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Next $1000?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Quaddawg, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Quaddawg

    Quaddawg 1/2 ton status

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    I am a first time 4x4'r (trucks that is, I am an ATV'r, in his 40's, been hot rodding most of my life..., but this is my first 4x4)

    OK, you guys were right, I am hooked, and my wallet it emptying fast!

    Here is the truck the way I bought it:
    [​IMG]

    It had been sitting for a year or so, and only driven very rarely for the 5 years before that, prior to that, I have no information on it at all...

    I paid $1250 for it, and drove it away.

    First modification was a set of duals, with Flowmaster 30 series. The headers were almost new, so are in good shape.

    Second, I got a good deal on a set of 36 TSL's that had been tastefully trimmed:


    [​IMG]


    Next, I tested, tuned, tweaked and painted it all black primer to get it at least looking presentable...
    [​IMG]


    I took stock of what I have:

    1978 K10 (frame and bed and running gear)
    1980 GMC Body
    3-4 inch body lift
    4 inch suspension, springs in front, springs and block in rear
    SBC 350 seems to have life left, runs out good
    Weiand intake (not sure of model yet)
    Edlebrock carb (again, not sure of cfm)
    Newer headers, not coated, but seem to be a good set
    New exhaust with Flowmasters
    Rebuilt TH350 (I know for a fact, have reciept)
    NP203 with a part-time kit, (don't know what kit) seems tight, no noises, and shifts fine, no slop)
    Dana 44 in front, have not confirmed, but RPM vs Speed (radar checked) indicated 3.73's engine pulls them fine for now
    12 bolt corp in rear.
    I do know know for sure, but I think both diffs are open, it is possible that there is LS in rear, but not for sure...
    36 inch TSL's in nearly new condition

    solid frame, no cracks by steering.
    front springs are a little saggy..... rears are fine
    Some body rot, but nothing that needs fixing for now
    Exhaust leaks by headers AND collectors, driving me NUTZ
    Suspension, balljoints and such, seem tight enough for now, put a new steering stabilizer on it, it was missing...

    OK, it's running fine, and everything works...

    I have about another grand I can put in this truck... question? WHAT?

    I have thought about a limited slip for the front, and a locker for the rear..

    I have thought about dana 60's with 4.10's, but I already have these tires... and don't really want to change.

    I know the weak points are my axles, but I don't really want to buy new tires and rims.. can I beef up these stockers?? and add a locker to the rear?

    I am not going to try to crawl this truck, I think I want it set up for mud and trails..

    Can I beef up the axles and U-joints and everything enought to put air lockers front and rear? or is that just a waste of money.

    I really think I want to spend the grand on locking this baby down, even if it means finding 8 lug 15 inch wheels, grinding calipers and such, and using dana 60's... but I don't think a grand will buy all that..

    Suggestions? damn, I just looked, this is a LONG post!!! sorry!!!
     
  2. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    dude I'd put a lunchbox locker int he rear and go with it as it is. Front limited slips aren't much of anything. What type of wheeling do you do? I didn't note if you mentioned. Seems like the truck is pretty decent. maybe a 14 bolt ff. Its up to you, you can run the 12 bolt and see if you break it. If you do replace it, if not go with it. Good ground clearance and you know the ratio matches your front axle. Only other things I might suggest would be, shackle flip in the rear(4" of lift without blocks) and crossover steering.

    I wouldn't spend your money on a 60 yet unless you really want to or come upon a deal. with the 36s and open diff a 44 should survive. Locking the rear is a big time improvement on any trail truck. Mud, rocks, trails, doesn't matter its a good move.
     
  3. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    3/4 ton axles, 15" 8 lug wheels, discs for the rear, and a locker should be within your $1000 budget. the 4.10 gears should be fine with your 36s and the TH350 on the highway. my calculator shows about 2500 rpms @ 65, which should still net decent gas milage.
     
  4. Quaddawg

    Quaddawg 1/2 ton status

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    I want to mostly trail this truck, nothing too extreme, I want it to be extremly capable in mud and snow, mostly mud. I won't crawl it much, if at all, I can't afford to break every weekend.. lol, and believe me, from my cars and quads, I know what this is like, but it is easier to get my quad home when broken, than this truck. lol... MUD, I don't want to sit there spinning two tires (one front and rear)


    I have heard of crossover steering, but can't really figure out what it is, and I even read the tech article here.. duh, I just can't picture it.. can someone explain this? and the advantages?


    Leave the front open?

    What is a "lunch box" locker? and if I get one, and there is a LS in the rear, is it worth moving it to the front?

