Not long ago, well, OK, maybe it was long ago, finding a rear axle for your hot rod project involved a pickup truck, a tape measure, and a trip to your favorite junkyard. Of course, just the fact that we refer to the location as a junkyard tells you it was a long time ago, as today we have either salvage yards or automotive recyclers. I still prefer junkyards and all the associated mystique that goes with the term.

But that was then, and this is now, and like most aspects of street rodding, we have graduated to better things than a rear axlehousing with unknown miles and wear, to a brand-new housing filled with the perfect gear ratio, big axles, better bearings, and flanges designed for modern brakes. The new housings are just better in every way, but there are still sizeable amounts of street rodders who view the third member in the driveline as a mystery piece. For that reason we thought it would be interesting to follow along at Currie Enterprises and see just what goes into the building of a brand-new unit.

There are plenty of options available and the professionals at Currie Enterprises will walk you through the benefits of everything from limited-slip differentials to the proper axle size, brake flanges, and available mounting brackets.

While we will be focusing mostly on the internals, don’t discount the cosmetic advantages of a new housing. Just think, no messy disassembly, no old brackets to cut off, no rusty, pitted housing to prepare for paint, and the best part, no surprise noises emanating from the third member. Even the Currie housing is a smooth shape that looks perfect under any hot rod. But before you get ready to paint that Currie rearend, let’s take a close look inside and see just what it takes to assemble a brand-new custom rearend.