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Old 03-13-2018, 04:30 PM   #1
Missyblue
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Rear differential suggestions

I'm need of advice I'm drowning in articles and build threads haha new to this world and learning slowly......
I have a 56 planning to use a 350v8 from a donor vehicle and 700r4 tranny want to go automatic and looking for daily driver with preference being on better gas mileage than hot rod offf the line. Max speeds usually around 60 mph. Hoping to find a donor differential that won't need too much modification due to its width or lugs I have seen the lists of some that fit but hoping for advice on things that work well and gear ratio arguments. 1 mechanic I talked to recommended 3.73 but curious. We prefer to stay with chevy/gmc but woukd consider others. I know Ford 9" are recommended and someone said dodge dakots.....
Hoping to start searching and watching. Not in a huge hurry as I'm in savings mode and need to find a good deal
Thanks for the advice this place is awesome
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:17 AM   #2
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

https://www.ringpinion.com/calculators/Calc_RPM.aspx

Use this link. I have a 350/700R4, 235/75/15 tires (28.5) with the stock 3.90 in my 1958 and it's fine, cruises 70mph about 2200rpm, and roasts the tires easily. 3.73 is a good all around ratio as well.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:20 AM   #3
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

I've got a '65 GMC pickup rear housing in my '57 3200 pickup. GMC pickups used Dana 44 rears.

The width is perfect. 2 minor mods have to be made. The spring perches were off just a little bit requiring them to be cut off, moved and re-welded. Have modify the rear e-brake cable too.

I had mine rebuilt with new 3.54 gears and a trac-loc (posi) unit.

Mid to late 60's Chevy pickup rear should work width wise and parts are available for those too.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:49 AM   #4
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

You can also use the rear axle from a 1996 to 2001 Ford Explorer, try to get 3.73 gears and limited slip. You may need to move the spring perches a bit and redrill the wheel bolt pattern in the axle end plates, but you will have a strong rear axle.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:52 AM   #5
Missyblue
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely check out the calculator....
Roger55 sorry if this is a silly question but what is the reasoning for a 60' s rear over the original if they can alter great ratios?? Easier to find parts or can the original not be geared the right way?
Driver_WT I have only spoken to one build guy in my town, have several others to interview,
so far but he encouraged me to stay away from suv rear ends saying he finds them more problematic and week. But you have good luck with the Ford?? I understand their are thousands of opinions so curious of your experience....
Thankjs again!
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:02 AM   #6
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyblue View Post
Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely check out the calculator....
Roger55 sorry if this is a silly question but what is the reasoning for a 60' s rear over the original if they can alter great ratios?? Easier to find parts or can the original not be geared the right way?
Driver_WT I have only spoken to one build guy in my town, have several others to interview,
so far but he encouraged me to stay away from suv rear ends saying he finds them more problematic and week. But you have good luck with the Ford?? I understand their are thousands of opinions so curious of your experience....
Thankjs again!
I currently have a rear end from a 1995 S10 in my truck. It is not strong enough to handle the torque of my engine. I am on the hunt for a Ford Explorer 8.8 rear end with 3.73 gears for added strength. If you want more info on this, Google "Ford 8.8 rear end for Chevy S10) and you will see that many Chevy owners have installed an 8.8 rear end in their Chevy trucks. The Ford 8.8 rear end was used in many Ford vehicles and it is a strong and reliable piece. I have one in another project vehicle and it works great. I am recommending one from a 1996 to 2001 Explorer because it is the right width for a 1953 Chevy truck.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:28 AM   #7
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyblue View Post
Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely check out the calculator....
Roger55 sorry if this is a silly question but what is the reasoning for a 60' s rear over the original if they can alter great ratios?? Easier to find parts or can the original not be geared the right way?
Driver_WT I have only spoken to one build guy in my town, have several others to interview,
so far but he encouraged me to stay away from suv rear ends saying he finds them more problematic and week. But you have good luck with the Ford?? I understand their are thousands of opinions so curious of your experience....
Thankjs again!
Parts for the originals are limited and expensive.
I think there's only like 2 ratios available for them as well. No posi units for them at all. They just aren't worth putting money into.
Both the GMC Dana 44 and Chevy rears from the '60s have all parts available, many ratios to choose from, posi units available and prices are reasonable.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:57 AM   #8
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Quote:
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Parts for the originals are limited and expensive.
I think there's only like 2 ratios available for them as well. No posi units for them at all. They just aren't worth putting money into.
Both the GMC Dana 44 and Chevy rears from the '60s have all parts available, many ratios to choose from, posi units available and prices are reasonable.
I think you're right, if I remember correctly the original rear can be 3.90 or 3.38 but those are readily available. I've seen the original rears for cheap and sometimes free, might be a budget friendly option for a daily. As you said, I wouldn't dump a ton of money into an original and a Ford 9" or Dana is much better for performance. I kept my original because it functions fine, I wanted 6 lugs and suits my needs, for now anyways.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:32 PM   #9
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

