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  1. #1
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    Crown Victoria rear end on an SVO?

    I've been told that a 1992-2004 Crown Victoria rear end had a Watts link stock and that it might fit on an SVO because of its wider rear track. Does anyone have any information on this?

  2. #2
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    I’d bet the Crown Vic diff is too wide, but that Watts Link is on the front of the housing, above the pinion, and is non-adjustable. I doubt there is space for the brackets on the rear sub frames for the end links, upper control arms and exhaust.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  3. #3
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    @gbeaird
    Yes, the front Watts mount could be a problem but I don't think an insurmountable one. Rear mount Watts also have stuff in the way but they get mounted just the same. Hell, I've seen people stick independent rears on all kinds of Fox bodies. I think the Crown Vic shares the same 30.5" axle length, why do you think it would be too wide? Is the flange the issue?

  4. #4
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    I've never tried, and never would. I don't know what the width of that differential is, but it's moot for me. For a Watts Link, I'd press the Easy Button and just get a kit one of the usual Mustang suspension parts vendors sell and bolt it in.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  5. #5
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    @gbeaird
    Lots of members stick 8.8" rears on their SVOs and those don't just drop in. You can get a <2004 Crown Vic rearcomplete with brakes for $200 all day. When you compare that with the cost and inconvenience of an 8.8" upgrade plus Watts I'd say it's worth an investigation, no?

  6. #6
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    In my case:

    No.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  7. #7
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    I would say it is certainly worth a look, no harm in getting one and comparing it to the stock housing to see the differences. The fact that nobody has done this yet doesn't mean it can't be done, just that it hasn't been investigated. Go for it and let us know what you come up with. This coming from an owner who has an 8.8" transplant with a Watts link...
    Ted
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  8. #8
    14 PSI Boost fast Ed's Avatar
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    It was 98-11 Crown Vic / Grand Marquis / Town Car that had the Watts link rear. It mounted to a large stud that was in the top part of the pinion nose on the 8.8" housing. With it mounting ahead of the axle tubes, even if the width was suitable, I think that you would be left with no room to run exhaust over the axle.


    cheers
    Ed
    84 SVO 1E, option delete 11/83 prod.
    95 Jaguar XJR, also boosted


  9. #9
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    @svono50
    Thanks for your support of my idea. It shows you respect the notion that what's (watts) right is more important than who's right.

    I was under the impression that the rear changed after 2004 but you may be right. Can anyone get dimension specs on those rear ends? That'll save some time and give us data to discuss a way to route the exhaust.

  10. #10
    14 PSI Boost fast Ed's Avatar
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    2003+ was a wider axle dimension in concert with high offset wheels, when they did a revision on the whole suspension on those cars. Parts catalogue doesn't give any dimensions though, sorry.

    Easiest way might be to get under one of those cars and take some rough tape measurements as a starting point to see if it's doable.

    EDIT I remembered that back in the 1980s, Ford did show a length on axle shafts usually. So digging around a bit more, the SVO axle shafts are supposed to be 30-13/64" long, and a 79-91 Crown Vic was 30-7/8" long. I suspect that the 92-03 cars which were similar dimensions but had rear discs, would use axles that are 1/2" or more longer than the earlier ones, and then the 03-up are quite a bit longer again. My guess on those would be at least an inch, as the OEM wheel offset went from around +10 to around +40. So adding that up, you're probably looking at axle shafts that are 2"+ longer per side than the originals.

    I'm all for re-purposing parts from other factory applications if they can be made to work effectively for lesser cost than an aftermarket alternative. Back in the late 80s when I was competing in a Fox 5.0 Mustang, at one point we used cut down Crown Vic police car front springs with the ends wound in slightly to fit the spring pockets, because there weren't readily available 800+lb. springs at that time for the application.


    cheers
    Ed
    Last edited by fast Ed; 08-24-2018 at 12:59 PM. Reason: add info
    84 SVO 1E, option delete 11/83 prod.
    95 Jaguar XJR, also boosted


  11. #11
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    I remember reading that the c-clip pin is 0.75" in diameter, so if you take 2 x axle length + 0.75" it should give you the flange-to-flange width of the rear end assembly. If you plan on swapping over the SVO brakes you could ignore the rotor/brake offset.

    When searching out on the interwebs, you get all kinds of axle lengths that don't match each other for the same applications, so it is pretty frustrating. I have been working on compiling yet another list, but don't have anything I would want to publish just yet. Reason for my search is a full rebuild on my rear end including new axles that was supposed to happen this past winter, but has now been moved to the 2018/19 winter season.
    Ted
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  12. #12
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    @svono50
    I understand your frustration getting specs. Adding to the confusion is the way the rear track is measured. Some define the rear track as the outside edges of the tire and some use the tire centerline. When you account for this disparity, the 7" difference between the Crown Victoria and the SVO become 0" because of the 7" wheel (ie: 2 x 3.5"). The wheels offset difference seems to make up the C-Clip differences. I think the only way we can sort this out is by getting actual measurements of the Crown Victoria rear.

  13. #13
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    It would be nice if there was a 'standard' method of measurement, where it was measured from axle flange to axle flange. That way you would take out the brake and wheel offsets that only end up confusing things. Even the way c-clip axles are measured isn't consistent as I am finding out...oh the layers of this onion are many!
    Ted
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  14. #14
    the well known PIA VIN guy Ken Potter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svono50 View Post
    ...where it was measured from axle flange to axle flange.

    That's the only way to get the correct width. Offsets / wheel width are after the fact. Captain Obvious reporting.

  15. #15
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Potter View Post
    That's the only way to get the correct width. Offsets / wheel width are after the fact. Captain Obvious reporting.
    We understand that, but different sources measure things differently, where sometimes they include the thickness of the brake drum/disk, sometimes measure from outer disk surfaces, etc. I have even seen some measurements from tips of the axle studs. As for axle lengths, I have seen different manufacturers use different reference surfaces for the same axle, so when comparing literature from different mfg's the 'same' axles are reported with different lengths. It ends up being much more difficult than it really should be.
    Ted
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