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Ford differential identification

Ford differential identification

ford differential identification

Before you embark on the rebuild and start scouring local scrap yards and online websites, it will be helpful to understand what to look for and what to avoid in these axles. First, you need to understand some fundamentals of the Ford axles to help guide your quest.

I have spent countless hours over the years collecting, reading, and studying old shop manuals, supplier reference documents, SAE papers, and even vehicle manufacturer reports and notes. Some of this information is very important as it is becoming more and more difficult to find documentation on axles and differentials that were built more than 40 years ago. I have also spent many hours in scrap yards and visiting and interviewing the experts in this field along with years of building numerous axles myself.

In this chapter I share a summary of decades of work on these axles. As part of my research, I went to renowned Currie Enterprises and gathered one of just about every different 9-inch axle variant. I put together a whole collection of housings and third members. This is a sampling of some of them. Here is a quick visual summary: The housings do not have dimples on them and have an oil drain plug. The s and s have two dimples on either side of the housing and some have drain plugs.

The s to s still retain the dimples but also have an oil level plug in the back cover. The Ford 8. There is typically a stamped steel cover that must be removed to gain access to the internals. This chart serves as a general guideline for axle fl ange-to-fl ange width based on different models and production years. I have included the narrow 8-inch axles for reference.

The narrowest production 9-inch axle is If measuring the drum-to-drum distance, add. An assortment of Ford 9-inch axle stampings is welded together to create the housing. The cast-iron third member is installed from the front of the housing. The third member supports all of the gears and bearings, which allows for easier gear ratio swaps if you have multiple third members.

I reference these axles based on the ring gear nominal outside diameter in inches. The fundamental difference between these axles is how the gears are supported and which end of the axle housing front or back that they are assembled from.

It may seem strange to begin by comparing the 8-inch to the 9-inch axle, but there is an important distinction to make since the 8-inch axle is weaker than the 9-inch.

Many people are not aware that Ford made a smaller banjo axle and confuse the 8-inch for a 9-inch. The 8-inch was introduced in and is found in many lower performance Fairlanes, Mustangs, Falcons, Comets, Cougars, and Pintos, just to name a few of the applications. All of the 8-inch case nuts can be accessed with a socket. Both axles share a common design and are often referred to as banjo style or third-member style. The smaller 8-inch just cannot handle the abuse as its bigger brother can.

The 8-inch also was only available with tooth axle shafts. Unless you are building a Pinto or straight six-cylinder vehicle, you want to avoid it. The smaller 8-inch third member is on the right. The 9-inch third-member bottom fasteners, on the left, can only be accessed with a wrench.

Both 8- and 9-inch axle housings are made from a series of stampings that are fixtured and welded together. This complex fixturing and welding process, coupled with fuel economy concerns, is what eventually led to their production demise.Ford rear ends, or differentials, were manufactured by either the Dana Corporation or Ford. Differentials take the power from the rear axle and transfer it to the rear wheels by way of special gears. Identifying a differential hinges the ability to distinguish the two primary rear-end typesthe 8- or 9-inch rear enddenoting ring-gear size.

How do I Identify a Ford Differential?

The differential installed depends on the intended application; standard passenger or high-performance trucks tend to have a wider range of rear-end variety than passenger cars. The identification process begins with locating the factory rear-end tag and then using visual methods. Locate the axle ID tag on the rear-end housingusually a sheet-metal tag bolted to the housing, although some vehicles had a paper tag, which may be missing.

The metal tag has four different sets of numbers, each grouped in the four corners of the tag. The most important is the model, or service code, found in the upper-left corner. Combine all of the codes, to identify ring-gear size, gear ratio, date and location of manufacture.

Ford Axle Part Numbers: The Complete List

Decode the service number by matching it to an axle service code chart, similar to those found on WoodyG. The code chart tells the gear ratio and ring-gear size, denoting an 8- or 9-inch rear end. Locate the VIN tag on the rear face of the driver-side doorthe primary identification tag for the vehicle. On it, look fora box labeled "axle," containing the axle code, which requires consulting a code listing similar to that found on Drivetrain. Verify both the axle tag and door-tag codes to determine whether the vehicle still has its original rear end.

Count the bolts on the rear-end housing, and visually identify the rear-end gasket shape; compare the gasket shape with the chart found on the Drivetrain site see References section. Ford 7. The chart also provides width dimensions for measurement verification. Attach a deep socket with an extension to the lower rear-end bolts.

According to Ridgecrest, if the socket goes straight on without hitting the case, your vehicle has an 8-inch rear end; if the socket doesn't fit the bolt on the other side of the center, your vehicle has a 9-inch rear end.

ford differential identification

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us. Step 1 Locate the axle ID tag on the rear-end housingusually a sheet-metal tag bolted to the housing, although some vehicles had a paper tag, which may be missing.

Step 2 Decode the service number by matching it to an axle service code chart, similar to those found on WoodyG. Step 3 Locate the VIN tag on the rear face of the driver-side doorthe primary identification tag for the vehicle. Step 4 Count the bolts on the rear-end housing, and visually identify the rear-end gasket shape; compare the gasket shape with the chart found on the Drivetrain site see References section.

