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Hot Rods 1957 Chevy car rear end questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oldwagonlover, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. oldwagonlover
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 219


    Hey guys,

    It's Been a while since I have posted anything.
    I have a couple of questions for you. I am rebuilding a 57 Chevy rear end for my 48 Chevy wagon. I am going to run a 261 Chevy in it.
    Trying to decide what stock new axles to purchase that won't break the bank. The only reason I want to run new axles is for safety.
    Question number two - does anyone have a stock set axles from a build that didn't happen that they may want to sell?
    I am going to run a stock 3:55 third member.
    I have prepped the rear end and am not going to run a 9". I'll purchase New bearings for the axles. Any other input or ideas are welcome.

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  2. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,185


    I don´t think you will break stock axles with a 261. I did break the spider gears in my 56 Chevy, but the gears had been noisy for a while and I did lots of burnouts and hole shot starts and it was living behind a well built 331 small block.
  3. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,111


    You're over thinking it, unless the axels you have are somehow defective. The 57 is a great choice for your application. I had one in my 48 Fleeline, 250/th350. Never a whimper.
  4. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,364


    The price of the axle bearings alone may make you rethink putting new axles in unless they come with them. 57 was a one year deal from what I understand.

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  5. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,177

    from texas

    The 57 is a stronger bearing than 55-6. The spiders are the weak link in these rears. The 57 housing will have a drain plug on bottom of pumpkin housing.
    belair likes this.
  6. I know a man who ran 57 Chevy Jr stockers he says he never broke an axle or any part of a rear.

    I have a 261 in front of a 60 Chevy rear in my 53 Chevy. (My father and I changed it to leafs) I have never had any trouble.

    I have several axle shafts, I am willing to sell, however freight from N.Y. might scarce you.

    55-56 bearing are smaller.

    57-64 are the same.
  7. You are not likely to break an axle shaft before tearing up something else in one of those rears. You would have to be pretty abusive to tear one up with a 261. Just make sure that your shafts are not already damaged and that your bearings are good.
  8. oldwagonlover
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 219


    I Have another question - can you have the original axles checked for structural integrity? Some guys say the axles will be fine. The only reason I ask is because a friend of mine told me a story of one his friends take out four parked cars and his friends wife bought the dash with her face.
    All due to an axle that failed. Thanks for the thoughts and ideas in advance.

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
    Ragmanray likes this.
  9. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,810


    Run the stock axles. You'll be fine.
  10. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,165


    Dont forget the overdrive if you are going to drive it faster than 65 or so. Might want to consider 3.70-3.90 gears if you dont have short tires. the only thing I dont like about those differentials is that the axles are pressed into the housing. if you are really concerned for safety consider a later Nova (or similar) with the C clips. Or put discs on the 57 rear to serve the same purpose
  11. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 9,557

    from Missouri

    This is an aftermarket axle out of the rear of my 62. Sorry not sure what brand.
    jeffd1988 likes this.
  12. oldwagonlover
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 219


    Thanks for all the feedback! It sounds like my axle's should be ok.
    I like the disc brake option for back up safety.

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  13. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,780


    Your 57 complete rear end will be fine for what you need. Just be aware that the 57 is a little different than the 55 and 56 in the bearings it takes, AND 57 axles are already made 1/8 inch shorter for if and when you install a Positraction. 55-56 axles need to be shortened in order to install a Positraction. So, all Tri-Five rear ends are not the same! 55 and 56 also had a thinner case for their third members, as did the 62-64 Chevy II/Nova's, so stay away from them, although they will bolt right in. 57 also has a drain plug in the housing, and that alone makes it more desireable.
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    Oh, and I bought Yukon axles for my 56 rear end in the Delivery; they take a "special" axle stud that's quite a bit different than stock studs; made for an added expense they did't tell me about when I ordered the axles
  14. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,047


    I've been running the same 1959 open 4:11 in my '32 3W behind a hot 301" and the current 294" for the last 45 years, and it's been run hard ; have never broke an axle. On my '57 H top with an oval port 427" & 4spd, I have sheared one axle with no catastrophic effects... I think you'll be fine as is.
  15. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,310

    R Pope

    I put a Posi in a '55 rear 40 years ago and the axles worked fine, no shortening needed. It still works today. Never heard of there being any need for modification.
    SERPENT likes this.
  16. models916
    Joined: Apr 19, 2012
    Posts: 380


    55 axles will interfere with the center cross pin on the positraction unit. They can be installed but would stick out 1/8 and when bolted down will slightly bend the outer plate.
  17. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,106

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    Yup, everything that's been said already is exactly correct.
    Youll be more than fine with stock axles.
    57 is a 1 year only bearing.
    the ring gear is the weak link in those rears, but your motor isn't going to eat that.
  18. oldwagonlover
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 219


    Joined: May 4, 2006
    Posts: 29


    I have a 454 in my 57 Bel Air stock axles and posi rear, burn outs drag racing with slicks and they are fine

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  20. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,909

    dan c

    back in the '60s, a lot of guys ran pretty hot 327s in those cars with no problems.
  21. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,317

    Kan Kustom

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