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I have a 1969 Ford XL Fastback with a 302 2bbl and a 3 speed Toploader column shift. Does anyone have any information on the Ford 8.5? Based on my diff tag and the info on the door, I have a Ford 8.5 with 3.10 gears. What are my options for gears, posi, etc.
During my research, I found that the 8.8 and 8.5 are interchangeable... but I only found 1 post that said this, can anyone confirm it?

LTD rear Axle Question... | Box Tech | Crownvic.net

I'm dropping in a 347 415HP engine and figured it would be best if both wheels spun lol. If there are not really any options for the 8.5, What would be the easiest, bolt in, rear swap? 8, 8.8, 9 inch?
 

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That is the typical WER type rear end, which is typically an 8 3/4" ring gear, but I see there was one, the WER-A, which was a 3.10:1 ratio with an 8 1/2 ring gear. Ford Rear Axle Assembly Identification - Page 01 - FORDification.com
This link has some info on Ford rear ends. I've been told that there is no aftermarket support for our WER rear ends, so that may mean swapping the entire rear for a 9" unit. A 9" from a Full Size should have all the same suspension brackets, so it should be a direct replacement, and then there are plenty of options for locking diffs and gear ratios. I'm guessing you'd want shorter gears to go along with the new engine. For strength and locker and gear options, the 9" swap would be the way to go. Nice car.
 

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There is nothing common between the 8.5 and 8.8 except the carrier bearings , ring gear bolts and pinion nut LOL Two different animals.
 

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That is the typical WER type rear end, which is typically an 8 3/4" ring gear, but I see there was one, the WER-A, which was a 3.10:1 ratio with an 8 1/2 ring gear. Ford Rear Axle Assembly Identification - Page 01 - FORDification.com
This link has some info on Ford rear ends. I've been told that there is no aftermarket support for our WER rear ends, so that may mean swapping the entire rear for a 9" unit. A 9" from a Full Size should have all the same suspension brackets, so it should be a direct replacement, and then there are plenty of options for locking diffs and gear ratios. I'm guessing you'd want shorter gears to go along with the new engine. For strength and locker and gear options, the 9" swap would be the way to go. Nice car.
I probably am not understanding your reply 70xl but it sounds to me like you're saying the entire rear end needs to go rather than just find a new differential? Would the OP need to change out the entire rear end or just the diff? Reason I ask is I had an original 31 spline WER 9 3/8" in my 69 and swapped in a 9" 28 spline posi unit/chunk/pumpkin/differential out of a bronco with no problem other than I had to use the 28 spline axles.
 

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I have the WER setup in my 1970 galaxie. I'm having a hard time finding a 9 inch rear end locally for my car. Would I be better off just finding a 9 inch rear end that is the same width as my current setup an have an experienced welder swap brackets from one to the other?

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I have the WER setup in my 1970 galaxie. I'm having a hard time finding a 9 inch rear end locally for my car. Would I be better off just finding a 9 inch rear end that is the same width as my current setup an have an experienced welder swap brackets from one to the other?

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Hello jhayes91,

That would work too, or you could have a 9 inch housing with axle shafts made to fit the car. I used Moser Engineering to manufacturer a brand new Ford 9" to bolt into my B body Chevrolet. They did a really nice job with it.

Just thoughts..
 

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I probably am not understanding your reply 70xl but it sounds to me like you're saying the entire rear end needs to go rather than just find a new differential? Would the OP need to change out the entire rear end or just the diff? Reason I ask is I had an original 31 spline WER 9 3/8" in my 69 and swapped in a 9" 28 spline posi unit/chunk/pumpkin/differential out of a bronco with no problem other than I had to use the 28 spline axles.
Yes, I'm saying to swap the entire rear end. The WER rear is a non-removable carrier type rear and the info I have only shows it as having an 8 3/4" ring gear, expect for the one model that had an 8 1/2" ring gear. The Ford 9" is a completely different animal with the removable carrier. If you swapped a 9" removable carrier into your rear axle housing you did not have a WER rear end. Review the charts in the link I posted and see the rear end specs Ford used.

I have not done extensive research, but as far as I know there is no one making ring and pinion sets for the WER, and I don't know of anyone making a differential that will swap in. The WER was a light duty assembly and I doubt few people ever wanted to "upgrade" them when a 9" would offer everything you could want. I'm sure a person could probably put together some custom assembly of stronger parts in WER axle housing, but at probably a significant cost over a 9" housing.
 
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Yes, I'm saying to swap the entire rear end. The WER rear is a non-removable carrier type rear and the info I have only shows it as having an 8 3/4" ring gear, expect for the one model that had an 8 1/2" ring gear. The Ford 9" is a completely different animal with the removable carrier. If you swapped a 9" removable carrier into your rear axle housing you did not have a WER rear end. Review the charts in the link I posted and see the rear end specs Ford used.

I have not done extensive research, but as far as I know there is no one making ring and pinion sets for the WER, and I don't know of anyone making a differential that will swap in. The WER was a light duty assembly and I doubt few people ever wanted to "upgrade" them when a 9" would offer everything you could want. I'm sure a person could probably put together some custom assembly of stronger parts in WER axle housing, but at probably a significant cost over a 9" housing.
You're correct 70XL, figured out I don't have a WER rear end just the hard to find parts for 9 3/8" oddball differential. Good information on the link BTW.
 

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I have the WER setup in my 1970 galaxie. I'm having a hard time finding a 9 inch rear end locally for my car. Would I be better off just finding a 9 inch rear end that is the same width as my current setup an have an experienced welder swap brackets from one to the other?

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Assuming you've checked Craigslist in your area already but if not check it out 9" diff's and complete rear ends etc come up frequently around here (Iowa).
 

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Assuming you've checked Craigslist in your area already but if not check it out 9" diff's and complete rear ends etc come up frequently around here (Iowa).
I keep an eye on Craigslist, Facebook market,car parts.com. The local junkyards around here don't list the inventory online.

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