Reider sent us every bearing, crush sleeve, and shim along with a 3.55:1 ring-and-pinion and a Torsen T-2R differential, which we chose on Schwynoch's recommendation. We brought the housing and box full of Reider parts to HP Performance in Jacksonville, Florida, where the highly capable Sean Story was assigned the task of rebuilding the empty housing.
After a three-hour journey across the Sunshine State, we were made aware of the fact that the axlehousing differential caps were missing. The caps are cast with the housing so you have to use the ones that came with it. Even switching them from side to side can ruin perfectly good bearings and the ring-and-pinion set.
A call was made to Stolen Goods' previous owner, but the caps were MIA. Luckily, we had scheduled a couple of other stories at HP, so the day was not entirely lost.
We returned, however, the following week, as HP Performance's proprietor Tony Gonyon had called up Bob Eubanks at Rusty Acres Auto in Jacksonville to procure a suitable replacement. Eubanks, who happens to race a few Mustangs himself, went into the auto recycling business in 1973, and by 1984 he specialized in Ford/ Lincoln/Mercury products.
Shortly after Gonyon's call, the Rusty Acres delivery truck dropped off a properly aged and bone-stock 8.8 axle assembly replete with Traction-Lok and 2.73:1 ring-and-pinion ratio. Everything short of the all-important differential caps, though, was replaced with the various items from Reider Racing.
In choosing a rear differential for Stolen Goods, there were a lot of avenues to check out. With Schwynoch's bountiful road-racing knowledge and experience, we asked him what he recommended and, based on his choice, we opted for the Torsen T-2R torque-biasing differential.
"A conventional limited-slip differential uses some sort of preloaded clutch to limit the speed difference between the two axles," Schwynoch says. "A Torsen differential delivers torque from the driveshaft to the rear tires based upon how much torque each tire can take before spinning. It uses worm gears to achieve this instead of clutches, so there are no clutches to replace or preload to adjust. The behavior of the differential does not change as it ages, and the Torsen does not heat the gear oil much as there is little friction (no clutches to slip)."
Another benefit is a constant axle endplay, which results in less kickback and a more consistent brake pedal height, at least with C-clip axles. Each rear tire gets 100 percent of the maximum torque that it can deliver to the ground, and thanks to the low break-away torque, the vehicle is easy to drive in the rain.
Since we're looking to bang...
Since we're looking to bang some corners with project Stolen Goods, we sought advice from those who have extensive knowledge in this department as to which differential we should use. Our suspension supplier, Maximum Motorsports, highly recommended the Zexel Torsen T-2R torque-biasing differential based on its numerous traits that befit the corner carving type.
Here, HP's Sean Story presses...
Here, HP's Sean Story presses the new carrier bearings on the Torsen diff.
After coating the bolts with...
After coating the bolts with thread locker, the ring gear is drawn up slowly in a cross pattern.
Carrier spacers adjust carrier...
Carrier spacers adjust carrier bearing preload and backlash of the ring gear.