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Old 09-17-2017, 12:13 PM
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5.3 swap and Chevy axle issue

I am in the process of swapping a 5.3 Vortech out of a 2001 Chevy with a 4L 60 E transmission my problem is the stock transfer case that comes with that engine and transmission is a driver side Drop and my dilemma... is it smarter to switch the front axle or find a passenger side drop t case. I found a great deal on a set of axles out of a 2002 f350 single wheel rear axle. That would solve the issue of the transfercase just curious which process makes more sense.

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Old 09-27-2017, 12:04 PM   #2
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If the transfer case behind your 4l60E is a np246, I would look into something else. Im not saying the ford super duty axles would not be a good idea. There is a kit from AA to swap your NP231 case behind your 4l60. But it is not cheap.

50-9103 : GM 700R4 & 4L60 to Jeep NP231 ((21 spline)) Adapter Kit | Advance Adapters

Your factory axles will not live long with any off road use, even mild wheeling will break the factory axles with that 5.3 up there.

If it were me I would get the super duty axles and find a better transfer case in passenger side drop. As in the NP205 or maybe a NP241 that is clocked up flat.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MTJeepTJ View Post
Your factory axles will not live long with any off road use, even mild wheeling will break the factory axles with that 5.3 up there.
Agreed. Even in stock trim, most of those 5.3s are putting out 300+ lb/ft, which is more than enough to break stuff in a D30/35.

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'94 YJ, 4.0, AX-15, hardtop, full doors, original radio.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:33 AM   #4
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Like @MTJeepTJ said you'll want to swap both the t-case and front axle at the same time so you've got options.

If you go driver's drop the super duty axles are bomber and the 241 should be reliable. The 231 can be upgraded to a 6 pinion planetary and wider chain for a little more confidence on the trail as well. You can scavenge the heavy duty guts from a junkyard chevy S-10 231 and swap them into your jeep 231 for a cheap upgrade. You can also look at ford and waggy d44's but if you have a good deal on the SD axles...

If you go passenger drop you're looking at a Dana 300 t-case or going big and ordering an Atlas. Scout D44's are pretty cheap and there are Chevy D44's out there but a Chevy kingpin D60 will give you better piece of mind.

The Chevy 60 is a low pinion design while the Ford 60 is high pinion. For what it's worth, many people swear that Ford's Sterling 10.25 and 10.5 rear axles are every bit as strong as Chevy's 14B rear with better ground clearance, and 10.5's with disc brakes are easy to come by. This makes the Ford axles (and driver's drop) the winners in my book.

I'm doing the super duty axles on my build behind a healthy Vortec V8 that makes similar power to a retuned 5.3 (about 350 hp). I'm going to reuse my 8K mile nv3550 and 231 with HD guts. When and if the trans or tcase fail I'm already looking at a 4l60 and 241.
'89 YJ; Vortec 350, NV3550, 241OR; Waggy 44 w/ 3-link; Super 88 SOA; 37" Pitbulls, belly/rocker/gas tank armor; hydro assist; cage; lots of work...BUILD THREAD.
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:38 PM   #5
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14 bolt and the Sterling both have a 10.5" ring gear. Just a fun fact. I personally have a GM kingpin 60 14 bolt combo I'm going to put under my 94. If you can find a old military Chevy truck from the 80s M1008 or M1028 you can grab those axles. Already have 4.56s and a Detroit locker in the rear. M1028 has a true track in the front while the M1008 is an open carrier.
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