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Absolutely Fabulous - Brand New Ford 9-Inch Axles

Posted in How To: Transmission Drivetrain on April 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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The Ford 9-inch rear axle is legendary for its strength in applications as varied as rockcrawling and drag racing. The design of a 9-inch uses a dropout-style gearset that makes for easy differential and gear installation, and a third pinion bearing so the pinion will not move away from the ring gear under even the most grueling of applications. The problem is Ford hasn’t offered the 9-inch axle under a vehicle in the past 30 years.

Fortunately the aftermarket has stepped up to fill the void. These days, or buy an assembled unit. With the popularity of the 9-inch axle the aftermarket has begun fabricating many housings specific for applications, be they hot rods, drag racing, or four-wheeling. Fabricated 9-inch housings have exploded in popularity for off-road use due to their light weight, excellent ground clearance, the ease of adding suspension bracketry to the fabricated housings, and the multitude of aftermarket and factory gears, lockers, and accessories available for the venerable 9-inch.

We gathered up the latest and greatest fabricated housings so you can start planning your next axle upgrade. In addition to those listed below, ID Designs, Moser, and Tube Works also make fabricated housing, but unfortunately we were unable to obtain their specifications before we went to press.

Camburg Race Series 9 Axle
Camburg caters to the desert racing crowd with housings that are 100-percent CAD designed and stress tested, then they are laser cut and CNC bent to ensure precise fitment. The rearend housings are jigged in Camburg’s proprietary fixture prior to welding to ensure straightness and come with ARP hardware.

Centersection: 0.1875 4130 chromoly with 0.375-inch faceplate
Tubes: 31⁄2x0.250-wall, 4x0.250-wall 4130 chromoly
Weight (lb): 72 (with 31⁄2-inch tubes and no ends)
Ground Clearance (in): 51⁄2 from centerline
Application: Rear
Options: Hubs, brakes, axleshafts, center sections, trusses
What Sets Them Apart: 3-link or 4-link brackets are available to simplify suspension installation

Cone Industries Trac-9
Sandy Cone is best known for his desert racing and Ultra4 axles, but these axles are at home underneath trail rigs as well. The axles are CAD designed with fill and vent ports and available in whatever width the customer specifies. For the ultimate in strength, Cone housings can be heat treated after fabrication. Also, complete assemblies are available in all popular wheel bolt patterns.

Centersection: 0.188 4130 shell with 0.400-inch faceplate
Tubes: 3x0.250-wall, 31⁄2x0.250-wall, 4x0.250-wall 4130 chromoly
Weight (lb): 25 (centersection only)
Ground Clearance (in): 6.0 from axle centerline
Application: Rear
Options: Hubs, drive plates, axleshafts, brakes, trusses, centersections, skidplates
What Sets Them Apart: For the ultimate in strength, Cone housings accept larger 10-inch racing ring gearsets

“You can build a 9-inch axle completely from aftermarket parts”

Currie F9
Currie is well known for its Ford 9-inch and Rock Jock axles, and the F9 is Currie’s latest. The F9 comes with Set 80 bearings that are 50 percent larger than stock and accept all factory JK disc brake and ABS and ESP sensors. The units are 66 inches wide (with ends) and use stock JK rotors, calipers, and caliper mounting brackets to keep costs down.

Centersection: 0.1875 Hi-Form 50 steel or optional chromoly with 0.375 faceplace
Tubes: 3x0.250-wall DOM
Weight (lb): 85 (bare housing with no ends)
Ground Clearance (in): 55⁄8 from centerline
Application: Front or rear
Options: Axles, hubs, brakes, and centersection
What Sets Them Apart: Available as bolt-in options for JK and TJ Wranglers

Diamond Axle
Diamond Axles caters to its customers by offering housings with whatever ends the customer wants (full-floating, semifloating, or steering knuckles) in custom widths and offsets to fit any application. All housings come with high-strength ARP hardware. A variety of Toyota housings are available as well.

Centersection: Formed 0.250-wall mild steel with 0.375 faceplate
Tubes: 31⁄2x0.375-wall DOM
Weight (lb): 55 (with 31⁄2x0.375-wall tubes and no ends)
Ground Clearance (in): 51⁄2 from centerline
Application: Front or rear
Options: Brakes, hubs, knuckles, axleshafts, inspection holes
What Sets Them Apart: While 31⁄2x0.375-wall tubes are the most common, 3-, 31⁄8-, and 31⁄4-inch tubes are also available in 0.250, 0.375, and even 0.500 wall thicknesses.

Dirt Tech
Dirt Tech offers a wide variety of options on its fabricated housings, including MIG or TIG welding, shell thickness and material, tube size, and tube thickness. The Standard, Premier, Pro2, and Pro Lite housings have four bends in the centersection, while the Pro Series housing has seven bends. The standard housing has pressed-in studs; the other offerings are drilled and tapped for 3⁄8-16 studs. All come with back trusses.

