Building a Ford 9-Inch Rearend

June 27th, 2011

Text and Photos by Steve Stillwell

The Perfect Rearend for Your Next Truck Project

The Ford 9-inch rearend is by far the most popular choice for custom truckers, racers, hot rodders and muscle car devotees. Used in most Ford cars and trucks from 1957 through the ‘80s, it’s abundant at salvage yards nationwide.

It all began in the late ‘50s. The Korean War was over and super highways were replacing Route 66. High speed interstates coupled with young Americans’ desire to explore the states altered the style, design and function of vehicles as manufacturers introduced automotive behemoths to suit this aspect of the market. Big engines and strong driveline components were developed to whisk station wagons and 3-ton cars along with ease, one component being the popular and equally durable 9-inch Ford rearend.

While the 9-inch Ford rearend may no longer be abundant at salvage yards, the ease of removing the axles, gear case and ability to modify the housing have made this rearend the most popular unit still used today by truck and car builders and customizers. This continued popularity is aided by the number of performance parts manufacturers that supply a multitude of custom leaf springs, coil-over shocks and multi-bar suspension systems from which builders can select.

A blank gear case is torqued to the center of the rearend housing, and then axle tubes that have been cut to length are installed. These are the larger tubes to house the big bearing required for the larger 31-spline axles.

A key company behind the popularity of the Ford 9-inch rearend is Currie Enterprises, launched by Frank Currie 52 years ago. Initially working from his home garage, Frank modified Ford 9-inch rearends for use on personnel carriers, scissor lifts, carts and other specialty industrial vehicles. All of that would change during the ‘70s as Currie, now joined by his four sons, Charlie, John, Raymond and David, would begin to manufacture custom-fabricated Ford 9-inch rearends for V-8-powered mini-trucks and shops that specialized in kit cars and street rod fabrication.

Currie Enterprises has continued to grow in size and services offered, and today it occupies a 27,000-sq-ft facility in East Anaheim, California. Along the way, products and services were added for the Ford 8- and 8.8-inch, Dana 44 and 60 and Chevy 12-bolt rearends. Currie had acres of used housings on hand at one time, but as the pile diminished, the family business continued to design and manufacture complete custom-built Ford 9-inch rearend assemblies using aftermarket nodular gear cases, alloy axles and disc and drum brake applications. By 1999, Currie Enterprises began to offer a full line of driveline performance products from rearend units and components to suspension, as well as off-road Jeep products.

Once the axle tubes have been cut to an exact length, end caps are positioned and tapped into place. The tech is ensuring the overall length of the tube and cap assembly is correct to the overall width of the finished rearend.

Salvage yards may be void of Ford rearends, however, Currie Enterprises has prepared for the future by redesigning and manufacturing all of the components required to continue to offer complete custom rearends that they state exceed the original rearend’s strength, quality, durability and versatility. With the Ford 9-inch, you have a wide variety of rearend gear ratios to select from, open or limited slip drive, and it can be built to any width and handle practically any level of power your engine can generate. Currie even offers a complete polished aluminum rearend for the ultimate in eye candy.

Currie Enterprises

1480 N. Tustin Ave

Anaheim, CA 92807

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