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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What up guys??? New project...got my hands on a sweet 66 Mustang so I am scrappin my 68 Impala project. I have always had a sweet spot in my heart for the 66 Mustang thanks to my Pops...don't see him too much now, so I wanna build this car outta respect for him. My question is: I bought a DTS Dana 60 rear end for the Impala. It's never been run...can I have it modified to fit the Mustang or is that an absolutely ridiculous idea?? Don't wanna lose the investment if I can use it in the Ford...any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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It is just a matter of shortening the tubes, removing the Impala bracketry, adding the leaf spring perches, and having the axles resplined. Still will be cheaper than buying a whole new assembly by at least one half. You may be shortening it enough that the brackets will be cut away with the extra tubing length. Around $400 would be my guess.
 

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I'm not sure why you want to go with a Dana rearend in a 66? The Mustang came originally with an 8 inch Ford rearend which worked well with the 289 motor. If your into restoration which most Mustang people like to keep as close to original, I'd pick up a 8 inch which are readily available. Might be cheaper than modification to the Dana and would be a easy install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys...I'm not really going for original restoration. I was hoping to use the Dana rear end since it's already paid for...I'm going with disc brakes up front, a 302 motor, suspension from Total Control...maybe the Shockwave Air Ride. There is a picture in the August issue of Popular Hot Rodding, page 103. Some dude outta Orange, CA has a SICK 65 Mustang that's got a killer stance. That's what I'm going for...thanks again for the help.
 

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Aren't those a bit heavy for a car so light in the rear?
I'm thinking the extra unsprung weight will make for a harsh ride and more oversteer in a car already notorious for excessive oversteer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsprung_weight

With a 302 in a 66 mustang you probably won't break an 8". I'd sell the Dana and get an 8 or 9" rear. You will be money ahead...by the time you spend the money to shorten the Dana to fit under the 'stang you could buy a junkyard 8" rear end ready to go right in. They last forever in a light car with even moderate HP. 9" rear ends in the right width for a 66 are kind of hard to find.

The Dana does have less parasitic losses from friction than the 9" though, and probably the 8" as well.

Later, mikey.
 

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I have to agree with Mikey. You have some great ideas on what you want to do, but your contradicting yourself (don't feel bad, we all do this). The items you mentioned you want to do to your 66, like the suspension and front disc brakes etc, cost money. Your trying to save money by using the Dana which you already have, it won't work that way. Like Mikey mentioned, Sell the Dana and get a 8 inch or 9 inch rearend from a junk yard out of a Mustang or the Classifieds. You'll be saving money for the other stuff you want to do, and no one will notice or care if there is a 8 inch rearend stuffed under the car. Going the cheap route doesn't always save you money when building a project. I had to find out the hard way. :thumbup:
 

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I disagree with both Mike and Kleen, you will have as much money in the junkyard 8" or 9" by the time you rebuild it and beef it up as you will be able to get from the full tilt Dana if you sell it in the classifieds. The Dana is a much better rear end strength and hp-wise, and the Stang could use that extra weight on the tires.

The Dana is only about 35 lbs heavier than the 9" when equipped with the same spline count axles and brakes.

Strength of the average 9" that doesn't have a nodular centersection and Daytona pinion support is about 400 hp max, it ain't the "wonder rear" that everyone seems to think it is unless you add a bunch of expensive aftermarket parts.
 

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ericnova72 said:
I disagree with both Mike and Kleen, you will have as much money in the junkyard 8" or 9" by the time you rebuild it and beef it up as you will be able to get from the full tilt Dana if you sell it in the classifieds. The Dana is a much better rear end strength and hp-wise, and the Stang could use that extra weight on the tires.

The Dana is only about 35 lbs heavier than the 9" when equipped with the same spline count axles and brakes.

