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Hot Rods Banjo rear end old school tricks

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by adam401, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,013

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Id like to start a thread to gather some of the old school knowledge on this forum. I'm interested in the old methods of making the banjo Ford rear axle more stout. Old drag racing prep. I have a 40 in my coupe and have a spare to build. I would like to make it as rugged as possible. Thanks guys.
     
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  2. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 913

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    There is not much you can do to a Ford banjo rear end to "beef it up"
    Remember 2 things.
    When the guys were racing this stuff in the '40's & '50's, it was pretty new stuff & in good shape.
    Also, tires were narrow & drag strips had no 'track prep'.
    They were spinning the tires, so there wasn't as much of a load on the parts.
     
  3. An old stock car trick I have seen some drag cars do it as well.
    Was to use bolt on spindles(in the early days they would cut the ends off a 3/4 rear and machine the which is what I did.) and 12 spline 3/4 Ford axles and hubs sometime 8 lug but usually stock Wide 5s or Safety Race Engineering (S.R.E.) hubs.
    I think there was an after market spool that had 12 splines and fit the banjo ring gear.

    My S.R.E. hubs and bolt on spindles I am running a Champ Q.C. or 10 spline. I have two Frankland spinldes for the front of my project.
    upload_2019-7-7_15-43-8.png upload_2019-7-7_15-43-24.png upload_2019-7-7_15-46-1.png upload_2019-7-7_15-46-18.png upload_2019-7-7_15-46-36.png upload_2019-7-7_15-47-48.png

    Kerzon "Moose" Carye 34 Ford with V-8 or 6 splines as we oval tracker call it.
    Owned by Dick and Jeff Ackerman
    upload_2019-7-7_15-31-54.png upload_2019-7-7_15-32-17.png

    Gene Cole 43 replica note the stock banjo center section and 3/4 ton hubs
    Built and owned by Dick and Jeff Ackerman
    upload_2019-7-7_15-35-4.png
    upload_2019-7-7_15-30-36.png
    Note most tracks required the use of a "safety hub" on the right front using the same method.
    upload_2019-7-7_15-56-13.png
    upload_2019-7-7_16-5-7.png
    Frankland stopped building bolting on spindles long ago, they show up from time to time but you need to be careful the are often bent

    This photo was post by @Marty Strode he and @GearheadsQCE should be able to shed some light on the subject
    upload_2019-7-7_16-0-22.png

    Check out this thread-https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/has-anybody-made-a-full-floater-banjo-rearend.949982/
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  4. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,013

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thankyou for the replies. Very interesting. I'm a sponge for this stuff I love early Ford parts and modifying them.
     
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  5. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,013

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Robert J Palmer I read your post and will probably read it 20 more times to soak it all in.
     
  6. Hot Rod Works has parts to convert the axles to a spline (like a 9"). Also there have been posts on here about doing it with stockish parts, but those parts are really hard to find now.
     
    adam401 likes this.
  7. @adam401 if you go the 3/4 route I have a few extra parts.
     
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  8. I think this is the 12 spline (3/4 ton) axle to banjo ring gear spool posted by @Shaun1162
    upload_2019-7-7_17-50-6.png
     
