The time has actually come that your manufacturing facility axle is in require of repair. Friend have decided that the 30-year-old housing is worn and it might need come be changed or upgraded. Currently it is time to begin scouring friends’ garages and also the regional scrap yards to uncover your axle treasure. Prior to you start the quest, you need to understand what come look because that in your brand-new axle housing.

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First I will cover some generic types and axle structures. I have actually spent many hours collecting, reading, and also studying old shop manuals, supplier referral documents, SAE papers, and also vehicle manufacturer reports and notes. Few of this details is very important due to the fact that is the becoming an ext and more challenging to discover documentation on axles and also differentials the were first introduced an ext than 40 years ago.

This is a small sampling of the documents, axle-specific fix manuals, and design notebooks that I supplied as research and also references. There are literally countless pages of documents that have actually been the evaluation in an attempt to placed together a concise text. Some of these papers are no much longer in publish or were limited in circulation when they to be written. We have even found old research paper reports that room from the original engineer’s architecture notes.

There space two main categories or styles of axle housings available: beam style axles and also independent-carrier format axles. The main distinction is the the beam-axle housing has actually axle pipe as component of the axle housing; the live independence carrier-style axle is just the axle center section that houses the hypoid gears and also differential.

Beam Axles

Beam axles use straight axle shafts, and also the entire axle real estate moves throughout suspension travel events. The beam axle likewise reacts to suspension loads through the shocks and also springs. As soon as the suspension tons are transferred to the axle housing, it implies that the car loads are also transferred come the housing. The an ext heavily loaded the vehicle, the an ext loads the axle should resist. This is much more important on light duty pickup trucks, yet does relate to muscle cars, together you may stuff 5 passengers in the car and also go because that a zip roughly the block to show off your brand-new limited-slip differential. The beam axle real estate must also react to the braking loads. The brake drums and also wheel cylinders (or calipers and rotors) are placed to the wheel end of the tubes. Some axle housings also locate the vent installation in the peak of among the axle tubes.

The Ford 9-inch banjo layout axle has actually a cast center section that is painted black and also is removed from the front of the axle housing. A series of weld seams joins the many pieces, i beg your pardon eventually consist of the whole beam section of the housing.

Banjo and Salisbury Axles

There space two main species of beam axle housings banjo and also Salisbury and also both of these layouts are quiet in manufacturing today. Toyota and Mitsubishi space a pair of the automobile manufacturers that usage banjo axles this particular day while most other manufacturers have actually switched come Salisbury. Every Salisbury beam axles have actually a actors center section.

There is an interesting history behind the hatchet Salisbury axle. In 1901, the Salisbury Wheel agency was founded in Jamestown, new York. The founder, C.W. Salisbury, patented an car wheel. He to be a an essential maker and also repaired umbrellas by trade. He paired up through Scott Penfield and also E.D. Sherman to begin his production process. Their first customer was the producer of the cutting board Flyer Auto-mobile, E.R. Cutting board Company.

In 1905, the Salisbury Wheel agency started developing front axles and, in 1907, started producing behind axles. Approximately the same time frame, Clarence Spicer started the Spicer agency in Plainfield, brand-new Jersey, no too much from Salisbury, and dedicated in global joints. Charles Dana, one attorney and businessman, invested in Spicer about 1914. In 1919, Spicer Manufacturing agency acquired the Salisbury Axle Company. Spicer manufacturing is now dubbed Dana Holdings Corporation, but the Salisbury surname is quiet around.

The Ford 9-inch banjo layout axle has actually a actors center ar that is painted black and is removed from the former of the axle housing. A collection of weld seams joins the multiple pieces, i m sorry eventually consist of the entire beam part of the housing.

An assortment that the Ford 9-inch center sections is waiting for a new home in a vehicle. Most reputable shops have a kind inventory of together parts.

The cast center top top a common banjo format axle housing is presented in irradiate blue. It support the hypoid gears and the differential. The housing tube part (yellow) is composed of a series of stamped and also welded parts with the staying shafts and hardware being similar to various other axles. (Dana hold Corporation)

The removable facility section indigenous the banjo-style axle looks favor this. Notice the adjuster nuts are on either next of the differential, which allow for easier adjustment that the ring gear backlash and also bearing preload. The bolts host the small tabs ~ above the bearing hat in place and also prevent the adjuster nuts indigenous loosening up. Also, notice that the pinion bearing feed port has been cut away for simpler viewing. (GKN Driveline)

This Ford stock-style banjo facility section has actually been damaged from method too lot torque. A stronger facility section may have prevented this failure, yet this go to show you that the stock Ford 9-inch is not bullet proof and actually every axle has a torque or impact value whereby it will fail. Notice that one bearing cap is missing a section in the middle while the other is in 2 pieces. This failure additionally cracked the pinion straddle-mount bearing support and also even the prior of the housing cracked. There is nothing salvage-able native this center section.