Strength of the average 9" that doesn't have a nodular centersection and Daytona pinion support is about 400 hp max, it ain't the "wonder rear" that everyone seems to think it is unless you add a bunch of expensive aftermarket parts.
I understand your point here Eric. We are talking a 66 Mustang. It will have a 302 in it. Although the Dana may be a strong rearend for a drag car or something with some serious horsepower, that's not the case with this guys 66 Mustang. Personally, I think it will cost way more for him to cut the dana, size it, do the axles, drive shaft length etc. then to find a 8 or 9 inch drum to drum axle. They are readily available as well. No offense, but I don't see too many GM guys complaining about stuffing a Ford 9 inch underneath their 600+ horsepower engines. Just trying to save this guy some heartache and cash. I do agree with you, a Dana rearend would be cool, but why?
 

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What axles are in the 60 now? Measure the 60 vs what will fit in the Stang and then make a decision. If it isn't that much of a difference, you might can just cut some off the splines of the axle to make them fit.....IF the axles are locked in place by the bearing retainers. If the axles butt up in the center like on a stock Mopar setup, then you can't just whack off the excess material with a chop saw. They have to be machined. I've done this before when a guy needed a rear end to be a few inches shorter and the splines were long enough to take some off and still have enough spline left over. As for the 8"....I wouldn't do that to anybody!! When a 289 can spit out a driveshaft with the pinion still attached to it, that tells me the 8 isn't worth it's weight in scrap price...and this 289 wasn't even high powered. All it had was a Torker intake, Holley 600 and headers and with only a 3 speed trans.
 

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If it's aftermarket housing ends and axle's you can probably get your axle's shortened for around $125.00 ish and housing narrowed for $100.00 to 125.00. Then you have the cost of moving the perch's, You might have $350.00 or so making it fit. Now if the diff is already the correct width and you like the diff I say use it! It's a little overkill but if you like it use it! :D
 

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I've seen 8" rear ends go for 300000 thousand miles with the factory oil.

I have a 9" in a pickup, with 345000 miles with the stock, factory gearlube still in it.

No one has asked what the guy is doing with this car.
Dragracing? Roadracing? Street? Cruising? Lots of traction? 10" slicks?

The fact that he's going to bag it tells me that he's not going to do any serious dragracing, or SCCA meets, so an *' would do just fine.

Put 300 HP in front of an 8" rear end with just leaf springs , 9" tires and no traction devices and don't get stupid about driving and it will last a million years.

The guy who broke a pinion off an 8" is not a usual occurance.

Do what you want, opinions abound.


later, mikey
 

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powerrodsmike said:
The fact that he's going to bag it tells me that he's not going to do any serious dragracing, or SCCA meets, so an *' would do just fine.
It probably will be just fine and although he's probably not going to drag or road race it, it's still going to be a hot rod, right? Why not put something in it that is known for better strength? I've seen plenty of Mopars that came with 8 1/4 rears that have a lot of miles on them too but imo, they are not a very good choice for a hot rod....
 

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It's only my opinion, that a light car should get a lighter rear end. IIRC, a Dana 60 is 35# more unsprung weight than a 9", and probably 60# more than an 8".

I know alot of guys who put 9" rear ends under t buckets or really light cars and find that when they are on uneven roads the rear end skips around more than the guys who have an 8".

All of my mustangs, my 66 fastback, my 69 coupe and my wife's 70 convertable had 9" rears and did the same thing. Just a change from steel wheels to aluminum made a big difference in how much the wheels stayed in contact with the ground on uneven roads..So unsprung weight could be a consideration.

A friend of mine specializes in building mustangs..buys them, builds them then flips them on ebay, (he's done about 60 of them) unless he's putting serious HP to the rear, or the car is going to be beat, he'll use an 8" if that's what came with the car.. I have one of his cars in my shop right now, with a Paxton equipped FI 5.0, a t5 and an 8". It should probably get a 9" because whoever buys it will probably want to let the smoke out of the tires sometimes, but we're not losing sleep over putting the 8" in it.

If the OP has the 60, and wants to run it, I've got no prob with that, all I did was say what my opinion of that choice is.

