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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by CHEVY 4WD, May 14, 2002.

  1. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    I havent owned a 4X4 yet but I have been around it somewhat(im not a idiot when it comes to cars and tucks) I want a truck a Chevrolet 83-87 (I really want a 85) Im not gonna be doing much hauling or towing. I just want input on what I whould be looking for engine trans diffs. or anyting else. Also what were the main differnence between 1/2, 3/4, & 1 ton's? And I need to learn how to read the vin's the 700R4 was the best trans correct?

    FUTURE PLANS
    4in Sky Jackers lift 35 12.50 15 BFG AT's OR MT's MT Classic2's I have heard that MT's acutally last longer than AT's is this true? they dont look like they would.
     
  2. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    WELOME /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

    yer at the right place. now why an 85?and in a perfect world you would be looking a K30 witch means it a 1 ton 4x4 truck. but they are hard to fined an are pricey
     
  3. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    '85 Simply because of the front clip(I no I coud swap them out) Is there any differences between the 83-87's becides the front clip?
     
  4. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    '87's have TBI.
     
  5. Little Giant

    Little Giant Registered Member

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    The biggest difference I think is an '87 would be fuel injected. That would be my preference.
     
  6. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    87's are fuel injected.... 700R4 has over drive... but they are not the most bullet proof tranny you can have.... do you have a perference between auto or manual tranny....? Also just because a vin says it's 1/2 ton or what have you doesn't mean it is... people swap stuff out and replace axles and so on. Your best best would be to be able to indenify parts by looking at them or by the part numbers on them not the vin... what exactly do you want to do with the truck once you get it. Determine that and then you cna figure out the amount off beef you want and the type of mods you want on it... /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  7. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    Well here in FL its really sandy and theres not to many rocks I plan on doing a little bit of everything. And I love goen fast. What is the strongest trans then? Turbo400? When I buy the truck I am hopping to get a mainly stock truck (becuse people around here RAG on there stuff hard) and build it my self. O ya and I want a auto for offroad driving (4-speeds are great in cars)
     
  8. lt61173

    lt61173 1/2 ton status

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    400 would be the strongest in most circles
     
  9. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I have an 85 Jimmy and would recommend going with an 87 or better for a few reasons. One is because of the fuel injection issue already mentioned. Second is because of the engine. Most 85s (1/2 ton at least) will have a 305 (fuel conservation years). Go for an 87 with the FI 350, not a carbuerated 305 unless you plan to replace it.

    For trannies, the 700 is not the most bullet-proof, but can be reliable. Big difference is that it has an OD, the TH350 and 400s don't.

    As far as 1/2 tons and so on, the 1/2 tons have 10-bolt axles. These are as weak as they come. I know, I have two! Starting in 89 in the K5, the axleshaft sizes were increase slightly and more splines, but it is still a 10-bolt (6-lug). The 1-ton models have the biggest hardware. Usually a 14-bolt full floating rear axle and a dana 60 front axle. Oh yeah, another bad thing about the 10-bolts is that they have c-clips on the axleshafts to hold them in. If a shaft breaks or the clip, the wheel is coming off. The 14-bolt is a full floater. shaft breaks here and all is staying on the rig. These are the axles that guys want when going with big tires (big meaning over 35"). The 3/4 tons are kinda a hybrid. They will have the larger 14-bolt rear axle but still usually a Dana 44 or 10-bolt front axle with 8-lugs (comparable axles). For many guys, this is an upgrade alternative due to the fact of the cost of a Dana 60 axle (around $1000 and up).

    Hope that gives you the low down. If it were me, I would look for a good 1-ton model. If you can't find that, get you a 1-ton as a donor vehicle (to get the axles from) and get an 87+ year model 1/2-ton rig in good shape. Then swap the axles in the two rigs and sell the 1-ton as a modified 1/2-ton model. That would be cheaper than buying just the 1-ton axles and you are more likely to find a good condition 1/2 ton (interior and body) than a 1-ton model.

    Best of luck!
     
  10. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the information I think im gonna look for a 85 1/2 and try to get 1 ton axles and I plan on building a 350 for it(still only carb unless I can get a FI of a ram jet). What should a good cond stock 85 1/2ton 4x4 cost me?

    Also does anyone know about the lift of the BFG MT's and AT's if MT's last longer or as long I think thats what I want.
     
  11. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Instead of a 350 cid engine, consitter a 400cid small block. The 400sbc is good motor for a 4x4. And if you decide to build it up, the 415 stroker kits are really nice.
     
  12. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    Does the 400 make alot more TQ? I want to get a short block and ive never seen a 400 short block how much would it cost to build a nice 400 VS a 350
     
  13. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    What part of Fla are you in? Im not too far from Tampa.