On this rack of axle housings, the Salisbury-style space the 2nd one native the top and also the bottom one. The other six housings (some are stacked behind one another) space all banjo-style. (Randall Shafer)

This style of axle became an extremely popular and, through the arrival of civilization War II, plenty of Jeeps were outfitted through this style axle. This axle layout was famed in England from the Jeeps during world War II, and the English still describe this axle together a Salisbury. Just keep in mind that these axles have actually nothing to perform with Salisbury, England. Also today, us still combine the term Salisbury axle with an axle that has actually a cast center section, rear cover, and also pressed-in tubes.

The banjo-style axle has a removable center section. This actors center section is gotten rid of from the front of the axle and also supports every one of the gears and also bearings. Many little steel pieces room welded with each other to type the banjo-style axle housing. Toyota still offers this format axle real estate on its truck platforms today. The most renowned banjo axle is the Ford 9-inch, which will be extended later. The banjo axle, v its studs sticking out, resembles its namesake musical instrument, with the drum and tuning tricks sticking out.

Probably, the most significant weakness and most usual failure allude of the banjo axle is in ~ the differential bearing supports, which room cantilevered the end from the cast structure. The style has 2 arms reaching from the main casting, choose diving boards, that space trying to support the hypoid-ring-gear separating loads. Under heavy torque loads, these bearing supports can, and frequently do, rest in stock form. If you space going to send tremendous quantities of torque through a banjo-style axle, it is an important that you usage a readily obtainable aftermarket facility section, or a factory nodulariron unit the is stronger than the common, stock-gray-iron facility section found on many passenger vehicle applications.

Independent carrier Axles

Independent transport axles (ICAs) use halfshafts instead of axle shafts to transport torque come the wheel-end hubs. ICAs, therefore, do not react to suspension loads. The axle-carrier activity is generally independent that suspension movement. These layout axles are an ext commonly found on high-end vehicles and ultra-high-performance cars, such together Ferraris. Specific domestic performance vehicles have also utilized ICAs. The objective built, limited-production 1999 Cobra R Mustangs debuted v an ICA, and all Cobra Mustangs native 1999 to 2004 were factory constructed with ICAs.

The recent Dodge Vipers and also Corvettes usage ICA behind axles, and the changed 2010 Camaro has an ICA. Many folks have actually grafted ICAs from various other applications into their muscle cars. I should caution girlfriend on performing together a modification, as the ICA load-bearing structure members, mounts, and dampers are initially tuned for the original chassis stiffness and also compliance.

A complete ICA indigenous a Jaguar XK8 connects directly to the rear suspension. The black color halfshafts affix the axle outputs to the wheel ends. This ICA additionally uses the jiggle style vent lid on the height of the axle cover questioned in thing 1. (Randall Shafer)

The front surface ar of a Corvette ICA bolts come the rear placed transmission. The outputs come the halfshafts room on the right and left. Note the comprehensive use that cooling fins and also the next covers ~ above both sides. There is even a behind cover on this axle. It tends to resemble a square box more than a classic axle.

An interior spline in the head cd driver the Corvette hollow-style pinion. The classic style pinion is next to it for comparison. The pinion head bearing is practically as large as the pinion head itself.

When friend rip that subframe out of a Jaguar or Cadillac CTS and also make that fit under your Nova, possibilities are it will certainly not execute the exact same as the initial donor automobile because the entire rear subframe module is tuned because that a details chassis arrangement, wheelbase, and also weight deliver characteristic. Store in mind the there are service providers that specialization in conversion kits for together swaps. These room expensive swaps and do not always garner the intended benefits. A tradition fabricated ICA can be a great talking suggest while at a auto show. In part racing circles, an live independence suspension might yield far-reaching advantages, especially when there room abrupt changes in the track surface.

The current Corvette axle is unique in the reality that the pinion is situated behind the ring gear when the ICA is mounted in the vehicle. The pinion shaft is actually hollow and driven indigenous an internal spline in the head of the pinion. Conventional pinions are propelled from an exterior spline at the tail end of the pinion. The Corvette pinion is also very short with a small distance in between the pinion bearings. Using huge pinion bearings makes this arrangement possible and provides adequate assistance for the pinion gear.

Rear Cover and Side cover Housings

There is a subset the ICAs defined by the cover layout or separation line of the axle housing. Many ICAs have the axle cover split line like the Viper axle, i m sorry is parallel to and also just behind the calculation shafts. There room some that use a side cover design like the Corvette. Over there are plenty of schools that thought concerning which style is better. But one issue that every agree on is that most side-cover design today execute not easily lend us to visual pattern checks and also traditional equipment backlash inspection. Due to the fact that the side cover is compelled to effectively support the differential bearings and also subsequently the hypoid ring gear, girlfriend cannot check out the sample or check backlash unless the sheathe is removed. If a large access port were available, a pattern and also backlash inspect could be performed. The other an approach is to assemble the unit and also rotate the pinion to disburse the pattern compound, and then eliminate the covering to check the pattern.

