8-Inch Ford Rear End Torque Specifications

by Robert Bayly

The 8-inch Ford rear axle was used from the early 1960s to 1980 in small and mid-size passenger cars with six- and small-block V-8 engines. The 8-inch rear axle looks very much like the popular Ford 9-inch rear axle. Both axles use a third member that contains the differential, which is made up of the ring and pinion gear, spider gears and various bearings. The third member fits in a banjo-type axle housing that does not have a rear cover.

Bearing Cap Bolts

The bearing cap bolts attach to the back of the third-member – also called a carrier – housing. They hold in the bearings that support the differential case. The torque for these bolts is between 70 and 85 foot-pounds.

Bearing Adjusting Lock Nut Bolt

These bolts lock down the adjusting nut for the differential case bearings. The torque for these bolts is between 12 and 25 foot-pounds.

Carrier Housing Stud Nuts

The axle housing has 10 studs in it that the third member fits on. The nuts hold the third member onto the axle housing. The torque for these is between 25 and 40 foot-pounds.

Pinion Retainer-to-Carrier Bolts

The pinion retainer fits over the pinion gear and attaches to the front of the third member. These bolts hold the retainer onto the third member. The torque for these bolts is between 30 and 45 foot-pounds.

Ring Gear Attaching Bolts

These bolts attach the ring gear to the differential case. The torque for these bolts is between 70 and 85 foot-pounds.

Minimum Torque to Tighten Pinion Nut for Pinion Bearing Preload

A certain pressure -- or preload -- on the pinion bearing and spacer must be established. This is done by tightening the pinion nut to a minimum torque value, then attempting to turn the pinion nut and reading the amount of torque needed to turn it through several revolutions. If the minimum torque needed to rotate the pinion nut is not established by the minimum nut torque, the nut must be tightened further, in small increments, until the proper torque value is established. The minimum torque is 170 foot-pounds. If the preload exceeds the specification at minimum torque, a new spacer must be installed on the pinion gear.

Pinion Bearing Preload

A spacer fits on the end of the pinion gear. There are two types of spacers, collapsible, and solid. The spacers can be reused, but the collapsible spacer has different values for new and used. The torque for a new collapsible spacer is between 17 and 27 inch-pounds. The torque for used collapsible spacer is between 8 and 14 inch-pounds. The torque for a solid spacer is between 13 and 33 inch-pounds. Note that these measurements are in inch-pounds and require an inch-pound torque wrench. All preload values are with a new oil seal installed in the pinion retainer.

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