Heres our new 9-inch rear axle from Currie Enterprises. Narrowed 2 inches overall to a width of 55 inches, it has a Currie Torque Sensing Differential with 3.70:1 gears and Ford F-150 truck drum brakes. Furnished to us unpainted, we gave it a coat of Hammerbond dark-gray paint.
The Weld Pro Star wheels will give us just the look we want. Theyre perfect for a street or dragstrip warrior. Our 67 Fairlane XL will be a little of both.
To get started under the car, disconnect the rear axle brake line at the connection bracket. Be sure to use a line wrench or youll be replacing the hard line if the brass nut gets rounded off. A new flex line to the rear axle is in the cards for safety reasons.
A transmission jack can be used to support the old axle while things are loosened up. Besides the two spring plates, disconnect the shocks at both ends as well.
The 8-inch axle is carefully maneuvered out from under the Fairlane. This axle is heavy, but the new 9-inch unit is heavier still.
We used a cherry picker to load the new 9-inch axle onto the transmission jack. Without the jack, you would want to have another person to help out. Here, the new axle is wrestled into position.
We eliminated the rubber spring pads found on the old axle mounting arrangement, electing to mount the new axle directly onto the spring. Used to isolate vibration, the rubber pads can also contribute to axle wind-up on a hard start. What we discovered is that the stud on the spring used to locate the axle was too long to allow the axle to seat correctly.
Using a portable band saw, we cut the locating stud to the needed length. A standard hacksaw would work as well.
With the axle seated correctly on the spring, we installed our new U-bolts. Ray Currie warned us that with our specially narrowed axle, we might run into clearance problems involving the spring plate and the drum brake backing plate. He was right; and here you can see there was no way we were going to get things together without modifications.
We determined that enlarging the hole in the bottom of the spring plate would allow us to move the plate toward the centerline of the car far enough to clear the brake backing plate without grinding on the side of the plate. In this photo, weve cut the plate on the drill press with a hole saw.
Now our spring plate is in position and will clear the brake backing plate. Notice how the outboard U-bolt is up against the outer edge of the rear spring. The center bolt that ties the spring leaves together will come through this hole near its outside edge.
Heres our new axle in place after the mounting was completed and the shocks reattached. We now have new brakes at all four corners.
One look at this picture and its easy to see why we were anxious to get the great-looking Weld wheels and Bridgestone tires on the Fairlane. The car seems transformed from a junkyard refugee to a good-looking street/strip warrior.
In a previous story, we detailed the construction of a new 9-inch Ford rearend at Currie Enterprises (Click Here To View 9-Inch Rearend Construction Story) . Its a stout axle that will stand up to our Coast High Performance 331ci stroker with ease. Here, were going to look at whats involved in installing the 9-inch in our 67 Fairlane XL, a car that came originally equipped with an 8-inch unit. Once we get our new Currie axle installed, well have new suspension and brakes all around.
Clearly, its time for new wheels and tires, so we chose a set of the timeless Weld Pro Star wheels and Bridgestone Potenza RE 930 215/60-15 radial tires. We probably dont need to tell you how much of a difference wheels and tires make on the appearance of a car.
Made to Order
From our detailed buildup of the Currie axle in the previous story, you may remember that our axle had the latest in component advances, including a new Currie-designed-and-produced nodular-iron carrier casting, a Currie Torque Sensing Differential, and a Currie pinion support. Beyond these goodies, there were several custom features we wanted on our axle.
The great thing about Currie is the company can set up your axle to almost any specification. For Currie, our specs were a cinch. Because our 67 Fairlane was sure to see some dragstrip duty, we wanted an axle that is narrowed by 2 inches to allow for a larger rear tire. This would bring our width down from 57 to 55 inches. In order to deliver power to both rear wheels, we specified a Currie Torque Sensing Differential equipped with 3.70:1 gears. We also wanted 31-spline axles instead of the standard 28 for an extra margin of strength because, like typical restomodders, we may go with some serious power adders in the future. Instead of the Explorer rear disc brake setup, we decided to use the large rear drums found on early Ford Galaxies.
Currie supplied us with one better in the form of the gigantic rear drum brakes found on early 90s F-150 trucks.