The venomous evade Viper ICA, quickly spotted by the line on the behind cover, is based upon a combination of Dana 44 and Dana 60 interior components. This ICA uses a four suggest mount system, 2 on the behind cover and also two an ext on either next of the pinion. This is likewise a more traditional rear-cover design than the Corvette next cover.

The Cadillac CTS axle housing is actors aluminum and also not only has actually a side cover but additionally a pinion cartridge arrangement. The side-cover arrangement and combination of the pinion cartridge make this a distinctive axle arrangement to service, as many axles room not assembled in this fashion.

ICAs have actually been manufactured in both cast iron and cast aluminum. The cast-aluminum units have actually a thermal-expansion and gear alignment issue that demands to be taken into account throughout the style process. Aluminum expands and shrinks in ~ a much faster rate 보다 the steel gears inside the axle. Depending upon the architecture layout the the gears and also bearings, as soon as the aluminum axle real estate heats up from normal operation, the gears may be shifted out of their appropriate mesh point. Also, the pinion bearings commonly increase in preload, while the differential bearings lose preload. This have the right to turn into gear noise in ~ elevated temperature in the axle.

If the axle receives a cool currently of wait while control to help maintain the temperature, this heater of the axle real estate is minimized and these difficulties do no exist. The typical ICA is tucked up under the vehicle, and also does no usually obtain adequate airflow. This is necessary if you space going come stick among these axles under her muscle car; the transmission will have negative airflow, but likewise increased talk well past the factory architecture limit. Plenty of manufacturers are currently going earlier to cast iron for their ICAs in bespeak to eliminate the pertains to that come with an aluminum structure.


Axle tower Retention Methods

Just like various other items formerly discussed, axle pillar retention methods autumn under the axle housing category. Some folks describe the axle housing as semi-float once they typical to say Salisbury.

Let’s resolve this man now. There room three main species of axle tower retention: semi-float, three-quarter float, and full-float. The type of axle shaft retention is frequently easiest come distinguish based upon the bearing plan at the wheel end.

Semi float axle shaft retention is most frequently found on passenger cars and light duty trucks. That is arranged so the the auto loads reaction to the axle shaft. It is the simplest and most cost effective style for auto manufacturers. This is the timeless Cwasher format axle pillar retention.

The axle shaft has inherent end-play in between the differential pin and also the C washer pocket in the next gear. The endplay rises if the optional limited slip differential is a key style, and also the plates wear over time. The wheel end bearing plan is typically a roller bearing that rides ~ above the axle shaft. The axle obelisk itself experience torque as well as a bending pack that results from sustaining the weight of the automobile through the wheels. The path of wheel tons goes from the wheel, come the axle shaft, to the bearings, and finally into the housing.

Here you have the right to see the common semi-float wheel finish bearing arrangement. The wheel end bearing spans across the housing and also the axle shaft. The bearing (yellow) and spans the axle housing (blue) and also the axle shaft (green). (Dana hold Corporation)

The axle flange has actually a socket clearance hole so you can gain access to the recorded bearing bolts. This is an additional telltale sign that her axle has actually a three-quarter-float bearing arrangement. (Randall Shafer)

The 3 quarter to rise wheel end has not only caught bearing but additionally reduces axial endplay. The axle obelisk still tote the vehicle load. Notification that the car load is transferred from the wheel studs to the tapered bearing pack arrangement through the axle shaft. (Dana hold Corporation)

In this cross section view of a common full-float wheel end, the axle shaft have the right to be gotten rid of from the axle real estate while the wheel is tho on. The automobile load is moved from the wheel hub (light blue) v the bearing (purple) to the axle pipe (yellow). The axle pillar is secluded from auto loads. (Dana holding Corporation)

There is another an approach to maintain the axle tower for semi-float retention. Here, the wheelend bearing is pressed onto the axle shaft. This layout of axle shaft retention is commonly referred to together the recorded bearing or Ford style. Although this is a 3 quarter-float, it is not typically called this. There is a bearing retainer plate the bolts to the finish of the axle housing. This bearing and also retained plate are pressed and secured top top the axle shaft. The Ford 9 inch style axle pillar is an example. This style of axle retention has actually a distinct benefit over a usual C washer arrangement, because a broken axle pillar does no necessarily allow the wheel to different from the axle housing.

C clip eliminator kit are available in the aftermarket to transform C washer axles come this form of captured bearing retention. Keep in mind that this is still a semi-float-style axle. Because it is not a true full-float axle, yet awfully close, it is referred to as 3 quarter float.

The full-float wheel end setup is such that the axle shaft only experiences torque. The wheel finish bearing transfers load from the axle real estate to the wheel hub. This kind of axle is easy to spot by the bolts on the outside flange of the axle column that hold the axle shaft in place. The axle obelisk drives a separate wheel hub that supports the wheel structure. This are typically found on larger axles in 3 quarter and oneton trucks.

And there is another an approach to recognize this axle: If you deserve to remove the axle pillar with the vehicle on the ground, the is a full-float axle.

