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Old 11-14-2002, 02:43 PM
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Post Rear end swap for '53 Chevy truck

What width rear end do I need for my '53 Chevy 3100? Original rear measures 62" from hub to hub. I am ready to order a new Currie 9" with disk brakes, but need some advice as to the width ( or variety of widths) for the new one. Am planning to use 17x8 Cragar SS wheels (don't have them yet), available with backspacing of 4.50", 4.97", 5.44", or 5.76". Depending on who I have talked to, I have been told that I gotta' have the wheels first to measure for the rear end, or the rear end first to measure for the wheels. I ain't got neither, and am in brain freeze, afraid to order either because I don't know if they will fit. Any help you guys can give to get me out of this would be greatly appreciated. <img src="confused.gif" border="0">

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Old 11-15-2002, 03:22 PM
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I suggest that you get under your truck with a measuring tape and a piece of paper and carefully draw out the dimensions that are available within the wheel wells and the distance between the wheel wells. Do so at the ride height that is your normal travel stance. If you have not lowered the rear and plan to, do the lowering work first. In your truck there is a lot of room to the top of the fender wells, but if you have it very low, there is a clearance issue. After you get it sitting the way you want on the tire diameter you want, then you can begin to plan what you want.

The natural tendancy is to want to stuff the biggest rubber in there that will possibly fit but that probably is not a practical idea. You need to plan for side wall clearance and the ability to get the tire off the mounting face of the brake drum and past the wheel studs. The forward and back spacing are relevant as well as the diameter of the brake drum. It can all be done on paper and I have successfully done it.

Having said that I would do the math and then buy the wheels. You can then slide in a donor axle to test your theory about actual rear end width by moving it back and forth to be sure that you can get your wheels on and off with the rear jacked up the way you would lift your truck. You may find that you can get by with a Camaro axle in there, I believe it is close to the right width and may work if your HP requirements will be tolerated by the 10 bolt.

I did a mini tub on my PU box and narrowed a 12 bolt myself and then ordered the axles from Moser. My frame is "C" sectioned and is about 8" lower than stock.

I run 285/60/15's under mine which is much larger than would be possible with a stock wheel well opening. I did the whole rear end for about $300 not including the limited slip. I would rate it as nearly as strong as a big Ford, but a lot less expensive.

Moser has a great planning sheet for ordering axles which you can get off their website. And I recommend Moser, they were really good at helping and getting the axles in the mail in 2 days.
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Old 11-28-2002, 04:39 PM
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if you still need help get in touch,can help.
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Old 12-01-2002, 07:32 AM
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I have a '49 that I used a 10 bolt from a '76 Nova. Novas are the correct width and the spring perches fit right into your orginal springs.
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Old 12-01-2002, 11:43 AM
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Any mid 70's Camaro or Firebird will work as well.

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