Mud in my Veins
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Paducah, KY
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Re: What\'s a Heavy Half?
F44 is the code that gives you the 14SF 9.5" rear end in a half ton.
"Heavy Half" was a nickname for the late 70's "half tons" that were actually 3/4 tons with 8 lug D44's and 14FF's. Friend of mine has a 78. Everything but the axles was standard half ton stuff. It was a way to get around the still new and incomplete emissions laws of the time.
88 on there was only one "Heavy Half" but it was not called that. The 2500LD was basically a regular 1500 with the same engine, trans, front axle, and frame as a 1500, only it came with stiffer torsion bars, higher spring rate leaf springs, and a 6 lug 14SF. GVWR was up some from the 1500's but not the same as a standard 2500 3/4 ton with 8 lugs. This is what The Kid's truck is. This is why when you look at lift kits some of the 1500/6 lug kits also specify "6 lug 3/4 tons".
Then there were the F44 option which got you the 14SF rear end and stiffer torsion bars and higher rate leaf springs. GVWR was more than the regular 1500's, but not higher than the 2500LD. What else it contained is not really known, but it's kinda spotty on how and when it was used. Some 1500 trucks all set up for heavy duty towing and camper packages came with the regular weak ass 10bolt. Other 1500 trucks with no special options, low GVWR, and not even a hitch from the factory came with 14SF's......but rarely. If you have a regular 1500 with a 14SF congrats, you won the lottery.
NO, there is NO frame difference in either of these trucks. It's the exact same frame as the lowest GVWR 2wd V6 and a stick 1500 had. Sorry to burst your bubble.
The 12 bolt went the way of the dodo in about 1980 but GM used the last of their reserves into the early 80's. However NO 12 bolts went under any IFS trucks from the factory.