1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 8

1957 Chevy Restoration  "The Godfather" Part 8 - Rear:

     Fabcraft Metalworks now sells the long-awaited Trophy Track Special limited-slip differential for the `57-64 Olds/Pont rear end. This was the rear end of choice for all rodders and racers throughout the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. Hard to find a shoebox Chevy, Willys, Anglia, Altered, or Front Engined dragsters of that era that did not run this rear end.

     No more searching swap meets for beat up posi units! No more wondering about the dark, violent history of the limited-slip you just scored online! Fabcraft catapulting the `57-`64 Pontiac/Oldsmobile 9.3” differential into the 21st Century. The new Trophy Track is loaded with features that scream performance! This is advanced level performance!

     This muscle bound Trophy Track Special limited-slip differential is made in the USA from high-density nodular iron and AISI 9310 pro gear steel. Designed to be a 31-spline direct replacement unit in both Series II and III configurations, for the 2.69 through 6.14 gear ratios. All new from the ground up, featuring spot faced thick flange, large bearing hubs, stress free case and 6 gear double cross-shaft design. Weighing in with 5 lbs. more beef than the original GM units. All this with a Checkered Flag warranty. Track tested, street friendly. $695.00 www.fabcraft.cool Fabcraft Metalworks 800-208-8242.

     In 1968 I built my `57 with an Olds/Pontiac rear housing using Summers Brothers axles, spool and 5.86 gears. A necessity when running a 265 V8 - such a small engine needed all the gear it could get. Back in the day this was the strongest rear available. When Fabcraft announced their new posi I jumped at the chance to score one. Since I’m going with a 383 stroker I settled on a more streetable 3.90 Trophy Track posi unit. The axles were still in the car when I bought it back but someone installed a 3.08 posi – That went on e-bay and sold quickly. Good for me because when everybody finds out you can get a NEW improved unit, the 40 year old stuff will drop in price drastically.

     The rear housing and frame once the body was removed - Pic 1. After a good cleaning, blasting and some Eastwood Chassis Paint I had a clean canvas to start the assembly - Pic 2. Here’s a good look at the posi unit ring and pinion - Pic 3-4. The depth at which the pinion mates into the ring gear can determine gear strength and wear performance. Once the correct backlash is set, Fabcraft checked the mesh pattern using gear marking compound as shown - Pic 5. I installed the pumpkin/chunk/center section/pig. I believe pig is what they call it in the North West – don’t ask me why – I’d have to make something up… - Pic 6. I liked the red oxide paint so I just left it that way. Here’s the `57-`64 Pontiac/Olds Billet Steel Large “1350” Series U-Joint Pinion Yoke 13 Spline with the custom made driveshaft from Central Florida Driveshaft - Pic 7. It wouldn’t be finished without the “Posi” fluid tag! - Pic 8.

Rear Disk Brakes:

     Wilwood Forged Dynapro Low-Profile Pro-Series rear disc brake kits provide a complete solution for popular muscle car rear axles on applications that require a parking brake assembly and extra clearance for 14.00” to 15.00” rim applications. Forged billet Dynapro Low-Profile four-piston calipers 11.00” one-piece hat and rotor assemblies, and high friction pads provide optimized and balanced braking for all types of custom performance street/strip and show machines. The neatly hidden internal shoe system provides a clean installation with superior static holding power for parking. Optional caliper finishes and rotor designs enable the builder to personalize the style and optimize brake performance for every individual application.

     I used a Wilwood Dynapro Low-Profile Rear Parking Brake Kit from Classic Performance Products. Since I was using an Olds/Pontiac rear housing CPP worked with me to get me the kit with the proper flange I needed. Call CPP at 800-760-8541 for your specific needs.

     Axle is slid thru the flange hole - Pic 9. You get to the housing bolts thru the access hole on the axle flange - Pic 10. Wilwood brake is now installed to the rear housing . This is a good shot showing the parking brake shoes - Pic 11.      We have installed the rotor and caliper - Pic 12.

Lakewood Traction Bars

     Here’s a picture of the original Lakewood Traction Bars / Slapper Bars. They are the J Bolt style which were used on competition bars only - Pic 13. This is a better view of the new Lakewood Traction Bars installed with the J Bolt attached - Pic 14. I’ll have to carefully determine the amount of bumper height necessary to fill the gap at the front of the bar (bumpers moved). On competition only cars, it is best to completely fill the gap. On street/strip cars, a ½” gap on the right bumper and a 3/8” gap on the left bumper will produce a greatly improved ride.

Brake Lines

     I picked up a Mastercool Universal Hydraulic Flaring Kit #11535 from Eastwood to take care of all the fittings I needed throughout the break line system. This tool set accurately fabricates line-flaring types in aluminum, steel and soft metals (but NOT stainless steel) - Pic 9.

     I started with the rear attaching brake lines to the Wilwood calipers. Note the safety wire on the caliper mounting bolts. I learned that as an Aviation Structural Mechanic in the Navy! Coming across the housing I used the original brake fitting block attacked to the housing with a thru bolt. The flex brake hose mounts to a clip on the frame. I mounted the brake lines to the front by running them up on the outside of the frame. In case of a clutch explosion – the frame provides an added safety feature to protect the brake line. This is the brake fitting block mounted on the crossover frame for the front brakes (front brake installation was covered in a previous article). I’m starting to install the Master cylinder and Wilwood proportioning valve. Measuring cutting and fitting front lines. Hand held cutter and tube bender shown. I wanted a nice and clean finished job. Installing the Hurst Line Lock. For some reason over the years the name seems to have changed to Hurst Roll control kits. I wanted to put coils in the lines from the frame to the master cylinder in case of any flexing to prevent cracked or broken lines. A large socket worked great to get the result I was after. Here’s the Hydraulic Flaring tool in use. I like the way it all mounted together for the finished clean look I was after!






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