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54 Bel Air Rear end. Please Help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by brangs54, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. brangs54
    Joined: Aug 30, 2011
    Posts: 2


    I have a 1954 Chevy Bel Air with a three speed manual trans and a torque tube rear end set up. My friend gave me a complete rear end setup out of the same year car but it was a 2 speed power glide auto trans car. My question,, is the gear ratio different? im looking for a more freeway friendly gear ratio,,,and question two,,,how hard would it be to swap gears from one axle assembly to the other,,,i have an air bag system welded to my current diff in the car and cant simply just change the whole assembly, can anybody help me on advice on my delima??? thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,412


    welcome. give intro,tell about yourself. might get a repair manual. and i would change whole rearend. im guessing easier than swapping gears. your gears are 4.11 and the auto gears are 3.55. post some pics .
  3. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,432


    Nice swap. Change the pumpkin (gear set) and torque tube/drive shaft as a unit.

    Remove wheels and brake drums.

    Drain differential.

    After removing the differential cover, you'll see a spacer block in the center. There is a cylindrical (about 1" dia.) pin that runs through this block, held by a screw.
    First, remove the screw (and lock washer). Then the pin. Then the block.
    (You can rotate things for access. Watch the pinion gears as they may fall out.)

    Each axle is held in place by a C-clip. Push each axle inward (a fraction of an inch) and remove its retainer clip. Now pull the axles outward several inches to clear.

    You can now unbolt and remove the pumpkin/torque tube assembly.
  4. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,662

    from Kent, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    the PG rear should be higher ratio. I just pulled my rearend apart yesterday. it takes a few hours but not to bad (you have remove the rear cover, removed the C clips, slip the axles out a little bit, then unbolt the front cover and pull the torque tube and third member out as a group.

    I have a PG torque tube and third member set up forsale in the classifieds for someone wanting to make their manual car a better driver

  5. engine138
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,732

    from Commack NY

    PG rear end is 3:55
  6. brangs54
    Joined: Aug 30, 2011
    Posts: 2


    Thanks for your advice. I hear ya I have been a little slow getting some pic's together. This is a project that my brother and myself heve been working together on. This is the earliest year car that we have had an so were learning as we go.
  7. Snarl
    Joined: Feb 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,639


    53-54 stick cars were 3.70
    50-54 automatic cars were 3.55

    run the numbers through a gear calculator and I think you will find that your only looking at about a 100 rpm drop @ 60mph....

    If you really want to get the rpms down, you need to consider doing an open rearend driveline swap...
  8. 1bdsinner
    Joined: Jun 6, 2006
    Posts: 544

    from phoenix

    I use to run my 50 fleetline with 3 speed and power glide gear set and roll 70 all day...its a good seet up
  9. waldo53
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 859

    from ID

    This is a great upgrade for any stick shift Chevy 6 cyl, and for the older 4:11 rear ends gives you the same effect as a .86 OD. I ran one way back in the late 50's on my '49 Fleetline and I think it actually made the car quicker on accelleration (lets the engine's torque work better) as well as giving you some extra top end. Be aware though, your speedometer will be reading slow - when the speedometer is reading 55 mph you'll actually be going closer to 63 mph. You can get different speedo gears or have it recallibrated to read right, or just memorize the difference in indicated vs. actual speeds.

    Snarl is correct though, swapping this into a '54 doesn't get you a whole lot.

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