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Thread: solid axle swap 94 silverado z71 help!!!

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010

    solid axle swap 94 silverado z71 help!!!

    wats up, ive done most all work to my truck and i think its about time to get rid of the ifs and clean up the front end. i know what to do and how to do it im just caught up on one snag. i need to know what straight axle will match my gear ratio. my drive train is on the driverside(my driveshaft) and ive noticed most to be on the passenger side. like i posted its a 1994 chevy silverado z71, k1500, 350, 5.7li. im just hoping sombody has done this swap befor and can just simply tell me what axle to pull, or if i have to change my ratios. i dont want a monster just an occasional mudder so as close to stock wold be great, im 19 and doing it myself so i need it straight foward. il post picks soon. and if any1 live in st. petersburg area il give you my hole ifs what the swap is complete. thank you for your time.


  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    bradrhale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    i believe i am a bit confused as to exactly what you are asking. the style of straight axle is not going to depict what gear ratio it has within. what you need to look for is what your ratio is in your current IFS setup. if it is a 3.50 gear set, then get a solid axle with a 3.5 gear setup or you will be doomed for failure the first time you lock it in. that is, unless you regear the back to match your new solid front.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Oldmech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I usually change the transfer case rather than trying to find a ford front axle.. but if you just want to swap the axle then you need to find one with the driveshaft on the correct side. I believe ford and dodge have their driveshafts/differentials on the drivers side.. but dont ask me years someone else will have to verify that. from that point... ford and dodge were just like chev in that you could order specific gear ratios depending on what you were going to do with the truck. So, you will have to start looking for tags/stamps or pulling covers and counting teeth.
    I ran a 3/4 ton rear end under a half ton truck for years with 4.11 gears in back and 3.36 in the front. the thing you have to know if your going to do something like that is that you CANNOT lock in the 4x4 if your wheels wont spin.. like if your on asphalt. the only time i ever locked it in was when i was in mud or snow.. it isnt the recomended thing to do.. but the 3/4 ton axle was all i had back then to put under it.
    the easier thing to do would be to buy an axle that will fit, then have the correct gears put in it.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    ok, so i know i need to make sure the ratios match front/back. and i was wondering if anyone had made this transition befor and found a stock axle that happen to match the ratio, and what was it on? i guess il go count the teeth and figure out what ratio it is. once i find what it is, do i just go poping off covers in the junkyard till i get a match?

    i really thankyou you all fpr the input

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    75K30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Ive done this swap. Its not all that bad but it is a ton of work.
    I use the stock driverside drop axle from a 78/9 ford F 250. You can use a dana 44 or a dana 60. Gear ratios were available in 3.54 ratios and 4.09.
    Depending on your current ratio, you may be changing the rear axle as well.
    You have a couple of choices for front suspension, and usually leaf springs are the easiest swap. This will require a front spring hanger and a set of shackles as well as pivots that attach to the frame.
    Now if you decide to use a dana 60, you can use either the 78/9 front axle (very expensive and doubtful you will find this in a salvage yard) or the 86 to 92 front dana 60 with king pins. I suppose the 92 to 97 ball joint front axle could also be used, but this does not have provisions for crossover steering so the earlier axles are most desirable.

    Since the 78/9 front axle uses spring perches that are 5 inches narrower than the later model trucks, you will have to make spring hangers that can accommodate this dimension.

    Ok so now you have an idea of what you need, as far as the axle, you will have to decide on which leaf spring you should use, and this will be based upon the total amount of lift you desire.
    Tire size will have to be chosen, and chances are you will have to use an 8 lug wheel. So where does this leave you? You now have to decide what to do with the rear.
    Your 10 bolt semi float axle will fail eventually so this is a good time to think about a 14B ff rear axle. Many are a bolt in swap, and disc brake conversions are a piece of cake.
    Chances are quite likely that you will find a rear axle that has the same ratio as any front.
    In other words, you can find a front axle with a 4.10 ratio and a rear with the same ratio. Both the front and rear axles will be 8 lug so now they will both match. This is the least expensive and easiest thing to do.

    Few decisions to make.
    What are your plans? Have you thought this out?

  6. #6
    Senior Member 94Z71350's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Moore, Oklahoma
    I want that IFS!!! I have someone in Tampa that can pick it up OR I can pay you for shipping plus some extra, sending a PM, my IFS is going out.
    DD -1994 Z71 350 TBI, Blue and White. GM crate motor with 43k miles, drivetrain has 204k miles.

    Toy - 2000 Corvette H/C/I/E ~540 HP

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    i am also gettin ready to do a solid axle swap in my 94 chevy an have a 73 chevy dana 44 im going to put in it. what transfer case would you recomend i use?

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