To identify if your car has a complete float wheel end, closely examine the axle shaft to wheel hub attachment. If over there is a wheel hub, you have a full-float axle, but the presence of the wheel hub may not it is in obvious. In order come visually tell, look for a series of bolts arranged on a smaller diameter than the lug studs that attach the axle flange come the hub.

Axle Tubes

The axle beam portion or tubes have the right to be a series of stamped-steel piece that space all welded together favor the banjo style axle, or they can be really round-shaped tubing. The wanted tubing for this is called drawn Over Mandrel (DOM) tubing. Many Salisbury-style axles usage DOM tubing for the axle tubes. This layout of tube is also commonly provided for driveshaft production. DOM tubing has an excellent strength and consistent wall thickness properties the make it ideal for axle tubes.

You’re looking in ~ a rack of full float axle shafts. Each of the axle shaft flanges has a collection of clearance feet to enable the bolts that hold them in place to happen through. On several of the axle shafts, there are three holes clustered together for applications that have alignment dowels ~ above the hubs. (Randall Shafer)

The tube product for axle housings have the right to be made from a range of different diameters and wall thicknesses. Here are some sample pieces of the some of the much more popular sizes

There space a few different approaches to manufacture tubing like DOM and seamless. The pipe actually begin out as solid bar stock and also are climate pierced. Subsequently, the stole is heated, drawn, and formed into the correct shape. Climate a mandrel or fixture is positioned inside the tube while the exterior of the pipe is pulled v a die. This basically sizes the inside and also outside diameter the the tubing and thus the name drawn over mandrel. The diameter and wall thickness that the axle tubes is crucial in the all at once axle strength. Some axles have very tiny diameter tubes and are therefore much more prone come bending.

Axle Housings

In many enthusiast circles, naught provokes an ext debate than the object of the finest differential. Once it pertains to Chevy matches Ford matches Mopar differentials, everyone has an opinion on i beg your pardon performs better. The exact same heated conversations start when stating Ford 9-inch matches Dana 60 versus GM 12-bolt. Everyone has actually an opinion. Some opinions are based on valid information. However, part opinions are based on outdated information, no unlike the camel-hump small-block Chevy cylinder heads the were every the fury years ago. Now, with all of the aftermarket assistance available, unless you want to develop a numbers-matching or nostalgic engine, aftermarket aluminum heads would provide far far better performance than the share units.

Independent of any type of of this information, usual sense should constantly prevail. Together these axles, and also the car they come out of, become older and also scarcer, more and much more axles display up top top the sector that have been modified incorrectly, bent, and generally abused. Unless the housing is extraordinarily rare, a used component should be avoided. Alternatively, if you space planning come install new tubes and refurbish everything else that is involved, and then go ahead and also buy one axle that has been excessively welded top top or shows signs of damage,just be sure that you salary appropriately.

This GM 12-bolt axle has actually been cut and welded way too much, however it has the period-correct instead of brake lines. The four-link brackets to be welded on and also then subsequently reduced off. The owner that this axle actually pulled the out and replaced it through a weaker 10-bolt axle because he was having actually so numerous problems with gear noise. Opportunities are pretty great that the main case is so badly distorted the offset and perpendicularity space off. If you run throughout a 12-bolt in similar condition, stay away from it.

New aftermarket finish axles might not be as expensive together you can think. Keep in mind that by the moment you acquisition a brand-new gear set, differential, bearings, seals, axle shafts, and also brake hardware, you might be just a couple of dollars short of a rebuilt axle indigenous a trustworthy shop. Of course, the is quite to carry out it yourself; that way you are much more familiar through the hardware and can quickly diagnose and repair any kind of issues that might arise.

After I review the exotic and cool feather Quick adjust axle, I will cover the more mainstream axle housings in alphabet order, by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or by the axle caterer (e.g., Dana Corporation), when similar variants of the axle are used by multiple OEMs. The conversation will progress from small to big axles that are generally found under many muscle cars. (I refer to the axle real estate by the ring-gear exterior diameter in inches.)

Quick Change

One axle must be treated individually from the rest, together it is unique, however still common among hot rodders and racers. No axle book would be complete without mentioning the Quick change axle. Halibrand engineering was one of the initial manufacturers that this style axle, and also still renders them today. Winters power is a great source for everything from complete axles to any kind of of the organization parts. This axle design dates earlier to the 1940s and is typical on many circle track race cars, such as Midget, acceleration or Champ, and also especially Ford Roadsters indigenous the 1930s and 1940s.

These axles use a spiral bevel gear set (more on it in thing 6) and spur gears to obtain the all at once gear ratio. The main advantage is the the spur gear part of the axle have the right to be eliminated quickly, generally from the behind of the axle, to adjust the ratio. This permits you come tweak her axle ratios for different tracks. It is also handy if you want to have a certain ratio for street use and adjust the ratio quickly for track events. As of this printing, there are more than 65 different ratios to choose from.