Tips The paper tag contains the same information as the metal tag. If difficulties arise in model number identification, contact a Ford parts department with the exact information found on the tag to identify the rear end.I could not review the history and identification of these axles without talking about the Ford part numbering system.

Ford part numbers typically have three components: the prefix three or four alpha-numeric characters then a dash, followed by the basic number, another dash, and then the suffix or revision version. The first character is for the decade and the second digit is the year of that specific decade.

The second digit is also for the year of introduction or year of last revision. All of the above holds true until the year It appears with the Y2K scare and other factors, Ford decided to revamp its date code strategy. Parts released in and forward follow this format:. This is a year-of-manufacture table for differentials.

TFS: How to Narrow a Ford 8.8 Part 1 - Strip Down

The first character is the decade, from towhile the second is the year in that decade. So our example C4AWB was introduced in The third character in our example C4AWB is an A, which indicates it is from a Ford vehicle, specifically a Galaxie from or newer. The fourth character represents the Engineering Operations area responsible for the component and to no surprise, the W in our example C4AWB represents Axle and Driveshaft Engineering.

The third character is for the vehicle model code. The last character designates which Design Engineering Office is responsible for the component. The differential is identified by a basic part number, but you may find an engineering part number, which is usually part of the casting, and a service part number, which is found on the parts box or found in the dealer parts system.

Regardless whether it is the service part number or the engineering part number, the basic number remains the same. Keep in mind that sometimes an engineering part number was placed on the casting of a part that was used on a different vehicle.

So, proceed with caution with this information because it only serves as a basic indicator. The basic part number is a series of numbers systematically developed to further divide the vehicle into sub-systems.

In fact, sub-assemblies or accessory kits often had a letter in the second position of the basic number. For example, the base number for shift level is while the indicator for the shift level is 7A The C-washers for axle retention are 4N, axle brackets are 4A, and even the differential bearing shims are 4A Another set of basic numbers is reserved for body components and yet another set for service tools, but we are focused on the axle and driveshaft for the purposes of this book.

The last sequence of numbers or suffix provides revision control for the Design Engineer.Whenever you're building a hot restomod, thoughts always eventually turn to the rear axle. At one time, choices were simple: 8- and 9-inch removable carrier differentials and housings, two-pinion or four-pinion, large bearing or small bearing, standard case or "N" case.

But have you looked at the rear axle selection for vintage Fords lately? It has never been more plentiful. Not only do we have a choice of 8- and 9-inch rearends, we also have the option of the Fox-body Mustang's 8.

With all of these choices out there, it's time to understand how to make the best one in our quest for reliable rear-axle performance. Five basic types have been used in Fords, Mercurys, and Lincolns since Here's how it plays out.

Perhaps you are scratching your head, wondering why we would suggest the 8. Why not install the brute 9-inch beastie? The 8. Drive Train Specialists can ship you this axle assembly, ready for bolt-in. All you have to do is pay for it, then tell them where to ship it. See Drive Train Specialists for more details. Currie Enterprises, as one example, has Limited Slip differential kits for all types of Ford axles, including the 8.

The 9-inch Ford differential needs little introduction for seasoned enthusiasts. Most of us understand that it is the strongest differential ever made for Fords and other vehicles alike. The 9-inch Ford outperforms the GM bolt rearend by a wide margin. It has found a near equal in Chrysler's Dana rearend, which is a proven performer. But when push comes to shove, racers opt for the 9-inch Ford.

Street-rodders love the 9-inch Ford for its easy-to-service design and ability to take punishment. The rough and tough 9-inch Ford was introduced inand it didn't change much in appearance throughout its production life.

Differential Identification Chart

What it did do was improve as horsepower ratings and demands increased. Likely the greatest changes came during the early '60s, as the horsepower wars heated up. In the beginning, there were spline axleshafts and small axle bearings.

ford differential identification

And this remained the basic standard throughout the 9-inch Ford's production life. As this design evolved, Ford made solid improvements, such as a four-pinion carrier, Limited Slip, Equa-Lok, and Traction-Lok, larger axle bearings, and spline axleshafts.

Ford also produced a much stronger nodular-iron case, known as the "N" case, for high-performance applications. You'll find the "N" case in Boss s and Boss s, for example. The earliest "N" applications were and ci big-block Galaxies in '' The 9-inch Ford differential is easy to understand. Choosing the right one for your mission is also easy. It just isn't always cheap. Much depends on what you find, where you find it, and what your needs are.

This casting has a single rib that runs from 12 to 6 o'clock, flanked by three cross ribs. Think of this casting as the basic 9-inch carrier, used from the early '60s through the early '80s. This is a durable 9-inch case, used in a host of Fords ranging from big-block Fairlanes and Mustangs to fullsize Fords and pickup trucks. The most common version of this casting is C7AW-E, used from '66 through the early '80s. Expect to find this casting in a lot of 9-inch housings from '66 through the early '80s.Ford started phasing out the metal tags in the late '80s, replacing them with a sticker located on the axletube by the brakes.

