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This is what happens sometimes people start multiple threads on that same or similar subject matter. In this case the Zman started his own post and redirected an old post from 2013 covering similar information which had no resolution.. I try to keep my responses in the current threads as many of the older posts are from members who aren’t active members here anymore and their feedback isn’t likely..
 

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I had the same problem as you in my 65. Couldn't fit any kind of tire or wheel under it without a very specific backspacing. I put in a 2000 blazer 2wd rear which is a 7.5, figured it was worth a shot. Installed a 4 link with it, gained a much narrower rear end, posi, disc brakes and a 3.42 gear ratio. After a year of a lot of thrashing behind my 6.0 LS and a t5 its still holding up just fine. If its just a cruiser don't over build it. They can take some abuse, probably don't wanna drag race it with sticky tires though. The video is my car with the 7.5". Blew out 4 tires that night plus numerous others in my driveway. Its all about traction or lack thereof.
65 nova burnout til pop
 

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I know there has been a lot of back and for on this subject, but relating to the last post by Jamister1 directly above this one, there is sort of a "silver bullet" rear end choice....the 8.5": rear from the 4.3 V6 with 5-speed manual trans 2 wd S-10. It will be approximately 1.625" narrower per side(54.5" vs stock at 57.75" overall width), which is a plus in that it will allow you much more selection in the wheel department because it will allow you to use the same backspacing commonly used on 3rd and 4th Gen Nova, '67-81 Camaro/Firebird, '68-77 Chevelle/Malibu/Monte Carlo, and the '65-88 Full size cars. The S-10 rear will also have the right wheel bolt pattern, so you wouldn't need to replace axles.
Probably even keep the current wheel with the S-10 rear using a 1/2" or so spacer.

It's just a bit hard to hunt down that specific 8.5", as it isn't real common and the Zr2 4x4 version is too wide. Not a unicorn but not common to every salvage yard either.

Only big modification to fit it would be rewelded spring perches.
 

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Agreed, but I looked for that unicorn for months. Only one I found was on ebay for a crazy amount. At a certain point a narrowed 9" makes more sense if you're dropping much coin.
 

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I almost had a late model Blazer a while back. I just wanted the disc brake axle from it. I don’t think it was the 8.5. It was a 4.3 v6, 4 door, and I think it had 3.42s..
 

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I almost had a late model Blazer a while back. I just wanted the disc brake axle from it. I don’t think it was the 8.5. It was a 4.3 v6, 4 door, and I think it had 3.42s..
Yeah, they got to have the 5-speed manual with the 4.3 for it to have the 8.5"....4.3 automatics didn't get it.

$850 isn't a bad price considering you get the 8.5" strength, 30 spline axles, posi, 3.42 gears, and disc brakes....try to buy all that upgrade stuff for an 8.2 and do it for les than $1000

That particular ad is deceptive tho'....the axle he is selling for that price is just a 7.5"...he has an 8.5" like escribed that he'll be "listing soon" .
No way I'd pay that for a 7.5"
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I think that is the way I’m gonna go is just add to the 8.2. Plus after looking at the muncie I have sitting on the shelf for a year it is a m20. not that it much matters but I still have some figuring to do to find out what gears I want to go with. That Kanye you for all the input guys! It’s real tough once I get tunnel vision to see other options haha
 

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Stay away from the 7.5, that was the first rear I blew up with a stock 350 motor back in the 80's. I've ran a 10 bolt 8.2 posi 4.11 in my 71 nova for many years drag racing with slicks, small block 355 with 400hp running 12's in the 1/4 mile. The 10 bolt 8.5 is a stronger rear for more horsepower, can be as strong as a 12 bolt, also the 8.2 can be beefed up with new axles to handle more power, mine are stock, and been racing with it for 20 years.
 
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