Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

GM's reasoning??

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by tiger9297, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. tiger9297

    tiger9297 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Posts:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Put my wheel spacer's on last week. Truck looks so much better. Does anyone know GM's reasoning for making the rear axle 3 in. narrower than the front? I can't imagine what engineering justification there would be for this.
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2000
    Posts:
    36,188
    Likes Received:
    1,396
    Location:
    E-town baby!
    Better turning radius maybe?:)


    Rene
     
  3. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Posts:
    20,073
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salem, Or.
    I don't know if this is true or not, but I've heard they did this to 4wd's to help the vehicle track better. Like I said, no idea if this is true or not tho.
     
  4. tiger9297

    tiger9297 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Posts:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    I guess a narrower axle might help there but seems to me that the wheelbase will effect turning radius and not axle width. I don't know. I figured it might have to do with the production of another vehicle that used that axle and for cost reasons they just used it on the K5 as well. I have no idea.
     
  5. 79Beast

    79Beast 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Posts:
    1,155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    Seems like I read in a magazine some time back that rear axles are made narrower for driveability purposes. Something about tracking better going down the road as well as steering better. If I was at home, I'd dig into the "archives" and spend a few hours researching it.
     
  6. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Posts:
    9,097
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    california
    Thats what I always thought. They must have there reasons because they did it for a LOT of years to a LOT of different trucks.
     
  7. XHitman396

    XHitman396 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Posts:
    620
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
    well cant say ive heard this before, is it on ALL k5's?
     
  8. TrcksR4ME

    TrcksR4ME 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Posts:
    2,482
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA 98103
    How about this, what is the reason to make the rear wider than stock besides "looks"?

    And you can't imagine the engineering justification because you are not an engineer...nor am I. I just have to figure there is a reason, and they built them like this for many many years. I doubt someone just flipped a coin and decided to make em that way.
    __________________
    '77 K5, Warn M8000, 402/350/203, 44/14bff, 4"/36" Irok's

    http://www.krazyk5.com

    http://community.webshots.com/user/trcksr4me
    http://community.webshots.com/user/trcksr4me2
     
  9. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Posts:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Almost every single ladder fram vehicle is built this way. It helps tracking (rear end will skid back to center before it is outside of the front) and makes for a better trurning raduis (as far a the measured number goes) given the same wheelbase.
     
  10. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2001
    Posts:
    8,905
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    central IL
    and not just K-5's lol
     
  11. ncbloodhound

    ncbloodhound 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Posts:
    400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indian Trail, NC
    It is a lot easier to drive in sand with the rear wheel tracking in the same rut has the front, IMO. We went to the Outer Banks and the rear end was sliding in and out of the ruts all week long. I hated that. I figured the shorter rear axle was the culprit.
     
  12. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Posts:
    10,453
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I'm not an engineer but I'm going to school for it in the fall. :D AZ-K5 is right. Imagine a motorcycle with the same wheelbase as a K5 (start laughing anytime) and only being able to turn the front tire at the same degree. As far as the measured number goes, it would have a smaller turning radius than the truck because the tire is in the center of the vehicle. The closer to center you get in the rear, the smaller the turning radius becomes, although the benefits are only marginal. Also, it is somewhat of a weird safety feature. If you lose traction in 2wd and the rear end of the truck starts coming around, it's more likely to straighten out with a narrower rear width. Like I said, the benefits of these things are marginal, and personally I think it was a stupid call on GM's part, but very few people use their trucks like we do. Besides, that's what a van width 14 bolt is for. :D
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,982
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Roy WA
    The opposite is true in snow though, as fresh snow will give you better traction than the ruts/compact snow the fronts are making. With that said, I doubt it has anything to do with performance except turning radius (or something we all have no clue about) as it doesn't make sense to sacrifice performance in one environment for another, if both are equally likely to be driven in.

    If anything, it probably saved GM $.12 in metal on every narrow axle assembly they made. :)

     
  14. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Posts:
    3,254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Castro Valley, CA
    Its on k5s, trucks, all of them.
     
  15. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Posts:
    10,453
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I'm not trying to get into an argument here, but I live in MN so I guess I'm a little biased. I'd be willing to bet that manufacturers are more likely to look at vehicle handling characteristics in snow than in sand. Where I live, snow is unavoidable, heck, it's snowing right now. Generally speaking, you have to venture off road to find sand and such, whereas when it snows, you can't get away from it until the plows come. I'm not saying this was the reasoning behind GM's decision, I just think that wet and snowy road handling characteristics play a much larger role in vehicle design than sand and loose surface handling characteristics do.
     
  16. RedBrute

    RedBrute 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Posts:
    346
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Southern tier New York
    I have always thought the other way around, the front is WIDER than the back. I have owned a couple of 2 wheel drive GM trucks and the front rear track is the same on those, when GM started offering factory 4wheel drive they had the frame,cabmount,rearend, and front sheetmetal already tooled up. The 4wheel front was easier to design around existing body styles. I always felt the front was wider by a bit so the tires wouldn't get into leaf springs, sheetmetal etc. at full lock. I'm probably wrong but this is how I look at it.
     
  17. tiger9297

    tiger9297 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Posts:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    In one sense I can see this but if this is the case then why would a true performing vehicle such as a Corvette have wider rear stance?
     
  18. ncbloodhound

    ncbloodhound 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Posts:
    400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indian Trail, NC
    I agree. We don't get that much snow down here though. Maybe instead of CTIS, that can make CAWS (central axle widening system) so we can widen our axles when needed, in sand or snow. :D
     

Share This Page