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Granada / Versailler rear end

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Hi there,

For the '66 that my dad worked on but I now have, he did the rear-end swap (and put in the 302) that I've seen some posts about.
It was actually a '79 Lincoln Versailles, which I have come to learn was pretty much a re-badged Granada.
But it does give the car 4 disc brakes.

Dad also left notes that it has a "9-inch rear over 28 spline axles" which I'm not quite sure what that means.
Unfortunately Dad was the car guy, and I am in the process of learning.

Could I trouble for just a little about this from anyone who has experience with this?

I'd like to know a little about the mechanics of it, what it does for the car (besides the disc brakes), and if you've run into any issues with it?

Another thing I know is that the parking brake doesn't quite work like it should, and I'm wondering if that's a result of this and if it can be corrected easily or if I should just keep a brick under the driver's seat to slap under the wheels when I park. ;)

Thanks!

-Corey
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive parking light
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The Versailles rear end is 1.5" to 2" wider than a '65/'66 rear end so you'll have problems with the tires rubbing the quarter panel lips and even have the lips cutting the sidewalls. Nobody that has used that rear end in a Mustang has been able to make the parking brake work reliably. It's a futile battle.
The Versailles rear end is known as a 9" which is one of the strongest rear ends ever made. The axles have 28 splines on the inner ends where they mesh with the differential spider gears. Ford also made 31 spline axles that are stronger.
 

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The Versailles rear end is 1.5" to 2" wider than a '65/'66 rear end so you'll have problems with the tires rubbing the quarter panel lips and even have the lips cutting the sidewalls. Nobody that has used that rear end in a Mustang has been able to make the parking brake work reliably. It's a futile battle.
The Versailles rear end is known as a 9" which is one of the strongest rear ends ever made. The axles have 28 splines on the inner ends where they mesh with the differential spider gears. Ford also made 31 spline axles that are stronger.
This is not true. The Versailles rear end is at most 1/2" wider than the stock 65-66 (I can pull the pics to prove it if needed since I have one in mine) and if you go with some other brake setup its even less than that. If you use 2.375 offset axles you can get right down to exactly the same width as stock. I have no tire-to-fender problems running 245/45/17 on 17x8 wheels with 4.75" backspacing without rolled lips.

The only good thing that can be said about the Versailles rear disc brakes....is that its easier to change pads than drums....literally everything else about them is worse than drums...they are heavier, they don't perform as well(at least in a light car like the Mustang), they have huge heavy brackets in place of the usual axle retainers....and the parking brake doesn't work right. They were after all very early disc brakes. The good news is that its a strong 9" housing and brakes can readily be swapped to any number of kits(many of which the parking brake works correctly). The 28 vs 31 spline axle(and matching carrier) simply refer to how many splines the axle has. 31 spline axles are stroger than 28 spline axles...not because of spline count but because they are larger diameter(and thus heavier, taking more power to turn). 28 spline axles though are not weak...they just aren't as strong as 31 spline...but 99% of the Mustangs out there will never need more than 28 spline axles unless they are a dedicated drag car.

In short...out of the box, The Versailles rear end is nothing to write home about...but its a great axle for future upgrades(if needed).
 

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Was your car originally an I6 car? This may be why it has a Versailles rear. This is why mine does.

I have the Versailles rear end and it doesn't make the tires stick out much more than a car with a stock rear end would.

Many moons ago the Versailles was considered an upgrade before all the aftermarket and custom stuff became available. So back in the 70s, 80s, and even the 90s it was a common upgrade or replacement for a damaged unit.

That note your dad left means that the axle shafts are 28 spline not the heavier duty 31 spline more commonly found in trucks.

There has commonly been a debate on the actual difference in width. Some say it is 1/2-5/8 inch overall and some say that is per side.When I tried to measure mine over a decade ago I think it was something like 3/8 inch per side but that was not using precision measurements just a tape.

I did just find this info again.

