Pictorial Page Two

Ford / MG rear-end modifications

Getting up the nerve to cut both axel housings was the most difficult part of this part of the project.

I found myself remeasuring everything a half dozen times and rechecking my drawing. The critical points of the end result were the point to point that the wheel would mount and the point to point of the spring mounts and the angle of the spring mounts as to the pinion angle. I used a cut saw to cut both axel housing. The squareness of the cut was of little to no consequence since the MG tube was to slide 4 inches into the Ford tube and that would take care of the alignment. All I had to get accurate was the distance from the pinion and the angle of the spring mounts to the pinion as viewed from the side.

FPlan.jpg (16338 bytes)  Fordcut.jpg (23972 bytes)  mgcut.jpg (24975 bytes)  mgangle1.jpg (20660 bytes)


The two mounting lugs on the Ford housing were cut off except for a small lug left to mount a torque arm that will extend forward to connect to a coil over shock. This will take the place of a traction bar to prevent leaf spring windup.

fordear.jpg (30723 bytes)   fordlug.jpg (23503 bytes)



There are three reasons I chose to add the MG tubes to the Ford rather than just cut down the Ford.

Fordaxel.jpg (17694 bytes)  fordbrg.jpg (22294 bytes)  mgbrg.jpg (30306 bytes)  mgaxend.jpg (21735 bytes)

As you can see in the above photos, the small Ford axel bearings run directly on the Ford axel. This damages the axle each time an axle bearing goes out. (not uncommon)  It is costly to have a set of axles cut down and resplined so it would be too costly to use the axle as a bearing race. The MG housing will support a heavy duty bearing that will have a replaceable inner and outer race. Secondly, using the MG outer tube allows me to use the original mounting with no fabricating necessary. Third reason is, the outside diameter of the MG tube happens to be very close to the inside diameter of the Ford tube. this makes it very easy and much stronger to just slide the MG cut off tube into the Ford and weld in place. A little die grinding is necessary inside the ford tube because the Ford tubes are "seamed" tubing and the seam needs to be leveled. A few thousandths removed from the inside of the Ford tube with a mill or boring bar or even a rigid hone would be ideal. However, the only equipment I had available was a small lathe. So, I made a small plug to fit in the cut off end of the MG tube and chucked up the bearing end and turned a few thousandths off of the MG tube. I then drilled 4 stagger placed holes in the Ford tube to weld through and welded all the way around the joint as pictured below.

weld1.jpg (25907 bytes)  weld2.jpg (25275 bytes)   mgford.jpg (24701 bytes) 

The Ring and Pinion were damaged due to rust pits and the bearings on the pinion were marginal and the carrier bearings were bad. Fortunate for me a friend had given me most of another Ford rear end. This gave me a good ring and pinion. I decided to replace all the bearings since I was going to have to set up the ring and pinion from scratch. I knew you can have a noisy ring & pinion by using a USED ring / pinion in a different case but I have done it before with some success. (not always). I had two different length sets of Ford axles (unidentified) I decided to use the shorter set, 29 3/16". Considering the Mag wheels I am using and the brake disks I decided that one axle needed 4" removed and 5 1/4" off the other. Moser Engineering in IN cut and resplined the axles. I first looked at having a set made. $385.00 changed my mind. Moser cut and resplined mine for $85.00 for both, did a beautiful job and were quick. The Ford axle bearing design runs the roller bearings on the axle itself so every time you ware out an axle bearing you need to replace the axles or do some fancy sleving of the axle. There is enough meat in the Ford axle to cut it to fit the original MG ball bearing. Trouble with this is that the Ford limited slip used some of the side load on the axle to add to the spring pressure of the limited slip unit to prevent inside wheel slippage. And, I don't like a loose inner race on any shaft. If you make the ball bearing a tight fit on the axle then you do away with this extra load on the inside cone of the limited slip unit. It may still work but I didn't want to do that. I am now trying to source a "NU" type roller bearing to fit or just get close as I can machine a sleeve to fit it. 

                         axles.jpg (31120 bytes)          backlash.jpg (27898 bytes)          rearend.jpg (25706 bytes)          MGend.jpg (22774 bytes)

                          Resplined Axles         Checking Backlash         Almost finished         MG bearing housing

axlebrg.jpg (23370 bytes)        axle.jpg (17307 bytes)       bearing.jpg (21036 bytes)

                                             Axle & bearings           Axle cut down         Brg-Race-Sleeve 

I have sourced the "NU" type bearing now and have cut the axles to fit the inner races. Also have indexed and drilled the axle flanges to use my Mag wheels (with MG bolt pattern). Only thing left to make is the wheel bearing seal races and a couple of press on retainers to hold the inner races and seal race in place on the axles.

Page 3

Back to BV-8