I have a 461 in a 73 Chevelle (4200 pounds) making about 550 HP and I wanted to know if my 8.5 ten bolt rear end would live under this kind of torque? Is there anything I can do to stregthen it or should I just go to a Ford 9 inch?
The specs for the "corporate" 8.5" 10 bolt fall between the old 12 bolt 8.75" and 8.2" 10 bolt generally lot closer to the 12 bolt in strength. Currie does sell conversion 9" units for the 73-77's If you do alot of racing on slicks the 10 bolt may finally give in with that motor.
There is a great article in May, '99 issue of Super Chevy that addresses your question very well. It says there is a guy using a 10 bolt in a car that runs the Super Street class at 150 MPH. The 10 bolt you have is a good rear-end.
The 8.5" rear is a good rear. David Henninger runs 9.2's in the Hot Rod Real Street class with one(N2O on a Buick V6). He ran the same rear when he was running mid 8's in Super Street. He uses 35-spline axles, spool, c-clip eliminators, and welded axle tubes.
As good as the rear is, you are going to have to modify it to get it to live behind your combo. There are quite a few aftermarket parts available. At minimum I would suggest aftermarket alloy axles. You will probably be safe with the factory spline count.
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