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Old 02-21-2006, 06:39 PM
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Want to change rearend gears in 57 Chevy... HELP!!!

I want to change the rear gears in my 57 to give it a little more "seat of your pants" feel on acceleration. Right now it just seems sluggish compared to friends' cars who are geared better but have similiar motors and can just shred the tires with ease. Mine really, really, really struggles on acceleration and is nearly impossible to get one of the rear tires spinning. It has been pretty much the same way with my 327 and the current 305. Once you get the tire spinning it will keep going but it just lacks that initial momentum. I have an aluminum powerglide, unsure of the year.

My lack of knowledge is currently keeping me from diving into changing the rear gears. How would I go about doing this? What needs to be changed? How much would it cost? Do I need any special tools? How hard is this going to be?

I have no idea what my 57 has, but I am pretty sure it is the stock rearend. What gears did they come with? What is the stock rearend? Are the parts needed to make the gear ratio better easy to come by?

Blah... sorry for all the questions. I have never even opened up a rearend before. I am just lost when it comes to this subject. I think it is the only way I am going to be able to improve this things acceleration effectively with my extremely low high school budget.

I think the gears in it are geared more for the highway because I have had the car up to 120mph with my old 327 and Powerglide and it had some left in it... just didn't feel to safe to be going that fast in this old of a car. Not bad for such a big old 4-door.

My best acceleration range is in 1st gear between 35 and 50mph currently. It accelerates MUCH faster in that range than it does 0-20mph.

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Old 02-21-2006, 06:56 PM
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As you may have already guessed, this WON'T be cheap, and I can forsee this is above your abilities.

Evidently you have gears in the range of around 2.73 or even higher like 2.56 or so, but I am only guessing here.

I am not as familiar with the axle in your car as the later ones, but yours should be built similar to what the Ford 9-inch is, and will look pretty much similar.

These axles are getting scarce as far as parts go, so the choices are just not there as they are for later axles. Your easiest choice would be to swap out the entire axle for something more plentiful like the Ford 9-inch, or the GM 8.5, with gearing more towards 3.23 or 3.42, but this will also be a variable as you didn't state what size tires you are using.
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:03 PM
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Well I was told on chevytalk my rear end gears are 3.55:1 if the rearend is stock.

Here is the thread...

http://www.chevytalk.org/threads/sho.../0#Post1454798
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:18 PM
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I rarely ..if ever.....disagree with M&M Custom........

But I think changing the rear center section would be your easiest route.



The photo is of a Ford center section, but the 57's center section looks enough like it to be useful.......for a comparison.

You would remove the wheels, the brake drums and then the axles.....
Then remove the Center section and replace it with a center section with lower gears.

1955 to 1964 Chevrolets have the center section you can use.......and a lot of the 6 cylinder, manual shift cars have a 3.70 ratio. IF you can find one.....it would be a simple 1 Saturday job to change.

I have changed 15 to 20 of them years ago........when I had a 55 Chevy, 4 speed and a HOT 327 365 HP engine.....

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Old 02-21-2006, 07:55 PM
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AHA, I was typing that and completely forgot that I had typed (and knew full well) the center section can be pulled like the Ford 9 inch.

The hard part would be setting up the new gears if he hasn't done it before, but not outside the scope of someone willing to actually learn something new.

My bad.

If your tire size is way off, that can be a source of your car acting sluggish from a stop. Or something in the line of a tune-up?
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:01 PM
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Not a tune up problem. I have had three different engines in this car with numerous different components and know it is something to do with the drivetrain. The 305 that was in a previous truck accelerated MUCH quicker than my 57 does with the exact setup. The car has always been great after 25-ish mph but slower than that and it is just a slug...

I am VERY willing to learn something new. I have lots of tinkering experience, and have swapped both F*%D and Chevy engines in several cars.
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:07 PM
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Then I would try to find a used 55 to 64 Chevrolet center section with a gear ratio of 3.70 or so and switch them. A 3.70 gear would have a 10 tooth pinion and a 37 tooth ring gear.

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Old 02-21-2006, 11:05 PM
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What are these worth and how little do you think I could get it from a junkyard or pick your part yard for?
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