Swap Solutions: Rear Axles
This "Swap Solutions" series of Wiki articles is intended to help the customizer, swapper, shade-tree mechanic or junkyard crawler.
The idea is this: when you pull an axle, engine, tranny, driveshaft, bearing, or ANYTHING from your car, measure the heck out of it.
Countless times I've found myself wishing I had a source to know if this axle will fit that car, how much that ISB Cummins engine weighs or if a driveshaft already exists that fits my custom install instead of paying to have one fabricated.
This article is for Rear Axles. The basic idea is so that when shopping for a 9" Ford to put under a custom-chassis, the user can scroll through and review a listing of axles that will fit (or come close) and possibly avoid headaches.
Using the formatting below, start adding info. You can't add too much information. Make sure you give the application(s), year(s) and any possible tidbits you can. If someone can format this better than I can, please do, but basically use your codes to make columns for the following characteristics.</p>
- Axle family (like GM 8.5" ten bolt, or Dana 44)
- Application. What year, what vehicle, and any determining factor. For instance, if I want to find the same 12-bolt you described, it might be helpful in finding it to know that yours was found in a station wagon with a big block. Even if you only know YOUR axle's year it will help.
- Type of brake, disk or drum and their diameter * Or if you will be able to use your factory brakes, if you like.
- Type of suspension, coil or leaf, trailing arm or torque arm, etc. * Factory 9" housings do not have a torque arm, although an aftermarket one can.
- Width from wheel mount to wheel mount
- Width between spring perches, center to center (for leaf axles)
- Width between backing plates
- Width between shock mounts, center to center
- Weight (and note if its with or without brakes)
- Notes for additional information
- Add columns as needed.
Pretty much if you are to swap a stronger rear end in to your car, you are probably looking at a Ford 9", GM 12 bolt, or Dana 60 (maybe 44?).
The main item is what will it take to make your new rear fit? For example, If you want to swap a junkyard 9" in a 99 SS Camaro, the width of the housing would need adjustment, weld on the suspension control arm brackets, coil spring brackets, shock brackets. Special length axles are needed if the housing is narrowed.
Brackets for factory brake backing plates to use factory style brakes. Torque arm bracket (or go with ladder bars) and some people want to keep the Anti-Lock-Brakes. If you want to do that, you have to have a special diff carrier, and you have to drill a hole in the housing to mount the sensor to read the reluctor ring.
Your drive shaft yoke might be the same, but it might be different, so that is another thing that will attention. Most of the time you will need you will need a new driveshaft.
Once completed, a rear differential swap will have been completely worth it.