Having close to four times the horsepower output this van was designed to handle, it was only a matter of time before the stock open differential decided it had enough, and I was surprised it lasted this long. Beginning to get louder and louder with more and more vibration I decided to change the oil in the stock diff, doing so twice in a week each time with more chunks coming out. It was after this I knew it was time for me to start on this long overdue project.
Here is what it first looked like when I first brought home this used Ford 9″ differential, it came from a farm where it was sourced from a 1970′s Ford Torino (a Starsky and Hutch car).
After tearing it down, I then took a plasma torch to the remaining brackets, followed by a healthy dose of power grinding and sanding.
I then took it to get sand blasted, revealing problem areas where oil had seeped through the housing over the last 40+ years.
I took the housing and brackets over to Bill Scribner where after baking out the remaining oil in the tight seams, he stacked some dimes all the way around the inside of the pumpkin since this is a problem area for leaks. Bill has been at this a long time, in fact, this is the 1,492nd differential he has worked on.
We then drilled a hole, welded on a drain bung for easy oil changes, and welded on a scrap piece of axle flange to act as a solid jacking point.
I CNC Plasma cut, and bent these brackets into shape to bolt the sway bar to the differential.
These were also CNC Plasma cut, then welded together to act as the bottom mount for the air springs.
On the table getting ready to be repurposed.
Bill working his magic.
My CNC Plasma’d brackets partnered with Bill’s expert welding.
The beefy panhard bar mount.
After cleaning up with an air grinder and a wire wheel, the diff, 3rd member, and rotor hats were ready for paint.
Painted, and assembled, comparing the old to the new.
Looking sexy with a little accent on the Moser 3rd member from a bottle I had lying around of some white touch-up paint. Packet with Motive gears at a ratio of 4.3:1
Some suspension goodies from Airbagit.com which will allow for much more adjustability, and proper distribution of the weight on the rear axle as compared with the air shocks I have been using for the last five years.
Close-up of the air engine with 1/2″ ports and a nice compact design combining all the solenoids and sensors together on one sweet looking aluminum manifold.
Using the CNC plasma, I cut some 3/16″ steel circles to make the upper mounts for the air springs which will slip right over the spring perch on the MPV chassis.
I then chopped off some pieces of DOM tube…
…and practicing my TIG skills I fabricated the upper mounts for the springs.
More to come as I fabricate the brake lines, 4-links, wire everything up, and get a new driveshaft made.