What We Did
Assembled a complete crate rearend from Currie Enterprises
It's as easy as ordering your favorite pizza
It's kind of like ordering a pizza just the way you like it and with all your favorite toppings, only instead of ordering extra cheese and pepperoni, you're getting your choice of a limited slip and disc brakes. It gets even better: You can get as custom as you want or just a simple rebuild with a stock housing. This is where Currie Enterprises out of Anaheim, California, comes into play, as it can provide you with the most out-of-the-ordinary, one-off custom rearend the mind can dream up. If you feel like you have to have it, Currie can certainly build it to spec, assemble it, and have it shipped right to your door.
In our case, the '70 Chevelle we've been toying with is transforming from an all-drag A-body with a spool to a dual-purpose warrior that's more street-friendly with a 9-inch rearend and a limited slip. We needed something in the Chevelle to make its new home on the street more user-friendly and something to stand up to its big-block power. A rearend's job is to house the gears and the axles and to make certain the power is delivered to the ground to get your sled moving. Without the right gearing, axles, or housing, an engine can make mincemeat out of those parts in one fell swoop. Gears can explode under extreme load conditions and axles' splines can shred instantly-all the more reason for a beefy rearend.
Why a 9-inch, though? Not only does this rearend have a massive following, but its aftermarket parts are readily available-far more than any other rearend on the market. And let us not neglect to mention that the 9-inch carries an additional strength factor that no other rearend carries: a third pinion bearing on the head of the pinion gear, as opposed to just the normal two on the pinion shaft that other rearends have.
If you aren't applying all that energy to the ground and to the tire, it's wasted effort; high horsepower numbers are cool on paper, but unless those numbers are backed up with track times, no one cares much. This is why it's important to get your rearend set up correctly and to have it be able to handle the chores you have in mind for it. For us, we went with the stock housing and axle lengths, a 3.50:1 gear ratio, limited slip, 31-spline axles, and a 1350 yoke. We also decided drums wouldn't sit right on this Chevelle so we opted for Currie's 11-inch Explorer disc brake package. And because this Chevelle will be seeing double duty as a street-ripper and weekend drag car, we had Currie drill out dual bolt patterns in order to fit a broader range of wheels for both the street and strip.
Follow along and see what goes into a build, and while we won't be installing this rearend into the Chevelle just yet, we'll follow up with a complete step-by-step piece shortly.
Currie builds all of its rearend...
Currie builds all of its rearend housings in-house by hand. Each bare rearend housing is set on a specific jig, and in our case this rearend was set up for a '70 Chevelle A-body. The axlehousing tubes are welded on and the studs for the differential cover are installed as well.
It's important that the housings...
It's important that the housings remain true and straight. Every housing is thus sent to a press for accuracy, where it will also be straightened when necessary. At this phase, pressure is applied to knock out all the kinks and make sure the axles have a solid base.
Currie's axles begin their...
Currie's axles begin their lives as stocked pieces in the shop. Currie carries around 36 different core forgings for different splines and offset applications. From there, once the company receives your order, it tailors each axle for length, bolt patterns, and splines.