9 INCH WAREHOUSE 8.8 Ford - GM 10 / 12 Bolt Solution to Leaking C-clip Eliminator Kits.

The following article outlines a process that we offer our customers here at 9 Inch Warehouse for a solution to a common problem on C-clip style rear ends.  Contact us for more information - dsrc1320@yahoo.com or 417-655-4518.

Often times car enthusiasts find the need to narrow or remove the "C" clip axle retention feature of the Ford 8.8 and GM 10/12 bolt rear ends.  There are after market "C" clip eliminator kits on the market that provide a quick easy way to eliminate the "C" clip but have one glaring problem in that they are very prone to leak.

Here at 9 Inch Warehouse we choose to go one step further and provide what we feel is a better alternative to the "C" clip eliminator.  For our example we are using an 8.8 Ford rear end from a early 90's Fox Body Mustang. The procedure for doing a GM rear end  is the same.

Here is a C-clip style 8.8 Ford rear end as we received it for both a 1" narrow plus the addition of late model Ford 9" housing ends (instead of using a C-clip eliminator clip which often times leaks and prematurely wears out the axle bearing.


To begin this project start by removing the rear cover to expose ring gear carrier.

To avoid mixing up carrier bearing caps it is a good idea to mark each cap with some sort of identifier. We use a center punch to put a small dimple on one cap and it's side of the case as well as two dimples on the opposite cap and case


Locate the center pin retention bolt and remove. Take care to use a six point socket due to the fact that the small head is very easy to round off.

Remove the bolt and the center pin should now slide out easily.


Some times the pin may be worn and require the gentle tap of a hammer and punch and some times the pin can be quite worn and require much more extreme methods of removal.

Using a small magnet, or some long nose pliers remove the "C" clip from the end of each axle. It will be necessary to push each axle in towards the center to release the clip.


Once the "C" clip is removed the axle will be easily removed from the housing.

Our next step is to remove the outside quad shock bracket to allow us to narrow the rear housing as well as provide more inside tire clearance.


We start this procedure by taking a hand held cut off saw and cutting through the factory welds.WeI then take a hammer and chisel and start to knock off the bracket.

Once you get the chisel started in between the bracket and housing it should start to peel of rather easily. Usually a two pound hammer can make fairly quick work out of this removal process.


Use a rock grinder and then a lighter weight sanding disc to remove all of the remaining quad bracket and weld.

We use a small cut off band saw to remove housing ends. Take care to level and square the housing with a saw.


Using a housing centering plate and a tape measure carefully measure where you want to make your cut. Measure twice, cut once. Cut it too short and you will have an unhappy customer or a housing too narrow for your use.

Once you're sure about your dimension of what you want to cut off and your axle housing is level and square, start your cut.


With the housing alignment bar in place the one side of this housing was bent quite a bit and was going to require some straightening before the new housing ends could be welded on.

Here is another angle that shows how badly the rear is bent.


Here is yet another angle that shows how badly the rear is bent once the new end is positioned on the alignment fixture.


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After straightening the rear end housing the next step show below is to precision weld the axle tube to the center casting 360 degrees around.



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The Tig Weld process that joins the center casting to the steel axle housing tube is critical to increasing the strength of the assembly by not allowing the tube to rotate or break loose in the cast iron center portion.  This weld also insures that no gear oil will leak out around the tube as the stock housing is only plug welded with a press fit.  Do not use a Mig welder for this step and be sure to pre heat and post heat the casting to eliminate potential cracking of the cast iron nodules.  Choice of welding rod is also critical and should be done by a professional.

Above is a photo of the axle housing tube completely welded to the cast iron center section.


Next we grind a heavy chamfer at the end of the axle tube where the new 9 Inch Ford style housing end will be connected using a high penetration Tig Weld.

Once the weld prep is ground it is time to finally fixture the housing and start the Tig welding process.


Here we have the alignment bar in place, the new housing end is clamped to the end fixture. 

This is how the new housing end should look when it is butted up to the tube.


Using our digital protractor we rotate the housing end to 90 degrees from the back of the housing to ensure the ends are level.

The above photo shows the new Ford 9 Inch style housing end welded to the 8.8 Ford axle tube.  You are now ready to order your new axle shafts designed to fit your retrofitted rear end housing.





For more information please contact us by email or telephone.




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