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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm restoring a '57 3200 for my wife to drive. I want to have this truck very dependable for her. Mostly will be used for around town but maybe an occasional trip to other towns within 200 miles. The powertrain I'm putting in is a 305 tpi / 700R4 out of a '91 Z28 Camaro. I will keep the engine stock. So, it's not going to be a powerhouse by any means.

The PO swapped in a rear end from a '65 GMC pickup and it's a Dana 44 (6-lug). I just removed it and took it down to my rear end guy and he is in the process of dismantling it now. Looks like it needs pretty much everything. The ring gear is pitted really badly. Even the spider gears have some pitting. Most likely needs all the bearings including axle bearings. It's a non-posi 3.54 ratio which is good for the purposes so I'd probably go with that same ratio. (I don't need a posi but an Auburn Gear posi unit is only about $150 more than new spider gears.)

My question is that with the money it's going to take to get this rear all fixed up, would it make sense to just get something else completely for a rear end? Suggestions would be appreciated.

I can afford to do what I need to do but would like to keep it reasonable and have the decision be one that makes sense.
 

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If your talking used, those 78' to 86' (?) Cutlass/Malibu/Regal ten inch rear ends, might be your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If your talking used, those 78' to 86' (?) Cutlass/Malibu/Regal ten inch rear ends, might be your best bet.
I want to keep 6 lugs though.
 

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Rear End

Roger, There is nothing like a Ford 9", but if it is going to be stock anyhow, what happened to the rear end out of the Camaro? You can buy new axles and have them drilled for 6 lug, your pattern. Or, if you have in the back of your mind to go with more HP, I am selling a 78 1 ton Chev. P.U. with a good 454 and turbo 400 for $1500.00 According to the original owner the motor and trans were rebuilt around 35,000 miles ago. I was going to use it in a 68 Camaro but it was stolen so I no longer need it. The truck was stored in the country and thieves took the aftermarket wheels and Mich. tires, the air cleaner, battery, radiator. They started to disassemble the interior, but left the seat and dash cover in the bed of the truck. Let me know if you have any interest and I will tell you the "Rest of the Story".
What ever you end up doing, I know it will be a sweet cruiser for the wife.
Larry From Tulare
The truck is advertised in the Classifieds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roger, There is nothing like a Ford 9", but if it is going to be stock anyhow, what happened to the rear end out of the Camaro? You can buy new axles and have them drilled for 6 lug, your pattern. Or, if you have in the back of your mind to go with more HP, I am selling a 78 1 ton Chev. P.U. with a good 454 and turbo 400 for $1500.00 According to the original owner the motor and trans were rebuilt around 35,000 miles ago. I was going to use it in a 68 Camaro but it was stolen so I no longer need it. The truck was stored in the country and thieves took the aftermarket wheels and Mich. tires, the air cleaner, battery, radiator. They started to disassemble the interior, but left the seat and dash cover in the bed of the truck. Let me know if you have any interest and I will tell you the "Rest of the Story".
What ever you end up doing, I know it will be a sweet cruiser for the wife.
Larry From Tulare
The truck is advertised in the Classifieds.
Sounds like a cool truck but no I'm not interested. When I said "something else completely" I meant the rear end not the truck. Sorry if confused the issue on that. I'll edit my post.
Btw, I only got the engine and transmission out of that Camaro. The rear was not for sale.
It may turn out that best thing to do will be to fix up the Dana 44. Like I said, I can afford to do what's necessary. I would just like to know if there are other options that might be more cost effective or make more sense. If I swap to something else, I think what I would need to find is a rear that is already the right width and already is 6-lug.
 

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Is the wheel stud pattern 6 on 5"? If so, a C-10 12-bolt truck rear end up to 1970 will work, but it may be wider.

But just about any axle can be re-drilled by a competent machine shop. So a 78-80-something G-body rear end that Auggie mentioned above would work. It's a 7.5" or 7.625" 10-bolt depending on the year. Plenty tough for a 305 cruiser with auto trans. And they are dirt cheap because hot rodders don't want them. I sold one a few years ago drum-to-drum with fairly new R+P & bearings, and cast aluminum cover for $175. It was around 57.5" wide (axle to axle wheel mounting surface) and from a 79 Malibu.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is the wheel stud pattern 6 on 5"? If so, a C-10 12-bolt truck rear end up to 1970 will work, but it may be wider.
But just about any axle can be re-drilled by a competent machine shop. So a 78-80-something G-body rear end that Auggie mentioned above would work. It's a 7.5" or 7.625" 10-bolt depending on the year. Plenty tough for a 305 cruiser with auto trans. And they are dirt cheap because hot rodders don't want them. I sold one a few years ago drum-to-drum with fairly new R+P & bearings, and cast aluminum cover for $175. It was around 57.5" wide (axle to axle wheel mounting surface) and from a 79 Malibu.
Thanks. Of those 2 choices, I think I'm better off looking for the pickup 12 bolt. It would more likely have the gear ratio I would want which would be a 3.55 or 3.73. I think most of the G body gears are going to be 2.56 to 3.08. If I had to buy new gears, I might as well put the money into what I've got (I'm leaning towards that at this point).
Btw, I believe the width I would need is 60".
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just curious, Why are you staying 6 lugs?
Because I have a good set of original wheels and my wife likes the look of them with the original small hub caps. Both of us want to keep the truck as original looking as possible from the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update.

I posted this over on my project thread too but thought I would share here what I decided to do. It just seemed to make sense to go ahead and fix up what I got. It's the right size for the truck and the Dana 44 has a pretty decent reputation for being a solid, strong and reliable rear end.

I got the final news from my rear-end guy today. It does need absolutely EVERYTHING. Ring, pinion, spiders, bearings and seals all shot. Axle bearings too. Basically the only good things are the housing and the axles.

So, I just got off the phone with Tom's Differentials in Idaho. I ordered all the parts and upgraded to a posi. New non-posi spider gears were $170 (without carrier bearings and a posi unit (Dana Trac Lok) was $285 (which includes carrier bearings). So, for a very small additional charge, I got the posi. Total with shipping was $750 and I'm guessing my rear end guy will probably charge about $200 to put it all together when the stuff gets here. He says the Dana rears take more time to set up than many of the other types.
This wasn't in my budget. But you all know how that goes.
 
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