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1953 to 1962 Corvette Service Repair Manual

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1953-1962 Corvette Shop Service Repair Manual

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09: 1956-1957 Corvette Chassis


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With the exception of a new rear axle, and changes which affect front and rear suspension geometry, the Corvette chassis remains basically unchanged. Brakes are improved and competition-type tires are offered at extra cost.


A new rear axle, similar to that used on the conventional passenger car, is introduced for use with the more powerful V-8 engine. A gear ratio of 3. 55-to-l is used with both the standard three-speed transmission and Powerglide. An optional 3.27 -to-l ratio is available only for use with the three-speed transmission.


Rear axle features include tapered roller bearings, widely spaced, providing rigid support for the hypoid pinion shaft. A cast Armasteel differential housing has greater structural strength than the cast malleable iron housing, and increased resistance to scoring. To increase durability and torque capacity, the differential bearings are larger than those used in the 1955 Corvette axle. The access cover is welded to the axle housing to increase rigidity for greater durability.


The frame shock absorber rear crossmember is reshaped at the center to provide adequate clearance for the new rear axle.


A shim is introduced between the front crossmember and frame, increasing the caster angle, and understeer is increased by undershimming the central control arm. These changes, together with a redesigned rear spring hanger, which decreases the shackle angle, provide better vehicle handling. Service brakes retain the same basic design but incorporate new brake facing material. The new facings provide reduced fade and improved wear characteristics.


A new fuel tank, having a slightly reduced capacity rating, is de signed to allow for the re shaped folding top compartment. Longer straps and a new end attachment secure the tank in position.


A more durable battery, the same as used in the 1956 conventional passenger car, is rated at 53 ampere hours compared to the former 50. The battery features microporous rubber separators, a new grid alloy, and baffled plastic vent caps.




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