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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!