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Engineer
2003 S10 4.3L 4wd Crew Cab
Joined
165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Below is a WORK IN PROGRESS write up of fitting 1 ton axles under a 2nd generation S10. Please feel free to ask me to elaborate on anything specific or if I missed something. I'll gladly update this post to include more information.

SUSPENSION
This section isn't really part of my 1 ton swap, as I had already done it all when I was running Dana 44s. When I started rebuilding the new axles, I used measurements from the old and welded brackets in similar or more sensible locations. I'll include more information here eventually. All around, I used Radflo 2.5 12" travel coilovers. As much as I wanted to fit 14", I could not find a reasonable way to package them.
351829


AXLES
For this section, I'm going to be going over how I turned these 馃あ
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Asphalt Road surface Gas

into these 馃槏
Automotive tire Tire Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive design


Because of the abundance of old rusted out vehicles in junkyards here in Nebraska, axles were easy to come by. The front I found is a HP Dana 60 from a 2004 Ford F250 Superduty and the rear is a late model 14 bolt from a 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD. I ended up paying $500 for both of them, and to top it off the front came with Warn manual locking hubs already in it.

[Rebuilding section]
Getting everything stripped down was probably the hardest and dirtiest part. Tons of dirt, rust, and metal brackets had to be removed to make a good base for the new build. Since I have heard horror stories of spinning axle tubes, I wanted to install a Motobilt axle truss and pinion guard on my 14 bolt.

The front axle's knuckle had to be cut down some to install a high steer arm.
351830


Since the front came out of a 2004 Ford, it has a lug pattern of 8x170. I needed 8x6.5 to match the back, so I got a wheel pattern template and drilled small guide holes in a 8x6.5 pattern. Then I set it up on the drill press and drilled the guide holes out to 39/64" and pressed in new studs. Repeat for the other side and do the rotors.

To compensate for the larger tires while still only have my stock 4.3L, I went with Nitro 5.38 gears. I wanted to save some money while at the same time learn about what goes into an axle, so I regeared them myself. I started with the 14 bolt, as they are well known to be easy to regear.
351824


For the front, I used Nitro's 10" 5.38 ring and pinion set. I also installed a Spartan auto locker in the carrier.
351825


351826



To protect the new gears from damage. I used Ruffstuff 3/8" differential covers.
351823


TIRES
Tires were the biggest holdup on this project, as no one seemed to ever have 40"+ in stock. I originally wanted to go with some 42x15r17 Pitbull Rockers, but could never get a response from them. I eventually settled with some 41x14.5r17 Irok Radials that I got for a steal from 4wheelparts. However, I ended up waiting about 4 months for the tires to ship.

After getting the tires, I immediately set forth on getting them mounted to my 17" Sidetracked beadlocks. The neat thing about these is they are actually the exact same as Gatekeeper beadlocks, so the beadlock spacer kit that they provide worked perfectly for my application. After getting the tires settled on the rims, I added 12oz of match grade polished airsoft BBs (link) to each tire. These actually ended up working perfectly, as I have no vibration while rolling down the highway at 70.

BRAKES
I went with the stock dual piston calipers that you would normally put on the axles. I replaced all brake line going to the axles with the pretty stuff from Kore3 and used a neat treat with zip ties and fuel line to make standoffs. After getting everything buttoned up and bled, I noticed the pedal is incredibly soft. The truck would stop but pressing the brakes down would not lock up the tires. I decided to upgrade my master cylinder to one out of a 3/4 ton truck that has a 1.57" bore (Duralast NM1873). To do this upgrade, I only needed to find a single adapter fitting for the flex lines, but of course it was hard to source. The adapter is a 9/16-18 male to 1/2-20 female for 3/16 brake line.

