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Ford 9" Econoline van w/ offset differential

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Untame, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Untame
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 214


    I've been told that the easy way to put a Ford 9" under a hot rod is to get an "early" Econoline rear with a significant differential offset, cut the long side to center the differential, then get another short side (passenger side) axle shaft for the shortened side.

    I've searched around, and I can't find much on this concept. Maybe someone here can tell me:

    1. What years E-series van has the offset differential?
    2. How much was it offset?
    3. What was the original axle width (flange to flange)?
    4. What axle width would you have if you shortened the long side to match the short side?

  2. What are you building? fenders or not? HRP
  3. I just did a 8.8 from an explorer. Easy peazy
    Much easier to find than early econoline 9".
    More like tripping over them. Ends up being 56.5 WMS and 5x4.5 bolt patern.
    95 and up to 2001?2 is disk brakes, after that is independent rear suspension. 94 and eerier is drum brakes. 1/2 or more are LSD with 373 gears being the most common.
    All 8.8 carriers will fit and swap so gears are available out of anything with a 8.8.

    Heavy duty, strong and ball buster heavy.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
    GordonC likes this.
  4. Look for a early Bronco,the right width for a early ford and the 5 on 5 1/2 bolt pattern. HRP

  5. Untame
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 214


    Car is a '29 Ford -- no fenders. I'm building a custom back end -- body will be 51" wide at the axle. Wheels are zero offset 6x15. I'm going to run 235mm (9.25" sidewall width) radials on the back. I'll start a thread on it soon.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  6. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,252


    I can't remember the measurements...but I did measure one out years ago with the intention of doing just what you describe.
    I do remember being disappointed at how wide the axle would still be after the work.
    Maybe for an early Ford it would work, but for whatever I was planning at the time it was still too wide.

    Point your homework before you spend your cash! ;)
  7. The 1966-1977 Bronco's have a 9" and measure 58" drum to drum. HRP
    GordonC likes this.
  8. Bronco rears are HARD to come by nowdays, And for what its worth with the Econoline rear, I've heard that swapping an axle from side to side is not recomended. Reverse twisting??? or some thing likje that makes them prone to snap??? Heck, for a street car I'd try it!!!!
  9. Econoline axle is pretty wide. I remember looking at one in the junkyard several years ago, but it was too wide; sorry do not recall the measurement I think was like 65 inches range. It is 5 x 4.5 bolt pattern.
  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,193


    Yeah, but he is talking about narrowing the housing to accommodate two short-side shafts.

    Still, that, and an early Bronco axle are getting in short supply.
  11. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,781

    from washington

    Axle Widths:

    • 65-66 Mustang 57.25 inches
    • 67-70 Mustang 59.25 inches
    • 71-73 Mustang 61.25 inches
    • 77-81 Versailles 58.50 inches
    • 67-73 Mustang, Torino, Ranchero, Fairlane 9" 59.25 inches to 61.25 inches
    • 57-59 Ranchero and station wagon rears, 57.25 inches
    • 66-77 Bronco 9", 58 inches
    • 77-81 Granada/Versailles, 58 inches
    • 67-71 Comet, Cougar, Mustang, Fairlane, 59.25 inches
    • 71-73 Mustang, 61.25 inches
    • 64 Falcon 58 inches
    • 67 Cougar 60 inches
    • 67 Fairlane 63.50 inches (coil springs)
    • 72 Ford Van 3/4 ton 68 inches
    • 73-86 65.25 inches
    • 57-59 Ranchero and station wagon 57.25 iches (narrowest 9" housing)
    • 66-77 Bronco 58 inches but has 5-on-5 1/2 inch diameter bolt circle
    • 67-73 Torinos, Rancheros, Fairlanes 59.25 inches or 61.25 inches

    Hope this helps
  12. Outside
    Width year Model
    56.50 1969-1977 Maverick 8"
    57.00 1974-1978 Mustang II 8"
    57.25 1957-1959 Ford, Ranchero, Station Wagon
    57.25 1965-1966 Mustang
    58.00 1966-1977 Bronco
    58.00 1964-1965 Falcon
    58.00 1977-1981 Granada/Versailles
    58.50 1977-1981 Versailles
    59.25 1967-1970 Mustang, Fairlane, Comet, Cougar
    60.00 1967 Cougar
    60.00 1958-1960 Edsel
    61.00 1964-1971 Ford Full Size
    61.00 1949-1951 Mercury
    61.25 1957-1972 Ford F-100 Pickup
    61.25 1960-1964 Ford Full Size
    61.25 1971-1973 Mustang
    61.25 1967-1973 Torino, Ranchero, Fairlane
    63.00 1970-1979 Ranchero & Torino
    63.00 1972-1979 Ford Full Size & Intermediate
    63.50 1967 Fairlane (Coil Springs)
    65.25 1973-1986 Ford F-150 Pickup
    65.25 1978-1986 Bronco
    65.25 1973-1986 Ford Van 3/4 Ton
    68.00 1972 Ford Van 3/4 Ton
    69.25 1977-1986 Ford E-150 Van
  13. 32 hudson
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 770

    32 hudson

    I had one end of a 9 inch housing cut /shortened by 3 inches for use in my coupe and had custom axles with 3 different bolt circles drilled for my coupe. I do not know if the housing was from a truck or van. It really makes no differance. I needed a wide axle width for the coupe of 62 inches and this was the way I did it. This also centered the pinon for the driveline cenerline
  14. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,558

    from Berry, AL

    I added/corrected a few items. This chart has been around for a while, I used it to find a rear for my Lincoln and found several errors in it. Also, width can vary by as much as .25" due to manufacturing tolerances, I guess as long as it was within .25" they called it good!
  15. The early bronco is not a centered diff either just to clarify, but sure is a nice width to use in these early bodies.


  16. TomP64
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 426

    from Vancouver

    At least with an Econoline rear end with two right side axles you won't need to worry about tires rubbing the body.... they'll be a foot away! The "short" axle in a 68-74 Econoline is something like 4" longer than a Galaxie long side.
  17. I picked up a 67 Bronco rear axle at a 4 wheel drive wrecking yard for 400 bucks a couple of years ago, he had 2 more early rear ends at that time. HRP
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
  18. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,587


    Responding to this zombie post since I actually used the offset Econoline axle. I shortened the long side 8" and centered the housing and it measures about 62" or so from brake drum to brake drum. Just using another short side axle didn't work. I had to shorten the shaft. This gives a 5 1/2" wheel bolt pattern.
  19. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 6,820

    Marty Strode

    If you use the same length axle in a 9" Ford, the pinion will be offset 4-3/8" to the pass side.
  20. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,587


    The Econoline in question is not the real early one with the beam axle and the engine between the seats, but the next generation with the short nose and twin I beams. Maybe I have a rubber tape measure, so here is a picture of my shortened rear end. Looks like a good width to me. IMG_1088.JPG
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 1,115


    Hey, what about a 2007 Jeep Liberty rear end?
  22. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,699


    I'm thinking with equal length axles the pinion offset is more like 2". To center the pinion the one axle needs to be ~ 4" longer than the other with the right (passenger) side being the longer axle.


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