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Warn Full Floater conversion

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Tall_Girl, Dec 17, 2001.

  1. Tall_Girl

    Tall_Girl Registered Member

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    Guys,

    I came across a kit from Warn. It converts a 12bolt axle to a full floater type. Now I wonder, has anyone here done this, or seen this? And is this worth the price of the kit? Will it be stronger?

    XXX
    Lana,

    6'5" tall Dutch girl, just bought a 88 K5, and about to dump the jeep.
     
  2. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    ORD owner Stephen Watson ran that Warn FF conversion on a rear under his Jimmy before swapping in the 1 ton axles.

    I know a few others on this site used them, but can't remember off the top of my head who they were.

    If it were me and I wanted to retain the 6 lug wheels, I would definitely do the Warn conversion. It will definitely make that 12 bolt axle a full-floater like the 14 bolt axles. [​IMG]



    I'm not picking my nose...I'm just pointing at my brain!! [​IMG]

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/thatK30guy>The K30 Collection</a>
     
  3. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    K10Andy is the one who bought the 12 bolt "FF" from Watson.

    Prolly a "nearly" bulletproof axle after this mod!

    Marv
     
  4. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Just remember that the Warn kit does nothing to strengthen the differential or ring and pinion on the 12-bolt. The cost is definitely a down side though as you could probably swap in a complete semifloating 14 bolt 6-lugger for the same cost or less.
     
  5. Tall_Girl

    Tall_Girl Registered Member

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    Sure a 14Bolt 6 lug would be better. But those are not easy to find in this country. And I thought about the 14bolt FF. But when I looked for the 8 lug rims, the guy at the 4x4 shop told me to forget about the whole thing. If you find them that are weak as tinfoil or as expensive as a whole set of 6 lug rims. So that is why I want to stick to the 12bolt with ARB locker. I just hope the axles of the kit are bringing in strenght.

    XXX
    Lana

    6'5" tall Dutch girl, just bought a 88 K5, and about to dump the jeep.
     
  6. Mudzer

    Mudzer 1/2 ton status Author

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    I just purchased a used Warn Full Floater kit from a good friend. This kit is much stronger than the stock 12 bolt axleshafts. The kit does several things:

    1. Gets rid of the bad C-Clip axles. C-clip axleshafts can break and your whole axle will exit the housing leaving you stranded. Full floater axles are highly recommended for towing and extreme wheeling applications. The warn shafts are much stronger than the factory units. If you would happen to break a shaft and if you had purchased a replacement as a spare (I intend to), you could swap it out in 5 minutes or less. Just remove the locking hub, slide out the broken shaft and install the replacement. Its that simple.

    2. Puts less stress on the carrier bearings in the housing. Your carrier bearings take much abuse from side loads as a result of having the c-clip axles. This will releive this problem as well.

    3. If you flat tow your vehicle, you can unlock all the hubs and tow it without wearing drivetrain parts.

    I am going with 39.5" tall tires on my K5 real soon and will need all the strength I can get. I will keep you posted and could email you some photos if needed.



    Mudzer 1978/91 K5
    <font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://www.mudzer.rockcrawler.com>www.mudzer.rockcrawler.com</a></font color=blue>
     
  7. Tall_Girl

    Tall_Girl Registered Member

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    That would be very nice of you. I've put my Email addy in a PM to you.

    XXX
    Lana

    6'5" tall Dutch girl, just bought a 88 K5, and about to dump the jeep.
     
  8. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I don't think the 12-bolt full floater conversion is a bad deal, it's just the price "in my opinion" is kind of high for what you get. Yes, the Warn kit does increase the strength of the axle shafts (not only are the shafts themself supposedly stronger, but there is less total stress on them when in a full-floater configuration). Plus, the wheel bearing design is better for severe applications. The main purpose of my response is to just make sure you know what other options are out there.

    For the 14 bolt semi-floater, one option is to get an 8-lug version and have a machine shop re-drill the bolt pattern in the axle shaft flanges ak to be of comparable strength to any other wheel. You are pretty much limited to steel with only a few styles, but the prices are pretty comparable to the equivalent 6-lug version. I bought a set of 5 wheels for just a little over $200 delivered.