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  9. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The big magnesium rear wheels used on practically all serious dragsters of the '50's-'60's were drilled with 2 bolt patterns: Early Ford and Oldsmobile. Those were generally accepted as the total range of available choices suitable for drag use.
    There were several approaches out there for Axles with splined outer end making Ford 3/4 floater into full floater, in addition to the Ford truck based circle track stuff shown above. The main need for circle trackers was keeping the car together when the wheels were used as bumpers! Look for Chassis Research articles in old Fawcett books for info of fancy drag axle tech, which was used on some but not nearly all. Similar to circle track stuff from the dawn of time, but manufactured and not by the village blacksmith.
    On pics of dragsters in the days when 180 was the goal you can frequently see the stock Ford axle ends sticking out in the wind, looking ready to slice the flagman in half...
    Most dragsters used QC center sections, but I think those did nothing for potential failure points and had aluminum gearing support likely weaker than stock.
    I think good careful assembly with new genuine parts and narrow tires were big durability secrets.
    Some "Modern " tricks like soft re-tempered gears were known back in the stone age...prevalence unknown.
    Now we talk about the 9" Ford as the durable drag axle, but it seems that the recipe for that is to take a Ford 9, disassemble and discard every single part, and rebuild with shockingly expensive drag only parts! How much would a stock 9" survive in a dragster?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  10. These are the 12 spline 3/4 ton axles used in the Timken split floater. Ford and Studebaker both use them.
    Ford used started using them in 1937
    I don't know the years for Studebaker.
    upload_2019-7-8_18-8-51.png upload_2019-7-8_18-9-20.png
    The stock Timken floater rear this was a common set up in stock cars from the 50s through the 70s
    It is the base for the big 10 spline or Champ Q.C.
    I have seen them use in drag cars mostly gassers. They are heavy the axle tubes are a 1/4" thick!
    upload_2019-7-8_18-9-57.png
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. The goal for oval trackers then just as now was to get the power to the ground without breaking. Heavy tacky rutted dirt tracks are very tough on drive trains mainly the rear.
    Wheel to wheel contact is avoided if possible. It often ends in a cut tire or in the case of open wheel cars someone getting upside down.
     
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  12. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,764

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    One of the simpler mods used on V8 type banjo rears was to weld a 3/4 NF nut in the side of the bell so a brass faced screw would be set about .003 from the back of the ring gear to keep it from riding out of mesh with the ring gear under hard acceleration off the corners or drag racing.
     
  13. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,863

    Marty Strode
    Member

    The axles and keys are the first thing to break in a early Ford banjo. Whether you use the floater hubs like Robert showed, or the late axle conversion that Hot Rod Works sells, the carrier needs to be machined to accept the 28 or 31 spline side gears. I am fond of the wide 5 stuff, but it's not for everyone, and tends to be for a circle track application. Nick and Ken at the Hot Rod Works, have a great kit, and stand by their work.
     
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  14. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 545

    boo
    Member
    from stuart,fl.

    i have an old FED that has a HB quick chgn. it has a 3/4 nut w/bolt welded to the side bells next to the pinion to keep the ring gear from flexing under load.
     
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  15. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,013

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Alot of interesting stuff in this thread. Thanks for posting all this great information guys. Its alot to digest I'm sure I'll have some questions once I get into building the next banjo rear for my car.
     
    Robert J. Palmer likes this.
  16. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    the shadow
    Member

    I restored a pre-war midget a few years ago and it had a narrowed model A rear banjo, when I split the case's i was surprised to find out it was an early locker rear, locker meaning they poured lead into the spider gears to make it a locker, early back yard hot rodding.
     

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  17. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The brass-faced screw was standard on Ford big truck rears, so the idea was right there in for the taking!
     
  18. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,473

    GearheadsQCE
    Member

    So much for low rotating and unsprung weight.:eek:
     
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  19. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,764

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    I saw a couple of those over the years.
    The easiest way to lock one of those was the 5 gear method. No welding or mods to the whole case and very simple to put back stock if need be.
     
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  20. I did the late model 9" axle conversion on my Mysterion reproduction. This fixes the biggest problem of these units in really weak axles.

    9" side gears mesh with banjo side gears with a couple of mods.
    First is the OD of the 9" side gears must be ground down to fit inside the carrier.

    Spider comparison.jpg

    Next the crowns of gear teeth on the banjo spider gears are too tall and hit the roots of the side gears. The tip of each tooth on each spider gear must be ground shorter. If you want to be fancy, you could do these two mods on a lathe but grinding works fine.
    Spider in place.jpg
    old & new gears.jpg

    Next the side gear bushing holes in the differential housing and in the ring gear must be bored in a lathe to fit the larger stub on the sider gear. Use carbide tools and it is easy to do.

