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Old 02-07-2005, 09:38 AM
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Talking Differential Swap/axle concerns

I own a 1983 Chevy van with a std rear end(3:08 gears) and I tow a 31ft airstream, travel trailer, with it. I was going to buy a retired 1 ton work van for a couple hundred dollars and swap the rear end and out of it. Being that it is a 1 ton van it has eight bolt hubs / axles if you will, my van is a 3/4 ton and has 5 bolt hubs / axles. Can I take the axles out of my Van, 1983 3/4 ton 5 lug..GM 10 Bolt with 8.5 ring gear...and insert them into the larger rear end that has 3:73 gears in it. I know it has that ratio because of the option sheet but I don't know if it is a Dana Rear end or what. I wanted to get some tech advice before I pay the two hundred for the van and haul it home for disassembly.

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Old 02-07-2005, 10:03 AM
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The 1 ton axles are the full floaters..the 5 stud style are not won't fit..Have to change the entire housing..

Now if you wish you may be able to change all the 3/4 ton axle and suspension pieces out of the 1 ton into the 3/4 and then have a 1 ton van..that is front and rear..all of it..


I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:59 PM
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Being an 83 van and 5 lugs you have the standard -ton rated axle, but GM gave you the spring packs out of a -ton truck to up the GVW rating of your van.

Depending on the year of the 1-ton work van, you might be able to swap everything over to your 1983 van. GM has a very interchangeable amount of parts

I intend on doing pretty much the same thing with my 1988 Suburban, I intend on hauling a car trailer among other things, and feel that the 235/75/15 tires I am using aren't up to the task, they barely cut it for what I am asking of them now.

I have several axles/ parts truck suspension pieces/ and part numbers of things needed to make the swap work for what I want. I am swapping a 14-bolt 1-ton truck axle, and -ton truck front suspension parts for mine. I cross referenced catalogs I have for suspension pieces and other things that needed considered and found that some of the things I have on the Suburban now can be used with the swapped parts without concern.

I will be moving up to an all season tread 235/85/16 tire with a 10-ply rating from the existing 6-ply I have now.
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