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Here goes... relocating spring pads on the 14BFF

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by KRAZIE87K5, Sep 2, 2002.

  1. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    I am yanking the 14B outta the truck on Wednesday, and will be moving my spring perches on the 14B. I plan on doing this, and then installing a ladder bar system ASAP - to ditch my servere axle wrap problem.

    To accomplish this, I will be removing the axle and taking it to my Uncle's shop, where we will remove the old pads, fab new ones from square tube, and weld them back on thus adjusting the pinion angle. My questions to everyone:

    1. What size tube do I use to make the new spring pads?
    2. How can I place the new pads in the correct position when welding them back on, since the truck will not be there?
    3. What problems (if any) can I expect while doing this?
    4. How easy is it to remove the stock 14BFF pads?
    5. WHERE DO I WANT THE PINION IDEALLY? Keep in mind the ladder bar system will be there to hold the axle in place...
    6. While I have the axle out, should I do anything else?
    7. While welding the axle, can I expect to fry any seals from the heat?
    8. What am I forgetting?

    Thanks all! Please let me know ASAP, since I need to prep this by the middle of the week. /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif

    -Dan
     
  2. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    btt...
    What, no one can help me with this?!!! PLEEEEAASE!???

    -Dan
     
  3. blazing86

    blazing86 1/2 ton status

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    When i helped a buddy of mine do this, we used tube that was 2.5 in wide, and 1/4 in thick. Its pretty tricky to weld the steel to cast, but if done carefully it can work. (problems with cooling to fast) The pads can be very hard or very easy depending on if they are solid or not. Thats about all i can tell you. It is definatly alot easier to get the pads where u want, when the truck is there. Hopefully someone can add some more. Good luck
     
  4. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Are the axle tubes cast? Is that true? I didn't know that... Glad I do know so I can warn my uncle before we start.

    I need a lot more info still! Please chime in with anything you guys/gals have to offer!

    Thanks!
    -Dan
     
  5. Scooter

    Scooter 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I have not done this yet but I will be before too long.

    1. 2.5" wide and 1/4" thick should be ok unless your springs are wider than that. IIRC the axle tube diameter is 3 3/8".
    2. Good luck. I suppose you could measure the angles now and try to determine where to mount them. Would be much better to have the truck there though.
    3. Dunno .. I have not done it yet to mine.
    4. Depends on the pads, some were cast, some werent. IIRC, I've heard the cast ones are more difficult to remove.
    5. Are you running a CV drive shaft? If so, you'll want the pinion pointed almost directly (maybe 1-2* down) at the t-case. Otherwise you will want the angles to be the same.
    6. ????
    7. Maybe. What was suggested to me was to tack them in place then weld about 1" on one perch then move to the other perch and weld an inch then back to the first (but opposite side) and so forth until done.
    8. ????

    Hope this helps some, wish I could help more ... If I messed anything here up I'm sure it will get corrected by someone thats done this.
     
  6. Greg72

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

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    The axle tubes are steel.....!

    I don't know why everyone says they are cast iron? Only the pumpkin is iron.....

    I welded my own perches on with NO problems. I used a 2.5" x 1/4" thick box tubing, and but a half-moon shape out of it to fit over the axle tube. I don't know how you will be able to accurately weld them on without the truck there too, though. It seems like you'd want to mock-up the backets with the u-bolts attached and then have the actual weight of the truck sitting on the springs.

    When I did mine, I got everything bolted together then rotated the pinion using a floor jack until it was pointing DIRECTLY at the output of the NP205. (I was planning to run a CV-driveshaft)....put a few tack welds in the perches to hold them in place, and then removed the axle and welded the perches on permanently.
     
  7. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

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    Well here goes:

    1)2-1/2 x 2-1/2 x 1/4 Tube find a bottle or roll of tape etc that is 3" in diameter and use it to mark the radius on the tube. This is the time to decide the position of your axle. Center the spring pin hole over the tube for stock or move it off center towards the yoke to move the axle back and lengthen your wheelbase.

