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Bravada front axle swap question

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Old 03-24-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
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Bravada front axle swap question

I just grabbed an axle tube and shaft out of a 97 bravada with the slip-in cv axle- but my vehicle is a 96 and has the 6 bolt cv axle... After swapping the tube and shaft can I just swap a slip-in style cv joint on the one side to complete the swap? From all the diagrams I've seen it should work. I'm super excited to get rid of the troublesome vacuum cable setup
Old 03-24-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Yes it will work.

I swapped in the axles & right tube from a 97 Blazer into my son's 91 Blazer diff.

Just work careful and compare the parts so you know what you need. I believe their might be a shim or spacer on the later axle, maybe not on the AWD.

Are you going AWD on your 96 or swapping the 4wd axle & tube from your 96 to the Bravada?
Old 03-25-2012, 12:12 AM   #3
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

How could you swap in the drivers side? I believe the diff output on the drivers side is different from 91 to 97. I'm swapping a bravada front axle and tube so the front wheels are connected all the time through the open diff...
Old 03-25-2012, 12:15 AM   #4
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

That's why I asked if you were going AWD.

You said you wanted to swap the axle and tube from a Bravada with slip in axles to your 96 with 6 bolt axles. Is your 96 a Bravada? Otherwise you would be going from a 4wd front diff and convert it to an AWD front diff.
Old 03-25-2012, 12:27 AM   #5
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Aww, nevermind. It looks like 97+ right and left axles are different... I assumed they were the same on both sides like the 6-bolt style. This means I could get rid of the stub on the left side and just buy a newer style cv axle, correct?
Old 03-25-2012, 12:28 AM   #6
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Oops, just saw your post- I have a 96 jimmy- I'm staying 4wd, just converting the front differential to awd.
Old 03-25-2012, 12:39 AM   #7
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

You can use your left bolt on axle stub into the Bravada diff. I used a 97 Blazer diff with my son's 92 Blazer axles, so I know that will work even though I can't remember what I had to swap to do it.

I know you can swap your bolt on 4wd axle and tube to the AWD Bravada diff.

FYI you can also use the pop in axles on an older truck with a diff swap if you want to go that way.
Old 03-25-2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

The guts of the AWD front bravada diff "pumpkin" are identical to any blazer or jimmy diff, the only exception is the bravada has a 1-piece axle and axle tube on the right side. The jimmys and blazers have a cable actuated 2-piece differential that is a cause of aggrivation. Here's a pic for posterity:
Old 03-25-2012, 12:55 AM   #9
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

I've converted 2 4wd diffs to AWD, one was a bolt on type, the other a pop in type.

It's great that trucks and Astro van front diffs can be swapped and converted.
Old 03-25-2012, 01:00 AM   #10
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

For sure, I'm not sure why GM didn't do this in the first place...
Old 03-25-2012, 02:11 PM   #11
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

There was play in my left hand axle stub... It looks like I'm swapping to the 97+ axles on both sides. Is the bearing and seal in the old style and newer slip-in style the same on the left side?
Old 03-26-2012, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

The diff output bearings and seals on the drivers (left side) are different from 96 to 97+. I don't think the 97+ bearing will fit in my 96 differential. The 97+ bearing has a larger outer diameter.
Old 03-29-2012, 10:27 PM   #13
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Dose anyone know if I can use a 93 bravada awd trasfercase front diff on a 95\2000 (2nd gen) other then the bolt in shafts what are the differances? also can you use that same transfercase on a 4l60?
Old 03-30-2012, 01:22 AM   #14
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Yes to both your questions, more details on your other thread.
Old 04-16-2012, 01:16 PM   #15
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

I just did the swap, it works very well! Now the 4wd truly engages 'on the fly'- which means immediately! I have a 97+ cv axle on the right (passenger) side and kept the original 96 cv axle on the drivers side. While I was in there I replaced all 4 bump stops and a tie rod too.
Old 05-15-2012, 01:13 PM   #16
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Will the Bravada axle shaft fit into the non-Bravada axle tube and work properly?


I am asking because the junk yards do not want to separate just the right side axle shaft and tube from their front axles. I would have to buy a complete front axle.

I would like to buy a new axle shaft from gmpartsdirect (~$150) and then make a block off plate for the stock axle tube.