STEERING
I had already done a custom hydro assist setup back when I was on 37s and Dana 44s, but I'll include this section because it really is necessary if you are going to be running tires and axles of this size. To start, a new crossmember needs to be added to the frame in the front. I already had one here back when I used to run leaf springs in the front, so I'll run that one for the time being. This crossmember is necessary as you need to remove the original steering crossmember. I ordered a new steering box for a RWD Astro van and tapped it for 1/4" NPT. I then got that installed with a new pitman arm (Moog K6653) that I reamed out. You want this pitman arm flipped and raised up a bit to parallel it with the drag link. For the hydraulic cylinder, I used PSC's 1.5"x8" cylinder and their hose kit. With all the extra fluid moving to and from the cylinder, an extended reservoir needs to be added. I used a universal reservoir from Amazon (link), some adapters, and a neck down boot (Mopar 4333475) to extend the existing power steering reservoir.
351831





351832


Please feel free to ask me to elaborate on anything specific or if I missed something. I'll gladly update this post to include more information.
 
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Engineer
2003 S10 4.3L 4wd Crew Cab
Joined
165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Nice. What axles are you going to run?
The front has a HP D60 from a 2004 F250 SD. The rear is a late model 14 bolt from a 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD. Running 5.38 gears and auto lockers because I don't have the coin for ARBs.
 

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2000 Blazer SAS
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The front has a HP D60 from a 2004 F250 SD. The rear is a late model 14 bolt from a 2007 Chevy Silverado. Running 5.38 gears and auto lockers because I don't have the coin for ARBs.
Personally, I don't like ARBs, anyway. I have Grizzly lockers in both ends of mine because I like stuff I don't have to think about.

Looking forward to your updates in this thread.
 

Engineer
2003 S10 4.3L 4wd Crew Cab
Joined
165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Personally, I don't like ARBs, anyway. I have Grizzly lockers in both ends of mine because I like stuff I don't have to think about.

Looking forward to your updates in this thread.
I'm running a spartan in the front and using a G80 in the rear. From what I read, the 14 bolt version of the G80 isn't as well known to crack like the smaller ones. I'll eventually go over to a detroit but the junkyard axle didn't come with an open carrier.
 

Engineer
2003 S10 4.3L 4wd Crew Cab
Joined
165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Have to upgrade the master cylinder now.
 

Engineer
2003 S10 4.3L 4wd Crew Cab
Joined
165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bump because I finally added a lot of information here. I'll rewrite some things, add more information, and organize it better later.
 

Engineer
2003 S10 4.3L 4wd Crew Cab
Joined
165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
any frame pics of where you mounted the coil overs?
I used 1.75 dom tube for the front and backs. I could've gotten away with 14" coilovers in the rear if I swept the shocks like how I did in the front. Maybe one day.
352021


352022
 

Engineer
2003 S10 4.3L 4wd Crew Cab
Joined
165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
how much up travel do you have left in you shock?
I'm still fine tuning where I have my coilovers dialed in at. Right now I have them at 4in of uptravel out of the 12in coilover and I have the stop nuts set 1in above where the springs sit level. Here's an updated picture of how high it sits now.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Window Truck
 
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Engineer
2003 S10 4.3L 4wd Crew Cab
Joined
165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't measured in a while, but it sits around 24" from the ground to the bottom of the frame rail. Chevy made driver drop 241s in early 90s suburban and pickups. I actually got 2 more sitting in my garage I plan to rebuild when I get the time and money.
 

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I'm going to have to look at all of my stuff tonight. I've got a 241 from a 90 suburban in my 98 but it is a passenger drop. Planning on doing a sas on my 93 Silverado next and now i can't remember which side drop it is. I've got an older s10 fixed yoke case i planned on installing in my 03. Not sure why i hadn't thought about a 241.
 

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I haven't measured in a while, but it sits around 24" from the ground to the bottom of the frame rail. Chevy made driver drop 241s in early 90s suburban and pickups. I actually got 2 more sitting in my garage I plan to rebuild when I get the time and money.
I don't know where my head was yesterday. Did you have to do anything special to get the 241 to bolt up?
 

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Below is a WORK IN PROGRESS write up of fitting 1 ton axles under a 2nd generation S10. Please feel free to ask me to elaborate on anything specific or if I missed something. I'll gladly update this post to include more information.

