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Old 10-01-2017, 02:47 PM   #1
Cannont
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can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

I have a "50 3800 DRW, was reading a Tech Tip about swapping the 5.14 pumpkin to a 4.10 as the easy way to gain freeway speeds. Further down in the article it says this...

"All HO52/72 rears can use any year of brakes. So a dual rear wheel rear brake system from 72 bolts in place of a 47 DRW system. Plus, almost all 14 bolt from 73-2006 brake system will work also. Wow, so you can ditch those Huck brakes at the same time ... "

Has anyone done this, or can anyone confirm that this is true? Would save me a lot of heartache and expense if I could do this on my 3800 DRW!
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:58 PM   #2
yossarian19
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

Ruffstuff Specialties sells HO 52/72 rear disc brake kits - I think they state they are the same parts as the 14 bolt stuff they make / sell. Their parts are 100% beefy and well made just down the road from me in California. I only ever bought U-bolts from them personally but when you pick up a U-bolt and get a warm and fuzzy, that says something to me.

I think that's correct - 52/72 brakes swap to 14B stuff and discs will save you a lot of weight.
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

If you want rear disk rough stuff would be a good way to go.

OK 50 truck that still has/had Huck brakes. I see why you want to swap and it may be a simple unbolt and bolt on thing. The only issues may be shoe width and axle flange to end of housing distances as on some rigs the rear axle sticks out a bit further from the end of the axle tube to accommodate wider shoes. Some also have the backing plates inset from the end to make up the difference.

If you have a flatbed an an inch or two difference in rear end width isn't an issue it wouldn't be that hard to put a 68/72 GMC 3/4 ton rear under it where you can find 3.55, 3.7 an 4.11 rears pretty readily but you would need the complete rear axle drums and all.
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:04 PM   #4
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

I think on the Eaton rear end guys have swapped third members around between years without issues. That shouldn't be an issue if you do as the article says. you have to know what you are looking at when you go donor hunting though.

Brakes were usually 12x2 but some of the 71/72 trucks had 12x2-1/2 rear brakes but I believe those are front disk rigs.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:36 PM   #5
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannont View Post
I have a "50 3800 DRW, was reading a Tech Tip about swapping the 5.14 pumpkin to a 4.10 as the easy way to gain freeway speeds. Further down in the article it says this...

"All HO52/72 rears can use any year of brakes. So a dual rear wheel rear brake system from 72 bolts in place of a 47 DRW system. Plus, almost all 14 bolt from 73-2006 brake system will work also. Wow, so you can ditch those Huck brakes at the same time ... "

Has anyone done this, or can anyone confirm that this is true? Would save me a lot of heartache and expense if I could do this on my 3800 DRW!
mostly right, but,,,,, if you can find a 4:11 rear then do it. its a great swap. using any year brake is not actually correct, the brakes changed from slide on drums in 61 or 62 to drums that were held on by the lug studs so you would need hub, drum and brakes parts that match what ever year your swapping to. Using 14 bolt from any year not so true, The 14 bolt has a different flange mount from HO rears in late 70's. and in a different locations. Any 14 bolt up past 2002 or 2003 would have a disc brake on it.

The better swap is a 2002 up 14 bolt from a C&C GM truck, something out of a tow truck or U-Haul like cab and chassis that fits the length you have. Its usually the cheapest as well. any conversion will start at $600 and go to $1200, the disc conversions mentioned from Ruff stuff Specialties do not have an emergency brake or any way to add one. unless thats changed recently , they do make them for 12, 14 and HO rears.

Pirate 4x4 has an excellent write up on 14 bolts and disc swaps for various rears.

I've done a number of the HO gear and brake swaps and its always a challenge to get the parts to complete it. Rebuild kits are very hard to come by for HO and very expensive if you do, forget about a ring gear set . The pinion bearings alone can go for $600 with no other parts. I much prefer the 14 bolt swap. Move the perches and your done basically, newer rear and brake that you can get parts for in 10 years.

Last edited by dwcsr; 10-02-2017 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

I just want to throw this in because I know a few folks have been caught off guard by it. If you are looking for an inexpensive 14 bolt rear be advised that the single wheel 14 bolt van axles from 1996~2002 are somewhat unique. The axle will work fine if you use the OE drum brakes but problems occur if you try to take advantage of one of the "disc brake swap" kits or writeups on the 'net.

