Estate Wagon vs Wildcat

Discussion in 'Got gears?' started by Stage2, Apr 26, 2020.

  1. Stage2

    Stage2 "Heard about Pluto? That's messed up right?"

    I just purchased (finally!) a 1970 Wildcat. My question is whether or not the rear axle assembly from a '70 Estate Wagon will bolt in. The parts wagon has a 3.23 limited slip that will obviously be more fun in the 'Cat. I've never set up a differential before so I'm hoping to swap out the whole shebang.
  2. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Since the 70 Chassis Manual groups the 45-46-48 Series Rear Suspension together, and the Wildcat and Estate Wagon are both 46 series cars, I am going to guess Yes. I'd get under each car with a tape measure and measure between attachment points and spring perches to verify before I started wrenching.:)
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
    Stage2 likes this.
  3. monzaz

    monzaz Jim

  4. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    This is only a guess but the wagon may have bigger brakes. You might research it. I would be nervous that wagon specific brake parts might be hard to get. A backing plate swap might solve the issue though. If there is one.. again, only a guess..
  5. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    That made me curious Joe, so I took a look at the 70 Chassis Manual under Drum Brakes. The 45-46-48-49 series cars all have the same front and rear drum and shoe dimensions. All 45-46-48 series have the same wheel cylinders. They don't list Wagons at all, just go by series.
  6. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    Must be there is no difference then. I'm sure the manual would notate it.

    It was just a thought. For some reason I have it in my head wagon stuff isn't always a direct swap.
  7. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    I think the Sportwagon axle has bigger bearings (A10). Brakes look the same.
  8. Brad Conley

    Brad Conley Super Moderator Staff Member

    This would be the Estate Wagon, Larry. Not the A-body Sport Wagon. The direct replacement would only hold true for the 1970 model year on the B-C body wagons as in 1971 through 1976 the clamshells came to being with leaf springs in the rear as well as larger rear brakes.
    SpecialWagon65 likes this.
  9. Stage2

    Stage2 "Heard about Pluto? That's messed up right?"

    I've read the geometry on the wagon is different than the rest. The forward mounts for the upper control arms is higher and the forward mounts for the lower arms are more inboard. I just don't know if it's a big enough difference to make it incompatible.
  10. 69hellcat

    69hellcat Well-Known Member

    The 70 Estate Wagon has different rear suspension geometry. If you look at the upper control arm attachment points on the rear housing they are much higher than the Wildcat. Also the chassis mounting points for the lower control arms on the wagon are lower changing the instant center. Also the wagon rear uses taper cone axle bearings shared with the cadillac commercial chassis. I wanted to replace my 2.78-1 ratio for a 3.42 for towing in my wagon. I have a 3.42 complete housing from a Wildcat so I went to change it over and noticed the geometry differences and changed the the gears and carrier leaving the orginal housing in the wagon.I have had many of these cars through the years and I didnt realize the wagon is different. Ok I think for a driver I would but a mild Performance tourque converter in leaving the gears alone. Not much to be gained with the gear change except more rpm on the highway unless the engine is modified
    SpecialWagon65 and bill lagna like this.
  11. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Yeah, that was my only other concern. That's why I suggested getting under there with a tape measure to check the attachment points.
  12. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    Sounds like the geometry could be fixed with adjustable control arms. Of course thats an added expense and headache. Lowering the lower control arm mounts should help with traction though.

    Maybe the wagon control arms are a different length than the wildcat? Perhaps mixing and matching arms would give an optimal pinion angle.

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