Some of you may have seen this in my build thread, but I figured I would post it here as well with more detail.
A little background... about a month ago I swapped a 14 bolt into the rear of my 86 Blazer, I picked up a new set of 8 lug wheels and needed to do something to match up front. Obviously I want a Dana 60, but that's more of a long term plan. All the 3/4 ton front ends I found were way over priced and my axle was still in great shape.
Seven07 picked up a 79 K20 parts truck so we made arrangements and he sent me everything I needed for the swap.
Here's what I got:
Cleaned up the hubs and backing plates:
Stripped the wheels, calipers, lockouts and 6 lug hubs off the front end:
Here you can see the 6 nuts that hold one the backing plate:
With everything removed I did some cleaning and sprayed a little black paint:
I double checked to be sure the spindles on my 86 were identical to the 3/4 ton donors. They were the exact same so I left them in place.
Next I bolted up the new backing plate:
I compared these side by side and it is obvious that the 3/4 ton backing plate is larger and has different caliper mounts:
After repacking the bearings and replacing the seals I slid the hub on and tightened up the nut:
Put the brakes, wheels and lockouts back on and we are all set:
There are a few advantages to this swap, the first is obviously the matching 8 lug wheel pattern.
Also the 3/4 ton rotors are 12-1/2" in diameter as the 1/2 ton are only 11-3/4", the pistons in the calipers are also larger.
All the bearings are the same so no real advantage in weight carrying capabilities.
Also before the swap my axle was 67" wide from WMS to WMS it is now 69-1/2". This is good because I am running a 14 bolt out of a van that is 70" from WMS to WMS.
I hope you will find this helpful and if you have any questions feel free to ask.