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Old 08-21-2006, 06:24 PM
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1971 Nova Rear End Opinions

As I said, I have a 1971 Nova project, and it came with an 8.2" 10-bolt 2.56 peg-leg. I've been exploring options on what to do with this, and they all seem pretty expensive.

I'm planning a street friendly 383. Vortec heads, GM hot cam in a Gen II block, T5 tranny, aiming at 350-400 HP. A 12-bolt posi will run pretty close to 2 grand. A 9" using a friend's connections almost as much (and I really don't like the way a 9" looks). The latest issue of Car Craft says that an 8.2 with a posi can handle 450HP which would be more than I will have. If I add a girdle that will make it stronger yet.

Have any of you built up an 8.2 with a posi? How hard is it? What is the difference between a "cone (Auburn)" and a "clutch (GM)"? What else would I need to get something close to a 3.43 ratio (I don't know what ratios are available for an 8.2)?

A friend on the Nova forum said he had heard that a 1996-2001 Ford Explorer 8.8" was nearly a drop in, plus it comes with disks. Is this a reasonable option?

Lots of questions!! I really appreciate your thoughts.

Dave

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Old 08-21-2006, 07:19 PM
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Call West Coast Differentials in Sacto for information on your carrier.

1-800-510-0950

You can use the 8.5" axle from a later Nova if you want to upgrade to a stronger setup. There are a lot of these still under cars at Pick-n-Pull for pretty cheap. It is also easier to find parts for the 8.5.
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:16 PM
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My 67 Nova has a 8.2 with a factory posi. It has a 388 solid roller, Making in the neighbor hood of 450 + hp and that or more tq. I flog it all the time. No problems yet.
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:24 PM
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Sorry for being so dumb ONova, but do you mean that I can use the same case and upgrade to an 8.5 rear end? If that is true, would there be much advantage over an 8.2" rear end?

Dave
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:48 PM
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That 10 bolt will eventually give up the farm, not from gear failure but from the spring perches rolling off the axle tubes. Do away with the original bolts that just go through the spring perch pad and find some U bolts that will go over the axle tubes through the spring perch pad. If you start drag racing that car and even with street tires it will eventually fail at the spring perches.

Vince
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman123
Sorry for being so dumb ONova, but do you mean that I can use the same case and upgrade to an 8.5 rear end? If that is true, would there be much advantage over an 8.2" rear end?

Dave
I mean you can take the entire 8.5" 10-bolt rear end from a later Nova and bolt it in your 71. They are quite readily available at most boneyards, I know of 3 here in Fairfield. You can also get the posi units for the 8.5" more readily from 2nd gen Camaros.
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman123
A 9" using a friend's connections almost as much (and I really don't like the way a 9" looks). I really appreciate your thoughts.

Dave
A 57 to 59 Ford 9 inch is almost a direct bolt in ... and strong ... I installed one in my 69 Nova SS ... back in 1970. 28 splines is enough for your setup and Ford posi's are easy to come by. Plus ... the tubes will never twist on you ... like in a 10 bolt, 12 bolt or newer Ford rear end.

A thousand dollars ... at the most ... should do the job ... with a little careful shopping ...

Deuce ...
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for your replies everyone. So the perches twist off? Even with U-bolts? ...and the tubes, too? I guess that's why my friend builds his 9" setups with this massive brace running across the back.

I'll do some more boneyard crawling and see what I find.

Dave
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Old 08-22-2006, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman123
Thanks for your replies everyone. So the perches twist off? Even with U-bolts? ...and the tubes, too? I guess that's why my friend builds his 9" setups with this massive brace running across the back.

I'll do some more boneyard crawling and see what I find.

Dave
You've got to put some pretty serious strain on the rear end to twist things up. For a normal car with normal tires you shouldn't have a problem. If you wind it up to 6K and dump the clutch with slicks, that's another story... You can always add welds to the perches and tubes.
Chances of finding a 9" rear in a boneyard that'll fit a Nova are slight.
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:34 PM
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[QUOTE=onovakind67]You've got to put some pretty serious strain on the rear end to twist things up. QUOTE]

Not as much as you would think. I had a 70 Nova 307, 600 Holley, Tarantula intake, cyclone headers, Crower 280/rev kit, Muncie 4 speed. Spent every other weekend at Abilene Texas dragstrip when I was stationed there. I rolled the rear axle right off the spring perches. Probably producing about 300-350hp, enough to run a mid 13 second quarter.

Vince
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:31 PM
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Mid 13s in a '70 Nova sounds like you were making closer to 350 than 300, but still I'm surprised you came off the perches. Did the welds or the U-bolts break? I have heard about guys breaking axels and u-joints, but rolling off the perches is a new one to me. It must have been exciting! At least it happened at the line instead of at the end of your run!

Dave
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:02 PM
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Didn't have u bolts at the time the welds on the perches broke. The Nova just had a plate that sandwiched the spring in between the spring perch with 4 bolts per side. After the perches came loose I found a 12 bolt and did away with the bolts and installed u bolts that went over the axle tube....problem solved.

Vince
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302/Z28
I found a 12 bolt and did away with the bolts and installed u bolts that went over the axle tube....problem solved.

Vince
Mine came with a 12 bolt ... factory original
Super Sport car with a 396/375 Horsepower and a 4 speed.

Twisted the tubes ... went to a Ford 9 inch ...
Car got a 427 ... then a 454 ... eventually had to go to a 31 spline axle ... with Summers Brothers axles ...
Then broke Muncie transmission cases ...

Also went 10.65 in 1971 ... in the quarter ...
No Bottle ... just horsepower ... 10 inch wide tires ... ( big for the time ... no 14X32's back then )



Lots of 57 to 59 Fords in the Junk yard around here ...
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:37 PM
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I broke the perches off my '69 Nova with a stock 230 & 3-speed stick. They were barely more than tack-welded on. I had a shop weld them all the way around, and also where the tubes press into the center casting. I also used U-bolts, 2 on each side.

A '72 Nova should have an 8.5" 10-bolt with monoleaf spring perches, except the SS versions, which have multileaf springs, and one U-bolt on each side. From '73-'79, all Novas use multileaf springs & single U-bolts, and most V-8 cars used 8.5" rears. All the forementioned will bolt into your car, although the 8.5" is slightly longer (axle centerine to U-joint), and will sometimes, not always, require a shorter driveshaft.
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