I have a 1954 F100 with a rebuilt Stock Rear end. I installed a mustang II front end. I now have one bolt pattern on the front wheels and one bolt pattern on the rear wheels. I dont want to carry 2 spares with me.
I have heard a variety of solutions including changing the axels out with ones from a vehicle that has the same pattern.
Does anyone have info in terms if this is possible, what would be a good Donor vehicle, and how to do it?
We've been through this discussion before with regards to the 9" Ford and it is possible to swap out those axles for production units with the same lug pattern, but the Dana 44 is a completely different animal. Dewayne's comments above apply. If you want to swap it out for a 9" out of a '57-'72 F-100, then we might be able to help get you the axle shaft interchange info you're looking for.
Redrilling your rear axles is definitely the cheapest way to go. Swapping in another differential (like the 57-72 F100 or other 9" rears) is fairly easy and not expensive, but if you can pull your stock axles yourself - nothing would be cheaper than simply redrilling them.
The point that I should have made in my first post but neglected to is that given you have installed a Mustang II IFS up front, you are obviously modifying/rodding the truck to some degree. There is no doubt that you also intend to swap to a different drivetrain and eventually drive this thing quite a bit, too. If that is the case, you are probably going to find that unless you've got an overdrive transmission, the cruise RPM's of your engine are going to be quite high and your fuel mileage will be proportionately low with those numerically high stock gears. You will probably want a numerically lower gear which is not available for the old Dana axle. Although redrilling the stock axle flanges to match the lug pattern all around the truck is obviously the cheapest solution, do you really want to tie up more money and time in an axle assembly that you will likely find unsuitable for your application in the long term? Careful shopping at the wrecking yards can yield the popular 9" that fits these trucks for around the same money as redrilling your existing axleshafts and you'll have many more options for gear ratios. Just something to think about!
'rage raises some very good points. With a later drivetrain and the fact that this is not a stocker, you're really not going to be happy with the stock rear end.
Here's some alternatives for a wrecking yard rear end -
" My 54 F100 measures 55 wide between the two narrowest points on the backing plates. The flange to flange measurement (drum face to drum face) is 61 Ό. Based upon my research, these rear ends will work;
1. 1957 1972 F100 9 heavy duty - 5 on 5 ½ bolt pattern
Bolts right in without moving spring pads.
Measures 61 Ό flange to flange
To switch to the 5 on 4 ½ car bolt pattern - Use two drivers side axles, both side backing plates and drums from 72-79 Torino, Ranchero, LTD II or 77-79 T-bird or Cougar on/in the truck axle housing. See more detailed discussion on this in the 48-60 Ford truck forum on FTE.
Above is the number 1 choice for ease of installation , price and availability.
It doesnt get any easier than this.
2. 1971 73 Mustang & Cougar. 9 , but lightest duty of the 9 family. (Watch out, they also came with 8" as well)
Have the 5 on 4 ½ pattern
Measures 60 flange to flange
Measures 54 55 backing plate to backing plate.
Comes with both 28 spline axles (weaker) and 31 spline axles (stronger)
Oval hole in outer end of axle = 28 spline
2 large holes and counter-sunk center = 31 spline
Above is probably number 2 choice for ease of installation and price.
3. 1989 2001 - Ford Explorer 59 Ό - ½ flange to flange.
All explorer rear ends are the same 5 on 4 ½ bolt pattern.
8.8 rear end - come with 3.25, 3.55, 3.73 and 4.11 gears.
89-94 = drum brakes only.
94-97 = drum or disc. brakes
97-01 = disc. Brakes only
Can use an 8 rim with 3 ½ backspacing and P235/75R-15 tires
Above is probably number 3 choice for ease of installation and price.
4. 1989 Lincoln Mark VII (per F100Connection.com)
(bolt pattern unknown by the author.)
Dimensions unknown by me.
5. 1968 1971 Torino/Fairlane/Montego 9 but medium duty
Measures 56 57 backing plate to backing plate
6. 1960-64 Ford Galaxie 9 medium duty
Measures 54 flange to flange ?
7. 1979 Ford F100 is a little wide but apparently is supposed to fit
8. 1970 79 Ranchero/Torino 9 high performance version
Measures 56 axle tube to axle tube. "
Actually Blue, I thought about swapping the rear end. I do have an AOD in there for exactly the reason you mention. I wish I knew before what I know now, I would not have bothered to have my stock rear rebuilt.
I have already had my drive shaft cut to fit my current configuration, but if a new rear will fit without having to cut it again, I may end up picking one up at the yard. The junk yards out here have 1/2 price sales often so I am sure I can get one cheap. This is not critical so I can drive for a while with no problem.
So you say any truck rear from a 57-72 truck will work? What about one from a newer Mustang?
Great advice from the other folks- particularly the detailed info from Rage.
I just went thru this on my 56 F100. Bought the project with a 1980 Dodge Mirada (same as Plymouth Volare) front clip with 5 on 4-1/2 wheel bolt pattern. Also had the rear end out of the Mirada- but I discovered the axle ratio was only 2.26 and rear was puny 7-1/4 inch. Mating up to 94 Chev LT1 engine (270 HP) w/AOD tranny. Quickly came to conclusion Mirada rear poor match- too weak and when tranny went into overdrive- engine RPM would only be about 1000 RPM due to 2.26 axle ratio.
So got a used Ford 9-inch out of a 67-72 pickup. Friend gave it to me- and I ahve spent some bucks refurbishing it. It is a bolt-in. I had the axles redrilled for $105 to change bolt pattern to 5 on 4-1/2 to be same as front clip- the price included new wheel studs.