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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Underdog67, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Underdog67

    Underdog67 Registered Member

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    Hey folks. Friday (1-6-06) I'll be getting my first 4x4...ever. It's an 86 K-5, and basically bone stock as far as I know. I've known I was going to get it for about 2 months now (had to give the guy time to find something else to drive), and have been doing some limited research on mods and things.

    I keep hearing about spools, lockers, lock-outs, dual t-cases and such, but I don't know what goes where, what does what, or where to start. The truck has a 350 engine(not original, and I don't know what year it is), automatic tranny, and factory 10-bolt diffs.. The body isn't bad at all (considering Ohio winter salt), and it currently has 33x12.5x15s on it. The wheels are some kind of swirly looking alloy deal, but I'm not sure the brand or style name.

    I'm just looking for good advice as to what mods (other than engine: I already have plans for that)) would be wise to start with. It'll be a daily driver, but I also want to be able to reliably and confidently go off-road and be able to negotiate hills, creeks, mud, and the like with as minimal an investment as possible.

    Any ideas, comments or suggestions are much appreciated.

    Thanks.

    'dog.
     
  2. fordtruggy

    fordtruggy Registered Member

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    Well Lockers are gunna make the biggest difference offroad.Basically they are somethin you install in the differentials to lock the wheels together so you cant get into a situation where the stuck wheel wont spin and the one in the air will.Basically all 4 wheel get even power no matter what.Lockers can be verry expencive though.I welded my front and bought a 30 doller minispool for the back of my ford 9 inch.However nice lockers can easilly run 3/4/5 hundread dollers a piece.
     
  3. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    The more you read, the less you'll spend/waste.:D
     
  4. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I agree completely. Decide how much off-road you will do and start there. If you want a decent road/DD/trail rig, you really don't need a lot of what the serious rock guys do.
     
  5. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    And you've invited everybody to tell you all about their rig. Mines a DD '85 Burb, you're welcome to PM and I'll tell you what I selected and why and why not and what's a keeper and not.
     
  6. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I guess I could have put in that mine is a 90 burb with a 4-5" lift, BFG AT 35's and not much else. It's a great road/trail/mild rock/mud truck. No doubler/spools/60's. Yet.
     
  7. Underdog67

    Underdog67 Registered Member

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    Thanks...

    Thanks for the replies, folks.

    I'll be reading a lot on this forum.

    'dog.
     
  8. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    Welcome to the board. Read alot here. Become a full member. 1 day of reading here is easy worth the 25.00 membership fee. Just about everything you need to know is here.

    BTW 90 Blazer 60/14 exo, detroit, fuzzy dice.
    What is a gopher mechanic and where in the midwest are you.
     
  9. Underdog67

    Underdog67 Registered Member

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    Lol.

    Well, I drive a Navistar day cab, going around picking up damaged semi trailers, which I take back to the shop to fix, then drop back off. I also, at times, fetch kerosene for the shop heaters, and deliver parts for the parts guys, among other crapola: Gopher (go for) Mechanic...in Ohio...Springfield/Dayton area. :haha:

    'dog.
     
  10. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    I'm about a year and a half into the learning curve myself. If you care to know I decided after a lot, no A LOT of research the best bang for my buck was 4" lift, 35", 14bff with a Detroit, and a winch. Cheap low cog lift, no need to alter driveshafts or pinion angles, tire size is big without absolutely needing to regear, Detroit will make offroad actually doable, and rear axle and winch will get you out of trouble and home. My two cents. And Canadian funds at that! Welcome and have fun.
     
  11. Underdog67

    Underdog67 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the input, fireplug.

    I think I've figured out that the 10-bolt has to go, at least in the rear. From what I've gathered so far, I'm thinking about Dana 44s front and rear, with ARB(?) lockers and 35" Iroks on steel Daytona wheels, with beadlocks...maybe.

    Can anyone educate me about hubs and/or trannys?

    I had originally thought about a 700R4(?) tranny, but I've been hearing not so good things, and it's looking like a well built 400 will do the trick.

    Any suggestions on T-case mods?

    Thanks again, folks.

    'dog.
     
  12. Chaddy

    Chaddy 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    first things first....get a frame brace if it doesnt have one, ditch the d44 idea and go with a 14bff for the rear and the front is up you....I had a 44 and now I have a 60 front because even the baddest 44 doesnt compair to a d60 as far as strength. Our trucks are just too heavy to do rocks with a locked 44 up front.




    BTW I have a 90 blaze, 60-14 detroits, flat belly and a bunch of other stuff.
     
  13. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Steering brace is a great idea, definitely add that to the list. And for free, remove the sway bar for a bit more articulation.

    I wouldn't put a lot of money or effort into attaining a D44 but if one is cheap or lying around it can be built better than a 10b. D60 are great for sure but also pricey as hell and everyone seems to be hip to their value.

    That said, if you aren't doing rocks, or if you know when to unlock one hub, and or drive with a light foot the average wheeler can go long and far with a D44.

    I think you might find ARB's cost restrictive with few advantages over other options. A Detroit in the rear is bombproof, maintenance free and barely noticeable in our trucks. The only reason I would avoid them is if you do a lot of driving on snow or ice covered roads. Mine is a DD and I live in Canada. Yeah sometimes the truck kicks out in the rear end but a steady foot and a little common sense goes far. Maybe if I lived in the mountains I'd be a little more concerned.
     
  14. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    And if you don't know, a 14bff is a 14 bolt, full floating axle. They came on 3/4 tons and 1 tons. There will be 14 bolts on the differential cover and you will see bolts on the hubs. This should be a bolt in mod. They are cheap and indestructable.
    As far as wanting to go change trannies, I would just wait and see if this one works. It may last for years. This site has COMPLETELY changed my 4x4 philosophy. I have spent countless hours researching, and what I have gathered so far is: Keep and reuse as much stock stuff as you can. These trucks are an incredible building platform. The closer to stock you are, generally the more reliable you will be (and it will be better suited for daily drving). The farther from stock you go, the greater your off road capabilities.
    It all depends on what type of wheeling you want to do, and how hard you want to wheel it. Every mod seems to be a trade-off between ground clearance, drivetrain part longivity, power, and center of gravity. These factors must be weighed in different proportions, depending on the type of wheeling.
    The bottom line.. do lots and lots of researching.
    Sorry for my insanity ramblings, its 2 in the morning.
    thanks,
    James :rolleyes:
     
  15. mrhoes

    mrhoes 1/2 ton status

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    I also have a 86 K5 and didnt want to risk the rear 10 bolt so I put in a 14SF and converted the front to 8 lug and clocked up the t-case. I am running a 2in sus and 2in body lift and the springs are pretty soft, havent wheeled it with the new mods to try everthing out yet.
     
  16. Underdog67

    Underdog67 Registered Member

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    Well thanks again for all the help, folks. I'm learning a lot about this stuff.

    Anyone know of a web site where I can run engine ID numbers to find out details about that 350?

    Thanks again.

    'dog.
     

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