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Username Post: What's the best choice of rear end for 51 2 door hardtop Bel Air        (Topic#354771)
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2
Age: 63
Loc: Delano Tennessee
Reg: 12-18-14
01-09-19 09:07 AM - Post#2756955    

I have 1951 Chevy Belair 2 door hardtop and I've had it for about 30 years I had a 307 Powerglide transmission in it and then pulled that out now I have 365 horse 327 ready to install it with a R4 Transmission, the rear end that I first installed in it was out of the 72 Chevelle, I had to make the mounting pads for the rear end what, I'd like to do is install a rear end out of a about a 84 to a 88 Chevy blazer with disk brakes front and rear I'm in installing the factory ride height Springs in the rear from posies can anyone recommend what would be my best choice on the rear end I talked with Tommy 49 but I'd like a little more knowledge about what years would be the best thank you guys looking forward to hearing from you all and your opinions thanks so much Herbieraye51


Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1143
Age: 63
Loc: Basehor Ks
Reg: 02-11-13
01-09-19 12:51 PM - Post#2756966    
    In response to herbieraye51

10 bolt from a 67-69 camaro 60" hub to hub or one from a 68-74 nova 60 1/4" hub to hub gm metric disc brake calipers.

S10 disc rears have a clearance issue with the calipers to the frame.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1760

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
01-09-19 03:06 PM - Post#2756975    
    In response to cbmkr56

77 Camaro in my 51 Belair, just repositioned the pads, done.

Dedicated Member
Posts: 5612
Age: 67
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
01-10-19 04:38 AM - Post#2757010    
    In response to Shepherd

Probably the easiest, and most direct fit, is the 55-57 Chevrolet rear end. All it takes is re-drilling the locator pin hole 1-1/2 inch forward, and 1/2 inch inward. Those rear ends are starting to getting somewhat hard to find, and can bring $$$$$. And there are many different gear ratios available for them, and new aftermarket Positractions are still available. It's the rear-end we used in the 51 Bus Coupe, and what I'd use again. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.

Edited by 56sedandelivery on 01-10-19 02:07 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

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Age: 77
Loc: Littleton, New Hampshire,...
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01-10-19 05:13 AM - Post#2757012    
    In response to herbieraye51

The rear end in my 53 Sport Coupe is a 1970 Nova. It fits well and disc brake kits are readily available for this rear. Mine is converted to front and rear disc brakes along with Posies rear springs.

Attachment: Newport_001.JPG (578.18 KB) 14 View(s)


1953 Chevy Belair Sport Coupe - 355 Blueprint Engine, 700-R4, Vintage Air, EZ Wire, Ididit column, Cruise/Tilt, 59 Vette Steering Wheel, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Posies Springs, Coker Radials, Nova 10-bolt, Mustang II front, Continental Kit

Posts: 509
Age: 73
Loc: Chattanooga, Tn
Reg: 07-08-13
01-10-19 07:42 AM - Post#2757018    
    In response to herbieraye51

Scroll down this page and you will come to a list of rear end widths. There are errors on it but by and large it is pretty good.,...

It is getting pretty difficult to find one of the popular rears from the 50's or 60's that isn't worn out. I used a 9" Ford (Lincoln) out of a 79 Versaille. It is pretty narrow but allows me to run a wider wheel.

The 8.8 Ford rears have an offset Pinion which makes them relatively easy to narrow since you can shorten one side and center the driveshaft.

One more thing. Before you spend money on a rear end consider the gear ratio. Most of the new ratios are built for overdrive rear ends and will not be good on the highway if you don't have OD.

Just Slightly Abrasive

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Posts: 884
Loc: London Ont. Canada
Reg: 10-16-11
01-10-19 08:28 AM - Post#2757027    
    In response to 40grit

In my 50 Deluxe I put a late 1980's S Blazer 4X4 rear end in it. Cut the perches off of both the original and the replacement diffs; welded the original perches to the replacement. No drilling required for the offset spring pins.
The install went relatively well. I loosely clamped the diff to the springs. That was to allow me to position the diff left to right and be able to rotate it; when setting the pinion angle. Tighten everything up and road test; checking for drive line vibration. When all was well; weld the perches in that position.
The S blazer diff came with a 3:42 gear; which works very well with the 4 speed OD transmission (4L60E).
At 60 mph, engine RPM is approx 1900; using stock sized tires.


50 Styleline Deluxe, 2 Door Sedan, Was a 216cu", Three Speed Manual. She now has a 4.8Lt V8 LR4 injected engine, 4L60E 4 speed automatic, 10 bolt diff 342 gear with an Eaton C80 Locker

Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4437

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
01-11-19 08:19 AM - Post#2757109    
    In response to DanD1950

A second-gen Camaro/Firebird should bolt right in with the only change drilling a new hole for the locator pin, or have some lowering blocks made that compensate.

That's what I did with the '50 I had, I think it took me a couple hours to change it over.

If you go with an aftermarket spring it's even easier.

This rear is a tad wider than stock so it limits tire with to an extent.

The S10/Blazer 4x4 rearend is supposed to fit the same way. 1970s Nova may also work.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

Driving 2002 Express 2500
2002 Express 2500 extended
1988 G20 conversion
1993 GMC 3500 dually

Plus cars for swap and sale
& yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.

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Age: 31
Loc: Rochester, New York
Reg: 02-23-14
01-13-19 07:28 AM - Post#2757253    
    In response to Bill K.b

I've been happy with my 57 rear, known many who've been please with a Camaro/Nova, and s10 is fine if you aren't going to be quite as aggressive. Today's small pickups have opened the door to more options, there are Asian cars (kia Sedona, TOyota 4-runner/Tacoma, Nissan exterra, pathfinder, small pickup) I didnt measure any of those but they'd easy to fine, are all narrow, and some might even have chevy bolt pattern.

Circling back, my 57 (1955-162) full size has been lovely

Andrew D. Carapella (Drew)

'50 Deluxe 4dr v8 auto


Rochester Street Rods - Est. 1970

CrossMembers Car Club - Hebrews 12:2

"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3172
Age: 31
Loc: Rochester, New York
Reg: 02-23-14
01-13-19 07:31 AM - Post#2757254    
    In response to drew1987

additionally, I was questioned/flogged for taking the time to move the spring perches on mine when I built my car, but without doing so, there is about 40% reduction of surface contact and therefor I felt it was worth my time. This is a side-to-side movement, you WILL need a new hole forward/rearward becuase the pin on the stock springs isn't centered. I used aftermarket springs so this didnt matter in my case

Andrew D. Carapella (Drew)

'50 Deluxe 4dr v8 auto


Rochester Street Rods - Est. 1970

CrossMembers Car Club - Hebrews 12:2

Senior Member
Posts: 8674

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
01-13-19 07:39 PM - Post#2757305    
    In response to drew1987

I cannot say what is the BEST rearend for converting a 49-54 to an open driveline.
But the EASIEST is a 55-57 Chevy rearend.
Use the ENTIRE 55-57 Chevy rear -------------- including brake backing plates/brakes (that is, if drum brakes are retained).
To install a 55-57 axle housing onto 49-54 leaf springs, drill a new hole in the 55-57 spring pads that is 1 1/2in FORWARD and 1/2in INBOARD of the existing hole. Bolt it on. Disconnect the 49-54 em brake cables from the 49-54 brake backing plates and connect them to the 55-57 backing plates. It will also be necessary to use the 55-57 shock mount plates. I have air shocks for a 55-57 Chevy on the rear of the 51. Been there for 40+yrs.


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