Chevy Truck Rear End Interchange: How To Work With It?

Do you have a problem with your Chevy Truck Rear End Interchange? This article will help you understand the issue and how to fix it.

The Chevy truck rear-end interchange is something a lot of vehicle owners enquire about. The internal machinery of a truck is not something non-professionals would think about while operating a vehicle. 

But when you are running a heavy-duty vehicle, having basic knowledge can come in handy anytime on the road. 

In this article, let us tell you about the truck rear-end interchange and how we can help you out in certain situations.

Chevy Truck Rear End Interchange

What Is A Rear End Differential?

For any kind of automobile, gears are the components that transfer power from the engine to the rear wheels. The size of a gear depends on the function it has in a vehicle, passing the energy from the engine to the wheels as required. 

A rear-end differential is the gear present on the rear axle of the vehicle. It allows the rear wheels to turn together in unison but lets each of the rear wheels move independently when required. 

The size of these gears depends on the kind of vehicle you are driving and what gear ratios are being used to operate the machinery. 

In a Chevy truck, the rear-end differential is connected by a driveshaft. This allows the rear-end gear to draw power from the engine when the truck is in motion. 

The main function of this component is to allow changing the direction of the truck uniformly. The differential enables the vehicle to deliver more torque to the back tires. 

Heavy-duty trucks like Chevy, as well as certain SUVs, use a design that allows changing the direction of power and incorporates half shafts.

Necessarily, the rear-end differential will allow the wheels to be connected at the time of turning the vehicle.

Also read: What size Allen wrench should I use for Chey brake calipers?

Chevy Truck Rear End Gears

As mentioned before, rear-end gears are primarily responsible for passing the energy through the driveline to the wheels.

The transmission works in a manner that distributes the speed directly, which helps to increase the speed of the vehicle. 

Inside the axle of the car, a drive shaft is coupled with a pinion.

The pinion shaft diameter has to be strong enough to transfer power through the axle, making it possible to speed up the vehicle when required. 

In heavy-duty vehicles, this shaft is stronger than in common cars. This whole setup is also referred to as pinion gear.

The pinion gear works in combination with a larger gear, known as the ring gear. The differential case contains the smaller gears, which are attached to the ring gear.

This setup helps to drive the truck through curves while maintaining a steady speed. 

Chevy trucks do not produce any kind of vibrations due to the design used in the machinery, making it an extremely efficient design. All the different sizes of the gears allow the wheels to receive power from the engine of the truck. 

Chevy Truck Rear End Interchange

Also read: Torx Bit Size For Chevy Brakes

Chevy Truck Gear Ratios And How To Identify It

Every vehicle has a gear ratio that allows the vehicle to maintain a uniform speed when it is in movement. These ratios can be modified with the right size and type of components for different purposes. 

There are a few things you have to keep in mind when you are trying to modify the gear ratio in your Chevy truck:

You will require the casing and dimensions of the read-end differential. This has a specific size, similar to the pinion and ring gear.

The number/code of the gear ratio can be found in most glove compartments of General Motor vehicles. There are 164 codes available, each vehicle with its specific code for the rear-end differential. 

The label will be included in one of the bolts of the differential covers.  

You can calculate the gear ratio of your vehicle by a specific procedure.

Count the number of teeth on the pinion or smaller gear and the number of teeth on the ring or larger gear. By dividing the teeth number of the ring gear by the pinion gear, you can find the ratio. 

Knowing the gear ratio of the vehicle can help you find replacements for damaged parts more efficiently.

It will also be helpful when you are trying to modify the gear ratio on your own vehicle.

Also read – Reasons for Chevy Colorado not going into park

Chevy Truck Rear End Interchange

Common Chevy Truck Models use a 10-bolt differential which is the most common type of rear-end differential in trucks. With these designs, the gear ratios differ on how the vehicle is being used from time to time. But when it needs to be repaired or changed, it can help to know the basics. 

Here is how you can go about the identification and interchange of a 10-bolt gear differential.

Prepare your vehicle

Park your Chevy truck in a spacious area where you can start working. Make sure to put the parking brake to avoid any kind of accidental movement of the vehicle. You have to work directly under the truck, and taking all possible safety precautions is a must. 

