Fox Rebuild Axle with New or Craigslist Axle Swap?

ThinBlue502

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Let’s play would you rather, but first backstory...

Something is very wrong with the driveline somewhere behind me while driving. Only at 70mph or above, but the further north of 70 it goes, the worse it gets. When you’re in gear and on the throttle, it’s not as bad. Coasting out of gear it’s the worst, off throttle in gear it’s still pretty bad. Just put in new U-Joints and the drive line slop has diminished and doesn’t “buck” or hesitate in 5th gear, below 1500 rpms, like it did before U-Joints. But it did not make the terrible, terrible sound that it is making now.
The car is question is my 93 notch with a 3.73 trac loc that’s always been noisy to some extent, but worked 100% up to this point.
So now I’m at the point where I’m pretty certain a bearing somewhere inside the axle has given up the ghost.
I’m confident I could swap an entire axle for an entire axle in my garage with a couple buddies.
I CANNOT rebuild my own axle, I’ll just call that one out. I know I’ll f__k it up. I have a mechanic that I trust and is actually really knowledgeable about my car, and Fords in general. He could get away with charging more, but it’s still a pretty penny. Especially compared to axles I can find RIGHT NOW on CL for like $200...

Im kind of buzzed, I’m pretty pissed, and I’d like to hear someone else’s thoughts inside my head because I’m f___king tired of the guy on repeat inside my head right now. Open forum, no wrong answers. Many thanks in advance.
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revhead347

Just rub Vaseline all over
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It's hit or miss. I do a lot of things, but I do my best to avoid axle work. You really can't make a good decision until you open up the axle and see what's wrong. Another quarter century old axle is going to be a bag of mysteries as well. I'd found out what is wrong with it first and go from there.

Kurt
 

stormsedge

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Jun 17, 2018
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Concur on investigating it first. If a full rebuild is required, the question then becomes how reliable is a CL unknown vs your current unit rebuilt by your mechanic...is there's really a cost savings?
 
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Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
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I’d pull the axle (pretty easy to do alone) and get it on the bench to investigate. At that point, if it requires a rebuild, think you your wish list and drop it off to your mechanic to do.

A CL axle likely will need a rebuild regardless, so I always feel that the devil you know is always preferred over an unknown axle.
 

7991LXnSHO

Now I want a 10 year badge
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Unless the housing is messed up or you need a different width, in your place, I’d let him investigate. Bearings, seals and 4 bolt axles are not expensive, and even if the limited slip diff. or gears are bad, they might also be on the take out one. I had a pinion quick sleeved on a 60’s car, and am happy with that repair. 8.8” rear end parts are much more common than that car’s.
Also, pretty car!
 
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ThinBlue502

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Thank you everyone who replied, I appreciate it. The consensus has spoken, tear down commence for diagnosis.
 

aztecgwynn

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I personally did a write up a few weeks ago. I was in same dilemma as you.
But I did opposite as you didn’t and don’t have tools for that special job. But my axle was toast both axles had bearings spun, carrier had spun bearings and ring and pinion 3.55 gears were trash.
was and am not happy with what I was charged for parts. But all noises gone and no more vibrations car runs superb.
Good luck and hope you have no spun bearings but need a simple overhaul.
 
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JD08

I love your drawers
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Also, unless this is your DD, why not give rebuilding it a try? Get the badshoe video and the parts and give it a go. The very worst thing that happens is it's still bad, you're out the cost of the parts and a little time. But at least you'll know how it all goes together. Best case scenario is that you'll have a working axle and a story to impress your friends.
 
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ThinBlue502

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I personally did a write up a few weeks ago. I was in same dilemma as you.
But I did opposite as you didn’t and don’t have tools for that special job. But my axle was toast both axles had bearings spun, carrier had spun bearings and ring and pinion 3.55 gears were trash.
was and am not happy with what I was charged for parts. But all noises gone and no more vibrations car runs superb.
Good luck and hope you have no spun bearings but need a simple overhaul.
I am familiar with your thread. I’m sorry that happened to you with such terrible timing. Luckily I do have time and resources on my side, in addition to a total POS truck. Also work is only about a mile down the road.
I’m sure at least some of those parts you mentioned will need to be replaced on my car.

More than anything I guess now, I just need to decide how deep down the rabbit hole I want to go.

Should I step up to a 31 spline setup?

I like my wheels, I feel no desire to go 5 lug, is this a bad move anyway?

I already have Lincoln 73mm calipers up front with factory drums in the back, I’d love to go disks in the back too, but I don’t think I can afford all the other stuff that would go with it in addition to rebuilding the rear. Is it idiotic NOT to do it at this time?

There’s actually a TBird super coupe axle for sale near me. Thoughts on buying that and rebuilding?

Again, thanks to all for helping me think this one through. I appreciate all the comments.
 