    If I have any problems with the rear suspension, I will consider the flip and getting rid of the blocks... I don't like em, but they don't show, and the springs aren't sagged in the rear, so that part is fine for now.

    I am thinking new springs in the front, maybe crossover steering, once I figure out the benefits/costs, and some sort of locker in the rear, then see if I break it... :grin:

    I guess maybe a winch would be a good investment... LOL....;)
     
  5. rubbinz raczn

    rubbinz raczn 1/2 ton status

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    i say question is long term plans for truck? only you can say. mall cruiser street-trail or mainly trail? if everything is ok, driveshaft length etc. leave it alone! if you only plan on mostly driving on the street 1/2 ton axles in stock form will be fine. heavy trail use will cost $$$
     
  6. Quaddawg

    Quaddawg 1/2 ton status

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    that sounds good, but what do you mean by 3/4 ton axles? Do you mean 14 bolt GM corps? or what? Axles and diffs are definately my weak point.. something I really never learned...

    what locker? I really really really would like an air or electric locker... but I know those are high. I really would love to run open on the road, and lockem in when I need it...
     
  7. walla2k5

    walla2k5 1/2 ton status

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    A winch is a great investment.Maybe a rollbar...:D
     
  8. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    air and electric lockers would blow your budget right out of the water. By 3/4 ton he means a 14 bolt corporate and a dana 44 or 10 bolt front axle to match. The only difference between 3/4 ton dana 44 and 1/2 ton is the outer parts, spindles, hubs, rotors, brake brackets. Simple stuff. Its not any stronger but it gets you the same ratio(if you take both from the same truck) and matching lug patterns. A 14 bolt is a bit of piece of mind to say, hey I can crack the throttle with these tires and not break.

    Lunchbox locker means a locker that replaces your spider gears in your differential. Its a lot cheaper than a full differential locker like a Detroit.
     
  9. Quaddawg

    Quaddawg 1/2 ton status

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    That's one of the problems.. I really don't know what the long term will be on this one.. I might sell it, and move up to something else, or I may just keep fixing it up.

    I really only drive it on the road to get to where I can get OFF road... Mall cruiser? lol... nope, I am 43..... lol....


    Everything is OK, but I haven't tried to get it in the dirt yet for break testing.. I gave it a big workout in 22 inch snow this last week, and it did GREAT!!!! but snow is a lot easier on componants than dirt and rocks... lol

    trouble is, I have a F-150, and no trailer....... so I can't trailer it to the trails, so it has to be street trail, until I get a REAL truck to pull it to my trails

    My favorite trails (for ANYTHING) is http://www.motocrosspark.com/ and it is about 50 miles from here, SO, I need to drive it 100 miles round trip, and get it to hold together when I get there.... I know I am going to break, but I want to do what I can....
     
  10. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    axle info

    the 3/4 tons will require 15" 8 lug rims and yes it will be corp in the rear ,get the full floater rear. then i would do disk breaks inthe rear with detroit locker find them for around 300-325 dollers. make sure if locker is going in that the rear end is open diff , this is the carrier that is needed for it. the disk rear with your size tires will make stoping a easy , and panick stops a thing of the past . i did this on mine and wow , i would do it again no questions asked . the frt dana44 or corp10 make sure its 73-up if dana some old 44s had small ujoints . put spicer or brute force ujoints in the front , thay are the best , and if spicer my first choice the new cold forged ones. leave it open for your kind of playing best wear and tear reliability. the brakes wth 15" wheels will need to be ground just a little bit. if dana 60 alot ,but you dont need a 60 yet save the money for gas and fun ., put in when front keeps breaking thenits time for 60. the TSLs you have are vary good and that is a popular grove job , makes big difference in snow and crawling, did it to mine wow in the snow big difference. try thes items and have safe legal fun and dont for get the buddy system.:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
     
  11. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    14FF rear, w/ disc brakes, and a Detroit. D44 or a Corprate 10 bolt 8 lug front. if you end up with a D44 front, you'll be ahead, because the flat top knuckles can be machined to accomadate crossover steering. 4.10 is the most common gear ratio in the 3/4 ton axles.
     
  12. rubbinz raczn

    rubbinz raczn 1/2 ton status

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    what he said!!!! going to a d60 front instead of d44 is $1000 more or more! just remember redoing driveshafts later is hundreds of $$ so plan ahead!
     
  13. Quaddawg

    Quaddawg 1/2 ton status

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    OK, sounds like I am looking for some 3/4 ton axles with 4.10's or better..

