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When will my 10 bolt break?

This is a discussion on When will my 10 bolt break? within the Drivetrain forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Here's an answer for super-frequently asked questions. When will my 10 bolt break? Unfortunately, there is no 'set' horsepower where ...

  1. #1
    Member keliente's Avatar
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    99 Firebird Formula

    Exclamation When will my 10 bolt break?

    Here's an answer for super-frequently asked questions.

    When will my 10 bolt break?

    Unfortunately, there is no 'set' horsepower where the 10 bolt will give out. It can break on stock power, at 350hp, 400hp, even 500hp+ for some lucky ones.

    Because you cannot gauge exactly when it will break, it is important to think ahead a little bit, and take some steps to preserving your 10 bolt if a 12 bolt is not in your immediate plans.

    Track hints:

    1. If you are going to be drag racing frequently and plan on running very sticky drag radials, you might want to think about getting to know someone who has a truck & trailer, just in case.

    2. If you have an automatic car, you have a better chance of a longer-lasting rear end, due to less shock in the drivetrain. This does not mean it will never break - it'll just last longer.

    3. Cars that come equipped with Torsen (mechanical) differentials tend to have more problems than Auburn (clutched) differentials. You can see which differential you have at your next rear-end fluid changing interval. If you have a torsen rear end, you will see gears inside of the differential, and there will be a steel block pushing your axles out. If you have an Auburn differential, you will see bright yellow springs inside of it.

    3a. The torsens seem to wear out quicker whether you race or not. Tell-tale signs of a fading torsen are ratcheting/clunking noises when turning/low speeds/etc. If your torsen does break, you can replace it with another, or pick up an aftermarket carrier.

    Preserving your 10-bolt:

    1. Eliminate wheel hop. Suspension is very important - what good is a lot of power if you cannot channel it to the ground effectively? Wheel hop breaks rear ends. To minimize wheel hop consider stiffening your suspension. Aftermarket lower control arms, relocation brackets, panhard bars, even torque arms will help plant your rear to the ground.

    2. Maintain your differential. Always keep an eye on the fluid. Fluid seeping from the pinion seal is normal on these cars, but if it begins to drip onto the floor have it replaced.

    3. If your rear end makes a considerable amount of noise, or you have had gears installed and the noise continually gets worse, consider having the car looked at. Failure of individual parts can trigger others to fail as well, so try and fix the problem before it gets any worse.

    How do I beef up my 10 bolt?

    You don't.

    It seems like too easy of an answer, but it holds true. The 10 bolt will always be limited by the fact that it is simply smaller than a 12 bolt, 9 inch, or Dana 60. Smaller = weaker.

    Besides replacing the ring & pinion and bearings, adding aftermarket parts such as stronger axles only seems to be a waste of money. The minute you fix one thing, another will break. Rear end installs can be costly if you are not doing the labor yourself - it adds up quick. Don't be the guy who says he can't afford a 12 bolt, but has spent $1500 dumping money into his 10 bolt.

  2. #2
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    Red
    2001 TransAm WS6

    Are rear ends covered by aftermarket warranties? I know that the clutch isn't; so is a rear-end considered "wear and tear" item?

  3. #3
    Member keliente's Avatar
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    99 Firebird Formula

    All aftermarket warranty companies are different, so you would have to check with them about it.

  4. #4
    Junior Member officermartinez's Avatar
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    1995 Pontiac Formula

    I like the very first suggestion.. "1. If you are going to be drag racing frequently and plan on running very sticky drag radials, you might want to think about getting to know someone who has a truck & trailer, just in case."

  5. #5
    ILL SKEET IN YUR EYE
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    black on black on black
    02 z28

    No Way Gm Wont Cover The Warranty On Your Rearend There Asses About The Rearends,unless Stock Like F1 Tires And Your Original Size Wheels Are On It.and Not Bald..also They Can Check Your Computer For Your Last Rpm Shifts So They Can Usually Tell You Beat It Up ,and They Will Do Anything To Make You Look At Fault...iv Been There But If Its Bone Stock And Making Noises But Still Driveable Mabey And Thats A Mabey...and Once 1 Dealership Denies You Then The Rest Will Be Notified...and If You Brought It To The Dealership To Get It Checked And They Denie You Be Prepared To Pay For Inspection And Reassembly...assholes They Are..and We Pay Extra For Nothing

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    Member silverz28camaro's Avatar
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    sebring silver
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    i went to the track several times this year and usually i will see another auto with a stall, the two cars that i saw both had problems with there rear ends making noise and clunking that night, that is why i am going to wait to get a 12 bolt the a converter. cause i do like to drag race a lot

    sorry if this has been asked before but what parts exactly brake in the diff on the 10 bolt, and.........