I have my original not sure how it functions until we get going so was just curious. I thought they were recommending a different differential for performance since the original truck wasn't meant for today's speeds and power we have gotten used to.
Nail pounder what power plant are you running in yours?
So if I did the 8.8 ford it seems they have disk brakes on the years suggested above the 96-01 so if I upgraded my master cylinder I could keep those? that would be a nice upgrade. Have to convince my husband he's one of those silly fix or repair daily negative Ford guys but this is my dad's and my truck and we are a love of all trucks family haha
Thanks again I appreciate it
For clarification my mechanic said I'm looking for a 60" rear but in the specs it says my 57 is a 62......what width wiggle room do I have for keeping this easier to install as I search for options around here
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:37 PM   #10
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyblue View Post
I'm need of advice I'm drowning in articles and build threads haha new to this world and learning slowly......
I have a 56 planning to use a 350v8 from a donor vehicle and 700r4 tranny want to go automatic and looking for daily driver with preference being on better gas mileage than hot rod offf the line. Max speeds usually around 60 mph. Hoping to find a donor differential that won't need too much modification due to its width or lugs I have seen the lists of some that fit but hoping for advice on things that work well and gear ratio arguments. 1 mechanic I talked to recommended 3.73 but curious. We prefer to stay with chevy/gmc but woukd consider others. I know Ford 9" are recommended and someone said dodge dakots.....
Hoping to start searching and watching. Not in a huge hurry as I'm in savings mode and need to find a good deal
Thanks for the advice this place is awesome
Go to the u pull it and get a 8.8 inch from an explorer or mountaineer. I think 2000 model up until they went to independant has disc brakes. They came in 3.55 and 3.73 in the 4x4 models and the ones I have pulled have tags. I have 3.73 in both. Good cruising with my 700R, and should be able to get 70 MPH with my 5 speed and 235 six n the truck These are very strong. I have on in my 55 Chevy sedan and in the 50 AD I am working on. Strong, cheap
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:37 PM   #11
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

The aftermarket only 3.38 gear set is a nice ratio but a new set will cost about double of what gears for the other rears talked about here would cost.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:40 PM   #12
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyblue View Post
I have my original not sure how it functions until we get going so was just curious. I thought they were recommending a different differential for performance since the original truck wasn't meant for today's speeds and power we have gotten used to.
Nail pounder what power plant are you running in yours?
So if I did the 8.8 ford it seems they have disk brakes on the years suggested above the 96-01 so if I upgraded my master cylinder I could keep those? that would be a nice upgrade. Have to convince my husband he's one of those silly fix or repair daily negative Ford guys but this is my dad's and my truck and we are a love of all trucks family haha
Thanks again I appreciate it
For clarification my mechanic said I'm looking for a 60" rear but in the specs it says my 57 is a 62......what width wiggle room do I have for keeping this easier to install as I search for options around here
I have a 350 and 700R4 with stock rear. I am/was in a similar situation as you. I want a good daily driver, not a street rod and I'm on a budget. Mine does great on the freeway with overdrive trans, and is still quick off the line. I may upgrade the rear end in the future but I did the motor swap a year ago see no need for a rear end at this time. I changed the diff fluid a couple times and now it's quiet and smooth.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:58 PM   #13
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

In my 57' I have a 350 SBC and a turbo 350 transmission. I installed a 1972 Camaro rear axle that has 2.73 gears. Now it may not smoke the tires in every gear but it gets almost 18mpg with this setup.
With using the camaro rear axle I found out it was narrower than the original rear axle, which allowed me to use some wider wheels and install rear disc brakes from a 2000 blazer.

So in my application it works great.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:36 AM   #14
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Awesome thanks for sharing......we don't have very good salvage options here so might have to travel. I know things are regional but what would you say is possibly a reasonable price range for the ford 8.8 that you have seen? Or the older camaro/truck stuff from the 60's? We are secluded so prices get rough around here . I remember Arizona had a good selection of u pull it places might have to make a trip only 10 hours away.
Also what else do you or would you change/upgrade in the rears? New leaf springs or shocks? that kind of thing?

Then if doing the Ford and disk brakes would you just do a bolt on disk kit for the front or would you do a front clip? Or can I just keep my drums for now and upgrade my master cylinder?
Thank
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyblue View Post
Awesome thanks for sharing......we don't have very good salvage options here so might have to travel. I know things are regional but what would you say is possibly a reasonable price range for the ford 8.8 that you have seen? Or the older camaro/truck stuff from the 60's? We are secluded so prices get rough around here . I remember Arizona had a good selection of u pull it places might have to make a trip only 10 hours away.
Also what else do you or would you change/upgrade in the rears? New leaf springs or shocks? that kind of thing?

