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Lock it or weld it?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by ZK5, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. ZK5

    ZK5 1/2 ton status

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    I am about to swap out the factory 10 bolt axles in my K5 for a Dana 60 and a !4 bolt FF. My question is should I invest in a locker for the 14 bolt or just save my money and weld them spiders up. I know some of you have welded and others use a detroit. I am just looking for a little experienced information on both. I am worried that if I weld her up that she ain't gonna do so well on the highway and may wanna slip out when the roads get wet or bind when it's dry.

    Put yer seat belt on I wanna try somethin. I saw this in a cartoon once, I'm pretty sure it'll work.
     
  2. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    i would get lockers, welded spiders ain't no fun on the street. my friend did it and hated it.

    --Scott, 1989 GMC Suburban 2500 4" lift, 36" TSLs
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/muddysub>http://community.webshots.com/user/muddysub</a>
     
  3. kilroy

    kilroy Registered Member

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    I wouldn’t weld if you will be doing a lot of pavement driving. It will wear your tire a lot quicker. Also if you get on the gas the truck will have a tendency to go in the direction the rear tires are pointed, instead of the front. There are also a lot of other posts that cover this, try doing a search, to get more info quickly.
     
  4. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Yes, do a search. Welded or lockers, there's not that much difference in behavior except that lockers can surprise you. Rene (tRusty) and several others have been running welded spiders for a long time on daily drivers and they like them just fine. If I had a duel purpose rig, I wouldn't hesitate to weld up the rear spiders as long as the axle strength could take it. Don't weld a 10 bolt rear running 40" TSLs! ;) Now, the front is a totally different matter...

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Some day: 4" lift, 44" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  5. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    It will wear your tire a lot quicker.

    <hr></blockquote>
    True, but so will a detroit equipped rear.
    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    Also if you get on the gas the truck will have a tendency to go in the direction the rear tires are pointed

    <hr></blockquote>Not true...there is some pronounced understeer, but it's nothing the front tires have a problem overcoming. If you are on the gas through a corner with a Detroit you'd have the same effect.

    What a welded diff will not do is surprise you by locking and unlocking during a lane change or a sweeping corner. It's predictable and offers 100% traction to both wheels all the time.

    It is a little extreme and you do have to get used to it but it is a viable alternative. With a 14 bolt you can weld the spiders only and not ruin anything except the spiders. All this means is that the option of going with a Detroit or back to open later is still there.

    i have over 15,000 miles on my welded 14 bolt FF and I like it just fine.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  6. Calclips

    Calclips 1/2 ton status

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    I have a buddy with an s-10 blazer 2wd with a drag motor in it, and to save some money he welded up the rear-end (lincoln locker). He didn't have any problems with it, except the rear tires would squeal arround corners if he gassed it. He did it as a way to get by with what he had until he could get a good rear-end.
     
  7. mudddog91

    mudddog91 1/2 ton status

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    By all means save yourself some money and weld the snot out of it! Its the same as a detroit but like everyone else has posted no surprise locking and unlocking!
     
  8. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    detroit will act as a spool with throttle applied.
    detroit owner here telling you to weld it,
    do not weld to the carrier just fill the gear voids/valleys a la trustyk5

    formerly 77chev
     
  9. jackedjimmy350

    jackedjimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    welding eats tires ALIVE!

    [​IMG]Mash Out![​IMG]
    82 Blazer 1 Ton "Big Nasty"
    78 Jimmy 3/4 Ton
    <font color=red>"Red Dawg" </font color=red>
     
  10. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    One thing I have a minor contention with is the point that a Detroit will wear out your tires like a welded (or spool) will. The only time you will wear the same is if you go around a corner with your foot on the gas! If you coast around the corner, the Detroit unlocks and acts like an open carrier, so you will not get any advanced tire wear this way. Now, if you keep your foot in it and round the corner, of course the Detroit will stay locked and you will get the "chirp, chirp" which = tire wear like a welded rear end. But the ratcheting action of the Detroit will decrease both understeer and tire wear (until you put your foot in it going around a corner or on/off ramp scenario).

    Just wanted to point that out (no offense Rene!)
     
  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    None taken...I made an assumption that under normal driving conditions you'd 'need' to apply a little throttle around most of the tight corners, for example making a tight right turn on a city street from a stop.

    Justin...my TSL's haven't been 'eaten'. Yes the rears have worn a little quicker than the fronts, but no more than I would have expected with a Detroit. Tire wear will also depend on the type of traffic you drive in most often. If you see a lot of tight city traffic with your truck I'd shy away from any really aggressive locker or welding. I see a combination of freeway and suburban roads and for me it's fine.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  12. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    I used Rene's method and then did a little write up on it [​IMG]

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.bluefox.tv/~lara/weldedrear.html>Welded Spiders</a>

    Hope it helps!

    <font color=blue>Answers: $1, Short: $5, Correct: $25, dumb looks are still free.</font color=blue>

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.bluefox.tv/~lara>My Wonderful Site</a>
     
  13. ZK5

    ZK5 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks alot for your help everyone, and nice article. As it turns out that was exactly the way I did it, some guys over at truckworld had given me the same idea, except I filled the 4 teeth up completely when I welded up the spiders I guess I'll find out when I bolt it all back together if it fits right or not. worst case I'll just hafta grind some back out . I figured If i don't like it I can always drop the 400.00 bucks and get the locker

    Put yer seat belt on I wanna try somethin. I saw this in a cartoon once, I'm pretty sure it'll work.
     
  14. RUSS84K5

    RUSS84K5 1/2 ton status

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    Hi,
    I'v got a detroit in my 14 bolt. It is the newer model that has some clutches in it that make it behave. I'v noticed that I don't have to cost around a corner, i can have normal throttle and not hear or feel the locker. if i really get on it, it dose lock up and chirp. I have also read that if used in the front axle the clutches should be removed if icey roads are the norm, I don't think i'd want any locker engaged for 30/40 mph icey road driving. heres some links about that.

    http://www.prerunner.com/archives/bigbroncos/9902/msg00463.html

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/articles/buildup/dana60rebuild.html
    hope this helps

    Russ Vassar
     
  15. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    my detroit loves rear tires, eats them fast.
    I think that running a heavy rear axle on a light truck may have something to do with it.
    perhaps the springs in the detroit are heavier in a big axle so they disengages less or ???.
    at idle turning at full lock on hard gravel or other slightly loose surface it does not free wheel, it chews.
    I can offer a test demo of this on your lawn if you think that the detroit lets go at the slightlest hint of a corner

    formerly 77chev
    still a jerk though
     

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