65-66 Mustang 57.25 inches
67-70 Mustang 59.25 inches
71-73 Mustang 61.25 inches
77-81 Versailles 58.50 inches

And also found this.

Ford Rearend ID and info

The parking brake is both wonky and finicky. Set it up too tight so it works well and it will drag too much. Get it to not drag and then it barely works.

You have to hold your foot on the brake when releasing the parking brake for it to stay in adjustment and it must be exercised at least once a month or so or it will loose adjustment.

Finally new calipers are available from various sellers from unknown China or Taiwan manufacturer but they are at least new.

versialles brake caliper: Search Result | eBay

New hoses are not easy to come by but are available on Ebay from Brake Hoses Unlimted seller name goodbrakes. These are nice replacements in rubber or braided stainless.

REAR DISC STAINLESS BRAKE HOSE SET Lincoln Versailles 1977 1978 1979 1980 | eBay

Product Bicycle part Font Auto part Fashion accessory
 

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I did just find this info again.

65-66 Mustang 57.25 inches
67-70 Mustang 59.25 inches
71-73 Mustang 61.25 inches
77-81 Versailles 58.50 inches
The problem is this is faulty info, here is my housing measurement from my Versailles rear end:



Add 5" for the common 2.5" axle offset and 1/4" each side for disc brakes and what you have is 57.75".
 

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The problem is this is faulty info, here is my housing measurement from my Versailles rear end:



Add 5" for the common 2.5" axle offset and 1/4" each side for disc brakes and what you have is 57.75".
Think we're almost in agreement. That is the info that is most commonly found from various sources and maybe even magazines.

Like I said I don't think mine is that much wider either. We measured it a dozen years ago and it was something like 3/8 inch each side. And we thought it was odd that our measurement didn't match.

If it was what that info says i would expect it would be more noticeable with tires hanging out the sides. I have 15x7 4.25 backspacing Magnums on all 4 corners and parked next to other stock cars with the same wheels you can't really see any noticeable difference.
 

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Think we're almost in agreement. That is the info that is most commonly found from various sources and maybe even magazines.

Like I said I don't think mine is that much wider either. We measured it a dozen years ago and it was something like 3/8 inch each side. And we thought it was odd that our measurement didn't match.

If it was what that info says i would expect it would be more noticeable with tires hanging out the sides. I have 15x7 4.25 backspacing Magnums on all 4 corners and packed next to other stock cars with the same wheels you can't really see any noticeable difference.




17x8s with 4.75 backspacing. To be fair, I don't have rotors on the back yet though, so I expect to lose 1/4" per side when all is said and done. It will be close, but I still don't expect rubbing in the back...the front on the other hand I would definitely have to roll the fenders if I wasn't swapping spindles and gaining room.
 

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The problem is this is faulty info, here is my housing measurement from my Versailles rear end:



Add 5" for the common 2.5" axle offset and 1/4" each side for disc brakes and what you have is 57.75".
Those are axle flange to axle flange measurements, not housing flange to housing flange and are, as shown, pretty much correct.

The parking brake "issue" is one of leverage as the levers on the caliper are way too short to work with a hand-operated control, being a foot pedal originally. I'd like to see an experiment with drilling a new hole in the brake arm that attaches to the transmission crossmember, closer to the pivot, which would increase the travel of the hand lever but also increase the mechanical advantage.... leverage.
 

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I have one living in the back of my car since the 80`s , It was the trick way to get rear discs back before all the simple ways to do it like now.
No wheel clearance issues.
 

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Those are axle flange to axle flange measurements, not housing flange to housing flange and are, as shown, pretty much correct.

