View Full Version : Banjo rear with late model axles


Jimmy2car
07-16-2009, 11:12 PM
In 2003, Modernbeat posted a great article that's in the Tech Archives. I'm wondering if anyone has done that conversion using the late model Ford 9" gears and axles? Anyone?

Thanks
Jim

Rex Schimmer
07-16-2009, 11:36 PM
Jim,
I did not see that article but I have converted a banjo style rear end to full floating axles and I used the side gears from a 7.5 Ford rear end which are 28 spline for the differential. Takes some fairly straight forward machine work to get the late model side gears to fit but they are exactly the same number of teeth and gear form as the gears that are on the early axles. I retained the original spider gears as they matched the new side gears perfect.

I have also seen an almost bolt on conversion for adapting the late model 9 inch Ford axle bearing carrier to the early banjo housings. I think that you only had to cut off the roller bearing stub and this conversion bolted to the 4 bolts the the brake backing plate bolts to. This conversion and the 7.5 inch side gears, a little machine work and you are there.

Rex

Dale Fairfax
07-17-2009, 08:29 AM
If you are referring to 9" Ring & Pinion when you said "gears"; that's a no-go. You can't install hypoid gears in a banjo (unless it's a Lincoln Zephyr and even then the centerline dimensions are not correct).

alchemy
07-17-2009, 10:14 AM
About 25 years ago my Dad did one using '50 Merc parts, and another using '60's 9" truck parts. These involved cutting the housings and welding on the "modern" ends. As well as the machine work inside the spider housing for the new side gears.

Two years ago he bought the axle kit from Idaho that uses the adapters inside the brakes, so it all looks stock from the outside. Maybe he's just getting lazy. :)

Tman
07-17-2009, 10:18 AM
Jim,
I did not see that article but I have converted a banjo style rear end to full floating axles and I used the side gears from a 7.5 Ford rear end which are 28 spline for the differential. Takes some fairly straight forward machine work to get the late model side gears to fit but they are exactly the same number of teeth and gear form as the gears that are on the early axles. I retained the original spider gears as they matched the new side gears perfect.

I have also seen an almost bolt on conversion for adapting the late model 9 inch Ford axle bearing carrier to the early banjo housings. I think that you only had to cut off the roller bearing stub and this conversion bolted to the 4 bolts the the brake backing plate bolts to. This conversion and the 7.5 inch side gears, a little machine work and you are there.

Rex

I would love to see a detailed thread on this!

About 25 years ago my Dad did one using '50 Merc parts, and another using '60's 9" truck parts. These involved cutting the housings and welding on the "modern" ends. As well as the machine work inside the spider housing for the new side gears.

Two years ago he bought the axle kit from Idaho that uses the adapters inside the brakes, so it all looks stock from the outside. Maybe he's just getting lazy. :)

Modernbeats thread used the Merc rear

hotrodjeep
07-17-2009, 10:31 AM
Jim,
I did not see that article but I have converted a banjo style rear end to full floating axles and I used the side gears from a 7.5 Ford rear end which are 28 spline for the differential. Takes some fairly straight forward machine work to get the late model side gears to fit but they are exactly the same number of teeth and gear form as the gears that are on the early axles. I retained the original spider gears as they matched the new side gears perfect.

I have also seen an almost bolt on conversion for adapting the late model 9 inch Ford axle bearing carrier to the early banjo housings. I think that you only had to cut off the roller bearing stub and this conversion bolted to the 4 bolts the the brake backing plate bolts to. This conversion and the 7.5 inch side gears, a little machine work and you are there.

Rex

I would love to see a detailed thread on this!

Yes, the unknowing public demands to be taught!
Please.
P.S. we like pictures too :)

Jeff (Thanks in Advance)

Rex Schimmer
07-17-2009, 12:42 PM
I will go over to my friend that has some of these ends and get some info and take some pics.