    Theres really not that many differences in the 81 -91 rigs mechanically. 87 you get injection. I think in 88 or 89 the 700 r4 trannies got better. 89 or 90 (I think) the axles went to 30 spline. I havent got a clue when the ESC (electronic spark control) started. Sometime around 83-4 maybe. Hopefully someone can clear up exactly what yrs I am thinking of.

    Cosmetically The sheet metal is all the same w/ the exception of single or dual headlamps from 81 -88. In 89 the radiator support was changed for the newer style grille. They also have single or dual headlamps.

    Pretty much its easy to swap around for a "look". And parts (body and mech.) are bolt on interchangeable thru out most all GM products.

    So narrowing it down to 1 specific yr isnt really ness. Unless you have an attchment to that yr for some reason.

    Thats about all I can think of. /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif
     
  14. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I can't see why the MTs would last longer than the ATs. I would highly recommend getting MTs, though, they work better on practically any kind of surface than the ATs. To help with on-road handling under wet conditions, I would recommend getting them siped. It doesn't cost much, significantly improves handling, and can increase tire life if most of it is spent on-road.
     
  15. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    When you guys say swap the axles does that meen the whloe thing including the brakes pupkin lugs and everything? can I put 1ton axles on with a 1/2 bolt pattern? and whats siped? some type of groving? also how much is a air locker?
    btw THANX for all the help
     
  16. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    Yes the whole axle. From hub to hub. There is no 1/2 ton bolt pattern 1 ton. Its gonna be 8 lug.

    Siping is more like slices. Imagine what a razor blade would do to a tire and that is the general idea. It makes for more surface area by the slices opening up. Its really kind of hard to explain. The only reason I know anything about it is because 4wheeler or 4wheel and off road did a write up on siping that I read.

    Grooving is all together different. You are actually taking rubber off the tire and changing the pattern, rather than just slicing it.

    Airlocker pricing I have no idea about.
     
  17. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    axle swap - whole thing. including brakes. Brakes for 1-ton units were bigger than 1/2 units so it helps as well.

    bolt patterns - the 1/2 ton 4WD bolt pattern is 6 lug. The standard for 3/4 or 1-ton is 8 lug. Some people do convert there 8-lugs to 6, but i wouldn't recommend it. It is more common for people to convert there 6-lug to 8. This is the reason a lot of people don't go up to the 1-ton.

    Siping is a lot of "slices" in the tread. With MTs, for example, you have pretty good sized lugs hitting the ground. Great for off-road, but very dangerous on wet pavement. Look at car tires, they have lots of little spaces for the water to go under a lug keeping the tire from hydroplaning. By siping, you are keeping the big lugs but giving places for water to go. In addition, it actually increases surface area of the tire (rubber that was internally part of the lug is no "exposed" as a slice). This helps in the disbursement of heat. And heat is what causes tires to wear on roads. However, offroad, it can make the lugs a little weaker. Now, instead of having to rip off an entire lug, the rocks only have to rip off a small slice of the lug. I have noticed some SMALL damage to my lugs due to this combo, but nothing that would defeat the safety gains for on-road wet driving.

    The ARB air locker usually runs around $650 or so. But, that doesn't include the price of the air compressor. You would have to have some sort of switch controlled compressor as well.

    Hope all this helps!
     
  18. Greenblazer-AZ

    Greenblazer-AZ 1/2 ton status

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    Warning these people will corrupt you and you'll end up with bigger and bigger tires and more lift and fender trimming and winches and, and, and.../forums/images/icons/smile.gif There are a lot of good reasons for getting a Fuel injected rig with big(1 ton) axles, but you can have a lot of fun with half ton axles too. If you wan't to drive fast on the street then you will wan't smaller tires, as most of the big ones aren't even round so they would be dangerous at high speeds. I personally have much more fun off road than risking my license driving fast on the street. Good luck and welcome aboard!
     
  19. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    So is there a big difference between 3/4ton and 1 ton? what is the dirrerence?
     
  20. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    About a 1/4 ton! he he

    Really... If you want an "indestructable" rig, you will need to go 1-ton which would mean a true 1-ton front axle (Dana 60) and a 1-ton rear (14BFF). A 3/4-ton usually has a 1/2-ton front axle (GM10 bolt or Dana 44) combined with a 1-ton rear (14BFF).

    The problem is that a Dana 44 front with 8-lugs or converting a 10-bolt to 8-lugs will only cost a couple hundred dollars. A Dana 60 front axle will start around $1000.

    Most of the time you are only using your rear axle (2WD). Even if you are off road, you are probably using 2WD more often than 4WD. That is why many people go the 3/4 ton route. I know many people that have grenaded the rear 10-bolt axle so they will step up to 3/4 ton status with a rear 14bff and convert their fronts and then later, as $$ allows, install a Dana 60. If you have the money and time and plan to go there eventually, I would recommend the straight jump to full 1-ton.

    But, that is just my opinion.
     

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