Ford 9" for Jeep YJ
By: Louie Belt
Why did I choose a Ford 9" out of a 72 Ford F-100 Pickup (a Ford 9" out of a Torino would work as well) as a replacement for my Wrangler's Dana 35? I chose it mainly due to convenience. It was available and it fit.
-It is a stronger axle than the Dana 44
-It has more ground clearance than a Dana 60 (1/2")
-It does not need to be narrowed to fit a Wrangler
-The spring perches were in the right locations (for a SOA setup)
-The shock mounts were in the right locations
-It has a 5 on 5 1/2" bolt pattern with 1/2" lugs to match a Scout or CJ front end
-The Drum brakes are 11 1/32" X 2 1/2" (much larger than those on the Wrangler)
-The emergency brake cable and the brake lines from your Wrangler will work without modification
-The Wrangler drive shaft bolts up to the Ford 9" with no modification and uses the u-bolt fasteners instead of strap and bolt
-It has a lower pinion location than the
Dana 44 or Dana 60 which makes for slightly steeper driveshaft angles.
-It is not quite as strong as a Dana 60
-Most came from the factory with 28 spline axle shafts
The Ford 9" rear end out of a 1972 Ford F-100 pickup is 61 1/2" wheel face to wheel face (compared to 60" for the Wrangler). The spring perches are in the right location for a Spring Over Axle setup but must be welded if you plan on staying with the stock spring under axle Wrangler configuration. The shock mounts are also in the proper location - no modification needed.
I purchased the axle from a local junk yard for $100.00 and brought it home. I immediately disassembled it and cleaned up every part. I purchased a new drum brake kit ($30.00 for everything including new pads) and had the drums turned ($10.00). If you do not intend to install a locker the 28 spline axles are probably strong enough and won't need to be replaced. All you'll need to do is have the bearings pressed off and have a new set pressed on ($60.00). If like me, you are planning on installing a locker, then this is the time to upgrade the axle shafts. I ordered 35 spline shafts from Moser Engineering ($270.00) which arrived in 5 days (complete with new pressed on bearings). Even though this axle had 3.50 gears, I needed to move up to 4.56's to match my front end. I shopped around for pricing on gears and a Detroit locker. I found that I could purchase a complete 3rd member with 4.56 gears and a Detroit locker cheaper than I could but the parts and the installation kit and have it installed. So I ordered a complete 3rd member with 4.56 gears and a Detroit locker for $729.00. Once it arrived, all I had to do was bolt in the new 3rd member and pinion yoke. I slid in the new axle shafts, bolted on my drum brakes and bolted the axle to my Wrangler.
This is a very straight-forward conversion. The only tip I can give is to be sure and get the spring plates and u-bolts from the vehicle that the axle came from. The Wrangler u-bolts and spring plates are not big enough. I didn't do this and found myself back out in a junk yard removing the u-bolts and spring plates from another donor vehicle.
If you do not plan to add lockers or upgrade the axle shafts, you can perform this conversion on a Wrangler for $200.00 - $250.00. If you are upgrading axle shafts, gears and adding a locker (as I did) the cost will be closer to $1100.00 - $1200.00. this is still a bargain.
I ended up with a much stronger axle with 35 spline axle shafts, 4.56 gears, a Detroit locker and upgraded brakes for less than $1150.00. Compare that to the $3000.00 Currie wants to charge for a similar axle.
If you have any questions about this conversion please contact me (Louie) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
|This page last modified 07/10/03||
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