Rex

SamIyam
07-17-2009, 01:01 PM
When he said gears I think he may be referring to the splined gears the axles fit into, i.e. Axle Gears.
I cut the ends off of some '48 tubes and welded on 9" axle ends... I'm going to buy the axle gears from The Hot Rod Works (they are relatively inexpensive)...

FWIW, you can do it like I am... with the 9" axle ends, and then use the 9" brakes... or you can use the Hot Rod Works' kit and retain the Old Ford Brakes... they have everything to do it, either way.

http://www.hotrodworks.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp@id=20&cat=Axle+Upgrades,+Ring+and+Pinions+&+Components.html


If you are referring to 9" Ring & Pinion when you said "gears"; that's a no-go. You can't install hypoid gears in a banjo (unless it's a Lincoln Zephyr and even then the centerline dimensions are not correct).

Part the end of the axle tube off... Steve and I made a fixture to hold an angle grinder with a cut off wheel for his lathe... it made a perfectly straight, and square, parting.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/SamStrube/Rafter%20Project/Stays114.jpg

Turn the stock 9" axle end down to fit inside the tube.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/SamStrube/Rafter%20Project/Stays113.jpg

Position the end so the brakes are oriented correctly.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/SamStrube/Rafter%20Project/Stays116.jpg

It was a tight fit, needing a mallet to send it home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/SamStrube/Rafter%20Project/Stays117.jpg

Use a piece of all thread and some plate steel to hold it all together.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/SamStrube/Rafter%20Project/Stays119.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/SamStrube/Rafter%20Project/Stays121.jpg

Weld the sucker up! Be sure to weld in four areas across from each other... do a little bit at a time, and inspect to see that the bearing end is still flat against the axle tube. Then weld the rest after you have four areas welded about 1/2" long...
I have narrowed 9" axles before and have heard the tack welds "pop" apart... even in a jigg.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/SamStrube/Rafter%20Project/Stays124.jpg

Sam

LarzBahrs
07-17-2009, 01:19 PM
This is cool article, i wonder if this process would work with other types of rear ends.

Tman
07-17-2009, 01:31 PM
Nice work Sam, always knew of that option for my Tudor, hate to lose the stock axle nuts visible from the wheel. Yes, I do know of fakinf the early looking axle with 9" ends.

filthy frank
07-17-2009, 05:09 PM
when i made my conversion kit,i didnt have to replace the original housing ends.i cut the the nub off and inlarged the opening a little bit and made my adapters and the offset no my axles are made to accept buick finned drums,and i made mine for 31 spline with a v8 quickchange.

Jimmy2car
07-17-2009, 06:11 PM
SamIam, that's exactly what I want to do. Thanks for posting the pictures
Jim

Pewsplace
07-17-2009, 10:38 PM
The above method works if the axle housing is straight. If you use 9 inch housing ends that butt weld to the axle tubes and use an alignment bar the housing can be corrected by adjusting the housing end.

I used Dutchman ends and axles for the process on the champ, but I am going your route on the V8. I like the look of yours better as it looks like you would have done it in the old days. If everything is done on a lathe then it would be straight.

Here you can see what I started with and how I am converting the 40 tubes for 9 inch ends. I use an alingment bar and it works fine, but I may try your method. I have a jig for the Chop saw that gets it real close. I use Buick brakes on the rear with finned drums...12 inches.

Tman
07-17-2009, 11:02 PM
Heres the clincher as I have mentioned. Many of us want stock looking axles on the outside with decent priced readily available gears we can modify to fit in the center section. Tall order for sure. But I see bits of info that I can pice together with every thread like this, thanks.

