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55 Chevy rear questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Kuperavage55, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Kuperavage55
    Joined: Jul 19, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Kuperavage55
    Member

    During the process of restoring a 55 Chevy, me and my dad kicked around the idea of a rear swap in the car before we start reassembling it. I would like suggestions as to what the best way to go would be. We want something strong that'll last and take a beating if it needed to. The car won't be drag raced but still want something dependable. Something strong and posi for sure! Thanks!
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,760

    squirrel
    Member

    There are lots of possibilities, we'd probably need to know more about how you're building the rest of the car to help you pick the right one. How about some pics and list the other stuff you're doing to it?
     
  3. 57 Olds/Pontiac ;)
     
  4. Kuperavage55
    Joined: Jul 19, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Kuperavage55
    Member

    The car itself is going back to original. I'm looking at a billit wheel package for it. I have a 355 sbc that being dropped into it with a super t10 behind it. A rear a couple inches shorter would be ideal.
     

  5. This sounds better here. Wink wink hint hint.
     
  6. Kuperavage55
    Joined: Jul 19, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Kuperavage55
    Member

    We bought a posi center for the original rear only to find out the spider gears are wiped. From what I have been hearing about the stock rears they aren't dependable.
     
  7. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962

    davidbistolas
    Member

    2nd Gen Camaro rears are (probably) a bolt in swap.
     
  8. Chevy Gasser
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 700

    Chevy Gasser
    Member

    A stock rearend can take quite a bit. It could handle up to 350 hp with no problems. Automatic transmissions are a bit easier on rearends also. But you say you will be running a Super T-10 transmission, if you start thrashing it that may create problems. To swap something much stronger is going to cost though. I don't think you will gain anything by going to a 10 bolt rearend. A 12 bolt posi will get expensive, quick. Ford 9" is a good way to go but that won't be cheap either.
     
  9. 2nd Gen Nova with 8.5 is what I think your refering too.
     
  10. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,492

    Torkwrench
    Member

    The 55 - 64 Chevy rear axel really is a pretty good design. The posi's are stronger that the open rear ends, though. Actually the 57 - 64 Chevy posi units are basically the same as was used in 8 3/4 Chrysler rear ends, (and Dana 44's?). The main difference is that these used finer spline axel shafts, than Chevys did. Thanks to the rock crawler guys, new posi units are available.

    The Chevy rear axel bearings are VERY expensive, but Moser offers axel ends that will replace the stock Chevy bearings with big Ford/57-64 Pontiac,Olds bearings. Of course this would require custom axel shafts.

    The later center pumpkins are a bit heavier than 55-56 ones. For heavy drag racing the bearing caps should be reinforced. Bearing cap straps are also available.

    To install a posi directly into a 55-56 Chevy rear axel, the axel shafts will need to be shortened.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,760

    squirrel
    Member

    Yeah, the 71-81 Camaro rear is probably a good choice. It's a 8.5" 10 bolt that's almost the same width as the stock rear. I'd put the correct perches on it instead of trying to bolt it in as is. They came in lots of ratios and with or without posi, and some had disc brakes. Beware they are getting old, 30-40 years old, and they have problems like occasionally cracked pinion teeth, and often worn axles.
     
  12. Kuperavage55
    Joined: Jul 19, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Kuperavage55
    Member

    What ford rears work?
     
  13. Still running stock unit under my car 3:55's with a 4 Gear. Run Radials, don't dump the clutch, and avoid wheel hop. Don't Ask :eek:
     
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,760

    squirrel
    Member

    Not too many of them work "as is". I'm running a 9" in my 55, but it doesn't have many Ford parts in it.
     
  15. Kuperavage55
    Joined: Jul 19, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Kuperavage55
    Member

    That's the problem Johnny gee.........I want be able to dump the clutch or just cruise. I want it to hold up to whatever I throw at it. No drag racing but car cruises for sure.
     
