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1997 GMC Safari SLX - AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen a few posts about this, but most were asking about RWD and not many things in the threads were concise or answered.

My situation:

I own a 1997 GMC Safari AWD, 5 Lug, 3.42 gears

I stumbled upon a 2005 AWD Astro at the junkyard - I haven't checked yet, BUT assuming it has the 3.73 gears I want (since it seems to have a tow package), I want to know....

How difficult would it be to swap in ALL the 6 lug bits, onto my 1997 5 Lug AWD. (Let's ignore the part about 16" wheels being the minimum etc)

Does the front Diff bolt right in?
Does the rear axle bolt right in?
Do the front spindles and brakes bolt right in?
Would the driveshafts need to be different (since I have the Borg Warner T-case, the 2005 is New venture) ?
Would the front CV's stay mine, or do I need the donor ones off the 2005?

It seems like a TON of work, but man, having discs out rear, dual piston front calipers AND 3.73 gears would be sweet.

HOWEVER if it's impossible or a SH** TON of fab work and fiddling, probably not worth it for me. (I can wait for a 1990s 3.73 equipped van to show up)

But was curious if anyone's done it !
 

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1997 GMC Safari SLX - AWD
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey folks! Well I went to the wrecker..... GT4 G80 RPO sticker on the AWD 2005........ I am very tempted to swap it all haha. However, I think it would be way more work than I want. Having to figure out the ABS and all the crap wiring differences, seems daunting. I'd need the axle out rear complete, front CV's, front spindles and brakes, probably some bits and pieces here and there.

Not sure, I think it may be wiser for me to just wait for a 5 Lug 3.73 AWD to show up one day, and grab those bits, would be easier to swap over and less hassle.

Still.... it has the gears and a rear posi... that's tempting... ;)
 

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1997 GMC Safari SLX - AWD
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm in the same situation.. I have access to nice 6-lug differentials with 3.73 gears, but all my vans are 5-lug. I have NO desire to switch to 6-lug (requiring new wheels & tires) or run mixed configurations..

What would be nice would be if I could switch the rear, then swap back in the 5-lug axles into the 6 lug differential. Problem would be simply solved.
I was wondering if I could slide in the 5 Lug drum brakes and axle shafts into the 6 Lug rear axle assembly, not sure on the compatibility. Is the Front differential IDENTICAL to the 5 lug, as it sits on the 6 lug? Because then that would be the easy part of the swap, just the front Diff. The rear is the dilemma
 

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1997 GMC Safari SLX - AWD
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You could always take the carrier and gears from the 6 lug and swap them into the 5 lug, or just pick up a 98-02 Camaro Zexel Torsen Carrier and a 3.73 gearset
Well hold up now....Now we're talking. So I could gut the diffs, along with the pinion gear, and that would all fit directly into my '97 5-lug's pumpkins? That would be stellar!
 
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