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  9" ford rearend housing strength, new or old? add brace?

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Author Topic:   9" ford rearend housing strength, new or old? add brace?
Mike_R
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Indianapolis, IN 46237
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-03-2002 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_R        Reply w/Quote
Hey Guys,

I am getting ready to get some new aftermarket axles for my 70 Torino Cobra. It's a stick car that runs low 11's but I'm wanting to prepare it for 10's.

The question is about the rearend housing. It currently had the stock housing, but I want to strengthen it. The stock housing is the old style with the smaller (non tapered) center area and smaller axle tubes. My question is, do you think I can get by with just adding a brace to the back of this rearend or should I plan on getting a later model housing with heavy duty center as a starting point.

Using my stock housing is a simple solution because the u-bolts, cal tracs and brakes will all fit it where a later model housing will require all of these things to be modified.

So if anybody can give me any idea whatsover if the old housing is just a waste of time, or if adding the rear brace will make it hold up good. Any advice on housing strength in general is appreciated, because I've always just run the stock stuff.

Thanks

Dave_C
Gearhead

Posts: 1123
From: Gadsden, Al
Registered: Aug 99

posted 09-03-2002 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave_C        Reply w/Quote
I think you will be fine using the housing you already have. Add the back brace and it will be plenty strong. It's also easier to add brackets to later if you decide to add ladder bars or a 4 link. The large center web is not in the way.

I had a rearend like this in the 69 Mustang that I just sold. It was tubbed and narrowed, but the rear was the same. I bought the brace ready to weld on from S&W Racecars. Much easier than fabricating one yourself.

A pic of mine just after the brace was added, I later painted the whole thing with black expoxy paint:

S&W:
http://www.swracecars.com/

Later,

David Cole

[This message has been edited by Dave_C (edited 09-03-2002).]

Ryan Wilke
Gearhead

Posts: 3237
From: Stanton, Michigan, zip 48888
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 09-03-2002 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ryan Wilke        Reply w/Quote
Mike_R,
I'd guess you'll get lots of opinions here, but I'd say it's a matter of what you're comfortable with. I'm sure there are fellas who've run an un-braced rearend in a heavy, stick car making big power and haven't had any problems... However, I'm also sure that there are others who'll claim you are taking a big chance with the un-braced OE rear housing with your current & upcoming package.

Questions:
Are you running slicks?
Are you thinking of bigger slicks down the line?
How often are you at the track; less than 6-times/yr or 25+ times/yr?

-- As I'm sure you are well aware, those are major issues that would sway you either way in your decision-making process.

Me? I'd start looking for a big bearing rear housing and get it braced, then install it. It'll be one less thing to worry & wonder about.

Just my 2 cents worth,,,
Ryan

Ryan Wilke
Gearhead

Posts: 3237
From: Stanton, Michigan, zip 48888
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 09-03-2002 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ryan Wilke        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave_C:
I think you will be fine using the housing you already have. Add the back brace and it will be plenty strong....I had a rearend like this in the 69 Mustang...It was tubbed and narrowed, but the rear was the same.

Dave_C,
I think your door car/setup was a bit different. If I recall correctly, you ran a 351-C with an Auto and it was fairly light with all aluminum interior, etc.

I think Mike_R is running a full interior'd, heavy, street-driven Torino with a stretched-460 with a stick-shift slappin' it... I'm thinkin' Mike's package would put a bigger torque hit to the rear if he's running any slicks bigger than 9".... but, maybe I'm wrong here.

OK -- maybe he doesn't need a BIG-BEARING rearend housing (that way he could still use his new aftermarket axles, U-bolts, Caltracs, etc.) but I still think he'd be better off bracing the housing....

Ryan

Mike_R
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Indianapolis, IN 46237
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-03-2002 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_R        Reply w/Quote
Thanks Dave_C, Yes that housing looks identical to mine.

Hey Ryan, here are some answers to the question you asked

Questions:
Are you running slicks?
I've been running MT ET streets 10" tread by 28" tall. However I have a pair of 12" x 28" firestone slicks that are possibly going on soon.

Are you thinking of bigger slicks down the line? Yes, the 12" x 28" firestones

How often are you at the track; less than 6-times/yr or 25+ times/yr?

I typically race about twice a year and spend the rest of the time wrenching or making plans to race. It's mostly street driven though.

Either route that I go, I am planning on installing a brace on the rear of the housing. Whether I use the smaller housing or the bigger housing.

My brother has a big lincoln housing he said I can use, but it will require a heck of alot more fabrication at every turn to make it work. If it's necessary I will go that route, I'm just really up in the air about it.

Rustang1
Gearhead

Posts: 110
From:
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 09-03-2002 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rustang1        Reply w/Quote
My .02:
The rear I'm running in my '68 is a narrowed(to stock '68 width) F150 rear with moly tubes. I bought this off a guy that was running a low 11 sec '68 with a 351C 4speed setup. With the stock '68 9" housing, he kept twisting and tearing the tubes. He had similar problems with the F150 truck rear until he put the moly tubes in. (the moly tubes are 1/4" wall!)

