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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. Frames
    Joined: Apr 24, 2012
    Posts: 4,807


    I used double splined axles and drive plates. Real cheap here in NASCAR country. the LONE RANGER 017 - Copy.JPG the LONE RANGER 018.JPG Shortened long axles and had them resplined 28 splines. Make the rear any width.
  2. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,275

    Automotive Stud

    Another hot ticket for a street car was to use '49-51 Mercury axles. Same idea as the 9" axles, but the parts would be a lot harder to find now. I've heard old timers talk about using hardened screwdrivers and making new axle keys out of it.
    adam401 likes this.
  3. BeaverMatt
    Joined: Jun 17, 2013
    Posts: 56


    What is the "5 gear method"?
  4. Brings back memories of my high school days, '63-'67. My best friend had a '40 Ford pickup with a small modern Ford V8 adapted to the '40 tranny with the banjo rear end. To make the situation worse he some how got a pair of real 12" tread Indy tires for the rear so the tranny and rear had zero chance of surviving. He was a bit of a hot foot and spent most of his weekends replacing twisted axles and broken tranny gears!
    seb fontana likes this.
  5. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,101

    Bearing Burner
    from W. MA

    One trick used was to lap hub and tapered axel. Another was to use harden keys. A third was to chalk a line on axel and when line became twisted change axel.
    Nailhead Jason likes this.
  6. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 4,424


    I've read and been told the axle key really doesn't do much if the tapered fit is correct. I was surprised how sloppy it was when I assumed it was good. I took some time and lapped my NOS axles to the hub and got a better than 90% contact afterwards.

    While testing fitting the hub to axle fit, I had to use a puller to get the hub off when I pressed the hub on hard WITHOUT the key installed yet. That Morse taper really works.

    I think getting the tapered fit as tight fitting as possible and ensuring the axle nut is torqued to 200 lbs. is the key to this.

    I'd love to hear thoughts on this.
  7. Lapping hubs to the tapper on the axle is the cheapest most effective thing you can do to a banjo rear with out modification. you don't even have to take it out of the car.

    Remove the hub and clean all the grease off the hub bearing surface, and clean the bearing and hub of all grease, then put the bearing back into the the hub dry. Remove the axle Key from the axle and coat the tapered area of the axle with Dykem (Machinist Layout fluid) once the layout fluid is dry, take the now clean grease free hub and put it back on the axle shaft (less axle Key) and spin it a few revolutions why keeping it pressed against the axle taper. This will check the taper contact area. Now pull the hub back off and look at the taper where you put the layout fluid. The areas that are still blue, are not making contact on the taper in the hub. Next evenly coat the taper on the axle with Loctite 1777012 clover valve lapping compound 280 grit. Put the hub back on and spin away while pressing on the hub to keep it seated on the taper. take it off every 10 revolutions to see your progress. once you think you have it all making good contact on the taper, clean all the valve compound off the taper and out of the hub. Coat it with Layout fluid again and check for contact. If you still have some blue showing repeat the Clover compound step, and recheck till you don't have any more blue showing.

    Once you have no more layout fluid showing after checking, evenly coat the axle taper with Wheeler 320 grit lapping compound, and put the hub back on pressing firmly and rotating to smooth out the 280 lapping compound surface on the hub and axle taper. Once that has smoothed out the 280 grit lapping process, do it again with Wheeler 600 grit lapping compound to smooth out and polish the 320 grit surface. The surface will get progressively shinier as you go through the polishing/Lapping steps. Do this till you have an even shine all the way around the axle taper and inside the hub taper.

    Then Clean all the lapping compound out of the hub and off the axle end repack the hub bearing and re-install the hub. Do not use hardware store keyways, get an axle key kit from 3rd Gen Early Ford in TN or who ever except Macs, their keys are shit. Once the hub is installed and the nut torqued to 200 Ft lbs you will have a lapped hub that will not shear a key because its actually locked onto the tapper the way its supposed to be, don't go putting straight up wrinkle wall drag slicks on it but with the normal street tires we run on most of these Early fords (bias plys especially) you will have no problems with axle keys.

    Now go do the other side.

    All that being said, beefing up the banjo rear just moves the fuse of the drive train up the line, your early ford trans will be next in line to blow with hard driving, but at least there easy to rebuild......
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
    47chevycoupe and Dan Hay like this.
  8. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 4,424


    Excellent info. I'm a big fan of TimeSaver lapping powder. You can buy a kit that includes four different "grits". It's about $50 shipped.

    I like TimeSaver because it cleans up so easily and uses an oil to make it a paste. You'll need the green label for steel.
    Okie Pete and Jet96 like this.

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