Then if doing the Ford and disk brakes would you just do a bolt on disk kit for the front or would you do a front clip? Or can I just keep my drums for now and upgrade my master cylinder?
Thank
I am currently near Ft Myers in Florida - U pull price for Ford 8.8 is around $100. There are also at least 4 Ford Explorers on local Craigslist that are being parted out. I would expect to pay $100 to $250 for Ford 8.8.
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:14 PM   #16
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Awesome thanks for the info.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:05 PM   #17
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

I need to correct myself on the camaro axle width. The camaro width is 62.50" and the original axle width is 62". So you would be getting a 1/4" wider on each side.

Some people will keep their straight front axle (I still have the straight axle) but most will swap out to some other type of independent front suspension. Only you can make that choice.
If you keep the straight axle and upgrade (I strongly suggest you should) to front discs, most of those kits use the 70-81 Camaro rotors and calipers. On the plus side, If you go to front discs and use the camaro rear axle the bolt patterns will match, 5 x 4.75".

Good luck with which ever direction you choose to go.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:37 PM   #18
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Thanks trucknut your truck is Awesome! Someday I'll hopefully be close to something like that. So meaning a kit like this
https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Delux...ckup,4622.html

And yeah I wouldn't mind keeping front axle but I sure wish I could line them all up and test drive the different options haha1 mechanic here thinks power drum would be enough but I like the idea of the safety and increased stopping power of the disk Figure suspension can always be upgraded later need to get this thing running so my dad can enjoy her and can always improve as we go I figure
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:56 PM   #19
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

I believe that is the same kit I used. Goes on easy, just make sure your king pins are good and change out the master cylinder for front disc / rear drum.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:54 PM   #20
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

I have power drums on my 66 and they work great. I'd make a necessity, priority and want list and start there. My 58 is a work in progress, I did 6 lug disks up front, Sid's 3" drop axel, new king pins, tie rods etc. It drives fine, not like a new vehicle though. If you're looking for the new car ride, IFS is a the way to go. Anyhow, post up some pics!
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:20 PM   #21
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Here she is. My daughter called her missy blue and it stuck. It's a father daughter granddaughter project. Grew up in a 56 and we lost it throughout the rough times. I got this 57 kind of as a suprise last summer and thats the photo the day it came home on the trailer. And now we are saving and getting to work rebuilding something for us again. They painted it an original orbit blue which is cool. Definitely not a show job but it works for now. Happy that it has a pretty clean body overall and now getting to work just hoping to get my dad driving one again. He doesnt have money for it so it's all me. Just putting together all the pieces and resesrching the rest Loving the memories and fun. Lots to learn for sure and so thankful for this place
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:24 PM   #22
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

I think our trucks match colors nail pounder
It looks like you are making great progress on the underside. And thanks for the advice. Definitely making lists and priorities

Last edited by Missyblue; 03-16-2018 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:43 AM   #23
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyblue View Post
Here she is. My daughter called her missy blue and it stuck. It's a father daughter granddaughter project. Grew up in a 56 and we lost it throughout the rough times. I got this 57 kind of as a suprise last summer and thats the photo the day it came home on the trailer. And now we are saving and getting to work rebuilding something for us again. They painted it an original orbit blue which is cool. Definitely not a show job but it works for now. Happy that it has a pretty clean body overall and now getting to work just hoping to get my dad driving one again. He doesnt have money for it so it's all me. Just putting together all the pieces and resesrching the rest Loving the memories and fun. Lots to learn for sure and so thankful for this place
Nice looking truck! I'd say drop a motor and overdrive trans(700r4) in it, leave the original rear end, fix the existing brakes and drive it. Then tackle your list as money allows. They are more motivating to work on if you can take it out for a drive once in a while.
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:20 AM   #24
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by nail pounder View Post
Nice looking truck! I'd say drop a motor and overdrive trans(700r4) in it, leave the original rear end, fix the existing brakes and drive it. Then tackle your list as money allows. They are more motivating to work on if you can take it out for a drive once in a while.
I like this advice.

I had all kinds of ideas when I bought my 54. Tore into it. Made a mess. Well and I still have a mess.

I wish I would've just got her running and worked things out from there.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:01 AM   #25
Missyblue
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Re: Rear differential suggestions

Thanks for the advice. Yeah my husband thinks I'm nuts and should do it right as a frame off but then I know I'll never drive it so that's why I'm here pestering you guys for advice. I don't have lots of money and so trying to do it the "right" way for us and get it running affordably. But also doing my research because if I can do something like get a Ford rear end with disc brakes for less than updating my brakes later that might be the way to go so trying to be smart about some of those decisions. Im working on my priority list and will keep all your advice for options. But at this point getting on the road and safety are number 1 and then upgrades for comfort are later like you say.
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