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On the hunt for 14 bolts I got several questions

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by shum1, Jan 18, 2001.

  1. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, I need to change to 4.10s anyways so why not just find 14 bolts with the gears I need? I have not bought the wheels yet but I do have 15" tires. So what donor trucks do I need to look for? Of course I want a bolt on deal. I have a 1990 suburban with a np241 t-case. Can this be done? The local gear shop says I should be able to find them for 700 or 800 bucks. I havent lifted yet so I'm thinking do it all at once. Also, will the front come with ball joints? mine are beat. Thanks.
     
  2. blazen91

    blazen91 1/2 ton status

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    Make sure you find one that is a 3/4 ton, not a 1 ton. 1 tons have the perches in different places, making it a non-bolt on application. Ball joints can be replaced easily. I wouldn't change a front axle just for ball joints. If you can try to find a 6 lug 14bsf, and you won't have to change the front brakes. I know there are others with more ideas.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.blazen91.coloradok5.com>http://www.blazen91.coloradok5.com</A>
    Protect the land FOR the people
    Not FROM the people
     
  3. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Blazin91: Thanks. So I can either buy 6 lug or 8 lug wheels. If I got a 6 lug front would that mean I would hae 6lug in front and 8 lug in back? Right now I have 10 bolts front and back, I'm not to concerned with front axel bombproofnes, I just want a heavy duty towing machine. So I guess I'm looking for the exact parts with the least amount of modification needed. Why would I have to change front brakes? I'm new to these issues and a little perplexed. Thanks again.
     
  4. JimmyDie6.2

    JimmyDie6.2 1/2 ton status

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    shum where are you?? I have an SF 14 bolt rear from an 81 3/4 ton burb with 4:10s. the rear is non posi. wanna buy it??? I'm on long island..................js
     
  5. elkboy

    elkboy 1/2 ton status

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    I swapped in a 10 bolt front from an 85 3/4ton and a 14bolt full floater from a 78 in my 82 Blazer. I got both with 4.10's for $550 from a junkyard. This way I have matching 8 lugs front and back. The 10 bolt front bolted right in, I used my old calipers and locking hubs in the front. The Rear I had to get a special u-joint to adapt the driveline, but that was about it. Make sure you get the u-bolt mounting plates and the e-brake cables out of the donor truck. You will want a 73-79 3/4 ton rear-end for the swap. The spring perches should match up, but be sure and measure the donor. 80-87 rear-ends will also work, but the 3/4 ton version are semi-floating and I think the 1 tons of that era had 5/8 lugs. If you don't want to change wheels, you could also look for an 88 6 lug semi floating 3/4 ton rear and have the spring perches moved.

    Good luck!
    elkboy
     
  6. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Ya, I noticed today a guy at work has a 3/4 ton burban 1989 with 8 lugs in the front but the rest of the axle loked just like my 10 bolt front on my 1/2 ton 6 lug. Whats the diff between the two? Would it be easier or even possible to convert my front end to 8 lug? Also, whats the deal with the parking brake modifications? Thanks again.
     
  7. kpanza

    kpanza 1/2 ton status

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    I just swapped in a 3/4 ton 14 bolt rear FF with 8 lugs in the rear, which bolts right up to the springs (unlike the 1 ton version). To match the front, I swapped out the hubs and rotors on my 10 bolt to 3/4 ton stuff from a 87 Suburban. Thsi way I have 8 lugs all around. The original 10 bolt brake calipers bolt right up to the new rotors. You will have to find some 3/4 ton backing plates to replace your 1/2 ton ones, but those are a dime a dozen. Plus, the 3/4 ton brakes and pads help me stop better. It was pretty easy all in all. My 14 bolt came with 3.73s, but I swapped them out to 4.56s anyway...if you can, just find one with the 4.10s, and you would be ahead of the game (if they're in good shape)
     
  8. elkboy

    elkboy 1/2 ton status

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    I just used the parking brake cables off of the donor truck which were the right length. As far as the difference between the 6 lug and 8 lug 10 bolt front axles, the hub, rotor, and backing plate. I think the k20 also use a larger brake caliper, but my K5 calipers fit the 3/4 ton rotor just fine. You can get the parts to change from 6 to 8 lug, but if your going to swap gears too, I would buy a matched set ready to go. As a bonus you can sell your 6 lug front to offset the cost.
     
  9. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    SO, 3/4 ton 8 lug front axles are really just 10 bolts? Also, do front axles generally come with knuckles and ball joints? One junk yard tried to sell me tie rods and all that other crap off the front they wouldnt sell me just the axle. What u joint mods should I expect for the front (assuming I use a 3/4 ton 10 bolt)? What U joint mods for the 14 bolt 3/4 rear?

    one more: I have heard there are differnt sizes and strength 14 bolts, which one do I need?
    Thanks everyone for the great 411.
     
