Open Driveline – Rear End Options


To convert your torque tube suspension to a open drive line. You will need the proper width rear-end. I am running a 1976 camaro 10 bolt. I am still working on this page.

These are some swaps that will work. Also confirmed by many readers

* 55-57 Chevy Cars.
* 68-72 Nova
* 70-81 camaro

For 49-54 cars,you will need a rear-end that is 58.5″ wide in order to fit fender skirts. You can use the stock leaf springs but you will get a much better ride with a wide leaf spring kit. (2.5″ wide) If you run a rear-end that is 58.5 inches wide you will be able to run a 8″ wide rim (3 3/4″ backspacing)in the rear.
I am currently running a 60″ wide rear end with the stock wheels,  but can not fit the fender skirts on.

Wide Rear Leaf Spring Kits:
Chassis Engineering
Walton Fabrication

Parallel 4-link:
Total Cost Involved

Air Spring 4-Link:
Total Cost Involved

Complete Rear Ends:
Total Cost Involved

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  1. I used the rear end from a Olds Bravada in my 49 upgrade. Its the same as a 4 wheel drive S-10 blazer. The 2 wheel blazer is too narrow.

    Its installed and working great.

  2. I used a rear out of a 79 camaro. and spring perches from a jeep. most stock hardware. some welding. thinking its the weakest part of my drive line, its setting on original springs. and mounts. runs well so far. and running disc brake conversion that is a sweet upgrade. 85 caddy calippers and roters.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I also ran the stock springs with the 76 camaro rear in mine. The rear end has alot of play, side to side. I upgraded to a chassis engineering leaf spring kit and that really helped stiffen up the rear end.

  4. I used a set of 2′ wide leafs ( as on the tri-5s ) with a 4 wheel drive rear out of s-10 These spring sets are offered by Chevies of the 40’s and are replacements to the narrower torque tube leafs. they are also offered as a 2′ lowering leaf spring that install into the original hangers I do have a v-8 automatic that is stock in a 51 chevy business cpe The ride was definitely improved and I am well satisfied with the upgrade

  5. I used a 1978 camaro rear end. The factory leaf springs do have side to side movement though. With the wheels i have there is about 1/2 inch clearance between the tires and the fenders. If I corner hard the tires will rub the fenders and that is with new spring bushings.

  6. I. Have a 51 chevy. Styleline and the. Rear-end. Is bad and I have a power glide tranny with. Enclose Drive line I like the. Open Drive line is it Better to Change tranny &rear-end& Drive line. I. Want it to be highway safe can I keep power glide tranny Will it be highway safe Can. Anybody Help Me Out I found another rear -end from a 51 chevy But it has a 3 speed Can I just swap rear -ends R the gears the Same ?

  7. I Used a 1960 chevy. it is 60” fit really good with the 2 1/2 spring . 1959 to 1964 are all 60”

  8. I have a 1949 Chevy style line deluxe, and I’m in the process of changing rear end also, what year Olds Bravado did you use?

  9. I’m working on a 1951 chevy Fleetline ,I want to change to open drive , where do I hold the tape to get the width of my rear end …

  10. I am replacing the rear end in my 1953 belair with a 9″ Ford from Quick Performance. Does anyone know what the stock pinion angle was on a 53-54 Chevy?

  11. I used a 9″ ford out of squar body Bronko moved spring perches to width of 1952 Chevy styline, new original type springs, added extra leaf, 2″ lowering blocks,stepped rear end back 1″, bolted right in. Tip rear end to 3 degree for pitch. 8″ wide wheels don’t remember back space for sure, think 3″ made traction bars, to prevent spring warp and traction, works great

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