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1/2 ton pickup woodhauler reality check

Moddoo

Moddoo

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I just replaced the outer rear wheel bearings in my 06 gmc 1/2 ton.
62K mi. on it.
I had roughly .010" to .020" radial movement on both sides.
This caused some audible clunking when driving in certain situations.

I've been loading it down with about 3000#+ for almost 3 years now.
lots of green oak and ash and elm.

I recently installed a nice airbag helper setup in the back.
I am shopping for a 14 bolt this spring.

Anyway, the truck does the work and likes it.
But it's not built for full loads of green hardwood.
It cost me about $90 to "maintain" it.

Is it warm in here?

-yep
 
RuralCruiser007

RuralCruiser007

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It is hard to say if it was hard due to you loading the back of the truck up. One of the biggest problems I have found is due to the quality of bearing. There seems to be more and more issues due to "cheaper" bearings.

Ideal situation would be a full floating axle rather than the semi floating axle that is in your truck.

HTH
Glenn
 
Steve NW WI

Steve NW WI

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3 years and 60K miles with those kind of loads, $90 is not a bad price to pay for the use you've gotten. It beats the cost of a 3/4 or 1T by quite a bit.

14 bolt will undoubtedly hold up much better, but a couple difficulties come to mind: bolt pattern will be 8 lug vs 6 lug front, want to carry 2 spares? Also on a newer truck, you will need an axle with abs sensors for your braking to work correctly. Lastly, the track width may be different, causing tire rub problems.

Personally, I'd just repair as needed, but that's me and not you.
 
NIP Group
John D

John D

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3 years and 60K miles with those kind of loads, $90 is not a bad price to pay for the use you've gotten. It beats the cost of a 3/4 or 1T by quite a bit.

14 bolt will undoubtedly hold up much better, but a couple difficulties come to mind: bolt pattern will be 8 lug vs 6 lug front, want to carry 2 spares? Also on a newer truck, you will need an axle with abs sensors for your braking to work correctly. Lastly, the track width may be different, causing tire rub problems.

Personally, I'd just repair as needed, but that's me and not you.
you dont need 8 lugs to get a 14 bolt.they come in 6 lug as well. Both my 1/2 tons had 14 bolts.i loaded them heavy with 1.5 yard V box spreaders for yrs,with zero problems.
You.ve done good so far,loading the truck as heavy as you have.You obviously are a good driver,as those who tailgate with a heavy load and a 1500 truck usually rear end somebody at some point...
Air bags are great,but they allow you to really load stupid amounts of weight without it looking the slightest bit overloaded unless you look at the tires... Ive had my 3/4 ton Cummins at 14000+ often,and she sits fine with the bags at 80psi of air...
 
gilraine

gilraine

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you dont need 8 lugs to get a 14 bolt.they come in 6 lug as well. Both my 1/2 tons had 14 bolts.i loaded them heavy with 1.5 yard V box spreaders for yrs,with zero problems.
You.ve done good so far,loading the truck as heavy as you have.You obviously are a good driver,as those who tailgate with a heavy load and a 1500 truck usually rear end somebody at some point...
Air bags are great,but they allow you to really load stupid amounts of weight without it looking the slightest bit overloaded unless you look at the tires... Ive had my 3/4 ton Cummins at 14000+ often,and she sits fine with the bags at 80psi of air...
there are 2 different 14 bolts, the 10.5 inch full float only available in 8x6.5 and the 9.5 inch 14 bolt semi float, availible in 8x6.5 and 6x6.5.. the full floater is far stronger, but the semi is nearly a bolt in and far better than the ten bolt..
 
Moddoo

Moddoo

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Good points everyone.
-I have upgraded the front rotors and pads + the 06s have larger brakes to begin with.
It stops pretty well for what it is.

-Stock size LT tires.

I have loaded it down with measureable cargo (Bricks, etc.) enough times to know when I'm at the 3K mark. That is where I like to stop.

Yes you can really overload it with airbags. But it's fairly foolproof if you load it with them deflated, then pump them up to make the drive.

It rides much better/safer when it's not bottoming on dips in the road.

The newer Vortec Max trucks rear will "drop right in" with the correct leaf spring spacing and 6 lugs, ABS etc.

And there are other good options also, I need to look into this a bit more.

It's done me well, but I feel a better rear is a good idea.
 