Centersection: 10-gauge laser cut steel with 0.3125-inch-thick faceplate (Standard); 10-gauge chromoly with 0.375 faceplate (Premier, Pro Lite, Pro 2); 0.125 chomoly with 0.375 faceplate (Pro Series)
Tubes: 3x0.250-wall, 31⁄2x0.250-wall, 4x0.250-wall chromoly
Weight (lb): 68 (Pro Lite with 3x0.250-wall tubes and back truss, no ends)
Ground Clearance (in): 53⁄4 from centerline
Application: Rear
Options: Skidplates, full-floating ends, hubs, axleshafts, trusses, suspension mounts
What Sets Them Apart: Vast array of centersection and tube options for any application or budget

Ruff Stuff 9-Inch Housing
Ruff Stuff’s unique housings are available with center, passenger, or driver drop, all in 65-inch lengths with no ends. Top and back trusses are available, as are link mounts. The centersection is 0.250 wall, but 0.1875 armor can be added to the bottom for the ultimate in impact resistance.

Centersection: 0.250 A50 housing with 0.375 faceplate
Tubes: 31⁄2x0.375-wall DOM
Weight (lb): 110 (bare housing no ends)
Ground Clearance (in): 55⁄8
Application: Rear (no ends)
Options: Trusses, armor, link mounts
What Sets Them Apart: Ruff Stuff centersections have 36 bends to maximize strength and ground clearance

Spidertrax Spider9
Spidertrax Off-Road designed the Spider9 for maximum ground clearance for rockcrawling, but they have seen success in Ultra4 and short course racing as well. The housings are sold bare in 65-inch widths with either centered or offset center sections to allow the end user to determine the final width and pinion placement. All Spider9 axles come with a large fill/inspection hole and aluminum cap.

Centersection: 0.250 steel shell with 0.375 mounting face
Tubes: 3x0.250-wall, 3x0.375-wall, 31⁄2x0.250-wall
Weight (lb): 58 (with 3x0.250-wall tubes and no ends)
Ground Clearance (in): 5 from centerline
Application: Front or rear
Options: Semi- or full-floating ends, steering knuckles, brakes, axleshafts, unit bearings, drive flanges
What Sets Them Apart: Fabricated steering knuckles offer light weight and unmatched turning radius

Trail-Gear Rock Assault 9
The Rock Assault housing is available 66 inches wide with bare tubes or 60, 65, or 68 inches wide with ends installed. Tubes are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses to fit any budget and application. Trail-Gear’s 3-Point Attachment System gives the tubes excellent support and engagement into the center section.

Centersection: 0.250-wall steel with 0.500-wall faceplate
Tubes: 3x0.250-wall, 3x0.375-wall, 31⁄2x0.250-wall, 31⁄2x0.375-wall DOM
Weight (lb): 70 (with 3x0.250-wall tubes)
Ground Clearance (in): 51⁄2 from centerline

Application: Rear
Options: Housing ends hubs, brakes, axleshafts, inspection hole
What Sets Them Apart: No-questions-asked warranty on housings

Ford Isn’t the Only Player
Fabricated housings are available for a variety of Toyota axles. Aftermarket housings can turn the venerable Corporate 14-Bolt into a dropout axle that looks like a 9-inch on steroids.

Torq Super-14
The Super-14 utilizes GM 14-Bolt axle architecture and packages the 101⁄2-inch ring gear into a dropout-style centersection. These axle assemblies are available from Torq with a wide variety of gearing, hub, brake, differential, and axleshaft options. Upgrades include SSBC Big Brake package, ARB Air Locker, and 40-spline axle options. Torq’s Super-14 crate axles can be purchased as steering and nonsteering packages. Diamond Axle and Ruff Stuff also offer fabricated housings for 14-Bolt centersections.

Ruff Stuff Toyota Housings
Like Ruff Stuff’s Ford 9-inch housings, the company also makes internally reinforced fabricated housings for Toyota 8, 8.4, and 9.5 differentials using 14 bends on the centersection to closely hug the ring gear. All the housings uses 31⁄2x0.375-wall DOM tubes and come 65 inches wide without housing ends. Trusses are available for all Ruff Stuff axles for either the top or the back of the housing.

Diamond Toyota Housings
Diamond Axle offers fabricated housings that accept Toyota 8-inch (mini truck), 8.4 (Tacoma), 9.5 (Land Cruiser), and 10.5 (Tundra) differentials. Diamond can create centered or offset front or rear axlehousings with your choice of ends. Each axle is built to the customer’s desired width and provides an increase in ground clearance and strength compared to the stamped factory housings.

Sources

Currie Enterprises
Corona, CA 92880
714-528-6957
http://www.currieenterprises.com
Trail-Gear
Fresno, CA 93727
877-494-8697
www.trail-gear.com
Moser Engineering
Portland, IN 47371
260-726-6689
www.moserengineering.com
Tubeworks
N/A, AK
951-522-1117
www.tubeworks.com
Cone Industries
805-239-2663
Ruff Stuff Specialties
916-600-1945
http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com
Spidertrax
800-286-0898
www.spidertrax.com
Camburg
www.camburg.com
Dirt Tech
760-480-2642
http://www.dirt-tech.com
Torq Motorsports
801-550-2715
http://www.torqaxle.com

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