Discussion in 'Axles / Suspension / Tires' started by rustyolred, Sep 7, 2010.
1997 Ford F-350 4x4 crew cab. 460 auto. SRW. What rear axle? 10.25 or 10.5 Sterling?
Also commonly known as a money-sink POS.
Not necessarily. Especially since this is a later model with the upgraded pinion. I'd rather have one than a 14b if I were running 42's or smaller...
I've got an 'upgraded' pinion you can have... does a good job holding papers down if it's windy.
I have a couple of friends running them with no problems.
Just out of couriosity. I've heard they are good and strong. 35spl shafts from the factory. disc brakes available etc.
Well... Ford redesigned it three times in ten years. That alone should tell you plenty.
Back in the day, I spent probably $1500 putting one together only to have it junk two sets of pinion bearings and pull the threads on the pinion.
I spent $900 building a 14 bolt with a new detroit and discs. Drove it to Utah and back the next morning. It's still together today.
If you want to waste some time in the junkyard, go around to all the 10.25s and see if you can find one that still has a tight pinion.
People build them and get them to last... but when you can build a 14 bolt and get a stronger diff that's easier to service and cheaper to repair, why fawk around with the Ford axle? The only thing the 10.25 has going for it over the 14 is maybe the hub bearings are easier to service... and that's a good thing, too... because you'll have the hubs off twice a year replacing the seals, anyway.
Oh, and if you have a short rear driveshaft, the long snout on a 10.25 won't do you any favors.
Because it's just as strong as the 14 bolt, and it came from the factory with a VSS installed. Yeah, I've added VSS to some other axles, but it's a pain in the ass. If I didn't need VSS I would have picked a 14 bolt too because of how easy they are to work on, but since I needed it the 10.25 was the best axle for the job.
Adding a VSS to a 14 is easier than R&R pinion bearings.
Cut the webbing off the bottom and its not nearly the rock dragger that a 14b is. I think the difference is you're talking about putting interstate miles on one and others here are talking about cheaply holding up to large tires and trailer only.
On 97 up they fixed the pinion bearing problem.
If you cut the webbing off, it's still 12-1/2" inches wide... or roughly the same width as a 14 bolt. But stock for stock, the 14 is 1/2" taller to the center of the diff, and that's before you gain another 1/2 or 3/4" knocking off the lip at the back edge. Now you've got a diff that's V shaped on the bottom, smooth like a 70U, and has over an inch more ground clearance than the 10.25. You can knock the webs off the 10.25, but the lip at the bottom is hollow and can't be removed without having to plate the housing. You can do it... but you can do lots of things, and at that point, we're not really talking stock for stock anymore anyway. So you've got a +1" rock snagger right in the middle of the housing and the 10.25 housing is U shaped on the bottom more than a V, so it actually has less ground clearance for a wider distance left to right.
Either way, it sounds like your definition of 'rock dragger' is more subjective than mine.
As for cheap... that's been my argument all along. There's nothing cheap about a 10.25. I had to replace hub seals damn near every time it got submerged. Little bit of mud or silt, and it's pissing gear oil all over the brake shoes. 10.25 hub seals are $35/ea. 14 bolt seals are $5. I dunno what a Detroit for one costs now... I know prices have gone through the roof, but I'm betting the 14b Detroit is still about half to 2/3s the price. I paid $300ish for mine brand new after I got fed up with the Lincoln locker.
In 93, they changed to the tall yoke from the short one. That's a slightly different pinion (deeper splines by about 1/2") and a different yoke. Pinion bearings might be different, I don't remember... but they're not significantly different. That was supposed to eliminate the yoke wobble that killed pinions.
In 99, they changed to the 10.50 gearset, which was supposed to help with the high R&P failure rate. But they also had to make the inner pinion bearing smaller in order to get everything to fit. They also changed to a three-spider carrier, which was supposed to fix the carrier cracking problem.
So, for those of you following along at home... the hot ticket is to find whatever housing has the bolt pattern you want, then stuff it with 93-98 gears, a deeper cover, a 99+ or aftermarket carrier, and also overfill it on the fluid as much as possible. Use all new parts, stake the pinion nut, and if it ever has to come apart, replace the R&P, because you're not going to successfully crush another spacer without pulling the threads on the pinion (it's only like 1" fine thread).
OR... if you want something cheap that will stand up to big rubber and high HP, give some guy $250 for a CUCV rear that already has a detroit and 4.56s. It takes about 15 mins to pop the whole thing apart. Check it out, stick it back together with fresh fluid and run it. If you need a VSS, you can stuff one in while it's apart. It only takes a minute, and if you need a VSS, then you probably have all the parts you need laying around.
Well I wasn't looking for a comparison to the 14b or 70U however there is good stierling info here.
Anything I can do to help.
I would'nt build one for a trail rig due to the price of parts but the one under my 96 PSD has 385K on it and is just now gettin some slack in it.
See what I mean? Pieces of junk, all of them!
This thread answered a lot of questions I was unsure of about the sterlings. thanks, man!
I know what not to bring up next time we meet.