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  1. #1

    Default '83-88 Thunderbird/Cougar Driveshaft? Engine Moved Back

    So, I recently moved my engine to the rearward engine mount holes on my QA1 K-member. I figure this might be a common thing to do, even among us F/Z guys. What did you do about the driveshaft? I know the '83-88 T-bird/Cougar's wheelbase is only about an inch shorter, so it seems like maybe that would work?

    Having mine shortened is an option, but I'm running an aluminum Explorer unit, and I'm guessing that would complicate things and be pretty pricey.

    If they made an aluminum T-bird/Cougar driveshaft, that would be even better! If you have experience with either of these things, or have any other input I'd appreciate hearing from you. Thanks!
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  2. #2
    FEP Supporter 4-barrel Mike's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    Portland, Oregon
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    1,367

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    I used the aluminum d/s out of a 4.0 Explorer 2WD. 50.75" center-to-center. Worked perfectly with my stock location engine/T5.

    Mike
    1985 ascMcLaren 5.0 SC Roadster
    My '78 Fairmont build - http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...539-78-Big-Red

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4-barrel Mike View Post
    I used the aluminum d/s out of a 4.0 Explorer 2WD. 50.75" center-to-center. Worked perfectly with my stock location engine/T5.

    Mike
    Yeah, that's what I have now. It fit great with the engine in the stock location, but now it's too long.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  4. #4

    Default

    Cougar/bird has a 104.2" wheelbase. The Lincoln cars had a longer tail shaft then the other fox bodies. They used a 3/4" shorter yoke.

    If measure to see if you can just hack some off the yoke snout. I know some of the 4wd ones were also longer then stock, and have more travel then a fox needs.

    If I remember correctly, you only need about 3/4" slide in and out to make up for full travel. Pretty much, all you need to do is make sure that it doesn't bottom out, and is long enough to not fall out.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  5. #5

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    Even with the slip yoke pushed all the way into the trans, as in bottomed out, no "slip" part even showing, I can't get the other end past the pinion nut sitting in its place on the flange to line up the bolt holes.



    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  6. #6

    Default

    I see. The wheel base on Fairmont was about 105.7" if I remeber right. That would make a 83-88 cougarbird driveshaft about 1.5" shorter.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  7. #7

    Default

    Well, I went down to the driveshaft shop today. I called and they said it would cost $120 to have mine shortened. Sounded like a deal, but they would have to see it to know if it could be shortened. I guess some can't or something. So I get there and they tell me because mine had rubbed on something once, they wouldn't use it. So... once again I end up spending WAY more money than i intended to and ordering a new one. So, they need the measurement. There are two ways to measure to a driveshaft. Wouldn't you know I picked the wrong one? G******it, I'm REEALLY getting frustrated by this point. The way I measured was end of the tailhousing to the diff flange. I couldn't have measured middle of cap to middle of cap without taking my old driveshaft apart because I couldn't even get the thing in there. The measurement I got was 54" on the nose. For the driveshaft itself, From the base of the slip yoke to other the end of the whole thing was 54 1/4". No wonder I couldn't get it in. Anyway, what do we do now? Well, he has me guess how much shorter the new one should be. Because it just wouldn't be right if I didn't have SOME degree of uncertainty about my driveshaft. I always have, and apparently I always will. So, I go with 1 3/4" shorter. I sure as hell hope it works. If not, I'm blowing a LOT of money on this. But that's really one of the main themes of this car, isn't it? Spend as much money as possible on each thing.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  8. #8

    Default

    You know what? I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to pick the thing up, install it, and this problem is solved.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  9. #9
    FEP Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Tipp City Oh
    Posts
    4,204

    Default

    I used to get the CVPI Aluminum units from salvage yards for $35, have a local shop cut/weld/balance/new U-joints for $110.
    " If you're not living life on the edge, that means you're taking up too much room."
    1979 Mustang Indy Pace 2.3T/4spd (sold on 1/10/16)
    1983 GLX vert 3.8/auto (triple black, sold on 10/8/13)
    1984 (early) Turbo GT (parts SLOWLY coming together)
    1985 Coupe 4.6L DOHC/IRS swapped (sold 9/10/17)
    1986 GT TTop 5spd (sold as of 10/8/13)
    1988 Thunderbird TurboCoupe (Cobra IRS/Brakes/big turbo project)

  10. #10

    Default

    Yeah, that was an option. There's the Aerostar too, I guess. Or another Explorer one. But, I don't have a lot of junkyard time these days, so I'd end up buying one on ebay or something. My Explorer one was $100. Factor in another $120 for shortening and balancing, another set of u-joints, and you're already almost to how much the new one is costing me.

    I just want this damned car on the road so my family can enjoy it, and buying a new one is saving me that time. The one I'm getting new will be 3" diameter with 1310/1310 u-joints. The Explorer one was larger, had to use hybrid u-joints with my Zephyr yokes, and just made things more crowded under there. Especially since I have to do all the under the car work on my back.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

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