it works just fine. driven it around for a few days and no issues at all.
i took the rear from the 2wd 97, swapped the flange to the newer style. the spline count is the same, fits right on with no issue. only tightened it down to exactly the same depth as the previous flange.
seemed to do the trick.
as far as differences between the two axles,
the 2wd's spring seat is set slightly behind where they are on the 4wd. this changed the pinion angle slightly, but there is no binding. the change in angle is pretty minor, doubled that this particular truck is still basically stock height...it causes no problem.
the shock perches are angles lower on the tubes, so once its all in and together, the stock shocks are pretty well extended.
i found some cheap skyjacker hydros 3" longer than oem. works just fine.
in my case the e-brake cables were about 7-8 inches too short, so depending on the donor you may have to change that out, i will have to.
the speed sensor is slightly different, however the newer style will fit the older rear and seat at the same depth.
the drum brakes are not as wide, obviously but if you leave the 2wd drums on there isnt much difference in braking that ive felt so far.
the hardline for the brakes is slightly different but easily bent to wherever it needs to be.
the diff vent tube is small diameter.
u bolt size is the same, leafspring plates are the same.
thats about all i can think of
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