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The 84 has manual hubs right?

Rear axles are identical model and both leaf spring. Nothing to compare. Other than rear disk options on the newer rigs, but there are several ways to upgrade to disks on both.

Front axles are both 44s, but the manual hubs are much nicer, as is the one pc. pass axle. BUt I hear that the bearings are a serious POS/PITA and tend to need more frequent R&R.

The 4-link and coils are nice, but more expensive to lift and more complex, but damn does it flex nice. I doubt you could get the same front end flex out of a leaf spring lift of similar height and still be acceptable for a daily driver.

Fewer computer controls on the 84? I would assume so. Easier to waterproof.

In CA, I may even prefer a 72-73 for smog reasons.

Also, the newer hydro-formed frames are supposed to be stronger/stiffer right?

Isn't the 84 tranny better than the newer 94+ 46r?

The 84 is cheaper to fix and upgrade though. Late model parts are $$$.

Also, thrashing an older rig does not hurt as much as messing up the newer one you are still paying off...

All that said... I do prefer the look of the Gen II Rams, the 4-link ride and flex, just hate the unit bearings and price of repair/upgrades.... I would keep building my 97....
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