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Discussion Starter #1
Hi i recently bought my dream car. A 1963 nova. it came with the stock 194 and powerglide. I am making a lot of modifications including a v8 swap, but i am having a hard time finding information about the rear end. Its not like a normal 10 or 12 bolt chevy. It has no inspection cover but 10 nuts on the inside side holding on a third member. There is a sticker inside the trunk stating that it is equipped with a limited slip diff. I am not sure how much torque this style unit can handle, and i at least want to put some good 5 lug axles in it. Im not sure if the axles are c clip style and i have to remove the third member, or if they are just bolt on. I have no experience with a drop out third member. I would much appreciate any knowledge you guys have about these units.
 

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It could have a positracktion differential and better gears but you will have to investigate further to confirm. These axels were in GM passenger cars from 1955-1964 and are an 8.2” differential set. They are NOT C-clipped. They are like a Ford 9” assembly’s but not as strong. The drop-out diff carriers are interchangeable with other full-size passenger cars that have the 8.2” axles and posi units were available in the 50’s. I had a 56 Chevy chassis with a 4.11 posi differential. You can redrill the axles you have for a 5 lug bolt pattern if the axle is in good shape or you can swap a 64-67, 5 lug Nova axle.

The pictures are tri-5 versions. The rolling chassis is a 56 with 4.11 posi and the loose axle is a 57 open diff not sure on the gear ratio. Both of these are 5 lug 4.75” bolt circle axles as most passenger car applications will be. These axles a too wide for early 62-72 Nova’s.
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I have two of them. I think they're easier to deal with than the 10 bolt because you can remove axles without having to take off the cover. Once the axles are out, you can take out the pumpkin from the front. Nova Thug makes a good description. The rear ends are a little light for anything but the most basic V-8 power, and they are getting hard to find parts for. I think the wheel bearing ends and axles are Nova/ChevyII only, and seals and wheel bearings, not to mention 4-lug drums, are getting hard to find.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you that is very helpful. I tried pulling out the third member to check for c clips, but it was stuck. but it sounds like i need to pull the axles first then pull out the member. I was hoping this could support power from a high compression 383 chevy but it sounds like 450-500 horsepower is too much
 

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No question that that is way too much for that rear end. In the first 20 years of owning Novas, so many owners saw the V-8 as a natural swap for the stove bolt 6 that they did it on their '62's and '63's, and, if the 8 banger had any soup at all, they started to break parts in rear. TONS of good posts here on SNS about potential rear end swaps that are not just 10 bolt or 12 bolt, but 9" Ford, Explorer, S-10 and others.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok i pulled everything apart and counted gears. They are 3.08:1 and the axles are only 17 spline. It does have a posi unit but its just all to weak for what i want. thank you guys for replying. This forum seems to be a wealth of knowledge. Very glad i found it.
 

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I had a 63 SS that i put a 327 and a muncie in.
I was afraid of destroying the front u joint more than i was worried about the rear end.
Everything bolted together, and i even used the drive shaft.
Dumb, i know, but i never did burnouts for that reason.
The right wheel bearing failed a couple times.
Lasted about 4 years till i sold the car and it got wrecked.
Fun little car.
 

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I wouldn't put too much $ ( and you will when you try to convert it to 5 lug ) into the stock '62 - '63 rear end , it would make better sense to find a '64 - '67 5 lug rear end , keeping in mind the '64 has one year only axles , which doesn't matter if your changing the carrier , it's a direct bolt in and a stronger rear end
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks i am having quick performance build me a 9” rear that can take any abuse from a small block. I suspect i will need to replace the stock drive shaft as well as the stock powerglide. I chose a car based on the body style and its going to cost me, to make it do what i want it to. But worth it in the end
 

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Thanks i am having quick performance build me a 9” rear that can take any abuse from a small block. I suspect i will need to replace the stock drive shaft as well as the stock powerglide. I chose a car based on the body style and its going to cost me, to make it do what i want it to. But worth it in the end
The Powerglide could easily be rebuilt to handle the power with no problem, they are commonly used in drag racing at even more power than you intend. Needs a couple of good aftermarket pieces(better input shaft, steel clutch hub, 6-disc clutch pack) and of course a higher stall converter to match your performance goals.
May not be what you want for street driving as a cruiser, with only 2 speeds, unless you want a street beast type deal.
The stock driveshaft is a scrap pile item, it won't handle that power.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I love the powerglide.
My experience in engine building has shown that many time its more affordable to just replace parts (aftermarket), rather than re-machine, or rebuild. Sometimes the aftermarket is a little more expensive but the quality and function of those parts are far better than stock. My experience with transmissions stops with swapping them in and out. Im looking at a tci glide rated at 600 horsepower. Its labeled as a bracket racing style trans, but $1,800 is a lot of money for me. I will have to look into the cost of getting my stock trans rebuilt. I think it would be cool to keep the original glide in the car, and even cooler if i could rebuild it myself. If anyone knows of a good book for a beginner let me know. Or a reputable shop in northern california. I feel like it should be cheaper to rebuild it But im not familiar with the industry.
 
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