    2)If you will be duplicating the angle that is on your truck and not changing your wheel base then place it on a level surface and use an angle finder on the yoke to see what angle it is at in relation to the spring perches. Then set the new perches level and rotate the new yoke till you get the same angle. If you can possibly put it on the truck first then do.

    3)If you are using a different axle than what is in it now IE 12 bolt to 14 bolt it will change the angle somewhat.

    4)I wouldn't use easy and removing spring pads in the same sentence. I used a grinder on mine to remove the weld on three side and then fractured the final weld by bending it parallel to the weld itself. You can then grind down the remaining excess. Unless you happen to have an air arc this is about the best way to not warp the tubes

    5)I have my pinion pointed directly at the T-case yoke. It has worked well for me even though it is supposed to be taboo with a regular shaft. If you point is straight at the yoke you can then always go with a CV rear.

    6) Switch to disk brakes and lose the extra weight of the drums.

    7) Not if you remove the wheel hubs you should be OK. Also dont weld it all at one time. Switch back and forth and allow it to cool some between beads.

    8) Keep the ladder mounts as high up and as level as possible. Make sure their radius arc is the same as the radius arc of the spring. Remember your axle moves rearward as it travels up and forward as it moves down. If you do not get this arc correct the traction bars will fight the springs and bind the suspension.

    That is all I can think of maybe someone else will remember something I am sure I forgot. Good Luck
     
  8. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Make sure their radius arc is the same as the radius arc of the spring. Remember your axle moves rearward as it travels up and forward as it moves down. If you do not get this arc correct the traction bars will fight the springs and bind the suspension.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    AH HA! There is where is sounds like it gets tricky... wonder where I can start trying to figure that out! Sounds like I am beginning to get out of my league! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif ALL THE MORE FUN THAT WAY! In all seriousness though, how should I go about making this happen? I will also be using a shackle mount at the frame, which should allow for minor variance between the two, correct?

    JOHNNY JOINT... can I build one of these? If not, where can I source one complete?
     
  9. Mr.Chevy4x4

    Mr.Chevy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    2.5" square tube 1/4" thick 5" long. Cut out a semi-circle with a torch and drill your pin hole on the center of the arch and you will be good to go. I used a piece of cardboard to get the right circumference for the axle. Hope this helps.

    Mike
     
  10. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

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    This is hard to explain as there are so many variables. In laymans (me being a layman this is the only way I can explain it) terms find a fixed point on your frame and measure to the center pin of the springs. Cycle your rear suspension all the way compressed and all the way drooped. Measure from that same fixed point and note the front to rear travel at the center pin. If you mount your trac bars at the center line the will also need to travel front to rear that same amount. As you move the mounting location at the axle, make the bends in the arms at different points, or vary the length of the arms it will affect their arc. Doing it and explaining it are two different things.
     
  11. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Okay... I understand that much (believe it or not!) So my question you you is, if there is a shackle on the end of the ladder bar that mounts to the frame, I shouldn't have to worry as much since the shackle will allow for quite a bit of forward and rearward movement. Correct?

    I see what you are saying though... now lets tackle another question of mine (if you don't mind...) What does the angle of the ladder bar (as it leaves the axle once mounted) have to do with the way the system will work in the end? Does that make sense?

    -Dan
     
  12. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    5)I have my pinion pointed directly at the T-case yoke. It has worked well for me even though it is supposed to be taboo with a regular shaft. If you point is straight at the yoke you can then always go with a CV rear.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Mine is within 2 degrees of being pointed directly at the T-case yoke too. I also have a regular shaft and it works well for me. I get no vibes and the U-joints last well over two years.

    Dan...I'd mock up the new perches under the truck to get an accurate fix on angle and all. IMO thats the only right way to do it. The way Greg did his is how i'm going to do mine...bolt it all together 'finger tight' with the weight of the truck on everything and jack the pinion up til the angle is good and then tack it in place. Then weld it.

    Rene
     

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