Question: My project is an '85 S-10 Blazer. So far, the truck has a 3-inch Rough Country suspension lift and 31x10.50 Goodyear tires. The problem I am having is that the CV axle boots keep shredding. The boots last about three months, and then they are destroyed. People are telling me to get rid of the stock front independent suspension and put a Jeep or Toyota straight axle under it. Is this my only option? I really didn't want to convert it over if I didn't have to. Why can't I leave the front independent suspension under the truck? Does a 3-inch lift really affect the truck that much?
My future plans are to install a Chevrolet 350 engine, Edelbrock intake, and carburetor. The engine was given to me-I just need to finish building it, and add a Performance Accessories 3-inch body lift and 33-inch tires.
Answer: Yep, you're not alone-this is a fairly common problem, and not just on S-10s. You have too much angle on the CV joints-or should I say, too much angle for the boots to handle without tearing, especially when the suspension is at full droop and the wheels are turned.
I checked with Superlift as I remembered that at one time they made a special heavy-duty boot for the S-10s. Trent McGee at Superlift said that they had not been available for about eight years now due to a supplier problem. I also checked with Rough Country and found that they no longer make a 3-inch lift, but limit the lift for S-10s to 2 inches. Most likely, we now know why.
It seems that extra inch of lift is what is causing the boot failure. Sorry to tell you this, but the solution seems to be either bring the torsion bar adjustment down an inch, keep replacing CV boots, or make the solid-axle swap.
Question: I've been looking into upgrading my basically stock '95 Chevy K-1500 4x4 pickup (4.3L V-6). I have already chosen a 2- to 3-inch suspension kit from Rough Country and would like to next install lockers on my truck.
Should I get lockers for both the front and rear, or just the rear? I would be doing "East Coast four-wheeling"-mostly mud with little or no rocks). What lockers would be the best, but still relatively cheap for limited off-pavement use? This truck is my main mode of transportation, so it sees a lot of pavement use.
Answer: A locking differential will make a world of difference in your off-highway performance. With one installed in the rear of your truck, you will find that you can go places in two-wheel drive that would have been difficult in four-wheel drive. I say "in the rear," because there is really nothing available for the front of your truck.
In the rear, you have lots of choices: ARB (www.arb-usa.com) offers an air-actuated mechanical locker that connects both axles directly together. This means that you must run an air line from a compressor to the rearend. It's a great unit and quite strong. But because it has no releasing mechanism, when operated in the "Locked" mode it can only be used in a low-traction situation.
Eaton (800/328-3850, www.detroitlocker.com) offers several different types of devices. One of my favorites is the Truetrac. This is a geardriven limited-slip that offers excellent highway manners and good traction. The next step up from this is the Electrac. This offers all the advantages of the limited-slip but with the ability to totally lock both axles together, like the ARB does, when extra traction is needed. Under the Eaton name is the E-Locker. This uses a large magnet to engage a locking ring to fully lock both axles together, again such as the ARB unit works. This way, you have an open differential for the highway and a locked differential for off-highway excursions.
There are several other differentials that use clutch packs to "limit the slip" of a tire, but my feelings are that they are designed for the drag strip or as a selling hype from the vehicle manufacturer and don't really work all that well off-pavement.