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Is my Differential stock?

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  • Rear Axle: Is my Differential stock?

    hi,
    My 59 Lark has a Chevy engine and trans in it, and Im assuming the differential has also been replaced. Anyone know what this is?

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/NnaKkGvS6TgDJfXZ9

    Markings I could identify:
    • 10 bolts
    • "US PAT 2018188"
    • "US PAT 1968618"
    • Numbers on axle shaft: "34 9B 2347"
    • Circle with capital "A" in it cast on pumpkin
    • Number "23" cast on pumpkin, in 2 places
    • Number "1" cast on pumpkin


    Im pretty sure this is not a Stude rear end, but want to at least confirm that before I go looking elsewhere.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Probably stock. Looks like a Dana 23 to me. Re; the "23" on right rear lower casting. Rear cover shape is the same for Dana 23,25,27 and 30.

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    • #3
      It even has the ratio tag --lower left on the back cover--3:31.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know what size/power of engine you have, but a 23 won't take much abuse.
        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup

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        • #5
          in answer to your question, yes.

          Mike

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 52-fan View Post
            I don't know what size/power of engine you have, but a 23 won't take much abuse.
            Yikes. everything Ive read about the Dana 23 is that is not good at all.

            I have a Chevy 350/350 in there, so that rear end is going to need to be replaced. At the very least, I now know what to look for when replacing the wheel cylinders, which have slight leaks (as a temporary fix to make sure it stops correctly). Im going to stay with this rear end for the short-term, and then replace it later on. Im in the middle of a brake upgrade: brakes take priority over that differential.

            Anyone have a recommendation for a new rear end?

            Specs:

            1959 Lark
            2 door hardtop
            Chevy 350/350, automatic

            Im not looking to race it; I just want a safe, solid rear end that can handle the engine/trans combo.

            My buddy and I will most likely be replacing it ourselves. I have some mechanical experience, my buddy who is helping me has done a lot of work on cars- and while not a traditionally trained mechanic, has lots of experience. So something that is a pretty easy swap would be best.

            Its my fun weekend car that I dont even drive every weekend (might start driving it more once I get it more dialed in, but not a huge amount more)

            Thanks for the advice everyone!

            Creegster

            Comment


            • #7
              Many folks use a shortened Ford 9".
              78 Avanti RQB 2792
              64 Avanti R1 R5408
              63 Avanti R1 R4551
              63 Avanti R1 R2281
              62 GT Hawk V15949
              56 GH 6032504
              56 GH 6032588
              55 Speedster 7160047
              55 Speedster 7165279

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              • #8
                Look around for a Dana 44 out of a Lark, Hawk, Avanti. It will handle your combination and you should be able to find one in your area. Better minds than mine will know if there is a width difference but they should bolt in and shouldn't cost a ton.

                Jerry Forrester has one in Georgia that's pretty far away but here's his post for reference. https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....3-31-Twin-Trac

                Bob

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
                  Look around for a Dana 44 out of a Lark, Hawk, Avanti. It will handle your combination and you should be able to find one in your area. Better minds than mine will know if there is a width difference but they should bolt in and shouldn't cost a ton.

                  Jerry Forrester has one in Georgia that's pretty far away but here's his post for reference. https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....3-31-Twin-Trac

                  Bob
                  Thanks Bob-
                  I know of an Avanti rear end that might do the trick here in Los Angeles. Ill have to go check it out to make sure. You can see it as the loose diff lying on top of this avanti frame
                  https://photos.app.goo.gl/pBNPmCiebngemSwCA

                  It says its a 44
                  https://photos.app.goo.gl/1K4fnBekKzu8Av3v5

                  I can go get more pictures at some point to confirm what it is.

                  Would I need to modify it at all or will it bolt in place?
                  What should I look for when I go to inspect it? Any measurements I should take?

                  Thanks
                  Creegster

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Avanti uses a Lark Convertible frame so you should be able to use the axle. Check width compared to yours both backing plate to backing plate and complete width. Check the axle housing diameter compared to your's. If different get the u-bolts and plates with it.

                    If it has a nut on the axle shaft end it's an early Avanti, if not it's a later flanged axle unit. Both will work. There will be mountings for the torque arms but you can cut them off if you need to.

                    Lastly, check the ratio, it should be close to yours but it's good to check. Take a picture of your's along just to compare if you can.

                    Overall, it should be pretty straight forward as some of the later Lark's had 44's IIRC.

                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
                      Overall, it should be pretty straight forward as some of the later Lark's had 44's IIRC.

                      Bob
                      Yes, my '61 came stock with a Dana 44 "T T" axle.

                      If you have the capacity to weld and a grinder, almost any axle can work without too much trouble. The width from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface, is most important. The spring mounting pads can be removed and rewelded to fit spring spacing.
                      I had a Dana 27 in my '53 coupe, replaced it with a Dana 44 from a '56 hawk (bolt in) when I installed a 350/350 combo. It turned out to have a bent axle, so replaced it with a Ford 8" from a Maverick. The Maverick 8" is a bit narrower which allowed more fender clearance, has many available gear choices, and will handle around 400HP. The 9" is quite large, but will handle more power, but usually came in large cars so are too wide unless you can find one from a Lincoln Versailles (it also has disk brakes).

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                      • #12
                        If you can locate one, the '57 to '59 Ford 9" is close to a bolt in. Not as strong as the latter For 9", but certainly an upgrade, and comes with flanged axles with same bolt pattern as Stude. IF you can score one out of a 6 cyl. wagon it is likely to be equipped with 4:11 gears. At least the two I had were (the first I swapped the pumpkin straight across into my '67 Cougar GT 390/ 4 speed.)
                        The last one I had got stolen. Bummer.

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                        • #13
                          All Studebaker Car Axle widths from '53 to '66 are the same.

                          In 1959 and later, Only V8 Station Wagons, 289 (and 283) equipped Cars, Police and Taxis had Dana 44's from the Factory.

                          A 1961 Lark would have to be a Wagon or a Cruiser equipped with the optional 289 Engine to have a 44 from the Factory.

                          The Axle Model Code (raised in the casting) is found on the Right Hand, Lower Web between the Axle Tube Socket and the "Pumpkin".

                          Only Factory equipped R3 Avantis, late 1965 and all '66 Studes. had Flanged Axles.
                          Last edited by StudeRich; 07-08-2019, 12:04 AM.
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                          • #14
                            thanks everyone-
                            Im not going to be replacing this right away, but its good to have all this info for when the time comes. This is going to be one of those projects that Im going to have some time on (unless my current axle dies), to find what I want, get it at a good price and clean it up and get it ready for install.

                            Thanks again for all the advice!

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