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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know most of you guys are tired of hearing the same questions over and over again about rear end selections. And no I couldn’t find the popular 67-69 Camaro or 71-74 Nova rears…

So, curious what you guys would recommend based on my 3 options below. I’m building a 355 or 383 SBC about 400 Hp/400 ft-lbs with 700r4 transmission. NO DRAG RACING, only street with the occasional launch to show a weed trimmer sounding compact car what a real Hot Rod sounds like… :) I have Wide Whites 215-70R15, Wheel Vintiques Smoothies 15x7 with 4” backspace.

Option 1) Total Rebuild Stock Rear w/new drum brakes, etc - $1,382

I called Ron from Ron’s Machining Service (really nice guy) to get the prices. This price includes Moser Axles, Eaton Posi, new 3.55:1 gears, bearings, etc

Option 2) Used 1994 Chevy S-10 8.5 rear from 4WD. - $350

I was able to locate a complete 1994 S-10 4WD rear after calling about 10 junk yards. He wasn’t sure if the car had an automatic or a manual transmission. Has 3.42:1 gears, unknown mileage. I’d have to weld new leaf spring perches on.

Option 3) 1977 Versailles Complete Rear with Disc brakes/Calipers attached. - $500

Ford 9 inch rear with factory disc brakes. I’m not sure if this will fit my stock leaf spring location or if I have to put the springs in the center of the frame to clear the caliper brackets? I also heard that they have 2.56:1 gears. I'd have to buy a new ring & pinion.

I’m not sure what the internals of the S-10 or Versailles look like. For all I know they need a complete rebuild as well. My guess is that I will end up close to the same price as the stock rear.

If my stock axles were fine this would be a no-brainer, rebuild stock rear. But thanks to someone who decided to beat on the axles years ago with a hammer the mounting flanges are bent.

I’d like to hear from some of you who put a 4WD S-10 or Versailles rear in a tri-five and how difficult it was. I’d like to also hear from some of you who rebuilt your stock rears and if you’re happy with your decision or regret it.

Thanks!
 

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The Lincoln Versailles rear if it is stock will have a 2.47 gear ratio, an open differential, a weird u-joint yoke, and the brakes will almost certainly need rebuilding. You would need to make sure it's complete as far as the disc brake part go, because you won't find any parts like caliper brackets, etc. new. You can buy new rotors and rebuilt calipers for them, they are higher priced than most with high core charges, but they are not out of sight.

So you're looking at a different 3rd member for it, or buying a set of gears, a posi unit, and a yoke. Any 28 spline Ford 9" 3rd member will bolt right in. With liimted slip, prices are going to range from $400 to $1500. Or the same piece prices as for the stock rear if you build it - I'm talkng gears, limited slip, bearings and other small parts. But you really wouldn't need to replace the axle shafts with aftermarket unless you wanted 31 spline axles. And that kind of defeats doing a budget deal with a Versailles anyway.

I'm no expert on the S-10 rear, but from what little I know, the width is going to be very similar to the Versailles (slightly less than stock but enough to be of interest), and a 4wd is likely to have limited slip or posi. So that axle could go in "as is" with only a new pair of perches welded on.

With either of these narrower axle assemblies, you may run into clearance problems between the brakes and the u-bolts/perches if you don't move the springs inboard with a pocket kit. Moving the springs inboard will help you take advantage of the possibility of bigger tires, more choices on wheels, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Rick for the help. I was hoping to hear from a few guys about their luck with rebuilding stock rear end.

Another option I didn't consider was a rear out of an Explorer. I'm not sure if I want to cut the axle housing to move the pinion closer to the center. It sounds like it might be difficult.
 

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ok, stock rear here. yukon 3;70 gears, posi, mosers. i pre load it a hair, then the clutch flies. so far so good.[knock on wood] however, i spun the housing out of the perches. new housing, had the perches welded, all the way around. the factory has 6 little spot welds on them.:bowtieb:
 
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