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Update - first trail ride with welded and shaved 14 bolt

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 6.2Blazer, May 14, 2001.

  1. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I just got everything put back together and went on my first trail ride in many (way too many) months. Here's the modification I performed. The Blazer is a '90 with the 6.2L diesel, 700r4, 4" lift w/ trimmed fenders, 35x12.50 Goodyear MTR's, front 10-bolt with Eaton posi and 4.10 gears, etc.......

    1. Replace the rear 10-bolt (4.10 gears and Tru-Trac) with an '86 1-ton 2WD 14-bolt FF (welded spider gears and shaved diff housing for more clearance).

    2. Converted front 10-bolt to 8-lug.

    3. Installed 15x10, 8-lug steel rims with 4.25" backspacing.

    There have been a lot of questions in the past about these type of modifications so I thought I would provide some first-hand feedback.

    Welded and shaved 14-bolt FF - the welded spider gears really are not that bad on the street (IMHO). The only time it's noticable is during sharp, low-speed turns (such as in a parking lot). You hear a little tire chipping and a little resistance (requires a little more throttle to move), but not that much. I drove almost 500 miles this past weekend with no problems. On the freeway you would never know the diff was welded solid. For the shaved housing, I probably took off around 3/4" off the bottom lip (the bottom is now smooth). I did get hung up in some deep muddy ruts a couple of times and got stuck, but they were deep enough where the front 10-bolt hung up also. A couple of other times I saw where the rear diff dug into the center of the rut but the truck kept going and I really didn't notice any extra resistance. I'm pretty sure getting rid of the huge "boat anchor" lip cast into the bottom of the housing made a difference. I hit the diff on some rocks also, so after cleaning it up I'll see if there is any damage (I don't think there will be any).
    I also had to cut-off and move the spring and shock mounts (the spring mounts needed moved about an inch or two out towards the wheels on each side, the shock mounts are located on the wrong side of the tube and hung down really low).. No problem, a local welder/friend did this for free.
    The stock brake lines hooked up to the 14-bolts drums/cylinders with just a little bending of the hard lines.

    I bought a complete set of 8-lug hub/rotor assemblies from the local junkyard for $50 (they cut them off at the knuckles and even threw in the axle shafts). They were off an '85 or '86 3/4 ton GMC. The spindles and wheel bearings were all the same. I chucked the auto hubs and re-used my Warn premiums, and bought new rotors and calipers (one of my original calipers from frozen up).

    15x10, 8-lug rims. These were cheap white spokes from Summit Racing with 4.25" backspacing. They definitely require some grinding of the backing plates (I cut off the bottom sheet metal stone shields) and calipers. Actually, most of the grinding was done to the backing plates with the calipers only requiring a fairly small amount of shaving. Wheels with something like 3.5" of backspacing would definitely require much less grinding, but these turned out pretty well. The biggest clearance problem is that the wheels have a small lip, which only sticks out maybe 1/16", about 2" in from the edge.
    The rear fit with no contact even with the big 1-ton drums (though there is not much room).
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    So I'm not the only nutty one running a welded 14 on the street and liking it just fine![​IMG]
    Still have to shave mine down...its a little far down on my priority list right now though.

    Rene

    [​IMG]<A target="_blank" HREF=http://jules.coloradok5.com>http://jules.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  3. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Cool
    Any pics of the now clean shaven 14? And what did you use?

    Steve
    [​IMG]
    Mall-Running poseur 4x4 with curb-feelers
     
  4. Cliffy

    Cliffy Registered Member

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    Location:
    South Lakewood, CO....... FINALLY!!!
    As far as the front clearance would you ( or anybody here ) say that the results would differ on an 8-lug D44????

    Maybe I can go with 15" rims. Since I was gonna run 3" backspacing anyway????????

    Ahhh....Never mind the tires I want only come in 16" rim size


    37x12.5x16 SSR's BABY!!!!!!

    Coil sprung 71 blazer.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by Cliffy on 05/14/01 12:03 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  5. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I'll try to get some pictures next time I have it up on the hoist. I also plan on measuring the ground clearance and compare it to the 10-bolt.

    I think there is a faster way, but I used an air-powered cut-off wheel to cut the biggest chunk of the lip off, then finished it off with a grinder. Basically, the bottom of the case and the diff cover are trimmed to the point where the edge of the bottom diff cover bolt is flush with the bottom of the case now. If you were brave enough, you could replace the stock bolts with an allen head bolt for even more clearance. A plasma cutter or somebody good with a torch would probably be the fastest to get the biggest chunk of it off.
     
  6. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    To the best of my knowledge, the backing plates and calipers are exactly the same (and interchangeable) between the 8-lug 10-bolts and 44's. The clearance should be the same.

    With only 3" backspacing, there's a chance you might not have to grind at all, but even if you do it will be very little.

    I was very tempted to get some Eaton wheels from NTW with 3" backspacing, but the extra cost and time to get them turned me away. The white spokes (now painted black) from Summit only cost about $220, for 5 rims, shipped to my door. The Eatons were going to cost over twice as much and take several weeks to get. The Eatons would have been nice, but I was trying to stay on a budget, not to mention that $200-$300 could buy some other neat toys for the Blazer.
     
  7. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Sounds nice. Looking forward to the pics of that shaved pig. Mine needs the same treatment.

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  8. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    I bought a complete set of 8-lug hub/rotor assemblies from the local junkyard for $50 (they cut them off at the knuckles and
    even threw in the axle shafts). They were off an '85 or '86 3/4 ton GMC. The spindles and wheel bearings were all the same. I
    chucked the auto hubs and re-used my Warn premiums, and bought new rotors and calipers (one of my original calipers
    from frozen up).

    The spindles and bearing are the same as what ? Please be more specfic
    TIA
     
  9. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I didn't think it was that confusing, let me try again........

    I had to switch the front axle from 6-lug to 8-lug to match the 8-lug rear axle which was installed. I bought a pair of front hub/rotor assemblies from the junkyard that came off a '85 or '86 3/4 ton (8-lug) GMC front axle. The front spindles and the inner and outer front wheel bearings, seals (also the small spindle needle bearing) from the 8-lug assemblies were all the exact same parts as the ones used in the 6-lug assemblies on my '90.

    The reason I mentioned this is that I have read posts in the past stating that some hub/rotor/spindles required different bearings, etc. This was just to let everybody know that these particular years matched up.
     
  10. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    Can't wait to see pics. I will be swapping mine soon and would like to get some more clearance on the rear. It would be nice to do it while the rear is out.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://jamonline.homestead.com/fromthegroundupK54x4/89Jimmy.html>http://jamonline.homestead.com/fromthegroundupK54x4/89Jimmy.html</A>
    <font color=blue>Happy Trails<font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>Wayne<font color=blue>
     

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