This exploded watch of one axle mirrors the power flow through the assembly. The input indigenous the driveshaft is displayed on the upper best portion. Then it cd driver a shaft that goes come spur gears in the ago of the housing, then at some point transfers torque come the spiral bevel gears. (Winters Performance)

A typical quick-change axle (shown from the back) has actually the oval cover positioned vertically in the rear, so it’s easy to identify. These axles definitely are pleasing to check out under a street rod. This one has a finned cover through gold fasteners. (Winters Performance)

On this common quick-change axle v the covering removed, you have the right to see the spur gears that permit for the ratio change. Also, an alert that the smaller equipment is ~ above the bottom, which yields a high equipment ratio of 1.66:1. (Winters Performance)

This is similar to the ahead photo, other than the gears have been changed in position. This returns a reduced ratio that 0.6:1. (Winters Performance)

The powerflow because that the Quick adjust is additionally unique. The input indigenous the driveshaft is passed v the housing via a column to the rear reduced spur gear. This lower spur gear drives torque come its mating companion that is directly over it. The moved spur gear is attached to the spiral bevel pinion gear. This pinion gear then cd driver the ring gear, and also finally the axle shafts.

Since the Quick change axle offers a spiral bevel and also spur equipment arrangement, the produces equipment noise. As always, there are tradeoffs. In gyeongju applications, gear noise is not an issue. Keep in mind the there is additionally an efficiency advantage of spiral bevel and spur gears over hypoid and helical gears. Since the spiral and spur gears are much more efficient, less warmth is generated in the axle and also less torque lost from that warmth generation.

Even because that the street rod culture, this gear noise may not be desired. For typical muscle cars that see daily driving, you probably don’t desire to resolve the noise from these units. Just similar to many options covered in this book, the is a issue of an individual preference. There room helical gears available for these axles to ton down some of the noise signature, but in the end, you should expect this axles to be noisy.

The an approach to adjust the ratio is simple. You just need to eliminate the behind cover and also replace the spur gears with your new ratio gears. Over there is no distinct shimming or pre-loading. Of course, you have actually to attend to draining and also filling the equipment oil. This is minor contrasted to what is required for a usual axle equipment swap.

AMC 20 Axle

The American motors Corporation version 20 was uncovered in V-8 it is provided Javelins, Pacers and even the Matador from the late 1960s come the so late 1970s. Execution of this axle were also used on select Jeep vehicles right into the mid 1980s. It has an 8.875 inch ring gear, and the gearing portions of the axle are reasonably strong. The axle tubes room a small on the tiny and slim side together with the two piece axle shafts. One piece shafts and also full float kit are obtainable in the aftermarket to attend to the marginally long lasting factory shaft and hub arrangement. The tiny diameter, light-duty pipe are, more often 보다 not, bent and also distorted. To make matters worse, under high-torque applications, the tubes quite regularly rotate in ~ the actors center housing.

The behind cover gasket for the AMC 20 axle is round through 12 sheathe bolts. This is just one of the few gaskets the is cork. Cork gaskets tend to damage over time and also will frequently leak.

Chrysler 83⁄4-inch Axle 

Besides the Dana 60 (see below), the main Chrysler axle the you may encounter in muscle cars is the 83⁄4 inch. These axles have the right to be uncovered in the adhering to platforms (some models are detailed for reference):

A usual banjo layout axle the just banjo the Chrysler make was an initial introduced in 1957 on vans, trucks, and also high-performance cars. This axle went the end of manufacturing in 1974. There room some variations the end there, yet be very careful, as there are few of the smaller sized 81⁄4 -inch axles developed from 1957 come 1964 that can be identified by the 1828448 spreading number. These would have actually been installed in 6-cylinder cars. There are also some “741” axles developed in 1963 come 1964 that have actually the smaller 81⁄4 -inch ring gear. We desire the 83⁄4-inch axle.

You have the right to identify the three variants of this axle through either spreading numbers or the pinion stem diameter. The 741 was used on lighter cars and also has a pinion diameter that 13⁄8 inch. Indigenous 1957 come 1964, the casting number was 1820657, and also from 1964 to 1972, it to be 2070741 (notice the last 3 digits the the spreading number). The 741 frequently has a huge “X” actors on the left side above the to fill plug.

The 742 was supplied on huge or high it is provided cars, and has a pinion stem diameter that 13⁄4 inch. The spreading numbers to be 1634985 indigenous 1957 to 1964, and 2070742 native 1961 come 1969. The 742 may have actually a big number 2 actors on the left side.

The Chrysler 83⁄4– customs axle-housing gasket flange has 10 holes and a round shape. There space a couple of different versions of the gasket with different notches top top the inside diameter. This gasket fits all of them. (Randall Shafer/Joe Palazzolo)

The 489, the last variant, was phased in to change the 742. It has a tapered pinion stem diameter that 17⁄/8 inches. The spreading numbers native 1969 to 1974 to be 2881488 and also 2881489. The 489 has a huge number 9 actors on the left side. There were some 13⁄4 customs pinions set up in the 489 spreading during this time period, so girlfriend ought to check the axle carefully to confirm which one you looking at.

