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Junkyard upgrade. What questions to ask? regarding d60 14 bolt

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by eripley, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    Hello everyone!
    I have a 1979 chevy blazer I just lifted. I have 31's on it now. Very lame looking. I really want 35's but have a 3.42 rear and front.

    I was thinking about purchasing another d44 and 12 bolt to put new ring/pinion gears in and going with a 4.56 ratio.
    however, I read I should just get a 3/4 ton front and rear.
    More robust/and already has the gear ratio I need.

    I called a local frequently visited just yard. They said they would sell me an 8lug front and rear off a 3/4 ton chevy truck for $500. I bring the money and they pull. I dont think I asked the right questions and they of course would not know the gear ratio of this particular application. I dont want to make more work for myself (I have 6 lug wheels now) by buying this front and rear if I will still have to replace ring/pinion. If the one at the junkyard is a 4.10 that should be sufficient. However, is the 14bolt rear is 3" longer than my rear 12 bolt now? That would help my decision because the spacers themselves are $120.
    What questions should I ask the junkyard? what should I physically look for? Is this a fair price? They want $450 for the d44 and 12 bolt front and rear and I figure the d60 and 14bolt is worth $100 more. Will the d60 and 14 bolt bolt up to my exisitng drive shafts?

    Thank you for your help. I could just settle for 33's now and just be done with it. Any opinions?

    Thanks again.
     
  2. Confedneck

    Confedneck 3/4 ton status

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    3/4 ton isnt d60....
    pull the covers and read the stamping numbers to decode the gear ratios..
     
  3. mudjunkie 82

    mudjunkie 82 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    450.00 is high for those,put the money away and save it toward a 60/14ff. You will pay alot more than 550.00 for the pair though.Good luck............................
     
  4. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    first off, 3/4 ton won't have d60 front it will either be a dana 44 or 10 bolt with 8 lug outers. The 14 will be the same width as a 12 bolt unless it comes from a van. 3/4 ton axles is a direct bolt in, for the rear driveshaft you have to get a special u joint that costs like $30 something, someone can let you know the specific part numbers at a napa store. I'd go with the 3/4 tons, $500 sounds fair to me, thats the going rate at my local yards. You can always pick up some stock rims and tires from the junkyard for most likely under $100 and just drive around on those till you can afford new tires and rims. It won't look good but its a good way to go. I'd definetally go with the 3/4 ton axles, and 4.10s with the 35s will work fine. I have 4.10s in my D60/14 bolt and I am going to run 39.5s, but I will need to put in a doubler sooner or later or regear. And if you are only planning 35s I would go with the d44, a lot cheaper and will handle the 35s. If you plan on going bigger tirewise later you can always sell the axle and buy a d60 down the road.
     
  5. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    To start with you should have them pull the diff covers and then you go down and count the teeth on both ring and pinion then divide the ring gear by the pinion gear to figure out gear ratio. $500.00 doesn't sound too bad for a pair of 3/4 ton diffs that are pulled for you. Now, you will not find a D60/14bff for $100.00 more than the 3/4 ton unless someone either doesn't know what a D60 is worth or they think just because it is 8 lug that it's a D60. D60's alone go for anywhere from $800.00 to $1200.00 then add a 14bff to that for another $150.00 or so.
     
  6. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    okay the fault is mine. I assumed since I had a d44 with 12 bolt combo now that the 14 bolt came with a d60. sorry.

    If the 14bolt is the same width and comes with the same frontend. I have an opportunity to buy from a local homeowner that lives near me a d44 with locking hubs and 12 bolt that the ring and pinion are shot. I think I can get him to take $200 for these. Since I am wanting to put a 4.56 gear in it the broken ring/pinion is not an issue. Im turning 30 soon and some of my family (not to mention names) think I still cant do anything. Im pretty sure he is right that I CANT install a ring pinion but I want to prove to myself I CAN no matter how hard it is.

    Whats my best bet?

    Thanks for the quick responses!!!
     
  7. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I'd probably still go with the 3/4 ton axles but thats me, like I said I have 1 tons and 40" tires, I understand the ring and pinion thing I'd really like to take a crack at it sometime. I'd consider those axles but take a really good look at the 12 bolt, look over the carrier and all real well. If one thing breaks sometimes it takes a bunch of other stuff with it, so maybe spider gears and carrier and bearings are damaged, get what I mean? I don't know about the 12 bolt carrier but it may not just accept the 4.56 gears, I know in my 1 tons I would need special gears or new carriers if I wanted to go lower than 4.10.
     
  8. Greg72

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

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    [ QUOTE ]
    okay the fault is mine. I assumed since I had a d44 with 12 bolt combo now that the 14 bolt came with a d60. sorry.

    If the 14bolt is the same width and comes with the same frontend. I have an opportunity to buy from a local homeowner that lives near me a d44 with locking hubs and 12 bolt that the ring and pinion are shot. I think I can get him to take $200 for these. Since I am wanting to put a 4.56 gear in it the broken ring/pinion is not an issue. Im turning 30 soon and some of my family (not to mention names) think I still cant do anything. Im pretty sure he is right that I CANT install a ring pinion but I want to prove to myself I CAN no matter how hard it is.

