Understanding axle ratios

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by whutdidyousay@yahoo.com, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. I'm looking at a dana 44 front end to put on my '89 suburban 1/2 ton. I am probably going with the 44 due to cost issues.
    The axle I'm looking at looks nice... good joints, straight, tight, OK brakes... nice and quiet... exactly what I'm looking for except it's the wrong gear ratio. it's a 3.07 (so the guy says) and I have a 3.42.
    Would I be better to put 3.42's in the 44 or 3.07 in my rear?....
    What is the best overall ratio for decent highway driving with some medium to light-heavy towing? If I have to change both I will. I just want something I can count on.

    Also.... do the ring/pinions exchange between these axles? in other words can I put my 3.42 gears out of my 10 bolt in the dana 44?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  2. retired2001

    retired2001 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    If you stay with the 3:10s it will be better on top end, but you will loose on the low end. If you are running any size other than stock tire, you may be hurting yourself on power. The 3:42s gears are pretty mild for pulling and such so the 3:10s will give even less pulling power. I would think that the gears would fit, but I don't know for sure. Good luck.
  3. This just gets more and more complicated. From what I'm reading I need to change my gears to 3.73 in front and back. I can't seem to find the 3.42's for a dana 44 anyway. It seems that the ring and pinion don't interchange (10 bolt to dana 44)from what I'm seeing. If anyone knows for sure, let me know.
    I'm not running stock tires. I'm running 32x11.50x15's right now.... I think I"ll keep it about there.

    My overall goal is to get OK gas mileage (yeah right, it's a 1989 Suburban) while knowing I have the nuts to pull a small car or travel trailer if I choose.

    I should probably stay with the 10 bolt..... and just rebuild it while it's in the truck.... now to figure out the gear ratio for sure.

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