So which one execute you want? Supposedly, the larger the pinion stem, the more powerful the axle. The axle facility sections room interchangeable, therefore if you have actually the weaker 741, you can quickly upgrade to a 742 or 489 without too lot trouble. As with any kind of upgrade, take the time to do your homework.

Also, take note that many Chrysler axles have actually left hand or turning back threaded ring equipment bolts. Left-hand threaded bolts self tighten as soon as the joint is loaded, i beg your pardon counteracts any propensity to loosen. These are ideal as soon as the bolt is on the facility of rotation prefer the bolt that holds your lawn mower tongue to the crankshaft. However, ring gears and also wheel studs are not lined up top top the facility of rotation, and therefore execute not benefit from this opposite hand thread. For some reason, Chrysler offered this on their ring gears and driver’s-side lug nuts in the 1960s and 1970s. General Motors provided the same architecture philosophy for some of their axles.

Dana 60 Axle

Just like plenty of of the manufacturers in this text, Dana has countless different size axles and also combinations available. I am walking to concentration on the Dana 60 (D60). It has actually a large 93⁄4-inch ring gear and was supplied in countless different Mopar truck applications, passenger cars through 440, 4-speed combinations, and the legendary 426 hem cars. This axle is far superior in strength and efficiency come the Ford 9-inch. For some reason, Chrysler to be the just OEM to usage the indestructible D60 in their muscle cars.

This is a common gasket because that the Dana 60 behind cover. It has 10 holes and is just over 12 inches in diameter. (Randall Shafer/Joe Palazzolo)

A common Dana 60 stamped behind cover is straightforward to spot because it has the Dana logo and also telltale fill plug. The ring, pinion, and splines are very strong. Plymouth and Dodge muscle cars used this stout rear end to transfer enormous torque lots to the wheels.

The Strange design version of the Dana 60 features adjuster nuts the are provided to collection the hypoid bearings preload and gear backlash, which is a great addition come an already an excellent axle. The dial indicator is in position to check

Typically, you can develop a custom D60 because that one-third much less than the cost of a Ford 9-inch. Unfortunately, you cannot acquire a D60 for specific applications one gift the Ford Fox platform. However, if the ring gear in your muscle auto is much less than 9 inches and it cannot manage the torque input, you must opt because that the Dana 60. Many sub-9-inch axles cannot hold up as soon as horsepower rises come 800 or 1,000 or more.

The D60 hypoid offset is fifty percent that of the Ford 9-inch. Therefore, less torque is lost and less heat is created in the D60. There are plenty of aftermarket carriers that do their own version of the D60, such as Strange and also Teraflex. Most of the D60s use a solid spacer, while some use a collapsible spacer, to set the pinion bearing preload. The spacer requirements to be changed to achieve the exactly preload, and also then the nut is tightened to the exactly torque value.


Ford Axles

Ford has created its very own corporate axles similar to GM and Chrysler. Few of these axles are comparable to the other OEMs, if others room unique, such as the Ford 9-inch. We are going to evaluation the an ext common accessible axles.

Ford 8-inch: It may seem strange to to compare the 8-inch come the 9-inch since the 8-inch axle is weaker than the 9-inch. However, an important distinction requirements to be made. Many civilization are not conscious that Ford made a smaller sized banjo axle and confuse the 8-inch with a 9-inch. There’s an easy method to tell lock apart. One 8-inch has instance nuts that can be accessed through a socket, while the 9-inch has actually two nuts top top the bottom about 6 and also 7 o’clock that cannot it is in accessed through a socket and also require a wrench. Both axles share a typical design, however the tiny 8-inch just cannot handle the abuse choose its bigger brother can. The 8-inch also was only obtainable with 28-tooth axle shafts.

Also, don’t confuse the later photos in this chapter that present independent 8-inch carriers with the 8-inch banjo-style beam axle housing. Both 8-inch and also 9-inch axle housings are made native a collection of stampings that space fixtured and also welded together. This complicated fixturing and also welding process, coupled through fuel economic climate concerns, most likely resulted in the production death of these Ford axles. In high volume production, the two best quality problems were leaks from poor welds and poor alignment that the housings. So nothing be surprised that most of these axles leak indigenous the welds. Careful aftermarket shops, with their stringent fist to repairing this housings, room able to correct plenty of of these issues.

Ford 8.8-inch: The Ford 8.8 inch is very similar to the GM 87⁄8-inch, 12-bolt axle. Part folks might tell you that the Blue Oval engineers duplicated the 12-bolt architecture when they come up with the 8.8-inch axle. While that is a matter of opinion, one need to recognize the there are plenty of similarities. It is exciting that the Ford axle offers the specific same bearings as the GM 12-bolt. The Ford variation uses larger axle shafts and also a different lube strategy, yet otherwise they are very comparable axles.

Not every banjo-style Ford axles room in the best condition from the factory. This housing has been media blasted, and also you can see a weld repair was performed to correct a poor factory weld.

