Question about 57 Chevy Rear - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 05, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Question about 57 Chevy Rear

Just watched my neighbor pull the pumpkin out of his Hotrod, he broke it over the weekend. Anyway its a 57 Chevy rear, he counted the teeth on the ring (37) and on the pinion (10) Did Chevy make a 3.70 rear back then?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 05, 10:45 PM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

3.70 and 3.08, 3.36, 3.54?, 4.11, 4.56, and aftermarket 4.88, 5.13, 5.38, 5.57 and maybe even 6.17

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 05, 10:47 PM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

Eaton has a new posi out for those old '55-'64 Chevy rear ends. It doesn't require the "P" case like the originals did.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 05, 12:24 AM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

The std rear gears for a manual trans in 55-56 (same basic rear) were 3.70. It is a really weak rear end even with something with as little torque as a 283.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 05, 12:48 AM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

Way back the rodders would put a '57 Pontiac or Oldsmobile rear into their hopped up tri-five Chevy. It's amazing that those early rear ends can still hold together behind the old 409s.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 05, 8:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

This one was doomed, the fluid was way low and looked like black mud. One of the spider gears broke. The axles have the pressed on bearing with O-Rings with a four bolt retainer much like a Ford 9 incher. I thought that was kinda strange, i didn't know they used O-Rings back in the day and i didn't see any seals just the O-Rings.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 05, 12:42 PM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

They changed in 58 to the more modern style if I remember correctly. The 09s usually didn't break the rear ends because of traction issues. Too much torque and lozy tires, they just smoked the tires until you lifted.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 05, 7:04 PM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

The rear end center sections are interchangeable from 55 through 64 in all full size chevys. Some carriers are a bit different but the entire center sections are fully interchangeable. We used to mark a straight line the full length of the axle and pull them out to check them regularly for twist. When they had a full turn or so - we'd change them. The "Salisbury"type 12 bolt as begun in the Chevelles in 64 and the full size in 65 were definitely revolutionary in comparison in strength. The old drop out type was about the same strength as an early 10 bolt, if in good condition. I still have a 4:11 posi in my old 59 Vette and it takes all the 270 hp.,283 with 2 4bbls and a 4 speed can put out. I have a spare 3:31 pegleg stored away in case I ever need it. OLDED

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 05, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

He is putting in a pumpkin with a 2.88 gear (i thinks thats what he said it was) but the ring gear on the pumpkin is larger and hits the back of the housing. He heated it up and pounded it out a little to make it fit.
That old stuff is interesting, still doing its job after all these years.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 05, 9:27 AM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

This could be a big help to your friend.
http://chevy.tocmp.com/booklets/5506top01.htm
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 05, 8:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

Thanks Surfcat
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 05, 3:40 AM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

The 55-64 style rearend (also 56-62 Vette and 62-3 Chevy II) is really a good sturdy rearend if properly built, especially with some of the upgrades that are now available. An old, tired rearend that hasn't had much maintenance (if any) certainly isn't going to stand up to much abuse. Since this is a Chevelle site and not a full size Chevy site, most people here are probably not aware that this same style rearend was used behind 63-64 425hp-409 engines. AND, another thing that most of you don't know, is that the 63 with the RPO Z-11 pkg had this same rear with 30 spline axles instead of the standard 17 spline axles. This is my favorite rearend to rebuild (I've been doing these for over 40yrs) and as I said, they make a pretty stout rear. As mentioned, they are about equal to the 10bolt rears, and as many here know, a well built 10 bolt is fairly stout.
Also, as Freddie (Big Gear Head) mentioned, Eaton now makes a posi unit for these early rears. I've already installed a few for customers.
The gear ratios that were FACTORY available between 55-64 were: 3.08, 3.36, 3.55, 3.70 (NOT 3.73), 4.11, 4.56. At one time, you could buy 4.88, 5.13 and 5.36 gears from Chev parts dept. There never was (either from Chev or aftermarket) a gear higher than 3.08 for these early rears. In addition to the over the counter gears that Chev offered for these rears, they also sold extra thick ring gears for installation on a 3 series carrier. For example, this allowed conversion of a 3.08, 3.36, 3.55, etc to a 4.88 without having to install a 4 series carrier.
Oh well, gone are the good ole days of rearends that were easy to build!!! Right Freddie?

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 05, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

DZ if i'm reading this correctly your saying that Chevy didn't make a 2.88 rear?
I thought it sounded kind of odd when he told me thats what it was.

I don't know why they quit making the removable center section. It's far better than having to take the entire rear out of the car to rebuild it and if you have two pumpkins set up you can switch gears in an afternoon easily. That was one of the reasons i put the 9 incher in my chevelle.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 05, 12:15 PM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

Right. Now you have ABS and speed sensors, along with other junk. They are always changing things from year to year. It's hard to keep up whith what is what. Bring back rear wheel drive Chevy cars and the 12 bolt!
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 05, 3:59 PM
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Re: Question about 57 Chevy Rear

Tom, what are you doing to keep the caps from blowing off. You are going to get a serious argument from me about the strength.
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