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rear axle swap for a '60 Champ

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  • Rear Axle: rear axle swap for a '60 Champ

    hello everyone:

    I was hoping to find some insight on swaping my rear axle on my champ. I got this truck running maybe 5 years ago. (last registration tag said '84) At that time I went through the rear (cleaned and repacked bearings, added zerks to the backside of the backing plate flanges where those plugs were, rebuilt the brakes, drained and refilled the diff) The rear felt good but after a while of daily use the rear started leaking from the factory spot welds on the cast housing and where the axle tubes met the cast housing. I sealed that up with some black permatex. However later I noticed the back end of the truck feel loose. With the back end off the ground I could move the tires in and out quite a bit (never measured it but if i had to guess id say somewhere around 3/16 of an inch on either side). I know the button between the shafts is in. I pulled the drums off and checked all that out and I again looked at my bearing's location. I ended up re-shimming the backing plates. That worked for a little while but after some time my leak was back and the rear again felt funny. This time I found my axle tubes loose. dial indicator said 5 thou play up and down about 6" from diff housing. I drained the diff and chained everything together good and tight (fear of distortion) heated the casting and rewelded the spot welds and to stop the leak welded the tubes to the housing also. Now however the rear squeels real bad from time to time like I'll hit a bump or take a corner funny and the squealing/ squeaking will start until the next goofy corner or bump then it will be silent and this goes on and on. I fear that when the welds cooled down they shrunk

    I also really dislike the crown on the outside of the truck drums. It's really difficult to find wheels that fit and won't crack around the lug holes. I am also tired of fighting with this rear. I toyed around with the idea of using car drums and I have also thought about using a car rear. The truck rear is a Dana 44 twin traction with 4.09 gears. I was wondering what my options are and what others have done. thanks in advance for the advice

  • #2
    That's a different problem! I have some but too for away. I'd look for a 44 with finned drums. You should be able to find one nearer you. A 3.54 would be better for cruising

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    • #3
      I agree Jeffry. I was thinking something like a 3.73 would be nice. I've read that swaping in a passenger car rear would be too narrow. I have been thinking maybe a Ford 9" or a mopar 8-3/4 or something like that. I do everything with this truck. It's the only truck I have.

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      • #4
        You are correct a Stude. Car Diff. is too narrow to Fit a Truck, and the Wheel Bearings are lighter weight, smaller.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          Hey Up Hot Rodder next time the squealing starts keep foot on gas and brake with other foot. if noise changes start looking at rear brakes and axle bearings. Luck Doofus

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          • #6
            If a bump, or side forces cause the noise to come and go, I would suspect wheel bearings. You mentioned that it is your daily driver. If you gathered the parts in advance, bearings , seals, new gear lube, you could change them out in a day. Good Luck with it.

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            • #7
              There has been several posts about using Ford Explorer rear ends. The idea is to use a 4x4 rear with the offset center and then shorten the long side by using another short axle putting the pumpkin back in the center. This gives a narrowed rear by only needing to modify one side. This also allows the use of rear disc brakes. Lug bolt pattern is the same as Studebaker.
              sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
              1950 Champion Convertible
              1950 Champion 4Dr
              1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
              1957 Thunderbird

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              • #8
                Thunderations: The explorer rear that you mentioned. . . Is that the Ford 8.8? That independent rear? Or is it a conventional rear with solid axle tubes?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by thehotrodder View Post
                  Thunderations: The explorer rear that you mentioned. . . Is that the Ford 8.8? That independent rear? Or is it a conventional rear with solid axle tubes?
                  It's a solid axle rear, not sure if it's an 8.8 or an 8.0. Using a second short axle to narrow the width makes the job a little less costly than having to modify both axles or have axles made. I'm sure that an internet search should find some more info on the subject as it has been discussed in several different sites as a way to save money and get a narrowed rear with disc brakes.
                  sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
                  1950 Champion Convertible
                  1950 Champion 4Dr
                  1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
                  1957 Thunderbird

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In Tacoma I meet some boys that used a rear axle from a 80s Chevy 5 lug you have to change spring mounts maybe this is worth checking out

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