Jimmy2car
07-17-2009, 11:56 PM
I'm going to try to chat with Sam tomorrow and find out what side gears he used, along with everything else. I want to maintain the 5 X 5 1/2" early bolt circle and be able to run the original wire wheels. I think I have confused myself because I don't know how to identify all the Ford rear flange brake mounts, nor do I have any idea what some of this stuff looks like. I really appreciate all the response on this.
Thanks again
Jim

butch27
07-18-2009, 10:22 PM
Great info. Keep it going

doctorZ
07-19-2009, 05:37 AM
any info on what machining has to be done to the ring gear? i know it has to be cut down to fit, especially if you are going to run a 9" locker, but i have always been curious about exactly what needs to be modified.
-drZ

striper
07-19-2009, 08:53 AM
any info on what machining has to be done to the ring gear? i know it has to be cut down to fit, especially if you are going to run a 9" locker, but i have always been curious about exactly what needs to be modified.
-drZMy understanding was that you use the banjo ring and pinion and just change the axle gears. I read somewhere on the HAMB that the gears just need to be slightly smaller in O.D. and that it can even be done carefully with a grinder or on a linisher.

I'd like more info on getting the correct length 9" axles.

Pete

dumprat
07-19-2009, 10:46 AM
I have done this with 28 spline 9" gears. They don't fit very well and the differential action is not smooth. I have since been told that 8.8 gears work better.

Rex Schimmer
07-19-2009, 03:04 PM
9 inch axles the easy way!
I stopped by a friends and picked up a pair of Dan McCeachern's neat pieces that makes using 9 inch axles a true "bolt on" operation. I am attaching some pics of an old end bell housing that I had laying around and using only a 4 inch grinder with a cut off wheel and my 12 inch dia stationary disc grinder converted the early Ford housing to accept late model 9 inch axles.

You can see from the pics the conversions are nice CNC parts from steel. The bearing retainer is held on by (6) 5/16-18 bolts and would need to be assembled to the axle when you press on the bearing. You could also cut the retainer in half and bolt the two section on after the axle is installed. With 6 high strenght bolts I would not worry about it coming out.

I cut off the old axle roller bearing inter-race with my handy grinder with a cut off wheel and then tuned up the end on my 12 inch grinder, did a little deburing and bolted on the adapter! Done deal!!! Probaby would not take 30 minutes per axle housing. The new bearing retainer is held on by (4) 1/2 inch bolt to the original axle flange so it is supper strong. Could not be an easier way to do this conversion, no maching, no welding! only hand tools. You could cut the old race of in a chop saw and it would be perfect.

Not sure what Dan is selling these for but will find out and post.

Rex

SamIyam
07-19-2009, 03:33 PM
Rex, what length axle does that use? It would be REALLY slick if you could get some OEM axles on the cheap and use them...

Our way, we have to have axles made... but since it is going on a Bonneville Model T... we needed them narrower anyway.

Sam

baggedchevyss
07-19-2009, 03:35 PM
Wow i can't wait to get all the info on this and convert my banjo over. Both ways look like they have thier positives. Great work!!!

Pewsplace
07-19-2009, 03:37 PM
Great thread. These look very sturdy and would be concealed by the drum. Do they use the standard EF brakes or late model 9 inch brakes? Looks like EF brakes. PM me about cost and where to purchase items.

HotRodWorks
07-19-2009, 03:53 PM
Here is what we do to put 9" style axles in early Ford housings. This is for those that want to use '40 style or Lincoln brakes.

The ring gear and differential must be machined for the axle gear hub. The ring gear is very hard and difficult to machine. We rough machine it and grind it to the proper diameter. Some take a torch to the center of the ring gear to anneal it and make it easier to machine. We machine it cold.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o36/ksmith62/axleconversiondiffmachinework.jpg

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o36/ksmith62/diffwithgear.jpg

Our axle gears are specially made to clone the end of the early Ford axle. They are not cut down late Ford gears. There is no late Ford gear that is a perfect match of the early Ford axle.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o36/ksmith62/compareaxles.jpg


We machine the ends of the housings to accept an axle seal. If you do not use a seal, the rear end oil will eventually leak past and around the bearing, soaking the brakes.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o36/ksmith62/Machinedhousing.jpg
http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o36/ksmith62/sealinhousing.jpg

We make a bolt on bearing housing that will accept the 9" Ford large bearing.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o36/ksmith62/axleinbearingadapter320x240.jpg

