model i can find a 3.42 or 3.73 rearend for my 85swb chevy truck?? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:06 AM
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model i can find a 3.42 or 3.73 rearend for my 85swb chevy truck??

Hey All,

For starters.. I have an 85 chevy silverado swb pickup.. 2wd 5-lug. I'm about to make the swap from my stock 3.08 rearend to a 3.42 or 3.73. I have about 30 inches of tire/wheel (20inch wheels-265/55/20 tires) ...and looking to get more pull from my 700r4 which is souped up a bit.. corvette servo/b&m shift kit. Engine is a '77 350 smblock, Elgin RV cam..about 420/434 lift with stock tbi centerbolt heads 88-91 model.. forgot the casting.. but not very high performance of course... maybe changing to some stock vortec 062's as my winter project. I've been looking on craigslists and ebay. I see some models.. but i need to make sure I can swap it out and it will not be too pricey if i need to add additonal items for my swap. This will be my first time working on a rearend project and want to make sure I do it right.. and have the right parts.
What would be a good match.. and will I have to remove the entire axle and replace with the new one.. or just change the guts of the rearend?

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Old 10-21-2010, 08:22 PM
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If you go inside the rear end and start replacing parts you will have to set the pinion depth, bearing preload and backlash. You will also need to know how to read the contact pattern so that you will know what adjustments need to be made to the pinion depth and backlash. If you know nothing about this then you need to replace the complete rear end. Too bad you are not closer. I have one already completely rebuilt with 3.42 gears.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:57 PM
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Hey Big Gear Head! I sure wish I was in KY right now.. cause the rearend would be put to big use. Do you want to ship it lol. Sure that shipping fee would be a pretty penny.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:26 PM
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I was in the same boat as you, with my 81 SWB 2wd. It had a 2.76 rear 12 bolt. I found a 3.40 12B in a junk yard locally and swapped it in. That's the easiest way for sure. I foolishly thought I could put a posi in it later on from a very well-known, specialty shop who deals only in differential work. Well, they screwed up something because after 3 tries and 2 sets of new 3.73 R&P sets, it still wasn't right. Got my money back, gave them their parts back, and found another 3.40 12B which I'm using now. You may find factory 3.73 6-lug rear ends out of a 4x4. Changing axles is pretty easy to the 5-lug. Your truck has a 10 bolt but putting in a 12 bolt just requires a conversion u-joint.
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