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Spring plate problem...help please?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by botboy, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. botboy

    botboy 1/2 ton status

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    Alright guys, I've got a '71 K5 and I seem to have a problem.

    A few weeks ago, I dropped the original 6-lug D44 front and 12 bolt rear diffs out and swapped in the rear a 14BFF, and ? in the front, 3.73 and both open

    The guy who sold me the axle pair, claimed they were from a '77 Chevy 3/4T 4x4, but wasn't absolutely sure as he didn't pull them himself.

    I have been told, by several on the CK5 forums and elsewhere that the 3/4T axle is a bolt in affair from 67 on up to 87/91 for the first gen K5/K10's, but here's my problem:
    I just got the axles, no spring plates or U-bolts included
    I went to reuse the old spring plates, only to find that both outer U-bolts as well as the inner DS U-bolt were not wide enough to accomodate the axle tube, and the PS inner U-bolt (the one that actually goes around part of the chunk) was about an inch too short, but the correct girth.

    Now, I've got one new U-bolt of the correct girth and length, that goes around the thickest part of the axle (inner PS side). I ethnically engineered a way to keep the axle in place (hogged out the old U-bolts with a torch to the correct girth) just so I could roll it in and out of shop I work in so I'm not working in a snowbank (or mud puddle, depends on the day).

    If I get the remaining 3 U-bolts of the correct length and girth, they won't fit the original K5 spring plate as they will be too wide to go in the bolt holes. I was told that the 3/4 and 1/2 ton spring plates are the same, but the axle tube is definitely larger in the 8-lug axle that is under my truck currently.

    Now, I *think* that the axle under my truck is an 8-lug D44, as the steering arm off the original rear fit right on when I swapped over the steering setup. But, I was told by the junkyard that the half and 3/4 plates are the same - SO my question really is, which spring plate do I need to buy?
    Will a D60 spring plate (from a 73-87 1-ton) fit the larger U-bolts for the axle tubes of my current front diff, or be too big?
    are 3/4T and 1/2T spring plates actually the same?
    are 3/4T and 1 ton spring plates actually the same?
    are all chevy D44 axle tubes the same OD?
    Do all D60's steer from the 4-bolt pinion, or did any steer from a 3-stud steering arm mount?
     
  2. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Lets address the rear axle first, a 1 ton axle is a direct swap for 69-72 blazers but for a 73-91 blazer it is a 3/4 ton axle that is a direct swap. Now onto the front axle, you need to measure the axle tube diameter as there were two different diameter tubes used. You will need to first figure out what diameter tube you have before you can figure out what spring plates you need. AFAIK only a D44 has 2 different size axle tubes and the 10 bolts are all the same which i believe are the same as the larger D44 axle.
     
  3. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    all 10 bolts and the large 44's are 3" around and the small 44 is 2.75" around:confused:
     
  4. botboy

    botboy 1/2 ton status

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    I knew that, I had to move and re-weld the spring perches and shock mounts in order to put the 14BFF under my K5, and that part is already taken care of (at least the spring perches, I still gotta move the shock mounts but as I'm not yet driving it ride quality isn't a *huge* concern)

    Alright I'll measure em up and report back shortly
     
  5. The Butcher

    The Butcher 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    From what I read in your post, you aren't positive that you have a D44 in the front, is that correct? You asked about whether or not any D60s had the 3 hole steering arm, and if I remember correctly, the D60 on my '82 dually has a 3 hole steering arm. The truck is at my friends house an hour away, so i can't run out there and check to be sure, but I think it was a 3 hole. Which steering arm is on your front axle?
     
  6. jk3078

    jk3078 1/2 ton status

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    All king pin 60's have a 4 bolt steering arm which is also the cap for the upper king pin.
     
  7. botboy

    botboy 1/2 ton status

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    When I got the axle it didn't have a steering arm, the curved steering arm that was stock on my '71 K5 was pulled off and bolted onto the new one just fine.
     
  8. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    If you look at the lower right side of the pumpkin just to the right of the diff cover there is a webbing that will say D44 if it is a D44 but a 10 bolt doesn't have anything.
     
  9. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    Thats not a d60 plain and simple. you cant get a curved steering arm with 3 holes to fit a dana 60. all d 60 arms have 4 holes. (the new ones use ball joints and differant arms but thats a whole nother topic)
     
  10. The Butcher

    The Butcher 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Then I guess my steering arm has 4 holes. It's been awhile since I looked at it to be honest.
     
  11. botboy

    botboy 1/2 ton status

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    Okay, it would seem then that I have a D44 in front, with a 3" axle tube - so, the local yard found me some spring plates off of a D60 from truck - will these fit the 3" axle D44 or do I need spring plates specifically for the D44 in my truck?
     
  12. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    no they wont work. a dana 60 uses 3 3/8" ubolts. As for butcher...there was never a curved steering arm for a d 60 so i still highly doubght thats what you have. what you may have is a dually dana 44 front axle which they did make.
     

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