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Technical 55 Ford Ranchwagon diff ratio change

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rancho55, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Rancho55
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 31

    Rancho55
    Member

    Heres my Ranchwagon,

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1397629744.987873.jpg

    Its running a 350 chev (yeah rip me out if u like)

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1397629996.342090.jpg

    and after driving it fast I can see the diff ratio is too low. The car is factory manual and its now running a TH350. I believe the wagons had a dana 44 rear end, heres mine,

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1397630035.397845.jpg

    Does anyone know of a swap, or an alternate ratio I can run to get lower revs at 60mph? Im new to this diff ratio stuff so any help is appreciated.

    Ps Im in New Zealand so not lucky enough to whip down to the wreckers, ours are full of Japanese crap. Bits for american cars can be hard to find.

    Thanks guys,

    Jake




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  2. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,263

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    Swap out the Turbo 350 for a 2004R overdrive transmission,same length, same driveshaft splines and the overdrive is .67 so if you are now turning 3000 RPM with your 350 you will be turning 2,010 RPM. The Dana 44 parts in your wagon have very little interchangeable parts with later Dana 44's.
     
  3. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,263

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    Hang out in the 52-59 Ford Group and check out the FAQ section for rears that will swap in easily.
     
  4. Rancho55
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 31

    Rancho55
    Member

    Awesome, thanks Jeff. Would rather swap the diff than the trans but that option has crossed my mind.


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  5. 29 coupe
    Joined: Nov 8, 2010
    Posts: 51

    29 coupe
    Member

    57-59 ford car is a 9" with easy to find ratios it fits like it was made for it.
     
  6. Rancho55
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 31

    Rancho55
    Member

    Thanks, at this stage im hoping i can just change the gears in the diff and avoid having to change the whole housing if i can, for time and cost purposes. It is an option tho.


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  7. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,585

    krooser
    Member

    Look for gear sets in Jeeps… they used Dana 44's.
     
  8. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,852

    sunbeam
    Member

  9. prez
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 74

    prez
    Member

    have looked into this also
    you have to change the carrier to install higher ratio gears in a 44
    so gets very expensive
    maybe you can use all the inner bits out of an early jag or
    find a complete diff out of a 55 56 automatic American ford sedan 3.7
    or try a nz falcon complete unit low buck option
    early mustang 8 inch or 57-59 fairlane best
     
  10. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,263

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    Doing a little research I would check out a 1967-72 Australian Falcon XR,XT,XY with a V8 and Automatic trans it may be the one to swap in should be close in width and have the same bolt pattern on the wheels.
     
  11. Change the rear axle or the trans; Ford only installed the one you have in wagons/Couriers/police and T-birds, so they're not all that common and as was pointed out, the later Dana parts aren't the same. You've probably got a 4.10 ratio in there, common manual ratios were 3.78 and 3.89.
     
  12. Rancho55
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 31

    Rancho55
    Member

    What about swapping the diff head for one from an auto? Looks like they are 3.55 which would be much better for fuel economy right? Not too worried about pickup or burnouts, its a long mission to change a tyre so more about being able to afford to drive it often. Ive heard there are quite a few ranchwagons hiding in this neck of the woods so i may be able to track one down. The car has a triangulated four-link so would like to avoid having to remount it and the bag brackets if poss. Other option is trans swap but haven't heard of the 200 4R down here much. Thanks for the help.


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  13. Those rear axles don't have removable center sections, so a gear change means a complete tear-down and some special tools to reinstall/set-up. Find out how much that will cost first if you can't do it yourself, that may make the decision for you....
     
  14. Tough enough to find a stock rear, even around here. I don't know what is available to you but you need a later 57-59 or a 70's maveric, comet, or a early mustang with a 8 inch would do. If you can find a narrow 9 inch housing and axles swaping gears in endless on a 9 inch. They all fit. Don't know what else to tell ya.
     
  15. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,458

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Studebaker used the Dana 44 with 3.31 on V8 automatic cars about '56 (I have one) and after. Don't know how many Studes are in NZ, but it is a potential source. Best wishes.
     
  16. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,263

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    Look for a donor Overdrive from a Commodore V8 listed below as a 4 speed automatic this is called here in the States a 700R4 transmission that will bolt up to the Chevy V8.
     
  17. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    damn boy , i used to make 200 mile trips with 513's---410 is a hiway gear---overdrive tranny is the easy way out...
     
  18. Rancho55
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 31

    Rancho55
    Member

    Yup od tranny is the way outta this pickle i think. Looking for a 200r, but 700r will suffice if i cant. Thanks for the help fellas, next project i'll be sure to be on top of this problem early. Learning curves huh!


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