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350 and a 54 chevy rear end???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by roose moose, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. roose moose
    Joined: Feb 1, 2011
    Posts: 11

    roose moose
    Member

    Is it possible to put in a 350 sb and a turbo 350 tranny to a stock drive shaft and original rear end or do I have to get a different rear end that came out of a chevy that had a 350? If so what rear end should i look for?
     
  2. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 862

    Dave Downs
    Member
    from S.E. Penna

    The rear does not care what type of engine/transmission is in front of it, ecxept for strength factors as might be required by increased horsepower.

    Your real problem lies in the TYPE of rear that a '54 Chevy has; it is a 'closed drive shaft torque-tube type' which is actually a type of rear suspension as well as a method of transmitting power to the rear wheels. I don't know if you are asking the question in anticipation of purchasing a '54 Chevy or if you already have it. If you have one, I'd suggest taking a good look at the driveline.

    You will have to convert the rear to an 'open driveline' with the rear totally supported by the rear leaf springs in place of the torque-tube which is partly supported by the rear of the transmission as I don't think anyone makes an adapter to fit the 350 trans to a Chevy closed drivshaft.
     
  3. roose moose
    Joined: Feb 1, 2011
    Posts: 11

    roose moose
    Member

    Thanks for the quick response. I own the 54 already and yes it has a closed drive shaft torque tube. I was assuming I would have to get rid of the drive shaft but my question now would be how to convert to a open driveline and keep the same rearend.
     
  4. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,355

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Is this your first project? First off, don't even think about trying to use the original rear axle. This is an easy swap, far and away the easiest part of what you say you want to do. A Chev 350 with a 350, or 700R is as simple as it gets, you can go shopping with a credit card and a Speedway catalogue (or the back of Street Rodder, Rod&Custom, or any other popular magazine) and have engine mounts, trans mounts, etc., on your doorstep in a day.

    Sounds like you are a novice, don't make it hard on yourself. Do a search here for info. Scrounge up an S10 4x4 rear axle, some new spring pads (the locater holes need to be 1 1/2" ahead of the axle tube center). Make sure, before you tear apart a running car (if it's running) that you have the neccessary basic tools, a plan, and the determination to turn the car into a pile of stuff that you'll be able to put back together.

    Brian
     
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  5. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,529

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You can't convert to an open driveline and keep the '54 rear end. You need a later open drive rear end and a new driveshaft to connect to the transmission.

    Measure the width from wheel mount surface to wheel mount surface then measure the distance from spring perch to spring perch and find a new rear end that comes close. If i remember right the early Camero ten bolt rears are almost a bolt in.
     
  6. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    I just put in a rear end from a 79 Chevy full size car into my 51 Chevy. Its almost a bolt in, and its the perfect width. Its also a 10 bolt posi and will take anything a stock 350 can put out.
     
  7. Rockit53
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 115

    Rockit53
    Member

    There is a ton of information available about these swaps. Do a search here and check out 50chevy.com, there is detailed info on the swap and options. I put a 327/th350 in my '53 and i'm using a '55 rear end. I had the original springs in and drilled new locator holes in the spring pad, it worked fine, but the springs were shot. I bought new ones, with the locator pin already moved and the original locator holes on the pad, and it centered the wheels in fender well nicely. good luck
     
  8. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,666

    lawman
    Member

    What they said is very good advise !!!!!!
     
  9. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,819

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO

    I hate to say can't, but it would be cost prohibitive for sure.
    I doubt you could get it adapted and fabricated up cheaper than I swapped in a s10 4x4 rear. Shorten a junkyard driveshaft and you're in business.
     
  10. roose moose
    Joined: Feb 1, 2011
    Posts: 11

    roose moose
    Member

    Thanks for the advice. Im trying to make a decision on keeping the straight six or going with a 350. My brother inlaw has a truck that used to belong to me that has a good running 350 with a mild cam. Im thinking about buying back the motor and trans. No this is not my first project I had a 68 impala that I switched the 327 with a 350. Wasnt to hard but this is my 2nd real project and I want to get it right and not have it up as a parted out rat rod on craigslist.
     
  11. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,127

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    Actually, there is a way to do this and keep the stock 54 axle HOUSING. The real problem is finding a 53 CORVETTE third member that's needed, and then dealing with the cost of buying one. You would also need to re-bracket the axle swivels to make them spring pads. BUT, it can be done; it's just not practical. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  12. roose moose
    Joined: Feb 1, 2011
    Posts: 11

    roose moose
    Member

    im not that adamant about keeping the stock rear end im just on a budget but thanks
     
  13. Snarl
    Joined: Feb 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,639

    Snarl
    Member


    There is no way to switch out the tube/shaft for a later "drop out" center section on the '54-earlier car rearends, other than possibly the '53-54 Corvette center, but I'm not even sure about that. Besides, that rearend can't handle any real amount of HP anyway...

    This is possible with the truck rearends, but not the cars. Sorry.

    A '55-57 car rearend is the closest thing to a direct swap, but even then you will need to do something different for the lower shock mount plate. Many other rearend choices will work too, but you will need to change the spring perches on the rearend as well with those.

    If going V8 & automatic, you will also need to consider motor & trans mounts, exhaust & steering clearance, firewall brace modifications, converting car to 12 volts, shifter, emergency brake, installing engine and pinion angles correctly,and many many other issues that will need to be handled correctly to do this engine/driveline swap. Switching out a 327 for a 350 in a '68 Impala is nothing like what you are contemplating doing to your '54. Find someone locally who has done similar things and have them help you through it all and make sure you are mentally commited to see things though or you will end up on craigslist....
     
  14. gsport
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 679

    gsport
    Member

    i used a S10 blazer 4x4 rearend in my 50'.. perfect width, just had to cut off the spring perches and weld on new ones....
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Early 70s Novas and their Poncho and Buick equivalents are a good fit
     
  16. So are you guys using the springs off the donor car, or keeping the stock ones and just redrilling?
     
  17. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,684

    biscaynes
    Member

    2nd gen camaro bolts right in, just redrill the centering hole 1.5" ahead
     
  18. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,819

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO

    just drill a new hole in the perch, done. donor car springs are too wide to use without changing hangers. or use posies springs, they account for that,
     
  19. Mine has stock springs with the Nova rear

    Another option I learned from Choprods is FRONT springs off a Ramcharger. 2" wide and FLAT for instant drop, they come in 3 and 5 leaf packs. I have a set wating to install.
     
  20. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,819

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO


    I've read if you swap them eye to eye, it can also make up the difference. but I can drill a hole faster than I can change leaf springs.

    Posies springs almost eliminated the wicked wheel hop I had at first.
     
  21. OldBuzzard
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 878

    OldBuzzard

    The stock springs are not made to take the twist the rear end applies. That was the function of the TORQUE tube. If you are careful they will work for a while but power applied suddenly through tires that bite well can cause some big, noisy surprises.
     
  22. I redrilled offset holes in some 1" pads

    And any spring is better than those wimpy 1 3/4" stockers!
     
  23. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,117

    Lobucrod
    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    What he said. No cutting and rewelding the spring pads necessary.
     

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