I had to write a Instruction Manual for my Technical Writing class that is required in my major, and I wrote about how to swap in a 14 bolt. So Just Ignore any of the stupid *warnings* in the paper. I had to do it for full credit. So here is my junk.
- Must be a qualified welder to take on this project
- If not qualified have a certified welder complete all welding task
- Vehicle handling may change as a result of modifications; use caution when driving
- Author of article is in no way responsible for injury or malfunction of vehicle due to one’s choice to modify his/her own vehicle.
- Make sure vehicle is securely lifted and sturdy before starting to work underneath it.
- Must be confident in using a plasma/cutting torch
- Must have allotted time period, as project could take up to two weekends.
- DO NOT attempt project if one does not have access to the following: vehicle jack stands, or funds to fully complete project.
Required Tool List
- Assortment of SAE and Metric sockets
- Assortment of SAE and Metric wrenches
- Breaker bar
- Ft/lb Torque wrench
- In/lb Torque wrench
- Stick welding machine
- Proper welding clothing
- Welding helmet
- 6011 1/8” welding rod (for 14 bolt grey iron, if you weld the tubes)
- Plasma cutter
- Grinding/cutting wheel
- Extra grinding and cutting wheels (trust me you need a good bit) 3 grinding, 8 cutting should be plenty
- Assortment of Philips and flathead screwdrivers
- Snap ring pliers
- Zip Ties
- Crescent wrenches
- Air hammer
- At least 5 jack stands
- Floor jack
- 14 bolt hub socket
- Dial caliper
- Backlash indicator
- Assortment of hammers
- Oil pan
- 14 bolt full floating axle 10.5” ring gear
- Ring and pinion gear set of your choice (I run 5.38s with 41” tires)
- Master gear install kit
- Locker of your choice
- Disk brake kit from Tangent design
- New hub seals and bearings from Napa
- Shock tabs from Ruff Stuff Specialties
- Spring pad perches from Ruff Stuff Specialties
- U-Bolts from Ruff Stuff Specialties
- Pinion Guard from Blue Torch Fab
- 6” Lonestar shackle from Diy4x.com
- Shackle flip from Off Road Design
- 1350 driveshaft U-joint
- 1350 Yolk
- 14 bolt differential cover (I run one from Solid.com)
- 28” stainless steel brake line
- Axle hard brake lines 20” passenger side, 18” driver side
- Zero rate from Off Road Design
- Case of Royal Purple gear oil
- Pair of shocks, (I run 12” travel Bilstiens)
- Pair of Alcan custom leaf springs
- Black RTV sealant
Step 1: Find a 14 bolt full floating axle at your local junkyard. You will be able to find them in a full size GM heavy duty ¾ ton or in any 1 ton pickup. A 14 full floater is easily identified by its housing shape and bolt in axle shafts.
STEP 2: Now that you have your 14 bolt axle, its time to clean it up and completely rebuild it. First remove all the old brake lines and breather tubes. Then take a wire wheel to the axle and grind off the dirt, rust, and grease.
Step 3: Drain old gear oil and remove axle shafts
STEP 4: Now comes the fun part, removing the old spring perches and shock mounts. This will take a good amount of time, so break out the grinder, cutting wheels and sawzall. You must grind the axle smooth.
Be prepared for a long night of grinding!!
STEP 5: At this time, if you wish, you can “shave” your 14 bolt. Even though they are known as one of the strongest and most reliable rear axles, they do suffer from low ground clearance. Simply flip your housing upside down and go to town with a grinding wheel. I took about 1-1/8” off of mine.
(some people go extreme and cut and reweld a new bottom on the 14 bolt, search pirate)