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Flathead Ford V8 in a '29 Ford

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LKPar1270, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. LKPar1270
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 77

    LKPar1270
    Member

    I have a '51 RT Flathead Ford engine I am going to put in my '29 pickup. I would like to use the origional 'banjo' rearend. I heard once that they are not strong enough for the added horsepower, infact the four cylinder tears them up easily. I talked with an 'old timer' (only about 10 years older than me actually) who told me that's BS, that he used to race with the same rear end in the '50s and never once tore one up. Who's right? I don't plan on lots of horsepower, just going to run the flathead stock, maybe headers. I'm putting a t-5 behind it so I'll have to convert to open drive. Any advise?
     
  2. 29cabby
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 41

    29cabby
    Member

    hey man, I got a 46 flathead with offy heads, edmunds speed intake dual 94's and a cam connected to a 46 3 speed column shift with a banjo. the setup runs fine. just gotta remember its 60 years old. just cam hammer it all the time.
     
  3. I'll let you know if I blow mine up next year. I don't think a mild engine will be a problem if driven respectfully. (don't hammer it)
     
  4. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
    Member

    This is the classic hot rod set up, and the one many, many guys raced with for years. i don't know what kind of racing your friend was doing, but it could be possible that he never blew out the rear end, especially since the 3 speeds that everyone used where the weakest link.

    Anyway, with that said, it should work just fine for you. As a matter of fact, you described the identical drivetrain I am using in the '29 RPU I am building, except my rear is a '47 open drive banjo.
     
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  5. AJofHollywood
    Joined: Oct 3, 2008
    Posts: 640

    AJofHollywood
    Member

    Remember to do this and you will be fine. I cam hammer mine a lot.
     
  6. Model A banjo does not have a pinion support bearing in the rear of the banjo housing as do the V8 style banjos (32/48). The pinion can ride up the ring gear and snap off under load, where as with a V8 banjo the end of the pinion is fixed and cannot do this. Also I really don't know of any kit or used parts that interchange to convert an A banjo to open drive as the pinion/driveshaft is one solid piece where as on the V8 banjo the pinion and driveshaft are seperate and attached via a coupling sleeve with a pin.

    I have included a photo of a V8 pinion with the bearing on the rear and the splined end on the front where it joins up to the driveshaft via the coupling sleeve. Model A has either of these.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  7. farcus1
    Joined: Mar 4, 2008
    Posts: 56

    farcus1
    Member

    There are kits to convert the Model A to open advertised in many rod mags. The driveshaft and pinion is not one piece in an A. The pinion is a taper fit to the driveshaft with a nut holding it in place.
     
  8. 29cabby
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 41

    29cabby
    Member




    We are here giving the guy advice. if your going to sit here and spell check me then get life man. get out much?
     
  9. shainerman
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 820

    shainerman
    Member

    I liked it AJ... :D and yes, you'll be fine with that set up as far as Ive ever seen, heard, or known
     
  10. LKPar1270
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 77

    LKPar1270
    Member

    Thanks for all the advise. It looks like my choices are to upgrade to a '37 or later banjo or more modern rear end. I'll probably go with a Ford 9 inch if I can find one with decient gears.
    Thanks again.
     
  11. I'd still prefer the looks of the old banjo. Obviously the 9 inch in way stronger. I think the banjo goes really well with the flathead. It's your car of course. Good luck!
     
  12. LKPar1270
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 77

    LKPar1270
    Member

    I totally agree, I do like the look of the banjo rear end. This is a secondary project though, and I think I can get a 9 inch, or even an 8 inch rear end quit a bit cheaper than buying a later model banjo and an adapter to convert it to open drive. I can always go back to the banjo later on.
     
  13. LKPar1270
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 77

    LKPar1270
    Member

    It has occured to me that this may not be the origional rear end, someone has put juice brakes on it, long ago. I'm wondering if maybe they went to a later model banjo rear end. Is there an obvious way to tell what rear end I actually have?
     
  14. ravedodger
    Joined: Aug 24, 2007
    Posts: 296

    ravedodger
    Member

  15. Model A and some 32's have a ROUND flange on both the diff and torque tube where the two meet. V8 or 33/48 banjo's have what is referred to as a scalloped bolt flange, very easy to tell. Compare the flange between the photos of an early 32 and a V8. There are also other subtle diffrences in the banjo housing itslef and axle housings.

    Also Model A was the last of to use the top mounted spring. Any POST Model A banjo will have the spring hung behind the diff not on top of the diff. If yours has been converted the spring perches or rear crossmember will probably have been modified in some way that is visible.

    If it is a Model A diff and does have juice brakes there will probably be windows/holes cut into the backing plates to clear the spring perches as juice brake backing plates interfere with stock Model A spring perches.

    The Hot Rod Works site is a GREAT resource for banjo related information, I purchased a bearing kit from them and was very happy with what I received.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    First, what you have will work fine as long as you don't do too
    much full power shifting.

    When you convert it to open drive, BE SURE TO BUILD VERY HEAVY RADIUS RODS
    and it will work better if you attach them to a belly band rather that the frame rails.
    The attachment point should be directly below the front u-joint.
    Remember, they take up ALL the rotational torque of the rear end that the old torque used to do.
    They also take all the forward thrust which the torque tube used to do.

    IF you decide to go with a later banjo rear end, look at the different years available to you.
    The 35 is a VERY desirable one because of the way the radius rods attach to the axle housings.
    After the model A, the spring is behind the axle so you need to compensate for that.(no big deal)
    Lots of stuff to consider but it has all been done before and there are millions of ways to do it.
     

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