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Old 02-01-2007, 07:15 PM
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Camaro rearend in "55 Chevy truck

I have a '92 Camaro rearend that I would like to install in my '55 Chevy truck. Has anyone done this before, and if anyone has, can you please give me some guidelines and maybe some pics.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:17 AM
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Put the rear of the truck up on jackstands. Remove the rear wheels. Slide the new rearend up under the truck. Line up the new rearend with the old one.
Look at spring perches, brake lines, shock mounts, emergency brake cables, and any other differences in the mounting points. Check at your local parts house to see if both car and truck use the same u-joint at the rear. If not, buy appropriate conversion u-joint. Drive shaft length shouldn't change.
Pull the old rear, fab up perches, shock mounts, brake lines as necessary for the new rear. Install the new pieces on the new rear EXCEPT the spring perches, just fit them to the housing for now. After the rear is in for the first time, turn the housing up or down to achieve correct pinion angle. Tack perches in place. Remove rear end. Weld up perches.
reinstall rear and hook up brake lines, shocks, ebrake cables. Bleed brakes.
(You did check out the brake drums, shoes and cylinders on the new rear, didn't you?)
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:50 AM
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that all sounds good but the where the driveshaft meets the rearend has probably changed in 40 years or so and you may need to change the length of your driveshaft.

JB
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Old 02-03-2007, 08:06 AM
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Camaro rearend in '55 chevy truck

Thanks guys for the info. I am new at this kind of retrofit project. I have been looking at the camaro rearend for quite some time. I would like to reuse the 55 spring mounts for the camaro rear end set up. There is a definite length difference from the original rearend front spring mounts and the camaro rearend lower control arm. The length of the 55 spring is about 26 inches from the center of the rearend to the spring mount. The lower control arm on the camaro rearend is only about 16 inches. I will probably have to either purchase or fabricate a new lower control arm to get the right length. Also, there is an issue with the upper spring mounts and how I will get them to fit on the frame. There is another issue with the Track Bar and the Track bar brace with getting some mounts made so these can be hooked up and fabricating new shock mounts as well. Like I said earlier, my expertise in fabrication is very limited and I don't have the resources needed for this kind of work. I am very nervous about this whole project anyway.

I have not checked on the total width of each rearend but from what I can tell, the camaro rearend is pretty close to the same width as the 55.

I am going to use the camaro transmission as well so the u-joints should not be a problem, hopefully. I will also probably have to have the drive shaft shortened.

How can I make sure that the rearend is set in square?
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:09 AM
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I used a '61 Tbird rear in a '56 ford. The springs on the truck were narrow and wide on the rear. The dia. of the axle housing was different also. Check to see if you can reuse the car perch, truck perch or have to create a new one.
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Old 02-06-2007, 03:04 PM
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I installed a 89 IROC-Z 3:23 Gov-lock in my 59' Chevy truck. I cut all the control arms and brackets off and welded on new leaf spring perches. If I remember right, the yoke is 1" off center toward the passenger side, so the engine and tranny mounts had to be moved over. I just installed a 454 Vortec engine, this will be the test of this light duty rear end!!
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:59 PM
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If you go to the hotrodders lounge and find the thread "55 to 59 chevy truck owners" A bunch of us have these trucks and would be happy to help with anything we can.I put the rear out of an 87 GMC and adjustable trac bars under my 58.Kim 57 put a 4 link under his 57.Tom Meyer has a journal with pictures of the rear he put in his 57.Check it out it will give you ideas for your camaro rear under your 55.Good luck and have fun with your project
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:31 PM
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Camaro rearend in '55 Chevy truck

Thanks DD, it looks like I finally hit paydirt. I will check this out and hope I can get some good help. I have been looking at this for the last couple of weeks, and have not decided how to get this thing in. I did relize that the camaro lower control arms are about 3" wider that the leaf spring mounts on the '55 and was not sure just how I was going to fix this. I had thought about trying to find some adjustable control arms with the right length, but that has not panned out.

Thanks again guys, this is a great help.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:57 AM
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Camaro Rear In My '57 Chevy Pickup

BillCull, I have a Gen 2 camaro 8.5" rearend in my truck. I went with the TCI spring setup. This is a bolt on upgrade with the exception of the pads need to be welded to the rear end. This is a simple way to go but still have really good handling potential.

The springs are going setting with about 3" of clearance from the top of the tube to the frame. With more weight on the truck, I think I will be at 2 1/2" which I have been told is the min you need for clearance.

You can see what I have done at http://www.meyerbrosrods.com/photos/...k/default.aspx.

Just like DoubleDick has said, I would be glad to help you with anything I know concerning these type of truck projects.


I hope this helps,

Tom
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:13 PM
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Camaro rearend in '55 Chevy truck

Tom, thanks for the info. Your pics sure do look good. I just hope I can do something similar with mine.

I was thinking about trying to use the coil springs with my rearend. I would like to try and get away from the leaf springs. Don't know if I can do this or not. Do you know any body who has put this rearend in their truck and used the coil springs? I was thinking that the coil springs would give a better ride than the leaf springs.

Would you mind if I contacted you some time to get some additional help?

Thanks, Bill
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:28 AM
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Rear End Options

Thanks Billcull, I don't know anyone with the exception of other postings on the subject. On these trucks, I and the others I have been associaed with have had so much good luck with the leaf spring setup, I have not went down that road. I do know that, depending on the springs that you use, you may or may not get a better ride with coil springs. I don't personnally think there is any great advantage for street use to rear coils over leafs.

There is not doubt coil springs are a good setup. If you don't want to do the fab work, a F-body rearend may be a better rearend then the Camaro since it is already setup for coils. Just a thought...
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:19 PM
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Camaro rearend in '55 Chevy Truck

Thanks Tom, I have been looking at this rearend for a few weeks now trying to figure out just how to convert to the coil springs. I will have to go to Pull-A-Part and get the Rear under-body shock tower and spring seat out of a Camaro along with the Stabilizer bar mount bracket and weld these onto the '55 frame. I still don't know if I will have room enough to get the original springs under the truck without having them cut down or get a smaller height spring with the same weight rating. If I get this done it will probably be a miracle.
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