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Upgrading a [email protected]&% 9" Rearend

1628 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  PldBryan
I have exactly ZERO experience with Ford 9" rearends so I am looking for some info on what it would take to upgrade one.

I found a Versallies rear end locally with discs on it etc. I have room for the extra 1/4" in width but it is a non posi with 200 series gears in it.

What would it take to upgrade the rear gears and posi. Is it as simple as swapping in a new 3rd member ( found quite a few on the local CL) that has correct gears and posi?

Does one have to reset backlash when replacing the 3rd member or is that done when the unit was rebuilt?

Obviously the axles will have to be redrilled for the correct bolt pattern, spring perches etc but I am mainly concerned about the gear and posi installation

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I did this exact same swap in my 4th gen. I don't know what year yours is so I don't know exactly how close yours is to mine but I'm sure it's pretty close. I got min with 3.70 gears and a Detroit locker and it is awesome. But anyway if you but I third member with the gears and the posi all you have to do is bolt it in as long as it was previously set up. Just transfer from one rear to another.

I don't know of you had the rear in yet or of you are getting ready to put it in there are a few things you should know.

1. If your shocks are staggered on the original rear, you will have to move one do they are both in front of the rear so they will clear the disc brakes.

2. You will need to replace your master and combination valve so your breaks work.

3. You will need to replace your u join so the drive shaft will hookup to the rear.

4. Instead of reselling the axles it may be easier just buying wheels with that bolt pattern. I thought about reselling the axles also but no shop around me could/would do it. Besides if you change the axles pattern you will also have to change the brake pattern.

None of the modifications are overly difficult but they are things you should know before tackling this project of you haven't started. But it is all worth it in the end.

If you have any questions about how to do things or where to get parts, send me a message because I just finished this exact same project about 2 weeks ago.

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the 9" is actualy the easiest of all to rebuild and swap gearing as they also do not need a specfic carrier to go from one ring and pinion to another like gm. an avrage to pay a reputiable shop is about 150.00 labor if you take your own parts and can be done in a day depending how busy they are. if you want to try this your self there are numerious u tube vid. and how to articals out thare. if you do it your self just rember the patern is the most important part once thats good your set.
The swap is easy, I can do one in about 45 minutes. :yes:

Drop the driveshaft, slide out the axle shafts, unbolt the center section and pop it out.

Just be certain that those are 9" rears, I don't know.

I do know that they are widely used in hot rods and many people call them 9" but I just don't know about them.
The Versailles rear end is a 9". You need to make sure that the axle spline count is the same between the 3rd members if you swap them.
The Versailles rear end is a 9". You need to make sure that the axle spline count is the same between the 3rd members if you swap them.
The Versailles should have a stock spline count of 28 splines I believe

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9" rearend from Ford

I have a 9" rearend in my 66 Nova, had it build from a F150, came with a 355 posi and axels were multi use from CP. So my chevy wheels fit. COuld have used Ford. I have had it apart and put it back together a couple of times trying to twik it to perfection, I don't think Ford had that in mind. All in all its a very strong rearend and holds up to tons of torque....
9" rearends are a piece of cake to work on. If you pick up a different third member to install that already has a posi and gears in it make sure you get the same spline count.
There are also some excellent videos on how to rebuild your own.
I have a versailles 9 inch. It's a 28 spline. I replaced the entire third member. Not that I needed to but I got a new gears and 4 pinion trac loc (posi) all set-up with the correct yoke from a builder off of ebay.

After all is said and done I wish I would have just bought a basic unit from Currie. I probably have $800-$900 into it and it still has 28 spline axles and the goofy disc brakes. The brakes are dumb. The emergency brakes are pain if they work at all and the parts for the calipers are expensive. Don't loose the emergency brake actuators either. They don't make them anymore. It was a hot swap 5-10 years ago but there are so many good cheap brake kits available for the 9 inch it just doesn't make sense anymore.

Check Currie for a basic axle/housing kit with mounts. You can always get a used third member cheap until you can buy what you really want. With this scenario you can get the better Explorer brakes, 31 plus splice axles. I'd probably get it a little narrower than a stock Nova rear as well. More tire without tubbing.

My 2 cents
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Good input fellas,

I am not in a hurry as I am waiting until the rain starts and will start an engine swap (Actually just started raining, around here that means I have about 9 more months until the sun comes back!)

Dutchman is local up here so I am planning on talking to them about a basic 9". One option I keep looking at is below. They run an ebay shop but seem like a fairly good deal. I can get the housing, bearings and correct axles and lug pattern for just under $700 shipped. Have traded email a few times and they seem pretty knowledgable.

If I can get close in price I will probably end up having Dutchman build one up. Sure liked the idea of being into a rear under $1K but not sure that is going to be possible.
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