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Mornin' all.
This is the first car that I have ever rebuilt, much less worked on. The motor is complete and runs great, suspension is super. Now it is time to upgrade the tranny and rear end in this 1970 Chevelle. I have not yet decided if I want to tackle the rebuild of the transmission (I will be placing a 700R4 behind my 377) or just purchasing a new one from Summit. I have looked in the Tech Reference site at some of Wes' articles.... still trying to locate the right replacement. The articles are great, BTW.

I was planning on taking the car to a local shop and have them convert the original 10 bolt open 3:08 to a 10 bolt posi 3:73. That is until they told me it would be around 1000 bucks. I am now contemplating rebuilding it myself.

I know that someone out there has tackled this before. What sort of things do I need to be aware of? What all is involved? Remember, this will be the first time that I have ever done anything like this, but I think that I can save a lot of money doing it myself. I will probably pay more attention to detail than some guy at a shop, too.

Suggestions? Comments?
Thanks in advance....
Chuck
 

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Chuck,

I'm tyring to make the same decision you are, but from what I've heard, setting up the gears requires too much specialized equipment for the layman to tackle. My plan is to purchase the posi unit ($336), r/p ($215), and bearings/shims/seals ($85), then take it to a shop and let a pro set it up. However, I am considering tearing down the old unit and attempting the actual assembly myself--then I'd let the pro do the final adjusments. I found a shop that will do it for about $150, so I'm still looking at around $800 total--I don't think there's any way around that.

If I'm not mistaken, the tricky part is setting the gear depth (?) properly, so if anyone can advise for or against my plan to do the assembly myself and just outsource the *precision* part of the job, I'd appreciate the advice.

-- Tim Mattson
 

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I am dealing with Drive Train Direct 888-584-4327, ask for Ron.

So far I have purchased a U.S. Gear ring and pinion 3.73 gear set for a 12 bolt GM rear for $169.00

Installation Kit $89.00

Eaton posi-traction $369.00

For a total of $627.00

Ron indicates he has an installation procedure for the back yard person that works well. I would give him a call and talk, I think you will be pleased. He has sent me written material to look at and indicates he will talk me through the procedure.

This is one of those things you want to get right so I will have to be quite comfortable with the procedure. Down the road from my place there is a person that does this type of work for a living. He wants $250.00 to do it for me -- But I want to try it myself if possible.

John
 

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Well guys, I work in a driveline shop and do these every day. I also get jobs from other shops in town that employ "ASE Certified Technicians". There have been some jobs that were attempted by these same technicians, and not done properly, costing more money in the long run. The avarage repair shops do not even tangle with these rear ends due to the specialty tools needed. This does not mean that the technicians there are incompetent, but the average technician does not usually set up rearends. It is a specialty thing that only certain shops do well.

I commend you all for wanting to attempt this yourselves, but would advize against it. If you don't get it right, all the $$ you have spent will be doubled, or in some cases even tripled (if the housing gets ruined) when it isn't done properly. If you are willing to risk that, then by all means, do it.

If it were my sweet looking Chevelle and I had the slightest reservation about tackling it, or letting a pro do it, I would let the pro do it. Especially when talking about the amount of money required for rearend work. That's my $.02.
 

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I HAVE TO AGREE WITH SCOOTER,I WORKED IN A DRIVELINE SHOP FOR 7 YEARS. SEEN ALOT OF GUYS SPEND MORE TO REPAIR THEIR REARS AFTER THEY ATTEMPTED THEMSELVES THAN IT WOULD HAVE ORIGINALLY COSTED.I PROBALY COULD WALK SOMEONE THROUGH DOING IT IN PERSON,I WOULDN'T EVEN TRY TOO OVER THE NET OR PHONE THOUGH.UNLESS YOU HAVE A GOOD IDEA OF SETTING ONE I WOULD LEAVE TO AN EXPIERENCED REAR MAN. PERSONALY I USUALLY GET ANYWHERE FROM 75 TO 150 TO DO ONE ON THE SIDE,MAYBE YOU COULD FIND SOMEONE EXPIERENCED TO DO IT ON THE SIDE TO SAVE YOU SOME CASH.
 
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I agree with some of the above posts: there is potential for problems, but I've built two 10 bolt posi's in my garage with no specialized tools (other than a dial guage w/ magnetic base, some gear marking compound) and they both work great! One has taken my '66 into low 12's w/ NOS on a small block with no problems. I'm no rocket scientist! My $0.02.

Ryan
 

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With some common sense it could be done by the "home mechanic"

Chevrolet service manuals have detailed step by step instructions on setting the stock rear ends up. setting backlash/pinion depth and even how to diagnose the gears and explanation of the parts etc.. For $250+, if i could get the *necessary* tools to do the job, i'd at least try it. you can always bring it in if you know you cant do it right, and didnt drive it.

as for the people that have messed them up and spent 2-3 times what it would have originally cost to fix their damage, there have been people who have added crankcase oil to their transmissions, vice versa, and etc. but that doesnt mean everyone should take their car to jiffy-lube

mike
 

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Yup, you picked a well cooked topic. My turn to deposit $0.02 for the next three minutes.

