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HO52 3rd Member
#1407911 Thu Apr 29 2021 04:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 518
D
Unconventional Thinker
My old '65 C20's rear axle has seen better days. It's been reliable, has taken us all over the country, so I cannot complain. Looking at the shop manual last night, except for the bearing noise coming from the rear, the 1/4 turn of slop and the occasional popping of the no-spin is normal. Last weekend, I decided to take a quick look at the HO52 in the parts truck. I have not peered inside that differential yet, but the slop on it is maybe 1/64th of a turn. It is tight compared to the HO52 in the running truck. My thoughts are this, remove the 3rd member from the parts truck and swap it into the my running truck. What I do know about full floaters is the tires can stay on if there aren't center caps for the wheels.

Other than that, is it a fairly straightforward swap? What should I look for on the apparent good 3rd member? Do I check the bearing preload to verify it's assembled correctly? Should I paint on some prussian blue to check the gear contact? If everything checks out, the swap should be a lost low cost operation, some cans of brake kleen, a couple tubes of black or grey silicone, some gear oil and some additive. I have never done this kind of swap before. Is it that straightforward? Not going to say simple, every time I say the procedure is going to be simple, it is a long drawn-out ordeal.

Last edited by DoubleDingo; Thu Apr 29 2021 05:37 PM.

Shane

Shane's Toys...
2007 Forester XT Limited (2nd Owner)
1991 Cherokee Laredo (2nd Owner)
1981 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside 8,600 Camper Special (3rd Owner)
1965 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside (3rd Owner)
Re: HO52 3rd Member
DoubleDingo #1407919 Thu Apr 29 2021 05:57 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 518
D
Unconventional Thinker
So y'all know, I did read, and re-read, and re-read this at least 10 times thus far. Gear Change from Tech Tips Section

I just need to know if there are any glaring items I should really pay attention to while doing the swap. This truck is used for everything, from short drives to and from work, to dump runs, to drives to Texas and back, or 1,000 mile camping trips, you name it, we use the truck for it. So it needs to be as reliable as it has been already. My thoughts on the HO52 in the parts truck, is it hasn't been in service since who knows when. I bought the truck in May 2005, and had to pay a few years of overdue registration because the PO wasn't upfront with me. So it has been in non-op status for close to 20 years, whereas, my running truck has been in service since 1965.


Shane

Shane's Toys...
2007 Forester XT Limited (2nd Owner)
1991 Cherokee Laredo (2nd Owner)
1981 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside 8,600 Camper Special (3rd Owner)
1965 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside (3rd Owner)
Re: HO52 3rd Member
DoubleDingo #1407928 Thu Apr 29 2021 07:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,451
W
'Bolter
It is a basic swap. The only thing hard is the handling of those units. They are very heavy.
The first thing to do is examine the donor unit. See what the gear ratio of the donor unit is. Some of those are geared real low & wouldn't be good on the highway for a long trip.
Then check the condition of the donor. Sometimes when they sat for a long time they can get water in side & rust some of the parts. Check the pinion brg for play. There is no adjust ment on that one. If it has play it needs replacement. Check for side play in the carrier brgs. A small amount can be adjusted but very much needs a brg. replacement.
To remove the center section, remove the axle shafts. Disconnect the drive shaft. Remove the rear cover. Remove the nuts or bolts from the section & pull it out.
New gaskets are available but you can use RTV.
If you have more questions ask them. There are a lot of guys on this website that know a lot about this stuff.
George


They say money can't buy happiness. It can buy old Chevy trucks though. Same thing.

1972 Chevy c10 Cheyenne Super
Re: HO52 3rd Member
DoubleDingo #1407932 Thu Apr 29 2021 07:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 518
D
Unconventional Thinker
Thanks for the info. I have one of those harbor freight scissor lift style transmission jacks, that should make the removal and installation a little easier, but not easier getting it up on a flat surface for inspection and cleaning. When I have changed the gear oil in the running truck, I asked my local parts store for the gasket, and they don't have a listing for it. If you guys have a number, they can cross reference it. Scratch that I saw the tech tip has a bunch of gasket numbers.

The donor truck is also a C20. I may get lucky and find a 4.11 in there. That would be a bonus. My guess is 4.57 like the running truck is. If it's the 5.14 it's a no-go. The donor has been under the truck as long as I have had it, so hopefully no water got in there. If it turns out to be a 4.11, I'll have to swap transmissions too, as the 3 speed's first gear is far too high for 4.11, it would slip the clutch a lot with the 31.6 diameter tires on there.

