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Axle upgrade advice for a newbie to the axle world

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by ChevyCaGal, Mar 24, 2001.

  1. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    Okay here's the deal with my axles. They are the ones that came with the beast....Corp 10 bolt with 3.08 gears and a factory locking diff. in the rear. I would like to upgrade because I have heard from day one that these suck. I right now have 33x12.50x15 tires on it as far as me driving around in the city. This will become my daily driver here very soon when the exhaust is redone. (I do a lot of driving too) I might consider someday a second set of tires. The Dick Cepek Kevlar's 36x16.50.15's...(I had these before and loved them!) These would be for off-roading only not city/highway driving. For the most part the Blazer won't be off road. But when it is it'll be in sand and mud most of the time. Rock crawling would be sometimes but it wouldn't be anything too serious. Nothing major that'll have me vertical or even close. :-) My question is what kind of axles and gears should I look into going for? I have to consider cost here. But I'd rather spend more now to make sure they are something I have for a long time rather then something that I'll have replace again in a few years and cost me more in the long run. I am looking into getting a 14 bolt FF w/4.10's gears and a locker for the rear, then getting another axle for the front at the end of April and dropping them both in then. Does this sound like a smart move or not? It's a major purchase for me and I don't want to drain my bank account only to regret I did so. Can I stick this 14 bolt in the rear now and keep the front 10 bolt if I upgrade the gears in that? Then someday do the front when I really can afford it? Let me know what you guys think and what you'd recommend I look into and at before I get myself anything. Thanks!

    Stephanie
    <><

    PS Thanks to those who helped me with the carb and what to do. I decided am going to keep what I have and rebuild it myself! Yeehaw!! :-)

    "I love the sound rice burners make when ya run over them"
     
  2. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    yes you have the right idea. if you do keep the front the same make sure you get gears 4 it but why pay 4 gears why not just find a 3/4 dana 44 or a dana 60? 4 the same price as the gears you could find a used one with 4.11 already in it.
    oh by the way dick cepec is out of business but i have heard that some tire company has bought the tread moldings and will start making them

    77blazer see it at<A target="_blank" HREF=http://community.webshots.com/user/ssmith6333>http://community.webshots.com/user/ssmith6333</A>[​IMG]
     
  3. k5king

    k5king 1/2 ton status

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    hmmmmm???
    well if your going to be doing more traffic than trail's i'd say to get a 12 bolt instead of the 14 bolt,,they weigh less and have smaller component's to turn,which will give better gas mileage,,if you're really going to be stopming the go pedal off road then i'd definately go for the 14 bolt..i have a 12 bolt that i have completely done over and i feel it will never give me any troubles,,but i do plan on seriously wheeling this thing when it is done,,,if i do somehow manage to break the 12 bolt i will be swapping in the 14 bolt FF.. as for price on each i think they are both relatively close in price complete,,,it is really a matter of preference once you get to this point in your wheeling fun...if you gonna pound it off road every day than i'd get the 14,,but if ya want a lil better fuel economy and only gonna wheel it every other weekend in mud and sand ,than i'd go for the 12... when you do the swap i'd just wait till you have both rear's there and ready,,,it might be a little more costly to just throw gear's in the front rear that you will be swaping after a while,,you probably won't be able to sell the rear for what you'd have in it,,i would just wait..
    good luck,,hope this help's some

    ANYBODY LOSE THEIR JEEP????????[​IMG]
    I JUST FOUND ONE UNDER MY BLAZER!!!![​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    Cepek got bought out. I believe it was by Mickey Thompson? So they are going to made still...same tire, slightly different names on them for the styles....

    "I love the sound rice burners make when ya run over them"
     
  5. Wheels

    Wheels 1/2 ton status

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    From what I've read they will continue with pretty much the same line and eliminate any duplication. Just about like the way BF Goodrich is when Michelin bought them. You'll love any gear set that is higher than 3.08. I changed to 4.10 front and rear and it seemed that the K5 had a totally new outlook. 4-lo actually became 4-lo. Had to put a 700 behind it to get on the highway with out turning 3300 rpm at 70 mph. Running as smooth as glass now.
     
