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 Post subject: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:30 pm 
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205's

Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:55 pm
Posts: 23
Location: 12801
I have 2 main options for my SFA donor vehicle, and I'd like to hear some opinions. I've searched through the forums, but this seems to be so close that I'd like to hear some more input. For reference I have a 1986 S-10 Blazer 2 door with a 350hp 355ci V8 all iron, with a 700r transmission and NP 231 transfercase. I would like to run 35-38" tires and plan to run a leaf spring front suspension.

Candidate #1
1976 F-250: front low-pinion Dana 44 with open knuckles, disk brakes, and hydro assist steering, rear- Dana 60 full floater these axles have 4.10 gears. This truck has been sitting with no motor or transmisison outside in the Northeast for the past 10 months and I can get it for $300.

Candidate #2
1987 Chevy 3/4 ton pick up: front- GM 10 bolt axle, rear GM 14 bolt semi-floating axle. Gear ratio unknown, but I would guess 4.10, I could get this whole truck including the motor (needs rebuild), and good working TH 400 transmission and NP208 transfer case for $300, maybe $250. This is a plow truck that just went out of service.

What does everyone think?


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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:56 pm 
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35's

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:22 am
Posts: 893
Location: Outer Banks, NC
86tahoe4x4 wrote:
I have 2 main options for my SFA donor vehicle, and I'd like to hear some opinions. I've searched through the forums, but this seems to be so close that I'd like to hear some more input. For reference I have a 1986 S-10 Blazer 2 door with a 350hp 355ci V8 all iron, with a 700r transmission and NP 231 transfercase. I would like to run 35-38" tires and plan to run a leaf spring front suspension.

I think that alone eliminates one of your choices. The NP231 has a driver's side front output, so the '76 Ford would be the stronger/more logical choice between the two.

Quote:
Candidate #1
1976 F-250: front low-pinion Dana 44 with open knuckles, disk brakes, and hydro assist steering, rear- Dana 60 full floater these axles have 4.10 gears. This truck has been sitting with no motor or transmisison outside in the Northeast for the past 10 months and I can get it for $300.

Heavier 3" diameter x .5" wall axle tubes on the D44 front. This D44 front also already has a flat top passenger side steering knuckle(just needs to be milled/drilled/tapped for crossover).
Rear axle, full floater and stronger all around.

Quote:
Candidate #2
1987 Chevy 3/4 ton pick up: front- GM 10 bolt axle, rear GM 14 bolt semi-floating axle. Gear ratio unknown, but I would guess 4.10, I could get this whole truck including the motor (needs rebuild), and good working TH 400 transmission and NP208 transfer case for $300, maybe $250. This is a plow truck that just went out of service.

Weaker 3" x .25" wall axle tubes. No passenger side flat top knuckle. Semi-floating rear. NP208 will have a 32spline input where your 700R4 has a 27spline output. Yes the 400 can be swapped, but you lose overdrive, which may/may not be a big deal for your situation.

I'd vote the '76 donor axles.

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Brent


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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:55 pm
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Hi Brent, thanks for the input. I had just about made up my mind to go with the F-250 axles, but I wanted to see if there was something I'm missing. It would be nice to have a spare 350 laying around to build at my leisure, and the TH 400 is stronger than the 700r, but I would miss the low first gear and overdrive. I was a bit concerned about the D44 being low-pinion, but I still like it better than the 10 bolt. I don't have a problem building the Dana 60 to be the last rear axle I'll ever need, but I couldn't say the same for the semi-floating 14 bolt. I really wouldn't want to put money into a semi-floating 14bolt.


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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:29 pm 
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35's

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:22 am
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Location: Outer Banks, NC
86tahoe4x4 wrote:
Hi Brent, thanks for the input. I had just about made up my mind to go with the F-250 axles, but I wanted to see if there was something I'm missing.

No problem. The stock passenger flat top alone makes it worth it. $50 to machine as opposed to having to pick up a pair of flat tops(usually $80 - $100) and then have the passenger side machined. Basically, you save the purchase price of a set of knuckles.

Quote:
It would be nice to have a spare 350 laying around to build at my leisure

If you have the time/money, buy the GM too and part it out. You should be able to make your money back+ on the axles, trans, and t-case alone. In the end you could come out money ahead AND have that spare 350 laying around.

Quote:
the TH 400 is stronger than the 700r, but I would miss the low first gear and overdrive.

I didn't even look past the OD issue and consider the 3.06 1st gear advantage. Good point. You'll have better crawling ability AND OD.

Quote:
I don't have a problem building the Dana 60 to be the last rear axle I'll ever need, but I couldn't say the same for the semi-floating 14 bolt. I really wouldn't want to put money into a semi-floating 14bolt.

