Team Chevelle banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I was all set to either go with a quick perform rear end or one from rear gears. Then last night I am at a place that sells "beverages" bragging on my car of course. The guy next to me tells me he has a 1976 Ford 15 passenger van with a 9". So here we go. The guy lives about 5 miles away so we drive over and I look underneath and sure enough it is a 9" The neat thing I notices was that this thing hardly had any surface rust at all on it. It looked solid. I ask the guy what he wants for it. Tells me a $100 if I pull it or $150 if he pulls it. I wanted to buy it right then but I told him I had to check with you guys. Now he laughs because I live in an area where they don't understand our passion.

Anyways, would this rear end work. I know that it might be a little wide but I could have it narrowed, put after market axles, and new gears. I don't know if it is a posi but I could always put a full spool on it. I know that I should just buy a complete ready to go but the down side is that I would have to save the money which is nearly impossible with all the kids and wife I have. I figured if I could work with this then I could work on it as I got the money and then when it was done switch over the brackets from my 10 bolt. Plus, this is something that I would like to learn how to do.

I called Bob Hatton on this because I know he is really good at this stuff but couldn't get a hold of him. I can get it today. I couldn't find any specs on the vehicle. It does have the 351 windsor motor with a 4 barrel that came with it if this helps to identify which rearend might be in it.

Probably no chance it is posi, is there.

Once again, thanks for the help.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,801 Posts
Any housing can be made to fit in your car, but not with the stock suspension.I think the big problem would be the 9" not having the ears for your control arms.You may want to consider that, unless your doing a ladder bar set-up ?I am not familiar with your combo. What you got and what do you like to do with it ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was going to use whatever I needed from the 10 bolt that is in the car now if I can. Also, I am not totally against a ladder bar set up or stock type set up. Haven't decided either way. Regardless I have to do the supension so if I have to do the ladder bar set up to use the 9" this really isn't a big deal.

I trying to desperately to find what rearends came in that van. To see if posi and what gear ratios were available. The housing just looked dang near brand new and wasn't painted.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,145 Posts
Delbert ,did you happen to notice the series of the van?
The larger ones have full floating axles which arn't good for performance applications unless you replace the tube ends.
This one a full floater?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
screw the ford, a ford rearend in a chevy, i think you should stay away from the booze, if i was looking to buy your chevy and i look under and seen a ford rearend i would keep walking, surely you can find a 10 bolt , if you try harder you can still find a 12 bolt these days
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did not notice the series. I don't remember seeing one. I guess I could go write down what is on the vin tag.

I found this information:1973-1986 Ford Van 3/4 ton 65.25 " axle length. That was it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Jim but the chevelle is not for sale, nor will it ever be. I personally don't care if it has the 9" or the 12 bolt. I just know that the 10 bolt is not going to work. The 12 bolt would be nice, but I have a friend that has done the conversion before and said he could help out. I wouldn't mind learning how to do this. His 72 Nova has a 9" and ladder bars, his came out of a truck and he wasn't sure if the one out of this van would work or not. Of course you have a COPO and can understand why you wouldn't change yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mike, I did not. I only knew to look for no bolts and the big hump in the back. That is about my knowledge on 9". I can go out today after work and look at it. What all should I look for? He actually has two vans out there with the 9" The other van was more a typical family van for that time. I couldn't see the rear because it had no wheels. I guess I could look at the wheel studs on that one.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
286 Posts
Your buddy that put the 9 inch in his nova is way different than you putting one in your Chevelle. I have one of each cars and they both have totally different rear axle types. Then Nova is very easy to put a 9 inch in because it has leaf springs and has no rear trailing arms. Its basically a bolt in so to speak with some modification. The Chevelle on the other hand has coil springs with 4 trailing arms so the 9 inch rear housing will not have the mounting lugs required on the upper center housing. Fabricating and adding these mounting points would best be left to an expert. If you or your friend don't have this kind of experience I would either 1. find someone who does to help me out or 2. buy one that is already avaliable to bolt right in. Either way its going to cost a good chunk of cash to make that 9 inch rear work. It would be much easier to just rework a good 8.5 10 bolt or get yourself a 12 bolt that will fit with no modifications.

Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Rick im the buddy i put a ladderbar and coilovers on my nova. i knew it was different but i dont think the upper trailing arms is that big of a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey I took some pictures of Skip's 72 Nova with the 9inch set up. Matter of fact I took a lot of pictures of his entire car. It is one wicked ride! I dropped them off at walmart to get on a cd and will pick them up today. Should have pics of his car posted on my website by tomorrow night. By the way skip, thanks for the rocket ride! Your right...no way you can compare that torque to the small blocks that I have had.

Also, we found a 9" out of a 72 truck that has a 390 bb in it. Said if I move it I can have it. My body guy is going to use the parts off it and I get the rear end. I do like the idea of swapping third members for highway driving and track driving. At some point in the future I might elect to drive this car to florida, nc, power tour. It would be nice to have a 4:11 set up for track and then say some 3:08's or something for power tour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I found a list of 9" rear ends that could be used for performance. Yeah, the ford van did not make the list...go figure. However, the 72 truck is on the list, plus that is the same rearend that skip ended up using in his Nova. I figure if we screw it up, then I am only out the housing which was free anyways. I think Skip is going to make a Jig for my rear end, to make sure we get all the measurments correct. If it doesn't work out, then I know where I can find a couple more cheap housings.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,145 Posts
The van didn't make the list as it uses floating axles.
You need to start with a non-floating axle housing or you'll end up spending more to convert than the cost of an aftermarket housing.
Normally the non-floaters only have 5 bolt axles and the floaters have 6 or 8 bolts.
Even starting with the non-floating axles isn't cheap.
Your still going to need to get & install the control arm brackets that your friends Nova didn't need.
Have you inquired to anyone as to the cost of adding the brackets and possibly shortening the tubes and axle shafts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I believe he is going to shorten the tube, add the brackets, and shorten the axle shafts. Not sure about the axle shafts. Was looking at buying some aftermarket ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,488 Posts
The man said it was a 9" no bolts at the rear...it will not have more than 5 lugs....and all the axles are held in the same on the 9 rears... bearings pressed on to the axles and plate bolted to the flange...

some van rears (most) will have 31 spline axles and a clutch type carrier with 4 spiders...the width will get you.. at about 67.5" wide where the wheels bolt on ...OFFSET WHEELS usually works

FLANGES are easy measure the angles and weld a bar (or bolt one)between the brackets of the existing rear ,then remove them (torch)and install on the 9"....that way the angle is exactly the same...

another tip.. the ford rear is not centered , you can sometimes get buy only narowing one side....If you go that path

This is all based on 1/2 ton e100 and e150 vans .. not 3/4 ton 8 lug

I also run the truck and van rears , and some cars..the truck and van bolt pattern is 5 on 5.5"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Jeff. I am sure Skip will be reading this. He had mentioned to me about the rear end not being centered. Not sure if he was going to narrow just one side or not. Do like your idea about the brackets though.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top