    Whats my best bet?

    Thanks for the quick responses!!!

    [/ QUOTE ]



    You've got a couple of problems to deal with no matter what you do:

    #1 - Gears: So far, you haven't found an axleset that has the 4.56 gears you want. That means that no matter what you pay for axles, you are going to spend at least $500 more dollars on gears for both axles (and even MORE if you pay someone else to do it!)

    #2 - 8-Lug: Once you commit to going to even 3/4-Ton, you are forced into buying new wheels (no more 6-lug) so factor that in to your total costs.


    The first option sounds OK (3/4 ton for $500) but it's a compromise....it's only 4.10? gearing and wouldn't be worth the expense to go to 4.56 (too small of an improvement for the $$$ spent). The nice thing is that you could use this set as "Phase 1"...and spend your extra money at this point for the 8-Lug wheels you'll need anyway. "Phase 2" would be looking around for the elusive D60....but honestly, if 35's are as big as you're going, it might not even be a worthwhile step.....if you found one for a good price (ha ha ha) AND it already had 4.56 gears, that would be the time to pay for the re-gearing on the 14BFF, and be done.

    One-Ton conversions are expensive, don't let anyone fool you into thinking it's a simple, cheap upgrade. Going at it in smaller "chunks" will help keep the expenses more reasonable....'
     
  9. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    hey don't laugh at finding a cheap D60, they exist /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I got mine for $200 after all. It was an error on the part of the chick behind the counter at the junkyard but I still only paid $200 for it. Its only 4.10 though so if I want 5.13s or something I am stuck.
     
  10. mudjunkie 82

    mudjunkie 82 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    hey don't laugh at finding a cheap D60, they exist /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I got mine for $200 after all. It was an error on the part of the chick behind the counter at the junkyard but I still only paid $200 for it. Its only 4.10 though so if I want 5.13s or something I am stuck.

    [/ QUOTE ]For 200.00 you can afford to replace the gears,Thats a great price....
     
  11. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    oh I realize /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I have already spent well over twice that in parts /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif, crossover/hysteer, diff cover, spring and bushings, stud kit, and so it begins.
     
  12. Greg72

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

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    [ QUOTE ]
    hey don't laugh at finding a cheap D60, they exist /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I got mine for $200 after all. It was an error on the part of the chick behind the counter at the junkyard but I still only paid $200 for it. Its only 4.10 though so if I want 5.13s or something I am stuck.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    OK, I stand corrected.....D60's cost $200. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif
     
  13. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    yeah yeah I know I'm just saying there is always a possibility at somepoint you have to just give up and settle, I agree if hes going to run 35s don't bother looking for a D60 it won't be cost effective at the moment I would say.
     
  14. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    Sled dog...you are exactly right.

    My problem is I just want to run 35's...33's to me is settling. The problem kicks in cause I want to do it right. I know most of the locals (peeps in my area) slap 40's on a 2 wheel drive S10 and drive it. I COULD just put 35's on it now...but there is a line between doing it and doing it right. I only go mudding and do some beginner to intermediate 4 wheeling. I do more interstate and highway driving. So I dont want to burn out the transmission or the differential. I also enjoy learning. There are many ways to do a 4" lift and I'd like to think mine is right. I saw a blazer the other day at the 4x4 shop that had no shackle flip and stock rear springs and 4" blocks. Thats fine if that floats your boat. However, thats not how I did it. The tires are only for looks and all I really want is not to break anything. I should have explained this first. That information might be very important to you guys helping me to figure out the most cost effective right way to get these 35's on the truck.
    Im not to fond of upgrading to 14bolt rear and 10bolt front when all it buys me is a more robust rear end. I still need to regear. I still need to get spacers to make the rear look right. With the 8 lug I cant use my existing rims...not that they are bling bling. I actually want to get black rims and mine now are aluminum. I DONT want to upgrade the diffentials on the vehicle as you guys already figured out. This will incapacitate my daily driver for months.

    Im leaning toward the $200 ones used from that guy cause then I can spend 300$ on the gears and end up with the gear ratio I want for the same price as a 14bolt and front with a gear ratio that "will do". I guess it depends on if the ones at the junkyard are 4.10's. Is that safe to assume or is the 3.73 more common? Will 4.10's run 35's at highway speeds with a th350? Will acceleration be acceptable? I know I have read on here that upgrading from 4.10's to 4.56 or even 4.88's was night and day for them!
     
  15. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    acceleration and driving wise 4.56s with 35s would probably be better, all around driving I would probably go with 4.10s. Hopefully someone running these setups chimes in cause I want you to get a real good educated answer here.
     
  16. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Im not to fond of upgrading to 14bolt rear and 10bolt front when all it buys me is a more robust rear end. I still need to regear. I still need to get spacers to make the rear look right. I DONT want to upgrade the diffentials on the vehicle as you guys already figured out. This will incapacitate my daily driver for months.