These axles use slip on drums so the spacing from wheel flange to inside edge of hub is smaller. Correspondingly the distance from wheel seal surface to the axle end is also reduced. Standard hubs will install but with the shorter axle the axle nut cannot be tightened more than a few turns and the locking key and ring will be useless. I have used a lathe to turn OE axle nuts into "thin" axle nuts so the key and ring will work, but I promise removing the correct amount of hardened steel from the axle nut is a time consuming task. And although the hubs have never come off the axle I just didn't feel as warm n fuzzy about the thin nut compared to the nearly 1/4" thickness of the stock part.
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:04 PM   #7
dwcsr
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

I know that some 14 bolts are semi floaters. I purchased one sight unseen for a 2500 thinking it was a full floater and ended up with a semi floater , had slide on drums and all. It worked for my purposes but it must have been a van axles as you described.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:53 AM   #8
Cannont
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

Thanks for the replies so far.

I've found an '89 14bff drw c/c rear in one of the local yards. I know this will fit my '50 3800 drw, I just caught up sometimes with the thought of leaving the original ho72 rear on it instead of swapping it out? Just need to make a decision and go with it I guess.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:02 PM   #9
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwcsr View Post
I know that some 14 bolts are semi floaters. I purchased one sight unseen for a 2500 thinking it was a full floater and ended up with a semi floater , had slide on drums and all. It worked for my purposes but it must have been a van axles as you described.
I hope you meant $250.

The semi float 14 bolts are a 9.5" ring gear with a different pinion bearing setup. It's a good, solid axle - I think they are all six lug - more like a Dana 60 strength wise than the full floating 14 bolt. That's a whole separate beast from the van axle.
The semi float 14 bolts came in light duty 3/4 ton trucks.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:37 PM   #10
dwcsr
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

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Originally Posted by yossarian19 View Post
I hope you meant $250.

The semi float 14 bolts are a 9.5" ring gear with a different pinion bearing setup. It's a good, solid axle - I think they are all six lug - more like a Dana 60 strength wise than the full floating 14 bolt. That's a whole separate beast from the van axle.
The semi float 14 bolts came in light duty 3/4 ton trucks.
Sorry it should have read for a 2500 HD, This was a 14 bolt 8 lug semi float, didn't look at the ring gear

Last edited by dwcsr; 10-03-2017 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:45 PM   #11
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannont View Post
Thanks for the replies so far.

I've found an '89 14bff drw c/c rear in one of the local yards. I know this will fit my '50 3800 drw, I just caught up sometimes with the thought of leaving the original ho72 rear on it instead of swapping it out? Just need to make a decision and go with it I guess.
Its a good swap, you get the Bendix brakes and a better gear that you can get parts for. Its also lighter. that H072 is very heavy, I think the tubes are close to 3/8 thick. We cut some spindles off one and took for ever to pierce the tubes with our little plasma torch
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:11 AM   #12
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannont View Post
Thanks for the replies so far.

I've found an '89 14bff drw c/c rear in one of the local yards. I know this will fit my '50 3800 drw, I just caught up sometimes with the thought of leaving the original ho72 rear on it instead of swapping it out? Just need to make a decision and go with it I guess.
thats what im doing in my 51. i thought the 5.14 was probably going to be a little bit much even though im using a over drive transmission but kept it around just encase.

i found a cab&chassis 14bolt with a 4.11 gear on craigslist for 100 bucks. 63 wms measurment which is very close to the eaton.

biggest issue i ran into is no one sells a 2 inch wide spring perch for the 14bolt axle tube. ruffstuff did have one for a 2.25 spring, i just had to grind down the sides a bit
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:06 PM   #13
Cannont
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

abig84-

Saw someone post making their own perch by cutting 2" square tube in half lengthwise. Try that, it was also followed by a response of finding perches for utility trailers. I haven't confirmed or followed through with any of that, but letting you know.
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:31 AM   #14
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

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Originally Posted by Cannont View Post
abig84-

Saw someone post making their own perch by cutting 2" square tube in half lengthwise. Try that, it was also followed by a response of finding perches for utility trailers. I haven't confirmed or followed through with any of that, but letting you know.
yeah the 2 inch square tubing was going to be the plan, but i figured trying to cut that perfect of a hole to fit on the axle was going to be a pain. i did call a few trailer/spring places and no one had any 2inch perches period.



the 2.25 wide ones from ruffstuff worked out pretty easily as i just had to take a bit of material off the sides off them, they were plenty thick
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:51 PM   #15
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Re: can anyone confirm this brake swap compatibility?

It might actually be easier to make perches out of 2x4 rectangular tubing. That should give you enough room to start the drill bit for the right size hole saw.
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