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'72 Chevy C-20 rear axle

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Posted by G-MAN on April 26, 2003 at 11:18:04 from (

What rear axle would be in a 1972 Chevrolet C-20 pickup with the coil-spring rear? I think I have found a beginning for the project I detailed some weeks ago (still viewable on the last page of posts). I consider myself fairly knowledgeable on Chevy pickups, but what make and model this type of axle is has always eluded me. It has the drop-out center section and removable rear cover, and is much more rounded than the later 14-bolt. Our '69 Chevy 3/4 ton 4x4 pulling truck has this same rear-end, and we were never able to tear it up, so I think they must be fairly stout units. How strong are they and are there any locking differentials available for them, such as a Detroit Locker? How about disk-brake conversions. Would they be up to the challenge of towing behind a Chevy HT 502 crate engine and NV 4500 trans? The HT 502 is only 340 horsepower, but torque is in the 520 lb-ft range. The NV4500 would multiply that substantially, so will it stand up? That is the engine I've basically decided to install when funds allow. I'm just looking for information on upgradeability on that axle. Would I be better off converting to a 14-bolt? I know there is huge aftermarket support for those.

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