Building a custom car or hot rod requires a lot of planning and often builders will use non-standard parts in the vehicle to fill a need or purpose. One of the most common parts that are changed or altered is the rear differential. Changing the differential can offer many benefits to the car builder but it can also be challenging to make work properly and will often require a custom made driveshaft to connect to the transmission.
Benefits to Changing the Rear Differential
One of the biggest reasons to change the rear differential is strength and durability. Depending on the car, the rear differential that came from the factory might not be strong enough to stand up to higher horsepower engines and large tires. Changing the differential to one that will handle that power could save you money and time in the future simply by not breaking or failing. While there are a few models that are commonly used in the hot rodding community, almost any differential could be adapted to work with the right modifications.
Common Concerns When Changing The Differential
When you get into a swap of this magnitude, you need to be sure that the differential is going to fit under the car properly. Measure it several times to be sure of the dimensions before you commit to the swap. You may be getting better breaks on the new differential so be sure the brake lines in the care will stand up to the pressure of the braking system as well. The driveshaft will very likely not fit the new differential. This is one area that will be a little tougher to deal with but can be made to work with a custom driveshaft.
The driveshaft is almost never going to work with a swap like this. You will need to order a custom drive shaft from a drive shaft shop with the properly sized ends and the right style connectors. The universal joints on the ends may need to be changed to custom joints, the shaft length will need to be determined, and the driveshaft will need to be properly balanced for it to work. There are several measurements needed to ensure the proper fit so talk to the driveshaft shop about your project and they will tell you what they need to make a shaft for you. Make sure you understand what they are looking for and measure everything several times. These numbers need to be very precise or the driveshaft may not fit properly. Worse than that, it may fit but not function properly which could cause damage to the transmission and the differential. Take your time so it is right and the driveshaft will last for many years. Contact a shop, like Jons Shafts and Stuff, for more help.