During the disc brake conversion, the decision was made to swap out the existing rear end. The 4:10 gears produced a less than ideal RPM on the freeway, and the original 6 lug axles would no longer match the new 5 lug disc spindles up front. A new rear end from a '72 chevy C10 was located. The 72's 5 lug axles, 3:08 ratio, and coil spring design perfectly matched our needs.

During the swap, the new brake drums were filled with all new pads and springs, fed by new hard lines and hoses. A few lug studs needed to be replaced, and we found that the new studs we ordered from the local chevy dealer would not fit - too big. The next studs we tried were too small. We ended up disregarding the make/model information, and ordering studs based solely on size. We finally got some that were almost big enough- after displacing some metal with a center punch, they seemed to work just fine.

During the swap, we also decided to adjust the stance of the rear end. Project sixty5short was to become a usable work truck, so we did not want the typical 4/6 drop. We decided to remove the "rake" and go for a level stance front to back.

Two pieces of square steel stock, 2" by 9" long were obtained from a local trailer manufacturer. The ends were welded shut, and two 3/4" holes were drilled to accomodate the new U-bolts, which were 3" longer than stock. These pieces were installed between the axle tubes and the trailing arm for a 2" drop.

The end result was exactly as intended- project sixty5short now sits at level stance. Not a radical change, but a subtle custom touch that enthusiasts will notice. This method is entirely reversible should we ever change our mind, and represents a fraction of the cost of new springs. Aside from a 2 inch loss of suspension travel, and 2 inches less ground clearance for the shock mount, this project rates a "10" in our book.


JANUARY 2003 PROJECT SIXTY5SHORT ---1-
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