The parking brake "issue" is one of leverage as the levers on the caliper are way too short to work with a hand-operated control, being a foot pedal originally. I'd like to see an experiment with drilling a new hole in the brake arm that attaches to the transmission crossmember, closer to the pivot, which would increase the travel of the hand lever but also increase the mechanical advantage.... leverage.
Well, to clarify:

'66 Mustang housing width(no axles): 52.25"
'77 Versailles housing width(no axles): 52.25(maybe 1/16" more)
'66 Mustang axle offset: 2.375"
'77 Versailles axle offset: 2.5"
'66 Mustang WMS-to-WMS(wheel mounting surface) measurement(with factory drum brakes): 57.25"
'77 Versailles WMS-to-WMS(wheel mounting surface) measurement(with factory disc brakes): 57.75"

Under no circumstance is the Versailles rear end 1" to 1.5" wider than the stock '66. Its just not. It is not 58.5" unless you are using a rotor that is 1" thick where it connects to the hub. Its true I do not have a factory Versailles rotor to measure mounting surface thickness...and I know its an ancient disc brake system...but I don't believe the rotors are 1"+ thick at the hub. So....those lists out there simply have bogus information on the width of the Versailles rear end from everything I have personally measured.
 

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I'm pretty sure the Versailles setup doesn't have the "common 2.5" axle offset." That's where the additional width comes from.
Yes it does. 2.5" offset is the widest possible axle offset for a 9". The other one you see most often is 2.375"...it is possible that some could have come with this offset., but that would just make it narrower. Some relatively rare 9" rear ends came with a 2.125" or 2" axle offset(usually late 50s/ early 60s axles)....but those were definitely not Granada/Versailles offset...and again, if they were the axle would just be narrower WMS-to-WMS. I measured the offset on my Versailles axle...its 2.5" for sure, but I won't discount the possibility some are out there with a 2.375" offset...just like some Granada/Monarch/Versailles 9" rear ends use drum brakes.



This was a pic taken axle flange-to-axle flange when one bearing was not fully seated(was 0.25" out because at the time the housing was not straight and the bearing on one side wouldnt seat properly). Once seated this measurement is actually 57.25". Add rotors to that and you have 57.75"...this is why the information floating around on the internet about the Versailles rear end is wrong...every single measurement I have pulled says so. My guess is that the measurements floating around on the internet came from someone pulling the measurements with the center chunk in place...adding length as the tape measure bends that just isn't there. All mine were pulled without the center chunk.



P.S. @tx65coupe Love that nightmist blue...my old '67 coupe was that color, and I have thought about painting this '66 that color more than once as well.
 

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I did the Versailles axle/Granada spindles in the '80s to get 4 wheel disc brakes and a stout rear axle. Much improved over stock at the time. These days it's a dated upgrade for the reasons listed above. Nothing necessarily wrong with it. If it's driving/stopping well and the parking brake works you've got a workable upgrade over stock.
 

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I had what I thought was a versailles rear end a few years back- 9", fixed caliper brackets and rotors. I cut off the axle flange and rotated it in an attempt to make the parking brake work better and installed it into the car. It wasn't until I bolted the wheels in that I found it was @ 2" too wide and they rubbed. Out of frustration I yanked it out and listed it on Craigslist- had it sold in an hour for $800. I now have a Currie 9" set up. Still not sure if it was actually a Versailles or if Ford made another version only wider?
 

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I had what I thought was a versailles rear end a few years back- 9", fixed caliper brackets and rotors. I cut off the axle flange and rotated it in an attempt to make the parking brake work better and installed it into the car. It wasn't until I bolted the wheels in that I found it was @ 2" too wide and they rubbed. Out of frustration I yanked it out and listed it on Craigslist- had it sold in an hour for $800. I now have a Currie 9" set up. Still not sure if it was actually a Versailles or if Ford made another version only wider?
The Versailles does not have fixed caliper brackets. The caliper brackets on the Versailles take the place of axle retainer plates. You can see them on the axle in this random google pic:

 

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1966 coupe w/ vinyl top. Updated 302 & rear from ‘79 Lincoln and 5 speed manual from 94 GT
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the information everyone - a lot more than I expected - and very much appreciated.
This winter I'll get my first chance to really get to crawl around under it and get a look at some of the stuff that's going on. Since there were so many pictures & posts, I'll probably come back and update this thread with photos when I do.

But I really appreciate all the things to check out and move ahead with.
 
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