Use nickel rod and weld the tubes all the way around where they enter the housing. This can be seen only with the cover off; without an ID tag, you can't spot a TractionLok from the outside. Only truck versions have leaf-spring pads. This is the companion flange where the yoke bolts. The has a inch width for the U-joint, and the has a inch width. The is usually found in Ford trucks. The aftermarket sells flanges of various widths for added strength and conversions for Jeeps, all of which fit either the original or series universal U-Joints.

To prevent warping from heat, don't use a torch and avoid extended use of a die grinder while modifying an 8. The pinion-gear shaft diameter is larger than on a 9-inch and the same size as on a Chevy bolt. Fox-body axles use a four-lug wheel pattern. Factory 8. All Factory Ratios: 2.

It will tell you the gear ratio, rearend style, and whether it has limited-slip. Also on the tag is an ID number, which, untilincluded four to five letters, no numbers. Almost all 8. The first number refers to the plant where it was built, and the next three refer to the ratio and type. The numbers can also tell you what car the rearend came in, though you need to look up the info online or in a Ford manual, as there are thousands of codes. First appearing inthe 8.

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There are 24 different Fords that offered the 8. The weakest points of the 8. The spline axles 1. You can buy aftermarket spline axles, but that will also require a new carrier and side gears. Most '91'01 Explorers have 8. Most 8. The '86'93 Mustangs have The '94'98 axles are 0.

The '99'04 is another 0. The 8. The aftermarket sells C-clip-eliminator kits that retain the axles with flanges at the ends of the axletubes. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter.Differentials are the gears housed within the rear end unit of a vehicle, aiding in the transfer of power to the wheels driving the vehicle. Ford vehicles use a number of different differential units, consisting of Ford manufactured differentials or those manufactured by the Dana Corporation.

Identification is done both visually and by locating model numbers from the identification tags attached to the rear end housing. Count the number of bolts on the rear end housing inspection cover. The inspection cover faces the rear of the car and is seen looking forward under the the license plate.

Each Ford model has a different number of bolts, however, certain Dana units have the same bolt count. According to Kevinstang. The back of these units have a smooth hump with no bolts.

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Compare the bolt count and inspection cover gasket shape to 4 Wheel 'N' Off Road's differential identification listing. Ford 7. Similarly, the Dana 35 and 44 models have ten bolts with different cover and gasket shapes. According to the Dana Roadranger service manual found on www2. The differential carrier tag contains the Dana model number and is located next to the driveshaft mount, facing forward on the passenger side of the housing.

The model number is located on the top right hand corner of the tag, JS, for example. Locate the identification tag on Ford manufactured rear end units. According to Fordification. The top line of the tag is the axle model and may consist of letters only, or a combination of both letters and numbers.

It must be referenced to a Ford Axle model listing, which gives the year, original application and differential ring-gear size. This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.

To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us. How do I Identify a Ford Differential? Step 1 Count the number of bolts on the rear end housing inspection cover.

Step 2 Compare the bolt count and inspection cover gasket shape to 4 Wheel 'N' Off Road's differential identification listing. Tip Ford manufactured differential units are named after the diameter of the ring-gear.

A Ford 9-inch differential has a 9-inch ring-gear diameter. About the Author This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.Dana is the stock differential for a large segment of domestic cars, trucks and SUVs.

Dana front and rear differentials can be found most commonly in Jeep, Ford and Dodge vehicles. Click on a differential below to view photos, measurements, and carrier breaks, as well as applicable models, and available parts, for that particular fitment.

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Year Dana Dana 28 IFS. Dana 28, Independent Rear Suspension. Dana 30 Front, Reverse Rotation. Dana 30 Front, Standard Rotation. Dana 30 Rear. Dana "Super" 30 Ford Front.

ford differential identification

Dana 44 Front, Disconnect Design, '' Dana 44 Front, Standard Rotation. Dana 44 Rear. Dana 44 Rear, Corvette. Dana 44 Rear, Jaguar. Dana 44 Rear, JK Rubicon. Dana 44, 19 Spline. Dana 44, TJ Rubicon Wrangler front. Dana 44, TJ Rubicon Wrangler rear. Dana 44HD. Dana 44HD, ''04 Grand Cherokee. Dana 50 Front, IFS.

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Dana 50 Front, Straight Axle. Dana 60 Front, Disconnect Design, '99 only. Dana 60 Front, Reverse Rotation. Dana 60 Front, Standard Rotation - 16 Spline.

Dana 60 Front, Standard Rotation - 30 Spline. Dana 60 Front, Standard Rotation - 35 Spline. Dana 60 Quadrasteer Rear. Dana 60 Rear - 16 Spline. Dana 60 Rear - 23 Spline. Dana 60 Rear - 30 Spline. Dana 60 Rear - 32 Spline. Dana 60 Rear - 35 Spline.

Ford - Differential Identification

Dana "Super" 60 - 35 Spline. Dana 60 Super Rear - 33 Spline. Dana 61 Front - 35 Spline.