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Solid Axle Conversion Kits for '88-98 Chevy
(and newer trucks with the 88-98 body style)
 

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 '88-98 Chevy and replace it with a solid axle. 

The details:

Spring Pad Width

Springs Used

Notes Price
       
31.5"/32" 47" Includes greasable bushings/sleeves/bolts for both ends of the shackle as we use a bigger bolt $525
31.5"/32" 52" Includes greasable bushings/sleeves/bolts for the shackle and both ends of both springs $550
36.5" 47" Includes greasable bushings/sleeves/bolts for both ends of the shackle as we use a bigger bolt $575
36.5" 52" Includes greasable bushings/sleeves/bolts for the shackle and both ends of both springs $595
  • The Offroad Design Solid Axle Conversion kit uses aftermarket front springs for a '73-87 Chevy (47" long) or rear springs from a '73-87 Chevy 1/2 ton (52" long).
     

  • We build Solid Axle Conversion kits for the 31.5"/32" spring pad width and the 36.5" spring pad width.
    For more information on axles that work click here

     

  • For information on transfer cases, click here 
     

  • The Offroad Design Solid Axle Conversion kit is completely bolt on.  We use every existing hole possible, 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.
     

  • Works on 4WD or 2WD trucks.  3/4 and 1 ton 2WD trucks require significant frame modifications, for more information on that click here.
     

  • There is 3" of lift built into our brackets.  For example, if you install a set of 4" lift '73-87 Chevy front springs you will net 7" of lift.
     

  • Using the stock rear springs from a '73-87 1/2 ton (52" long) on the front of your 88-98 Chevy will net 7-8" of lift.  This is the flexiest option, though the longer springs can create a clearance issue by reducing your approach angle and they are very soft so they aren't recommended for trucks that see a lot of street time.
     

  • Our kit moves your front axle forward 1" (contrary to some competitors who claim to move the axle forward and actually move it back!).  This is done to clear bigger tires, big tires rub the rear of the fender more than the front so moving the axle forward a little is beneficial.
     

  • Crossover steering is necessary with a solid axle conversion, steering off of the driver's side knuckle doesn't work at all.  We have what you need regardless of what axle you're using:

Dana 44/10 Bolt Crossover Steering

Dana 60 Crossover Steering


Our 2011 Ultimate Adventure truck, a '99 K2500 with 6" of lift and 40" MT/R's


 

The front hangers grab the frame on three sides for a super strong connection:

The rear hangers grab the side and bottom of the frame, something that others have ignored that's an important feature in keeping the frame in one piece:

 

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.  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).

The 36.5" spring pad width axles are '85-97 Ford Dana 60 axles.  Pros are easy availability and driver's side drop (which means you can keep the OEM transfer case if you want), cons are that larger tires are likely to rub the leaf springs and limit turning angle and you may be stuck with the stock (not so great) steering on the 93-97 and newer axles (we can do crossover steering on the '85-92 axles but not on the '93 and newer axles).

The '99 and newer Ford axles use an even wider spring pad spacing, we do not make a kit for those axles.

1994 and newer Dodge axles are driver's side drop but all are coil sprung and there are no options other than the stock steering, we do not make a kit for those axles.


What about the transfer case?

The 1500 and 2500 Chevy's from 1988-1998 use an NP241 (floor shift), NP243 (Push button, 2HI, 4HI, 4LO) or an NP246 (Push button, Autotrac, 2HI, 4HI, 4LO, AUTO4WD).  The 3500 trucks had either a Borg Warner 4401 or 4470 transfer case.

If your truck has the NP246 Autotrac transfer case, you'll have to swap it as it doesn't work correctly without the front axle sensors.  The Autotrac transfer case has push button switches on the dash with an auto-4WD option.

The NP241, NP243, and either Borg Warner transfer case works fine but you'll need to use a Ford front axle because they all put the driveshaft on the driver's side.  The Ford 205 isn't a difficult retrofit either, as a higher strength option, call us for details on adapting a Ford 205 (or any of our gear reduction systems) to a GM transmission.
 

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:

GM NP208:
This is an easy option because it has the same bolt pattern as the 88-98 transmissions and is a fairly durable transfer case using up to 37" tires. 

If you have a 700R4/4L60E, you'll want to find an NP208 from behind a 700R4 and those came in most 81-87 Chevy 1/2 tons (88 Suburbans and Blazers too!), these will have a 27 spline input.  Those will bolt right in, the only issue is the 208's use a cable driven speedometer and the 4L60E needs an electric speed signal to shift correctly.  That can be solved by installing an adapter that creates an electric signal from the cable drive, you can also put a manual valve body in the trans.

If you have a 4L80E or any of the manual transmissions, you'll need to find an NP208 from a TH400 or an SM465 four speed manual, those will have a 32 spline input.  Again, 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.

GM NP241:
Another easy option because it bolts right up in place of the factory transfer case on the 88-98's, same duty level as the 208.  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 241 is the same story as the 208, if you have a 700R4/4L60E, look for a 241 from a 700R4.

If you have a 4L80E or any of the manual transmissions, look for a 241 from behind a TH400.

GM NP205:
The NP205 is the strongest choice, but doesn't bolt directly to any of the 88-98 transmissions.

If you have a 700R4/4L60E transmission, you'll want the 205 and adapter system from behind a TH350 transmission.  You'll need a shorter output shaft or a spacer:

http://offroaddesign.com/catalog/trannyoutput.htm

http://offroaddesign.com/catalog/700r4spacer.htm

and if it's the later 6 bolt tailhousing (with a removable bellhousing) you'll need a 6 to 4 bolt reducer.

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 any of the manual transmissions, you'd need to find 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.

 

Differences between 4WD and 2WD frames

The 88-98 Chevy 4WD 1500, 2500 and 3500 frames and the 2WD 1500 frames are all very similar and our solid axle conversion works on those trucks without issue.

The 88-98 2WD 2500 and 3500 trucks are different.  Their frames drop down lower then curve up at the front and do not have a flat part to attach the spring hangers to.  It is possible to put a solid axle under these trucks but the frame will have to be modified to mimic a 4WD truck or you'll have to graft 4WD front frame rails on to the 2WD frame.

Pictured below is a 2WD 2500/3500 frame:

Pictured here is a 4WD frame, note how the frame is straight at the front:

 

Choose the category you would like more information on.

Doubler™ Dual Transfer Case
Swaybar Correction/Disconnect™ Kit
Shackle Flip™ Kit for ‘67-up GM trucks
Bolt-In Steering Box Brace Kit
1" Body Lift Kit
Competition Style Motor Mounts
Heavy Duty Front Shackles
Chrome Moly Front Axle Shafts
Blazer Soft Tops

Greasable Rear Suspension Bushings
Swaybar Bushing Kits
Body Mounts
Transfer case mounts
Spring Bushings
Competition Style Bumpstops
Bushing Assemblies
Tuff Country Suspension
Coming Soon...