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How much ground clearance will I lose with a 14 Bolt?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jonrpick, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. jonrpick

    jonrpick 3/4 ton status

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    Hi all... First post here.

    I'm planning to swap the 2nd busted rear 10 Bolt in my K5 over to a 14 Bolt FF. I'm curious as to how much ground clearance I will lose at the rear pumpkin when I do this.

    I've seen the article on shaving one down, and saw a more extreme shave-job on another site where someone cut the bottom of the housing off, welded a plate on to cover it, and cut the ring gear down to fit. It looked good, but I wonder how much strength was lost.

    Thanks in advance...

    ~jp
     
  2. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    i would not go as far as that guy did in shaving the 14 bolt housing, you are lossing a lot of strenght by doing that, just shave off the lip like most people do, the loss in ground clearence will be made up for with the great improvment in strength, if your so worried about the ground clearence run a little bigger tire now that your axle can handle it with no problem
     
  3. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    Or get a Dana 70U! :)
     
  4. jonrpick

    jonrpick 3/4 ton status

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    Thanks '79Jimmy... When I get the 14 Bolt I'll look into grinding that lip off. It looks like it wouldn't be too hard to do by myself.

    ~jp
     
  5. jonrpick

    jonrpick 3/4 ton status

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    What's the difference in ground clearance and strength between the D70 and the GM-14B? Is the D70 a full floating axle?

    (not too familiar with the D70)

    ~jp
     
  6. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    I was being serious. The 70 is a great diff and has better clearance and is lighter with better gear selection. Don't get me wronf, there is nothing wrong with a 14. Just trying to help.
     
  7. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    It is FF. Very similar in strength...hang on....let me get you that info
     
  8. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    OK...I can't find it, but if you search for the dana 70 there are several threads about it here, at pirate and at texas4x4.org. It is probably cheaper to get a 14, but then again I picked a 70U up for $150. The 70U's have a VERY smooth bottom. Mine came with 35 spline axles and a 4.10, but I am swapping in 7.17 gears. (large tires)

    IIRC the 70's are a tad bit stronger, but we are splitting hairs here. I know the 70 has better ground clearance, but again splitting hairs here.......

    if you go to patooyee.com sp? they have all the BOM #'s for Dana products and it helps when you go looking for axles in yards......
     
  9. jonrpick

    jonrpick 3/4 ton status

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    Thanks '54... Someone mentioned a D70 to me in passing once, but I didn't give it much thought as they didn't seem as cheap or readily available as a GM 14B.

    That's a great link! So it appears they were offered in Chevys... I'm sure I'd probably have to relocate the spring perches and shock mounts since this would be going in my 1/2 ton Blazer, but that's cool. Are the hub-to-hub measurements on par with the Corp GM axles? I was on the lookout for a 1 ton Van 14 Bolt, for the wider track, but if I could get a wide D70, that'd be just as good.

    Thanks again,

    ~jp
     
  10. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    The Dana 70 is a few inches wider than the typical truck 14 bolt, but there are wide versions of both.

    I went and measured the centerline of the axles (Dana 70 & 14 bolt) and the Dana is actually 1.5 inches shorter, so I was kind of wrong when I said splitting hairs....the dana will save you 1.5 inches of ground clearance compared to the 14 bolt.
     
  11. badboycrawler

    badboycrawler Registered Member

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    Just some more input, on my last truck I shaved the bottom of the 14B and gained about 3/4" of clearance (Removed the lip), On my current truck I shaved about 2+" off the bottom and replated with 3/8" plate, did not have to modify the ring gear, I have more clerance then a Dana 44, however I did have to build a new cover, As much as I like the extra clearance, unless you have the tools and time I would agree with 1979Jimmy350 and just shave the bottom of the housing. Good Luck and enjoy
     
  12. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    I'm not sure if all 70U's have the smooth bottom... Ford's do anyhow. Here's a pic of the smooth bottom:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. jonrpick

    jonrpick 3/4 ton status

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    54inches: Thanks for the info...

    Badboycrawler: Was that 2" removed after removing the lip, or including it?

    The info from you two has me kind of perplexed... Is there really that little of a difference in ground clearance between all the diff's mentioned when using tires of equal diameter? Or in the case of the shaved 14B, was there just slightly more clearance than a D44 after the mod?

    U2slow: You're not the first person I've seen refer to the "70U"... What's the "U" stand for, and are there "non-U" D70's out there?

    Thanks guys,

    ~jp
     
  14. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    "U"ndersize pinion bearing from what I understand. The casting used in the Fords at least has this shape. Other D70s are chunkier.
     
  15. badboycrawler

    badboycrawler Registered Member

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    It is 2 1/4" including the lip, or about 1 1/2" after the lip has been removed, Just remember you will have to build a new cover along with a lot of other work.
     
  16. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    The U refers to the smooth bottom.

    Dana 70HD ~ Dually, just like it says HD
    Dana 70B ~ stands for Bad or Bastard :)
    Dana 70 ~ Earlier models, not as desireable
    Dana 70U ~ Smooth bottom, smaller pinion bearing, Good

    Like I said earlier I measured and there is a BIG difference between the two. The Dana 70U that I have had 1 1/2" more ground clearance than the 14 bolt. Of course this is w/o shaving the 14 bolt or the Dana 70.

    With that said I can see about a 1/2" of material that could be removed from my dana 70U and I bet if you wanted to get extreme you could take at least a whole inch off and no matter how you you measure it the Dana has better ground clearance.

    I can send you the pics.
     
  17. greyhoundjc

    greyhoundjc 1/2 ton status

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    Nice to see someone else from the Atlanta area :thumb: If you keep breaking your 10 bolts with the 31'' tires listed in your profile, you will definatly want to upgrade. Although with 31 tires, it will be like a land anchor.
     
  18. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    short answer: 'not enough to make it not worth it'. (unless your front axle is a portal...) :thumb:

    j
     
  19. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    What?
     
  20. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    translation: you don't lose enuff ground clearance to make the ff14b swap a bad idea...

    j
     

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