Rear end assembly

The rear end is finally back from the shop. It has had a new set of gears installed and a traction lock for ruining both tires at once, not just one at a time. Now it’s time to put the lines and brakes together to get it ready to mount.

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The first job was to identify what I actually have. I know the car was not originally a V8, so the 5 bolt rear end came from something else. My best clue is trying to decipher the part numbers on the side of the brake backing plates.

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Not an easy task, but with the right google-fu, I found a post from Chockostang about what part numbers came on what from the vintage-mustang forum. From assembling  the two numbers together, assuming the last digit is the only difference, I get the part numbers Dan mentions:

Bendix Plates 69 and newer for 1 3/4″

319480
319481

That sure looks like what I have then. 1.75″ wide brake shoes from a 69+ mustang. That helps. The next issue I notice is that the L and the R are on the wrong side. The emergency brake cable access hole is facing rear, not forward. Not a pleasant discovery.

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It was easy enough to deal with. Unscrewing the 4 retaining nuts on each side let the axle slide out and the backing plate easily followed. It went back together just as easy. I hope everything else with this rear end is put together correctly.

In order to try to avoid waiting for parts multiple times, I reached out to Chockostang. I ordered the rebuild kit and was told that would not include the ebrake lever or bar, so I ordered those at the same time. What I didn’t realize was there were still a few minor parts that anyone rebuilding would still have, but I don’t with a total replacement job. After the first wave of parts arrived, I realized I didn’t have the cylinder mounting hardware, the cylindar pins, or the rectangular brake bar spring.

I hate being idle and waiting, so I went to the local hardware store and picked up a few bolts to hold things down while I go. The plan was to replace them with the correct bolts with star washers once they come in. They are easily accessible.

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The bolts are just a 5/15-18 x 1/2″. I also got a set of washers that fit perfect. This let me attach the brake lines and get everything sealed on that front up to the flexible hose that will attach to the hard line on the body, once the rear end is in.

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I still need to get some rubber hose to come off the vent nipple. Which reminds me I also need to get a short piece of hose for the fuel hard line to attach to the tank.

Before I started putting things together in earnest, I did some research and found a good video on CJ Pony Parts showing how to rebuild front and rear drums. It’s from a 65-66 but it looks to be accurate on the rear, which is what counts for me.

Mustang Drum Brake Rebuild Kit V8 1964-1966 Installation

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Another thing to do while waiting was to attach the (correct sided) emergency brake lever to the proper shoe. Take note that the shoe pairs look very similar, but one has a longer surface plate. I hope it’s right, but research indicates the longer shoe goes on the back with the ebrake lever. It’s kind of annoying to attach due to the spring washer. I ended up using vice grips with a few extra washers over the clip and spring-washer. I was then able to hammer the clip in with a small hammer and make shift wedge (aka a long bolt).

To be ready when wave 2 of parts arrive, I picked up some brake spring tools from Harbor Freight. I don’t usually buy tools there for quality reasons, but these are simple enough that I expect they wont provide issues with at least one job. The price is right.

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Once wave 2 of parts arrived, everything went together pretty easy with the information from the video and the correct tools. Connecting the lower spring, then swinging the front shoe up was a good tip from the video, and made things a snap.

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Drums are still loose, but with the rear gears still dry, and everything new, it’s tight and will only turn from the yoke.  I will have to do the initial adjusting when I get to the bleeding stage. One of the drums has a piece of metal stuck to it. I am not sure what this is, and it looks like it doesn’t belong. I am going to have to ask the experts. I will probably end up rattle can painting these black also. Fend off some rust for a bit anyhow.

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With the rest of the parts, I had the correct mounting hardware for the cylinders. These have a start washer to help them lock down a bit better. A few bucks for piece of mind. Definitely not because I think anyone is going to judge the car based on stock equipment.

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After everything is ready on the rear end itself, I started prepping the car for mounting. I mounted the top of the shocks and dropped the rear shackle from the leafs. The plan is to roll the jack in with the rear end on it, jack it up slightly above the final resting spot, and bolt the springs on.  I can then drop it in place and bolt everything together. Spoiler alert, everything went smooth.

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Here it is between re-attaching the springs and bolting on the mounting plates. It was precariously balanced, so I had some help. With the yoke side heavy, it wanted to roll forward, so special attention had to be paid on where the jack sat exactly. Plus someone holding on to one end all the time while moving.

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Everything went together pretty quick and easy by the time we were ready to mount it. It just took a bit of teamwork and a bit of muscle to get everything lined up and in place.

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At this point, it’s nearly ready to be back on the ground and off the jack stands. Maybe just that fuel hose and axle vent hose before I make it harder on myself than it needs to be. I can’t wait to see it on wheels again.

Parts

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