Narrowing 9 inch rear end
I have a Ford 9 inch rear end from a 1976 Ford Ranchero. The rear end is about 2 1/2 inches to wide for my project. When I pulled the axels to check the spline count I noticed the axels are two different lengths by about 2 3/4 inches.
I am thinking why not get another short axel from another Ranchero and shorted one side only, use the second shorter axel and have the width I need.
Seems like it would be a cheap way to narrow the rear end using factory parts????
Pinion would be offset about an inch or so, not enough to make a problem
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It is common practice to narrow a 9 inch Ford the way you describe. I have done it the same way many times. You just have to be careful when swapping in another axle shaft because Ford got weird along the years of the mid 70's. Some of the Rancheros had the 5 inch bolt circle.....like the Lincolns. And there are two or three different wheel bearing set ups.....
There are companies that specialize in narrowing axle shafts ( about $65 ) and narrowing housings ( about $95 ) But sometimes.......it is less expensive to just get another more narrow set up... Especially since you are not needing a real narrow one.
short Ford rear
I dont know what size you need but: I think the Ranchero has coil springs ; does your project have leafs? a 57-59 Ford has the shortest 9 inch , and the Lincoln Versaille has about the same and so does the Granada. They have 43 inches perch to perch ( middle of) they might bolt in and be the right lenghth .
What kind of vehicle are you going to put it in and what is the application?
A neat way to narrow a 9 inch: IF you have the 28 spline 9 inch rear end, you can graft the axle tubes from an 8 inch out of a Granada or Maverick, or one of a myraid of Fords produced with the 8 inch rear end, to the center housing of your 9 inch. The 8 inch also incorporates the 28 spline axle and they will fit perfectly.
The 28 spline is a knurled spline while the 31 spline is a machined spline.
OR for that matter, save yourself a lot of cutting etc, and just use the 8 inch rearend. The biggest limitation of an 8 inch is gear selection. You cant get as deep of gears for an 8 as you can a 9, but I suspect, unless you need deeper than 4.63 gears, the 8 inch will do the trick. While a lot lighter in construction, the 8 inch is a very sturdy rear, and will handle most anything on the street up to around 450-500 HP.
Here is a guide so you can decide which axle bearing set up you have and which one you may want to get......
The down side ( IMHO ) of all the 8 inch rears is the small wheel bearing....and the small brakes. Their bearings are over .300 smaller. Most came under light duty vehicles and the brakes are smaller, compared to the 11x 2.5 drums available on the 9 inch rears...
And most of the 8 inch axles I have seen are tapered in the shaft area, not so on most of the 9 inch axles
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