Start with the Rear Axle

Examine the rear axle carrier that will be located in a central part of the truck’s machinery. This can differ in body styles, but you will have to locate it based on the model of your truck. The most probable location of this component will be between the right and left axle tubes. 

Identify the Rear Differential

The differential component will be the one secured with a specific number of bolts, in this case, the 10-bolt design. Find the cover that has the 10-bolt identification and ten bolts that secure the whole component. You can find a two or three-digit number that marks the component. It is usually located at the right-hand corner of the differential cover.

Make sure that you are correctly identifying all the parts before making any kind of changes to the vehicle’s machinery. In case you are using a 12-bolt rear differential, you have to look for a differential cover that is secured by 12 bolts. 

In some vehicles, you can also look for a specific ID number. This can be checked on the cast iron section of the bottom. This can also give you the details about the factory origin of the vehicle, the model number, the casting date as well as the gear ratio. 

Chevy Truck Rear End Interchange

Chevy 14-Bolt Rear End Identification 

The 14-bolt rear end of Chevy trucks is the new kind of differential that is being used on new Chevy truck models. There are three different types of 14-bolt axles available which can be identified as fully floating or semi-floating. 

The 14-bolt is considered an upgrade from the 10-bolt rear-end differential. Heavy-duty trucks use full-float axles, and semi-floating ones are used in vehicles that have a lower load capacity.

Full-float Axles

Check the wheel to determine full-float axles in the vehicle. One end of the axle will protrude out at the wheel’s surface. This can be upto two to four inches outside of the wheel. 

Semi floating Axles

This axle will have a 9.5-inch diameter ring gear. Vehicles with this type of axle will have 8 to 6 nuts, but there will be no visible shaft. 

Another way to check for the 14-bolt differential is to check the ringgear diameter. Girth gears with a diameter of 11.5 inches will be full-floating shafts.

The Chevy Truck Rear End Compatibility

Various components of a Chevy truck have specific functions assigned to them. The compatability of these parts has to be checked with the designs and options available. Here are some of the popular options for the Chevy Truck Read End Differential and how they are used in the vehicles. 

Chevy 10 Bolt Rear End

The truck designs manufactured between 1971 and ‘87 feature the 10 Bolt Rear End. The Camaro, Nova, and Chevelle were the first models to have this read end implemented. This rear-end model can take the car upto 450 horsepower. 

Chevy 12 Bolt Rear End

The G-series or C-series pickups were the first models compatible with a Chevy 12 Bolt Rear End. these were included for the van design that had the capacity for more horsepower. The main vehicles to use this rear end are the Chevelle and Monte Carlo. 

Chevy 14 Bolt Rear End

The 14 Bolt Rear End axle shaft is mainly a component found in SUVs. In the more recent designs of suburban trucks and mini-vans, this design has become popular. The idea is to include this rear end in a quarter or one-ton vehicle. Chevy trucks that run on diesel also use these rear-end designs in addition to an 11.5-inch ring gear. 

Chevy Truck Rear End Interchange


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what rear-end differential my Chevy truck has?

The gear information of most General Motors vehicles will be available on the RPO or “Regular Production Option” code. The Service Parts Identification tag is available on the glove compartment of the car. This also has information on the rear differential of the truck. 

What are the gears on my Chevy truck?

Going through the RPO codes of a vehicle is the best way to find out what gears are present in a Chevy truck. The information will be labeled under “Service Parts Identification” tags. 

What is the common type of differentials?

There are four common types of differentials available in modern vehicles. These can be open, locking, limited-slip and torque-vectoring. 

Is it easier to drive a truck with 10-bolt or 14-bolt differentials?

In modern Chevrolet trucks, 14-bolt rear-end differentials are considered as the upgrade from 10-bolt differentials. If you are going for a heavy-duty truck with high load capacity, look for a vehicle with 14-bolt differentials. 


The rear-end interchange in your Chevy truck helps you get the best results when you are driving a heavy-duty vehicle. Every gear in a vehicle has a specific function that helps you ride safely on different kinds of roads. 

The Chevy truck gears have a lot of functions, and the interchange feature can keep you safe and help you enjoy a good truck ride. 

Thank you for reading! We hope this helps you understand how your Chevy truck works on the roads. 

Photo of author

Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

Leave a Comment