Semi float rear end

Discussion in 'Stock Suspension + Bolt On Kits' started by dirtautoguy, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. dirtautoguy

    dirtautoguy OBS Enthusiast

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    I have a friend who does a lot of recycling mostly cars and such. I was in his yard the other day and noticed he had a Chevy with a 14 bolt semi float rear end. It just so happened I was thinking about swapping my 10 bolt for a 14 bolt in my 96 k1500. And he said I could have the axle if I wanted it.

    I was curious about some things to watch out for with this?

    I figured I would be replacing the axle seals,rebuilding the brakes with new hardware, new spring bushings, maybe new shocks while I got it apart, and a conversion I joint and new axle bearings

    Questions:

    I was reading that sometimes a different a modified drive shaft to fit. What works best?

    What are the chances it’s ready to drop in?

    Are there anything else I should watch for?

    In the case it’s trash would it be easier to get the tools to rebuild it or what is a general cost to have someone rebuild it? (It’s free)


    I won’t be able to get it out untill the snow melts because it is barried in the snow I’m just trying to plan it out a little
     
  2. dirtautoguy

    dirtautoguy OBS Enthusiast

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Oh. Also do the half tons with 14 bolt rears have heavier duty springs? I’ve heard they do and iv heard they don’t.

    I also need to confirm the gears in it.

    Thanks
     
  3. low4x4

    low4x4 backyard mechanic

    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Location:
    Mass.
    i did the swap and installed new springs at the same time...the ebrake cable for a long bed reg cab works with the extra cab short bed...the perches on the 14 bolt are shorter so a spacer or a couple extra springs will keep the same height....the difference is about and 1 inch+/-...use new u bolts...I used my factory drive shaft with a combination joint with no other changes
     
    df2x4 likes this.
  4. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

    Messages:
    5,611
    Likes Received:
    2,113
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Location:
    Missouri
    That's some interesting info about the spring perch height difference... I wonder if the 454SS five lug semi-floater 14 bolts are the same way?
     
  5. Schurkey

    Schurkey I'm Awesome

    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    177
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Seasonally Frozen Wastelands
    2WD and 4WD axles have different widths. I don't remember if it's overall width or spring-perch width, just that they're different.

    The 9.5" semi-float has larger axle tubes, needs the 14-bolt U-bolts and plates to install. Maybe that's why the perches are shorter (I didn't notice that they were shorter, but they could be.) Shorter perches on a bigger tube = no real change.

    When I did this, the original U-bolts, washers, and nuts were so rotted I had to buy new ones. No problem re-using the 14-bolt sized plates. I thought I had a photo comparing the size difference between the 10-bolt and 14-bolt plates, but it's gone now.
    [​IMG]

    The 9.5 axle has MUCH better brakes than the 8.5 brakes.

    I put the 9.5 axle on the same springs as were used with the 10-bolt 8.5" axle. Swapped the brake cables to the "new" brakes, and bent new tubes for the brake hose wye-to-wheel-cylinders. Seems to me I re-used the brake hose. Conversion U-joint in the back of the OEM driveshaft. Had to run some emery cloth over the driveshaft yoke, because the yoke was now pushed ~1/2" farther into the trans.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  6. someotherguy

    someotherguy I'm Awesome

    Messages:
    4,138
    Likes Received:
    1,267
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Location:
    Houston TX
    Dunno about the perches being shorter.

    The spring pack on the 2500 "light duty" is definitely stouter than a 1500. Here's the order:
    1500 has a 3+1 spring pack, 1500 w/HD suspension has 4+1, 2500 "light duty" has 4+1 but the overload leaf is a bit thicker and longer than the 1500 w/HD suspension.

    As mentioned previously the 4wd is wider than the 2wd rear end, by nearly 4". Since the 2500LD is 6 lug regardless of 4wd or 2wd it's a little easier to mistake one for the other if they're out of the truck already.

    Grab the U-bolt saddles that go around the axle housing as they have a larger opening than your 10 bolt saddles.

    BUY NEW U-BOLTS...always. Doesn't matter if the old ones look great. They stretch; this is correct procedure, buy new u-bolts.

    Richard
     
  7. dirtautoguy

    dirtautoguy OBS Enthusiast

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Great info guys! I’m getting pretty excited and I hope all works out. The snow is melting fast so hopefully I can get a better look at it soon. I’m guessing the stock shocks fit both axles??
     
  8. Schurkey

    Schurkey I'm Awesome

    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    177
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Seasonally Frozen Wastelands
    Mine did.
     

Share This Page