  16. Kuperavage55
    Joined: Jul 19, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Kuperavage55
    Member

    I herd something about a 57-59 ford bolt right in.
     
  17. Old Dude
    Joined: May 12, 2006
    Posts: 193

    Old Dude
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    It is according to how you drive it. If you back up, then throw it into forward gear, that is mis- treating it. I have a '57 Chevy. 325 gear, and has been in my '39 Chevy. fo well over 30 years. The only trouble I had was a Wheel Bearing went out on me about Ten years ago, on the way back from NSRod NATs in Louiseville, Ky. My buddy Carlos took care of me, as he sold his '32 Ford roadster, and he hauled it home for me. I was trashing him all the way down, for Towing his car, will never do again. I run a '64 327 c i / 202 heads, Crane Cam, and some machine work done on heads. It runs strong enough for the streets for me. It has been everywhere, and that was the only trouble I have had. Now if you are going to drag race, you need a 9" Ford. Cruise On.
    Old Dude.
     
  18. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,492

    Torkwrench
    Member


    Unless you plan to run a set of slicks, or really sticky street tires, a well rebuilt 55 Chevy rear axel should be good. For cruising a 3:36 rear would be a good choice, while 4:56's would be better for dumping the clutch.
     
  19. I made referance to the Nova because I think it's narrower. Don't hold me to it though. I do more keyboard wrenching than real wrenching anymore.
     
  20. PaRatRod
    Joined: Jul 13, 2010
    Posts: 142

    PaRatRod
    Member

    Ford Explorer rear- it is the correct width. Weld on new perches and bolt it in. Cheap, plentiful, and strong. Can even get them with disc brakes!
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Kuperavage55
    Joined: Jul 19, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Kuperavage55
    Member

    To old dude: The car is my dads baby. It's wont get beat at all. He just wants the reassurance that if he jumps on the throttle the rears going to take the abuse. The 355 I have was in my dirt track car. Completely rebuilt with lightweight crank and rods. Mahle pistons 202 heads with bowl work. I won many races with the Motor and it has a lot of ass.
     
  22. Kuperavage55
    Joined: Jul 19, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Kuperavage55
    Member

    He wants to run 3:55 gears in it
     
  23. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962

    davidbistolas
    Member

    Nope. 2nd Gen Camaro. Here's my thinking. Tri Five rear ends are a perfect fit for open drive conversions on pre-tri chevies like my '51. Perches land right on the springs.

    I know from experience that a 2nd gen camaro does too.

    Therefore, a 2nd gen camaro rear end should fit under a tri-five.

    Never tried it myself, but I'm trying to be logical...
     
  24. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,492

    Torkwrench
    Member


    That would be a good compromise between the two.
     
  25. It's all good. I should have mentioned the overall width between the two. Anyway's, here's a usefull chart. You'll see the Camaro is 2 1/4" wider than the Nova
    http://carnut.com/specs/rear.html
     
  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,760

    squirrel
    Member

    Almost...different wheel bolt pattern, and it's tough to find some of the brake parts for them (drums). I dont know if the spring perches are in exactly the right place. And it's about 2" narrower than the original Chevy rear. Which may be a good thing.

    One thing you need to do is figure out what wheels/tires are going on it, and make sure they're going to work with whatever rear you get. Any kind of wide tire is a tight squeeze in these cars unless you cut out the fenders. And if you do that, you pretty much have to run the Olds/Pontiac rear. and no billet wheels.
     
  27. PASTDUEBILL
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 825

    PASTDUEBILL
    Member

    How do you keep the driveshaft from thumping the tunnel with a chunk that is 6 to 8 inches off center?
     
  28. "Oh the Horror"

    [​IMG]
     
  29. PASTDUEBILL
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 825

    PASTDUEBILL
    Member

    "It made a sound, like a dump truck falling off the Empire State Building" - Large Marge
     
  30. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    More like 2" off center. And just as strong as any 12 bolt . Also you don't have to pay outragous prices the restorers are getting for 12 bolts.

     

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