The normal 10-bolt gasket surface ar of the Ford 8.8- inch axle walk not have actually the lube slots at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions as on the GM 12-bolt. The Ford axle depends on oil gift indirectly channeled behind the caps native splash and also churning the the gears. The oval-shaped cover is around 109⁄16 x 1013⁄16 inches. (Randall Shafer/Joe Palazzolo)

An aftermarket chrome Ford 8.8-inch stamped rear cover walk not have actually the lube shelf as on the GM 12-bolt axle. Therefore, it

Here is a typical aftermarket triangulation assistance welded top top the tube to reinforce the tube. Notification that this axle has the tube welded solidly to the cast center section. This aftermarket process is not discovered on production housings. (Randall Shafer)

A typical Fox chassis Mustang is generally equipped through an 8.8- inch behind axle. This one wake up to have a stampedaluminum behind cover, which provides improved that are lighter cooling. Several of the van versions had composite covers than aluminum. (Randall Shafer)

This rare Ford 8.8-inch independent carrier axle v a cast-iron housing was equipment to late-model Mustangs and also Ford Explorers. Notice the 8.8 cast into the housing above the pinion.

This Ford traveler 8.8-inch live independence axle has actually a actors aluminum housing. The sensor in the upper right procedures ring equipment speed and is part of the anti-lock brake system.

The Ford 8-inch independent axle has a cast aluminum housing, and also the 8.0 identifier is cast into the covering just listed below the to fill plug ~ above the right. This axle have the right to be discovered in the Jaguar X-type and also Lincoln LS.

Not all of the 8.0 ICAs were in aluminum. This Ford 8-inch has actually a cast-iron housing.

Another interesting fact is the Ford 8.8-inch axle has actually the very same ringgear mounting street (see chapter 6) for all ratios. There is a ton of aftermarket support for this axle (see chapter 4). This is your timeless semi rise Salisbury axle with C washers because that axle retention. Over there are even 8.5 inch gears set up in this housings for lower-powered vehicle applications. The typical car-sized 3-inch-diameter tubes can be a bit flimsy in higher powered applications.

The 8.5-inch and also 8.8-inch gears have even been uncovered in the independent carrier style axles. The Ford Mustang and also T-Bird offered this style for a couple of model years.

Ford 9-inch: The Ford 9-inch has a reputation as a an extremely reliable and durable axle. It’s by much the most common axle used by restorers, hot rodders, customizers, and also racers. The has enjoyed a lengthy production history with countless variants. Because that its time, this remains one of the best axles come use. There is a large aftermarket support for this axle design. Plenty of companies space reproducing this style today, such together Currie Enterprises, note Williams, and also Strange Engineering, to surname a few. It is still offered in NASCAR racing today.

Offered in Ford cars and trucks from 1957 come 1986, this banjo-style 9-inch axle is the big brother to the 8-inch axle. In the mid 1980s, the Salisbury-style 8.8-inch axle real estate replaced the 9-inch, and also the 8.8-inch saved around 50 pounds and also boasted an raised efficiency. The 9-inch axle has a very big pinion counter of 2.25 inches, which allows the pinion to be straddle mounted. There space three bearings top top the pinion shaft. In order to enable for the additional straddle-mounted bearing, the hypoid offset demands to be big enough to clean the differential case.

Many human being have been scouring scrap yards for years to discover the finest examples that the 9-inch axle. Many are looking for the very sought-after nodular stole case, through its telltale “N” actors into the front or inside wall. The N instances had 2 vertical ribs and three horizontal ribs together with a machined-in to fill plug. That course, if her pocket book allows, friend can conveniently purchase an aftermarket iron instance that is stronger than any type of factory case. If girlfriend are trying to find the N situation or think that you have discovered one, make details to look closely. The WAR, WAA, and also WAB cases have the same ribbing together the N case, however are missing one feature; the W-series cases do not have a to fill plug machined into them. As always, execute your homework prior to you invest those hard-earned dollars. Both standard and W-series instances are made out of gray cast iron. Only the N-series instances are made out of the stronger, an ext desirable, nodular iron.

The Ford 9-inch to be the axle most typically found in Blue Oval muscle cars and also trucks, and this axle is so prolific that aftermarket providers make it because that Chevy applications. The Ford 9-inch internals in the back side of the facility section or third member look favor this. You can see the adjuster nuts for the differential location and bearing preload.

This is the front side of the 3rd member. The pinion cartridge is organized in location by five bolts. This unit has a an ext common 3/8-inch-square-drive to fill plug.

An aftermarket Daytona-style pinion cartridge is more reinforced 보다 the conventional cartridge and also accommodates the stronger pinion head bearing. This additional reinforcement comes from the thicker ar inner ribbing.

There room even various pinion cartridges. The Daytona-style cartridge has added structure, and enables for a bigger pinion head bearing when contrasted to the conventional pinion cartridge.

Like most Ford axles, the 9-inch has actually a solitary hypoid ring-gear mounting distance, therefore unlike the Dana and GM axles, a single differential works with all ratios. Also, because this axle is supplied in so countless circle track race cars, the 9-inch enjoys one unparalleled access of various gear ratios. This description by no method does justice to every permutations that the ever-popular Ford 9-inch, however we’ve extended the basics. If you have one of these in her muscle car, or desire to usage one, research further to gain all the details. This is where making a couple of phone calls to reputable axle contractors can be helpful. Rather a couple of companies space making Ford 9-inch housings come fit just around any muscle automobile out there, including non-Ford vehicles.