    I guess it depends on if the ones at the junkyard are 4.10's. Is that safe to assume or is the 3.73 more common? Will 4.10's run 35's at highway speeds with a th350? Will acceleration be acceptable? I know I have read on here that upgrading from 4.10's to 4.56 or even 4.88's was night and day for them!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The 14 bolt rear is what you need. No matter what, if you break your truck, you need that rear axle to get you home. The 14 bolt will deliver, every time. Months? YOu can upgrade one axle at a time...or do both in one weekend. Not months, HOURS.

    4.10s and 35s will be GREAT without overdrive. I'd say that's all the gear you'd want. ANy more than that and your truck will be really screaming to go down the highway. Acceleration will be fine. Those that want 4.88 or lower gears to run 35s have OVERDRIVE, which makes those 4.88s seem like 3.42s to a guy like you without O/D. 35s and 4.10 WITH O/D SUCKS, but without O/D, it's PERFECT!!! I run 38.5s with 4.10s and no O/D and I even find it acceptable for road performance.

    If you have 3.42 now, going to 4.10 and 35s is going to probably be an improvement in "felt" acceleration.
     
  17. Greg72

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

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Sled dog...you are exactly right.

    My problem is I just want to run 35's...33's to me is settling. The problem kicks in cause I want to do it right. I know most of the locals (peeps in my area) slap 40's on a 2 wheel drive S10 and drive it. I COULD just put 35's on it now...but there is a line between doing it and doing it right. I only go mudding and do some beginner to intermediate 4 wheeling. I do more interstate and highway driving. So I dont want to burn out the transmission or the differential. I also enjoy learning. There are many ways to do a 4" lift and I'd like to think mine is right. I saw a blazer the other day at the 4x4 shop that had no shackle flip and stock rear springs and 4" blocks. Thats fine if that floats your boat. However, thats not how I did it. The tires are only for looks and all I really want is not to break anything. I should have explained this first. That information might be very important to you guys helping me to figure out the most cost effective right way to get these 35's on the truck.
    Im not to fond of upgrading to 14bolt rear and 10bolt front when all it buys me is a more robust rear end. I still need to regear. I still need to get spacers to make the rear look right. With the 8 lug I cant use my existing rims...not that they are bling bling. I actually want to get black rims and mine now are aluminum. I DONT want to upgrade the diffentials on the vehicle as you guys already figured out. This will incapacitate my daily driver for months.

    Im leaning toward the $200 ones used from that guy cause then I can spend 300$ on the gears and end up with the gear ratio I want for the same price as a 14bolt and front with a gear ratio that "will do". I guess it depends on if the ones at the junkyard are 4.10's. Is that safe to assume or is the 3.73 more common? Will 4.10's run 35's at highway speeds with a th350? Will acceleration be acceptable? I know I have read on here that upgrading from 4.10's to 4.56 or even 4.88's was night and day for them!

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Eric,

    If you really want to do it "right"....don't waste your money buying ANOTHER set of 1/2 ton axles, and then paying to re-gear them..... $200 (axles) + $500 (gears) is just money that gets you NO extra strength at all....!!!

    Don't forget, 12-bolts are NOT a full-floating axle design. If you snap an axleshaft in the mud....your wheel falls off!! There's no hub to secure the wheel to the axletube....and that to me is a BIG reason to step up to a 14BFF rear. It's one thing to limp back to camp with a broken rear axleshaft (on a 14BFF this is unlikely anyway) but it's quite another to be dragged back on 3-wheels with your axle plowing along behind you......


    As for the gear ratio....if you have O.D. you can afford to get more aggressive with the gearing. Be careful that you don't screw yourself by gearing perfectly for the 33's. It would be lousy if you increase the tire size later and find out that your truck doesn't have enough RPMs to stay in OD anymore, and it ends up "hunting" in and out of overdrive on the highway..... /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  18. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    He has a TH 350...no O/d
     
  19. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    Okay I might have that little educated answer. I have a 1979 K5 th350 and 203. I had 10/12 bolts with 3.08 and 33's, I went to 35's on 3/4 ton gear (D44 & 14FF) with 4.10's That is an awsome set up for non od trannies. The motor will cruise around 3000rpm @ 70 mph. I now run 37's and 4.10's and it is a little better (3100rpm @ 75 mph). i don't think I would like having 4.56's in my K5, it is my DD however. Although it really depends on availability of axles in your area.
    hope i am helping
     
  20. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    You may want to post a wanted ad on here for both 3/4 ton axles, tires and wheels. I found a set locally for $200 (axles, chrome mod rims and bald 35" tires) but then was able to trade an extra tranny/tcase I had laying around for them.

    I went with 10 bolt 8 lug front axle and 14 bolt semifloating rear axle w/4.10 gears. I dont plan on going over 33" tires though but I use this truck for hauling stuff around from time to time. My truck is a '79 K10 LWB truck. The semi floating axle has better ground clearance than the 14FF if you are running smaller tires like me (with 35's you could use either SF or FF with good sucess) and I doubt I will ever kill an axle shaft (gov lock in the rear axle is another story).
     

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