05 August 2013

grease monkey sunday

With the two 40's swapped around,
it was time to get my hands dirty.
When the green 40 was wedged in the garage,
it was impossible to work on the passenger side.
Barely enough room to slither through.
stool time

The history of the 8 inch Ford rear end I had was questionable.
A typical $100 craigslist score,
the previous owner had taken out the desireable 3.55 3rd member,
and swapped in a freeway flier set of 2.80's.
The problem was for some reason he also changed the yoke,
and it was obvious this was a quickee hack job.
Something wasn't quite right as it would rub on the housing.
Instead of fixing the pumpkin,
I had found a decent replacement.

You guessed it...
time for a "how to - change a ford 8 inch third member" post!

A couple hot rodder friends had used newer 8.8 ford rear ends,
and for the price, disc brakes and posi options,
I thought going with the old 8 inch may have been a mistake.
When the car is on the ground,
the ugly 8.8 inch isn't really visible.

Then I remembered this is a 60's/70's era build.
Sure I'm using a 1990 engine and transmission,
but only a few diehards will be able to tell.
The 8 inch rears are a hot rod standard,
and all that work using split '36 radius rods to mount it
would have been lost with the 8.8 inch.
May as well used a parallel leaf spring kit.

The 8" payoff is the ease in swapping the Ford pumpkins.
They are designed to change gears in an hour.
Of course it took me much longer.
To start the backing plate bolts are removed through the hole in the axle.
Then install the drum backwards to use as leverage.
1940 ford coupe low budget street rod

A couple jerks or taps with a rubber mallet,
and whabamp! you've got yourself a pile of parts
that all your neighbors will envy.
The drum makes a convenient stand too,
you don't want to ding up the splines on the axle.

Here's the culprit.
10 nuts later and good to go.
Check out the most stylish "8" you've ever seen.
8 inch ford

The replacement center section had the same 2.80 ratio.
Definitely not the most desireable for racing,
but we're building a freeway car here,
and the idea is for a performance gas sipper.
Also remember there is a slushy Lincoln AOD transmission,
which was designed to shift gears without jostling a car full of older ladies,
with small bladders on their way to church.
That old Town Car was so smooth,
you could drive with a full cup of coffee on the dash.
A sad percentage of RPM's will actually make it to the rearend,
unless I spring for a shift kit or special torque converter.
Ford 2.80 8 inch pumpkins

I thought the Lincolns ratio was around 2.70,
however most internet searches said 3.08 was common.
Whatever it is 2.80's are what I've got.
The replacement was from a Mustang restorer,
you can tell from the original style red oxide paint.
All 8 inch center sections are interchangeable with the 28-spline axles,
so I'll be on the hunt for a posi or trac-loc unit.
They are dang expensive,
so if anyone out there wants to send one out contact me!

The housing was as clean as expected.
Not very.
It was now or never to scrub it down.
Why didn't I do this before?
A little wire brush taped to stick made it easier.
removing FORD rear wheel seal

One wheel seal was fine but the other was worn out.
At $7 for the pair it's best to replace both.
An old curtain rod was used to hammer it out from the other side.
Much better than gouging up the surface like the previous owners.
diesel injector

The bigger opening also made it easier to clean.
This was a rare opportunity to use this cool tool.
Someone had machined this aluminum syringe.
It worked great to shoot diesel into the housing.

Then a rag was rammed in,
similar to loading a cannon.
I can now sleep at night knowing the housing is clean.
ford 8 inch center section

Next time I'll prepare by doing a weeks worth of push-ups.
The pumpkin fit as it should,
and you'd think I was done.
One of the axle bearings was a little sloppy,
so that will be added to my STD list.
At least I can cross one thing off!


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