Home Modifications Drivetrain (less engine) 5 Lug Axle Modification
5 Lug Axle Modification Print
Written by Butch   
Tuesday, 06 May 2008 14:16

The wheels I wanted for my car were only available in a 5 lug pattern, so I got to doing some head scratchin'. The 5 lug front rotors are readily available, so that was no problem, the back axle was a different story. I had already replaced all the brake parts in the rear axle and wanted to use them, I also wanted to be able to return it to the original 4 lug axles if I so desired. What I came up with is easy and relatively cheap. I used both axle shafts from a 75-80 Granada w/ the 8" rear and the rear drums from an 83-90 Ranger pickup. The Granada uses the same axle bearings as the II, so that made it even more simple. After careful measuring I found that all I would need is some machine work and the axle bearing retainers from a II axle (another II specific part).


Here's a couple axle comparison shots:

The hub comparison--the II axles are on the left, the Granada axles on the right.

and the length comparison--the axles with the white "X" are the Granada axles.

OK, now to the real work....

1) Turn down the axle hub that centers the drum and wheel from the Granada's 2.777 to the hub hole diameter of the Ranger drum of 2.542. For ease of drum removal, I turned the axle hub down .003 smaller than the brake drum hole or 2.539 (factory spec).


2) Turn down the axle behind the flange to 1.715, to clear the II bearing retainer.


3) Remove .300 from both axles to match the length of the II axles. Press on your new bearings (don't forget the retainers) and you're done.

Here's the 5 lug axle installed with the old 4 lug parts ready to be reinstalled, if needed. Note: This mod was done on my King Cobra and I have since sold it but I simply removed these parts and reinstalled them on my '78 cobra.

Here's a cost breakdown:
2 axle shafts from a Granada (junkyard) $20
2 Ranger brake drums (junkyard) $10
2 Mustang II bearing retainers (my junkyard) Free
2 axle bearings (new) $10 each $20
2 5 lug rotors (new) $40 each $80
Machine work (good friend of mine) Litre of Crown Royal

Total cost approx. $160

Granted, not everybody has a machinist friend, so figure a couple hrs. labor at your machinists hourly rate. Prices for parts at the junkyard can vary widely also, so shop wisely. If you choose to use junkyard drums, take your calipers with you to insure the drums aren't worn beyond spec. 2 new drums will add about another $50 to the cost.
The thing I like about this is I can return the car back to 4 lug wheels in about an hour. Plus when you replace your brakes, you can just order the brake parts for a II (except the drum of course).


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Last Updated on Saturday, 01 January 2011 11:12
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