How to Install a Mini Spool

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A mini spool replaces the spider gears in the differential of a racecar, locking the rear axles together and providing full power to both rear wheels. The use of a mini spool is appropriate for limited-horsepower oval track and drag race cars, but mini spools should not be used in street vehicles, road race applications, or with high-horsepower engines. You need basic car-repair tools and supplies to install the popular General Motors 10-bolt and 12-bolt rear ends; the 9-inch Ford rear is similar.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrenches
  • Drain pan
  • Thread locking compound
  • Torque wrench
  • Rear housing gasket or RTV sealant
  • Gear lube
  • Drain the rear-end lube, and remove the differential cover. You can do this in one step; place a drain pan under the rear-end housing and remove the cover.

  • Remove the small bolt that holds the cross pin in place, (the cross pin is visible in the center of the differential carrier) and remove the cross pin.

  • Remove the "C" clips and axles. With the cross pin removed, you can push the axles in towards the center of the rear end, and remove the "C" clips that hold the axles in place. Once the clips have been removed, pull the axles out of the rear end housing.

  • Remove the spider gears. The spider gears are the four small gears inside the rear end housing. When you remove the axles, the spider gears pretty much fall out on their own. If there are spacers installed behind the spider gears, save these and reinstall them in the same position when installing the mini spool.

  • Install the two splined parts of the mini spool (and any spacers) where the two larger spider gears were removed, and reinstall the axles and "C" clips.

  • Slide the two square blocks provided with the mini spool into the slot between the previously installed splined pieces, then rotate the axles until the holes in the square blocks line up with the hole for the cross pin.

  • Insert the cross pin, and the cross pin retaining bolt. Put a drop of thread locking compound on the threads of the retaining bolt, and tighten the bolt to 25 foot pounds.

  • Install the differential cover using a new gasket or a bead of RTV sealant. Be careful not to overtighten the cover bolts; torque to five foot pounds.

  • Fill the differential with fresh gear lube.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the cross pin retaining bolt is difficult to remove, try heating it with a torch. Be careful not to overheat it and warp the carrier.
  • Consider installing "C"-clip eliminators or upgrading to a 9-inch Ford rear end to avoid wheel loss in the event of an axle failure.
  • If you are installing the mini spool with the rear-end housing in the car, be sure the car is steadily supported on jack stands.

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References

  • Photo Credit car racing image by araraadt from Fotolia.com
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