Can I convert a dana 10 bolt front axle from a 6 bolt lug pattern to an 8 bolt lug pattern. I have a 3/4 ton rear end which has an 8 bolt lug pattern and I know the 3/4 tons came with the same front ends as 1/2 tons did so is there a way to do this conversion?
Is there a reason why I couldn't just use a 6 bolt wheel in the front and 8 in the back if the gear ratios turned out to be the same? If the wheels are both 15's I don't see what problem there could be.
That's no big deal carrying two spares. Remember, this truck is only going to be for off-roading. Can it be done? I don't have that high of a budget. I am trying to be economical and use all the parts available to me.
Can it be done? Sure. Why not? I did it for a long time after I swapped in a 14 bolt in the rear of my half ton. Sure I had to have different wheels for the front and rear but I never had a good spare anyway. Heck, I even ran different gear ratios front and rear, 4.10 rear and 3.73 front. Not a god idea if you are going to be in 4WD on a hard surface but I was only in the mud and the higher gear in the front made the front end "Pull" the rest of the truck in the slop. I dont do it anymore but a few of the hardcore racers I know still run mis-matched gears.
Anyway, I dont know about the conversion for sure but the only difference in the 6 Lug Dana 44 and the 8 Lug is the Hub and Rotor. However, The question is WHY? If you are on a tight budget I wouldnt swap the parts out I would just save my cash for something that mattered and go wheelin!!
You arent going to gain anything by switching to the 8 lug rotor, and it is gonna cost you time and Money to switch them over. If you dont have a donor truck or a good friend willing to give you the parts I dont think its worth the effort. Save your cash and get a Dana 60 when you are tired of changing U-Joints!
Hey Mudbug, that is the exact gear ration of the front that is in my truck now and the 14 bolt. The 14 is 4.11 and the front is 3.73. I was just going to ask if they could work together because I heard about minor gear differences in an off-roading magazine. The only time I am going to be in 4 wheel is when I get stuck in some bad stuff. I am never going to be driving on hard ground in 4wd. Only when I lose traction. I am definately not going to try to change the lugs to make the 6 8. I was just wondering how hard it was. Another thing, I wasn't really paying attention to this when I went to my uncle's today to see about the gear ratio on the 14 bolt but does the 3/4 tons have staggered shocks? This one is a 74. My friend thought something looked different and that might have been it. I guess I could always just weld on a shock bracket if this was the case. I would love to have a dana 60 in the front. That would definately brighten my day to get a hold of one of them. Oh yeah, has anybody ever changed gearing? How difficult of a project is it?
Hmm, I think that Most 14 bolt axles have one front and one rear facing shock. I am not positive but I think that the older Eaton rear axle had both shocks on the front side of the axle. I think that they used these axles through 1972.
Changing axle gears is one of the most complicated things that you can get into on your truck. There are so many variables that make it a very in depth process. Some carriers will only accept gear raitos through a certain range. i.e a 3.08 gear on a truck 12 bolt rear axle has a carrier that will on only accept 2.43 through 3.73 gears. (not exactly true but only for an example). There are gears that are made for that carrier that are "thicker" and will let you get 4.10-4.56 ratios as well. You will need special tools for checking pinion installed depth as well as measuring backlash on the ring gear. A press is helpful for removing the bearings from the carrier as the shims are under the bearings. The pinion is also shimmed under the bearing and that makes the setup process a long and tedious process.
You can do it if you have the patience and access to the required tools. If you start it and dont finish Most shops wont touch it. This is what makes the 14 bolt so great. The pinion goes in from the front and the shims are under the bolts, not a bearing. The carrier is held in position by spanner nuts so you can move it around without pulling it out and adding/removing shims. Installing a Detroit locker in a 14 bolt is something that you can definatly do.
Ok, one last thing. Be careful with the mis matched gears. The magazine is talking about gears within a small margin of each other, 4.09 front 4.11 rear. No magazine is going to advise anything like 4.10 rear and 3.73 front. Something is gonna give and it might be the transfer case. I ran them but, BUT I have a locker in the rear and I was never in 4WD when I MIGHT get traction with all the tires at once. It is a risk and I hate to tell you to try it and then have something go wrong. Use caution and most of all use you common sense. Oh yeah, and Have fun too!!
Hey Andy, Yeah the more and more I learn about axles and their properties the more I realize that it is kind of foolhardy to change gear ratios. I would have to change the carrier like you said, and the process and cost of changing the gears is pretty in depth and expensive. I think i'll just run what i have now and keep an open eye out for a dana 60 or a 44 with 4.10 gears. Thx for the help