    For Mudzer's post about the c-clip axle design, I disagree that it is a bad design. The only bad thing is if an axle shaft breaks, then there is nothing to retain the wheel to the axle housing. Now with saying that, the c-clip itself really has little to no bearing on whether the shaft breaks or not. There is basically no torsional stress on the c-clip or the groove machined into the shaft. The only force the c-clip design sees is the side loading when a tire is being pulled away from the vehicle, which under almost all circumstances will be relatively low (compared to side loading with the tire being pushed into the vehicle). Plus, the c-clip design can support more side loading than a pressed on bearing like a Dana 44, semifloating 60, or a ford 9" is equipped with! On any design besides a true full-floater the vehicle cannot be driven safely with a broken axle shaft. I have personally seen a flanged Dana 44 (pressed on axle bearings) chuck a tire on the road due to a broken shaft (the shaft was broken inboard of the axle bearing also), and I have seen people drive vehicles off of the trail with a broken c-clip axle (they did have to stop every so often and push the tire back in). Concerning replacing a c-clip axle if it broke, it really is not that hard. I would much rather have to change out a rear c-clip axle shaft then a front axle shaft and it would be faster (I can change a front shaft on the trail in about an hour....).
     
  9. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I don't think the 12-bolt full floater conversion is a bad deal, it's just the price "in my opinion" is kind of high for what you get. Yes, the Warn kit does increase the strength of the axle shafts (not only are the shafts themself supposedly stronger, but there is less total stress on them when in a full-floater configuration). Plus, the wheel bearing design is better for severe applications. The main purpose of my response is to just make sure you know what other options are out there.

    For the 14 bolt semi-floater, one option is to get an 8-lug version and have a machine shop re-drill the bolt pattern in the axle shaft flanges and brake drums. I don't know about where you are, but around here the 8-lug 14 SF's are very common as they were found as standard equipment on the 3/4 ton pickups and Suburbans starting sometime in the early to mid-80's.

    For using 15" 8-lug rims, a lot of company's make them including American Racing, Bart/Eaton, Wheel Vintiques, U.S. Wheel, etc.... All of the one's I have seen, including the set on my Blazer, look to be of comparable strength to any other wheel. You are pretty much limited to steel with only a few styles, but the prices are pretty comparable to the equivalent 6-lug version. I bought a set of 5 wheels for just a little over $200 delivered.

    For Mudzer's post about the c-clip axle design, I disagree that it is a bad design. The only bad thing is if an axle shaft breaks, then there is nothing to retain the wheel to the axle housing. Now with saying that, the c-clip itself really has little to no bearing on whether the shaft breaks or not. There is basically no torsional stress on the c-clip or the groove machined into the shaft. The only force the c-clip design sees is the side loading when a tire is being pulled away from the vehicle, which under almost all circumstances will be relatively low (compared to side loading with the tire being pushed into the vehicle). Plus, the c-clip design can support more side loading than a pressed on bearing like a Dana 44, semifloating 60, or a ford 9" is equipped with! On any design besides a true full-floater the vehicle cannot be driven safely with a broken axle shaft. I have personally seen a flanged Dana 44 (pressed on axle bearings) chuck a tire on the road due to a broken shaft (the shaft was broken inboard of the axle bearing also), and I have seen people drive vehicles off of the trail with a broken c-clip axle (they did have to stop every so often and push the tire back in). Concerning replacing a c-clip axle if it broke, it really is not that hard. I would much rather have to change out a rear c-clip axle shaft then a front axle shaft and it would be faster (I can change a front shaft on the trail in about an hour....).
     
  10. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I have a warn FF kit on my 10-bolt rear end. Thus far its held up very well with 35" tires. Still, the kit/installation is $pendy...and unless there is a good reason NOT to go with a 1-ton full-floating 14 bolt...I'd go with that instead. Clearance with the 14 may suck...but you can always shave it, and its a strong a rear end as you'll ever need.

