01-10 2500 and 3500 Chevy Solid Axle Conversion Using Aftermarket GM Front Springs
01-10 2500 and 3500 Chevy Solid Axle Conversion Using Aftermarket GM Front Springs For 70's Ford axles and GM solid axles For aftermarket (lifted) '73-87 GM front springs, 47" eye to eye
We are working with a second generation Kevlar reinforced polyurethane bushing material that is proving to be another step stronger and more durable. At this time the new material is only available in the same grey color as our Kevlar tierod end boots. For more information on bushing color, click here.
If you're fed up with constantly replacing front end components, expensive lift kits, front axles that don't hold up to bigger tires or you just want the trail performance of a solid axle this kit is for you! Our solid axle conversion kit allows you to remove the stock independent front suspension from your '01-10 Chevy 2500/3500 and replace it with a solid axle.
Includes greasable bushings/sleeves/bolts for both ends of the shackle as we use a bigger bolt. Does not include bushings/sleeves for the front of the front spring as those are typically included with the springs.
This kit is for any Chevy axle and 70's Ford axles using aftermarket '73-'87 Chevy springs.
The Offroad Design Solid Axle Conversion kit uses front springs for a '73-87 Chevy (47" long).
We build Solid Axle Conversion kits only for the 31.5"/32" spring pad width.
Worried about ride quality? Leaf springs don't have to ride stiff, we do our own line of soft ORD Custom Leaf Springs.
Works on 4WD or 2WD trucks.
Our kit keeps the axle in the stock location so the tire stays in the same place in the wheel well.
The Offroad Design Solid Axle Conversion kit is completely bolt on, but there is some drilling involved. The kit includes a pair of brackets for the front of the springs, a pair of brackets for the shackles at the rear of the springs, a pair of shackles with our greasable bushings and bolts, instructions and all necessary hardware.
There is 6" of lift built into our brackets. For example, if you install a set of 4" lift '73-87 Chevy front springs you will net 10" of lift. Using factory height 73-87 GM truck front springs nets 6" of lift.
Which axle to use?
The 31.5" spring pad width axles are '70's Ford front axles (Dana 44 or Dana 60), the most desirable being the '77-79 axles as they are high pinion with disc brakes. You will want to use an axle that came with leaf springs, the coil spring/radius arm axles don't work. Pros are that they are driver's side drop (which means you can keep your OEM transfer case if you want) and they're high pinion, cons are that they're the most desirable and usually demand the highest price.
The 32" spring pad width axles are any of the GM front axles (10 bolt, Dana 44 and Dana 60). Passenger side drop Dodge front axle can be adapted to work as well. Pros are easy availability, the only real con is that you have to switch to a passenger drop transfer case (which we can help you do).
Our solid axle conversion for the '01-10 GM trucks does not work with '85 and newer Ford axles or '94 and newer (coil sprung) Dodge axles.
What about the transfer case?
The trucks of this generation use either an NV261 (floor shift) or NV263 (push button) transfer case. If you use a Ford front axle, you can retain the factory transfer case. Due to the lift involved in the conversion, the front output on the transfer case will need to be converted to a fixed (or bolt-on) style yoke and we carry that as well on this page.
If you want to use a GM or Dodge passenger drop front axle, you'll have to swap the transfer case to retain 4WD function.
Swapping to a passenger side transfer case to use a GM/Dodge axle:
If you're using a GM or Dodge front axle, you'll need to change the transfer case to one that sets the driveshaft on the passenger side. The transmission does need to be the 4WD version so 2WD transmissions will need to be converted. Adding in any of our gear reduction systems is relatively easy, give use a call to discuss those options. Swap info for a single transfer case is as follows, there are three main options:
This is a viable option for 4L80E and NV4500 equipped trucks, but doesn't work with the ZF6 or Allison.
If you have a 4L80E or GM NV4500, you'll need to find an NP208 from behind a TH400 or an SM465 four speed manual, those will have a 32 spline input. The NP208 will bolt right up in place of the factory transfer case. The 4L80E will need an electric vehicle speed sensor or a manual valve body, the manuals will only need an electric speed sensor if you want the OE speedometer to work.
This is another option for 4L80E and NV4500 equipped trucks, but doesn't work with the ZF6 or Allison.
32 spline NP241's came in 89-91 Blazers and Suburbans and they are passenger drop, the 1989 models have a cable driven speedometer just like the 208.
The 90 and 91 models, however, use an electric speed sensor in them from the factory so this makes them a very desirable case for solid axle conversions, though they aren't as common as the 208. The speed sensor signal is the same that the GMT800 computer is looking for.
If you have a 4L80E or GM NV4500, look for a 241 from behind a TH400, 4L80E or SM465 in an '89-91 Blazer or Suburban.
If you have a ZF6 transmission, you can adapt a passenger side drop NP205 to it by using GU4092.
We do not have a good way to adapt a passenger side drop NP205 to the Allison 1000 due to transmission pan and front driveshaft clearance.
If you have a 4L80E transmission, you have two options to get a 205 on it. You can use an '84 and older figure 8 pattern NP205, swap a long 32 spline input gear into it and use a TH400/fig 8 205 adapter that needs minor machine work to fit the 4L80E. You can also find an '85-91 GM 205 that will have a six bolt round pattern on the front, the input gear needs to be swapped to the short 32 spline version (direct swap) and the factory adapter needs to be notched, then it bolts up.
If you have a GM NV4500, there are two options. You can use an '85-91 GM round pattern 205, swap it to the short 32 spline input gear (direct swap) and notch the tail housing of the trans, then it bolts up. Or you can use the same '85-91 GM round pattern 205 and use a spacer (we have them) to avoid swapping the input gear.
For any NP205 swap, you'll need a vehicle speed sensor (VSS) to control shift timing in automatics and to run the speedometer. We can do that as well, more info on that by clicking here.
Crossover steering is necessary with a solid axle conversion, steering off of the driver's side knuckle doesn't work at all. We make the crossover steering as well:
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