59 rear end rebuild parts - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Amman, Jordan
Posts: 25
59 rear end rebuild parts

Good morning. I am getting ready to rebuild my original rear end on my 59. I am basing the below on my previous experience with a Currie 9" where the bearings are pressed into the housing vice pressed onto the axle (so I could be waaaaay off). I bought the car in pieces so I do not know if there is anything wrong with any of the parts, so I am assuming there isn't.

I am planning on taking it completely apart to blast and paint. I will be adding Wilwood disc brakes during the re-assembly. I am looking to replace the bearings as I am assuming they will be damaged or attract debris during the sand blasting and painting process. I have been looking for new axle bearings and or bearing kits (everything to assemble each axle) and have seen prices ranging from $2.49 to $138 per axle. Based on the huge price range, I find the appearance of price gouging nauseating. Does anyone have a recommended vendor for these parts?

Thanks in advance for you insights.
burrism is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,456
Unless you are building this car to sit on Pebble Beach forget the original rear end. It is incredibly weak.

If you want one that is all GM go to a 1957-'64 Pontiac Olds rear end:





3.42 POSI 9.3 Gasser Oldsmobile Pontiac 57-64 rear end - www.jdrace.com

Plus New ring and pinion in your favorite ratio if yo go open, Axles and bearings and seals. You will also need to recycle your old spring mounts and shock mounts as the Pont-Olds rear used leaf springs. It is however stronger than the Ford nine inch and looks original.

Or go to the Ford nine inch.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Amman, Jordan
Posts: 25
Dave - so what do you really mean by "incredibly weak"?

I have read many an article where people have drag raced and rodded their stock 59 rear end and drive shaft without incident. Granted I will have an LS3 and a 6L90e tranny and I am just looking to cruise. It seems that with the housing option you mentioned, I will still have to get axles (assuming mine will not work). I will have to get a new pumpkin and associated seals and bearings. I will also have to modify the housing to accommodate the shocks and springs and will still have to blast and paint the housing.

As much as I would like to buy a new Currie 9" rear end, I do not have $3,000 (plus shipping).

Not that I am looking for the cheap way out, but I am not sure the financial investment is worth it without really knowing how "incredibly weak" is defined.

Thanks again.
burrism is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I mean it was designed in 1945 for a 92 horsepower 216 in-line six cylinder engine ("the power of a six for the price of a four" said initial advertising).

It didn't use later 1962 28 spline axles but instead had the earlier smaller 17 spline axles. The spider gears on the cross shafts in the differentials break if you look at them hard. For a 283 two barrel with a worn out PowerGlide it will hold up if you retrain the four and a half inch wide tire patch on a rock hard tire. Anything bigger or stickier risks a broken rear end.

A lot of things have changed since 1959. Including rear ends. Chevy got tired of replacing them with six inch wide rock hard rubber tires and a 327 motor in 1964 so that all cars made after then had a stronger rear end with a higher torque rating to handle a more modern car engine.

It is car weight, gearing, and engine torque that breaks parts not horsepower. A modern normally aspirated engine like your LS3 conversion will easily output 550 foot pounds of torque (same as 496 big block Chevy engine). Add a turbo or super charger and you are producing the torque of a Cummins Diesel engine (that much power will twist an X-frame car up like a pretzel).

You will need a Dana 60 to prevent breaking the rear end (it can handle a thousand foot pounds of torque), which is why Ford uses them in their trucks above the F150 instead of a nine inch.

a Hot Rod car mag article comparing all three popular rear ends:


Big Dave
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Amman, Jordan
Posts: 25
Dave - thanks for the clear explanation. I guess it is time to reach into the big boy pants and find my wallet.
burrism is offline  
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