'55 Chevy rearend.

I just picked up a '55 Chevy 210 Handyman wagon.I plan on dropping in a ZZ4 crate motor backed up by a 700R4.Will the stock rearend be up to handling this new set-up or should I step up to a new rearend & if so what rearend would be best as far as strength & price?

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MY RUSTY NUTS's picture

An 8.5 inch rear end from a mid 70’s GM X-body car (Nova, Apollo, Ventura, and Omega) is a good replacement for a Tri-five. At 60 inches the X-body rear end is the exact same width as a Tri-five rear end and has the same 4¾ on 5 bolt pattern.

You will have to cut off the spring perches and weld on some new perches before you can bolt it into your ‘56. These rear ends come with small 9 inch brakes but the big 11 inch backing plates and 4¾ on 5 brake drums from a full size 1965 and up Chevy passenger car will bolt right on.

Look for the 8.5 in all 1972-1975 X-body cars or 1976-1979 X-body cars with a V8 engine. 1976-79 cars with six cylinder engines had the weak 7.5 rear ends. Here is a good article on Nova rear ends. Nova rear axle codes

The 8.5 is almost as strong as the 12 bolt. GM even used the 8.5 in full size half ton pickup trucks from 1980-1994.

Here is another good article on installing the 8.5 into an early Camaro. 10-Bolt Upgrade Install - Chevy High Performance Magazine

joeharley01's picture

Thanks for the info.

jlc44p's picture

unless your planning on drag racing your rear end will do just fine ,   the same axle is used up thru the late 70's ,any part that you my need is on the shelf at any good part supplier.  these rear end are in high demand for 1954 and back conversions  to open drive line..