SUSPENSION
This section isn't really part of my 1 ton swap, as I had already done it all when I was running Dana 44s. When I started rebuilding the new axles, I used measurements from the old and welded brackets in similar or more sensible locations. I'll include more information here eventually. All around, I used Radflo 2.5 12" travel coilovers. As much as I wanted to fit 14", I could not find a reasonable way to package them.
View attachment 351829

AXLES
For this section, I'm going to be going over how I turned these 馃あ
View attachment 351820
into these 馃槏
View attachment 351821

Because of the abundance of old rusted out vehicles in junkyards here in Nebraska, axles were easy to come by. The front I found is a HP Dana 60 from a 2004 Ford F250 Superduty and the rear is a late model 14 bolt from a 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD. I ended up paying $500 for both of them, and to top it off the front came with Warn manual locking hubs already in it.

[Rebuilding section]
Getting everything stripped down was probably the hardest and dirtiest part. Tons of dirt, rust, and metal brackets had to be removed to make a good base for the new build. Since I have heard horror stories of spinning axle tubes, I wanted to install a Motobilt axle truss and pinion guard on my 14 bolt.

The front axle's knuckle had to be cut down some to install a high steer arm.
View attachment 351830

Since the front came out of a 2004 Ford, it has a lug pattern of 8x170. I needed 8x6.5 to match the back, so I got a wheel pattern template and drilled small guide holes in a 8x6.5 pattern. Then I set it up on the drill press and drilled the guide holes out to 39/64" and pressed in new studs. Repeat for the other side and do the rotors.

To compensate for the larger tires while still only have my stock 4.3L, I went with Nitro 5.38 gears. I wanted to save some money while at the same time learn about what goes into an axle, so I regeared them myself. I started with the 14 bolt, as they are well known to be easy to regear.
View attachment 351824

For the front, I used Nitro's 10" 5.38 ring and pinion set. I also installed a Spartan auto locker in the carrier.
View attachment 351825

View attachment 351826


To protect the new gears from damage. I used Ruffstuff 3/8" differential covers.
View attachment 351823

TIRES
Tires were the biggest holdup on this project, as no one seemed to ever have 40"+ in stock. I originally wanted to go with some 42x15r17 Pitbull Rockers, but could never get a response from them. I eventually settled with some 41x14.5r17 Irok Radials that I got for a steal from 4wheelparts. However, I ended up waiting about 4 months for the tires to ship.

After getting the tires, I immediately set forth on getting them mounted to my 17" Sidetracked beadlocks. The neat thing about these is they are actually the exact same as Gatekeeper beadlocks, so the beadlock spacer kit that they provide worked perfectly for my application. After getting the tires settled on the rims, I added 12oz of match grade polished airsoft BBs (link) to each tire. These actually ended up working perfectly, as I have no vibration while rolling down the highway at 70.

BRAKES
I went with the stock dual piston calipers that you would normally put on the axles. I replaced all brake line going to the axles with the pretty stuff from Kore3 and used a neat treat with zip ties and fuel line to make standoffs. After getting everything buttoned up and bled, I noticed the pedal is incredibly soft. The truck would stop but pressing the brakes down would not lock up the tires. I decided to upgrade my master cylinder to one out of a 3/4 ton truck that has a 1.57" bore (Duralast NM1873). To do this upgrade, I only needed to find a single adapter fitting for the flex lines, but of course it was hard to source. The adapter is a 9/16-18 male to 1/2-20 female for 3/16 brake line.

STEERING
I had already done a custom hydro assist setup back when I was on 37s and Dana 44s, but I'll include this section because it really is necessary if you are going to be running tires and axles of this size. To start, a new crossmember needs to be added to the frame in the front. I already had one here back when I used to run leaf springs in the front, so I'll run that one for the time being. This crossmember is necessary as you need to remove the original steering crossmember. I ordered a new steering box for a RWD Astro van and tapped it for 1/4" NPT. I then got that installed with a new pitman arm (Moog K6653) that I reamed out. You want this pitman arm flipped and raised up a bit to parallel it with the drag link. For the hydraulic cylinder, I used PSC's 1.5"x8" cylinder and their hose kit. With all the extra fluid moving to and from the cylinder, an extended reservoir needs to be added. I used a universal reservoir from Amazon (link), some adapters, and a neck down boot (Mopar 4333475) to extend the existing power steering reservoir.
View attachment 351831




View attachment 351832

Please feel free to ask me to elaborate on anything specific or if I missed something. I'll gladly update this post to include more information.
Thanks for posting that is one cool beast
 
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