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Discussion Starter #1
My son and I will be getting some new 4.11 gears for his 65 chevelle 10 bolt rear end for Christmas. Problem is neither of us know how to setup gears and what tools we will need........so, we need to learn. The rear is stock (I believe) and has 3.23 gears. Can anyone help steering us to some "free" information (tech articels or ??). Appreciate any help we can get
Thanks,
gregg and mike
 

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First off, how's Tucson? I lived there back around '95 for about 4 years... Second, take my advice and bring it to a shop. Setting up a rear-end is probably the most warned against practices on this buletin. You have to set backlash and and a few other things that only the experts know how to do. Go around town to the mom and pop auto shops and tell them your situation and maybe they'll cut you a deal on an install or something. I have never had mine changed but a buddy of mine said you can get a shop to do it for about 100 bucks (dont know if thats true) but it's definetly not a beginners trade, you can easily bind and destroy the rear if done improperly. By the way, welcome to Chevelles.com!!!

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IrateN8
Northern California
1970 Malibu Sport Coupe, Proudly USA (TX) Built
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If you've never done a rear end before, I would advise you to not do it yourself. It is not rocket science yet if your tolerances are not dead on, you will experience premature wear and failure


Books just can't give you the experience you'll need. I've seen several done and have chosen to have a pro do mine. the guy I'm using comes highly reccommend by several local guys and after touring his shop I knew that he would do well. I want to do it only once and have it done right.

Regarding your choice to go with lower gears, with no disrespect intended, why are you doing it? Is it just because the perception is that everyone does it? If you're racing the 1/4 mile then I'm sure its a great idea, but if your cruising around town it will be a high RPM, low gas mileage machine. And forget driving it on the highway.

If you're not doing a pure factory restore, and you have a manual tranny, consider upgrading to a Richmond 4+1 5 speed transmission. WIth you existing higher gears, the "launch" factor with the Richmond 1st gear will surpass the 4.22's and will still give you decent highway/cruising RPMs and MPG's with a strong off the line feel.

Just my 2 cents. Hope this info is helpful.


--Andy--

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1970 Chevelle SS Convertible
1937 Master Business Coupe
1996 S-10 Blazer

Yup, I'm Chevy Prejudiced!!!!
 

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By the way, my 12 bolt is being rebuilt for $400 parts and labor. The original ring and pinion (3:07) being kept. Includes all the bearings, collars, gasket and such, as well as rebuilding the posi units and installing new axle bearings and seals.

My best advice is ask around to local guys and find a competent shop. Good Luck!!

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1970 Chevelle SS Convertible
1937 Master Business Coupe
1996 S-10 Blazer

Yup, I'm Chevy Prejudiced!!!!
 

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Gregg,
There is not much to be added to what the above others have said, because they are dead on the money. You can do it at home yourself, but, as the others have already said, this is one area where you need both experience and special setup tools for setting pinion depth and backlash. And like Andy says, a 4.11 is a fun gear, in town. The Richmond route is definitely a good way to go. In fact, I would even recommend a higher rear gear (2.56 to 3.08) with the Richmond so that you could improve your hiway gas mileage because the Street Richmond has a 3.27 1st gear that will really launch the car and if you have to low of a rear the 1st in a Richmond will be too low. A 2.73 rear and a Street Richmond 5sp puts you right at a 9:1 ratio from a dead stop, which is just right. That's about equivelant to a wide ratio Muncie and a 3.70 rear gear. Just right.


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Tom Parsons
 

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Another thing nobody asked is whether or not you have a currently have a posi. I know it may sound like a stupid question, but I have seen 2 different people go and put 3.73 and 4.11 gears in non-posi rear ends. One of the guys thought his 305 wouldn't spin the tire too much, and he would pick up the acceleration cheap (he got the gears for free) and I don't know what the other guy was thinking. Both of them experience traction that resembles driving in snow with bald tires.

P.S.- I've watched guys that really knew what they were doing swap gears, and even done it myself in a few cars, but when it's in a car I care about or plan to keep a while, I'll always defer to someone with reliable experience.
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Steve

72 Chevelle SS402/4sp

[This message has been edited by SSteve L (edited 12-20-1999).]
 

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I agree take it some where. I have done it my stock car a few times but there I didnm't care about whining noise etc. Bette off left to a pro.


