Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby Silver99 [OP] » November 2nd 2020, 3:42am

I have a 1999 2wd van with a failing rear end. A friend is going to junk her 2005 rwd van because the transmission is toast (3/4 clutch pack entirely hosed so there's no connection between the engine and driveshaft in 3rd, and a somewhat tenuous connection in 4th). However her rear axle assembly is in really good shape compared to mine. And it's so quiet!!

I know the 2005 has 6 lug flanges vs 5 on my 1999, but is that the only important difference?

Is the ABS set up differently on the 2005 vs the 1999?

What makes the most sense if I can use her axle assembly:
1. Also swap the front rotors and etc. so I would have 6-lug wheels on all axles, or
2. Pull out the axles from each of the two rear ends and swap them too, so I would still have my original 5-lug axles but her housing and rear end, or
3 ???

If swapping the front axle parts isn't too difficult I would prefer to do that instead of putting the 1999 axles in the 2005 housing. The 2005 is running so well that all I want to do with it is change the lube but otherwise not disturb it.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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Re: Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby M_a_t_t » November 2nd 2020, 3:51am

I think the 03-05 rear ends are a little narrower than the drum version. I seem to recall reading that somewhere on here, but have no idea where. If that is correct then I don't think you can put the 99's axles in the 05 housing.
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Re: Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby Silver99 [OP] » November 2nd 2020, 3:57am

Thank you for the heads-up -- I had no idea the 2005 had disc brakes on the rear. I just now checked and you are right: the 2005 has disc brakes in the rear as well as the front.

This proposed swap is looking to be a lot more difficult than I want to tackle. Changing not only the axle assembly but also the braking system, complete with ABS changes and so on -- it is just snowballing!
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Re: Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby Danntanna » November 2nd 2020, 4:24am

I just converted my 2001 safari five lug over to a 2003 six lug setup. It's really easy and a super clean conversion.
I picked up the complete 2003 front steering knuckles, rear axle, front and rear rotors, and calipers from a junkyard doner. It all bolted into the 2001 Safari with no modifications. I am still using the 2001 master and proportion valve. The improvement in braking is amazing. Highly recommend the conversion. It is very easy to do and can be completed in an afternoon. Make sure the gear ratio is the same in the new rear axle, if not get the speedo drive out of the trans of the doner.
The next upgrade will be the 2007 Yukon front rotors and calipers.
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Re: Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby Silver99 [OP] » November 2nd 2020, 4:46am

Thank you for your reassurance, Danntanna.

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Re: Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby SainT » November 2nd 2020, 7:11am

Danntanna wrote:I picked up the complete 2003 front steering knuckles, rear axle, front and rear rotors, and calipers from a junkyard doner.

I bought 2005 tahoe front bearing hubs and rotors
Knuckle seat for hub is identical astro-tahoe
Hubs was drilled as my original 1996 5lug hub (its quite easy) cause astro hub hasn't thread on it and bolted to knuckle instead of tahoe which bolted inside thru knuckle to hub
The rotors outside dia was chopped from 304 mm to 296 mm by lathe
And now I have 6lug in front )
The only difference - tahoe hub has smaller offset than 5lug astro and wheel track changes to -48 mm -but I simply bought wider wheels(8.0) with 0 offset and its OK
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Re: Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby sixsix » November 2nd 2020, 10:18pm

Danntanna wrote:I just converted my 2001 safari five lug over to a 2003 six lug setup. It's really easy and a super clean conversion. ... The next upgrade will be the 2007 Yukon front rotors and calipers.

That's what I'm talking about - precise, confidence-building spot-on advice. AS.com is famous for that.

SainT wrote: ... I bought 2005 tahoe front bearing hubs and rotors
Knuckle seat for hub is identical astro-tahoe
Hubs was drilled as my original 1996 5lug hub (its quite easy) cause astro hub hasn't thread on it and bolted to knuckle instead of tahoe which bolted inside thru knuckle to hub
The rotors outside dia was chopped from 304 mm to 296 mm by lathe
And now I have 6lug in front )
The only difference - tahoe hub has smaller offset than 5lug astro and wheel track changes to -48 mm -but I simply bought wider wheels(8.0) with 0 offset and its OK

So... there you go - a good starter set of advice stuff, seems.
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Re: Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby Silver99 [OP] » November 3rd 2020, 5:32am

Thank you gentlemen for your detailed answers.

It's now looking like my friend's van isn't going to be junked after all, so I'll have to get my axle rebuilt or replaced.

Anybody have suggestions of a good axle rebuilder anywhere between Ventura California and Sun Valley (outskirts of LA)?
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Re: Put in 2005 axle assembly on a 1999 Van?

Postby SainT » November 4th 2020, 9:26pm

Danntanna wrote:I picked up the complete 2003 front steering knuckles
Can you take some pics of this knuckles please ?
Cause my knuckles limited outside dia of brake disks and calipers cant be replaced to bigger one cause knuckle is the guide for them
The only way I can see is to cut all guides and drill knuckle to match tahoe caliper with its bracket or change knuckle to tahoe if it fits (don't have any to measure)
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