As we've learned - know the difference between the 8.5 and 8.2 10-Bolt. The pinion on the 8.2 is 28 splines, the 8.5 is 31 splines. I've been told, and read not to bother with the 8.2.

It will cost $$$. Better be sure you want to invest in the 10-bolt or look for a decent 12-bolt to be the recepient of your affections. In my case, I have yet to decide. If the yard that I like to deal with can has a 12 for $300 or so, I'll buy it. If not I'll do the 10.

You could do the work BUT is it worth the agravation and possibility of screwing it up? You may save some money up front then find your work was off and it starts to howl and you're back to the shop anyway! Then the $$$ roll. It's a gamble.

Playing with cars cost money. You just can't avoid some heavy expenses. I've rebuilt my front end, installed heads, gutted and redid the interior (to the bone!), installed a SS dash to replace a Malibu one, etc..ut

There are three jobs I wouldn't do - Rebuild a transmission, do the gears in a rear or install a headliner.

My times up.

Oh - I wouldn't mess with the air-conditioning either, but my 70 doesnt have any anyway



[This message has been edited by ddoler (edited 04-16-99).]
 

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Some years back I payed a profeesional to set up a rear end in a Nova. It was at a reputable shop and when it started howling and sounding like it was going to come apart, I took it back. Unfortuately they didn't stand behind the mechanic, they had to let go. I had the time, and decided to attempt the rebuild myself. I loaded up with lots of reading and a video borrowed from a friend. I performed several dry runs at the installation, with the rear end out of the car. All said and done, it worked great and never gave me any more trouble. I'll attempt my next, but wouldn't build one for anybody else on account of liability. If you understand the theory to the adjustments, and are confident in your own ability, it's not outside of the scope of the home mechanic. If not, send it to a shop.

Cam
 

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c8chu;

I'm glad that you like the "tech" articles!

As far as the 700R4, I'd recommend that you just pick one up from Summit (or equal). If you find one in a junk yard, you would then just have to have it rebuilt anyway (for piece of mind).

As for doing the work on a rear-end, I'd recommend that you FIRST find a good shop and talk to them. Tell them that you want to purchase the parts (within reason, in other words, not the gaskets and such) and that you will bring in the unit CLEAN.

When you pull it out, take it apart and use solvent to clean everything inside and out. Don't sandblast it! Sand gets everywhere and you don't want it coming out and getting in the gears latter.

That should get you the best job for a reasonable price.

Although I feel the job is something that can be done at home, it's pushing the limit as far as anything that I'd recommend. (I'd just pay to have it done)

Wes.
 

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In response to Mike Reeh:

Mike it is appalling that you compare a driveline shop to a Jiffy Lube, and I must say, I take offense at the comparison!!!
 

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scooter dont get offended, you dont understand where i'm coming from. Im making two points 1) there are plenty of people who can setup a rear and at home and 2) there are plenty of people who cant change their own oil. and of course 3) plenty of people would would rather not risk trying 1 & 2.

what I find appalling is that you would go so far as to advise everyone that reads this tech against trying it, as if we are all incompetant. and that is what I take offense to. whether we are or not is a different story

mike reeh
 

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Hey Ryan-
Even Rocket scientists can't build rearends! When my mom was setting up her 12 bolt for her Camaro she joked around with my dad telling him to try, and he couldn't, she quickly exclaimed it's not rocket science!(yes, my dad is a rocket scientist.
But no, he has no experience with this. It was just a mean prank.
)

Chuck-
My vote is if you have the tools and know how(or maybe a good book) try it! If not take it to a shop a lot of things can be screwed up.

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Steve
64SS-327-4spd
 

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so wait. steve, your mom actually set up her own 12 bolt?? does your dad know what kind of woman hes got?


gives to meaning to "i want a girl just like mom"
 

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Ok Mike Reeh, time to lighten up a bit.

Read my post again, and then repost a response that fits, or edit your post that makes no sense. Read the last sentence in the third paragraph. I in no way said anything about anybody being incompetent. I even stated that I wasn't implying it. I was informing people that even ASE certified technicians (who work on cars all day) don't even mess with rearends. If you took offense to that, then maybe you are one of the guys who should try to do it. Good luck to you.
My opinion still stands as posted above.

I also thought this tech board was for people to get information from. If you are going to ignore advise from people that do or have done this work, then why even bother. The idea is to post a question, get responses from people, and make your own decisions based what others have told you. If I was going to build a bridge, I would get advise from people who build bridges, not those that paint them, live under them, drive over them, etc. I hope you get my point.
 

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Mike Reeh-
Yes, she did most of it. she had it assembled borrowed my malibu to it to the shop they checked it for a whole bunch of things, and fixed a few alignment things(I don't know what) charged her 20 bones for the inspection and congratulated her for a d**n good job at building it.

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Steve
64SS-327-4spd
 

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Scooter this isn't a pissing contest, I'm not going to riddle the tech section with arguements. As for my less than perfect posts, sorry, I'll run GrammarCheck on them next time just for you.

If you have a problem with this email me, [email protected]

Until then, I think I'll go setup my rear end.

Mike Reeh
 
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