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John D

John D

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while your at it why don't you throw some 3/4 or 1 ton springs back there
That is what I did on my 1500.I put rear springs out of a wrecked low mileage 8600 GVWR truck instead of airbags.They were perfect for the truck,it still rode good,and carried weight much better.
The semi floating 9.5" 6 lug 14 bolt is pretty tough, I loaded both of mine to 5000-6000 quite a bit,also had that same axle under my k2500LD that I loaded pretty good as well. It is a huge upgrade from an 8.5 1/2t rear axle.i put a powertrax differentila in mine,for plowing,what an animal with a v box and powertrax,that 1500 could push snow in 2wd,a full v plow worth easily.
 
Moddoo

Moddoo

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while your at it why don't you throw some 3/4 or 1 ton springs back there
Well, I already installed a nice Hellwig bag setup and 1.5hp/4cfm compressor.

I am running a Detroit Tru-Trac with 4.10s in mine.
It goes when you ask it to.

I wonder if the stock posi in the 14 bolt is any good?
The 10 bolt G80 posi was a pile of crap.
 
gilraine

gilraine

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Well, I already installed a nice Hellwig bag setup and 1.5hp/4cfm compressor.

I am running a Detroit Tru-Trac with 4.10s in mine.
It goes when you ask it to.

I wonder if the stock posi in the 14 bolt is any good?
The 10 bolt G80 posi was a pile of crap.
nope still the same gov-bomb...yank it out and replace with a detroit...
 
Moddoo

Moddoo

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They make a air locker for the 10.5 GM now, I am waiting for mine to arive:) Expensive yes but in my opinion the best locking diff made!Hate GM posi unit's and don't care much for the chirp of a Detroit.
The Tru-Trac is a nice quiet Torsen type unit.
great for the street and off road, except when 1 tire is off the ground.
But the E-Brake can help get you out of that too.
 
streeter

streeter

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Moddoo; I recently installed a nice airbag helper setup in the back. I am shopping for a 14 bolt this spring. Is it warm in here? -yep[/QUOTE said:
Moddoo, I hope you prepared for headaches. You have gear ratio, A.B.S. electrical and A.B.S. mechanical problems. Then you have different rims front and back.

Think this thing thru other wise you in for a nightmare:cry:
 
Moddoo

Moddoo

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Moddoo, I hope you prepared for headaches. You have gear ratio, A.B.S. electrical and A.B.S. mechanical problems. Then you have different rims front and back.

Think this thing thru other wise you in for a nightmare:cry:
Hey streeter,

It seems that you missed the rest of this thread.
I and others have been discussing some of the details already.

I'll get it done and correctly in due time.
 
streeter

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Hey streeter,

It seems that you missed the rest of this thread.
I and others have been discussing some of the details already.

I'll get it done and correctly in due time.
I just wanted to let you know my feelings as I have been a mechanic along time. Your truck is not some ole 80's truck that is easy to do, been there done that. Your truck has a 3 channel A.B.S. with computer control. I have also converted trucks with what you are doing some go easy and some are a nightmare. I could careless what you want to do , BUT, I think it would be cheaper and less brain damage to buy a beater. Leave a new truck alone and keep its value.
 
yo2001

yo2001

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I got a '77 C20, 4 speed manual with 4.11 14 bolt full floating rear. I just loaded full of greed red oak and I had my doubt. The truck is squat as it's going get but seems to pull okay. I wouldn't want to try it a half ton truck though.
 
John D

John D

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what are your tires and wheels rated for?
3305 each tire is the weakest link.I only run that heavy in snow covered roads,where 30mph is as fast i I run,and my first acct is 1mi from the shop where i drop 1000lbs of salt .Truck sits level,doesnt look overloaded,and handles much safer in the snow than when empty.
 
thejdman04

thejdman04

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Pretty cheap maintenance imo. I went with "redneck" airbags/ helpers on my ford ranger. Its my beater truck and I just welded a vertical steel plates between the axle and frame, to help the tires from eating the fenders on that truck. Rides stock when unloaded, rides pretty rough loaded though.
 
Moddoo

Moddoo

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I just wanted to let you know my feelings as I have been a mechanic along time. Your truck is not some ole 80's truck that is easy to do, been there done that. Your truck has a 3 channel A.B.S. with computer control. I have also converted trucks with what you are doing some go easy and some are a nightmare. I could careless what you want to do , BUT, I think it would be cheaper and less brain damage to buy a beater. Leave a new truck alone and keep its value.
I appreciate the input.
I plan on using parts from a newer truck, such as a vortec max truck as I said earlier.
I have a few friends who are good mechanics to steer me straight.

I can't leave anything alone.
I had a new cam in this thing before the second oil change.
I will be using it as I need to.

It's my only truck, and will be for a few more years.
So far it still looks mostly "unused"
- don't peek under that bedliner...

Someday, this will be my beater, and I can baby my other truck.
 
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