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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, after numerous phone calls to various boneyards in and around my area, I was able to located an 9” rear end out of a Lincoln Versailles.

The yard that has one is about 2 hours outside of Toronto so it’s not too bad of a trip to go and get it. I do have some questions:

The guy mentioned to me that this axle assembly has been sitting outside for a while and while he did say that the brakes (calipers, rotors) are in bad shape the actual assembly is in decent shape. I do understand that there will be some rusty components on the assembly but what should I look for to make sure that I’m getting a rear end that I can use in “project sleeper?” When I am ready to install the rear end I will give it the going over but I want to make sure that crucial components of the assembly are not permanently damaged by prolonged exposure to outside weather. I’m not worried about the brake stuff as I have a place that can get or rebuild the components related to the rear disc brake setup.

Besides the obvious fact of what a 9” rear end looks like and the disc brakes, does anyone know what to look for to make sure that it is a Lincoln Versailles rear end? Would any numbers or letters on the axle tag (if it is there) tell me that it is the real deal? I know it should measure 58 in. flange to flange.

Did all Versailles rear ends have a limited slip diff? I know they all have a 2.42 ratio or something close to that but are they a posi or not?

I’ve heard some stories about bad pedal feel when people install the rear end with the rear disc setup. I was thinking that while the rear discs is nice to have, for me it’s not a necessity, therefore would my current rear drum setup (bolted right now to the ford 8” non-removable carrier) work with the 9”? To make things easy when I install the 9” I would like to just bolt my rear drum backing plates to the housing to keep the rear drums then later install the rear disc etup after I get them figured out.

If I buy this assembly, the guy wants $600 Canadian. I’ve checked with wreckers in the US and they are asking $500+ (us dollars). So knowing the fact that the brakes are bad and the assembly has been sitting dormant for a while exposed to a harsh environment, is 600 Canadian for it a good price? Remember that this assembly would go on my Granada which is the same car so AFAIK it should be a bolt in.

TIA.

Tony
 

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Break pedal feel should be no problem. You can use a versailles booster/mastercylinder if necessary. It's a direct swap. Also, don't forget the proportioning valve. There's a specific unit to the 4 wheel disc models. If you can't locate one, I'd think an aftermarket adjustable unit would work fine. To the best of my knowledge, posi units were an option, not standard. Look for an "L" (for locking) in code on the axle tag if it's still there.
 

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If you aren't really interested in the disks, you are paying a hefty premium for the Versailles rear. Very rare to find a posi and the ratios are a joke, so you are essentially paying $500 for a housing. Not a deal. You can get a 9" housing out of something else very cheap and have it modified to suit for less than that. The disks would be attractive to many, as well as the ease of installation, but keep in mind all the Versailles brake components are pricey. Get a later Mustang 9" and have it narrowed. You should be able to find a local source with a jig to do it. The drag crowd typically knows a guy who can narrow rears. It is pretty common.
 

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if you want disc brakes the versille ( sorry can't remeber how to spell it) Is expensive. If you want rear discs buy the explorer disc brake kit. It's around $379.00. I am putting it on my torino and it is a complete bolt on kit borrowed from a new explorer. It has built in parking brakes that are minature drum brakes inside the rotor. Pretty cool set but. Probablly a lot cheaper than the versille brakes and you don't have to worry about the fixed caliper problem. Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the info guys. I'm going to hear from the guy later in the week as to the actual condition of the axle assembly. I also have someone at another boneyard who knows a friend that supposedly has 2 or 3 of them and he's only like 20 mins. from where I am so if I hear from him I'll find out what his price is for one, and his assemblies may be in better condition than the one I've located 2 hours away.

R code, basically you're saying that I could just get a regular 9" from say a truck and have the housing narrowed, then buying the axles and installing the gear I'm going to use and also the posi unit (if it doesn't have it already) and it would be less than getting the versailles rear? (remember it should bolt right in to my car and I would only need to buy the gear and posi unit and not have to worry about narrowing the housing and getting different axles) The places that I've been checking going this route it works out to be the same or more than just getting the versailles rear. I might have to double check getting the regular 9" axle option.