    Spider machining.jpg

    on left is cup wiht bore.jpg

    If using the whole old axle tube, the old bearing stub must be cut off and the end bored to receive the oil seal.
    Modifeid axle ends.jpg

    Key to my conversion was this bearing conversion kit. Allows use of 9" axle bearings. Seal goes in the hole in the axle flange behind the aluminum adaptor.

    1112rc-17+1940-ford-banjo-rearend+hrw-kit.jpg

    Axle_Conversion.jpg

    Another option is to cut off the banjo wheel bearing housing and weld on the 9" one.
    Whole mess.jpg
     
  21. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,215

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I remembered seeing an article from the old days updating the old Ford rear ends. Here's the article from the November 1960 HRM. I love the lead picture with C.J. Hart and two Chevys. It's basically the same process as posted above but using the parts that were common back then.
    In the article the work is performed by Irv Cohen of Wedge Engineering. I found this very interesting because I worked at Wedge Engineering years later. It was owned by Carman Pisano and was located at the outskirts of Downtown L.A. I knew they were friends but I was unaware of the business connection. We made scattershields and some exhaust accessories while Carman did performance tune ups for Warren Biggs (?) Chevrolet. Irv owned Drag Machine, still in the Gardena location at the time I worked at Wedge. He narrowed rear ends, made engine/transmission adapters and did specialty machine work of all kinds. He did the driveshaft and a few other parts for my dad's homemade inboard ski boat - I was 12-13 at the time. Irv's shop was just packed full of amazing hot rod stuff (Wedge Eng. too), a gold mine for a hot rod addicted kid.
    Working for Wedge, I occasionally made pick-ups and deliveries to Drag Machine. Irv was a good guy who didn't seem to mind the dumb questions of a young hot rodder. This article sure opened the memory floodgates.

    IMG_2198.JPG IMG_2199.JPG IMG_2200.JPG IMG_2201.JPG
     
  22. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,260

    drtrcrV-8
    Member

  23. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,276

    manyolcars

    How many guys actually change the gears in a quick change?
     
  24. I just got everything back from the machinist.
    This is how it all goes together


    upload_2019-12-29_17-7-5.png
    100_0046.JPG 100_0045.JPG 100_0041.JPG 100_0042.JPG 100_0047.JPG 100_0048.JPG
     
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  25. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,013

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Robert that's slick man I love it!
     
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  26. @adam401 keep our eye out for a Nov. 1959 issue of Car Craft, I found this is a bunch of stuff I forgot I had! This ones is hurt some one cut part of the article out for the photo of the 56 Ford custom on the next page, DAMN KIDS!
    Cooks Machine (Cyclone) did a conversion similar to mine but with (custom) double spline axles, drive flanges, and threading the end of the stock Ford bearing race. This is very similar too what modern oval track including NASCAR Cup car do.


    I know these parts are almost un-attainable but it thought you would like to see it
    upload_2020-5-3_19-48-14.png upload_2020-5-3_19-49-33.png upload_2020-5-3_19-51-34.png upload_2020-5-3_19-53-32.png upload_2020-5-3_19-55-29.png

    Red box double spline axle vs Ford

    Yellow boxes drive flanges

    Pink Box (enough giggling) threading the end of the stock Ford bearing race
    upload_2020-5-3_19-58-34.png

    Modern 9" Grand National Floater
    Note double spline axle & drive flanges

    upload_2020-5-3_20-13-26.png
    Modern Short Track G.N style Quick Change
    upload_2020-5-3_20-17-0.png
    Modern Short Track Wide 5 Quick Change, Yes still the same Wide 5 as 36-39 Ford!
    upload_2020-5-3_20-18-8.png
     
  27. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,013

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Once again Robert you knocked my socks off with vintage racing tech coolness. Very interesting
     
  28. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,473

    GearheadsQCE
    Member

    That is sooooo much better than keyed tapered axles.

    Bruce
     
  29. upload_2020-7-3_19-1-22.png upload_2020-7-3_19-13-48.png
     

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