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reinforced rear-end plate...worth it?

This is a discussion on reinforced rear-end plate...worth it? within the Drivetrain forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Ok, had my rear-end go out on my SS this year. Had a mechanic (Camaro buff) rebuild it with better ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    saginaw MI

    2000 Camaro SS Convertibl

    reinforced rear-end plate...worth it?

    Ok, had my rear-end go out on my SS this year. Had a mechanic (Camaro buff) rebuild it with better 3.73 gears
    (almost made the repair costs worth it when it was done!) But he mentioned adding a reinforced rear-end plate (?)
    that you can order through Summit or other companies.
    Is this part worth shelling out the money for? Not super expensive...$150 for the part, maybe $50 for labor.
    My SS is stock, except for the new gears, and the SLP options that add (maybe) 20 hp to the stock 320hp.
    He mentioned GM built shitty stock rear-ends for thier Camaros, this pisses me off since my SS had the optional Auburn-rear to supposedly handle the extra power. Sorry, rear-ends, should'nt go out at 70K miles. Well, enough pissin'n'moaning...any thoughts on the plate would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beaver Dam KY

    79 T/A -91 Firebird
    1998 Trans Am -Oynx Black

    Rear ends are the weakest point of the car. They are a "ticking time bomb " with hard driving habits they will go out at any mileage. If you ever plan to be putting sticky tires on it i suggest not investing any more money into it.

    The cover you are looking for is made by Mac. PM sent!

  3. #3
    JUISSED Midnight02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Navy Blue Metallic
    2002 Camaro SS

    The rear-end brace will help provide some additional support, however it doesn't change the fact that the entire 10-bolt rear is a weak point on these cars. Given that the brace would cost roughly $200 for parts and install, it's certainly a lower cost alternative than tossing a 9" in for $3K+, however it is far from being a viable long-term fix.

    The experiences we've all had with the 10 bolts is all across the board. Some have broken on stock power on the street, whereas others have withstood running 10's and 11's at the track. That being said, there are a few statements we can make with certainty:

    1. If you have a M6, you likely run more risk of tearing it up than if you have an A4.

    2. If you run drag radials or any other sticky tire, you will likely significantly cut short it's usable lifespan.

    3. If your driving habits include hard launches, drop downs into 1st and 2nd gear at higher rpm, etc. it will help reduce the 10 bolt's lifespan.

    In short, unless you've started budgeting for an upgraded rear end (12 bolt, 9" or Dana 60), the $200 for a brace would be worthwhile. Just my $.02.
    2002 Camaro SS M6, 2.5 PRC 5.3L heads, TFS 228/230 cam, FAST 92, bolt ons + a 10 lb bottle in the back.

    1989 Corvette L98, A4, Full bolt ons, etc.

  4. #4
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    The support brace is only to support the main caps that hold the center section in place.

    The idea is to pre-load the back of the caps to keep them from breaking in half,,,,a common problem with cast iron caps in any rearend. (The addition of billet caps also solved this issue.)

    When accelerating the ring gear is trying to climb up the pinion and at the same time it pushes out towards the main caps. The pre-load from the diff cover is supposed to hold the caps in place,,,less squirm, longer ring gear life etc....
    But it's really not the only weak link in the rearend. Just the overall design and small ring gear diameter limits the amount of power it can ultimately handle.

  5. #5
    The Generals Finest Deviant LS1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Navy Blue Metallic
    2000 Trans Am

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Just the overall design and small ring gear diameter limits the amount of power it can ultimately handle.
    Thats the main key point. No matter how much money you dump into the 10bolt it's still only a 7.5'' ring gear that will fail. I would save your money and keep the stock cover.

  6. #6
    Senior Member clg82's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    2000 Trans Am

    105,000 hard driven miles here and no problem just changed the fluid as scheduled......
    2000 Arctic White trans am, ws6 hood, ws6 air box, slp lid, slp smooth bellows, slp loudmouth exhaust,shift kit, rebuilt trans, LS6 intake, 3.73 gears, Shaner S3 p/p throttle body, and a tune . SFC. C6 ZO6 rims 18" in back 17" in front. Drilled and slotted rotors.

  7. #7
    Member Goldcuffs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    2000 Trans Am

    Had a 7.5 in my Monte Carlo for 8yrs with a girdle, an Auburn, and Precision Gears.Broke a ring gear one time. It seems like the people that have problems hate them but I'll keep the 7.5 for a while. Mine help up to a nasty ass beating hundreds of times.

  8. #8
    We'll be back... GatorSS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Light Pewter Metallic
    2000 Camaro SS M6

    Quote Originally Posted by clg82 View Post
    105,000 hard driven miles here and no problem just changed the fluid as scheduled......

    Way to go Kramer!

    That girdle helps somewhat, even better if you understand the limitations of the 10" and work within those constraints.

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