It’s 2020, so we’re not even going to start this article with a “10 bolt vs. anything” argument because, well, we all know the 10-bolt is bad, and we all know that you’re going to replace it sooner rather than later if you haven’t already. So, with that out of the way, it’s still kinda’-sorta’ confusing to order a new rear end – even here in 2020 – and there are a lot of options you have to sort through. You could “build” a 10-bolt, but please don’t. Other options include a junkyard 8.8 and some welding, a stout 12-bolt build, or you can jump into a 9-inch.
The 8.8 is cool, and guys like Bruce Hawkins have worked hard to prove they are a viable option for the sub-1,000 horsepower gang. Everyone knows a 12-bolt is a great option, especially in more traditional muscle car applications sans torque arm, but they do have a reputation for getting a bit whiny if you like to launch hard with a stick-shift and a bunch of power. And guess what we’re planning to do with Project SALT’s 1,200 horsepower? Yeah…
Big power requires significant strength, and the Moser 9-inch spec’d here includes all of the fortifications you would expect. After some quick conversations with Shane St. Meyers, Sales and Tech at Moser Engineering, the team settled on an F-Body Bolt-In 9-inch housing with a heavy-duty back brace, 35-spline axles with the Big Ford bearings, beefy ⅝-inch studs, and a nodular case, spool, and a 3.25 gear set. The team also added a set of slick four-piston drag brakes to the rear, set everything up to run in our F-Body, and added a set of sway bar mounts, the torque arm mount, and spring perches for our specific application. Last but not least (well, not technically last, but it makes the story better, deal with it) the crew at Moser powder-coated the assembly, crated it up, and shipped it over to Vengeance Racing for the install.
These days it really is that easy to spec one of these out for your project. Moser’s even got a new webstore so you can browse, spec, and buy directly from the source. There are a ton of options to choose from, so you can easily spend some of your time “working from home” working on that…and what better way to spend a COVID-19 lockdown than to install this bad-boy?
Let’s start with the good stuff right up front. Here’s the monster Moser 9-inch for SALT in all of its powder-coated and assembled glory. The best part? You bolt it in, fill it up, and pretty much never concern yourself with it again. You just know it’s going to work and hold up to the power run after run, and you know it’s set up correctly right out of the crate. Ah, so simple.
What’s not so simple is what it takes to build a 9-inch like this, and luckily for us all, Moser was kind enough to snag us some behind-the-scenes photos of this unit going together. Our build started here, with an F-Body Bolt-In 9-inch Housing and HD back brace.
All Moser 9-inch Ford housings are made with new Heavy-Duty housing cores, seamless steel tubing (3″ O.D., 1/4″ wall), new brackets, new housing ends, and new bushings. When you order from Moser, you’re not getting the shell from an old rusty Ford 9-inch found in the junkyard — you’re getting brand new, high-quality materials explicitly built for your application.
Moser offers the 9-inch kit for a variety of applications and for our build – and for any late-model F-Body build – one of the critical steps is welding up all of the mounting points. If you take a look at the pile of 10-bolts behind your buddy’s shed, you’ll note that they all have mounting locations for the sway bar, the lower control arms, springs, and the Panhard bar. Moser can and does include all of those on its 9-inch for an easy plug-and-play conversion.
SALT is running a GM F-Body Rear Weight Jack Kit from UMI Performance. Ramey from UMI worked with Shane at Moser to make sure we would have enough room so that the “jack bolt can go down through the spring perch on the axle pad…” which was way better to work out upfront than to figure out during the installation.
Don’t ‘stare at the welds while he is welding,’ they said…
Little movie magic here, and we’re back with a powder-coated housing. If you like options, Moser has got you covered here with the ability to go flat black, semi-gloss black, or gloss black, gloss red, silver, orange, Moser Red (this is a cool color, you should do it), and gloss silver, speedway black, or even silver sparkle. We’re basic and went with gloss black.
Time for the center section. But first, let’s do some quick math. We’re going to run 200 mph with this car. That’s not a question. It’s a requirement. Spinning the motor to a safe 7500 rpm in a 1:1 transmission gear (that’s fourth gear to you, mister) with 28-inch tall tires and no-slip, we’d need roughly a 3.12 rear gear to hit exactly 200 mph. Moser’s lowest available gear for our application was a 3.25 ring and pinion combination. So, we’ll compromise and spin this bad boy to 8,000 rpm out the back, which will take us from 192 mph (calculated with a 3.25 and 7500 rpm) up to 205 mph. Add in wind, fear, and a whole host of other factors, we’re going two-hundo, baby. Well, hopefully.
Moser’s center section/third member choices are as numerous as its housing choices. The team selected this stout nodular performance case complete with a 35-spline steel spool, a 1350 series pinion yoke, and an aluminum pinion support. Like the housings, the Moser center section’s case, pinion supports, pinion yokes, and spools are designed, manufactured, and assembled right here in the United States. Yes.
With the center section installed, it was time to slide the 35-spline axles in position and grab the jigs for mounting the rear brake setup. Check out those monster ⅝- x 3-inch studs and try to imagine the horror of seeing a rear-wheel come rolling past your peripheral vision at 200 mph. Yeah, we’re all about the larger studs for added strength and peace of mind.
Now it’s time for the super nice two-piece keyed, slotted and drilled rotors to be installed. These two-piece rotors combine with a hat that utilizes a spiral retaining ring to allow for increased radial growth in high-temperature cycles to reduce sticking, warping, and beveling under heavy braking. This probably helps for burnouts, too, and we will report back. Also, and maybe more importantly, we have the Moser logo axle cover installed now, which looks awesome.
Getting close now! According to Moser, the four-piston calipers are made from 6061-T6 billet aluminum and are anodized to prolong wear and prevent corrosion. A dual-pin is used for pad retention, and O-rings eliminate pad chatter. Included in the design are stainless steel pistons and PTFE-coated one-piece bleeder screws with dual crossover rotor design allowing 25-percent more pad contact area and allowing for a 20-percent thicker pad than the competition.
Ready To Rock
And just like that, we’re ready for battle. Well, we’ve got some work to do, but Moser crated this monster up, sent it over to Vengeance, and the crew got to work on the installation. More on that very soon. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a similar setup, or even something radically different, you know who to call. And we all know you’re going to use that stimulus money to stimulate American businesses. Right?!