55 Chevy Truck Rearend Ratios
I am rebuilding a 55 2nd series chevy truck. I have had the original 235 engine and 3speed transmission rebuilt, but I think I want to change the rearend ratio, while keeping the same housing. It currently has a 390, but I think going to a higher ration (338, 307, 278?) would serve my needs better. I won't be towing with the truck, I would like to get a little better gas mileage in town, and would like to drive faster on the rare occasions that it will be on the interstate.
My concern is that I will spend $400 on a new ring and pinnion, but will see very little in the way of fuel/rpm savings and speed increases. Is there experience out there with this conversion? Thanks for the inputs -
To the best of my knowledge ( and I had a bunch of 55 to 57 Chevrolet pickups ) ... the only factory gear ratios for these trucks are 3.90 and 4.11 ( overdrive equipped trucks ).
I always ended up with a 9 inch Ford under mine ... but then ... I put a 9 inch Ford under everything I have built ...
You can also install a later Borg Warner T5 5 speed overdrive transmission from an S-10/15 or Camaro.
A truck t5 will work but the camaro is rated for up to 5000lbs that 55 is 6000lbs with you in the seat(I grenaded my camaro t5 in the 58).31x10.5 tires will help but the 235 wont turn much higher than 3.73 and the higher gears will hurt in town mileage as you will find yourself deeper into the gas pedal.
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