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Old 01-15-2002, 05:42 AM
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Post Help with '57 Chevy Rear End

I can not make up my mind! I have the stock hotchkins type rear end in my 57 and I can not decide weather I should rebuild the brakes, replace the seals and if need be the bearings and use it or should I hunt up a donor and update to a modern 10 bolt.
I am also unclear as to what my gear ratio is. My rear is a non posi unit. when I rotate the wheel the other one stays still and I count about 1 3/4 turns of the pinion to 1 turn of the wheel. This seems like a high ratio to me. Is it likely that my rearend is this high?
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Old 01-15-2002, 02:40 PM
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I beleave you can mark the wheel/tire and rotate the tire one revolution and count the times the drive shaft turns. one turn of the tire and 3 3/4
turns of the drive shaft gives you a 3.75 rear gear, 3 1/2 is 3.50, 3 1/4 is 3.25..... try this
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Old 01-18-2002, 05:24 AM
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I have done that and I count 1.75 turns of the pinion to 1 turn of the wheel. I did it 3 times to be sure. I read in the Hot Rod Magazine guide to Practical Engine Swaping that on an open rearend you should count the turns of the pinion and divide by 2. I think this is a missprint and that I should multiply by 2. This would actualy make my rear end a 3.50:1 and not a .875:1. Which makes a lot more sense. Am I doing this right, or are the squirls after me cause they heared I'm nuts?
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Old 01-22-2002, 02:56 AM
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Gotta watch out for them Squirls. My wife tells me we are all nuts. This car craze is a passing phase and when we grow up and get a real hobby we will set back and laugh about all the time we spent playing with our cars when we could have been enjoying our gardens.
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Old 01-22-2002, 04:37 AM
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GARDENING!!??

GACK!!!!

If there anything I hate more than ricers it is gardening!!!
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Old 01-22-2002, 07:23 AM
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Lightbulb

why not just pull the cover and count the teeth??? when I get any new vehicle I will do this anyway just to change the fluids, and view the condition of the fluids coming out.

pretty easy you will see 2 small gears in the axle; a smaller one and a larger one. divide the number of teeth on the bigger by the smaller and you have an actual gear ratio.
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Old 01-22-2002, 04:11 PM
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I refuse to grow up! This passing phaze hasn't passed. But gardens are ok,you don't have to mow them. Vegetable gardens have munchies to eat while working on your car.Flower gardens smell good and can be a back ground for your car pictures. Count the teeth on your ring gear and pinion gear divide and you know what you have. Replace seals, bearings,rebuild your brakes and use your stock rear unless you want to change gear ratios. Keep feeding the squirrels.
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Old 01-22-2002, 06:22 PM
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The later 10 bolts aren't any stronger than the 55-64 rearends, I personnally prefer the 55-64 since it doesn't use C-clips on the axles. The later rears would probably be cheaper and come with a wider selection of ratios, though. 3:56 was the standard gear at that time and is probably what you have. Its the best all-around ratio for a streetrod in my opinion. The only way to look at the gears of a 55-64 (car) rearend is to pull it completely apart as it has no rear cover. Its like a 8-3/4 Mopar or a 8"/9" ford that way.
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Old 01-23-2002, 04:14 AM
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Thanks a bunch for the input guys. One more quesation. How do you pull the axles? I have never had a hotchkins type apart before.
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Old 01-23-2002, 03:15 PM
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You will need one of those sliding-hammer type pullers, JC Whitney has them, otherwise I have heard of people wrapping a chain around the hub and yanking on it with a piece of pipe thru the chain. Too dangerous for me. Body shop type dent pullers are NOT heavy enough for the job. By the way, there is no axle seal like you're thinking of, it just uses a rubber O-ring around the bearing. If the bearings aren't bad, don't bother replacing them, as they are somewhat expensive and need to be pressed onto the shaft.
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Old 01-24-2002, 05:16 AM
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I have one of those slide hammers. Are there any bolts or clips that I need to remove before I start jerking it? I can't belive that they are only retained by a friction fit alone.

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Old 01-24-2002, 07:21 AM
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There are 4 nuts that hold the axle, backplate and housing together. Its a very straight forward operation, no surprises. If the slide hammer doesn't seem to work, try warming up the end of the housing with a small propane torch. Also, sounds like you should get yourself a repair manual. Any that covers 55-64 cars should have info that will help you to answer your own questions about how to rebuild these rearends.
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Old 01-28-2002, 05:23 AM
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My Grandfather is a retired mechanic. He still has most of his Motors Manuals. He was nice enough to lend me his 1957 book.

Thanks again for all of your help.
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Old 12-25-2003, 06:09 PM
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hey 57 guy,

I am about to toss the 10 bolt camaro rear I had made for my '55. It is limited slip, and I want to upgrade to a 12 bolt or a Dana 60...gunna run drag radials and I got some HP under the hood. Where do you live? I can let it go at a reasonable price. It is setup for the springs in the stock location.

CJ
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Old 12-25-2003, 06:34 PM
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I have the same rear with 3.56 gears in my 51 Ford picup. I love the ratio, great all around gear. Could use a posi in it.

By the way, If it has a drain plug in the bottom, it is a 57. If it doesn't, its a 55 or 56.
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