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swapping rear differential from 20000lb to 23000lb

I want to take both 20000lb drive axles out & put a 23000lb drive axle with 2.64 or 2.79 gears in the rear position and a 20000lb lift axle in the front position. I have a brand new pusher lift axle ready to install.Can i leave my existing rear hangers & springs in place & u bolt the 23000lb axle onto my springs?Will the saddles & center bolts line up?This would be a lot easier than measuring & drilling new holes in frame for new hangers & tork arms & trying to get everything lined up.Any positive feedback would be appreciated.

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footrotexpress here you go. This is all the pictures I have with me on the truck have more at home but this should give you idea of whats involved.

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Are you doing this yourself? I am not sure what manufacturers 23,000 lbs axle your working with but I just did this procedure last June it took me about a week but I saved a bunch of money doing it myself and if its a freightliner you'll be able to leave everything in place for the 23,000 lb axle and use them all torque arm, hangers, springs, saddles and so on the saddle is the only thing you have to be careful about is that you put it in the right way for the angle. For the lift you'll have to use their hardware that came with the lift. If you would like pictures I can send some

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I just completed the same swap Mel Did. Removed the power divider after 1.1 mil, installed Locking 23K axle and made a home made tag axle out of the rear. Here are a few pics.

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Jeff, did you have to build a new drive shaft? And are you coming directly from the tranny, leaving out the center bearing?

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I actually lengthened the old drive shaft right at 3 inches and had it re-balanced. This picture is the rear driveshaft, after the factory carrier bearing. There are two shafts between the trans and differential. You need to check with the driveline shop FIRST to make sure your factory shaft can be lengthened. If not, budget at least $1500.00 for a new, longer driveshaft.

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Just an update. I've been overall very happy with the swap. I pull a livestock trailer and have been in some very deep mud, snow and nasty conditions and have not been stuck yet. I do, however, use the dump valve and locker often. It takes some getting used to, but works very well.

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first off need to know what kind of truck and the suspension but more than likely can there is little difference in the axle housing however the suspension will still only be 20/40 k if you want to increase the overall rating you will need to change every thing

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Just have Rowe equipment company in indianna do it for you. They do them all the time.

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Hey,mel help. I would like to swap this over myself.If you could send me pictures of your swap deal I would appreciate it.Did you have to drill any holes in the frame? Or just the hangers on the lift axle.

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Leigh what address would like the pictures sent to? Now when I did mine I keep the Meritor Housing in the back and gutted it out and using it for the tag and put a locker in the front for drive position so I was able to keep the same suspension, hangers and saddles everything was reused except for the drive line had to be lengthened. I drill absolutely nothing.

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mel help, you can email picks to longter@pwless.net thanks

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could I get pics also or post them here

Thanks

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thanks

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Great Pictures, would like to do that someday to my w900, still trying to figure our how to keep my 8 airbag suspension. What kind of fuel milage gains did u see?

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I pickup up 4/10 of MPG after making it a single drive with a tag axle

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My truck is getting an in-frame now, but is listed as Jeffrey Szarley on Fuel Gauges. Once I'm back on the road next week, we will start tracking the fuel mileage improvements.

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Hey Mel,

could you send me those pic's too

linnprud@gmail.com

I would greatly appreciate the info

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DLP The pictures Jeff and I both have posted here on the web site covers the conversion fairly well. If there's other questions you have I am sure Jeff or myself can probably help you with. But I will send the pictures to your e-mail you left.

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Hey jeff, where did you get the locking 23k axle & what ratio is it?

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I bought the complete RR 23 160 Axle assembly (with an open, non locking, differential) from a local semi junkyard, Rife Heavy Duty Truck parts in Winimac, Indiana. That was the only one they had at the time. I then bought the "locking" RRL 23 160 remanufactured differential assembly from Weller Truck Parts in South Bend, Indiana and used the junkyard differential as a core. The ratio in my truck is 3.70. My twin screw was 3.70 and I did not want to change it because I drive so slow and have a 10 speed Overdrive trans.

Last time I checked, Frontier Truck Parts in Wyoming, Michigan has or can get the RRL 23 160 differentials and housings. I'm told they usually got a few hanging around. Their number is 1 866 241 2110 or www.frontiertruckparts.com.

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I got a truck with 3.90 gears & i'd like to put a 23k locking 2.64 single drive axle in it with a liftable pusher.Then swap my 10 spd for an 18 spd so I would have low gears for startability & I could run it in direct most of the time.It would be nice to find a used 23k 2.64 complete,but any time I see any used 23k rears they are usually 3.70 or slower. the 2.64 gears are usually 20k out of a twin screw. I'm thinking if I priced a new 23k housing,gears & locker it would be WAY too expensive to be feasable.The ROI would be way too long.Anyone have any leads on a used 23k 2.64?

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Good luck finding one. The rockwell manual does claim they make the RRL23160 in a 2.64 ratio, but I have never seen one.

These axles are usually in heavier, local dump trucks, etc. or single axles spec'd for local work. Thats why they're geared so low.

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I am thinking of swaping my rears around and putting my rear axle in front for my drive axle. Is that recomended to do ? Or do I need to get a different drive axle? What would be a good gear ratio for a 10 od 400cat, I hear Kevin talk a lot about the 264 ratio. I mostly run the east side of the Mississippi river.

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Depends on your operation. A 10 OD would work with 2.64 running in 9th direct, but you lose a heck of a lot of flexibility. Your RPM splits between gears would get larger. I am running an 18 in front of 2.64 and it gives me a lot of flexibility for various situations and I am able to stay within a 250 rpm band all the time. But, I have heard of at least one person who did a 10 OD with 2.64. They are wanting to change the tranny out now.

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I found locking 23 k diffs in Mi, and Fla.2.64s are scarce to nonexistant. I spent 3 month tracking mine down at Jack Lyons truck parts Miami... I had to replace my forward axle suspension because Pete never put 46 k diffs on low air leaf suspension. The saddles and mounts would not fit my new heavier duty axle. I gutted my rear axle and used the spicer end plugs and hub oiler caps. I used 3/8 plate to cover the hole, which I am currently fashioning an air lift to. I've never been stuck, been running since July. Installed On-Spot auto-chains for any winter ice challenges. the entire project took 5 days to complete, saved just over .5 mpgs to date. I love it!

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Hey Michael,

when you get your lift finished for the tag axle could you share how you did yours.

I'm kicking around different ways but would like to see your idea.

DLP

you can send any pictures to linnprud@gmail.com

I would appreciate that.

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Wher do you get the replacemnt cap for the axle that was removed?

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Dan are these Rockwell or meritor rears if so I have a set that that should fit. You can have them if you cover the shipping cost or if you want new I can get you stemco part number when I get back home

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Just to add and verify, the 20 k axle Kevin said on the radio a couple months ago they really a heavy duty axle anyway and that they'd do the job.

The question is, how much would a 20k axle with 2.64 gears run?

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Leigh Long will be eternally grateful.
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