  10. chevydude

    chevydude Registered Member

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    i just finished swapping in 3\4ton front and rears into my 79 blazer i bought a complete donor truck a 77 3\4ton(pretty rusted out),that way i had everything minus one hybrid rear u-joint to do it with, plus ihave a spare motor,tranny,transfer,front driveline,lenses,etc,etc
    if you do buy just the front and rear axles make sure they are complete,little things like front brake lines,lug nuts,etc can add up in a hurry
    good luck,and remember to be safe,make sure that rig is not going to fall once youve rolled a axle out from underneath it,or are wrestling with the new one under there

    marcus
     
  11. For heavy towing I would use the convert to 8 lugs.The rotors and drums are bigger on the 3/4 ton stuff.Anything you can do to improve stoping while towing is a plus in my book.
    I would get a 14 bolt ff for a tow rig,they're alot cheaper and eazier to find,plus alot stronger.For towing you mite want to consider 4.56 gears in the sub.Just my $.02
    Good luck
     
  12. elkboy

    elkboy 1/2 ton status

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    You should not have to mod anything in the front other than the axle, both 10 bolts use the same u-joint. When I bought mine, I got everything excluding the brake calipers for $400.00. I put new rotors and pads for under $100.00 and swapped it straight in. Other than 8 lug, the rotors were the same on both axles. Swapping the whole axle was cheaper than changing to 8 lug and then changing gears. I kept my old axle shafts and tie rod as spares ( bonus), and gave the rest away. A reputable junk yard should sell you everything from the hubs in as an axle assembly, including the tie rod. I found smaller junkyards were a little more willing to haggle. As far as the rear goes, you should only need a hybred ujoint. I bought one at Napa for ~$25.
     
  13. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    What model and year trucks have the 10.5" 14 bolt full floaters that will work on my rig?
     
  14. elkboy

    elkboy 1/2 ton status

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    look for a 73-79 3/4 ton two or 4wheel drive. They are heavy though ~500 pounds, and stay away from the gov-locks. If you want a locker go detroit. Lot's of the camper and trailer specials from these years have 4.10's .
     
  15. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    So, 2 and 4wd are the same? Are the 14bolt ff gov-locks unreliable? For towing I thought they would be nice, but if they break I'll look for open. Is it obvious to tell the difference? Also How much does a 10 bolt weigh?
     
  16. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    There seems to be a little confusion here. 14 FF were in trucks up to 82 or 83. Some 81 and up trucks also had SF rears. Just options I guess. ALL 80's had FF. I have two 1 ton trucks and had two in past, and I have never heard of these trucks having 5/8" lug nuts. All one ton and 3/4 tons had 9/16" lugs. Yes, the spring perches from the 3/4 and 1 tons are different. If you want a bolt up, go the 3/4 ton route. The brakes on the one ton are 13x3.5 compared to 3/4 ton's 13x3 and some had smaller 11" drums but one ton had its own drums. Depending on your vehicle year, parking brake cables are different too. Look for changing backing plates if you have 83 or newer truck. If you get pre-83 difs, the cables are short. They are both the same length and bolt to brackets under the forward part of the rear springs. If you have a newer ride, the cables hook up on the driver side. The passenger side runs over the pinion and hooks up to a small bracket to have one side parking brake cable. No biggie, but getting the backing plates from the dealer is NOT cheap! Just check around.
    Another note; shock mounts are different on 3/4 and 1 ton. The mounts are opposite side of each other. 3/4 ton has mounts on the same side as 1/2 ton, another reason to go with this axle. The gov-locks have a bad rep. But Powertrax's Lock Right is coming out with a locker for these difs. The gov-lock is a three pin spider gear assembly. The open dif, which everybody wants, to install the infamouse Detroit Locker, is a four pin spider gear assembly. Check out Powertrax web site and Truetrac also. Both prices are very close to one another, around 300 to 325.00.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by thatK30guy on 01/20/01 07:21 AM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  17. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    So what setup do I need to make the parking breke work in my 1990 suburban? Also what's bad about the gov-lock in the 14 bolt other than you cant change them out and they are not lockers? Are they weak? I know that the gov-lock in the weaker gm axles are not so good.. Thanks again
     
  18. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    You just answered your question. Gov-locks are weak. They can be strong if everybody did one thing: put in the posi lube. Too many people change the oil in the rearend and not knowing it was the factory gov-lock just pour in 80-90 weight oil. You NEED this posi trac lube to make the clutches work properly. I have a one ton with the gov-lock and it dont work as the owner before me must have not put any lube in it other than the 80-90. Just saying if you want a maintenance-free locker, get the four pin and install a Detroit. Powertrax is coming out with the new Lock Right for the three pin. Its to replace the gov-lock and you WONT need posi lube. It will be just as good as Detroit.
    As for the backing plates, if you get an older rearend, say pre 83 full floater, order newer plates for any 3/4 ton after 84. The only difference is the holes where the parking brake cable go into. On the older ones they have a bracket that uses two bolts to hold them to the plate. On the newer ones, they just slide into the holes and clamp in place. No biggie here. Search your salvage yards for the newer plates.
     

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