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Mmmmm, beef!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MaxPF, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    So, I finally got my 14bsf installed. There was nothing wrong with my 10b. It probably would have lasted a good long time since I don't generally beat the crap out of my stuff. However, the carriers in 10b's are known to be weak which means that putting a lunchbox locker in it is not a good idea. I figured that if I am going to spring for an ARB or E-locker I may as well put it is something beefier than a 10b. I didn't want to put in a 14bff - between it's low clearance and weight it would be like dragging an anchor with anything smaller than 38's. It would also mean converting to 8-lug, which is an added expense and more work. So, after a bit of looking around I finally scored a 14bsf with 3.73's. It came out of a 93 2WD, which means that the spring perches and shock mounts were in different locations. After a bit of :hack: :grind:, and :weld: I fixed that little problem. Here's a pic of the axle with the mounts relocated and half wirewheeled:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of the guts:

    [​IMG]

    It's hard to tell without a pic of a 10b side-by-side, but the internals are much larger and beefier in the 14bsf. Here's what the carrier looks like next to a 10b carrier:

    [​IMG]

    One cool thing is that gear setup for the 14bsf is a bit easier than a 10b. The backlash must still be set with a shim, but the preload is adjusted via a large spanner nut on the right side tube which is essentially similar to a 14bff. I don't know how many miles this particular rearend had on it, but the R&P had no discernable wear at all. The spiders had the normal broken-in appearance, with the hobbing marks still clearly visible (these marks make the gears look rough, but they're not damaged.. Apparently GM decided that grinding the spiders to a smooth finish was unnecessary since they move at extremely low RPM's, when they even move at all). Backlash was still in spec. The axle bearings were good, until my buddy managed to contaminate em with some grinding dust (don't ask how) :doah:. No biggie - I would just pull em out and clean em. Unfortunately, the puller cocked on one of the bearings and broke the race :doah: :doah:. So I said "**** it and replaced both bearings (at $58 a pop :doah::doah::doah:). Here's the new bearings and seals installed:

    [​IMG]

    You can also see the new wheel cylinder installed in that pic. The axle shafts are beefy, of course:

    [​IMG]

    Very beefy :D

    [​IMG]

    I like the 14mm studs too. I'm probably going to replace my wimpy 7/16" studs on my front hubs with 14mm studs when I rebuild my front end next spring. The axle bearings are much larger than 10b bearings, as you may imagine:

    [​IMG]

    I have a pretty big mitt (covered with POR-15 in this pic). The ID of that bearing is 1.700", and the OD is about 3". Each roller is roughly 1/2" in diameter. According to the SKF website, a similar (actually slightly smaller) bearing sported a continuous dynamic radial load rating of more than 13,000lbs. No wonder the original bearings and shafts showed no wear :bow:. Here's the axle all painted up with POR-i5 and with the shafts installed:

    [​IMG]

    cont...
     
  2. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    Mmmmm, beef! Continued...

    Finally, here's the pic of the axle installed:

    [​IMG]

    The two bare spots on the axle are where it was sitting on the sawhorses. I will climb back under there and paint em when I get around to getting some more brushes :D. You can see the new conversion u-joint in this pic. The length of my driveline was fine with the 14bsf, since it is only about 1/2" longer than the 10b. Something else notable is the mounting arrangement: no u-bolts! When I took the axle from the donor truck, I swiped the mounting brackets as well. The 88 and later trucks used a pair of u-bolts that wrapped around the springs and went into this stamped plate on the bottom side of the axle. Normally this causes a clearance problem since the ends of the bolts hang down a ways. I had planned on using regular u-bolts, and in fact I had already made the plates out of 1/2" cold rolled steel (visible atop the spring in the pic). One night I was pondering stuff when I stared at the stock brackets and it occured to me that I could use them along with my plates and some long bolts to hold the axle in, rather than u-bolts. Since I could insert the bolts from the bottom, there wouldn't be anymore of a clearance issue than with u-bolts. This let me use grade 8 gardware, rather than the grade 2 bolts the spring shop would have bent up. I secured the 8 inch long 5/8" fine thread bolts with Stover-type lock nuts, and it is solid as a rock.

    Also noticeable in the pic is the stainless steel braided brake line. I decided to replace it since the stock hose was old. Unfortunately, I bought the wrong fitting to go onto the hard line, and it was 9PM with the axle already installed when I realized this little problem. My buddy did a MacGyver and fashioned a plug for the brake line:

    [​IMG]

    It is a tee with 3 7/16" inverted flares. We screwed this contraption onto my hard line, bled it, and tightened her up. I only had front brakes, but I didn't notice much difference. The next day, after I got the right fittings and got the rear brakes working, THEN I noticed the difference. Those big 3/4 ton drums definitely have some added stopping power over the 1/2 ton jobs.The e-brakes work really well also after I adjusted the cable.

    Here's a rear view pic:

    [​IMG]

    The left brake line had to be replaced after some idiot :whistle: accidentally cut through it with a die grinder :doah:. The only line I could get was a bit too long, so I coiled it up to shorten it. Hey, it works :p:. Other than that, that's it. I'm now officially rolling on 3/4 ton junk. WooHoo! :saweet:
     
  3. lamberthkp

    lamberthkp SITFU Premium Member

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    i can only get the red x on the pics.
     
  4. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    Strange. I just viewed it with a web proxy and it worked fine. Anyone else having problems seeing the pics?
     
  5. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I can see them.. Looks good!

