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wheelin HARD in a "3/4 ton"...?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by jekbrown, Dec 6, 2001.

  1. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    wheelin HARD in a \"3/4 ton\"...?

    Ok, it seems *highly* likely that this spring/summer I will be runnin a ff14b+detroit in the rear of my 85 Jimmy. I will *not* however have the cash to go D60 up front. So it'd be "3/4 ton" for me! ;) My 10 bolt is "beefed"...warn premiums, chrome-moly axels, newish 4.56s and trutrac etc...but its still a 10b. Question: if I am on the trail and really want/need to do some hardcore wheeling or pulling stuck people out or whatever...and I go to 2wd for that...what kind of parts might I break in the front 10 bolt? Anything? If 4wd is disengaged, is the only thing really at risk the outer axel tubes (bending etc)???

    Its not that 2wd would be preferable...just that I'd rather save $$$ towards that 60 and breaking my front end all the time wouldnt help any. ;)

    Jason

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

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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  3. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: wheelin HARD in a \"3/4 ton\"...?

    I've heard some people talking about shifting into 2wd if they get into a rough situation to not stress the front 10-bolt.........but this really doesn't make any sense to me at all.

    So for example, you can't crawl up this hill so you shift it into 2wd. Now if you can't crawl up it in 4wd how hard do you think you will have to beat on the truck to get up in 2wd?????? No offense, but why in the world would you want to shift into 2wd when doing "hardcore wheeling". Sure, you can get a 60 mph run for the hill but be prepared to bounce off a few trees, roll four times back down the hill, and rip the frame in half. I have personally seen several people completely disable their vehicles on the trail because they broke either a front or rear axle and didn't want to take the time to fix it, or get towed through the rough spots. While ragging on the vehicles trying to get through in 2wd they wound up breaking other parts and we then had to drag the dead vehicles out of the woods....definitely a pain in the butt.

    Remember, there are other parts to worry about breaking then just the 10-bolt front. When you are running in 2wd it is putting all of the stress on the rear drive components instead of splitting the torque equally between the front and rear, this is especially true when pushing the truck hard because your only in 2wd.

    All in all, a front 10-bolt isn't a Dana 60 but they do hold up reasonably well if you are a sane wheeler, especially with the upgraded parts you have. I've been running a front 10-bolt with similiar parts as you (except I have the stock bigger 30-spline axles vs. your Warn chromoly's) with 35" tires for a couple of years and would consider myself fairly hardcore and go out about once per month. I've "only" broke axle u-joints twice on the 10-bolt. Both times were under similiar conditions with the wheels cranked to one side and all of the weight on the one side. Sure I would love a Dana 60, but a couple of u-joints and some spare axleshafts sure are a lot cheaper.
     
  4. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Re: wheelin HARD in a

    Jason, I used to pull people out of Sycamore Creek down in AZ years ago with my 72 (8" lift, 38" tires on D44 front/12 bolt rear).........and I was not easy on that truck. Never broke anything. Lots of guys here will say the same thing - that you have to beat the truck pretty good to break a 10 bolt/D44. What I think a lot of guys overlook on the 10B/D44/12B breakage issue is AGE. How many guys really have taken care of their axles over the years? Very few. It is my belief (after breaking two 12 bolts myself and owning 5 K5's) that if you take care of them and you obviously have beefed your front end and taken care of it, you will be fine up to the 'mythical' 36" level (seems that is what the guys think is the max for a 10B/D44) up front. There are guys like Tim (84K10) with buds running 44" tires with no reported problems.

    Your rearend with a 14B you won't have to worry about.........probably ever.

    Yes, I do have a D60 up front - for a number of reasons. I believe in bulletproofing where you can - I found a reasonable deal on one and had the $ - and my 10 bolt was 22 years old with gosh knows what, if anything, done to it, maintenance wise the first 15 years of its life. So the investment to build up that 10 bolt properly I passed on and <font color=red>justified</font color=red> to myself [​IMG] that a D60 was cheaper.

    You'll be fine for now, save your $$ for the D60, don't let the front end catch air under throttle on a hard surface and you'll be fine.

    <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>
     
  5. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: wheelin HARD in a

    good advice Blazzin.

    BTW, mudpiggy, dont make me out to be some insane goofball wheeler. =( I'm not. I was just asking what people thought about going to 2wd and relying on the ff14 when things get nasty. I didnt really mean "hard-wheeling" to mean traction-wise...cause its pretty clear that 2wd would be worse. I was thinking more along the lines of pulling heavy stuck vehicles out and things like that. In general, I dont do this now cause my own truck weighs a lot and with a 1/2-ton driveline I just dont wanna risk it if I don't have to. In 2wd mode and a ff14, I was thinking I could pretty much tug away and not worry about it...if something broke then, at least it prolly wouldnt be anything bigger than a drive-shaft. ;)

    J

    See the on-going build up of my '85 Jimmy! http://community.webshots.com/user/jekbrown
     
  6. RaisedK5

    RaisedK5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: wheelin HARD in a

    Seriously, i have a 27 year old D44 in the front of mine with 4.10's and a lockright, spinning 36" swampers, am i asking for it??? Ya probably, but i've been able to do some real fun wheelin with this set up, yes a D60 is in my future, but for the time being the D44 with stock shafts and external hubs is serving its purpose, you just have to be carefull, i try to "Drive elegantly" crawl up over stuff instead of bashing into stuff, and i try despiratly not to let the front pop up and comeback down with the wheels spinning, thats a good way to shock load the components. As for 2wd, taking it slow and carefull in 4WD is a lot easier than blasting in 2WD, and you're less likely to break stuff. With the mods you've done to the 10 bolt, i think it will serve you well for quite awhile.

    Leland aka RaisedK5

    "Of all the things I've lost, I think I miss my mind the most!"
    "Are the voices in my head bothering you?
     
  7. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Re: wheelin HARD in a \"3/4 ton\"...?

    I think w/ the shafts done up front you should be pretty good, just carry spare u-jt's and do a couple practices getting the axle shafts out in trail ike conditions. They will be the weak link. You could get the unbreakable u-jt's but then you are probably gonna kill the R&amp;P or Hubs , both spendier parts.

    Overall wheel smart and take it easy on the skinny pedal (especially when the wheel is turned) and I think you should be pretty well off.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     
  8. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Re: wheelin HARD in a \"3/4 ton\"...?

    Get Warn Premiums with a hubfuse if you don't have a locker in the front. That way the weak link is the hub fuse. It took me less then 15 minutes to put the hub fuse in my Warn premiums, and I had never worked on hubs before. If your wheels are fairly straight then the hub fuse should fail before an axle joint that is in good condition. If you had the unbreakables then the hub fuse would definitly fail before the axle joint or axle shaft.

    My Chevy isn't broken, its just out of gas.
     

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