Getting your rear-end in perfect condition

A rear-end assembly based upon the  Ford nine-inch rear gear housing is one of the most popular in all of racing no matter whether  you are racing in a straight line, turning left racing on dirt or asphalt. The Strange Engineering model which you see here is one of the best aftermarket examples of this product.

A lot of hotrodders like to install these units in their race cars themselves and they also want to do the “set up” once they have the housing, third-member, and gears assembled. Getting the clearances set correctly are critical for not only the performance of the unit but it’s survivability.

With that in mind DRO went Strange Engineering’s Chicago plant and asked them to take us through the process of correctly setting up a nine-inch Ford rear-end assembly using their own products to demonstrate.

LEFT: At Strange Engineering the first step they took was to deburr the top edges of the pinion gear teeth on both the “drive” and “coast” sides prior to installation. Removing any nicks or burrs provides a smoother, quieter and better running gear set. At the same time they inspect the ring gear teeth for imperfections, and deburr them if necessary.

Once you’ve done that job the next step is to polish the pinion shaft with 80 grit paper to allow for easier pinion preload shim changes.

This is accomplished using a lathe and 80-grit sandpaper, however, it can be done by hand if a lathe is not available. The pinion shaft is polished just adjacent to the spline to allow for a slip fit of the front pinion bearing.