    John
     
  6. lamberthkp

    lamberthkp SITFU Premium Member

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    maybe its the net, im at work right now thats it i think. guess i will see them later :D
     
  7. TC4x4

    TC4x4 1/2 ton status

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    So did i see this right, you converted the 8 lug to a 6 lug is that right, if you did can you tell me how to, what to buy??? thanks
     
  8. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    14BFF's are 8 lug, but 14B *semi* float's come in six as well as eight lug, so no, he didn't convert.

    -- A
     
  9. loafer

    loafer 1/2 ton status

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    Looks good.

    Instead of using a conversion joint you can just swap the pinion yoke from your old 10-bolt.
     
  10. BROKEN-ONE

    BROKEN-ONE Registered Member

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    bolts and stuff

    so the bolts are safe to use ? , instead of the u-bolts . i know there grade 8 ,but wont a single bolt at each corner deflect when it is tightened are or off camber . like when driving over a log or deep rut .
     
  11. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    i dont see why the bolts wouldnt be as safe as a u bolt.

    what concerns me is your spring plate on the top. that's not flat 1/2" cold rolled is it? factory spring plates are bent on the ends, as are aftermarkets like these from www.diy4x.com [​IMG]
    this is done to eliminate the stress risers at the edge of the spring plate on your spring. eventually, it will break the spring right at the edge of the plate. you might want to look into getting those off of there before you do any damage.
     
  12. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    X2 on the better top plates. For clearance wouldn't ubolts be better then a mounting plate hung below the axle? Obviously it doesn't matter if this is a DD and not a trail rig.
     
  13. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    looks good!
     
  14. chvymudin3388

    chvymudin3388 1/2 ton status

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    looks great man im doing the same thing this weekend i got to go pick up the rear end first its already bought but i still got to get it... so what ujoint am i gonna need if you dont mind me asking
     
  15. Chevy305

    Chevy305 6 Lug 14bsf Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Awsome!! That is exactly what i plan to do with my truck! I broke my 10bolt a few weeks ago and have been looking for a 14bSF to upgrade to. I plan on trying to find one from a 81-87 3/4ton truck so the spring perches and shock mounts line up. But I don't know about you but a 14bSF from a 81-87 3/4ton with a 4.10 ratio and 6 lug is the holy grail of axels. Apparently 6 lug 14bSF didn't come around until the new body style, right?


    The 14bSF has a 9.5 inch ring gear right?
     
  16. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    It's not visible in the pic, but those plates have a 1/4" radius on the spring side. The stock and aftermarket plates are bent for two reasons. First is the reason you mentioned, but the primary reason is to make them rigid enough since they are typically made out of 3/16" thock material.

    I haven't looked at my front axle plates recently (the big cast ones), but I don't think they have any radius on the spring side. Maybe I should remedy that...
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2006
  17. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    Precision U-joint part # 447 from NAPA. I think Spicer make a conversion joint as well, but I was unable to find one so I used the Precision part. It is a greasable joint, which means it is theoretically weaker than a non-greasable joint (albeit not by much - the grease passages ain't very large). Needless to say, you may want to carry a spare :D.
     
  18. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I never found one on an older body style truck which is why I got one off of a NBS truck and moved the perches and shock mounts. Even then the 6-lug axles are like hen's teeth. I found plenty of 8-lug SF and lots of FF's before I finally found my 6-lug axle (actually, another CK5er found it and let me know about it). Actually, that's not entirely true. A few yards had some 6-lug SF's, but they wanted stupid amounts of money for them. I found one under a 1/2 ton 4x4, but the truck had been rolled and the flanges were bent:(. Anyway, the short answer is that when you do find one for a decent price, odds are it will be under a NBS truck, and likely a 2WD at that. I would suggest you get used to the idea of moving the perches if you want to swap one in.

    BTW, the 2WD axles are about an inch wider than the stock K5 rear axle, while a 14BSF out of a 4x4 will be approximately the same width as the front of your K5. These are considered more desirable, but they are also more scarce. I am happy with my 2WD axle, since it is an improvement width-wise over the stock 10b, and a pair of $80 spacers would make it exactly the same if I so choose. I've already stuffed a wheel at a time, and the clearance is perfect. Also, the width diff between the front and rear is no longer blatantly obvious, so I am probably going to save the $80 and leave it alone.

    Yup. 9.5" ring gear, and the pinion shaft is a whopping 1.875" in diameter (for comparison, a D60 pinion shaft is the same size as a 10b - 1.625"). :bow: Axle shafts are 33 spline (about 1.430"), and neck up to 1.7" diameter at the outer bearing. Tubes are 3.375" diameter, same as a 14bff :waytogo:
     
  19. MaxPF

    MaxPF 1/2 ton status

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    The clearance is pretty much the same. The plates only hang about 3/4" or so below the axle tube which isn't hardly anymore than the diameter of a u-bolt. And yes, it is a DD. If it was a trail-only rig, well, it would be a tube buggy with a 14BFF :D
     
  20. Col_Sanders

    Col_Sanders 3/4 ton status

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    How far off were the spring perches? I bought one off an '88 3/4 ton 2WD a couple weeks ago and havent had time to really dig into it yet. I didnt even bother measuring the spring perches, as Petersons said it was a direct bolt in. Guess I will have to get them moved. I did buy new bearings and all new brake components. Hope to start the swap this weekend. I hope that it has the same gears as my old 10 bolt. Will check this weekend.
     

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