I asume you are planning on wheeling in Oregon, I would go with 5.13's and the 4.3 v-6 to get a little more poop in the mud with the heavier axle.
you could re-tube the axle, or you could swap it for a low pinion chevy front axle from someone which would save you the time and money of changing it to passenger side drop, but it will also give you a low pinion from a high pinion, slighlty weaker in the front, but nothing I would worry about with a v-6.
I'm pretty sure you have a high pinion, but you need to be sure.
the high pinion is more desirable if:
a you have room, you don't want to have to jack the truck way high to clear the driveshaft
you can afford to get it re-tubed or can do it yourself correctly
consider you will need to cut out off the tubes, most likely get at least one new tube-the short side is gonna be really short if you try to stuff it in the axle after you cut it off, get new custom shafts made press the new tubes back in, hope that all this cutting and welding and such doesn't distort the housing
If you want the high pinion I would seriously call some shops and ask them what they would charge to re-tube it for you.
then I would look into the cost of parts for this axle
you may also want to get it made into your new rear axle to get the high pinion, but this then runs the gears on the weak side of the gears.
many things to consider
if you want it fast, easy, and cheap, swap it for a low pinion chevy 60
if you want it as strong as possible, send it to a qualified shop like Dynatrac, and have them re-tube it
if you want to keep the truck light get a dana 44 or a bomber toy axle
it really all depends on what you want to do with the truck tire size, (i know guys running 37s with 44's and very few problems) do you want it wide (cheaper, but hard on tight trails)
old junk, new junk, unfinished junk
Live Large-RIP Jason Payne
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