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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
So for those that do not know me or my rig. It is a stretched 46WILYZ with a current 101" wheel base. I've bought some new items to install this winter after I finish a remodel on my home. I am replacing my 4.3 tbi with a LS 5.3 and my front dana 44 with a dodge dana 60 that currently has external hubs.

So here's my issue, currently I am running 38" tires, I would like to go to 40's on my next tire purchase. Plus I am over doubling my current HP/torque from a 4.3 to a LS 5.3.

I would like to convert the external dana 60 hubs to internal hubs and 3/4 ton brakes. I am already spending the money on the hubs, should I convert it to 5x5.5 hubs and keep my rear 9" or stay 8 lug and install a 14 bolt? I like the idea of keeping my shaved 9 inch (great clearance) and light weight that is already trussed, grizzly locker, 31 spline chromoly axle shafts, disc brakes, My current 15" wheels and tires fit. I could later, once I go to larger tires upgrade the 31 spline shafts to 35 spline?

Any personal experience with running 40's on a 9" with 35 spline shafts?

Or should I bite the bullet and build a 14 bolt?


 

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blatant asshole
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11,749 Posts
Youre buying d60 wheel hubs no matter what, the difference between oe 8lug and 5 lug is marginal, $200ish, that wont even come close to building a replacement 14bff.

Since your 9" has 35sp ( which are the same diam as 14b 30sp) it would be a mild push and really only gain you the fullfloat hubs vrs sf on the 9". Id say make sure you have a strong housing and 3rd member like a strange racing 3rd id say you would ok with your 9".

You didnt say what trans/tcase/overall gearing your running.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I am keeping my sm420, dana 300, and going to 4.88 gears =90:1 crawl. When I up grade to 35 spline shafts yes I will get a strange / yukon third case.
 

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1,153 Posts
Our rigs and paths are quite similar.....

I ran a 14 bolt in my stretched flatty for a couple years. I hated every minute of it. I ran it with 40's and 42's. To me, just too heavy and too much of a boat anchor in the rocks. Losing it was like adding 25 HP and not dragging it over hills and rocks made an immense difference.

I swapped to a 9 inch with 35 spline Moser shafts/semi float and haven't looked back. Agreed on the case though. Upgrade it. Spring for the larger bearing/yoke. Also the stock housing will begin to flex and tear at the flange over time. I repaired mine a few times, then went with a Ruff Stuff housing.

My set up is a V8, roughly 300HP, auto, 4:1 t-case and 39 inc sticky tires. The axle has held up great. Over the last 8,9 years it's been in, I've yet to break a shaft. I did break two teeth off the ring gear a few years ago. That's been the extent of the failures.

I converted my Dodge front 60 to 5 x 5.5 like you plan. If i could do it again, I would have gone 6x5.5. I've had troubles wallowing out wheels and bending wheel studs. I think the extra lug would make a huge difference. I solved the rear stud issue with ARP screw in studs for a drag car with 1 inch lug nuts. I would highly recommend setting up the hubs and rear shafts with quality screw in studs if you do go 5x5.5.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm glad to hear the 9 with the larger axle shafts and third member is holding up well.

I am thinking that my best course of action is to keep the 9" soa, convert the front 60 to the 5 lug and 3 link it, I could upgrade the 3rd and shafts before it is time to increase tire size. This sounds better to me than building 2 axles from scratch, at the same time again and doing an engine swap. This is the direction I wanted to go in the first place. I just didn't want to convert the front axle and then find out I needed to increase the rear axle to a 14 bolt. The 14bolt would then need be converted to 5x5.5.
 

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Registered
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Saw your craigslist ad, hope the sale goes well!

I vote 9", 35 spline, seems like a 14 bolt would be too much of a pig for your flatty. Maybe a full float rear if you really have trouble with the SF 35 spline? I doubt you will though...
 

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Ford Bigot
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I should preface the following response: 1 tons are always the answer.

14 bolts are rad, but they are heavy bastards and hang down pretty far.

Since you have to upgrade wheel hubs regardless I would go with the 5 lug thing, so then you can take advantage of the wheels and tires you have now and run 3/4 ton brakes. External hubs are shit so it's a good move to get rid of them.

Assuming your 9" rear is full width (I thought it was), I would run it. 40's are actually a pretty mild size tire given your driving style, so I wouldn't worry too much about your drivetrain.

The biggest issue with 9" is bending the housings, smacking the pinion carrier because of the ridiculously low pinion (same issue on a 14bolt btw), and shitty stock shafts on small bearing housings. You have aftermarket shafts and a big bearing housing the only risks are bending the housing and smacking the pinion, which are both easily solved.
 

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Keep the 9 inch and add 35 spline shafts/locker when the time is right.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Yes, my 9" is full width 65"wms with the big bearing. I have deleted the 9 inch off my Craigslist add.



 

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Premium Member
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14 bolt is heavy and a plow. Unless you shave it I would just go 35 spline shafts and some Branik flanges on the housing for Ford from 50/60 hubs and spindles. You could also go 40 spline and backbone. Lug pattern is up to you.
 
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