    BTW, must be cool cruising around the netherlands in a K5...probebly a relatively rare site over yonder. ;)

    Jason

    See the on-going build up of my '85 Jimmy! http://community.webshots.com/user/jekbrown
     
  11. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Well I have been kicking the whole 14BFF and 8lugs v/s the 12B deal as well. I think you would be just as well served with some Superior or Moser aftermarket axleshafts as they are must stronger then stock. But I think if your plans are for tires bigger then 36's with a locker you should look for the FF kit or a 14B. The warn kit is a nice product till you combine a beefy powerplane, 38 or 39's, and a locker. Chances are then as some have said you expose the weakness of the R&amp;P, especially if you move up to gears like 4.88's. Also it really depends on your wheeling, if you rock crawl then you put lots of stress on the R&amp;P. Trails, sand, and minor mud tend to be a bit easier on it, but that is hardly fact. Lots of guys out there busting stuff on trails, mud and sand too.

    I would go the aftermarket axle shaft route if you plan for 35's otherwise shell out for the 14B FF and pretty much never worry about it again. Be careful with the skinny pedal and the locker and you should survive ok.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     
  12. K10ANDYKHAMNIC

    K10ANDYKHAMNIC 1/2 ton status

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    hey , i have that kit on my truck , let me know if anyone wants pics :), or info -Andy

    Kick It In The Firewall !!
    O R D's axles
    NO BREAKAGE
     
  13. Tall_Girl

    Tall_Girl Registered Member

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    Now a friend of me (not Sammy) told me that a FF puts pressure on the bearings in side loads. Just like a front axle. And therefor it will eat them. Is this true? Am I going to change the rear bearings as fast as the front?

    XXX
    Lana

    6'5" tall Dutch girl, just bought a 88 K5, and about to dump the jeep.
     
  14. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    If changing the wheel bearings once every 200,000 miles or so isn't too often for you, then don't worry about it. [​IMG] Full floaters use tapered roller bearings that are designed to carry the weight and handle any side loading. It's the same type of bearings that you'll find on semi-trucks (or perhaps they're known as lorries in your part of the world). Adjust them properly upon installation and make sure they have good lubricant and they'll work for a very long time.

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  15. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    TG, I would spend my time and money looking for a 14FF with matching gear ratios. Very easy swap, bulletproof and obviously easier to install than putting in the FF kit in the 12 bolt. Simple bolt in. Worth every penny.

    Hope you have access to one over there - here in the US we can find one ton rearends all day long for a couple of hundred $ (US). Keep us posted...........

    <font color=blue>'79 ONE TON TPI K5 - See it at---&gt;<a target="_blank" href=http://www.blazzinor.rockcrawler.com>www.blazzinor.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  16. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    I completely disagree with your arguements regarding C clip rear ends.
     
  17. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    8 lug wheels are stronger then 6 lug wheels
    8 lug wheels are designed to carry heavy loads in work trucks,
    6 lugs are passenger car strength for 1/2 ton chevs and little toyotas
     
  18. Tall_Girl

    Tall_Girl Registered Member

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    I agree on the 8lug wheels being stronger. But I can't get them over here.

    XXX
    Lana

    6'5" tall Dutch girl, just bought a 88 K5, and about to dump the jeep.
     
  19. DesertDueler

    DesertDueler 1/2 ton status

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    BTW it takes longer than 5 minutes to change out the rear axle in a FF. THe reason is you have to get all the metal chunks out of it before you put the new one in. That and normally the axles breaks toward the R&amp;P so you have to pull the cover off so you can get the other piece off. Just some other things to think about. It will take just as long as a C-clip design since it will have to come apart. The reason you dont have to worry about that in the front is because it either breaks at the u-joint or breaks after the seal so you dont have to worry about particles in the housing that will destroy your gears and lockers.

    86Jimmy 4"&35"MTRs,87 burb 4"&33"MT,69Firebird w/525 hp,and 70GTO live in PHX,AZ<a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/modifierperformance>My vehicles</a>
     
  20. K10ANDYKHAMNIC

    K10ANDYKHAMNIC 1/2 ton status

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    yeah but they take twice as long to take on and off ....and my studs are the same size as a 1 ton .

    Kick It In The Firewall !!
    O R D's axles
    NO BREAKAGE
     

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