ORP 022 - The 14 Bolt Episode

Welcome to the Off Road Podcast!!  I am your host Greg Bakken and joining me is my co host Jeff Bakken...This is the podcast for all things offroad.  Whether you're looking for Sunday jaunts on some fire roads or hard core rock crawling, we will cover it all. Episode 22!!!

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Main Topic: The 14 Bolt Episode

Why do I want a 14 bolt?

Being a full float axle, it of course has full floating (FF) wheel hubs and axle shafts.

The axle shaft does not support the weight of the vehicle, but merely transmits torque.  Because of the above - FF axle shafts are not subject to bending loads like semi float (SF) axles are and can therefore be made of harder materials making them capable of carrying greater torque loads.  If you should ever break a rear FF axle shaft, you will not loose the wheel too.If you need to change a FF rear axle, it is extremely easy and simple to do.The hubs run big, strong, common, reasonably cheap wheel bearings, races, and seals (14b Dana 60 and 70 bearings, front and rear, are all the same).

The wheel bearings are not pressed onto anything, if need be they can be removed and replaced with nothing more than a screwdriver and big hammer.

Gear strength - 10.5" ring gear, 1.750" 30 spline pinion, huge 2 piece carrier made of 8620 Heat treated alloy steel, extra pinion bearing support Shaft strength - 1.5' 30 spline full floating shafts.  Housing strength - massive cast iron center section, 3.25: x 0.5" tubes.  Comes in two widths - 63" and 67" wms-wms, easily converted from one to the other (shafts are common) Removable pinion support, unbolts from the rest of housing, makes for easier gear setup.  Diff housing has built-in threaded carrier pre-load adjusters, makes for easier gear setup.  Because the carrier is so large and strong, a "full" detroit locker fits in the stock housing, and is therefore easy to install without gear setup changes, and is much cheaper than other 1 ton FF lockers.  Pinion yokes commonly available for 1350 series u-joints.  Commonly came stock with 4.10 and 4.56 gears and Detroit Lockers.  Cheap and easy to find, buy, and build.  Easy to convert to disc brakes.  Easy to "shave" for 2" inch gain in clearance.  Pinion length shorter than other 1 ton ff rear axles (D60, D70), for improved driveshaft length and angles.  Large ID spindles.

Common spindle nut threads with Dana 60 front axle, meaning only one style of spindle nut and socket need be used/carried.

Where do I find the 14 bolt?

The 14 bolt is found in a huge number of GM 4x4 pickup trucks and vans, 3/4 and 1 ton, from the 70's right through until at least 2000.

How do I identify a 14 bolt?

It is most easily distinguished by its huge, uniquely shaped diff cover that is, of course, held on with 14 bolts.

It is also fairly easily distinguished from other 1 ton full-float rear axles by the removable pinion support.

14 Bolt Bible

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