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I've never worked on a 39 Buick that I can remember but I have worked on GM cars (as well as others) from the 20's to the 60's. There's a lot of torque tubes in those years. I wouldn't think you'd have to drop the rear. Breaking the joint, sliding it back and lowering that part of the tube should do it.

You should also be able to fix that rear main leak with the engine in place.

I strongly urge you to get a repair manual as it would answer most all your questions.

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I agree with rbl2 - I pulled the engine and transmission as one piece on my '39 and did not have to drop the rear end. You can unbolt the torque tube from the transmission and there is room to slide it back. I don't see any reason why you can't pull the transmission out at that point to replace the clutch and main seal.

Good luck!

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I changed the trans in a 47 Buick years ago and did not pull the rear end. I don't recall there being anything to "slide back". As I recall, I had to pull the rear end/torque tube assembly back to get the u-joint to come out of the rear of the trans. I hitched a come-along to the rear end and pulled. The car had coil springs, so it came back rather easily. If you have leafs, I think you will have to pull the rear end or the engine and trans as a unit

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If you had leaf springs all you have to do is undo the U bolts and slide the differential back on the springs id the springs are under the axle or just roll the rear end back if they are over the housing.

When I did my 53 Buick I didn't have a come along so just used a bunper jcck wedged between the frame and the carrier and pushed the differential back.

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What works really well for pulling the rear aft is a couple of medium sized turnbuckles with chains between the rear housing and end of frame. They are a little slow but that is the good part. while retracting you can watch for the inevitable hang up. The system really shines when reassembling the rear and trans splines. With the turnbuckles the adjustments are slow and infinate and it's easy to get the necessary line up........Bob

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