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I'm looking to get a little more "seat of the pants" excitement out of my stock 71 without spending a ton of money and digging into the inner workings of the engine itself. So far I've switched from 2bbl and stock intake to 4bbl and aluminum intake and that's helped a bit. I'm also going to be adding headers and Magnaflow exhaust next week. After that I figured I'd step up from the stock rear gears to a 3:73 ratio.

With that in mind I'd like to get some advice on the best way to go about this and if there are other considerations beyond just switching the gears themselves.

I'm almost certain my stock gear ratio is 2:56 and guessing open diff. I'm going to try to get the axle code today. Currently it's seems to be hidden and well-protected by a very stubborn layer of grease, grime and who know's what.

Current setup: 1971 Nova, Stock 350 (L65) with TH350, 8.2" 10-bolt rear, 2:56 ratio & non-posi (assumed).

Questions:

Is this a straightforward replacement? Gears for gears? Or are there other things that require attention as well? I don't have the tools, space or know-how to do this myself so I was going to take it to a shop, and being on a budget I'd like to get a ballpark idea of how much the gears, parts and labor may set me back. I'd also like to add posi if I confirm that the current setup is open.

I've also read that some just source out a complete rear axle from a parts car or boneyard that has what I need and just swap one for the other. Thoughts on this route? Pros and cons?
 

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I wouldnt put $2 into that 8.2 best bet is go to vineyard and try to fund urself a 8.5 much stronger rear. And if find a ss or rally car it should have 3.08 or 3.42 with possible posi. Now it may run .$400 or more but then ur getting better gears, stronger rear, and posi. Plus u could swap it urself..... just my 2 cents. I got a open 8.5 for $150 and plan on rebuilding it. It had 2.73 gears.
 

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going from 2.56 to 3.73 is a big jump. It will put you about 1300 rpm higher on the highway. A 3.36 would be a decent change with out going overboard, you will also need a carrier change since the 2.56 gears will be on a 2 series carrier.

Miles
 

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With that mild 350 and an auto trans that 8.2 10 bolt will be fine. You need a gear set, carrier and install kit. Plus about $150.00 - $200 labor. 3.36 - 3.42 would be a good ratio for all around driving.
 

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I'm looking to get a little more "seat of the pants" excitement out of my stock 71 without spending a ton of money and digging into the inner workings of the engine itself. So far I've switched from 2bbl and stock intake to 4bbl and aluminum intake and that's helped a bit. I'm also going to be adding headers and Magnaflow exhaust next week. After that I figured I'd step up from the stock rear gears to a 3:73 ratio.

With that in mind I'd like to get some advice on the best way to go about this and if there are other considerations beyond just switching the gears themselves.

I'm almost certain my stock gear ratio is 2:56 and guessing open diff. I'm going to try to get the axle code today. Currently it's seems to be hidden and well-protected by a very stubborn layer of grease, grime and who know's what.

Current setup: 1971 Nova, Stock 350 (L65) with TH350, 8.2" 10-bolt rear, 2:56 ratio & non-posi (assumed).

Questions:

Is this a straightforward replacement? Gears for gears? Or are there other things that require attention as well? I don't have the tools, space or know-how to do this myself so I was going to take it to a shop, and being on a budget I'd like to get a ballpark idea of how much the gears, parts and labor may set me back. I'd also like to add posi if I confirm that the current setup is open.

I've also read that some just source out a complete rear axle from a parts car or boneyard that has what I need and just swap one for the other. Thoughts on this route? Pros and cons?
My 71 in my avatar that I used to have, I put an Eaton posi and 3:73 Richmond street gears w/ stock axles. Drove the snot out of it for close to 6 years. Car had a 406 w/ AFR 210 heads, turbo 350 w/3500 stall. Ran 11.60s all day long at the track with the Hoosiers on it. If I had an 8.5 at the time I would have used but I didn't so I went with the 8.2. I didn't have a a transbrake and that was probably a good thing. Street -strip car no problem.
 
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