My understanding of the difference in frictional losses between the dana and either of the ford rears might make his choice, I've never measured it, but have heard that a 9" ford takes 4% more power to overcome friction in the gearset...so that may make the dana a better choice for the OP, but would the extra weight make that difference a moot point? I have no clue... :D

Later, mikey
 

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Everyone has valid points, and you're right about me looking at it from the racer point of view. The OP asked about the viability of using a "built" Dana 60 in a different application than it was configured for, which amounts to just a few changes in his case versus selling it and purchasing another. It is indeed overkill for the Mustang application with his current projected powerplant.

In my neck of the woods(Michigan), the last 8" Mustang rear went into the scrap smelter around 1985, it is hard to even find an 1980's car in the boneyard here, let alone anything from the 60's.

If it is a V8 car, the 8" would already be there.

Mike, I don't know if you have found this to be the case, but most Rods I look at are WAY oversprung in the rear, having 175-200 lb per inch springs when they should have 100-125 lb, causing the rear to "skip" over every little bump in the road. Seems that most don't bother to weigh the front and rear of the completed car and get the correct spring. I've had several look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them this.... Go figure.
 

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I see alot of guys with model As and Ts and even 32-40's using too much spring in a misguided effort to keep their car from bottoming out.
They want to set it up so it sits all tough and low, not c notch or Z the frame, then put stiff springs under it so it doesn't let the axle tubes hit the frame.....what's wrong with this picture....hahahah You can only do so much with 2" of rear wheel travel.

I make myself look like a genius when I C notch a frame for a customer, then install some lighter springs...You know the guy is all happy when his chick will ride in the car with him, and not get spinal compression injuries

If the OP is bagging it, he can get his rate right pretty easy, especially if he plays with the mounting points of the bags.

Mustang leaf springs are typically soft as can be, (old saggy ones let your car sit just about right in back, but don't take your friends for a ride unless you want whitewall tire stripes)
The good junkyard trick was to get a couple more leaf springs, then cut them in half, just behind the spring perch and add the leafs to the front of the set so you have a stiff section in the front to contol axle wrap, but still have a soft ride.

I didn't think about the lack of anything old out in the midwest...There are still some good things about cow-lee-fornia...finding maverick rear ends is not yet a complete rarity, alot of guys put the maverick rears under the early mustangs...they are actually a little narrower and let you get a bigger tire on a center loaded wheel under the wheel wells.

So it's all going to come down to personal preference/ priorities for the OP.

Later, mikey
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ahhhh, holy crap, now I'm more confused!! Ha ha, thanks my friends. Okay, lemme see if I can get a little more details involved here...Currently the car has the straight 6 200 c.i. So what rear end does that mean I have??? How can I tell? I am not planning on drag racing it, just cruising it and being able to park it at the show with a killer low stance. Most likely, I will be using Air Ride kits that are set up for stock Mustang rear ends. So in the long run, with what I want to do, I think I'd be better off selling the Dana. Especially if I'm gonna get clowned by having too much overkill. The Dana was built by DTS and has 3.73 gear. Maybe I should just keep it simple and stick to what's known to work for the Mustang, yeah?
 

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If it's got an 8" with 4 lug axles, and had a decent ratio, I'd find a set of 5 lug axles for it and run it. The 28 spline v8 axles from a 65-66 Mustang will fit. You'll probably want to upgrade the brakes as well, you'll have to redrill the drums if you want to use the 4 lug brakes anyway. IIRC any of the small bearing 8" or 9" brake sets will work on the early housing ends.


FYI...The only 65-66 mustangs to come with a factory 9" were the hipo 289 cars.
If it has the integral carrier rear end, then you are looking for another housing, those are not good for much at all.

later, mikey
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks Mikey...I'm gonna pull out the rear end, take a look at it, and then probably take it to a rear end shop and go from there...definately want 5 lug and disc brakes. Thanks for all the help, to you and everyone!!!
 
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