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Steve
 

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Next time I plan on buying the tools and doing it myself. I don't care if it takes me 20 times longer than a professional. At least I know I will do it right. I dropped off my housing with a brand new Moroso Brute Strength, new Richmond 3.90 gear and Richmond complete bearing and seal kit. I cleaned the housing and painted it and everything was new and spotless. The shop who is well known for their machine work and I know the owner well said no problem. Since day one the pinion seal has leaked. I am not going to bring it back as I don't like leaving my car places, too many horror stories. I'll fix it myself. I didn't pay alot to have it done but the rear end should be the last thing I would need to touch after all this. Maybe I'm bitter and I have no hard feelings towards the shop and still go there, but never mentioned the leak. Maybe its a fluke bad seal but its just the point I drop it off with everything brand new but the housing and its still not right. No problem with the housing either as it sat in a garage for many years and didn't even begin to surface rust so its perfect. I'm rambling but my point is in my book if you want anything done right do it yourself. I realize a professional could do it much faster but I think I would be more particular. If you have the tools and the clearances end up right as you go then whats the issue, it has to be right.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, first of all, thanks to everyone that promptly responded. I think I get the hint that I should have a shop set up the gears. I do have a posi to go along with the gears so it should help the potential bald problem. I would love to get the Richmond tranny but its not in the budget this Xmas. We only plan to squirrel around town with our 65. Thanks again everybody, Happy Holidays,
gregg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, first of all, thanks to everyone that promptly responded. I think I get the hint that I should have a shop set up the gears. I do have a posi to go along with the gears so it should help the potential bald problem. I would love to get the Richmond tranny but its not in the budget this Xmas. We only plan to squirrel around town with our 65. Thanks again everybody, Happy Holidays,
gregg
 

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Muscle,

There are a lot of good posts here in the archive and the forums on rearend work. You might want to do a good search on it and see if it looks too tough.

My case is a leaking pinion seal and I found lots of good info. I'd tear into it except I hate to take a chance on screw up an otherwise perfect posi 12 bolt.

If you got the time and $$ to buy/make/improvise the tools, it ought to be fun and good experience. I thought about getting something from the junkyard to practice on first.

Like 68SS396camaro points out, all "professional" jobs aren't always "professional" results either. I'm with him-- if you got the tools/eqpt and a place to work, do it yourself and do it right.

I've got the '65 overhaul manual; tells you how to do it the factory way.

Good Luck
 

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If you do it right and all your clearances and measurements come out right then why is it going to break after the first block. Doesn't make sense. If the professionals clearances are right and the backyard mechanics clearances are right then whats the difference who does it. Maybe its more worthwhile to some people to pay the other guy because you may not have to time to do it or just rather pay the money becuase you have it. Guaranteed it will take me hours more than a professional but doing it right is doing it right no matter who is doing it. If I was rich maybe I would pay someone again but I'm not so next time I will take it upon myself to learn something new so I am gaining knowledge and knowing my car a little better than I did before. BTW about a year and a half ago I replaced all the bearings and seals and installled a locker in my Blazer's rear that has 35 inch tires and 4 inch lift and have put about 25000 miles on it since with no problems. I do take it off road and I did all the work using a basic rear end book. I didn't try to do my Camaro's because I figured it would be abused more than the truck and more power put through it also. Maybe its only been 25000 and it will break soon but labor only cost me some time and it was a learning experience. At least the one I did doesn't leak!!
 
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I agree with 68SS396Camaro - setting up rear gears isn't rocket science! It can be accomplished with a dial on a magnetic base, a feeler guage, a press for the pinion bearing, and a torque wrench. No NASA tools here. I did it, and I'm no rocket scientist!

The only problem I had was obtaining the correct thickness shims. I had to go to a few wreckers to get them...

If you're handy, and not afraid to make an occasional mistake (how else are you going to learn?), go for it. If you are afraid to do, by all means pay someone to do it.

If the backlash is OK, and the marker pattern looks good, you're fine! If you have to press the pinion bearing off and on several times, big deal. A pinion bearing is cheaper than a shop rate.


Good luck!

Ryan

[This message has been edited by Ryan Hoskins (edited 12-22-1999).]

[This message has been edited by Ryan Hoskins (edited 12-22-1999).]
 

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It's not just the expertise, it's the special tools. You'll need a dial with mag base, a BF breaker bar, torque wrench, arbor press, and I used a Norton surface grinder to custom grind my shims. Man, in my garage. No way. In a well equipped garage and/or shop sure. Around here, there are 2 fellas I know that do mint work, no leaks no nothing, about $280 for the labor and parts ( bearings, seals etc). Plus, i know one fella who had a pretty beat up posi unit, so while his bill ran higher, whatya gonna do if your clutches are toast?

SS too bad you got a bum deal. but, for most of us, you gotta know when to punt.

BTW, spent some time at Ft. WeGotCha. Nice area of the country. Miss it. Merry Xmas and good luck.

Oh, and the shop will tell you this but there is a definite "break in" procedure for new gears. Follow it religiously. Another friend had to pull his boat right away. Bad move. And, in fact, I would use it as my "acid test" of the knowledge of the shops you're considering. If they start talking about doing circles in a parking lot( more for a new clutches deal) and letting it cool down after the first 1/2 hour of operation, you've found your man. Some gears apparently have a surface that wears off gradually and need allot of cool down time before they're "seasoned" enough to take a whippin'. Least that's what the pros in my town say.



[This message has been edited by Gene Chas (edited 12-23-1999).]
 
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