Tech: Chevelle Rear End Rebuild

Tech: Chevelle Rear End Rebuild

When you have a big, torquey V8 engine (as you will soon find out, our ’68 Chevelle does) it is important your rear end set-up is fit to handle all of the abuse and put the power to the wheels. A GM 12-bolt differential is one of the most popular options out there when it comes to muscle cars, as it can handle tons of power and is durable, yet simple, which is a huge plus in the muscle car world.

Once we decided this was the route we were going to go, we hit the inter web and found a pretty good example, albeit one that needed a bit of work. We first decided to take it down to Kool Coat in Langley, B.C. where Doug helped us out by applying a black powder coat finish to our rear end, which not only added to its durability, but also provided a sleek look that will integrate well into our car.

After that, we had a solid housing to use as a base, but now it was time to talk about the internals. For that, we went down the street to The Gear Centre where they went to work on a complete overhaul.

Chevelle Rear End

Our GM 12-bolt rear end found online.

Plates are first sandblasted in order to get them down to raw metal.

Bearings are taped so that powder coat doesn’t get inside.

Acetone is applied to help get remaining grease off. Powder coat is applied through an air gun electrostatically. It is applied as a powder and becomes a liquid in the oven and bakes to the piece.

Rear end and parts are placed into the oven at 400-degrees for about an hour.

Parts dry for an hour and are ready to go.

Before rebuild begins, all parts are placed in a washer for cleaning.

Inside of rear end is cleaned with brake cleaner to get excess dirt out.

Our Eaton Detroit Truetrac Differential is assembled with the Quality Gear Performance Crown and Pinion.

Bearings are pressed onto Detroit Truetrac unit in order for installation in the housing.

Differential is placed in rear end and mock assembled to correct backlash and pre-load specifications. Additional components came from our Quality Gear Differential Overhaul kit.

Pinion nut is installed and torqued.

Pinion pre-load is 15 in./lbs. of rolling torque.

Wheel bearings are inserted.

Backing plates are put on, studs are added to new axles which are then inserted.

The finished product. Special thanks to both Doug at Kool Coat and the whole team down at The Gear Centre.

Differential pinion shaft lock bolt is inserted to hold in axles.

Categories: Muscle Car Plus, Tech