of sheer brute power....good luck in finding a axle that'll hang for you...maybe a 5 ton Rockwell??????

    Still a very pissed-off
    White Knight
     
  15. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Or put a 2.5L 4 cyl in it! LOL!

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Some day: 4" lift, 44" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     

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