Who would have thought an axle assembly created by an original equipment manufacturer more than 60 years ago would be held up as the gold standard rearend assembly for big-power projects of all makes and models? There are a handful of reasons as to why the Ford 9-inch axle is widely known as the most popular rearend assembly ever produced. What differentiates this brute axle assembly from its domestic competition is the ease of maintenance.
More specifically, its design allows racers alike to change gear ratios on the fly — easily and conveniently — without having to tear down the entire assembly. Naturally, a component designed more than half a decade ago allowed the aftermarket some time to fully catch up. One such company isStrange Engineering, which continues to raise the bar of the 9-inch’s original architecture by designing its own, robust version of this resilient rearend.
In designing this unit, we were able to take some liberties and make it much stronger than a stock piece. — Will Mateo, Strange Engineering
Not only has the company completely reengineered the 9-inch assembly to complement today’’s power standards; it has also been redesigned for many of today’s popular GM and Mopar applications, no longer leaving all of the fun to the Ford fans.
Whether enthusiasts are looking to drag race their muscle cars, drive them on the street or anything in between, Strange has a 9-inch rearend assembly for virtually every application available. In the video above, host Steve Magnante moderates the topic of these monster rearends with Strange’s Will Mateo and J.C. Cascio.
If you’re looking for more of a hands-on approach to Strange’s 9-inch applications, check out some of our previous articles where we install a handful of them on our previous project cars.
If you are like us, you’re probably a budget-conscious enthusiast too. Thankfully, Strange has an ideal solution for us in the form of its entry level housing which is fabricated from mild steel.
“Our mild steel housing is a wide-web design which gives it some additional rigidity,” Will Mateo said. “In designing this unit, we were able to take some liberties and make it much stronger than a stock piece.”
Note-worthy mentions include the integration of internal gussets, which provides additional strength over an OEM 9-inch application. Moreover, the rear cover of the center section has been extended to provide additional clearance for the center section. If you’re looking to save some extra coin up front, Strange will sell it in lieu of a complete rearend housing.
If you’re looking to complete your 9-inch rearend swap in one go, opt for a 9-inch specific differential and matching axles for a complete drop-in job.
Topping the list of Strange’s rugged 9-inch rearends is the Ultra Fab Housing. As J.C. explains, this particular system is for the toughest of the tough in drag racing applications.
“The Ultra Fab Housing is made from 1/8-inch material and uses a giant, 3/8-inch faceplate,” J.C. explained. “The triangulated design, the internal gussets and the channels for the tubes all contributes to making a rigid housing for less deflection.”
The result, as J.C. said, is truer, more consistent performance every time.
Of course these two rearend assemblies aren’t the only packages or components that the company offers, with plenty of additional 9-inch housings in-between. If you’re looking to really complete your street, strip, or autocross application, Strange Engineering also offers a plethora of braking and suspension components that we haven’t touched on here. Have a look at the company’s website here and get a better idea for yourself, if you wish.