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There was a Chevy Hi Per. magazine article a few years back with a pair of 8 and 9 second camaros running 8.5" ten bolts,if I recall correctly.They probably had some mods,(axles,C clip eliminators etc.) but plenty strong.
 

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the 8.5 gets grouped in with the other 10 bolts that have a history of breakage, but it's a much stronger rear than the 8.2 or 7.5. the 8.5 is actually a great rear for us novas as a budget performance upgrade. they're plentiful in the right size and they're very durable, especially with aftermarket parts. even so, not many stock axles will hold up without some modifications at that power level. if it's a track car and you're going to run sticky tires, i'd recommend at least adding c-clip eliminators and maybe aftermarket axles. but i'd do that no matter what i was running. my 8.5 has c-clip eliminators, 28 spline axles, and a spool, and it ran my 3500lb car to 10.80's with no breakage. plenty are going faster than me on the 8.5.
 

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the major difference between the 8.5" ten bolt, and the 8.875" 12 bolt is the diameter of the ring gear.. a mere .375" or .1875" on the radius.... else.. the pinion bearings diameter are the same, axle bearings are the same.... and one can up the spline count from 28 to 30 with the addition of a aftermarket spool, LSD, or factory LSD from a 1988 and later truck....

Factory 12 bolt 30 spline axles will or can be used after this upgrade.... or aftermarket 30 spline as well....


the 8.5 has been deep in the 8's with proper beefing.... 650hp bbc should not be a problem.... but as anything.. a proper rebuild should ensue to assure trouble free use....
 

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Well take it from me nothing is "bullet proof". No matter how much you beef something up something can always go wrong lol. After saying that the 8.5 beefed up with 30 spline axles & posi, locker or spool should be plenty strong for you application. For added insurance a TA girdle would not be a bad idea.

Miles
 

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I bought the 8.5 in my car from my old boss. He had it behind a 13.1 468 with a 300 shot. the 72 nova went 10.01 at 139. It has an auburn pro sries posi with moser 30 spline axels and c clip eliminators. If I were you I would have the tubes welded to the center.
 
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