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Technical Torque tubes and rear ends

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by BigBuford, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. BigBuford
    Joined: Jan 18, 2021
    Posts: 20

    BigBuford

    I have a ‘50 Styleline Deluxe 2 door. I would like to update it somewhat. I am concentrating the rear end. I keep seeing talk about torque tubes and what not. What is a torque tube? What is the difference between these 1950 driveshafts and more modern driveshafts? I’ve seen talk of using camaro rear ends and I’ve seen talk of using S10 rear ends. Now, I am a man of pretty basic self taught mechanic means. I have the tools, and the means (I hope) Which set up is the easiest way to go for a guy that is not an ace mechanic? Thanks!!!
     
  2. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,419

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

  3. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,617

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Torque tube rear axle has a long solid tube that goes from the back of the transmission to the rear axle. The drive shaft goes inside it. The drive shaft has only one universal joint, at the front. The torque tube pivots on a ball joint at the front, attached to a frame crossmember. This anchors the rear axle assembly and stops it moving forward or backward. The springs are arranged so the axle can float, they do not locate the axle like a regular open drive rear axle.
    Torque tube drive was used by Ford Mercury and Lincoln up to 1948, Buick to 1959 and Chevrolet to 1954. If you install an open drive rear axle in one of those you have to rearrange the rear suspension to locate the axle.
    Torque tube drive also used on Nash and AMC cars to the mid sixties and many older cars not worth going into here.
     
  4. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,871

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Also note that the transmission you have will not work with an "open" driveshaft. You will need a transmission that uses what is called a slip yoke. The slip yoke provides for the changing distance between the rear axle and the transmission as the rear suspension compresses and rebounds.
     

  5. BigBuford
    Joined: Jan 18, 2021
    Posts: 20

    BigBuford

    Unfortunately, after I aquired the car, and before I got to jack her up and give her a good lookin’ at, I fractured some vertebrae and some ribs, along with a choice few other injuries at work. (by the way I now know that it hurts to have a pick up bed to fall on your back) I did get to take a few downtown drives before the two old tires on the front exploded. Luckily, they waited to explode in the driveway. They just exploded sitting there. Sorry that was a bit of a ramble.
     
  6. BigBuford
    Joined: Jan 18, 2021
    Posts: 20

    BigBuford

    Now THAT I am familiar with. I’ve replaced a few u joints and drive shafts in my time.
     
  7. If you update one of the easier swaps is a 55-57 Chevy rearend.Redrill a hole for the spring center bolt. If your keeping the 6 cylinder add a 55 up 3speed trans,or put a T5 in it,and have overdrive.
     
  8. Note redrilling for the center bolt. In my old 54 I moved the axle around 3 times be fore I liked how the wheel and tire looked in the opening. The stock spring pin is offset not centered like say a Nova.
     
  9. BigBuford
    Joined: Jan 18, 2021
    Posts: 20

    BigBuford

    Also, is there a “modern” engine that will bolt up to the factory 3 on the tree trans? Doesn’t matter if it’s a 4/6/8 cylinder, honestly.
     
  10. BigBuford
    Joined: Jan 18, 2021
    Posts: 20

    BigBuford

    Ok allow me to rephrase. Will anything other than a 216 235 bolt up? If so, what are my options?
     
    firstinsteele likes this.
  11. Reading through your questions my best advice is for you to decide how much and exactly "How" your going to try to drive this thing. One change always leads to another. Avoid the mess and make a Package move meaning all 3 items, Motor, Trans and rear Axle. Now your building a Car not a Headach. The other option and nothing wrong with it to stay 6 Cyl. Lot's of good options there also.
     
  12. P.S. Scrap the 216 for a 235 if your staying 6cyl.
     
  13. Rusty Heaps
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 870

    Rusty Heaps
    Member

    Don’t throw away the 216, they’re good little engines, just not hotrod material, or capable of handling today’s highway speeds without some help. My ‘ 50 Fleetline 4 door has one and is a fine cruiser!
     
  14. Only other engine family that has the same bellhousing pattern is the GMC six from the same general time era as your car (228, 236, 248, 270, 302, might have forgot some sizes). GMC six is longer than the Chevrolet six. Not a direct bolt in. But lot easier than other engines.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  15. BigBuford
    Joined: Jan 18, 2021
    Posts: 20

    BigBuford

    Yeah I’m not planning on driving on the highway, just cruising around town.
     
  16. Rusty Heaps
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 870

    Rusty Heaps
    Member

    A simple and cheap way to make your car a little better as far as attaining a higher rate of speed is to find a ‘51-‘54 rear end from an automatic transmission Chevrolet vehicle. The gear ratio is a bit lower than the standard transmission car. Also it will have Bendix brakes instead of Huck, better stopping!
     
  17. BigBuford
    Joined: Jan 18, 2021
    Posts: 20

    BigBuford

    Lol as slow as this car goes, there’s no worries about stopping power haha!
     

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