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Projects 57 Chevy Rear End Oil Fill Question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 53CHKustom, May 9, 2015.

  1. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Hi All,

    I have a 57 Chevy rear end in my 53' Chevy. I'm doing some debugging with brakes and already have it on jacks so I was going to take a look at the oil level on the rear end. It has had a small leak on the front bottom housing but it seems to not be as bad right now. I have really limited time left before I have to move from my house and may not have a garage so I wanted to fill the oil or make sure its at the right level while I have this chance. I prefer not to drain all of it right now.

    How do I check the fluid level and fill it to the right amount? I only see a bolt on the rear that I am assuming is a fill plug not a drain plug? Do I fill it to the level of that plug? I've searched very hard and there are no fill plugs or bolts on the top where oil can be poured or on the housing either.

    What type of fluid should I use?

    Thanks. Here is a photo:

    IMG_0674.JPG
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,172

    squirrel
    Member

    85W-90 weight gear oil, GL-4 or 5, fill it to the bottom of the plug hole. Oil comes in 1 quart squirt bottles, it's not very difficult, but be prepared if you accidentally make a mess.
     
  3. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Awesome thank you so much! I'm going to run to NAPA in a little and get that along with some other things.
     
  4. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,076

    Lobucrod
    Alliance Vendor

    Yes that is the fill plug. Fill it through that hole with 90W gear oil till it runs out.
     
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  5. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,588

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    Just wondering;

    How do one get the old out?
    Removing axels and take the front out, tsunami style?
     
  6. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,682

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    And just a small FYI; that rear end housing is not a 57, a 57 would have a drain plug on the bottom; it is a 55 or 56 housing. The third members all interchange 55-64 however. The reason I bring this up is, if you ever have to get axle bearings, you'll find yourself with the wrong ones, they won't fit, if you tell the parts people it's a 57. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
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  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,975

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Unscrew the plug and stick your finger in. If you touch oil it is full. If not squirt oil in until it drips out. Put the plug back. Done.
     
  8. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thank you, I was quoting the previous owner and also thought it looked like a 57. This raises an interesting question, I need to get rear shoes and wheel cylinders. Are the 55 and 56 the same as a 57 for shoes and wheel cylinders?

    Thanks.
     
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,172

    squirrel
    Member

    wheel cylinders should be the same, shoes should be too...are the shoes 1.75" wide?

    To remove the old oil, you use a suction gun and suck it out.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
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    Thanks they are 2 inches in width.
     
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,172

    squirrel
    Member

    might not be 57 then....
     
  12. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    I measured 2" on the current ones and the ones Napa has are 1 3/4 wide which are the same for 55, 56, and 57 on their website. What should I do?

    Is it possible front shoes were put on the rear? I see the front shoes for the 55-57 are 2 inches wide
     
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,172

    squirrel
    Member

    might be a newer rear, they switched to 2" some time around 1959? I know it was 59 on pickups. The same rearend design was used on full size cars from 55-64, although they changed the suspension design in 58 and again in 59.
     
  14. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks, the previous owner just responded and said he only remembers putting stock shoes on there. Should I probably get 59' shoes and hope they are the same? I might be out of time to take my current ones out and make it to NAPA.

    It looks like the 59' 2inch rears are the same exact part number as shoes for the 55-57 fronts.
     
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,172

    squirrel
    Member

    that should work.
     
  16. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    I got 80w-90 valvoline gear oil. Will that work ok?
     
  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,172

    squirrel
    Member

    should be fine.
     
  18. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks!
     
  19. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,588

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    Does it say GL 4? If so it's perfect for rear, if not it will work. But doesn't stay good forever.
    If you put that in , I would put a rearend additive in made for rearends. That would prolong the lifespan of rear and oil.

    But that just how I would do it.
    Squirrel might know better, and I don't even know if you guys use the GL 4 or 5 designation.
    I run GL 4 rear end like in both my gearbox and rearend. But I will be changing my gearbox oil because of my OD, not because of the oil quality.
     
  20. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,885

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    i once had a 3/4-ton econoline van and someone had put all primary shoes on the front axle. that was a real bitch to figure out. moral: something that old you never know what you're getting!
     
  21. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,035

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

    I think you should use the smaller shoe, larger shoe usually larger drum surface. I just put disc on my 59, wish i had looked at the bigger drums on front. I would have tried to swap backing plates on my cars years ago. I don't think you would notice the 1/4 inch difference on the rear shoe, MOST of brakeing is accomplished by FRONT brakes. Squeezing a 1/4 inch wider shoe in a drum/backing plate not made for it is asking for interferance
     
  22. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
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    Thanks, the squirt bottles said "API SERVICES GL-5, GL-4" on the back. I'm guessing it's all good? I already filled it.
     
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  23. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks, I went with 2" wide shoes since that is what was in there. I imagine the rear shoes were at least 10 years old but who knows. I did see grooves in some of the tabs where the shoe rides against. I greased those up well.
     
  24. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
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    I also noticed the bearings seem kind of noisy on both sides when I spin the axles. I'm not sure how quiet they should sound. Does anyone know?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  25. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,588

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    If it said that, all is good and well.
    GL4 and GL5 is the same as Heavy Duty, and to what extend it is that. And it has to be for the extra abuse in a rearend, I was told it's something with the room/gap between teeth is smaller then other gear sets. But I can be miss informed.
     
  26. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,995

    rfraze
    Member

    Next trip to NAPA, get a new bearing that would fit your car and spin it on your fingers. That should tell you how they are supposed to feel.
     
  27. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,975

    Rusty O'Toole
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    Bearings should not make any noise when spun by hand like that.
     
  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,172

    squirrel
    Member

    make sure the noise is coming from the bearings. They should be quiet, but there will be noise from the spider gears turning in the differential.
     
  29. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Thanks, I'm going to shoot a video and post it. The closer I feel I get, the more things I discover ughhh....
     
  30. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    Here is a video I shot last weekend. This was prior to replacing the brake shoes.
    Both sounds sound similar when I spin by hand. I had the old oil in the differential when I did that. When I replaced the oil it sound the same.

     

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