North American Turbocoupe Organization

Rear Axle Swap
andrewjs18 Offline
Turbo Coupe Rear Axle Swap
By Jose I Castañeda, A.K.A JetAssist [email protected]

I installed a rear axle swap on my 85 Mustang GT and used the 8.8” traction-lock rear out of a '88 T-coupe A4LD. 3.73:1 is on the automatic T-coupe the five speed cars come with 3.55:1. It has been great, however you have to compromise on e-brake strength (just doesn't hold or aid stopping as well as drums). Find a whole axle and make it easy on yourself, they are cheap about $150-200 on the posts in this site or in the message board at You will only have to buy e-brake cables as well as a brake line from the pumpkin to the body. Go to a Ford dealer for this, they are the only ones who know how to help. Ask the parts guy for a pair of M-2809-A brake cables, and the axle to body brake hose for the T-Coupe by specifying ‘87-‘88 Turbo w/rear discs and ABS, everybody else is ignorant about these sort of things. If you are installing in a ‘87-93 Fox Mustang you will have to replace the M/C and do some brake tubing fabrication work. It took me quite a bit of research but I found that for a Mustang it is not so bad a swap. Ford used the same axle in 1993 for the SVT Cobra and didn't change dimensions at all though they may have changed the brake lines. (?) I had to buy a 7/16 to 3/8 brass adapter fitting to hook my body brake line to the brake hose because it was going in my Mustang. That was it. The Quad shock mounting points are different on the TurboCoupe axle but all I need to do is drill a hole two inches down on the flange and I'm good to go. I don't need the quads because I have polyurethane-bushed BBK control arms in back.

All you need to do to swap the axle is:

1. Jack up car and support body securely on stands.

2. Remove drive shaft

3. Loosen brake hose to body connection Liberal use of WD-40 is highly recommended for your
year model. There may be enough gear lube slung up there to have prevented rust lock.

4. Place jack and stands under axle and lift to normal ride height.

5. Remove upper control arm to axle bolts, lower the axle to release spring tension. Pull the
springs, (great time for a little hacksaw work to remove half a coil or a full coil or just replace
with high performance units).

6. Remove lower shock mount bolt and Quad shock or slapper bar mountings.

7. Remove lower control arm to axle bolt. and slide out the entire rear axle assembly.

8. Installation is in the reverse of removal. *1,*2,*3

Misc part numbers:

- E-brake Cable: M-2809-A
- Body to diff brake hose: E7SZ-2282-B


1. You could probably knock it out in a Saturday afternoon depending on how quickly you work.
It might go faster if you have pizza and beer for some buddies that will lend a hand.

2. On installation remember to mount the axle on the lower control arms first, then cock it
backward and mount to the upper arms. I kept scratching my head because when I would lift
the axle I couldn't get the arms to line up with the axle ears. The pinion was pointing
downward though and made the upper ears be out of alignment with the upper arms.

3. Replacement of the parking brake cable is simple enough If you have trouble removing the
retaining expansion clips, just stick a 3/8-3/4 inch hose clamp on and tighten it, pull on the
cable from the other side and it will slide right out.

Enjoy your modern brakes. One thing I would strongly suggest is to check the T-bird caliper mount pins for free movement and binding. This will cause trouble if not addressed and may overheat and warp your rotors if seized by constantly causing the caliper to place pad pressure on it. You will also feel the car's tail end shimmy from side to side if you have a warped rotor and the pins are seized. If you find this situation on your used replacement axle, do not just twist the pins thinking you will free them. Get a propane torch and heat the aluminum around it ever so gently and slowly twist the pin within the bore. (Don't crank on it because I broke two off flush with the bore about five weeks ago when I mounted cross drilled vented rotors and discovered this situation on my axle). Be gentle and allow the heat to expand the aluminum releasing the pin due to its greater heat expansion rate. You will find that it has rusted to hell in the bore but just get some brake clean and a pipe brush and wear out your arm cleaning out the grunge. Buy a new pin kit from the parts store and make sure that the caliper is fully operational before you reassemble everything. You could instead choose to buy new units from Ford at $200+ dollars each or just buy rebuilt !"Loaded"! Calipers from the parts store for about $90-100 (make sure to tell them that it is a special order item and that he will have to call his supplier for it, maybe even direct to Bendix or Wagner. I've done this also...

Good Luck,


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