When we do a conversion, we have new axles made. We do this for a few reasons. The bearing spacing that is required to properly space the drum is a custom offset. No stock axles came with this offset. In addition, the 40 Ford drum has a larger pilot diameter than normal 9" axles. Another reason is that there is no stock axle that is the correct width to work with the Early Ford housings and brakes. Sometimes you can find one side of a Van that can be cut down to fit, but only one axle is long enough. The other side is too short. Long 31 spline axles could be cut shorter and resplined to 28. Most all 28 spline axles are undercut just behind the splines and can't be narrowed unless you cut 3-4 inches off and respline.

We use 28 spline axles because 31 spline won't fit in the stock ring gear opening.

We sell the axle gears for $225/pr and the bolt on bearing housings for $195/pr including seals and hardware. We supply a complete kit with custom axles, as well. You can order the parts and do the machine work yourselves.

There is no easy answer to the question of "how do I put late axles in my Banjo rear?" It requires careful selection of components and careful machine work to make a rear end that will perform correctly for many thousands of miles.

19Fordy
07-19-2009, 05:18 PM
Rod Works, Great info. Thanks. When you get done and it's all assembled is the drum surface to drum surface the same as the original stock 40 Ford rear?

HotRodWorks
07-19-2009, 05:20 PM
Rod Works, Great info. Thanks. When you get done and it's all assembled is the drum surface to drum surface the same as the original stock 40 Ford rear?

yes it is.

Rex Schimmer
07-19-2009, 05:21 PM
The guys from The Hot Rod Works bring up a really good point and that is a seal to keep the oil out of the brakes. I would think that the adapters that I have shown would need to have a sealed bearing on the axle and you would need to go with copious amounts of Loctite to get everything sealed. The Hot Rod Works guys have literally done hundreds (thousands?) of these conversions so they know what they are talking about and the internal seal is certainly a good idea.

When I did my rear end I used Coleman Racing spindle ends and hubs and made it a floating axle set up so I have never done the 9 inch conversion. Again, the guys at The Hot Rod Works have got the experience we would all do well to listen to them.

Rex

SamIyam
07-19-2009, 05:26 PM
Not to mention Nick and Ken are really nice guys... and have been on the HAMB for a century or so.

Sam

butch27
07-19-2009, 07:43 PM
I would have them do mine ('46 open-drive) and have them put in the new axles and brakes but the shipping from Michigan would be horrible.

HotRodWorks
07-19-2009, 07:55 PM
I would have them do mine ('46 open-drive) and have them put in the new axles and brakes but the shipping from Michigan would be horrible.

If you want to do the reassembly yourself, all you have to ship is the two axle housings and the ring gear/diff/cross/spider assembly. Most people put the two housings in one box, the other stuff in another box and ship UPS/Fed Ex ground. We return the same way. Shipping isn't too horrible. You could also find a local machine shop and we will ship all of the parts to you, including axles made to fit.

butch27
07-19-2009, 10:24 PM
Something to really think about. Do you put the new backing plates and weld the flange mountings included in the work?

butch27
07-19-2009, 10:26 PM
Oh - also I have the old 4:11 gear. Need something in the 3 s. Send a pm or e-mail with ball park costs. Thanks

Tman
08-27-2010, 10:39 PM
Bump, great thread, any more ideas?

My Banjo housing ends have minor pitting on one side and slight radial wera on the inner edge of the races on both sides.

rodderbilly
09-04-2010, 09:44 AM
searching on hot rod works site i see their conversion and i don't understand how is sicured the axle shaft.....i think with a snap ring in the shaft

HemiRambler
09-04-2010, 02:21 PM
Wow, I like it - maybe now I'll end up using that old banjo I have packed away in the garage...

rodderbilly
09-04-2010, 02:45 PM
really a cool way to save the traditional banjo rear with ohv engines power......

doctorZ
09-04-2010, 03:59 PM
If you want to do the reassembly yourself, all you have to ship is the two axle housings and the ring gear/diff/cross/spider assembly. Most people put the two housings in one box, the other stuff in another box and ship UPS/Fed Ex ground. We return the same way. Shipping isn't too horrible. You could also find a local machine shop and we will ship all of the parts to you, including axles made to fit.

i made my own bells for my diff. if i send you the center section, can you do the machining and minor assembly for me? i have the locker i want to use. also, do you sell the axles that fit the 1940 style MT Lincoln brakes?