ThinBlue502

Active Member
May 7, 2019
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Also, unless this is your DD, why not give rebuilding it a try? Get the badshoe video and the parts and give it a go. The very worst thing that happens is it's still bad, you're out the cost of the parts and a little time. But at least you'll know how it all goes together. Best case scenario is that you'll have a working axle and a story to impress your friends.
Not my daily, I feel comfortable with the majority of the rebuild. I am however, concerned about setting gear lash and pinion depth. Actually I would love to rebuild it myself because I know I would put attention to detail in other aspects that I’m sure the mechanic wouldn’t. Mostly cleaning it up before rebuild.
 
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7991LXnSHO

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4 lugs is good, 5 gives an extra.
If you like the wheels like I do, I have not wanted to upgrade to 5 lug. Have you searched for the SC Brake swap on here? It might be in a sticky thread, but there were good links to it. I cannot remember if the axle assembly is a direct swap, but the breaks are interesting twist that you should look up before proceeding.
 

ThinBlue502

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4 lugs is good, 5 gives an extra.
If you like the wheels like I do, I have not wanted to upgrade to 5 lug. Have you searched for the SC Brake swap on here? It might be in a sticky thread, but there were good links to it. I cannot remember if the axle assembly is a direct swap, but the breaks are interesting twist that you should look up before proceeding.

Yessir, it has been some time but I remember reading something by one of my favorite contributors on this website, @jrichker. I’ll have to find the thread again and reread. After reread I’ll have to crunch the #s on the price difference.

Hypothetical situation:
Say I open the pumpkin up and the trac loc disks look good, and the actual gear and pinion look good, could I replace all the bearings inside and simply put everything back together as it was before?
 
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revhead347

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Yessir, it has been some time but I remember reading something by one of my favorite contributors on this website, jrichker. I’ll have to find the thread again and reread. After reread I’ll have to crunch the #s on the price difference.

Hypothetical situation:
Say I open the pumpkin up and the trac loc disks look good, and the actual gear and pinion look good, could I replace all the bearings inside and simply put everything back together as it was before?

9 times out of 10 it works as long as you put the shims back where you found them.

Kurt
 
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7991LXnSHO

Now I want a 10 year badge
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The bearings might not be the same thickness, so read the gear mesh pattern, even if you do not have a dial indicator.
I think there is a pinion crush collar in these.
 
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ThinBlue502

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The bearings might not be the same thickness, so read the gear mesh, pattern, even if you do not have a dial indicator.
I think there is a pinion crush collar in these.
I’m so happy you mentioned that. The torque required to crush the collar is substantial, from what I recall? Difficulty factor increased when performing said task underneath the car? That doesn’t sound fun at all.

I do not have a dial indicator. One of the previously mentioned friends might have one. I have seen videos about using marking indicator to judge gear mesh pattern.

The more I lay it out there, I feel like the more I’m out of my league. I have one guy at the city garage I may talk with about it. Maybe he will take pity on me...maybe not. Dude has one of the fastest F body Camaros in the country.
 

revhead347

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The bearings might not be the same thickness, so read the gear mesh, pattern, even if you do not have a dial indicator.
I think there is a pinion crush collar in these.

Yeah, there's a pinion crush collar. You can always use gear marking compound to set it up.

Kurt
 

Foxslider

im not that much of a idiot
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You can do it. Its gonna take some patience and a few tools to purchase. Dial indicator and base at harbor $25 i think. Good to the thou. (.001).

Depends if ur on a budget. Just fix whats broke and thats it, keeps it cheap. You dont need all the extras.

4 bolts for sway bar, 18mm. 18mm nut and bolt on LCA. 18mm/15mm on upper LCA, breaklines. Rear ends out.

Watch some videos. It aint that bad im sure. Intimidating? Hell ya. But you can do it. Getting axles out is not bad at all. Need a 5/16 6pt to break carrier crosspin bolt loose. Hammer punch, work that fcker out. Push axle in little telescoping magnet ($8 harbor), pull c clip. Pull axle out.
 
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revhead347

Just rub Vaseline all over
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You can do it. Its gonna take some patience and a few tools to purchase. Dial indicator and base at harbor $25 i think. Good to the thou. (.001).

Depends if ur on a budget. Just fix whats broke and thats it, keeps it cheap. You dont need all the extras.

4 bolts for sway bar, 18mm. 18mm nut and bolt on LCA. 18mm/15mm on upper LCA, breaklines. Rear ends out.

Watch some videos. It aint that bad im sure. Intimidating? Hell ya. But you can do it. Getting axles out is not bad at all. Need a 5/16 6pt to break carrier crosspin bolt loose. Hammer punch, work that fcker out. Push axle in little telescoping magnet ($8 harbor), pull c clip. Pull axle out.

Yeah, don't do it. The cost of the tools out weigh the labor; not to mention your time. The axle is the most tool cost prohibitive part of the whole car.

Kurt
 
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