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2 years ago I had no idea I was going to catch the racing bug when I got my new 8" center section from TJ. 3.40 gears with whatever the cheaper "Loc" is. Works perfect other than I should have gone 3.25 as I'm running out of second gear as I get better auto crossing. Now I want to be able to tune the rear of the car and am considering a watts link and eventually if I win the lottery a 3 or 4 link rear suspension.The problem with all that is all the "kits" are configured for the 9" or 8.8" axles. I'm sure I could wrap a couple of sheets of 1/8" plate around the axle tubes of my 8" where the brackets for the Watts link mount and weld them in to get to the correct size for the brackets. Am I fooling myself into thinking this will work or are the small bearings or whatever going to do me in anyway as my abilities and tire width increase? I have the ability to truss the axle housing if that would help. I guess if I have to start over with a 9" rear end I should probably consider a more affordable and easy to make faster track car. A 3 link and new 9" axle is easily over $6000. I could buy a very competitive Miata for that kind of money with air conditioning!
 

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I've run a 8" trutrac in cam-t for the last 3 yrs running a 3:55 eaton trutrac, and liked it so much I built a second 8" with 3:80 gears from a spare center I had. Just my opinion, because autocross doesn't shock the drive train like drag racing does, an 8" built right is just fine. You're right, a good 9" is easily several thousand if you want any quality and reliability. But also quite a bit heavier then an 8". It's not that difficult to build a rear end center if you have the tools and measuring devices, it's just time consuming. It's about $700 for gears and tracloc center, or $1000 for a trutrac and gears at summitracing. And a long weekend to build it from scratch.
 

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I would think an 8 inch would be fine for autocross as long as you aren't dumping the clutch at the start or having wheel hop. I would suspect the center section you bought is the later one that is stronger as well.
 

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I thought the tube size was the same 8" or 9"?
for example the 9" used in the 65/66 K cars had the same step down at the end of the tubes as the 8" did and I don't think you would be way out there attaching a WATTS link
 

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I've had a Fays2 Watts link under my '66 coupe for years. Completely transformed the car's handling characteristics, in a good way! Autocross is tougher on tires than anything else. A good suspension will help your times, of course, but unless you're thinking of doing Nationals every year, a Watts will suffice just fine. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've had a Fays2 Watts link under my '66 coupe for years. Completely transformed the car's handling characteristics, in a good way! Autocross is tougher on tires than anything else. A good suspension will help your times, of course, but unless you're thinking of doing Nationals every year, a Watts will suffice just fine. :)
Thank for the heads up on the Fays2 Watts link. Does it work with a stock-ish gas tank? I'll add that to my list. I'll probably buying an aluminum 16" open trailer this Saturday that I've had my eye on for a while. At that point my car becomes a race car because it's way more fun on the track than the street because we morons at the track go one at a time unlike the street! I think I can do well with the 8" and Watts link for quite a while. It is supposed to be just for fun anyway. Right?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought the tube size was the same 8" or 9"?
for example the 9" used in the 65/66 K cars had the same step down at the end of the tubes as the 8" did and I don't think you would be way out there attaching a WATTS link
I believe the Watts link on the SoT setup attaches before the step down. One side is welded and the other bolted for adjustability I assume. My 8" axle tubes are 2 13/16" - 2 7/8" before the step-down. I though all the aftermarket stuff was based on a 3" tube?
 

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Thanks for the reply's! Starting over with a 9" rear end is just not going to happen unless the 8" is laying in pieces all over the course. I'm going to look at solutions that work with the 8" platform with potential upgrades to 8.8 or 9" down the line.
 

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IIRC shaun said his watts link (which can be purchased separately from his 3 link) can be made to work with all the options. 8', 9' and the 8.8.

With what you're doing, I don't think going to a 9 would make much of a difference. small bearing is small bearing.. either in the 8 or 9 of that era.

Just a teaser.. my big bearing 9in housing showed up today. Same as you.. it's going to be a LOT of overtime this winter...
 

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I've had a Fays2 Watts link under my '66 coupe for years. Completely transformed the car's handling characteristics, in a good way! Autocross is tougher on tires than anything else. A good suspension will help your times, of course, but unless you're thinking of doing Nationals every year, a Watts will suffice just fine. :)
Did you remove your Watts link?
 

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When the snow starts flying... sigh... I'll give them a call. My modest goals for this winter are a Watts link and torque boxes. If I work a lot of overtime I'm going to do "new" EPAS with a tilt column.
What about the Mike Maier power steering kit?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What about the Mike Maier power steering kit?
That kit is a converted Japanese truck or a Borgenson box with a KRC pump I assume. I'm running an origional "Chuckostang" rebuilt everything PS with a larger 85 F150 pulley and Shelby quick steering idler and pitman arms. Working good since I installed a cooler. I want to eventually ditch the belt, heavy pump and brackets, and the red fluid. Race cars only have one belt!:wink:
 

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Your not helping much! The Maier system looked interesting because the box ratio is really fast. But then again all my steering is set up and an Epas would not require any changes.
 

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Your not helping much! The Maier system looked interesting because the box ratio is really fast. But then again all my steering is set up and an Epas would not require any changes.
I'm not saying anything bad about the Maier or Borgenson system. Just that ditching the weight the PS system up front and adding a little weight under the column for the EPAS sounds like a better option. I'm at 3 1/4 turns lock to lock with the factory PS box and the quick pitman and and idler arms. Barely acceptable for my cars purpose these days, but still OK.

We are way off the mark on the "limitations of the 8" rear end" at this point.
 

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I run the older version of the Maier panhard... I've run watts on a s197 chassis and to me there wasnt enough of a difference to do it again.

I think moving to a trutrac diff made a bigger difference for me than anything else in the rear of the '68.

I still run a 8" I got from quickperformance.com with a 4.11 gear set. likely moving to a 3.40 or 3.25 next season.
 

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2 years ago I had no idea I was going to catch the racing bug when I got my new 8" center section from TJ. 3.40 gears with whatever the cheaper "Loc" is. Works perfect other than I should have gone 3.25 as I'm running out of second gear as I get better auto crossing. Now I want to be able to tune the rear of the car and am considering a watts link and eventually if I win the lottery a 3 or 4 link rear suspension.The problem with all that is all the "kits" are configured for the 9" or 8.8" axles. I'm sure I could wrap a couple of sheets of 1/8" plate around the axle tubes of my 8" where the brackets for the Watts link mount and weld them in to get to the correct size for the brackets. Am I fooling myself into thinking this will work or are the small bearings or whatever going to do me in anyway as my abilities and tire width increase? I have the ability to truss the axle housing if that would help. I guess if I have to start over with a 9" rear end I should probably consider a more affordable and easy to make faster track car. A 3 link and new 9" axle is easily over $6000. I could buy a very competitive Miata for that kind of money with air conditioning!


I’ve run the old Maier Panhard Bar. I haven’t driven a Watts link equipped vintage mustang to compare to, but when I installed the Panhard Bar... made a significant difference to me. Turn in and exit felt more controlled.

Just a thought. Panhard bar is about $200 less.



Sent from the interwebs
 
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