------------------
1968 Mustang,Clevor,C4
1969 Torino 351C 4spd
1978 F150 460 C6
1978 F150 351W C6

Ryan Wilke
Gearhead

Posts: 3237
From: Stanton, Michigan, zip 48888
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 09-03-2002 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ryan Wilke        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rustang1:
...he kept twisting and tearing the tubes. He had similar problems with the F150 truck rear until he put the moly tubes in.

Rustang1,
...I'd also guess that the new tubes were welded into the center 'banjo' much, much better than the OEM piece ever were! -- Which is a major factor in keeping them where they need to be!

Mike_R,
Considering your answers, I'd vote for bracing YOUR housing and not the Lincoln piece.

Are you also looking at putting in a 6 or 8-point bar too? 12" sticky slicks, with your power package being slapped on the *** with a 4-speed... will likely need some MORE bracing than just across the rearend housing!!!

Ryan

Mike_R
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Indianapolis, IN 46237
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-03-2002 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_R        Reply w/Quote
Yeah, as much as I hated to, I finally broke down and put a 6 point roll bar in it last year. Now I'm just trying to go through and strengthen up the drivetrain.

I'm planning on getting some Moser axles and I just bought a billet 1350 rearend yoke at the swap meet at the Ford Expo over the weekend. I will be using the spicer solid 1350 joints front and rear.

So far I've gotten away with using the stock rearend housing with no problems, but in order to go from low 11's to high 10's, I'm going to have to improve the launch, which means more strain on the rearend.

Dave_C
Gearhead

Posts: 1123
From: Gadsden, Al
Registered: Aug 99

posted 09-03-2002 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave_C        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ryan Wilke:
Dave_C,
I think your door car/setup was a bit different. If I recall correctly, you ran a 351-C with an Auto and it was fairly light with all aluminum interior, etc.

OK -- maybe he doesn't need a BIG-BEARING rearend housing (that way he could still use his new aftermarket axles, U-bolts, Caltracs, etc.) but I still think he'd be better off bracing the housing....
Ryan


Mine was a 383W, powerglide with a transbrake. Had a C-6 before the glide. The cra was lighter than normal. The interior was aluminum, but it had new frame rails, etc that added up. Plus no fiberglass parts. It weighed 3000 lbs with driver.

What about adding some new housing ends to handle the big bearings. They are fairly cheap. Add the new style bid Ford ie.. Torino ends. Same bearing as the big Ford, but a different bolt pattern for the brake backing plates. With these housing ends and adding a back brace he should be ok. I know of many full-on drag cars that run the small web type housing vs the Lincoln type. It's not a strength issue any more once you add the brace.

Later,

David Cole


[This message has been edited by Dave_C (edited 09-03-2002).]

Mike_R
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Indianapolis, IN 46237
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-03-2002 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_R        Reply w/Quote
Thanks Dave,

It's sounding like bracing up my stock housing may be a option for me to consider.

You mentioned bearing size. It currently does have the 2.835" bearings where the larger ones are 3.150" (I think). I didn't realize the bearing size would make that much difference to the durability, but maybe that is something else I need to consider. Do most people switch to the larger size axle bearings?

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 09-03-2002 04:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Quote: "Just the facts Jack!" End quote:
The stock housing will take all of the punishment you can throw at it! Those old original HP 9 inch housings were damn near bullit proof.
I would be more worried about your third member than the housing.
If your axles move in and out freely, get some high quality Strange replacements with bearings and go race.
MM's original tapered tube housing has been narrowed, straightened and braced with a reinforcment tube accross the back. Had it not been bent we would have never considered reinforcing it. Now it is the original and probably has 3000+ holeshots on it so it being slightly bent was of no real surprise.
Unless you REALLY think that you can produce 1000 HP and apply it, then save your time money. Get some quality axles and spend your money on a quality center section or parts.
(Dissclaimer)
This is my opinion and advice. You may take it or leave it. Some other opinions may differ. Mine comes from my own 35 years experiance, not any magazine or internet articles.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator/ non 65-66 Mustang owner sensitivity co-ordinator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA/MCA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Part time secret agent license #0089
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."

fastbackRb
Gearhead

Posts: 101
From: Columbus,Ga.
Registered: May 2002

posted 09-03-2002 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fastbackRb        Reply w/Quote
Mike I agree with Alex for the same reasons, my mustang has the small bearings and a back brace with the money spent on axles and a big pinion support.( keep from spitting the pinion out the side) The car started at over 3200 lbs. and now is 2900 with driver. Launching the car with the cleveland spinning 7500 every time and 13x31 slicks. The big support and 33 spline axles solved my problems.

Rudy

------------------
70 fastback cleveland 5.80'[email protected] (broke it)
69 cougar elimnator Boss 302
84 droptop 5.0
86 hatchback 289
92 explorer
97 f350 dullie power stroke

Mike_R
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Indianapolis, IN 46237
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-04-2002 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_R        Reply w/Quote
Thanks a ton for all the info and oppinions guys. It sounds like the route I will go is to just put a brace on my stock housing. I also need to install new sturdier spring perches that are at the right angle, so I will be pulling the housing out anyway.

