After 40 years, most classic Chevy rearends have been kicked, smashed, exploded, morphed, or otherwise mutilated. Occasionally they are treated to a wash and repainting, or stuffed with new gears for better performance. In general, however, they are the neglected end of the vehicle, and many times the first thing to break during an "exhibition of speed."

The technology involved in hanging a 40-year-old rearend and installing the suspension parts is relatively simple, but it must be done correctly. Old springs and cracked or damaged brackets, shackles, or U-bolts must be replaced, and an upgrade to KYB Gas-A-Just gas shocks will certainly add to the overall ride and handling.

Not much keeps the heavy rearend attached to the vehicle, so the parts must be strong and able to take the pounding supplied by a stout engine. Axle wrap-up (or hop) during hard acceleration can be a problem, so new rear leaf springs and good shocks are definitely required equipment.

Since our '57 is going to be lowered 4 inches all around, a set of custom springs with the de-arch built in was ordered from Eaton Detroit Spring. The built-in de-arch maintains the spring strength and integrity in the suspension without using lowering blocks or strange hangers at the front and rear spring mounts.

The complete original chassis was thoroughly sandblasted prior to being disassembled (clean metal is so nice to work with). The chassis will receive several coats of POR-15 glossy black before we start the frontend and rearend rebuilding. Most of the attaching hardware was sent out for cad-plating prior to the rearend installation to add that Rod & Custom touch of flash.

This chassis had been equipped with the original '57 GM 10-bolt rearend but due to its poor condition, we replaced it with a Chrysler rearend with Posi-traction and 3.23:1 gears. Luckily this Plymouth Road Runner rearend was the correct width, so it will be used in the '57.

As you will see, the installation is straightforward, but a prescribed sequence must be followed to avoid difficulties. A floor jack, jackstands, and normal handtools are necessary to do the job. This project might be something you would do to your classic Chevy--even if you're not building a '90s street machine.

SOURCE
KYB Corporation of America
See your local KYB dealer
Eaton Detroit Spring Inc.
1555 Michigan Ave.
Detroit
MI  48216