Brass Tacks Part III

December 15th, 2011

Text and Photos by Jason Mulligan

Bringing up the Rear With Currie Enterprises

The last time we saw Brass Tacks, a ‘76 GMC K5 Jimmy being transformed into a roadstered street rod over at Status in Rockwall, Texas, its front suspension was fully mocked up on a frame table. The front suspension consisted of the Quality Air Ride front raised cross member for the C-10 platform that provides clearance for the frame to lay flat, but also consists of mounts, new control arms and more. The cross member was assembled with a Flamin’ River Mustang II power rack-and-pinion, as well as a C-10 big brake kit from McGaughys Suspension that consists of drop spindles and 13-inch rotors. The goal is to build a complete frame using this as a base. The rear suspension will also need a base, which is where a Currie Enterprises rearend comes into play.

Out back, we are running 22 x 12-inch Colorado Custom Segundo wheels wrapped in 305/40/22 Toyo Proxes STII tires. The instructions we gave Colorado Custom were to give us as much lip on the rear wheels as possible, and we’ll figure out the rest! With the minimum backspacing of 4 1/4 inches we gained a massive 8-inch lip. The next step is to head to Currie Enterprises in Anaheim, California, where the crew will build a rearend to fit the wheels and transfer the power of the GM Performance Parts E-ROD LS3 engine while looking good doing it.

Currie Enterprises is a mainstay of the performance automotive world. Currie handles a wide variety of performance rear and front end styles and parts from racing to street-driven hot rods to off-road Jeeps and rock crawlers. With more than 50 years in the business, we knew we were in great hands. Currie has a wide variety of rearends for specific applications and also for custom needs. They can build your rearend or components to fit your vehicle needs. From 10- and 12-bolt GM applications to DANA front ends and the Ford lineage, you can find it at Currie.

The Ford 9-inch rearend is one of the most commonly used in the custom world. To fill this need, Currie offers a few different housings based on the Ford 9-inch format. An all-new fabricated F9 housing or newly manufactured 9-plus and heavy-duty housings are available, as well. Since Brass Tacks is a full show vehicle, we went for a jewel of a housing with Currie’s 9-inch aluminum housing assembly. The finned housing offers a glimpse of nostalgia. The cast aluminum housing has been a timeless design at Currie since the mid ‘80s. It is available in the raw cast finish or fully show polished, perfect for showing off that custom rear suspension.

An EATON TrueTrac differential with a 3.70 gear ratio will be expertly installed into the housing before 31-spline axles and disc brakes are installed. The EATON TrueTrac is a helical gear differential unit built with the street performer in mind. A TrueTrac is a strong limited slip differential designed so that there is no need for wearable parts, leaving maintenance-free traction. Many limited slip differentials sacrifice tire wear and steering control for traction. This is not the case with the EATON Detroit TrueTrac as it performs like a conventional differential until traction is lost and only then does it transfer power. In laymen’s terms, this means if one tire begins to spin loose going around a corner, the unit will control the spin and transfer power to the tire that has maintained traction.


Colorado Custom

714.441.2498 (http://www NULL.coloradocustom

Currie Enterprises

714.528.6957 (http://www NULL.currieenterprises

EATON Performance Products (http://www NULL.Eaton


Dept. STTR

777 Riding Club Rd.

Rockwall, TX 75087

972.772.0146 (http://www NULL.creatingrollingart

Toyo Tires (http://www NULL.toyotires

Project Brass Tacks

Accuair Suspension (http://www NULL.accuairsuspension

BASF Automotive Refinish (http://www NULL.Basfrefinish

Carter Hickman Designs (http://www NULL.carterhickmandesigns

Classic Industries/OER (http://www NULL.Classicindustries

Energy Suspension (http://www NULL.energysuspension

Firestone Industrial Products (http://www NULL.Ride-rite

Flaming River (http://www NULL.flamingriver

Flex-A-Lite (http://www NULL.Flex-a-lite

GM Performance Parts (http://www NULL.gmperformanceparts

Grant Kustoms (http://www NULL.Grantkustoms

Hoffman Group (http://www NULL.hoffmangroupproducts

Kinetik (http://www NULL.kinetikpower

Mitch Henderson Design (http://www NULL.mitchhendersondesign

McGaughys Suspension (http://www NULL.mcgaughys

Painless Performance (http://www NULL.painlessperformance

Quality Air Ride (http://www NULL.Qualityairride

Royal Purple (http://www NULL.royalpurple

VariShock (http://www NULL.Varishock

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2 Responses to “Brass Tacks Part III”

  1. whisper59 (http://www NULL.motortopia says:

    I see you have an LS3 E-rod, what type headers are you using for this build?

  2. whisper59 (http://www NULL.motortopia says:

    Thanks for the informatiom on the headers, I purchased the exact brand and part number that are on the Brass Tacks build. Question does the weird bend on the driver side header get in the way of the steering linkage? On my mock up it looks rather strange, plus its really close to my control arm mount. Help!

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