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88-98 2500 vs 3500

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by jb1390, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    What differences were there between the 2500 and 3500? (8-lug SRW in both cases). I know the GVWR was higher-but what components are different to cause that?
  2. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,037

    I have pretty good knowledge of those trucks and their front suspension (especially cutting it out and replcing it with the solid axle it should have had).

    From what I could tell, the front suspension components between the 2500HD and 3500 series, both SRW, were torsion bars and rear springs. The frames, wheel bearings, steering, etc shows up as the same part numbers... There were some differences in braking packages available over the years, a 9.5" rear semi-floating axle and 10.5" full-floating axle was also available in different configurations.
  3. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    x2 what would of said. Thumbs Up

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,286

    Pretty sure the 9.5" semi-floater was always a 6 lug
  5. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    There were plenty of 8-lug 9.5's also over the years.
  6. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    The 9.5" came in an 8 lug configuration. There are quite a few of these running around where I live. From what I can tell, they are all 5.7L powered. All of the 7.4L powered 2500's that I looked at, had the the 10.5" FF's.

    One other difference I noticed is that you could only get the floor mounted transfer case in the K3500's vs you could get the pushbutton or floor mounted versions in the K2500's.

    On the subject of the rear spring difference's, I didn't see any differences between the HD2500 vs the 3500. They both had six leaf rear springs and they both looked to be the same thickness.


    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,286

    I know they had them in the old body style (73-88), just didn't know they had them in the newer trucks. As for coming in all the small block trucks, I had a 96' K2500 with a 350 and it had a FF in it. edit Just reread monte's post, I misread what he said. Didn't say all 350 trucks came with 9.5", just said the 9.5" only came in a truck with a 350. Guess I can believe that.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  8. Sp3cialized

    Sp3cialized Member
    from CT
    Messages: 58

    The front suspensions are slightly different with some that have cast vs some with welded control arms. I believe the knuckle and bearing assemblies are similar for all 8 lug trucks.

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,286

    Starting in 96' they all had the cast. 97' in the half tons.
  10. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    While that's generally the case it's not 100% either as I've seen GMT400 K2500's with the 7.4 and a 9.5. Definitely not too common no but it was definitely done therefore still requires an actual look see regardless of the engine option.

    Also, SRW 3500's used the 10.5's (as most know) but also used D70's for those that aren't aware, mostly with the 7.4 4/5 speed manual trans. Most auto equipped 7.4's still received the 10.5's.
  11. Showmestaterida

    Showmestaterida Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    So is there a difference in the leaf springs setup on these? 2500HD compared to the 3500?
  12. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    mabye 4 leaf 2500 and 5 leaf 3500. but basicly not much. and the leaf count is th working leafs. the bottom over load is a givin in the leaf spring world.

    thay would be called a 4/1 pack or 5/1 pack.
  13. PowersTree

    PowersTree Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    A 2500 will have a semi float, and a 3500 will have a full float rear axle. Maybe rear spring counts. But the front spring, everything, is the same.

    My 2500 had a 9.5 14 bolt, with the biggest brakes. Swapped in a full float, and my brakes swapped too.
  14. bad93blaster

    bad93blaster Member
    Messages: 62

    i have 3 2500s one is a 6 lug so that dont count. my 90 2500 is a 6.2 diesel th400 tranny 14 bolt rear end semi float 8 lug with 373 gears gvw is 8600lbs 6 springs

    my 98 2500 6.5 diesel is a full float with 411 gears gvw 9200lbs 6 spring

    for my 3500s my 88 new body has 6 springs and my 92 has 7 springs both trucks have 9600 gvw bothe 350 motors only difference is the 92 has a hydro booster