Question about 1996 Chevrolet Camaro

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Need new rear end for a 1996 Chevy Camaro (interchange options?)


Well I had posted here earlier regarding my 1996 Camaro RS with 3.8 V6 and GU4 rearend. So now I need to replace the rearend. I plan on just going to a junkyard or buying a rear end from someone parting out their car. Ideally I'll find a Camaro and I can easily swap mine out for the one I find. I know Chevy/ Pontiac use a lot of similar parts so how can I know/ what should I know in the event of switching a non-camaro rear end.

I know I can look on the door jam for parts code "GU4" which gives me the ratio of 3.08.

I will also have a picture of my rear end so I can match the same bolt pattern/general size. I do not want to have to do any major fabricating and I just think visually it could be a risk.

I know many chevys (s10's, the vans ect) have the GU4 part number but there are a lot more internals in the diffential than just the ratio! I've never taken a rear end apart so I want to avoid wasting time and effort on other vehicles if it will not work on my camaro.

Basically anyone have any advice of things I should look out for? Or should I stick purely to Camaro's of simialr year (maybe firebirds).

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  • xxoutlaw2022 May 19, 2009

    Thank you, I was leaning towards just sticking with the camaros and their siblings (fire/trans).


  • xxoutlaw2022 May 19, 2009

    Well I took it to a shop (first time ever bring a vehicle to a shop) and got it diagnosed. They said that the ring/pinion were wearing away and the whole assembly inside the housing was shifting as i accelerated or stopped (i forget the name, Ive never got into the rear end of a car before so my knowledge is limited). Then they said as with an engine if your getting into it you should rebuild it all since the failure and grinding up of the ring/pinion means metal shards are spreading throughout the differential thus killing off the bearings and other parts. Seems to make sense but then again shops always like to up the ante and fix things for the "just in case" scenario and also to beef up the cost. Anyway I just figured I would risk it and find a wrecked camaro/firebird/transam with lower miles and switch it out for simplicity. I believe I could tackle a rebuild as I generally work on all my cars but that could end up being much more time and money even though the result would be better. The thought of pulling one from a salvage yard for $150 seemed pretty handy! =)

  • xxoutlaw2022 May 19, 2009

    Yea, maybe I will rebuild it, I have plenty of time right now. What book did you use for yours? What ratio did you end up going for? I got the car just for transportation so I am not to concerned with quicker acceleration at the sacrifice of fuel economy especially if it will alter my speedo but at the same time faster is always better haha. Would I have to get a chip/programmer to calibrate my speedo? ....Im not sure if mine has posi in it even. I thought posi was only put in the v8's since its more performance related?



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Camaro firebird and transam axles are what i would go for. remember lots of people change out the ratio just look for one with posi it will bolt right up if the ratio is wrong it will only affect speedo and fuel economy a little bit. this can also be changed easily with your ring and pinion out of the old one if need be.

Posted on May 18, 2009

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  • jon fuller May 19, 2009

    what actually is wrong with your rear end they are fairly simple to rebuild if the housing and the axle shafts are in good shape there are 6 bearings and 3 seals in it.

  • jon fuller May 19, 2009

    actually for not much more and about 2 hours of your time and a good manual you can rebuild it yourself i know i did mine and a new ring and pinion and complete bearing set ended up being about 250 and i know what i have now i put a different ratio in it to make it accelerate better and am really happy with it. but the junk yard is an option as well i just know that if they were beat on or diddnt get the correct slip modifier at oil changes or put a smaller tire on one side because of a flat they can be destroyed in just a few miles so is a big risk that your clutch pak for the posi may not work.

  • jon fuller May 20, 2009

    yeah mine is the v-8 model it came stock with the 2.75 gear ratio i went to the 3.44 ratio a programmer will fix your speedo and the chilton is probably the best book as far as the axle's but the haynes would do alright as well i have done alot of axles before this one so diddnt use the book. that is the hardest part about the junk yard axles is there was actually about 8 different gear ratios available in those cars. you will have to look at the tag to figure out gear ratio or put it in nuetral and lift the back tires off the ground and spin them. one rotation of the tire and count the rotations of the driveshaft the driveline rotations is the ratio that you have now. bigger number will get you quicker off the line smaller number will give you better fuel economy at the sacrifice of power. also can tell if you have posi this way as well spin one tire and watch the other one. if they both spin the same direction means you have posi if they spin opposite you have an open diff but can buy a different spool and add posi if you would like to.


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Gu4 is eally 3:42's

Posted on Oct 23, 2011


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