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Technical 1954 bel air S10 rear end swap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Robert Braun, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. Robert Braun
    Joined: Apr 7, 2018
    Posts: 23

    Robert Braun

    I have a 54 chevy and I am putting a 350 in it. I have seen many posts about using an S10 4x4 rear end with the drum brakes. Nobody has stated what years of s10 will work. Anyone know?
     
  2. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,099

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Get a copy of this book before you buy any 10 bolt rear end and it should answer any question you have. Amazon has them or you can check with your local bookstores. Its not just about rebuilding, but tells what the differences are (stronger/weaker) and what vehicles have which ones.

    Chevy Differentials 1 001.jpg
     
    Robert Braun likes this.
  3. msgt tank
    Joined: Aug 14, 2018
    Posts: 61

    msgt tank

    just my 2 cents. a chevy 55 to 57 axle bolts in. we got a 57 chevy rear with 3.48 gears for 50 bucks. much less hassle and a cool vintage part. i know you asked about a s10 diff, just being helpful.
     
    Robert Braun and irishsteve like this.
  4. S10 4x4"s used two types. The 8.5 was found around 1999-2000 its the good one,but hard to find since the 4 wheelers know that.The other is the 7.5 rear.Not really strong. Take a tape measure along as some rears are 60 inches,and some are 54.Dont eye ball at the wreaking yard. I would use a 55-57 Chevy,and redrill the spring pad myself.
     
    Robert Braun likes this.

  5. krgdowdall
    Joined: Apr 3, 2015
    Posts: 108

    krgdowdall
    Member
    from Alberta

    With the 7.5 inch get 92 and newer . They have better wheel cylinders that bolt in rather than a retaining clip.
    May also end up with the better 7.625 inch gear and 28 spline axles ( stronger )
    You may find a 4X4 S10 with a 8.5 in rear end but I believe they are too wide for your application.
     
    Robert Braun likes this.
  6. A 60" wide at the wheel mount surfaces will probably be too wide for even 5" wide rims. I believe the 2WD S-10 rears were all 54", That would give you wiggle room for7" or maybe 8" rims. Spend some time under the car with a tape measure. Take the tires and wheels off so you can determine how much room there is from inside the body. Take away an inch from each side and look at tire dimensions and wheel front space and back space to see if there is a magical combination to fill the available space.

    You will find have a lot more success with your hands on, and it's a lot cheaper knowing what you need.
     
    Robert Braun likes this.
  7. FRANK GRELLE
    Joined: Oct 15, 2018
    Posts: 123

    FRANK GRELLE
    Member

    I have a a 67 -69 fire bird rear in mine its the same as the camaro, I believe they are the same to 1980 ,its a leaf spring car ,I don't know if its true but ,I did here some one say a camaro one will bolt in with the factory perches but has to be shimmed, so that would have to be confirmed by some one who has done that. Any 58 to 60 inch rear will fit, but like Chops said you may want to go to the narrow side if you want wide tires, i am running 215-70 r 14 on mine atm,I may go to a 15 rim in the future ,i had them on it years ago, and had no problems, one other thing if you are thinking of beefing up the engine ,you are gonna want a Waltons fab. rear shock mount 3rd member or you may put a shock thru your trunk floor as i did once, They have a nice bolt in one. good luck ,keep us posted on your build.
     
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  8. Robert Braun
    Joined: Apr 7, 2018
    Posts: 23

    Robert Braun

    Cool. Thanks I will do that. Can't have too much knowledge.
     
  9. Robert Braun
    Joined: Apr 7, 2018
    Posts: 23

    Robert Braun


    No I appreciate all input. I said S10 because thats what I see referenced mostly. Its not a show car or a racer. Just want a nice little cruiser that sounds healthy and can drive on the highway. Im in search of the easiest cheapest way but don't want to do a rigged hack job if that makes sense. I will possibly put a small notch in the frame to get a lower static drop until I can afford bags. Not sure if that makes a difference on what rearend to use. Shouldn't anyways.
     
  10. Robert Braun
    Joined: Apr 7, 2018
    Posts: 23

    Robert Braun

    Not too awful worried about strength because I'm not a racer or burnout junkie. I might be after I get that 350 in there.lol. seriously though its just a cruiser so I'm not looking for an over beefy set up. Just the best and cheapest way without sacrificing safety or it breaking all the time.
     
  11. Robert Braun
    Joined: Apr 7, 2018
    Posts: 23

    Robert Braun

    Awesome. I appreciate the info
     
  12. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,676

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The 2WD rear will leave the wheels, of most any width, hitting the inner wheel houses.

    The 4x4 rear is actually a little narrow. On the last one of these I did, I used a 1976 Nova rear axle, which is 60-1/4" wide, or a full 2-1/4" wider than an S10 4x4 rear.
     
    Nostrebor likes this.
  13. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,622

    fastcar1953
    Member

    i went to junkyard and got a 2wd s10 rear. unknown year. I'm running a 8 inch wheel with 4.5 backspace and a 235 70 15 tire fits great unless you lower it more than a inch. old build pic 154440_528236287200662_742765920_n.jpg same wheels with stock rear 108183630_3426120087412253_1393176398536408011_n.jpg
     
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  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,676

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't believe that is a 2wd rear.

    Did you measure the overall width?
     
  15. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,622

    fastcar1953
    Member

    as far as i know its a 2wd. i didnt pull it. i asked for a 2wd. will measure later today ,as its been a few years since i bought it.
     
  16. bschwoeble
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 695

    bschwoeble
    Member

    ekimneirbo
    The best advice I've seen on the HAMB in a long time. Buy the book.
     
    Robert Braun likes this.
  17. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,204

    Nostrebor
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Guessing it will be just short of 60" WMS to WMS, which is the typical 4x4 S10 rear. I have the same thing under my 51. You don't want the ZR2 rear, as it is 4" wider. 2wd is just short of 56" WMS to WMS.

    S10 will be fine for a cruise around car. At least I hope so!;)
     
    Robert Braun likes this.
  18. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,622

    fastcar1953
    Member

    mine has 52 back plate to back plate s10.
     
  19. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,030

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Backing plate to backing plate is a totally meaningless measurement. That would mean you have an S 10 4x4 rear that is 60 inches wide though.
    55/57 rears are getting as rare as rocking horse crap around here. What few are floating around have too high of a price.
    S-10 4x4 aren't real spendy and a bit of hunting finds decent gear ratios.
    68/79 Nova and It's same body different brand clones are 60.25 and are easy to find most of the time but usually have 2 something or 3.0 gears.
    These weld on axle seats have the offset hole to position the rear correctly in the wheel well and are the correct 1-3/4 wide. They also are the right height to compensate for the swivel mount on the closed drive to keep from getting the stink bug butt up in the air look unless you want that look. They are for truck but should fit cars fine. https://www.classicparts.com/1947-54-Weld-On-Rear-Axle-Seats/productinfo/93-317/
     
  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,676

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Unless your brake shoes are <1" wide, that's a 4x4 rear.
     
  21. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,622

    fastcar1953
    Member

    so maybe it was. it has been awhile since i got it.
     
  22. 500caddy
    Joined: Feb 8, 2019
    Posts: 92

    500caddy

    I have one out of a 1996 jimmy 4x4 in mine 265’s on 10” rims with radiused wheel wells


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app[​IMG]
     

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