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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm going to look at an 8.5 rear soon to replace my 7.5. Seller says it's a peg leg. However, I'm new to this part of the car and not sure that to look for other than the code on the axle tube.

I heard there the ring gear is stamped. Is there an easy way of telling the ratio of the rear by the stamp? Otherwise, is there a way by counting the pinion teeth and/or the ring teeth?

What wear items should I look for? Any tricks to perform to check for excessive wear, play or damage? Thanks.
 

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count ring teeth, then pinion, and divide. Simple.
I have seen where some were stamped. Not sure who/ what and why but, I have seen some, could've been aftermarket for all I know.

I've only built 2 rear's, and that's not near enough to say I'm out of the boat you're in. I'm still there, still learning.

GL on that. I'm planning on mine atm. I have an 8.5 with 4.56 GM Posi unit. But it's got surface rust all in it and has to be cleaned... well.
 

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Ohh, as far as the wear goes, check the ring teeth. See where the wear pattern is. I believe the center the better? You can google it, and see where a lot of folks have posted pics of a good and bad wear pattern.
 

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I don't want to state the obvious but make sure it has leaf spring perches. We had one poster who bought a coil spring ten bolt without realizing it wouldn't bolt in. Make sure it's not a 2nd gen Camaro rear. Those are too wide. Bring a tape measure when you go look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't want to state the obvious but make sure it has leaf spring perches. We had one poster who bought a coil spring ten bolt without realizing it wouldn't bolt in. Make sure it's not a 2nd gen Camaro rear. Those are too wide. Bring a tape measure when you go look at it.
It's supposed to be still in a 3rd gen Nova and allegedly original to the car it's coming out of. But still a good idea to bring the tape measure. Thanks.

Any truth to the word that there should be serial #'s on the outer edge of the ring? If so, is there a website that can decode?
 

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The ring gear may have the ring/pinion tooth count. 39/10 would be a 3.90:1; 41/11 3.73:1; 39/11 3.55; 42/13 3.42; 37/11 3.36; 40/13 3.08

More than likely the peg leg 8.5 is going to have a standard ratio of 2.73 or 3.08. Some 4th gens even had 2.41 ratios.

I'd pull the axles shafts and inspect the bearing surface. It's not uncommon for the bearings to wear through the hardness.

Something like what you are describing I wouldn't pay a lot of money for. Expect to spend hundreds to upgrade it with performance gears, posi new axles and other rebuild parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The ring gear may have the ring/pinion tooth count. 39/10 would be a 3.90:1; 41/11 3.73:1; 39/11 3.55; 42/13 3.42; 37/11 3.36; 40/13 3.08

More than likely the peg leg 8.5 is going to have a standard ratio of 2.73 or 3.08. Some 4th gens even had 2.41 ratios.

I'd pull the axles shafts and inspect the bearing surface. It's not uncommon for the bearings to wear through the hardness.

Something like what you are describing I wouldn't pay a lot of money for. Expect to spend hundreds to upgrade it with performance gears, posi new axles and other rebuild parts.
Thanks. Anyone have a photo of what to look for in worn bearings and axle bearing surface? I would expect to feel the axles move around a little looser (sp?) inside the race/axle tube bearing surface, right?
 

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Another rearend most people don't think to look for that is a direct bolt in is the 1979 Cadilac Seville. It has the correct spring perches and spacing, the exact width, it's an 8.5" ten bolt and comes with disc brakes. I just looked at a complete seville the other day for $300. The only thing different is the wheel bolt pattern which is the larger 5on5 instead of the 4.75 but you can slip in any 68-up 10 bolt nova, apollo, ventura, omega axle and camaro/firebird rotors and change that easily.
 
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