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49-54 chev driveline compatability question.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Carguy365-24-7, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Carguy365-24-7
    Joined: Mar 25, 2006
    Posts: 909


    I have an all stock '49 fleetline with 216 and a 3 speed.I'd like to bring the rpm's down a little and make it a little more highway friendly.I have located a complete driveline from a '54 with a 3 speed .I'm thinking of pulling the differential and driveshaft out and putting the '54 in and using the '54 backing plates . I'd put the '54 3 speed in (better bearings?) and by using the '54 rear with 3.70 ratio it should do the job right? I can also get the front suspension but I already put '52 front brakes in ( huge difference) and could lower it by an inch or so and I guess it doesen't hurt to have extra parts around ....Long term plans include putting a 261 in (it's already on a stand in my garage) but am not sure if just a gear change would make enough difference or if I should go with a t5?I've read enough threads on here on this subject but would like to get more advise....Paul
  2. slammed49
    Joined: Sep 22, 2006
    Posts: 283


    I did basically the same with my 216/3speed 49 Sedan but I used a 54 Powerglide rear that has 3.54 ratio...will cruise 65-70 MPH easy...I have a 235 on the engine stand when the 216 dies...
  3. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 894

    Dave Downs
    from S.E. Penna

    Pull the complete rear from the '54 - you cannot swap backing plates on the rears to convert to Bendix brakes - the offset of the backing plates are different, plus the rivet holes are also different.

    Front backing plates will swap by using the later ('51-'54) spacers
  4. Carguy365-24-7
    Joined: Mar 25, 2006
    Posts: 909


    Thanks guys ! I'm glad I asked,it saved me a bunch of fooling around.

  5. I put a 54 powerglide rearend under my 50, used the original bellhousing/flywheel, and a 55 235, it bolted right in....
    Cruises great on the highway.

    Im new to this, but so far i like my torque tube and 3 on the tree. As long as i run a straight 6, dont feel the need to change. Ive heard that 53-54 transmissions are a bit tougher, so ive got my eye out for one to use when mine implodes. Sure ill find one for next to nothin, and itll bolt right in.

    Ive been thinking of doing this, i dont wanna slam the Fiddy, but a bit of rake would be nice. Curious to see how it looks, if noticable....
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008

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