I swapped a 71 Chevy 10 bolt into my 71 Olds cutlass, and the driveshaft yokes were different. Luckily the 71 chevy rear came from a parts car so i took the driveshaft too and everything was fine. You can also change the driveshaft yoke on the 12-bolt, although it's rather tedious when you start having to mess with bearing preload and all that. Everything else should be a direct bolt in...
If it is a true Olds 12-bolt, it will bolt into your Chevelle fine except for the U-joint as Havoc mentioned. You can also get around this problem with the use of a conversion U-joint; it is expensive but fairly commonly available. HOWEVER, this is a completely different differential design. The gears, carrier, axles, yoke, everything is different than the Chevy rear ends and are not interchangable.
Yup, beast72 is right about the inards too. I remember trying to disassemble my Olds 10-bolt using the chevelle shop manual. I gave up after breaking a craftsman screwdriver trying to remove the nonexistant C clips... Why did GM bother making the same housing with different guts?
If your manual was a for a 70, it probably covered working on the Chevy 8.2 10-bolt, while the rearend in the Olds was the 8.5 Corporate 10-bolt. I have heard though that Corporate 10-bolts were made both with and without C-clips, does anybody know it that is true and if the guts (other than axles and brake parts) are the same?
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