Question about 1997 Ford Thunderbird LX

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1997 ford thunderbird rearend

I have put a 1982 351w in a 1997 thunderbird.the transmission was overdrive,but know it is a 3 speed automatic. i was wondering if any knew how to tell the different size rearend. the rearend housing in the car know has a 7.5 stamped on it. i seen one in the junkyard with a 8.8 stamped on it. what is the difference?i need a higher geer,thast what im looking for .how do i know what to get to get a higer gear?

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Hello, If the tag is not present, you can get a rough estimate by putting a chalk line on the tire and on the drive shaft. With the vehicle jacked up spin the wheel and see how many times the drive shaft spins with a full tire rotation. If the shaft spins about 3 3/4 times you probably got the 3.73. If it spins a little over 4 times you probably got the 4.10. To get it exact you can remove the differential cover and count the teeth on the ring gear and pinion gear then divide the two to get the ratio. On the back of the rear differential there's a metal tag sticking out, with various numbers on it, like 8.8 for the 8.8" rear end, and probably a 3 73 or 4 10 for gear ratio. If there's a L between the numbers 3 L 73 then it is a limited slip. Also, the sticker in your door jamb will have info on it. One section will have the Axle code, 97 or R6 or something. The 8.8 should be plenty of enough axle for your motor but you can not go wrong with a ford 9 inch though becuase this will axle will handle any amount of horsepower you throw at it and the axles are easy to replace as well. I hope this fixes your problem.

Posted on May 27, 2009

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