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Spool in front Dana44-Has it been done?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Mudzer, Mar 22, 2000.

  1. Mudzer

    Mudzer 1/2 ton status Author

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    I have some questions for you Hardcore wheelers. Has anyone ever installed a spool in the frontend of their 4x4? I am installing some gears in my front and rear dif's and I want to know if a spooled frontend is a good idea or should I use a locker that would allow some slip. Let me know...

    <font color=red>Mudzer</font color=red>
    1978/91 K5 Blazer
     
  2. If you are a serious mud bogger than it would be a good idea, but if you are looking at driving it around and multi-use off-road than no way. You'd like to turn without breaking something, right? I wouldn't recommend it at all.

    Just my $.02 !!


    <font color=red>The last time I tried smokin' my tires, the mud put'em out !! BigBurb
     
  3. AZK5

    AZK5 1/2 ton status

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    It would work in mud and sand, but even a high traction area near the mud would make it very difficult to drive. You would need manual hubs if your planning on driving on the road. If you wheel on anything hard your going to damage something in the steering or axles. I consider myself pretty hardcore and I wouldn't even put a spool in the rear of my rig.
    CB
     
  4. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Neil,

    You want to test the strenght of the material, go ahead, I can tell you now you will break something very very soon.
    With a spool something has to give, and the weak link will show up, from past history the axle u-joint is only
    good for 30-40,000 in./lbs. , the O.E.M. axles around 50-60,000 in./lbs., and then the pinion.

    It is really amasing how much traction(friction) those tires can sustain.

    Please don't do it. As a side note ARB's have been failing becuase these Crom-Moly Axles are very, very strong.
    I would cation you even about putting a Locking Diff up front, becuase if it does not unlock(very common for the
    Detroit), something has to give.

    Sorry you or I can't change the Law's of Phyisics, of the Law's of Conservation of Energy.
     
  5. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Umm, why would a chromoly axle shaft make an ARB fail???

    I agree that a spool puts more stress on frontend components and thus increasing the possibility of breaking an axle, but I don't think it would be any worse than having a Detroit locker in the front except maybe if you were trying to run in 4 wheel drive on very hard, high traction surfaces (pavement). The main problem I think the spool would cause is the difficulty in turning, I know the Detroit isn't much better but it at least allows some differentiation. Of course, the best of both worlds is an ARB.
     
  6. Moose

    Moose 1/2 ton status

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    I have a friend that rock crawles his 79 K5. I consider him an EXTREME wheeler not a panel straight. And he has ran a Lincoln Locker(welded) in the front for 2 years without any damage. Maybe he just lucked out.
     
  7. Mudzer

    Mudzer 1/2 ton status Author

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    I figured it was a crazy idea for a street/trail rig. I just ran across one for free from a friend and I could not pass it up. Oh well, I will just save it for a rainy day. [​IMG]

    <font color=red>Mudzer</font color=red>
    1978/91 K5 Blazer
     
  8. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Don't think it would matter if you kept your hubs unlocked on the street? And on the trail, you'd have to unlock one hub to make real sharp turns. On sticky rock though, it might break stuff I figure. But hey, free is free and if you want to unload it, I'd love to put one in the front of my rig for now~~!

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Durant, Ok
    '79 Blazer in progress
     
  9. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    You can run a front spool or welded diffs(basicly the same effect) if you are willing to do a few things. I will assume you have a rear locker. First run a t-case that allows the use of 2-low, ie part time convereted NP203, or better yet one that has a twin stick option, ie AtlasII or Dana 18/20/300 (Jeep stuff). Next buy HD manual hubs. Now when you go wheeling lock ONE hub, and select the gear range you need. When things get ugly, shift into 4wd. When they get worse lock the other hub. When you get through the rough stuff remeber to unlock a hub to relieve stress. There you go, a poor man's ARB. This does nothing to increase the life of you drive train parts, but it does work. One last note: in my experence, very agressive tires seem to cause LESS breakage with this setup. If you need more info write back. Jim

    BigJBear '80 GMC
     

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