A large part of being a successful car guy is making the most out of what you have. Sometimes this means making stock equipment last when money is better spent on other parts or groceries. In terms of rearends, this means the possibility of using a 10-bolt. Before you write the little pumpkins off, hear this: Dave Henninger raced a '71 Camaro in the NMCA's Super Street class with a 3,100-pound running 8.70s at 150 mph with a 10-bolt rearend!
Dave used the strongest of its breed, namely the 8.5-inch ring-and-pinion from a '70-'81 Camaro. For the most part, Chevy stopped installing the 12-bolt in 1972, leaving the 10-bolt to shoulder the burden. The 12-bolt is often put on a pedestal as the king, but at 8.875 inches, it's only slightly larger than the 8.5-inch 10-bolt prince. Chevy has employed four different 10-bolts, with four housing configurations, for musclecars in the last 35 years. The following is a guide for helping a potential wrecking-yard shopper and parts swapper identify who's who in the 10-bolt kingdom.
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