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Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Transmission - Rearend> Narrowing the rear end
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-29-2004 08:48 AM
Ron Cobb Yes, it can be done at home but by the time you buy all the stuff & have the jig ends made & all that crap, you might as well of had it done. Better be a good! welder TOO! I could have done mine, but when the best fab man in our erea said he'd do it for 175.00 It didn't seem worth my while to build all that stuff , unless you plan to do a bunch of them! Don't get me wrong! I'll fab just about anything I can for myself. ( within reason.) & my knowledg base.
08-28-2004 06:11 PM
TurboS10 As long as there is no bind in the locating rod through the center of the rearend, there will be no bearing failures.

IMO, this is a fairly simple procedure and is what hotrodding is all about.

Chris
08-28-2004 08:38 AM
Ron Cobb
Do it RIGHT!

You know, most guys that do this for a living will narrow the housing for under 200.00!!! WELL worth the money!!!! The axles are the spendy part at 400.00 for good ones. Do yourself a big! favor & have a PRO do your tubes! I just had a Lincoln 9" with D.Brakes done for my Dime truck & after watching him do it CORRECTLY !!!!!! I would never do it any other way. There is more to this than some folks think! Does the Idea of loosing an axle bearing on a rod run sound like fun? Or hows about a nice vibration you can't get rid of? I am a darn good fab man & wouldn't try it myself without hands on experience & ALL the jigs to do it CORRECTLY!!!! Don't let the ( gee, I wish I wooda) get ya! By!
08-27-2004 12:01 PM
willys36@aol.com I narrowed the '56 Olds axle (very similar to Ford 9"), w/ hacksaw & Lincoln 225amp buzzbox welder. The axle ends have a stub that fits snuggly into the axle tube so as long as the tubes are cut square, they will align. Once put back together and all the brackets welded on, I took it to a machine shop and had them straighten it. That was 25 years ago and it is still going strong. If I did it again (and I will!) , I would use a bar that fit snuggly inside the wheel bearings to help insure good alignment. I eventually had Moser make a set of custom axles, but for several years I drove around on cut and welded stock axles! Not recommended.
08-27-2004 11:19 AM
TurboS10 There is not that much to narrowing a housing and I have done it poor boy style with a friends home made kit. All you have to do it make or have made a set of solid spacers to replace the bearings in the center section and in the axle tubes, and by a quality piece of straight 1.5 inch bar stock. The inserts will need to be made so that they are a slip fit with around .003 or so clearance on the shaft. The axle tube end spacers should have the same clearance on the outside where they slide in the tube ends. The spacers for the center section should be the same size od as the bearing race so they will be held solid with the carrier caps.

Now that you have the parts, you simply cut the tubes to the desired length and use your new parts to align and hold the tube ends as you weld them in place. I will add that any bracing must be added to the housing before inserting the tube ends. My housing pulled back .125 inch when I added the back brace. You will notice that the tube ends do not line up perfectly because of this. Dont sweat it. Just grind a nice taper so you get good penetration when you put it all back together.

Chris
08-26-2004 11:36 PM
turnleft i narrow rear ends for oval track racing applications, usually the 9" ford, i have a solid "true" 1" shaft that goes completely through the housing, also 2 steel adapters that fit into the bearing ends, lastley i use a 3rd member with 2 more adapters bolted into the 3rd member, all adapters have a precise 1" hole. this seems to work well. another thing is to make sure the houseing your useing is reasonably straight before you start (makes it much easier) after you've cut out what you want and have everything ready to weld. use some old pipe over the 1" shaft where you're welding to keep splatter off (i learned the hard way!!!!!) take your time welding to avoid warpage (usually takes me 2-3 hours to weld one) if you do have some warpage, you can straighten it with a torch/porta power/chain(useing your "jig" to know when it's straight) and patience or take it to a machine shop with a crank shaft straightener.

i've done many, many this way over the last 5 years, hope this helps...........steve
08-24-2004 12:56 PM
tkeahi >It's very common to see even stock ford 9"s not aligned perfectly, a jig would return your axle to its original location
>which may or may not be correct.

Good point, I didn't think about that.

Keahi
08-24-2004 12:36 PM
brainsboy A jig may work for some people, and im sure its been done in the past but its not the best way of doing it. It's very common to see even stock ford 9"s not aligned perfectly, a jig would return your axle to its original location which may or may not be correct. The correct way is to bolt on your 3rd member. A long bar slides through it, then couplers slide on to the bar and fit into the axle bearing locations this holds the tubes in alignment with the 3rd member.

Ben
08-24-2004 12:18 PM
tkeahi The question on narrowing rear end housings seems to come up a lot and the right answer seems to be that you need a jig (or a professional shop) to do it right. I'm thinking of trying it at home anyway.

I got a Ford 9" housing (for free) that is pretty beat up - it has cuts THROUGH the bottoms of the housing tubes where someone hacked off spring perches and shock mounts. The way I figure, if I were just to weld them up I would most likely warp the housing anyway, so I think I'll try my hand at shortening or replacing the tubes altogether. Then I can post whatever I learn here.

When I searched this board I found that someone recommended inserting a steel bar through the end of the housing to keep everything aligned while welding. Is there a reason an old pair of axle shafts wouldn't work?

On the web page below the writer used a sleeve inside of the axle tube as well as the steel bar method:

http://www.4x4wire.com/jeep/tech/axle/yjrcdana60/

I'm taking any advice anyone might have before I start hacking on this thing. Thanks!

Keahi
08-23-2004 09:14 AM
brainsboy One thing to keep in mind also is to allow space for a fuel cell, im not sure if you will use one, but the last frame I modified I left enough room for a fuel cell to fit inbetween perfectly. You want to use standard offset rims, dont have the offset maxed out, so if you want to change rims later they wont stick 3inches too far out or in. It helps to choose what type of braking system your going to use in advance, as some rotors will be thicker then others.


Ben
08-22-2004 01:13 PM
5.0Falcon are you doing the narrowing yourself. If you are you will need the correct tools to do it one would be a lathe to trim taper and respline the axles after the housing has been narrowed.

You will also need to build a jig to set the axle in to keep it strait in all directions.

The easiest way to find your width is figure how big of tires and where they fit in the wheel wells (if you have the wheels that would be even better) and counting the backspacing and such measure where your axle would mount to wheels and build your jig to that width

you can move your springs in to allow for the large meats and ive heard that you would want to angle your shocks with the bottoms out to improve stability.

well thats all of my knowledge have fun
08-22-2004 12:17 PM
bowtieorbust
Narrowing the rear end

Hey guy's, I'm look'in to possibly putting a more narrowed rear end into my 76 C10 shortbed so to tuck a set of those fat tire's into the fender's of my fleetside bed. Lokk'in for some tip's and advice on this, plus some advice on the right tire to use so i can use on the street, also some tip's on frame fabrication. I have seen whare some guy's have taken the leaf spring's and stuck them on the inside of the frame by placing the bracket's on the inside of the frame aswell so to fit a fatter tire in the fender well. (Please Advise)

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