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Old 09-27-2001, 06:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post 10B vs D44 vs D60

For anyone interested, Stephen Watson of ORD wrote an excellent post about the above subject and it is posted on the CK5 site.

I am in the process of swapping out my 10B's and going to a D60/14B. Just my personal preference, but I believe you will eventually spend just as much or more keeping a 10B in one piece as you will by going to the D60.
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Old 09-27-2001, 08:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you like to wheel then I would say you are right. Spend the $$$ on one now insted of on parts.
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Old 09-27-2001, 09:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think anyone who really wheels will disagree with that logic <IMG SRC="smilies/cool.gif" border="0">
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Old 09-28-2001, 01:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's the link:

10Bolt v. D44 v. D60

Or here's the article:
-------------------------------------------
Ok, there's tons of stuff floating around here about the merits of each axle for the front, so let's start by agreeing on some facts here. If anyone has info indicating these aren't actually facts, let me know.

Our K5's were built with a 1/2T axle in them, therefore they're cheap. We have them already.

10 bolts and D44's are equivalent strength. I know there's some difference in the housings and tube thicknesses, but practically speaking, it's not enough of a difference to purposely seek out one axle over the other.

For most people, a D60 will cost at least $1K. Depending on what you get it can be way more or way less, but for the most part if you find a GM D60 for $1K that's in usable condition, you're not getting hosed by the seller. I know there are cheaper ways to get them, don't turn my stomach with tales of $200 1-ton trucks, unless you're selling it to me for that price!

Upgrades to a 1/2T axle can be done for $100 or less. This won't get you a long ways on the axle shafts, but it'll get some hubs which are a good start. More can be added one piece at a time.

There's very little to do to upgrade a D60. 35 spline stubs and hubs, a locker, maybe inner shafts for the early versions, that's about it. Trussing is generally considered un-necessary as they seem to take run and jump driving in stride.

There's not a lot you can do to a 1/2T axle. 6 to 8 lug swaps, upgrade axleshafts, good diff, good locking hubs, that's about it. The torque strength is basically set by the ujoint (297X) and while development on new joints is taking place, there's nothing really practical on the market yet. I don't doubt that someone will have a joint that's a bit stronger, but I doubt it will gain you more than 20% or so. For frequent flyers, trussing the housing is highly recommended.

6 lug brakes are up to stopping 36's generally, not a lot more. 8 lug 3/4T axles have bigger discs that really get you decent brakes up to about a 38-40" tire? These are guesstimates of course, subject to a lot of other factors.

A D60 has good brakes for stopping anything. With 35's my K5 seems in danger of going over the front!

1/2 or 3/4T fronts are about 200# lighter than a D60.

Unsprung weight is important in some types of 'froading. usually less is better for going fast and flying.

Is there anyone with a 38" or bigger tire that uses it off road and honestly doesn't want or need a D60?

There are an infinite number of levels of wheeling. Some drive on streets to look cool, some never see pavement. Some drivers can break a D60 with 35's, some can hold together a 10 bolt with 38's pretty well. Lots of variables.

People's acceptable level of breakage varies greatly. Some can't fix a truck on the trail so they can't afford to break because then they can't get home. Some are just as at home installing a R&P in the muddy darkness as they are in a shop, so it's not as big a deal.

Breaking a front axle will generally allow you to roll home, maybe without front power, but you'll stay on your wheels and be able to drive. It's not like breaking a transmission or t-case.

Mark Boyce told me several years ago that I should go ahead and buy a D60 from him when I got the 14 bolt because I'd probably need it sooner or later anyway. He was right. I probably spent an amount equal to the price of that D60 on the 1/2T axle since then, but it was spread over the last 8 years and some of that amount was for lockers that I would have had to buy for the D60 anyway. And I wore out 2 sets of 33's in that time and carrying the D60 around would have been a complete waste in that application. There was no way I could swing the money to get a D60 then, I could barely scrounge up enough parts and cash to trade for the 14 bolt. Moral of the story, if you know you're getting into big tires (38" and up) and plan to use it hard offroad, it's a no brainer, save up for a D60. You may not know that at the time though. That's the way it goes.

I'm kind of out of facts to throw out here. But, maybe there is a point here. Some people need to spend $1K or more to replace a perfectly good front axle. For some it makes economic sense, and is the only way for the rig to make it on the trail.
For others it doesn't. Let's stick to the facts as much as possible and give people some room to do what they want, regardless of how stupid we think it may be, or how stupid it really is.
After writing all this, I'm not sure it's going to do any good, the debate will always rage on............


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Old 09-28-2001, 03:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You could not spend enough to keep a 10 bolt in one peice!
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Old 04-14-2005, 06:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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