Last edited by DoubleDingo; Thu Apr 29 2021 07:23 PM.

Shane

Shane's Toys...
2007 Forester XT Limited (2nd Owner)
1991 Cherokee Laredo (2nd Owner)
1981 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside 8,600 Camper Special (3rd Owner)
1965 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside (3rd Owner)
Re: HO52 3rd Member
DoubleDingo #1407939 Thu Apr 29 2021 07:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,271
E
'Bolter
Pretty easy to put a 4 speed trans in there.

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Re: HO52 3rd Member
EdPruss #1407948 Thu Apr 29 2021 09:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 518
D
Unconventional Thinker
Originally Posted by EdPruss
Pretty easy to put a 4 speed trans in there.

Ed

Not too bad. Remove the seat. Cut hole in the floor. Install transmission and driveshafts. Bolt in high hump. Install seat. Just not on the to-do-list at this particular moment, but then again, neither is the 3rd member swap...lol... Life is good at changing plans

Last edited by DoubleDingo; Thu Apr 29 2021 09:20 PM.

Shane

Shane's Toys...
2007 Forester XT Limited (2nd Owner)
1991 Cherokee Laredo (2nd Owner)
1981 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside 8,600 Camper Special (3rd Owner)
1965 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside (3rd Owner)
Re: HO52 3rd Member
DoubleDingo #1407969 Fri Apr 30 2021 12:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 127
A
ASU Offline
'Bolter
You may be surprised at how little the difference is between 4.56 and 4.11. I know you can do the math, and come up with precise numbers, but the difference in "feel" and how it starts out in 1st gear will be what counts. If the donor is a 4.11, I would put it in and drive it for 2 weeks to get used to it, see how you like it. Try the short runs to work, and around town. Find a safe spot out of traffic and see if it can be stalled starting out in 1st gear, or what your limitations are!

Personally I went from 4.56 to 4.11, and wish I went to 3.73. but that is a project for another day.


Good luck

Jon

Re: HO52 3rd Member
DoubleDingo #1407970 Fri Apr 30 2021 12:38 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,334
Bubba
Depending on how you measure the changes:

4.53 to 4.11 = ~10% difference

4.11 to 3.90 = ~5% difference. I noticed/felt this difference.

4.11 or 3.90 to 3.55 = a difference you can "feel"

The "calculator" at the bottom of this page gives a good "depiction" of RPMs at with various "set-ups" at various speeds.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- 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 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: HO52 3rd Member
DoubleDingo #1407987 Fri Apr 30 2021 02:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 518
D
Unconventional Thinker
I have a spreadsheet with different tire sizes (diameter) showing transmission gear ratios, rear end gear ratios, and various speeds and the rpms at those speeds in direct as well as overdrive. My end goal is to have a tire and direct 1:1 rpm that turns 3,000 at 70 mph. Not exactly, but close. 4.57 is good for 70 while turning about 2,600 in overdrive. 4.11 is the sweet spot gear. 3.73 is good but not ideal. But, 3.54, that gear provides the most options, with gears between gears. 3.54, overdrive wouldn't be needed half the time as 70 mph is 2,600 rpm direct. I like 3.54, it's a great gear but not for towing. Although, with the ranger gear splitter, the 3.54 has the most options, whereas, 4.10/4.11 gets the direct drive rpm I'm shooting for.

Lots of tire sizes have been tried over the years in different vehicles with different rear gear ratios, and all of that info I compiled so I know each vehicle's sweet spot for highway cruising. Yeah, I geeked out on compiling the info, but it sure helped when buying tires.

Last edited by DoubleDingo; Fri Apr 30 2021 02:21 AM.

Shane

Shane's Toys...
2007 Forester XT Limited (2nd Owner)
1991 Cherokee Laredo (2nd Owner)
1981 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside 8,600 Camper Special (3rd Owner)
1965 Chevy 3/4 Ton Fleetside (3rd Owner)
Re: HO52 3rd Member
ASU #1407991 Fri Apr 30 2021 02:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 539
B
'Bolter
Originally Posted by ASU
Personally I went from 4.56 to 4.11, and wish I went to 3.73. but that is a project for another day.


Good luck

Jon

4.11 is the only option for that rear. There are no 3.73 unfortunately.

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