1993 C1500 Suburban axle swap? - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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1993 C1500 Suburban axle swap?

I have a 1993 Suburban that I converted a while back to a 6.2L diesel. I installed a 700R4 at the time, but it has always felt flimsy to me, and I have very little faith in it. I have recently acquired a freshly rebuilt TH400 with only 1,300 miles on it from my friend. He put it briefly in his '72 Chevelle with a 300 HP 350 crate engine in front of it. He swapped it out for a Muncie 4 speed. It was rebuilt by Pat's Transmissions in Delaware County PA, so I know it is properly done, because I used to deal with them all the time when I lived in the area. My dilemma is this:

I need to put a taller axle ratio in the Suburban to use the TH-400 because right now I have 3.73 gears. I have recently finished converting my 1996 Ford F-150 from 2wd to 4wd, so I have a good Ford 8.8 axle with 2.73 gears that I want to use. It is stronger than the 8.5 corporate 10 bolt, plus it has a VSS built in to it that produces a VSS signal that is compatible with my Digital Ratio Adapter if I re-jumper it. It is in excellent condition, and other than re-drilling the axle flanges and drums to the Chevy pattern, I think it would be a good fit. What I don't know however is if the perches will match the Suburban's leaf springs or if they are spaced differently. I wanted to see if anyone here could help with that. I know that the TH-400 needs a tighter converter, and I know that I need a diesel governor and a VRV, but I have that covered. I also know that some people think the 2.73 ratio is too tall, but mu 6.2 pulls 2nd gear on the 700R4 just fine from a near dead stop (from 5 mph at part throttle it accelerates pretty briskly) and the 700R4's 2nd gear with 3.73 axle gears is significantly taller than the TH400's 1st gear and a 2.73 axle, so I don't see it as a problem. I should mention that I don't tow with the Suburban.

1993 Suburban 2wd 6.2L Diesel Conversion "Andromeda":
3.73:1 gears, THM 700-R4 transmission, and
J-code 6.2L diesel from a 1984 C2500 Suburban
1996 Ford F-150 4x4 300ci Inline 6 "The Argo"
327,000 miles and climbing
1992 Caprice Wagon 5.0L TBI "Enterprise-D"
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 09:06 PM
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I would measure inside width of the two axles, the spring mount pads can be cut off and relocated.
If the tire track is compatible, you are good to go, you may end up with a different drive shaft length, and the "U" joint may be different widths, and or sizes, all thins that could be fixed.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 12:34 AM
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. Personally, I think the corp. rear is stronger, however,you'll never put enough torq to the 8.8 from your 6.2 to hurt it. As for fit, John said it right.I just installed a Dana 70 in a chev. 1 ton van, & took out a corp. 12 bolt. Bad decision on my customer's part, but they had the dana 60, & the corp. was bad. Had to cut off the spring perches from both & welded the GM perches on the ford for right width & pinion angle. Given a few perameters, most any rear will "fit" in most any thing. Good luck. I think you"ll like the 2.73 ratio. Some of the "older" vehicles had that ratio, or real close, with a 3 speed automatic, & got surprisingly good fuel mileage.---Bob
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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. Personally, I think the corp. rear is stronger, however,you'll never put enough torq to the 8.8 from your 6.2 to hurt it. As for fit, John said it right.I just installed a Dana 70 in a chev. 1 ton van, & took out a corp. 12 bolt. Bad decision on my customer's part, but they had the dana 60, & the corp. was bad. Had to cut off the spring perches from both & welded the GM perches on the ford for right width & pinion angle. Given a few perameters, most any rear will "fit" in most any thing. Good luck. I think you"ll like the 2.73 ratio. Some of the "older" vehicles had that ratio, or real close, with a 3 speed automatic, & got surprisingly good fuel mileage.---Bob
As far as the strength issue goes, it's not an issue either way to me, just an added bonus (if true). The Corp 12 bolt and the Corp 14 bolt are unquestionably stronger than the 8.8, but I am not sure about the 10 bolt 8.5. Regardless, my NA 6.2 is only rocking Chevy 305 horsepower and torque. Considering that either axle was used successfully with the 350 (C) and 351 (F), both making way more torque and HP, strength is not the issue. I drove a friend's 1986 Suburban that had a 6.2, TH-350 (it replaced a fried 700) and 3.08 gears with 31" tires a long time ago (I was right out of high school in the early 90s), and it drove nice. The 31's make the 3.08 act like a 2.88 in relation to my 235s (29") so I think the feel would be fairly similar. I know that the TH350 and the TH400 ratios are almost the same (TH400 2.48:1, 1.48:1, 1:1, TH350 2.52:1, 1.51:1 1:1) so I am fairly certain my Sub would drive well, even if it wouldn't win many races. With a Tight 1,100 or 1,200 stall speed on the converter, I can't imagine I'd loose that much on my Highway fuel economy since my cruising RPM would be substantially higher than the coupling RPM and the 3.73 gears in overdrive act like a 2.61 ratio (Vs. 2.73). The 1-2 MPG I loose (even 3 MPG) will be worth the peace of mind to me that I won't have to worry about the transmission failing for the next 300,000 miles.

1993 Suburban 2wd 6.2L Diesel Conversion "Andromeda":
3.73:1 gears, THM 700-R4 transmission, and
J-code 6.2L diesel from a 1984 C2500 Suburban
1996 Ford F-150 4x4 300ci Inline 6 "The Argo"
327,000 miles and climbing
1992 Caprice Wagon 5.0L TBI "Enterprise-D"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mater View Post
Ah ha ha ha! I swear! Tractors is so dumb!
Quote:
Originally Posted by General Nazca View Post
The Argo? That ridiculous pile of scrap metal!
argo is offline  
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