    Someone please explain "full floater" to me...

    also, please explain what a crossover steering is, and how it benfits me, I read the tech article and still don't get it... duh


    What 15 inch 8 lugs wheels are recommended.

    Is the consensus to leave the front diff open and Detroit the rear? and Which Detroit? aren't there different models?
     
  14. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    axle info

    best to find rusted out 3/4 ton 4x4 for all parts to swap that way you arnt hunting for them. full floter looks like the front axle minus the hubs with 2 extra bolts . the easy way to spoy is that first way and where the yoke is it has a 6 bolt pinion flang that is removable like a ford 9" axle. for rims 15x10" for your size tire . the stock steering is from the box down to the left knuckle good street bad offroad articulation loss of turning 1 way. cross over is 2x4box with new pitman arm and now from box to right knuckle 100% better and much tighter felling system. if that is your plan offroad design has year end sale that ends jan2 big savings. i got the crossover and high steer and saved 100 dollers off regular price. you dont need high steer for your tipe off riding. high steer is where the tyerod is moved from middle of axle to above leaf springs and out of the way. :grin:
    offroad design is in vender area realy great people , best parts i have put on my truck pull up there sit and lookaround and see.:saweet:
     
  15. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Put the money in the bank and see what breaks first. It was your weak link. :D
     
  16. Diesel Dan

    Diesel Dan 1/2 ton status

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    IMO, run as is for now. Buy a winch and some recovery gear, straps, pulleys, 12V air compressor, etc.

    You have a regular cab short bed 1/2 ton, relatively light weight for a full size. The tires are the narrow 12.50s on narrow rims with stock offset, not much leverage on the axles. A D60/14bolt setup with 36s would be way overkill for your application and would have a weight and loss of ground clearance penalty. A late model 9.5" rear would give you added strength and could be found in 6 lug configuration.

    BTW, do you have a spare tire?
     
  17. Bhintz

    Bhintz 1/2 ton status

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    personally I would w/ out a doubt put a 14bff w/ locker in ther rear first, your WEAKEST link on your truck is your rear 10 or 12bolt (they both suckass), then get the 8lug outers for up front and dont mess any more w/ the front b/c youll break. I ran 35s up front on my 10 bolt and broke everything, then just get some wheels and your set.:D
     
  18. Quaddawg

    Quaddawg 1/2 ton status

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    Allright, I am getting a handle on this. but PLEASE someone explain "Full Floater" to me, PLEASE? not how to spot one, but what it means, and why I want it..



    I found a guy about a hundred miles from me with these

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=33728&item=7944021845&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW&tc=photo

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=33728&item=7944023072&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW&tc=photo


    These look good? I really need the 4.10's, so this would be a cheap way for me to get a couple upgrades I can use.. stronger axles and lower gears.. the 3.73's are OK, but I would like to have some more grunt, both on the road, AND in low 4x4....

    These axles, some grinding, and some cheap wagon wheel 15x10 8 lugs... and to top it off, a detroit in the rear?

    What locker do I want for the rear? No-Spin? what?
     
  19. smokkey1

    smokkey1 1/2 ton status

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    looks like an good deal. make sure the 14FF doesn't have an gov loc. because the detriot will only fit in an open carrier if not you'll have to get an new carrier for the 14FF.
     
  20. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    On a full floating axle, the wheel is mounted to studs on a hub, instead of on studs on the end of the axle shaft. With a full floater the weight of the truck is supported by the hub, not the axle shaft. All the axle shaft does on a ff, is supply the twisting force. You can pull the axle shaft on a full floater with the tires on the ground and no jack. If you break a full float axle shaft, you can still drive the truck. If you break a semi float axle shaft, the axle/tire/wheel part ways with the truck making it immobile.
    This is a shot of my 14b ff with disc brakes.
    [​IMG]

    The eight bolts in the center hold the axle shaft in. The hub still spins without the axle shaft, but no power is getting to that wheel.

    I hope that explained it.:D

    If you're going with a 14b ff in the rear, you can go with a Detriot, Lock-right, weld it, or get a spool. As far as cost, welding them is the cheapest. No disadvantages other than tire wear and wierd on road manners. The Detriot is the same except for cost. Being a hot rodder, you should know what a spool does. The Lock-Right is not really an option as far as I'm concerned. Not as strong as the other choices. The other option is the stock "Gov-Lock" setup. Also called the "Gov-Bomb" for good reason. They have a rep for self destructing. Realistically, you should choose betweem welding and the Detriot, with the Detriot probably being the most practicle. I run mine welded though. It was free. :)
     

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