70 Chevelle 12 bolt. It's been in a fire! - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:33 AM
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70 Chevelle 12 bolt. It's been in a fire!

My 70 Chevelle burned up in a wild fire. I was hoping I could save and reuse the 12 bolt rear end which has Richmond 4.10 ring and pinion and a Moroso Brute Strength posi unit. I pulled the rear end this weekend which looks good and straight, no warped axle tubes, and pulled the cover. To my surprise, the axle grease evaporated during the fire and the ring and pinion have a slight powder surface rust. It can be cleaned off by wiping with your finger, much like surface rust on a brake rotor after a humid day or rain. My question is, should I try to clean these parts up, install new axles, bearings, and seals? It's a shame, and I'm kind if sad. Thanks

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:41 AM
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Don't use any of the parts until you have them tested for hardness. The heat from the fire could have softened the metal in all of the gears and axles. I have rebuilt some rear ends that had been in fires before and the gears were soft, way too soft to use. If you try to run soft gears you will end up with a rear end full of gear teeth.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:14 AM
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Don't use any of the parts until you have them tested for hardness. The heat from the fire could have softened the metal in all of the gears and axles. I have rebuilt some rear ends that had been in fires before and the gears were soft, way too soft to use. If you try to run soft gears you will end up with a rear end full of gear teeth.
How about the housing? Still usable?
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:12 PM
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How about the housing? Still usable?
Take the diff apart and check all the Brg race's to make sure they dont come out easy including the axle Brg's.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:18 PM
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Mild steel and cast iron aren't going to be affected as much as heat treated steel. Like prostreet6t9 said, check the bearing bores for correct size. I would replace every one of the bolts too.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:13 PM
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These guys are pro's and won't steer you wrong.

Only thing I'd like to add is glad you're safe and sorry the chevelle didn't make it. "We can rebuild him..."
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:20 PM
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Replace the springs in the posi, too.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by prostreet6t9 View Post
Take the diff apart and check all the Brg race's to make sure they dont come out easy including the axle Brg's.
Yes sir. I will. Thanks
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:13 PM
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Mild steel and cast iron aren't going to be affected as much as heat treated steel. Like prostreet6t9 said, check the bearing bores for correct size. I would replace every one of the bolts too.
Yes, if the housing is still useable, I will replace every bolt, and new complete install kit. However, I'm not sure where to have the gears checked for hardness? As for the slight surface rust. Would this affect anything assuming the gears and Posi are still hard? Thanks again
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:14 PM
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Yea, I forgot about the springs and plates. They will also be shot, along with the cross shaft and clutch plates. You can buy all new parts to rebuild the Moroso (Eaton) Posi, but it might be cheaper to just replace it. The Moroso unit has special heat treated 17 tooth axle gears and 800 pound preload springs and thicker plates. Some of them also had the 22 disc clutch set instead of the standard 18 disc set. They also had a special heat treated cross shaft. Tom's Differentials has all of these parts.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:17 PM
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These guys are pro's and won't steer you wrong.

Only thing I'd like to add is glad you're safe and sorry the chevelle didn't make it. "We can rebuild him..."
Thanks. Yes it was a sad day. We had wildfires here in Okla back during summer. It was 110* that day with 20 mph wind and like 7% humidity. Also to fuel the fires were debris from the I've storm off 07. Nice combo for arson huh? 6500 acres later, 9 of my 10 acres totally burned, except for the house, it made it thank God! But my shop, 95% complete restored carbed LS1 70 Chevelle, and barn. Oh, we did lose one chicken. But everyone else was ok!!!
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:21 PM
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Thanks. Yes it was a sad day. We had wildfires here in Okla back during summer. It was 110* that day with 20 mph wind and like 7% humidity. Also to fuel the fires were debris from the I've storm off 07. Nice combo for arson huh? 6500 acres later, 9 of my 10 acres totally burned, except for the house, it made it thank God! But my shop, 95% complete restored carbed LS1 70 Chevelle, and barn. Oh, we did lose one chicken. But everyone else was ok!!!
Now that's a bad day!!! Someone would have to put me on meds if that happened to one of my hotrods. I hope you can save it!!

Sorry to hear that
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:45 PM
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Now that's a bad day!!! Someone would have to put me on meds if that happened to one of my hotrods. I hope you can save it!!

Sorry to hear that
I do believe it is salvageable. The roof warped a little but my body man said it could be heated And worked back. This car is a non modified all steel car also. No patch panels, and no rust. Only surface rust is starting from not having paint. Still a pretty straight car. I almost thought about cutting the quarters off it and selling them separate. Still a solid car. Trying to sell the body and chassis for enough money to fund a MSD pro billet and 6AL or MSD Digital E curve. around $350 ish if anyone out there wants to build a solid drag car.
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