How to Convert Late Ford Banjo Rear End to Spring Over Axle

Posted: October 27, 2015 By: MattM

When you’re building old cars you sometimes have to work with “what you’ve got”, especially when you’re on a tight budget. If you’re building a hot rod using period correct parts you may need to mix and match parts to get something that works for your particular vehicle.

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I scored this original 1941 Ford Banjo rear end at a farm auction for pennies on the dollar and it was complete with torque tube and all. I wanted an axle of this age because it came factory equipped with hydraulic brakes and saves me some time and money over piecing all of the brake parts together from multiple axles. This axle works well if you’re building a high-boy (body sits directly on top of the chassis), but since I’m channeling the car, I would have to cut out a large section of the wheel well to make room for the spring and spring hanger as well as in the center of the well for the axle tube.

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Photo Oct 21, 11 28 36 AM

I decided to move the spring up on top of the axle with new spring hangers. A few of the street rod vendors sell universal spring hanger tabs, but I wanted something a little more “factory” looking. I decided to locate some outer rear end bells from a factory Ford Model A banjo rear with the spring over the rear.

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The area I wanted was the spring hanger and the top two mounting tabs for the drum backing plates. I used the Eastwood Versa Cut 60 to blast right through the axle and cut off the area I needed to use. I will say this was one of those instances where I was impressed with the power the Versa Cut 60 has over the 40, it cut like a hot knife through butter!

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With my new spring hangers rough cut, I used a flap disc on the grinder and smoothed out the cut and removed some additional metal so the hangers would sit right over top of my existing axle tubes and the tabs lined up with the same tabs on the ’41 axle. This makes squaring and lining up the tabs a cinch since we can use the existing tabs as a fixture!

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tigfinger

Photo Oct 22, 12 48 34 PM

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I bolted the two sets of tabs together on each side left a small gap so I could run a root and cap pass over the joint to assure I had proper penetration. I used the TIG 200 AC/DC to weld the tabs together on each side.

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Photo Oct 27, 8 44 14 AM

cartest

With both sides welded I was able to remount the new Posies Super Slide spring and continue on with channeling the body over the chassis and setting the height of the rear. Stay tuned for more articles as I build a simple, traditional hot rod using Eastwood products!

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9 thoughts on How to Convert Late Ford Banjo Rear End to Spring Over Axle

  • Are you using a stock model a spring here? How does the perch width compare between the stock model a and now the later rear with the model a perch added.
    Thanks

  • Was this axle out of a car or truck? I have a 41 Tudor Sedan and want to convert to a open driveline and noticed there are 2 different spline counts, 6 and 10 and am trying to gather parts before I start. I am looking at the Speedway kit which lists 35-48 axles as with a 6 or 10 spline count and I see yours is a 6 spline rear. I am going to go with parallel leaf springs in rear. And hope I can find a S 10 4 cylinder 5 speed. I am keeping flat head.

  • Car originally I believe.. I got it at a farm auction as seen in the first pic. Hard to say for sure! Those S10 5 speeds are nice hooked to a flatty and look pretty “original” once all buttoned up in the car. Thanks for reading!

  • I’m actually using a super slide spring from Posies to fit this axle originally. I think this rear is a hair longer than a factory Model A rear so it may be tough to stretch the original A spring to fit the wider perch mounting locations. This rear is a tiny bit wider but not as wide as the later 42-48 rears that look “too wide” when installed on an A. The spring perches are barely seen with the body channeled over the frame.

  • Nice article with good pictures. Thanks for sharing. I personally stay away from cars without modern safety eqpt like bumpers, seat head rests, colapsable steering columns but enjoy looking at them & respect the work. Years ago I lost a very dear friend that was driving home from a car show in his awsome 36 Ford coupe. A speeding 19 yr old crossed over the center line in a Toyota Corrola and killed my friend. Please consider making that hotrod safe!

  • Well all that welding is not necessary we took that same axle turned the housing 180 degrees and bolted them back on backets up perfectly

  • Sad comment but inappropriate. Your friend was killed in a traffic accident. Toyota’s driver error not by a 36 ford. Still has zero to do with relocating springs.

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