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How many are running welded 14BFF on the street?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by LKJR, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. LKJR

    LKJR 1/2 ton status

    Apr 18, 2000
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    Lubbock, Tx
    title kinda says it how many people are running a welded 14 Bolt on the street, how long, and have you had any problems. Did you do anything different than the writeup?
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Jul 23, 2000
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    E-town baby!
    I ran mine like the article for almost 2 years. I posted my results a while back...but it's worth posting again.

    Tire wear was brutal.
    If done like the article you could end up with cracked broken or otherwise damaged side gears. The slight amount of play between the spiders and side gears is the likely cause.

    I would weld the spiders to the cross shaft solidly if I was going to do it again. I ran welded on the street from Dec 2000 til August 2002 and put about 20,000 miles on the truck that way. I got used to it and it is predictable but I prefer the Detroit. I can turn now...without drawing a crowd./forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    I really liked the traction off road though.

  3. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

    Sep 1, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Peoria, AZ
    I have been running welded on the street now for around 8 months. I have had no problems as of yet. Tire wear is alot worse now. Traction though is great. I have totally gotten used to the way it acts, but sometimes my passengers get a little freaked if they don't know whats going on, and I do get weird looks as I turn tight corners.

    I am running 32" tires so I don't know if I will have the cracked spider gear problem or not. I carry an extra set of spiders and crosshaft with me just in case though. I am getting a set of 35's for wheeling soon, so I will have more info on that after this summer.

    Streetability is a common concern. I personaly don't mind it anymore. You have to get used to not being able to turn tight anymore. If you do tight turns you will start to hop and understeer. You have to get used making 3 point turns where you normally would have just turned around. Also you have to get used to the bark of the tires as you corner. It is very predictable once you get used to it. I might end up getting a detroit someday, but for now the welded is it. I like the welded, and I don't have the $ for a detroit so it stays.

    I also run the Redline Heavy Shockproof Synthetic gear oil. It helps take some slop and shock out of the driveline because of the thickness, and characteristics of the oil. Hopefully this will help the to keep my spiders from cracking.

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

    Mar 4, 2001
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    I welded mine like the article about a year ago.
    I don't know how many miles but I have a 100 mile drive getting to work and back.
    It seemed to be ok till I had the rear raised up and grabbed one wheel and spun it and it went about 1/2 way before the other started to turn.
    When I first did it as soon as one wheel rolled the other did too.
    I haven't gotten around to opening it up and see what is up yet.
    One more thing to do on the ever growing list.
  5. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

    Feb 24, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I've been running a welded 14FF for over 2 years now, though the truck is not a daily driver. The truck gets used pretty heavily for trail riding and spent most of the 2 years on 35's, not sure of the mileage but most trails are around a 200 mile round trip. I welded the side gears solidly to the spider gears, basically filling up every contact point between the gears as much as possible.....I never did like the idea of just filling in the voids.

    I don't think handling on the street is that bad, actually I really never notice it for most normal driving. Only when making slow speed sharp turns (parking lots, etc...)do you notice the tires slipping.

    The rear axle cover was removed a couple of weeks for a regular fluid change and there was no metal or sign of wear on the welds.

    I think rear tire wear was increased, but it's hard to really tell because I wore the tires more from trail use (spinning on rocks and mud) than from driving on the street.

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