  6. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>I put in a 14 bolt rear and an 8 lug Dana 44 front last fall and its the best thing I've done to the truck yet. It only costed me a few hundred more (including rear disks and used 15" 8 lug wheels) to do the swap them to change my gears to 4.10. If the axles are 3/4 ton, they'll bolt right up, 1 ton rearends dont have the correct spring pad locations for 73-91 K5s (but its perfect for 67-72s). If its mostly a street truck, I would go with 35x12.5" BFG ATs. When my truck was a daily street truck, I had these. Wide, heavy bias ply tires tend to follow the ruts in the road and eat up steering components like ball joints and tie rod ends.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Ah yes... I remeber this question well... I was in the exact same position a month ago. About the same adgendas for our two trucks... so I ended up gettin a 12B and D44 for about $500. Why I chose this... one: much lighter and better milage... two: I would still have a 10B or D44 in the front unless want to shell out mega bucks for a D60... so chances are the front is gonna break before either rear. Three: If you go to 3/4 ton 8 lugs... need new wheels AND tires most likely... have to shell out the extra bucks and more limited rim options to run 16 or 16.5 tires/rims. Four: Look back at the post about beefing up the 1/2 ton stuff.... if you break something... just upgrade it [​IMG]. and lastly... I never thought of until I had to go get the axles... Oh my gosh... I almost died trying to handle these suckers w/ only one other person... a 14B... UGGGGH! Also gotta get the things in the truck... Probably get some 3.73 gears (good for your 33's and ok for 35's... plus 4.10's are getting a pain in the rump to find... I drove two and a half hours each way to get mine... is ok because my bro lives in that area and partied w/ him[​IMG]) Also make sure the rear isn't a Gov-lock... careful if the add says posi... find out what posi... stock GM is a gov-lok. Good luck w/ the search... and probably be ready to replace the brakes, seals and possibly more...

    [​IMG]
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
     
  8. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I would definitely wait till you get the whole set ready instead of changing gears before replacing the front. That would be just throwing away money in my opinion.

    For what you want to do, I would just look around and find a set of axles with the right gears and in good shape. D44/12B will do what you need (I think) and keep your 6 lug wheels. You can probably buy good axles with the right gears cheaper than you can get new gears put in yours. Just be careful and check them out to make sure they are good.
    To go a little heavier, you can look for a 3/4 ton donor. This would get you a D44 or C10 front with 3/4 ton hubs and brakes for the front and a 14SF or 14FF for the rear. Frankly, I don't think you will notice the weight difference in performance or gas mileage. A potential disadvantage would be needing new 8 lug rims (and maybe tires) but you would have really strong axles and brakes capable of handling 35s or bigger. 3/4 ton is also easier to find in the gear ratio you want. D60 front is probably way overkill and over $$$ for what you want. The 10 bolt front is very little different than the D44 in most respects. IMHO, it’s the back where a 10 bolt really stinks.


    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56
    Coming soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  9. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>You can get 15" steel 8 lug rims. They fit over the stock 14 bolt drums and they fit on the front with a little caliper grinding. Moose on this site had a good deal a while back on some chrome 15" 8 lug wheels.</font color=blue>

    [​IMG]
     
  10. flcpl4fn

    flcpl4fn 1/2 ton status

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    I know alot of the people on here say the 10b isn't worth having and to change it to a 12b or 14b. But I have 10b's under my Jimmy and I have 38x12.5-15 on mine and I drive it everday and I do alot of hard mud riding and sand, and some climbing when I can and I haven't had any problems with it. With the size tires that you are running, I would say keep the 10b. and then if it should break, then change it for a bigger one. Just my .02 worth.

    '85 Jimmy in Jax, Fl
     
  11. nyyef

    nyyef 1/2 ton status

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    i am a fan of the 12B. i would go with it. i wheel in sand and desert terrain (mostly fast). and never had a stock 12B fail off-road. i have had 2 fail though, ONroad, (one i built wrong, and the other was running without oil....DOH!). for the wheeling you have described i think it would be the best way to go.
    if you want bullet proof, the 14B is peace of mind. try and find a front diff with the gears you want.


    Knife.
    knife.coloradok5.com
     
  12. Eric78K5

    Eric78K5 1/2 ton status

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    If highway driving is going to be mostly what your rig is used for, then I'd say go with a 12 bolt rear. You can buy alloy axles for both the front and rear, and better u-joints, and have a pretty strong setup for light to medium 4x4ing.

    Eric78K5
    K5-Because Size Matters!
     

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