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Replacement of Rear End Cover on 73 Vette


Active member
Jun 10, 2004
1971 Pro Street Corvette
I was in the process of replacing the spring in my 73, when I noticed one of the ears on the rear cover was cracked. Shortly thereafter, it snapped off. Nice! Anyhoo, I do need to replace the rear end cover with a heavy duty one. I am wondering if I can replace the cover with the rear end in the car......or do I have to remove the entire rear end? If I do have to remove the rear end, are there any tips that can be given to help make this a little bit easier? Thanks!
The diff and its crossmember have to come out together in order to get at the four bolts on top that hold the rear cover to the crossmember. When you replace the spring, follow the GM Shop Manual procedure - only tighten the spring retainer plate bolts to 15-20 ft-lbs. while the car is in the air with the spring arched; wait until the car is on wheels with full load on the spring before you final-torque those four bolts. If you don't do that, you'll break the ears off the rear cover when you tighten the four bolts. You don't need a heavy-duty rear cover - the standard cover will work fine (unless you tighten the spring bolts with the car up in the air).
If you do use a HD cover you'll have to radius the spring too. The center to center pattern is off a little and every HD cover I used the bolts hit the spring.
Check the end-play in the side yokes too since you'll have the cover off they're easy to change. If you have over .040-.050" replace them now.

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