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What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? #1289981 Wed Dec 05 2018 07:55 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 602
T
tom moore Online OP
Shop Shark
Looking for general input on the 3.55 differential conversion. Given the stock torque tube and using a stock four or three speed transmission was the cost worth the gain?

Last edited by tom moore; Wed Dec 05 2018 07:56 PM.
Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1289997 Wed Dec 05 2018 09:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,484
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
Yes - I like/notice the 10-15% RPM reduction (from R&P change and larger-diameter radial tires).

An added bonus is that the drivetrain is much quieter - partially due to lower RPMs and due to replacing all driveline-wear parts (using the parts kit sold by Classic Parts and others).


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1290039 Thu Dec 06 2018 02:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,956
C
cmayna Offline
Shop Shark
Me too. Best thing I've done to the green turd.


Craig's '50 Chevy 3100 5 window
My truck
If I'm not working on my truck or VW camper, I'm fishing with the wife or smoking Salmon.
Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1290083 Thu Dec 06 2018 03:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 459
S
showkey Offline
Shop Shark
Well worth the cost and effort..............no pay back in $$$. The pay back is in increase comfort and noise reduction.

Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1290161 Fri Dec 07 2018 02:28 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,331
5
52Carl Online
Master Gabster
A no brainer for a 4 speed (with granny first gear). If you use the stock 3 speed, you won't be able to pull stumps any more (maybe little ones), but you will enjoy the lower RPM at high speeds.

Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1290255 Fri Dec 07 2018 11:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 857
Y
yar Offline
Shop Shark
Tom,

I did that conversion on my restored '36 Chevy PU and I agree with Tim, Craig and Showkey. Mine was way more work than a simple gear change and is described in this article posted by a VCCA member:

https://vccachat.org/ubbthreads.php/topics/334876/1936-chevy-3-55-rear-gear-conversion.html

My '36 is way more pleasant to drive with the 3.55 rear gears and I would enthusiastically recommend it to anyone. It has the 1932-36 version of the synchronized Chevy & Pontiac 3-speed transmission, a crude device compared to the '37 and up units. The 4-speed of that era is an unsynchronized beast of a trans with a first gear ratio that, as Carl points out, is well suited to pulling stumps and probably also for moving 747s around at the airport. They are cheap, however. In fact guys have told me they can't even give them away.


Ray
Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1290311 Sat Dec 08 2018 03:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 692
T
TrknGMC Offline
Bondo Artiste
Well worth the effort and cost.


Phillip
1927 Chevy Capital 1 Ton truck - basket case
1941 Chevy Suburban - Parts only
1949 GMC Suburban - 10 year project
1945 GMC half ton truck - Driver
1946 Chevy COE - Might restore one day...

https://photos.google.com/u/1/albums
Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1290400 Sun Dec 09 2018 12:32 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 602
T
tom moore Online OP
Shop Shark
I am using the stock 1941 3-speed with floor shifter Because the truck is basically an around town grocery getter I decided not to go with the 3.55.

Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1290401 Sun Dec 09 2018 12:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,395
S
sstock Online
Shop Shark
I hear you Tom, 90% of my driving is on secondary roads too, yesterday the weather was good and roads were dry and I went for a drive and got out in the country a ways, time got away and I jumped onto the freeway for a jaunt and the 235 is not happy at 65mph with 4.11 and 29" tires, too much engine speed, it sweet spot is 50-55. So I have gathered up the parts for a 3.55 but haven't started the work yet. I have a sm420 so I can start out in first if I have too and good synchros in the trans too so there is always that factor..


1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 cu inch, sm420, 3.55 rear, omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bli...n05i04t1aokgm4p04jiwgffwhyyih5xbk0h00410
Re: What is the verdict on the 3.55 conversion? [Re: tom moore] #1290403 Sun Dec 09 2018 01:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,484
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
Originally Posted by tom moore
I am using the stock 1941 3-speed with floor shifter Because the truck is basically an around town grocery getter I decided not to go with the 3.55.

Good reasoning, Tom


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
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