I also see that Synergy offroad carries a conversion kit made of a stronger axle and block off plate, but it is $300 and costs as much as buying a complete Bravada axle in the first place.
Old 05-15-2012, 02:52 PM   #17
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Quote: Originally Posted by t01blaze
Will the Bravada axle shaft fit into the non-Bravada axle tube and work properly?
Yes

All the parts from all the years from all the S10/S15/Astro/Safari all can be swapped. The case and gears are the same for everything, just the axle tubes and axles are unique to whatever vehicle the diff is installed in.

So if you want AWD and have a 4wd diff, you can swap AWD axles and tube over. If you have an AWD diff with pop-in axles and want a 4wd with bolt-on axles you can swap the parts over.

Just like Lego, everything fits everything
Old 05-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #18
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Great. I was thinking that there could be some difference where the Bravada shaft and axle tube would only work together.
Old 05-15-2012, 03:41 PM   #19
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Quote: Originally Posted by chcknugget
I just did the swap, it works very well! Now the 4wd truly engages 'on the fly'- which means immediately! I have a 97+ cv axle on the right (passenger) side and kept the original 96 cv axle on the drivers side. While I was in there I replaced all 4 bump stops and a tie rod too.
good to know. i was wondering the same thing, because i'm about to do the exact swap on mine. LOL. Old style CV on driver side new style on the passenger side.
Old 05-15-2012, 05:47 PM   #20
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Quote: Originally Posted by t01blaze
Great. I was thinking that there could be some difference where the Bravada shaft and axle tube would only work together.
Well I've not tried that combination. Why would you not use the tube to match the axle?

It might work, but you'd have to ensure that it clears inside.

If you running an AWD transfer case, you need to be running "connected" at both ends! Running the AWD transfer case with a load only on one side will overheat it and it will lock up!
Old 05-16-2012, 07:42 AM   #21
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Quote: Originally Posted by AWD V8

If you running an AWD transfer case, you need to be running "connected" at both ends! Running the AWD transfer case with a load only on one side will overheat it and it will lock up!
It's a 233, non auto 4x4. I just want the always engaged front axle.
Old 05-16-2012, 10:23 AM   #22
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Good luck with the swap. I was happy with mine until it exposed problems with the front driveshaft. Since the front driveshaft spins in 2wd after the swap it can cause some vibration if it is out of balance... I'm trying to find a way to swap in a u-joint instead of the cv on the front shaft.
Old 05-23-2012, 01:39 PM   #23
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Quote: Originally Posted by AWD V8
Well I've not tried that combination. Why would you not use the tube to match the axle?
I have a hard time finding a junk yard that will let me take just the tube and axle, they want to sell me the whole diff. I could go to gmparts direct and spend $150 on just the shaft and be done, if the tube works. If not, a Bravada tube is around $90 iirc. Makes it not worth it to buy the parts new if I need the tube to match the shaft. I see Bravada shaft and tubes sell for $100 used + shipping, so I figured getting a new shaft from GM is feasible.
Old 05-23-2012, 01:49 PM   #24
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

AWD Astro van, do you not have them in your parts? lots around here.

You should be able to find a complete diff for under $150, or a scrap one for $50

The most common failure in an AWD van is the front diff. It holds very little oil and the slightest leak spells disaster, these are plentiful around here for cheap.
Old 04-09-2013, 04:22 PM   #25
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

okay ive searched everywhere on the web and cant find crap for info. i have a 2002 s10 zr2. i have the commen 4x4 prob, what all do i need to buy or get and what all do i have to do to swap a bravada axle into the stock axle?
Old 04-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #26
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

You need a front diff from an Astro/Safari/Bravada that is the same ratio as your current rear axle.

Any year will fit your truck but you need 98+ to fit your existing CV axles.

Are you just wanting to get rid of the front axle disconnect and keep 4wd, or are you planning to go AWD?

I don't know what your front drive shaft universal is to the diff. Older AWD front shafts are different than 4wd front shafts.
Old 04-09-2013, 05:12 PM   #27
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

It's been about year since I did this swap and it is very worthwhile... I wish I had done it earlier!
Old 04-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #28
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Re: Bravada front axle swap question

Man good thing I came across this, I just recently aquired an awd front axle from an astro van. Code gt4 if I remeber correctly which makes it a 3.73 geared axle. Will make my ford 8.8 swap a little easier. May go awd when I do my swap too. Still need to find an awd t case.

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