General electric motors Axles

The last axles to testimonial are two of the more common GM axles. This axles account for the majority of muscle vehicle applications. GM referred to as its limited-slip differentials “Positraction.” This surname was shortened, and the hatchet “Posi” to be coined and is currently synonymous because that limited-slip differentials. However, just knowing the it has a Posi does not tell united state which technology is being offered (see chapter 5 for much more details).

10-Bolt: The GM 10-bolt axle housings gain their surname from the 10 fasteners that hold the behind inspection sheathe in place. The rear cover identifies it together a Salisbury-style axle. Both the 10-bolt and 12-bolt require distinct differentials to accommodate various ratios. Over there are collection 2, 3, and 4 differentials come account for unique ring equipment mounting ranges (more ~ above this in chapter 6). The 10-bolt and also 12-bolt axle housing share a usual lubrication flow strategy to the differential bearings. Oil is collected from the rotating ring gear and also channeled towards the differential bearings and then under the axle tubes come the wheel end bearings. A shelf that is stamped right into the behind cover perfect this.

The 10-bolt axles came through two different-size ring gears for passenger automobile applications: one 8.125-inch (commonly referred to as 8.2-inch) and an 8.5-inch. Basically, many applications in the mid 1960s to early 1970s v 10-bolt housings had an 8.2-inch ring gear. By the at an early stage 1970s, many of the 10-bolt housings in Chevelles, Novas, Camaros, Monte Carlos, etc., had actually the bigger 8.5-inch ring gears.

On the left next of the aftermarket chrome cover for the GM 10-bolt, a curved bulge acts together a shelf the collects and diverts oil to the differential bearings. There is a similar feature ~ above the right yet it is not as pronounced.

A usual chrome aftermarket GM 12-bolt cover features the distinctive oil shelf throughout the top part of the cover. This provides these axles really easy come identify because it is the only axle v this style cover. The chrome plating add to a nice touch if you desire a show component but does no really add any additional strength.

Unlike share units, aftermarket structural behind covers incorporate fill and also drain plugs. Another great benefit is the differential bearing cap preload bolts. These are at the 3 and 9 o’clock location of the cover.

These axles replaced the 8.2-inch banjo layout that was easily accessible prior come this. For any type of high-powered application, acquire the bigger ring equipment that came with the 12-bolt housings. If you have a high performance small-block or big-block in your muscle car, you will want to upgrade to the more powerful 12- bolt. There room plenty the 10-bolt muscle cars that have an excellent results, yet the 12-bolt is a far stronger unit. 12-Bolt: similar to the 10-bolt, the 12-bolt it s okay its name from the variety of cover bolts that hold the rear inspection covering in place. It is a Salisbury-style real estate with a actors center section and also press-in tubes. The rear cover that this axle has actually a much much more pronounced lube shelf to distribute oil from the ring equipment to the differential bearings.

The axle tubes are organized in place by the chop interference fit and also plugwelded joint to the center section, as room other instances of this style axle housing. Unfortunately, the 12-bolts have the tendency to seep equipment oil out of the plug welds and also the tubeto instance interfaces. Many misguided mechanics have attempted to avoid 12-bolt axle leaks only to uncover that the true root cause is the welds or press fit. Native the factory, the plug welds had actually pin holes and were just plain sloppy. To fix this effectively seems basic grind out the old welds, clean increase the interface, and weld that correctly. This is not as straightforward as it might seem, since you are welding 2 dissimilar ferrous materials– actors iron come mild steel. Take her time and grind out the whole old weld without grinding right into the tube, then arc weld the two back together. Make specific that you usage the correct filler material. Most folks recommend a 304 stainless rod because that this weld. If you space not a an excellent welder, leaving this fix to a professional.

Also, if you’re in ~ it, have the tubes welded to the cast center section. This not just stops those leaks, but also adds an ext support. Make certain to have a shop skilled with axles perform this occupational so the the housing does not obtain distorted from the warm of the welding process. This housings space still highly sought after and can be pricey come acquire. Aftermarket systems are available to aid out through this shortage. Over there are even companies make 12-bolt housings to fit non-GM muscle cars.


While i have detailed a same amount of details to digest for this reason you have actually a clear idea that the most axle choices on the market, I have actually not provided an exhaustive account of all axles out there. Armed with this information, girlfriend should have the ability to spot the differences and tell one axle from an additional when you sifting through the scrap yard. And also you should be able to make educated purchasing decision so you choose the appropriate axle because that your specific vehicle.

See more: Ask A Man In Your Life: How Many Holes Are There In A Female Body ?

Here is one last chart come summarize—it contains some added axles the were not spanned earlier.

Written through Joe Palazzolo and also Posted v Permission of CarTechBooks

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