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Hey Guys
I need to swap out my torque tube, rear end and trans on my '51 Chevy wagon, this car is going to be a highway cruiser so i would like to get the best fuel economy i can, can you recommend the best rear end for my car that will bolt right in with hardly any modifications with the exception of changing the mounts, i'm not sure yet if i want to switch over to an automatic or keep with a manual, a friend suggested an s10 Chevy 5 speed, would the rear end out of a s10 Chevy pick up fit, I plan to keep the car with an inline 6 but switch to a 261 or 292.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated, Thanks in Advance
Gene
 

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S-10 two wheel drive rear will work with not much work. The spring center bolt in most of the old t-tube Gm cars is not in the spring center. You will have to drill another hole in the rear end spring perches to get it to center in the wheel wells.

Trans is your choice.
 

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We just did a V-8 conversion on my 51 Chevrolet Business Coupe. I used a 56 Chevrolet rear end, redrilling the leaf spring pin locating hole 1 1/2" forward and 1/2" inward spaces it correctly in the wheelhouse. IF you go with the S-10 rearend, you want to use a 4 X 4 rear; they're slightly wider that the 2 wheeldrive S-10's. 67-73 Camaro, and 68-74 Nova rears also go in, and the spring perches are the right distance apart. You just have to shim the springs/brackets accordingly. The rear springs on 49-54 Chevrolets were designed to be used with a torquetube, and therefore are'nt as strong "laterally"; we used coil wrapped overload shocks to help stiffen things up. Go over to ChevyTalk.Org, the 49-54 forum, and you'll get a lot of advice and answers there. I always wonder why guys want to update their trans and rearends, but leave the 216/235/261 engines; keep it a six, but update to the later style 194/215/230/250/292 six. More power, torque, quieter, easier to find parts for, 7 main bearings instead of 4, and there's a ton of aftermarket parts for them that you don't have to pay antique prices for. Just my opinion.
 
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