Tman
09-23-2010, 05:35 PM
Bttt

patina steve
09-23-2010, 06:07 PM
Hot Rod Works has done two conversions for me, their work is impecable, I would highly recommed their parts and conversions. There are many cars at Bonneville that are running there rear ends.

scootermcrad
09-23-2010, 06:28 PM
Yep! Hot Rod Works did the conversion for me as well.

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk218/scootermcrad2/1931%20Ford/IMGP5129.jpg

Clyde
09-23-2010, 09:30 PM
If you want a locked rear end the 7.5" lockright for a Ford Ranger also can be fitted into a banjo center section with same machine work that the 7.5" spider gears are fitted. One can buy the 7.5" lockright in 28 and 31 spline, I have all the parts and have measured everthing up. Just have not ever finished the project. Hot Rod Works sells a lockright for this application, this is where I did the research to which one they where useing. I knew that they had to be useing a off the shelf part, not having one special made.

Tman
09-23-2010, 09:32 PM
Clyde, can you post pictures of the parts you have gathered?

Bib Overalls
09-23-2010, 10:12 PM
We built this rear axle using a Winters/Spadaro quick change center and Hot Rod Works side gears, axles, and bearing blocks. It also uses Wilson Welding Lincoln backing plates and M/T Lincoln drums.

The machine work was not that difficult. But we did have to build a simple fixture to hang the axle housings off the mill table.

If you are going to farm the work out at shop rate then sending your stuff to the Hot Rod Works makes sense. They know how to do it, have the set ups, and will give you a quick turnaround.

butch27
09-24-2010, 10:20 AM
Great posts.

HotRodWorks
09-24-2010, 10:47 AM
i made my own bells for my diff. if i send you the center section, can you do the machining and minor assembly for me? i have the locker i want to use. also, do you sell the axles that fit the 1940 style MT Lincoln brakes?

doctorz, give us a call and we can work out what you need.
208-463-1068

Clyde
09-24-2010, 03:56 PM
Tman,
I have all the parts over in my second garage and will be out of town for a few days. Next week I will round things up and shot some pic's. I still need to do the write up and photo's of Darrin's car, which my dad finished here a few weeks ago.

T

Tman
09-28-2010, 03:38 PM
Tman,
I have all the parts over in my second garage and will be out of town for a few days. Next week I will round things up and shot some pic's. I still need to do the write up and photo's of Darrin's car, which my dad finished here a few weeks ago.

T
Please do on both subjects! I saw your dad at the swapmeet but he got away before I could say hi. Was thinking of Darrin yesterday in fact. Thanks clyde.

oj
08-07-2011, 10:03 AM
This is worth reading again

1950ChevySuburban
08-07-2011, 10:56 AM
Subscribed! Great timing with my project too!

ANDEREGG TRIBUTE
08-07-2011, 11:29 AM
Has anybody considered pick up 8" axles shortend and resplined to fit the original banjo gears....has that been done yet? Or is it even possible?

Bib Overalls
08-07-2011, 06:04 PM
The original axles and side gears are one piece. To use any late axle you must replace the side gears.

The side gears that The Hot Rod Works sells are the most economical way to do the job. I'm told that 49-50 Mercury side gears will work if they are machined but that would cost as much, or more than gears from The Hot Rod Works.

FYI I have attached an old article describing the process.

Has anybody considered pick up 8" axles shortend and resplined to fit the original banjo gears....has that been done yet? Or is it even possible?