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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to freshen up the stock rear end in my '55. I was thinking axle bearings, pinion seal, gaskets, etc.

What else should I do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mickey,

It's a total frame off restoration so I want to take the pumpkin out and powdercoat the housing, freshen it up, and put disc brakes on it.

It looks like I may end up having around 400 rwhp, but the car will not have big tires and I don't intend to beat on it but I would like the stock rear to be as fresh as possible.
 

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You`ll know more if there are any signs of excessive wear when you tear it down.

If there are no signs of leaks and theres plenty of fluid, the bearing are not noisy etc etc leave it.

:anim_25: either way you`ve covered every thing make sure theres diff oil in your parts list :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You`ll know more if there are any signs of excessive wear when you tear it down.

If there are no signs of leaks and theres plenty of fluid, the bearing are not noisy etc etc leave it.

:anim_25: either way you`ve covered every thing make sure theres diff oil in your parts list :)
I like this approach. So many times I've taken things to the extreme when it would have been fine to just clean it and go.
 

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You may want to have a look at the carrier bearings before deciding to replace them. They aren't often worn. Same with the pinion bearings.

Look for pits in the rollers or discoloration or other distress in the races.

You'll need to check the backlash before and after, mark the caps and adjusters.

Inspect the ring gear/pinion too for wear.

Even if you've never driven the car with the 3rd member you're using, you can get an idea whether you need a seal or not.

Maybe you should just go through the whole rebuild. New R&P, new bearings, new seals.

If you don't suspect anything wrong, why not just clean up the outside and put it in the car and see how it is? Then fix it later if needed.
 

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Mickey,

It's a total frame off restoration so I want to take the pumpkin out and powdercoat the housing, freshen it up, and put disc brakes on it.

It looks like I may end up having around 400 rwhp, but the car will not have big tires and I don't intend to beat on it but I would like the stock rear to be as fresh as possible.


:tu Now that makes sense....:shakehands:
:gba:
bowtie-trifive
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
If you don't suspect anything wrong, why not just clean up the outside and put it in the car and see how it is? Then fix it later if needed.

Guys,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm so tired of getting bogged down trying to make things "perfect", when all I really want to do is drive the darn car.

Done beats being perfect "someday".

I finally decided that unless one just falls in my lap, I don't really need a posi for this car and I definitely don't want to sink a bunch of money into a single-track pumpkin rebuild, so I'm going to use what I have.

I've got 2 rear ends. The stock rear that came in my car which is a 3:55, and a '57 rear end that I believe is a 3:36 and came out of a really nice restored car that was getting a new 9 inch. It included a nice disc brake setup.

I want to use the 3:55 and will try to just check it out and if it looks good I will just clean it up, new seals, and go.
 

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... I don't really need a posi for this car...
I think that with 400 rear wheel HP, you should have a posi. That's a lot of power. The weakest link in a stock axle is the non-posi carrier. You say you won't beat on it but why have that much HP if you feel like you can't use it at all? I'd go with a new Auburn gear or Eaton posi unit.
 

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A suggestion.

I think that with 400 rear wheel HP, you should have a posi. That's a lot of power. The weakest link in a stock axle is the non-posi carrier. You say you won't beat on it but why have that much HP if you feel like you can't use it at all? I'd go with a new Auburn gear or Eaton posi unit.
We were on the horns of this very dilema, wondering if the time and money already spent on the freshened original rearend, during the frame-off, would be in jeopardy when we upgraded the engine to a 400 hp plant.

Since so few miles had been put on the Chevy axle, we decided to mothball it and procure an "axle cartridge" from a popular and plentiful source that we could beat on to our hearts content without reservation or remorse.

I know one can buy nice shiny stuff and make the early Chevy hold up pretty well, but even in the sixties we were tossing the lightweight Chevy for the Pontiac/Olds hiney, 'cause they could take the punishment in stock form.

We chose the disc brake leaf spring Explorer 8.8 '95-'01. They cost $125 to $250 at Pick-n-Pull. It fits up with new perches, is 59 ½" flange to flange, most are posi, many ratios available, 31 spline, and if your trans is in the stock location, the original driveshaft fits.

With an automatic overdrive we had to shorten the driveshaft a bit. Yes the axle flanges had to be redrilled for the Chevy pattern, and the axles and tubes were flipped (for pinion centering). The core we got had 86K miles on the meter. All tolled it cost $1K, fresh bearings, carbon posi kit, installed. An aftermarket 9" was closer to $3000.

If we break it, no big deal, we'll get another cartridge. I'd hate to break the Chevy, after what we already spent on it.

If you ask how far we got before beating the 8.8 with 400hp...the driveway. Two big fuzzy black marks. Stretched the front end to the limit. With traction bars and 8" slicks, I think it might daylight the front tires.

JMO :anim_25:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Guys, thanks for the advice. I may end up putting another rear in it if I have problems down the road or put a posi in the original housing now if there is a mechanical issue.

Today I took the rear end apart and it turns out that it is the original housing with 3:55 gears and the ring and pinion looked really clean.

Mike B. helped me out big time again by bringing his axle puller over and he had the axles out in 5 minutes. (Thanks man!)

We are going to measure the backlash, but it seems pretty good.
New axle bearings, pinion seal, gaskets, etc. will hopefully do the trick.

 

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We chose the disc brake leaf spring Explorer 8.8 '95-'01.

...the axles and tubes were flipped (for pinion centering).
How difficult was that to do, and how much precision is required?

The 8.8 sounds like a good way to go, considering the low cost. I'm assuming they aren't too hard to find at junkyards.
 

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Degree of difficulty.

Everything but the swapping of the axle tubes and welding of the replacement spring perches can be done by the average hot rodder. The location of the tube cuts has to be perfect, or the drums (or calipers) will be out of whack with the brake shoes (or brake pads). I found a local automotive machine shop that routinely straightened banjo housings for roundy-round racers to do the necessary cutting and welding tasks.

Some folks have used two short-side axles for the mod, but for me, that shortens the assembly and places the backing plates just too darn close to the leaf springs.
 
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