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Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

9" Bolt-In Housing Installation - 1967 Chevelle

3/16/2020
Fresh from powder coat.

In my quest to keep Max off my back about getting the Chevelle on the ground I powered through the month of November in 2017 in an effort to not only make the semblance of a car again but to simply condense so many of the parts that had taken over my garage, our storage unit and even our family room. Yes, you read that right. For the last year or so, my overflow area for parts coming home from coating or other parts deemed “too nice or fragile” to live in the garage have come inside to nest among our family until those parts are called upon.

The time had come. I was ready to prep the housing for installation under the car. A few things that you might notice that vary from what ended up becoming our “production” 9” Ford housings. I’m in merchandising, which in-part consists of new product development. One of the things that happens, sometimes, is that new parts are developed, built and refined in the off hours at home. This rear end housing is one of those such cases.

From the outset I knew that I wanted this car to ride on coil-overs at all four corners. So when I began to experiment with the idea of making some bolt-in housings and commissioned a prototype on my own dime, I had the coil spring mounts omitted. I also had this housing made 2” narrower overall. This allowed the use of a full 10” wide wheel in the rear. All other critical dimensions from side to side remained stock. With the slight exception of a raised upper trailing arm pivot, which helps forward traction and works to eliminate wheel hop.

Some other things that were added to this part that found their way into the production versions of our Speedway A-Body 9” are the use of a factory profile on the face of the shock mount bracket. Most coil-over conversion kits are tailored to conform to this irregular surface, while most aftermarket housings make this surface flat. Meaning that you could not bolt the coil-over brackets to most 9” housings available.

The Speedway housing allows the use of any coil-over conversion made to work with a factory housing.

When you receive your new 9” Bolt-In Rear End Axle Kit from Speedway you’ll find that there are some things that you’ll need to install yourself to ensure that no threads are damaged in shipping. The upper bushings are pre-installed, which for this article have already been pressed out in favor of the solid swivel joints.

The joints I used for my installation are machined from billet steel and allow a full range of motion while allowing zero give during straight line acceleration. These mounts are made to be hammered in and include a tool to do so. Ensure that the hole is free and clear of debris, paint and coatings. They fit extremely tight and require a large hammer and intestinal fortitude to drive all the way into place. They are slightly tapered and install from the back to the front. May the odds be ever in your favor.

One other step you’ll need to complete while the rear is easy to access on the shop floor or work bench are the studs that fasten the third member into the housing.

These are splined and can be pulled into position from the face side with a large washer and hard nut.

I chose to use a non-locking nut that was not part of the supplied hardware to pull the studs in. This was to keep the nylock portion of the final assembly nuts tight and at full grip. It doesn’t take an inordinate amount of force to install these studs. Just use patience and be sure that you’re installing them until they are seated and that they remain perpendicular to the gasket surface. Otherwise, you’ll get a chance to show off your bench-press skills a lot longer under the car when it’s time to install that 70# third member.

Next time we’ll get the trailing arms mounted and put this bad boy in its new home

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