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Technical 1949-1952 Oldsmobile/Pontiac rear end

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by strait8, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. strait8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2014
    Posts: 136

    strait8
    Member
    from Skokie, IL

    I was wondering if any of the Olds and Pontiac gurus out there can tell me if the rear ends on the 49-52 Olds and Pontiacs are interchangeable? Are they identical? Can the carriers be swapped? Trailing arms the same? Drive shaft? I am trying to piece together an open driveline for a 51 Buick using multiple sources. Have the Pontiac manual trans.
     
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  2. 49toad
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 320

    49toad
    Member

    The 49 & 50 Olds use coil spring and trailing are suspension 51 & 52 Olds and all Pontiacs 49-52 use parallel leaf springs.
     
  3. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,159

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    They may have been used thru 56 like the Fords. 57 was a big change.
     
  4. Keepat
    Joined: Oct 31, 2017
    Posts: 65

    Keepat
    Member

    I’m no Pontiac or Olds guru, but I do have a 61 Olds rear with a 61 Pontiac center section in it.
    Pat
     
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  5. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,618

    48fordnut
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    The early olds /Pontiac 39 thru 56 the center section is interchangeable. I used a 39 Pontiac chunk in a 50 olds. The r/e changed in 57 both pont/olds.
     
  6. strait8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2014
    Posts: 136

    strait8
    Member
    from Skokie, IL

    Is the leaf spring system adaptable to the Buick? Sounds like it would be best with the Olds/Pontiac coil over as that is what is in the Buick. However looking at the gear ratios it appears that Olds had a 3.23 in 49 and in 52. Pontiac had a 3.08 in 52 I think. But it said it was dual range. Is that like a two speed truck rear end. Or overdrive? Trying my best to get a highway gear with as little fuss as possible. I am assuming if I change the carrier I will need the axles too?
     
  7. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,618

    48fordnut
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    Dual range is referring to the hydramatic trans. The lowest numerical number will be your best highway gear. Axle splines will be the same.
    Neither olds or pontiac are interchangeable with the buick center section. The buick uses a torque tube driveshaft.
     
  8. strait8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2014
    Posts: 136

    strait8
    Member
    from Skokie, IL

    I am trying to eliminate the torque for obvious reasons. I am curious about the interchangeability of the Pontiac and Olds carriers between years as well as makes AND whether or not the different style rear ends can be adapted to my Buick frame. I was aware that the Pontiac and Olds rear ends are open driveline but not aware that the rear ends were of 2 different styles coil/leaf. Can the carriers be interchanged both between makes, styles, years? Is one style better than the other or more available?
     
  9. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,618

    48fordnut
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    39 56 Olds and Pontiac interchange, no difference as I know. You will also have to change the trans to open drive also.
     
  10. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,178

    55chieftain
    Member

    My pontiac was 10 spline axles and olds are 16 spline. Side gears are intetchangable though
     
  11. ^^^^ yup but the good news is olds/pontiac spider gears interchange letting you run the axle shafts you already have.
     
  12. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,618

    48fordnut
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I used a 39 Pont 3.90 gear in my 50 Olds.
     
  13. To add to what others have posted:
    - All Pontiac 39-56 have 10-spline side gears.
    - Oldsmobile 16-spline side gears began somewhere in the early 50s.
    - 1956 Pontiac switched to a modern-style U-joint yoke. You can select a rear U-joint to match, or you can change the yoke for the early style.
     

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