One primary reason to rebuild a Ford 9-inch axle is to go along with a total performance drivetrain upgrade in your muscle car. One of the most common reasons to replace a wimpy stock axle assembly is that it could only handle the torque from the stock engine. But after you built or swapped in a high-performance engine, the output far exceeds the strength of the rear axle assembly.
Whether you have a Chevelle, Barracuda, Camaro, or Mustang there are aftermarket companies that sell these axles, ready to bolt-in for common applications. Currie Enterprises, Moser Engineering, and Strange Engineering are just a few of them.
This Tech Tip is From the Full Book, FORD DIFFERENTIALS: HOW TO REBUILD THE 8.8 AND 9 INCH. For a comprehensive guide on this entire subject you can visit this link:
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A 1957 Chevy Bel Air makes a good project car. The Tri-Five Chevys are unique, highly sought after, and often upgraded. In addition to the powertrain upgrade detailed in this chapter, other upgrades typically performed include installing a Chevy 454-ci big-block engine, Tremec Magnum 6-speed transmission, McLeod clutch system, and of course the custom 9-inch axle. Also common is to add a tubular front suspension with revised steering geometry, power disc brakes at all four corners, and new wheels and tires.
Vehicle Acquisition and Inspection
The fine art of the deal is the first step in any new project, unless, of course, you already have a project vehicle in hand. I have been scouting quite a few cars from a gentleman in the Detroit area for almost five years. We were finally able to come to an agreement for one of his Tri Fives. So on a beautiful fall day, I loaded up the trailer and with the help of a friend, we went to retrieve this classic. It was truly an adventure as what was supposed to be a simple hour-long task of loading the car turned into a half-day’s worth of work to move all of the other classic cars out of the way.
With the project car finally in the shop, I began assessing what stays and what gets replaced and upgraded. Unfortunately, moisture was trapped in the carpet of the car and the outer perimeter of the floor and floor braces are rusted through and need to be replaced. The powertrain is not numbers matching and I feel that a big-block upgrade done correctly will not detract from the value of the car. (Of course, the purist out there probably disagrees with me.) Building a car that is powerful yet driveable is the plan. This means modern power disc brakes at all four corners, power steering, and air conditioning to complement the drivetrain upgrades.
Written by Joe Palazzolo and Republished with Permission of CarTech Inc