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Technical '39 Chevy Driveline Update

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bill Mundt, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Bill Mundt
    Joined: Sep 14, 2016
    Posts: 6

    Bill Mundt

    Sorry if this question has been discussed before. I'm replacing the driveline in my stock '39 Master Deluxe. Rather than sitting, I want to use the car as a daily driver. Want more power, better economy, and reliability for years to come. I'll put the original 216 on a shelf, or maybe make it a coffee table. Up grading to a 235 or better, so out goes the torque tube. However, I want to keep the 6 lug wheels - too much invested in two complete sets of rims and tires. Besides, 17" GM artillery wheels look great! Plan is to have the axle drilled for six lug. What rear end should I look for? What later model will fit? Any help will be appreciated!
     
  2. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 6,805

    mr.chevrolet
    Member

    late 60's chevy truck was 6 lug, also mazda truck
     
  3. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,699

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I doubt your '39 wheels are 17". Besides that, I've got no help for you. My '39 Chevy got all new front end, rear end, engine and transmission. Made for one of my favorite cars I've owned.
     
  4. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,214

    F&J
    Member

    If it were me, I'd see if you can find out the flange-to-flange width of a 64-69 Chevy half ton pickup. These are 1.5" narrower than 70-up pickup.

    They can be found with a 3.07 ratio mostly on an A/T equipped (67-68-69 would be more likely to have that). Most standard trans will be 3.73 which is not good enough for interstate freeways.

    You need to measure your sets of wheels, and rear end in the car now, for backspacing, before deciding on what rear width you must have to save your 2 sets of wheels.

    .
     
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  5. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Some Nissan pickups and look at the Colorado/Canyon GMC pickups. Same six lug pattern and easier to find in salvage yards.
     
  6. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,049

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A friend of mine has had this car (1938 Chevy) since right after high school (1962), it is running a 1956 235 engine with the stock drive train. Back in the 60's he drove from Iowa to California and worked there until he got his draft notice. With the stock gears you won't cruise at 70 though:( Please note that this picture was taken a year ago, not 1962:) A local garage did the swap and talked him out of putting a v8 in it. He is extremely happy with it since he has had it longer than his wife! IMG_0525.JPG
     
    wedjim and mgtstumpy like this.
  7. gmpartsgod
    Joined: Jan 22, 2012
    Posts: 51

    gmpartsgod
    Member

    If you keep original closed loop drive find a 50-53 pass car with an automatic they had 350 gears that would be a lot more highway friendly.
     
  8. Bill Mundt
    Joined: Sep 14, 2016
    Posts: 6

    Bill Mundt

    Sounds super! But I didn't say the wheels were '39. I said they were 17" GM Artillery wheels - think they are '37 truck.
     
  9. Bill Mundt
    Joined: Sep 14, 2016
    Posts: 6

    Bill Mundt

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to measure backplate to backplate on the original rear, and find one comparable with the backspace on the wheels.
     
  10. Bill Mundt
    Joined: Sep 14, 2016
    Posts: 6

    Bill Mundt

    Think I'm going to go with a T5 and do away with the torque tube.
     
  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,699

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not all brake assemblies are the same thickness. Measuring between the backing plates is not accurate. You should measure the wheel mounting surfaces.
     
  12. Bill Mundt
    Joined: Sep 14, 2016
    Posts: 6

    Bill Mundt

    OK, thank you!
     

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