The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by project 41, Apr 30, 2012.
would like some ideas on the best rear axle to use in a 41 chevy converting to open drive line
I have a mid 70's camaro rear end mounted on a chassis engineering rear spring kit.
60 inch hub to hub rear and use an aftermarket leaf spring kit, I used a Chassis Engineering kit on mine also.
If you want to stay with the 6 bolt pattern on the wheels, an Isuzu rear end out of a mid 90's Rodeo or Honda Passport will work great. The secret is, Isuzu used a Dana 44 rear end (built in the USA) with disc brakes for this application. It's under 60" hub face. Uses Spicer u-joints.
i am kinda wanting to use 6 lug and the original springs.
There's an issue with using the original springs with a replacement axle, due to the width of the springs as well as that the original design hinged the rear spring to the axle to allow the two to have relative motion. As a result of the hinge, there is no center pin in the rear leaf spring pack. You can try to drill the spring pack to install a center pin, but you'll end up tearing up a bunch of bits and losing the heat treat on the spring.
It's very likely easier and less expensive (and safer) to purchase and install a well-engineered replacement rear spring set instead of trying to make the old springs work.
This is in error regarding "no center pin in the rear leaf pack". There IS a bolt (pin) through the leaf pack.....it is forward of center about 1 1/2" of the axle centerline (because of the mentioned 'pivoting' mount) and is usable for locating a replacement axle if you keep the original springs. You merely drill a hole in the spring pad on the axle 1 1/2" forward of axle centerline.
However, I agree with those who recommend a spring upgrade, mostly to improve the ride quality of your car over the old stock springs. Many years ago I put a Nova axle under a '41 Chev Convertible and used the Monoleaf springs and built new forward spring hanger brackets and at the back, if memory serves, used a pickup truck hanger bracket and shackle. Worked very nicely. On the other hand, if Chassis Engineering makes a kit for your car, that would be a very good choice to consider. I have used their products too, and think they are very good.
if i use a 55-57 rear axle doesnt it have the same spring width? 13/4 i see that the spring bolt is 11/2 inches forward of center
Hnstray, I knew when I typed that out that something didn't feel right about it. Thanks for the correction.
i thought you could put a 55-57 center section in an earlier rear..
but I may be wrong.
I used a 78 camaro rear in my old 47 coupe..
Thinking back ,I had a '41 coupe that I put a '56 chevy pass. rear under, same pad width but redrilled for the center pin . Seems like it was about 1 1/2" forward but the tires still were plenty close at the front of the rear fender lips. I solved that by recutting the openings to match the tire radius. I home built some rear wheels using a pair of Buick outers and a Chevy center, I doubt that a guy could even find a pair of Buick outers these days. I was a fun little coupe with a built 272 with 2 fours and a green stripe duntov, 3 speed and a 3:90 rear screw. Good luck with your project and have fun !!
sounds like a cool car i didnt realize the 55-57 chevy rear was the same pad width if that is right it would be a simple install.
My coupe has a 55 olds axle that my dad put in it when he had the car. the leaf springs were toast when i got the car, not to mention they were not stock and I couldn't figure out what they were off of. (Longer than stock but same width.) Anyway here is what I had to do to get the axle centered in the wheel well.
1. Ordered stock springs from St. Louis spring with 3" drop.
2. Switched from spring mounts. (these were switched when Dad put the axle under the car to match up to the perches on the 55 olds. Switching front spring mounts can move the offset from inside frame rails to outside frame rail.
3. The axle perches were drilled 1" forward to move axle back but this was not enough. I moved the front spring mounts back until they hit the emergency brake cable lines on either side. this put the wheels right in the middle of the wheel well.
Not sure if this is needed for 55-57 chevy, but moving front spring mounts was relatively easy.
Same rearends that fit 49-54 Chevy cars:
- 55-57 Chevy car
- 70-81 Camaro/Firebird
- 82-up S10 4x4
- certain '70s Nova
- 1977-1989 GM Midsize (Monte Carlo, etc.)
The first two you can make the stock perches work. The others, you need to move or add perches for the springs.
It may be possible to cob up something with a squarebody Chevy 4x4 rear axle and drum set on a narrower car 10-bolt to get the six-lug bolt pattern, but it's likely more work than it's worth.
A Colorado axle is a very good fit width wise and has the 6 lug pattern. Spring perches need ot be moved though.
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