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Need 8 lug front axle should I go dana 44 or gm 3/4 10 bolt?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by shum1, Jan 21, 2001.

  1. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    I currently have a gm 1/2 ton 6 lug 10 bolt w/3.73's up front in my 1990 burb. I want to get an 8 lug axle w/4.10s to match my 14 bolt rear. Mostly tow vehicle. What are the pros and cons of either of these front axle conversions? If I go dana, will I have to get differnt suspension parts than what I currently have? I'm planning on getting a tuff country 4 inch lift. I think TC assumes I have a 10 bolt up front, would it matter if I got a dana 44? What about brake calipers?
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    It shouldn't matter too much which one you go with. Both were designed to fit under your truck, so suspension parts and brake parts interchange. Gotta love the way GM does things sometimes.
    Strength wise the Dana 44 and 10 bolt are pretty well equals, some argue one is better than the other but I think they are very similar strength wise.
    The bottom line is just find one or the other with the ratio you want thats in good shape and you'll be fine.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  3. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds great, are the caliper interchangable? Also is the 44 a full floater?
     
  4. rock.monkey

    rock.monkey 1/2 ton status

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    Yes they are interchangeable and F/F.
    I've found the 44's to be cheaper and easier to find axle shafts for though, compared to the 10 blt.

    Bill Innes
    88' Jimmy
    [​IMG]
     
  5. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Any grinding nessesary to make 15" alloys fit the 8 lug dana 44?
     
  6. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    yep,sure do.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Do you actually have a set of 15" 8 bolt alloy rims? I thought they were only available in steel. No matter, it depends on how much backspacing you have. I just put on a set of 15" 8 bolt rims on my truck today, they have 4" of backspacing and required a fair bit of grinding. I think if you don't want to grind for half a day stay with 3 1/2" of backspacing and you won't have to grind so much.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  8. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I must have my head up in my ass!! I forgot all about the Weld Racing SR series wheels. You can get them any size and backspacing. I saw they have these rims with backspacing way back to 2.5"!! And you can get them in 15" for 8 lug. Think these would clear better than 3.5" or 4". Give them a call.
     
  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I don't know if I'd go "all the way back to 2 1/2" of backspacing".
    The less backspacing the more the tire and rim will stick out from the fenders, and the more stress you'll put on the wheel bearings. Gee the thought of no grinding sounds good though.
    I would guess those Welds are kinda spendy though, but at least you could spec out exactly what you want.

    Rene

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  10. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    There's really no clear cut advantage to either the 10-bolt or Dana 44. Both are very similar in strength and should be virtually a direct bolt-in on your truck. The spindles, rotors, hubs, calipers, and outer axle shafts (stub shafts) should all be interchangeable between the 10-bolt and 44. You should also be able to use the calipers off of the 6 lug axle.
    In my area, the 8-lug 10-bolts are much easier to find in junkyards and are usually cheaper than the 44's. Also keep in mind that GM hasn't used a front Dana 44 since the late 70's, while the 8-lug 10-bolts were available up to '87 in the pickups and to '91 in Subs.
     

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