    should i get a stall with a 12 bolt 3.73 gear, am planning on widder tires and suspesion upgrades,

  7. #7
    Junior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    black
    98 Formula

    First rear i broke i cracked the spyder gears, replaced it with a Auburn differential which worked fine for a year or so. Then it started grinding and moaning after heating up never could figure out what went wrong with it though. riped it out and put a 12-bolt in

  8. #8
    Junior Member ls1alltheway's Avatar
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    white&black
    1998z28w/t-tops

    10 bolt -12 bolt? are yall talking about the cover bolt # or ring gear bolt#'s?
    i know it sounds like a dumn question ..... but the only dumn one is the one you don't ask.

  9. #9
    Just another Joe Eagle's Avatar
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    Pewter
    2002 WS6

    GM CORPORATE 10-BOLT
    This 10-bolt, with a 8 1/2-inch ring gear diameter.

    GM CORPORATE 12-BOLT
    The stronger 12-bolt, with an 8 7/8-inch-diameter ring gear diameter.

    Yes, the bolt count is associated with the cover, not the ring itself.


    -Eagle

  10. #10
    Member intheclouds1977's Avatar
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    2000 WS6 M6

    What vehicles do 12-bolts come out of? How about 9"s

    Are they a bolt in application, or do you have to weld on all the mount brackets? I imagine a hybrid U-joint will be needed? Brakes lines are same fitting at the flex hose?

  11. #11
    Just another Joe Eagle's Avatar
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    2002 WS6

    12 bolt axles generally OEM'd from truck applications. 9" axles are Ford housings, which also came in trucks mostly and some older model heavier vehicles.

    Modifications to both axles are required to install them into an f-body! You can't just go to the junkyard and buy a 9" or a 12 bolt just to take them home and bolt it up. You can however send it off to Currie Enterprises or Moser to have the axle modified to fit into your car (brackets, etc). They'll also be able to help with carriers, gear sets, axles, yokes to fit your driveshaft's u-joint size, etc.

    GL!

  12. #12
    Member intheclouds1977's Avatar
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    2000 WS6 M6

    I'll build up my own axle...was just wondering what I had in store for me. Thanks for the info!

    If these axles come out of full size trucks, I imagine they have to be narrowed several inches...huh!

    What's the consensus on strength. 12-bolt or 9"?

  13. #13
    Just another Joe Eagle's Avatar
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    IMO - 9" is the way to go due to its ease of service and selection of carrier housings readily available from pretty much any axle manufacturer. Basically, it comes down to preference.

    read: http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles...s_9_inch_ford/
    Last edited by Eagle; 04-13-2007 at 10:28 AM.

  14. #14
    Driver for hire ss_caramo's Avatar
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    2001 SS (M6) #4581

    Quote Originally Posted by intheclouds1977 View Post

    What's the consensus on strength. 12-bolt or 9"?
    The 12-bolt in my humble opinion is a better way to go. Every F-body that ive ever seen with a 9in. has a really high stance in the rear, almost like it rides higher than the stock height. If you want to go REALLY strong, go with the Dana 60, a mopar based unit. Several aftermarket companies have direct replacements in the 12-bolt and the dana 60. Strange engineering or Moser for example

  15. #15
    Driver for hire ss_caramo's Avatar
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    2001 SS (M6) #4581

    But i agree with eagle as well. The 9in. unit is very tuff, and easy to work on.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    the 12 bolt is GREAT for 4 LINK applications, make no mistake though a 12 bolt is a hugh improvement over the stock 7.5" 10 bolt. but the location of the TQ arm bracket is the issue with the 12 bolt thats where the problems occure. the 9" is tride and true for the F-body best rear out there IMO. now you can get the lighter then the 12 bolt and for less money, they will ususlly hold anywhere from 600hp-past 1,000hp depending on the application. the S-60 IMO is WAY to much overkill, and again the TQ arm placement on those are having issues with warping the ring gear.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    on a second note the 8.5" 10 bolts hold up under a lot of HP, and have seen sub 8 second passes several times over. that is another way to get a great rear for a lot less price if your willing to take the time and have it narrowed.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    2000 WS6 6spd Hooker LT

    Am I the only one who is glad as hell GM put the money into the engine and not the differential? I would much rather spend $2k on a differential than spend ~$2k on the engine to get ~300 RWHP.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    i wish GM would of given the option to purchase a 12 bolt when the cars where new. that would of made much more sense.

  20. #20
    car enthusiast djvaly's Avatar
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    Dana 60 made by Strange FTW! if you wanna a track setup, get that, it comes in complete assembled set with upgarded gears. about $2500 shipped.

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