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Author Topic: Front dana 70 u-joint question on a 97HD 4x4?  (Read 14670 times)


  • One Ton Driver
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  • Location: Western Montana
  • K3500HD from when it wasn't just a sales gimmick!
Re: Front dana 70 u-joint question on a 97HD 4x4?
« Reply #45 on: August 23, 2015, 03:38:28 AM »
That looks a lot better than the POS design Monroe did on the spring under conversions. My sway bar nearly drags the ground.  

Mine too, but it's worth it to have nice spring under driveline angles. After having to pull myself home 500 miles in front wheel drive when a side gear on my detroit locker gave out, I doubt I would have made it with the u-joint angles I see on the spring over setups. ;)
94 K3500HD (factory Monroe 4wd upfit) short wheel base 9' bed 454 no more/NV4500HD/NP261HD/D70 frt/D80 rear 5.13's Cummins powered with 3.73's.
93 C3500HD long wheel base parts truck 14' bed 6.5(gone)/NV4500HD/D80 4.63
95 C3500HD medium wheel base 11' bed 6.5/4L80E/D80 4.63
2000 C3500HD Monroe extended cab 9' bed, 6.5/4l80E/D80HD 4.63 will become 4wd with D70 front and repowered some day...


  • 3500HD Hero
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Re: Front dana 70 u-joint question on a 97HD 4x4?
« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2015, 08:00:18 PM »
Wow 500mi  trip   My drive shaft angels are not at a bad angels for a 4x4


  • Single Axle Driver
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Re: Front dana 70 u-joint question on a 97HD 4x4?
« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2015, 09:46:59 AM »
Ok first off I am a newbie here. But not a newbie to forums. So my apologies for bringing up an old thread but form going through all the threads related to my question(s) I think you guys could help me best.

I have a 1998 GMC 3500 (nonHD) crew cab dually 4X4. (454/auto)
I am considering doing a straight axle swap. I've looked into the older Ford dana 60's, but now seeing GM used a solid axle Dana 70 I want to go that route if possible. Also want to consider swapping out the rear 14FF for the Dana80

So my questions go as followed
1. What are the differences in the 3500/3500hd frames? (besides the obvious leaf sprung front)
2. What is the spring pad width on the front Dana 70?
3. Would the rear Dana 80 drop in place of the 14FF? (spring pad width/leaf center pin location/etc)
4. What would it take to run a 285/70/19.5 tire?

The front axle swap from offroaddesign nets 3" lift in the front, and with shackle flip in rear nets 4" of rear lift.

The vehicle is mostly used for hauling very little daily driver use except around town and maybe the occasional drive to work. I haul my mud truck (4-6k) on a deck over trailer and our horse trailer. The truck does just fine but would mind making it beefier and stronger if its possible.  Obviously I have to consider gear ratios from current stock axles to whats in the HD axles.

Any help is much appreciated or if I am missing some things or not taking a few things into consideration.



  • 3500HD Hero
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Re: Front dana 70 u-joint question on a 97HD 4x4?
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2015, 08:24:44 PM »
Can't answer all those as I'm not a 4x4 guy but I can answer these:

1. Major differences between frames.  HD frame bears almost no resemblance whatsoever to the lighter trucks. From behind cab towards the back different from most lighter trucks as it's chassis cab configuration - straight, flat rails.

3. Nope.  Mounts designed for narrower (34") rails and also the axle is about 8" narrower overall than a regular dually rear, as it's for a chassis cab.

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


  • 3500HD Driver
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Re: Front dana 70 u-joint question on a 97HD 4x4?
« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2015, 10:08:50 PM »
A 3500hd frame is insanely huge compared to the non HD 3500 you have. Not saying that a non HD 3500 frame can't take a lickin. Heck, I've got a 93 1/2 ton reg can short bed that I've done things where I should've had a 3500 and she came out just fine. A Dana 70 is going to be very, very hard to find and differs in only a few ways compared to a Dana 60 (mostly wheel adapters and axle tube diameter). The Dana 70 is an aftermaket axle anyways with perchs just welded in place so you could easily move them if needed. ORD has a great conversion package and lots of other good stuff and info for you. Also that 14 bolt out back is pretty stout, I think I'd leave it.  Even if you did go the HD axle route you'd have to start buying tires at $500 a piece for the 285s. But in the end it's your rig and your money. Do what you want with it and don't worry about what anyone says.
1999 chevy HD 4x4 135.5" 6.5 nv4500 bw4470 Dana 70 HP 10 lug front

Due to recent budget cuts the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off


  • Single Axle Driver
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  • Location: Whitmore lake, MI
Re: Front dana 70 u-joint question on a 97HD 4x4?
« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2015, 01:16:12 PM »
Oh, I'm not to worried about what anyone says, what's mine is mine and what's theirs is their's. But its good to know that the Dana 80 is way narrower. I love the look of the HD's. I know the frame is much thicker (height wise) then the non HD's but didn't know if mounting locations where the same. As far as perchs front and rear spring hangers go. I was contemplating going the 10 lug route more for look than necessity. Obviously I wouldn't be able to tow any more than my frame would allow but a set of stout axles would be nice. I run a 14FF in my bogger too so I know they are really strong, not much worry there. But I'd love to run all GM equipment rather than running a Ford front 60 with driver side drop. The 70 looks bad ass but I have read about some being 5 lug (odd to me) and seen some are 10 lug. The only reason to change the rear to an 80 would be to have front and rear be 10 lug. I appreciate all the input. Thanks guys!



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