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welding spider gears... your opinion?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by mpascino, May 31, 2001.

  1. mpascino

    mpascino 1/2 ton status

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    Hey guys and girls, I am debating welding the spider gears in my axles, I have a 14 bolf FF and a d44. I am going to replacing them with lockers but money is short so I wanted to do this temp.. I am not to worried about doing this in the front axle, I have done it for friends many times and so far no one has had a problem, and since 4 wheel drive is only used in the woods it is not a large problem. When I get a locker for the 44 it replaces the entire carrier so I am not worried about messing that up. Now I know the detriot locker for the 14 bolt only replaces the spider gears. Is possible to weld up the spiders in the 14bolt and not affect the carrier? Second question.. I know a few people have welded the 14 bolt rears up. What is your experience with this? I currently am running 35 x 12.5 BFG AT's. Am I going to bust something in the rear like this? I've heard the bigger the tire the less the issue is with this. Does anyone have a spare set of spider gears for the 14 bolt in case I blow mine up? Any insite anyone may have is much appricated here, thanks again.
    Mike

    You call that dirty!?
     
  2. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Rene (tRusty) is the man to talk to about welding spider gears!!! [​IMG]

    I have some spare spider gears laying around, but I need to know if you need 3-pin or 4-pin spiders.

    When In Doubt, Whip It Out!
     
  3. mpascino

    mpascino 1/2 ton status

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    didn't even know there was a 3 pin... I'll let ya know when I pull it apart.
    Thanks,
    Mike

    You call that dirty!?
     
  4. Gold Rush

    Gold Rush 1/2 ton status

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    Well good luck with yours. I just welded mine this week. Now I need to install it. I'll let ya know how it goes.

    David 75K5

    http://www.eshoppinggui.de
    http://www.renschler.org
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.goldrush.coloradok5.com>http://www.goldrush.coloradok5.com</A>


    [image]http://www.extremeblazer.com/sideapproachL.jpg[/image]
     
  5. EDdaTREE

    EDdaTREE 1/2 ton status

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    tRusty is a welder-fitter and master fabricator, he welded his rear gears himself. You figure he just drove the thing about elevendy-jillion miles from BC to Texas and back. Plus towing another truck back...I'd say thats a pretty good endorsement.

    "The mud is lovely, dark and deep, but I have U-joints to change before I sleep"
     
  6. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I've put about 500 miles on a welded 14-bolt FF. I personally don't mine the tire chirping you get on tight turns, and you really can't notice it on the highway at all. My thoughts were the same, go ahead and try the cheap (in my case free) locker and if you don't like it spend the $$ on a Detroit.

    Yes, you can weld up the 14-bolt without affecting the carrier. I basically had the side gears welded to the four spiders creating a mini-spool type setup. Nothing was welded to the actual carrier, though I did have the gears inside the carrier (one half at a time) during the inital tacking to make sure everything still lined up.

    I did have to re-weld the gears as they broke free, but this was strictly because of a poor and inadequate weld job the first time. I suggest making sure the welder you use has adequate "power" to get good penetration through the gears and fill in between the teeth as much as possible for strength. In my case that included both at the gear teeth interface and along the outside edge of the side to spider gear interface, however I did have to grind off a little weld material so it would fit back in the case (there's not much clearance in this outside area).

    For overall strength, as long as the actual welds hold up okay then there shouldn't be any problem as the 14-bolt is extremely strong.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I employed the less is more philosophy when I welded mine up. I removed the carrier and split the case first. I had a good gander at how the spiders mesh with the side gears and made a few mental notes. I then removed the cross with the spiders on it and on each spider I welded the void between the teeth in 4 places. Roughly 10 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock...this allowed the spiders to still mesh with the side gears and each other but they cannot rotate. I used a good size Miller MIG machine and filled the voids almost to the top. The side gears I left untouched and the carrier too. All I have to do to go back to open is replace 4 spider gears...

    I have a half dozen wheeling trips with it like this, as well as over 10,000 street miles. Yes it does bark the tires a bit in tight quarters but its livable. It took me about a week to get used to it and now I hardly notice it.

    Everything is getting swapped into Trusty2 in the next few weeks and on my list of things to do is to pull the cover and check for wear, shavings or other 'bad' stuff...I'll take some close up pics and post the link.

    Rene

    <font color=red>If at first you don't succeed...skydiving ain't for you!</font color=red>
     
  8. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    i am a visual person so will add the pics for rene.
    supplied to me by jo-jo from http://wsphotofews.excite.com/027/1H/q3/hK/Ma87107.jpg
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://wsphotofews.excite.com/010/Gv/ZV/pO/0w97837.jpg>http://wsphotofews.excite.com/010/Gv/ZV/pO/0w97837.jpg</A>
     
  9. Ryeguy

    Ryeguy 1/2 ton status

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    Go for it!

    Lots of guys have welded their spiders in my club. No prob's on the street. The welded front end is always unlocked for the street, though, but that's 'bout it. One guy has had them in his truck for, oh, I guess 4 years, and he drives it every day. Just sees a bit more wear on the tires, but loves 'em. Makes it harder to steer on the trail. The solution so that is use a touch of throttle to make the inside tire grab and spin.

    --Rob
     
  10. BlazerBoy

    BlazerBoy 1/2 ton status

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  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Thanks Michael! I believe its called a 'Fozzy' locker in Jo-Jo's neck of the woods...except Fozzy welds the side gears, or so I've heard.

    Rene...welding the front soon

    <font color=red>If at first you don't succeed...skydiving ain't for you!</font color=red>
     
  12. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Sounds like a road trip...I've never seen Chicago!

    Rene

    <font color=red>If at first you don't succeed...skydiving ain't for you!</font color=red>
     
  13. Mudzer

    Mudzer 1/2 ton status Author

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    Bigdaddyof2 just welded his up and it works great. I think lockers usually create unwanted highway driving problems. I usually do a lane change anytime I am on or off the throttle. The welding takes that out of the equation. Welded rearends are stronger in my opinion. The only drawback is tire wear (probably more than locker) and push coming out of intersections, but Bigdaddyof2 is still in testing phase. I would say when the 14 bolt goes into my K5, its getting welded!

    Mudzer 1978/91 K5
    <font color=blue>www.mudzer.coloradoK5.com</font color=blue>
     

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