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New axles or gear swap??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by bennevis, Oct 19, 2000.

  1. bennevis

    bennevis Registered Member

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    I have an 82' with 32x11.5's 10bolt front and rear with 3.73 and a 700R4. Was looking to go to 4.10 with 30 spline axles and was quoted about 850 from Randys R&P and WCD. This included front and rear gears install kit, spider gears and rear axles. I have a guy who is willing to sell me a complete Dana 60 and complete 14Bolt FF, both with 4.56 gears for $1000, maybe less. I do not do serious rock crawling or anything like that but occasionally like to get out in the mountains to do some fishing. Would the axles be overkill or is the price to good compared to just changing gears to pass up? How would the 4.56 do with 32 tires? It would be nice to use the overdrive again here in Colorado on some of the hills along the highways. Opinions and advice welcomed. Thanks Bennevis
     
  2. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    If you just plan on using the truck for fishing and light off-roading, the 14-bolt/Dana 60 combo is probably overkill, though $1000 for both may be a decent deal (depending on whether they need rebuilt or not). Just remember, the last single rear wheel Chevy that used the Dana 60 solid front axle was built over 10 years ago, so regular wear items such as brake pads, calipers, bearings, u-joints, and the tme and labor could add several hundred dollars on to that price in a hurry.
    Also, if you do decide to stay with the 10-bolts, I would highly recommend upgrading to a good aftermarket limited slip diff in the rear.
     
  3. ken

    ken 1/2 ton status

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    Get the one ton stuff and never look back. Sell you pair of Camaro 10 bolts for about $500 and you've re-couped half your money!! You can never be too overbuilt!!!

    ken
     
  4. Zepplin

    Zepplin 1/2 ton status

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    That priced included the labor also I assume? A thousand dollars for both sounds like alot for both axles if they haven't been rebuilt. I bought a 14 bolt full-floater and and 3/4 ton Heavy Duty Dana 44 ( I was told by a guy that worked on my front axle that it was a H.D.) I paid $350 for the pair but they both needed all the brake hardware replaced including the very expensive rear 14 bolt drums. To sum it up, if you can find out if they axles were recently rebuilt than that would be a great deal, even if you only do mild wheeling.

    Dazed and Confused in a 74 Blazer

    Zeppelin
     
  5. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    If you're going to pay someone labor to set up the ring and pinions, that will add at least $500 to the cost of your 10-bolt upgrades. You might want to consider swapping out your 10-bolts for a different pair that already have the right gear ratio. To find them with 30-spline might be tough, though, because I think that the front one was only offered for 3 years.

    '85 JIMMY
    '90 paint/grill/trim 5"susp 33/12.5/16.5
    Fresh 350 B&M '87 TH700
     
  6. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The labor shouldn't cost more than about $150 per axle to set up the gears (at least that's what the standard seems to be around here).
    I would stay with the 28 spline axles in the front 10-bolt strictly based on the fact that 30 spline front axles are very hard to find, whether they are new or used.

    For the price on the 14 bolt/ Dana 60 combo, a junkyard 14 in good shop goes for around $200 - $300 around here. Dana 60's are a little tough to come by and therefore go for a lot more than the common Dana 44 3/4 ton front end. Boyce sells rebuilt 60's for around $1,500.
     
  7. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Are you not happy with your setup? I have the same trany and 3.73 gears in my 1990 burb w/ 31" tires. I' thinking of getting 32" tires and a 2" lift. How does OD work for you? Right now I have good power with the 31's just want a little bigger but still want to be able to fly up mountian highways. Thanks.
     
  8. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    Man, $1000 for both D60 and 14bolt sounds like an awesome deal. I agree with Ken, get them and never look back. Too much Beef is the right amount of Beef. With 32" tires and 4.56 gears, your RPMs will be pretty high though at high speeds. I would go 35"s or at the least, just step up one more inch and go with 33".

    Zepplin, 14bolt FF plus D44 for $350 sounds like a good deal, but you have to remember, that the D60 front are worth more than double $350 regardless of condition. Atleast that seems to be the norm. I don't think it should cost that much, but with all the hype about them, that's why the prices are jacked on D60s, not to mention they're hard to find.
    Boss
    http://www.boss.coloradok5.com

    [​IMG]
     
  9. bennevis

    bennevis Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. There seems to be a question as to wether the axles are rebuilt or not. The guy that is selling them says that they are rebuilt and complete with brakes and hubs. Does this change anyones opinion on wether this deal is any good? Thanks again
    Bennevis
     
  10. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Where in Colorado? If you decide not to get them, I will buy them like yesterday for sure, and I am in Colorado. Send me a private email.

    [​IMG]
    5,000 Pounds of American Rolling Steel
     
  11. bennevis

    bennevis Registered Member

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    shum1, the power that I have is decent if you are on flat ground. When I get to hills like Monument, forget it. Especially in OD. It will shift from 4 to 3 on hills so I do not use it. Hope this helps.
    bennevis
     
  12. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Oh yeah, if you go to 1-tons you will need new tires and 8-lug wheels as well.

    [​IMG]
    5,000 Pounds of American Rolling Steel
     
  13. Shawn

    Shawn 1/2 ton status Premium Member Author

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    If you do the axle swap, you'll also need "trick" rear driveshaft yoke, 14FF and D60 ubolts, spring plates, and backing plates from a 88-91 3/4 Suburbarn (SF 14 bolt) for your e-brake cable.

    Shawn
    87 K5
    http://www.off-road.com/chevy
     
  14. ken

    ken 1/2 ton status

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    R U saying that the backing plate from a SF 14 bolt (88-91 vintage) is the same as a 14 FF...meaning they will interchange??

    ken
     
  15. Shawn

    Shawn 1/2 ton status Premium Member Author

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    Yes, but I'm not going to bet my life on it. This is what Steve Fox did on his so he could retain his stock e-brake and cables. The salvage yard guy (we call him axle d*ck) didn't give us the application since he didn't want to give away his "secret" but after looking at other SF 14's, these look to be the ones and are the same dia. I think the application goes down to 84 so it would be 84-91.

    Shawn
    87 K5
    http://www.off-road.com/chevy
     

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