In the past, we have talked about shortening old axles and housings, but did you know that you could avoid all of this and just bolt one in from Currie Enterprises? Currie Enterprises is known for their nearly indestructible housings, which are designed to withstand the toughest abuse–from Baja racing to cruising the boulevard.
Currie has been in business since 1959 and started off in a garage, as most successful automotive businesses do. They are known in the automotive industry for building some of the strongest rear-ends for any genre of car restoration. Today, Currie Enterprises resides in its new location in Corona, California, and while the company has grown in size, the product line has done so tenfold. Currie Enterprises now has nearly 50 employees and boasts a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The Currie team designs, builds, modifies, tests, sells, and installs rear-end and drive-train products; all under one roof.
For our tech article, we will be taking a look at Currie's bolt-in Impala rear end. The housing features the 9-Plus notch back heavy-duty housing and 31-spline performance axle package, built to the stock overall width and pinion offset specs of the vehicle. The housing includes large bearing housing ends with the stock 5 on 4 ¾-inch wheel bolt pattern drilled in them, wheel studs installed, ¼-inch thick heavy duty bearing retainer plates, and tapered, pressed on Timken style wheel bearings. This unit will allow for the use of any ABCS brake kit, including the 11-inch drum brakes, 11-inch Ford Explorer disc brakes, or Wilwood disc brakes.
Follow along, as we show you how Currie Enterprise assembles their bolt-on Impala housing.
1. Currie built from A-Z.
2. This rear end was ready to be bolted together.
3. The housing was measured and tack welded together.
4. Before the housing was welded together, it was degreased to get rid of any unwanted solvents that could cause a bad weld.
5. The housings seams were ready to be welded completely.
6. The first part of welding the housing was done in sections, to allow the metal to cool off without warping.
7. The factory rear end brackets were removed from a donor housing.
8. The shock mounts were trimmed off.
9. The ends of the housing were welded together.
10. Using a degree finder, the angle of the factory mounting brackets were found.
11. The bracket was positioned before it was tack welded.
12. Since we are adding disc brakes to the housing, the shock brackets were relocated for the products that are offered by Currie.
13. The upper trailing arm bracket also holds the pan securely.
14. The ends of the shock brackets were reinforced, as they received support with a piece of steel that will also dress the housing.
15. With everything tack welded, Roman welded the mounting brackets to the axle housing.
16. Here is a look at the welds that were completed onto the housing.
17. The shock brackets were built up with welds, which will be ground down.
18. As you can see, once the welds are ground down, they give the shock brackets a one-piece look.
19. Roman finished welding any areas that needed to be welded.
20. With the housing all welded together, it was ready to receive the seal of approval; the Currie signature.
21. Once the housing had cooled off, it was straightened.
22. The housing was washed and cleaned up so it could be properly assembled.
23. The Currie axles were shortened to length for rear skirt assembly.
24. The highway gearing was ready to be assembled.
25. The gears are crucial to be precise as everything is torqued down.
26. Ruben wrapped up the gears.
27. The gear was ready to be installed.
28. The housing was going to receive a breather and needed to be drilled out.
29. 1/8 pipe thread was used for the breather.
30. To make sure that the rear end didn't leak, it received a touch of silicone.
31. The assembled gears were attached to the housing.
32. After torqueing down the gears, we were ready for the axles.
33. The locking posi gears were lined up.
34. The axles and bearings were prepared to be installed.
35. We opted to modernize the stopping power, so we used disc brakes. This Currie kit came with a internal emergency brake.
36. To allow the axle bearings to slide on, they were greased up.
37. Gonzalo bolted down the disc brake kit.
38. This rear end was coming together as the rotors were bolted on.
39. The calipers were added to the housing.
40. Tightening the calipers was the last thing done to the housing.
41. As you can see, this Currie housing was ready to ship out so we could bolt it up to our Impala.
Tech Tip of the Month
Hot Rod & Classic
20W-50 Motor Oil
In this issue of the Lowrider Garage "Tip of the month" series, we discuss the facts about Lucas' 20W-50 motor oil. The Lucas Hot Rod & Classic Car Motor Oil SAE 20W-50 is ideal for older vehicles like our classic lowriders. Lucas Oil products are manufactured with the highest quality paraffinic base oils that are fortified with a unique additive package containing high levels of zinc, molybdenum and phosphorus, which provide a tougher, thicker additive film for maximum protection even under the most severe conditions. Their product lowers oil temperatures, extends oil life and minimizes metal fatigue. It improves the film strength between the cylinder wall and piston rings, it also slows oil burning and improves pressure in worn engines. It contains good cold temperature properties and stands up to high operating temperatures. It is compatible with methanol and all racing fuels, as well as with synthetic and non-synthetic oils.
Lucas Hot Rod & Classic Car Motor Oil SAE 20W-50 is for muscle, showroom, classic and trophy cars without catalytic converters. It can be used in racing applications too.
To learn more about this and other Lucas Oil Products log onto: www.lucasoil.com