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14 bolt semi float axle swap

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by Bad bow tie, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Bad bow tie

    Bad bow tie New Member

    Hey fellas new to this forum.

    I have a 1995 Chevy Tahoe 4x4 with 3.42 gears with an open carrie and 33" tires. On the freeway going 75 mph the truck downshifts to second gear on hills and screams up the hill at 2850-2900 RPM's. I was planning on regearing front and rear diffs with 3.73 gears to compensate for the larger tires and loss of power. But then it occured to me it would be a easier and a better choice to swap in a 14 bolt semi floating rear axle out of a mid 90's light duty 2500 pick up. I can pick one of these axles up locally for around $350. This would be cheaper and a lot easier than doing the re-gearing.

    My questions are is this swap worth it? Anybody running this currently and are you happy with it compared to the stock 10 bolt? And if I were to pick one of these axles up with 3.42 gears (so I don't have to swap the front) will this stop the annoying downshifting on the highway? This axle has the 9.5" ring gear compared to the 8.5" ring gear found in the 10 bolt. So will the the larger ring gear bring about more torque and power than the smaller one? Or would it be better to just get one with 3.73 or 4.10 gears and do the swap on the front?

    Thanks in advance for any input.
  2. MrShorty

    MrShorty Moderator Staff Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Putting in a 14 bolt with the same gear ratio isn't going to change any of the shift points or anything like that. You still would want to change the gear ratio.

    However, if they are as easy to come by as you say, find a 14 bolt with 3.73 or 4.11 (I'd probably try to get the 4.11), then regear the front. I don't expect it will be any more expensive than regearing your existing front and rear, and you'd have a stronger rear.
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    As MrShorty said changing just the axle wont do the trick you need a different gear ratio.
    The 14 bolts a good axle but I wouldnt do a swap to it unless, you wheel the truck and need a little stonger rear axle, or could buy and install the axle cheaper than the cost of a rear gear swap.
  4. rackchaser71

    rackchaser71 New Member

    hey im running the 14 bolt with4:10s on my 94 2500 light, awesome rearend, very strong, but yeah like they said the new axle wont do a thing, you need lower gears, dont do 4:10s though unless you do alot of pulling and serious offroading, 3:73s are plenty for 33s, im running 33s and at 70 mph im turning 2600 rpms, thats alot of gas so i would stick some 3:73s in that thing and you will be happy
  5. Bad bow tie

    Bad bow tie New Member

    Thanks guys thats what I was thinkiing but wasn't positive. I'm thinking the 14 bolt would be a better choice because it is a much stronger axle. This might be an advantage as I plan to overhaul the entire engine in the next year or so.
  6. miaatch

    miaatch New Member

    1997 chevy tahoe.... axle swap

    Ok so here i am. also new to this forum. you were in a familiar situation. what did you end up with. i have a 1997 tahoe 4wd with 3;73 already in it. but i keep blowing up my 10 bolt. now im thinking about the 14 bolt but the factory gov lock scares me. i hate gov locks. i currently have an eaton limited slip in my 10 bolt and love it. but hate the 10 bolt. so tell me what you ended up with and how it seems to be working for you

    mitch
    miaatch@aol.com


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