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Have a 2.3 rear end on a non-posi, 8.2 axle, and want to change to a 3.5 or so gear set and add posi. Everything I read says change to an 8.5 as my engine is in the 475HP range. Does anyone know (or lead me to) information on what axles I should look for in the junk yards (model and year) that would work and that I could just bolt in (change the gears if necessary).
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With Pontiac engines, its not horsepower, but torque. If you honestly have that kind of HP, you should have over 500 lbs of torque.

MY OPINION: Stock 10-bolt 8.2 or 8.5 won't hold at tht power level, and if it does, not for long. If you build it up with HD axles, posi carrier, and other parts you might be OK but with the money invest I would upgrade to a 12-bolt, 8.875, or aftermarket 9" Ford, either of which should be built using parts that will handle your HP level and torque. Probably not going to find much in a junkyard. If you buy used, you will still have to make sure you have heavy duty inside.

Pontiac or Chevelle rear works with a slight difference in width in certain years.

Buy new. Set your original rear aside.
 
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