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Old 10-01-2003, 10:43 PM
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Stock 8.5" S10??

Rumor has it that Gm produced a factory 8.5" rearend with manual 4.3L S10's. Supposedly this was limited since 4.3L w/ a manual was a "by request" only option. This would have been in the late eighties/ early nineties. Obviosly this would be quite an asset to a SB swapped S-10, because there would then be no need for shortening. I was wondering if anyone had heard of this, or if by some strange chance, somebody has attained one of these and is loking to part with it.

-GrUvMiXeR

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Old 10-02-2003, 06:49 AM
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My 91' 4X4 with a 4.3 5-speed has a 7.625" 10 bolt. I think what you are talking about is the ZR2 4X4 trucks. They have the 8.5". But, they are even wider than the standard 4X4. The 2wd has the shortest axle. It would still need to be cut down to use it. Dan

One other thing, the 5-speed was the "standard" trans. An automatic was a $1070 option. Steep if you ask me. The upgrade fron a 4 cyl to the 4.3 was only $600. Not bad because not only did you get a power increase, but you also get an upgrade in transmisson from the T-5 to the NV3500.

Last edited by Ohio-Dan; 10-02-2003 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 10-03-2003, 11:34 AM
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oops

I got the years confused, sorry, I was thinking of the newer s-10's that had 4.3/ man. as an option. Do you know if GM makes the 8.5 for 2wd s10's or is it only on the zr2 suspension? I understand that the four wheelers have a 2 or 4 inch wider axle.
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:19 PM
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Supposedly the S10s from about 98 and newer with a 5 speed and the higher output 4.3 (and maybe the ZQ8 suspention?)have 8.5s
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:14 AM
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the 96 to 98 trucks with the high output v6 (L35) and 5 speed trannys came with the 8 1/2 rear. hope that helps
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:59 AM
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Just some updated info from personal experience......

I just picked up a 8.5" rear end that came out of a 2000 S10 with the 4.3 w/ 5 speed. The way you can easily identify them is by the axle tube. It gets bigger in the last 1-2" of the tube before they go into the center section. Most already have an limited slip, which is even better.
It's the same rear as the ZR2's have, but 4" shorter.

It's an ideal upgrade for many vehicles. They're 60" from the two wheel mounting surfaces, which puts them into the right ball park for many popular vehicles.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:17 PM
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later model 2wd 8.5's are hard to find. you could buy the housing ONLY from GM, for $1800
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:57 PM
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I know the 2wd units are shorter by like 5-6". I'm guessing the 2wd units are also from 4.3 w/ 5speeds?

Edit from my 1st post: They're 59", not 60". Also they're from 4X4's, but not the ZR2 versions. Just wanted to clarify it a bit more.
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Old 04-01-2007, 02:43 AM
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The neck down is a very good point. You can tell very quickly what it is by just that. FWIW the axle tubes are 2-5/8" and step up to 3" just before going into the diff.

This is what mine looks like


My 8.5" 10-bolt came in the back of a 2wd 2000 blazer.

Just to clear it up, ONLY the high output 4.3L (I think W engine code aka 8th VIN #) from 96-up AND the 5-speed that came with the 8.5". Again if it is just the standard 4.3L and stick it will not have an 8.5" diff. Many people tried to sell me 7.63" 10-bolts when I was looking for my 8.5".

My 2wd axle is 54.375" from WMS-WMS.

I need to repost and relink my all the pictures but here is a post with all the measurements I took.
http://forums.s-series.org/viewtopic.php?t=33490
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