BTW, I also just put together a new third memeber with a N-case, daytona pinion support, detroit locker, and billet 1350 yoke. So I am hoping once I add the axles and the housing brace, it will be pretty solid for a while.

fastbackRb
Gearhead

Posts: 101
From: Columbus,Ga.
Registered: May 2002

posted 09-04-2002 11:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fastbackRb        Reply w/Quote
Oh yea Mike check all th welds and redo any that look suspect to cracks and add gussets to the spring perches.Check the housing to make sure it is straight before and after welding the back brace on.

Rudy

n2oMike
Gearhead

Posts: 3058
From: Spencer, WV
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 09-05-2002 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for n2oMike        Reply w/Quote
Won't welding a back brack to a housing warp it?

I would think the housing ends would need taken off and re-squared with a jig after this process.

Have you guys done this step, or had your car on an alignment machine (that checked the rear) after welding the brace on?

Thanks!

------------------
Mike Burch
66 mustang real street
302 4-speed 289 heads
10.63 @ 129.3
http://www.geocities.com/carbedstangs/cmml_mburch.html
http://www.fortunecity.com/silverstone/healey/367
http://www.mustangworks.com/cgi-bin/moi-display.cgi?220

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 09-05-2002 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Very good point Mike.
Reminder: You ALWAYS should have the housing straightend AFTER you do any welding on it. Then again, any competant chassis guys would already know that.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator/ non 65-66 Mustang owner sensitivity co-ordinator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA/MCA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Part time secret agent license #0089
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."

TomP
Gearhead

Posts: 6376
From: Delta BC Canada
Registered: Dec 99

posted 09-05-2002 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomP        Reply w/Quote
I've bent several housings, the tubes always bend forward. Part of the reason is that the T-Bolt traction bars sit a long ways inboard of the ends and makes for a lot of leverage. The other reason is that the welding heat weakens it some. Ladder bar cars will do that too. The leaf springs attach closer to the housing ends and won't be as much of a problem.

I used a 60's pick-em-up truck housing to keep the same looks and get the thicker wall 3" tubes.The housing ends go on last after all the other welding is done. The big'n'ugly mid 70's car and truck housings are stronger and would be a good choice.

Definately go for the big bearings if you have the choice, If you use the small 3/8" bolt types you have the option of a variety of brakes. The Explorer discs, mid 70's Torino 10" drum ,80's pickup 11" drum, and aftermarket kits.

Watch too that the U-bolts aren't carving thru the housing, this is fairly common and will ruin it. Tho i have seen housings almost sawn right thru by the u-bolts not break in 11 second cars

[This message has been edited by TomP (edited 09-05-2002).]

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 09-05-2002 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
10-4 on the U-bolts Tomp!
Especially if they are too big for the housing and guys squeeze them at the bottom to fit the shock plate, then tighten them all bent up.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator/ non 65-66 Mustang owner sensitivity co-ordinator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA/MCA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Part time secret agent license #0089
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."

Butch Jennings
Gearhead

Posts: 637
From: No. California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 09-08-2002 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Butch Jennings        Reply w/Quote

Mike,

Did you already buy the axles for your car? The reason I ask is I'm taking my '67 Comet apart and swapping everything I can into an 85 Mustang. I'm almost positive the axles are the same for my Comet and your Torino, They are Mark Williams 31 spline for the stock width housing with the small Ford ends. I know Alex likes the Strange stuff (I do also) but you won't find a better axle than the Mark Williams stuff. I've got the axles, bearings, horseshoe bearing retainers and 1/2" x 3" studs...all is used but in perfect working order (I just took them out today). I paid $650.00 for everything from Mark Williams ($490.00 gets you the axles alone) and would let you have it all for $325.00 shipped if you're interested. I'm gonna put the old 28 spline stuff back in the car and sell what's left of it when I'm done robbing parts from it.

Thanks, Butch

Mike_R
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Indianapolis, IN 46237
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-09-2002 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_R        Reply w/Quote
Hey guys, I've decided to make a new housing made for it since my old housing was getting sawed by the u-bolts. Thanks for mentioning that guys.

Butch, I haven't bought axles yet and would be interested in the ones you have if the length looks good. Can you give me some dimensions? Specifically, I would need to know the overall length of each axle, the length from the spline end to the outer edge of the bearing, and the bearing diameter.

Thanks,
Mike

Mike_R
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Indianapolis, IN 46237
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-09-2002 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_R        Reply w/Quote
By the way Butch, if you decide to e-mail me, you can reach me at my work e-mail at [email protected]

I just wanted to mention that becuase my e-mail adress that's listed on the icon above is my home e-mail adress and I'm having some modem problems. So I can't get to my home e-mails right now.

Butch Jennings
Gearhead

Posts: 637
From: No. California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 09-09-2002 11:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Butch Jennings        Reply w/Quote

Mike,

I emailed you at your work address, if you'd rather me post the dimensions here let me know.

Thanks, Butch

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