AFA the disc brake issue, yes I know the stuff for the lincoln is pricey but like I've posted earlier in the original post I have a source that can provide me with the parts for a very good price so that's not a concern for me if I wish to use the rear discs.
 

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On 2002-04-06 20:17, Cman wrote:
R code, basically you're saying that I could just get a regular 9" from say a truck and have the housing narrowed, then buying the axles and installing the gear I'm going to use and also the posi unit (if it doesn't have it already) and it would be less than getting the versailles rear? (remember it should bolt right in to my car and I would only need to buy the gear and posi unit and not have to worry about narrowing the housing and getting different axles)
Uh, no. What I said was that since you aren't interested in the brakes, you are paying a premium for the rear. You could get something close (like a later Mustang rear) pretty cheap and have it narrowed. I wouldn't suggest new axles, just have the axles from the rear you buy shortened. I still think that posi's in Versailles are rarer than hen's teeth. That $500 is steep for essentially a housing and axles. You could buy a 9" for what, 75, have the housing narrowed for 90 and the axles shortened for 90 and be at half the Versailles deal. On the other hand if you want the disks and your bud can get the stuff cheap you might be about even or slighty ahead of this deal with a disk conversion thrown on top. Your call. One guy's humble opinion, but I think the Versailles rears are overpriced.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for clearing it up R code. I'll look into what you suggested and see how it works out cost wise. I take it you know I'm working with canadian funds here and regular 9" assy. from a truck for example go for around 150-200 can here so with doing what you suggest it may work out to be the same or a little less than what I would pay for the versailles rear, and i wouldn't have the discs to go with it.
 

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I would not recommend the Lincoln rear disks. They are a early, primitive setup that is HEAVY. Replacement parts are also expensive. As for the axles, they are lincoln exclusives. You'll be stuck with the stock 28 spline units unless you want to pay some serious cash for some custom units.

Once you got everything rebuilt, you'd be dollars ahead to install a lightweight set of aftermarket rear disks on a standard housing. The aftermarket route is around $400-$500 now.

The 57-59 ford rear housing is a bolt-in 9" replacement for the 65-66 mustang, and should be for the granada as well. Just be aware that they are fairly weak... especially the spring perches. The perches WILL need boxed, or hard use (even on street tires), will bend them over. Ask me how I know.


I eventually spend a little money on an aftermarket housing. The center section is a later model unit, with heavier 3" tubes.

Both the 57-59 ford unit, and the aftermarket have 3" not tapered axle tubes. You'll need to come up with 3" ID U-bolts, and drill new holes in the mounting plates for those bolts.

Good Luck!
 

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how strong of a rearend do you need? would an 8" be too weak? I dont know about where you live, but in my area, its not hard to find a Granada with an 8" rear. I guess you have that 7.5" with the plate that unbolts in the back. those are pretty common as well. If you get and 8" from a granada it should bolt right in ofcourse and with a good brake job on the front and back with good quality pads/shoes, and power brakes, it should stop great. I managed to locate a 9" from a granda with drum brakes on ebay. I live in california and it had to be shipped from New York. The total with shipping was $200 no center section. The versaille rearend is a waste of time, especially since replacement parts are getting harder to get and are expensive. disc brake swaps will come out to the same or cheaper initially and cost a lot less in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I got a call from the boneyard today, the guy has the axle for me. I asked him to give me the codes off the tag if it is there and this is what he gave me over the phone. Keep in mind that the tag was rusty and he may have incorrectly read the #'s. Here they are:

WBXD YCE 2 "is on the top line"
2 509 402A "is on the bottom line"

I know this is a 9" and has a 2:50 gear in it non-limited slip but checking the rest of the #'s online at various websites that list axle codes I couldn't find what a WBXD axle is supposed to fit.

The guy says that everything is there with the axle assy. (calipers, rotors etc.) so I take it it is from a versailles car. Can anyone decode the #'s given so I have an idea exactly what they mean? TIA.
 
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