Run a set of Moser 30spline axle shafts in that 60 and call it a day. I have a brand new Trac-lok and brand new 4.88's that will fit it if you're looking?

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Brent


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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:28 pm 
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I agree about the f250 stuff. It will save time and money having to only change axles and DS. You will have fair gearing already with the 4.10 and get a lunch box locker and call it a day.
apbt3178 wrote:
Quote:
It would be nice to have a spare 350 laying around to build at my leisure

If you have the time/money, buy the GM too and part it out. You should be able to make your money back+ on the axles, trans, and t-case alone. In the end you could come out money ahead AND have that spare 350 laying around.


I like this option also and you might even keep the trans and Tcase for a backup unit if the 700r4 or the np231 ever take a dump on ya. You could sell the truck for scrap iron and probably still be money ahead. Oh and you would have more leaf springs to mix and match with, to make it flex the way you want it to.

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Even a blind squirrel can get a nut every now and then.


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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:55 pm
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Location: 12801
Hi Brent, thanks again for the input. I don't really have the time or space to part out the chevy truck I was looking at. It would be nice to have access to the Chevy leaf springs, I'm not sure if the F-250 springs will work as well. It seems like a lot of people are running GM leafs, but I don't hear about many Ford leafs.

I was figuring on going with 5.13 gears if I'm going to run up to 38" tires eventually, but if you think 4.88 gears would still be enough then I might be interested in your gears and locker if the price is right. Feel free to PM me with your pricing.


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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:22 am
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Location: Outer Banks, NC
86tahoe4x4 wrote:
Hi Brent, thanks again for the input. I don't really have the time or space to part out the chevy truck I was looking at.

Understandable.

Quote:
It would be nice to have access to the Chevy leaf springs, I'm not sure if the F-250 springs will work as well. It seems like a lot of people are running GM leafs, but I don't hear about many Ford leafs.

'73 - '79 F250 rears are 3" wide(won't fit S10 rear hangers/shackles) and actually a hair shorter than S10 rears. Desirable Ford rears are the 2.5" wide 57's which can be found under '73 - '96 2wd F100's/F150's and '97+ 2wd and 4wd F150's.

Quote:
I was figuring on going with 5.13 gears if I'm going to run up to 38" tires eventually, but if you think 4.88 gears would still be enough then I might be interested in your gears and locker if the price is right. Feel free to PM me with your pricing.

If your 355ci is putting out reasonable power, I don't think it would be to your advantage, or very noticeable going above 4.88's with such a light rig. The lower you gear, the more torque will be multiplied and you'll find the weakest link(D44 u-joints and stock 30spline D60 rear axle shafts).
I don't have a "locker", it's a clutch operated limited Trac-lok. The TL and 4.88 Yukon 4.88's with bearings are all brand new take outs(came from an axle I bought... parts installed, but never run). If you're still interested, PM me your zip code and I'll see about getting a fixed shipped price to you. I also have pictures of the parts if you'd like to see them.

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Brent


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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:21 pm 
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205's

Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:55 pm
Posts: 23
Location: 12801
I was planning to use the stock S-10 rear springs and just put the Dana 60 under them, and up front I was planning to experiment with the F-250 springs to see what worked and fine tune my height from there. I'm thinking about using the Sky front bracket, which I thought would work with '76 F-250 springs, but I would have to double check. If I go that route, I didn't think it would matter if the Ford springs didn't fit the stock S-10 rear hangers.

Going on what you said about the gearing, 4.88 might work well for me since I don't ever plan on going taller than 38" tires. My engine has been modestly built and makes good power now, and in the future I'd like to upgrade to aluminum heads to cut down on weight and make more power. I would like a true locker for the rear, I've been primarily looking at the Detroit locker for simplicity, strength, and cost.


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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:25 pm 
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35's

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:22 am
Posts: 893
Location: Outer Banks, NC
86tahoe4x4 wrote:
I'm thinking about using the Sky front bracket, which I thought would work with '76 F-250 springs, but I would have to double check. If I go that route, I didn't think it would matter if the Ford springs didn't fit the stock S-10 rear hangers.

That won't work either. The Sky hanger is designed for 2.5" wide springs(which are 3" wide with bushings). Again, the F250's are 3" wide(without bushings).

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 Post subject: Re: Which axles, 76 F-250 or 87 Chevy 3/4 ton
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:59 pm 
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205's

Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:55 pm
Posts: 23
Location: 12801
Oh ok, thanks for clearing that up. I didn't see where Sky listed the spring width their kit was designed for, but I was going to give them a call to confirm before ordering. I see the 3 Leaf Fab kit is being designed to work with 2.5" or 3" springs, but I'm not sure when it will come out or what their costs will be. I will still likely use the Sky kit and pick up some GM 1/2 rear springs from the junkyard. I think the 3/4 ton GM rears might be too stiff.


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