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I have a question that may be kinds tuff but here goes. I have a 74 Nova. I was told by the previous owner that the rear is out of a 73 442 Olds. It has a 373 with An Auburn Posi. Can anyone tell me what size and how strong this rear end is. Also if anyone can tell me how to identify for sure. It would be a great help when I look for parts as in brakes or bearings. Would like to know what rear(size) came in 74s cause I have another one that will be raced this year ,373 posi but don't know how it will stand up. I know this is a lot of questions so I really appreicate any info I get. I am a new member but this site seems to be too good to be true.
Thanks
Lance
 

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Greetings,

Well the Auburn Gear differential can take a lot of abuse. The standard rear end in '74 was 8.5" and you can tell as the bottom of the center of the rear end has 2 "tabs" at the bottom of it. On the rear that's currently in your car...10 or 12 bolt (count the number of bolts that hold the cover on)? If it's a ten bolt, it's the same rear end size, 8.5". It probably looks strange under there if they left the ears where you would put bushings in for the rear links (A-bodied cars were coil-over rears) on the housing!

Jason
 

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I would think that rear end would be to wide for a Nova. I think that style rear end will have 10 bolts on the cover with 12 ring gear bolts. The rear ends are strong and have bolt in axles the best I remember. It woun't be the style you see in old drag cars. Here are some good Oldsmobile links.

http://www.oldsmobility.com/
http://www.oldsmobility.com/reardiffs.htm
 

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Greeting Lance ... and welcome the Steve's Nova Site ... and yes - we are "too good to be true" :D :eek: (guess I am in trouble again) ... glad you found us all !!

You should be able to tell the difference between the Nova rear (leaf spring)and the Oldsmobile rear (control arms) by looking for the mounting tabs ... or remnants if they have cut / ground them off.

The Olds rear end is a pretty strong piece to a point - their weakest link are the wheel bearings.

A couple of notes on the true Oldsmobile rear end ... if that is what you have in place. I think they were produced up through '72 - '73 - but you need to find an axle code to see what you have under your Nova.

The type "0" Oldsmobile rear differential has 12 bolts in the cover but uses a 10 bolt gear inside. The Olsdmobile rear and the traditional Chevy "c" clip 12 bolt do not share interchangeable parts. The 12 bolt Olds rear measures 8.3 versus the Chevy 12 bolt at 8.8. Olds did bolt the axles from the inside - thus no "c" clips as in the Chevy model.

It is getting less difficult (not impossible :) ) to find parts for the Oldsmobile "O" rear end. You might try Drivetrain Specialties (DTS).

Here is another good site for you regarding Oldsmobiles and the "442" option. I used to own a '72 Cutlass cloned as a 442 - and I admit to missing it still.

http://www.442.com/

Good Luck with your Project - and welcome again to the site !!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to you all

I can't wait to get under those two cars and look around with my new info.
I will try to let you all know what I find. Its still kinda cold here so it may be a few days.
thanks
Lance
 

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Canadian built oldsmobiles sometimes (69 and 69 for sure) came with the 8.875 chevy style C 12 bolts. Not sure if this is true for a 73. I believe a-body and some other oldsmobiles from 73 and up have the 8.5 10 bolt whether it is a 442 or not. 12 bolt production in A-body cars ceased after 72. Later on they came out with the "little" rear ends which are useless.

Wow . . are the dates of these posts correct?? 2006?
 
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