PARTS LIST - Once we had a plan it was time to prioritize our ordering. With todays larger OE brake systems, it is next to impossible to fit traditional 15" drag wheels over the calipers. One company that has met this demand is SJM Manufacturing. Steve at SJM is a Bogart wheel distributor who specializes in modifying their drag wheels to fit late model vehicles. Since this is in such high demand and they are one of the few companies addressing this issue, it can take up to 6 weeks to build a set of wheels so we made this our first priority. After some careful measuring, it was determined that we could fit a 10" wheel in the back with the proper offset. This means that we could run the large 325/50R15 Mickey Thompson Drag radial if the wheelwell will allow it. The wheels were ordered and we moved on to the next item - the rearend.
We made a call to Moser Engineering with all intentions of updating the factory 8.8" rear with new internals. A few of our customers had already broken the OE posi units running only 12 second ET's so we planned on buying a set of 31 spline axles with a Detroit True Trac posi. After speaking with Moser, they suggested to run one of their new bolt-in Ford 9" rears instead. The 9" basically provides an unlimited number of gear, posi, and axle choices and, while not really necessary in our case, is practically indestructible. The 9" was ordered with a Detroit Locker, 3.70 gears and 35 spline gun-drilled axles.
Once we heard that the wheels were on their way, we got the tires on order and they showed up about the same time. The SJM/Bogart wheels were ordered with the new "Floyd" machined centers. We hadn't seen them yet and only had a rough idea of what to expect. We were not disappointed, it's a very clean looking drag wheel. For tires we got a set of 325/50R15 Mickey Thompson Drag Radials for the rear and a set of the new Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R 26x6 front radials with matching tread. The tires were hand mounted and would be balanced later when the car is taken to be aligned.
The rear was removed and we looked to see just how much room was available on the housing for shortening. We needed 3/4" and there was right at 1" between the bearing flange and the swaybar/shock mounting bracket, just enough. The housing ends were cut off and then 3/4" of the housing was removed on each end. Our narrowing jig was installed to position the housing ends properly and they were welded back into place. The axles were then cut the same amount, still leaving an additional 1.5" of spline. Then the housing was re-installed and the wheels bolted into place to check tire clearance. Once the panhard rod was adjusted, the wheels/tires fit perfectly with less than 1/4" clearance on the inside and outside.