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I know there's a couple of us out there running axles that are NOT Dodge axles, including myself. This thread / post is NOT meant to be a suggestion to go outside or away from Dodge products for use on our trucks! It is not a base platform to argue about brand loyalty over either. This thread is mearly meant as a source of information to help those out there looking for axle swap help.

Here's what I did, what I used, and why:

I went with a GM 14 bolt, full floater rear axle when I did my 1 ton swap. The axle came to me with a Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears, and disk brakes, plus a nice, fresh coat of paint for $900. There's plenty of sources out there for 14 bolts at a cheaper price, but you'll be spending a nice chunk of change on a rebuild, gear swap, locker, possibly paint, and disk brakes. For $900 I got all this, and the guys even swapped the 5.38's in there for FREE.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, the swap wasn't without it's issues. My first and most obvious problem was that the spring perches and shock mounts do NOT line up with the Dodge truck's (shocking, I know). That's easy enough to fix. But be warned, the spring perches and shock mounts on the 14 bolt are pretty stout and you'll need to get at 'em to get 'em off.

Here's the biggest problem, and one that almost cost me a significant loss of money on the 14 bolt, not to mention time.

Dodge rear axles use what's refered to as a "tone ring." This ring is responsible for a number of functions including speedometer, odometer, ABS, and transmission shifting points on later model trucks. The problem is that the GM 14 bolt does NOT have a tone ring. That leaves you with a couple of options.

The first and most expensive option is to get a tone ring out of a D70 rear and have it machined to fit the 14 bolt. Here's the problem with that. You've got to remove the carrier on the D70, remove the tone ring, then have it machined.... Wait. You're still not done. Now you've got to dissasemble the 14 bolt, remove the carrier, and install the tone ring. Now put the 14 bolt back together, and wire everything up. Congrats, you just spent a significant chunk of change on basically two gear swaps (usually about $1000 labor charge).

The other option is to use the SGI-5 signal converter box by Dakota Digital. The box cost me $90 shipped next day air to my door. The box looks simple enough. It has several different inputs and output and comes with some pretty good instructions as well. What the SGI-5 does is tap into your speed sensor on the tranny, bypassing the need for a tone ring and speed sensor on the axle all together. YOU WILL LOOSE REAR WHEEL ABS with this set up! However, if you're running tires big enough to require one ton axles, you probably don't want ABS anyway.

The wireing is less than simple. In fact, it can be down right intimidating. Me and the guys at the shop I was using worked from 7pm until nearly 2am to get the SGI-5 to work to the point where the truck was driveable. It wasn't until 2 days later that I FINALLY got it running correctly.

A "big picture" of the PCM, and the SGI-5, where it's mounted, and the wires running to, and from:



A nice and blurry pic of the wires plugged into the SGI-5. I really hope ya'll can make out what's where.



I now have full function of my speedometer, and my odometer finally works again. Oh ya, and my tranny shifts where its supposed to again. I couldn't be happier.

I must give credit where credit is due. A HUGE thank you to several of the members of Pavement Sucks that pointed me in the direction of the SGI-5. Without their input and guidance, I would have wasted a lot of money on a 14 bolt and wound up with a much more expensive D70.

I'll have pictures up later this afternoon of the finished wiring. I hope this thread and pictures can help out many of ya'll now and in the future with your axle swap considerations. Please don't hesitate to post up any questions. I'll do everything I can to get 'em answered correctly and as quickly as possible.

Happy Trails!
 

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fuggin EH!!!
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So was it basically just trial and error with the wiring of the SGI-5 till it worked correctly?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
crazeejay said:
So was it basically just trial and error with the wiring of the SGI-5 till it worked correctly?
Bingo. FIgured now that we've got it figured out, it'd be cool to help anyone else that might be doing the swap, or a similar mod that'll loose the tone ring, etc.
 

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fuggin EH!!!
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01_OffRoad said:
Bingo. FIgured now that we've got it figured out, it'd be cool to help anyone else that might be doing the swap, or a similar mod that'll loose the tone ring, etc.
That's sweet news Clay. Can't wait to see some pics of this thing the way you have it wired. I have a 9" Ford rearend left over from a drag car I used to have. This would give me an excuse to use the spool and gears from it. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
On the camera, just not uploaded and edited yet.... Working on it, thanks for the reminder!
 

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Trail Maker
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How about now? I will be doing this this summer as one of my posts listed any extra advise would help a ton. thanks.
 

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I'm worthless, lol.... I'll make it a point to get some pics up tomorrow (Monday 11-04-07). Got a few PM's in regards to this... been gone for a while.
 

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better than you
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had a chance to get some pics yet? :D

Thanks man.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
UPDATE!!!!

I'm seriously considering swapping a D70 into the truck to replace the GM 14 bolt. GULP!!!

Here's my BIGGEST problem right now. I have NO EMERGENCY brake!!! That means I can't pass our state inspection (legally). I've looking into a LOT of different options, none of which are cheap and / or easy.

Yes, I have heard about the Cadilac Calipers from an older model "El Dorado" or similar. However, they won't hold the weight of the truck while in drive. They're just not strong enough.

I can't do a "line lock" because Texas requires that the e-brake be a seperate system from the "regular" brakes.... And mechanical in nature.

The only other option I've found at this point is a driveline mounted e-brake. That's going to cost me over $500 in parts and labor. Everything will have to be custom made.... wonderfull.

SO!

Enter in a D70 swap. I'd get my "idiot" lights to go off (abs). I'd have the option of the stock (drum brake) e-brake, plus a working tone ring!!! I think (hope) that means that I'd get my rear wheel ABS, and cruise control back as well... Not to mention being able to get rid of the SGI-5 box.

SOOOoooooooooo

Anyone looking for a built GM 14 bolt, with 5.38 gears and a Detroit locker, disc brakes, and no ebrake?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE!!!!

PICS of the SGI-5!!! I do apologize for the blurry pics... too much caffene I guess. I took about 10 pics, none of them turned out "clear" from up close. Hopefully you'll be able to at least see which wires are where. I REALLY hope this helps ya'll out!

Pic looking at the PCM, and the wires coming out of it:



A "big picture" of the PCM, and the SGI-5, where it's mounted, and the wires running to, and from:



A nice and blurry pic of the wires plugged into the SGI-5. I really hope ya'll can make out what's where.



Another nice and blurry pic, this time with the wires pulled UP. Hopefully between the two, ya'll can make out what's where:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
B-300 said:
Ever thought of putting a high stall convertor so Cadilac E-brakes could hold?
I've got a 2500 RPM stall torque converter... think it's enough?
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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I would think that should be enough. Also I have Wilwood disc brakes on the rear of my van... They have the small drum under rotor type E-brakes and hold against a stock convertor. (There about 6" dia, similar to Ford explorer in size)
 

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Beware the Underbite!!!
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you cant have a cable that will pull the calipers together on the rears. or is it a drumb if so do it like the 1500
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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chm2007,
I'm not sure what your question is. I did forget to mention that the Willwood disc brakes I installed on my van are on an 8-3/4" rear axle (5 bolt).
Although I did go from 8 lug to 5 lug, I did it because I had new tires and wheels to fit the brake kit was complete except for E-brake cables... I used cables from a newer 3/4 ton van and used cable clamps and chaafe protectors to adapt to the calipers.
 

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Beware the Underbite!!!
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that is what i was asking if the wire could be rigged to pull the calipers together.
 
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