An impact wrench, eight nuts, and four U-bolts later and the housing was on the shop floor. A trip to Flintstone Media Blasting took care of the outside of the housing and we gave the inside of the housing a thorough cleaning to be certain all traces of metal were gone. Satisfied with the cleanliness of the housing we applied a coat of primer and a couple of coats of Eastwood 2K Aero-Spray Chassis Black paint. The two-part paint mixes right in the spray can and provides an extremely durable finish in the perfect semi-gloss black.
By this time the parts had arrived from Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts and the big brown truck had delivered the new 9-inch centersection. Assembly of the third member is all pretty straight forward stuff, with the only technical thing being removing the old axle bearings and pressing on the new ones. This was handled in-house with a press but can also be handled by most local repair shops, if you don't have access to a press.
With the rearend housing assembled and filled with AMSOIL INC. gear lube, we couldn't help but think about how to improve the suspension on the car, stock mid-1950s cars are not exactly state-of-the-art handling cars. To that end we did some research and found that an Addco sway bar was available for the 1957 Ford and of course the good folks at QA1 can make a shock absorber for virtually any car. We opted for a set of QA1 adjustable shocks to complete our rear suspension upgrade. A sway bar and shocks would help, but we figured those 55-year-old springs should go too and so a call was placed to Posies for a set of their Super Slide parallel leaf springs designed to lower the car 3 inches from stock. By combining these parts we will have a completely new and improved rear suspension, brakes, and gears. That's a long way from changing the gear lube.
12. By now we had gone beyond a simple repair and decided it was time to lower the car and to that end a pair of Posies Super Slide leaf springs were purchased. The springs lower the car 3 inches, and we treated them to Eastwood paint prior to installation.
13. We purchased new axle bearings from Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts and after cleaning and lightly greasing the axle we slipped the retainer plate on the axle.
14. We pressed the new axle bearing in place with our home shop press and an OTC bearing splitter sourced through Summit Racing.
15. You'll need a quality seal installation tool to install the inner axle seals. This complete set is from Graham Tools, while we sourced the seals from Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts.
16. Seal installation is simple, carefully square the seal in the tube, then use the appropriate seal installation tool and a hammer to tap it in place, as seen here. We wiped the lip of the inner seal with a bit of grease prior to installation.
17. With the seals installed and the backing plates bolted on we put the housing on jackstands for installation of the centersection.
18. This is our brand-new centersection from the John's Industries (The 9-Inch Factory); it comes complete with the gasket. A light smear of silicone gasket sealer was applied to either side of the gasket.
19. Drop the centersection in place over the studs in the housing and use the proper locking nuts to secure the centersection to the housing. Tighten the bolts in a cross pattern to help torque it down evenly.
20. Next the axles are slipped into the tube and the retainer is bolted in place to hold the axle in the housing. There is a paper gasket between the retainer and the backing plate.
21. Next up was installing the Posies Super Slide springs. We hung the front of the spring from the single bolt and let the spring hang down so we could roll the rearend housing over the springs.
22. After attaching the springs to the rear shackles the U-bolts hold the Posies springs to the housing. We used the original rubber insulators on either side of the Super Slide springs.
23. Since the leaking seals completely greased down our brake shoes we ordered all-new brake parts from Dennis Carpenter Reproductions and installed them the original backing plates.
24. Before lowering the car when the wagon went into a turn we had a slight body rub on the rear tires. Since the '57 Ford had no rear sway bar we ordered up an Addco sway bar for our car. It completely cured the body roll problem.
25. Two holes must be drilled in the bottom of the framerail for the sway bar droplink; everything else is strictly a bolt-on operation. On the station wagon frame the two holes for the associated internal U-bolt are drilled very close to the outside edge of the framerail.