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How do I Know If My Ford Rear Is An 8" Or 9"?


 

The #1 question on Ford rear ends....
 


 


 
 
 
 


If my order left by US Mail how long should I wait for the package before I get worried?


 

Although the average time on a mailed package is usually between 3-7 days, mail has been slower since 9/11. It is now not uncommon for mail to take upwards to two weeks to be received.
 


 
 
 
 


Does Total Performance offer a lay-a-way program?


 

No
 


 
 
 
 


How Do I Select a Windshield for my T-Bucket?


 

When selecting a new windshield for your T-BUCKET is important that you select the correct width frame for your car. Before ordering you should know the EXACT width of the frame you need. If your car does not presently have a frame or posts then we suggest that you purchase from us ONLY the posts and install them onto your body and than measure the distance from the inside of each post. If you own a TOTAL PERFORMANCE body the distance will be 39 inches. Speedway bodies use a 39 5/8 inches and other manufactured bodies use a 40 1/2 inch.
If your body does not match with any of the frames in this site call 800.979.0122 and we can try to assist you.
 


 
 
 
 


My T-Bucket has bolt-on wheels. Which brakes should I use?


 

Due to the weight of a T-BUCKET and the engine set back we recommend a LIGHT WEIGHT brake system not only for the correct braking but also for the correct shock system compatible with our friction shock system.

We sell a Wilwood aluminum hub and 3/8" thick rotor which is perfect for your car. We also have many options and a fender bracket kit to go along with these brakes.
 


 
 
 
 


What kind of Front Shock Absorbers are available for T-Buckets?


 

Total Performance not only supplies friction shocks but we also have a special hydraulic shock system which mounts to our chassis using the friction shock stud and the lower portion of the shock attaches to the lower bar of your front radius rod.

Remember our front radius rods are manufactured from 3/4" o.d. tubing and the bushings supplied are designed to fit over "our 3/4" radius rods. If your rods are larger than ours you will have to modify the bushings to fit properly. Also included in our kit are tie bars to adapt and tie the upper and lower rods together to give them double shear strength.
 


 
 
 
 


Where can I find reasonably priced insurance for my car?


 

In our 30 plus years for business we have recommended many different insurance companies but we feel that the best for your car is to make contact with Sneed Insurance in Memphis, TN. (800)-619-7827 or go directly to their web site at http://www.sneedcompanies.com/.
 


 
 
 
 


What is the size of the radiators that Total Performance sells?


 

The dimensions of the T-BUCKET radiator are 19 1/4 inches wide and the tabs which mount it to your chassis are 22 5/8 inches wide but must be cut and drilled to fit into our chassis. The height to the top tank is 22 1/4 tall and to the top of the dummy filler neck is 25 inches. The lower chassis mounting brackets are 3 1/2 inches from the bottom of the radiator. The thickness is 3 inches.

We also sell two types of radiators. One is the economy series and the other is our super series. The economy is designed for the basic small block engine applications that are stock through out. Complete with pressure system and an oil cooler for your automatic transmission. the super series is the ultimate in cooling system radiators. Designed to cool the massive big block engines. This design is a must for heavy duty applications. We recommend this if you have intentions of modifying your engine.
click here to go to the radiators page
 


 
 
 
 


Where do I get spokes for my wire wheels?


 

The best source we have found for both wire wheel parts and complete relacing is Buchanan Spoke and Rim, Inc. Their website is http://www.buchananspokes.com/
 


 
 
 
 


How do I choose the correct wheels?


 

backspacing diagram

All wheels may be ordered using the backspace guideline charts below, but remember to measure your installation carefully.

Reversed wheels have rims turned around on the centers which allows for less backspace and deeper front space.

No additional charges for reverse wheels or special backspacing.

NOTE:
Standard wheels with more than 4 1/2" backspace will NOT clear disc brakes.

Wheels are identified by their inside (wheel width) measurement. Overall width is always one inch wider. For example: A 15 X 7 measures 7" bead-to-bead and 8" overall.

STANDARD WHEEL BACKSPACE

14 X 5 1/2

14 X 6

14 X 7

15 X 5

15 X 6

15 X 7

15 X 8

15 X 10

15 X 12

15 X 14

Standard
Backspace

3

3 1/4

3 3/4

2 3/4

3 1/2

4

4

4 1/2

4 1/2

4 1/5

Minimum
Backspace

3

3 1/4

3 3/4

2 1/2

3 1/2

3 3/4

3 3/4

4 1/4

4 1/2

4 1/2

Maximum
Backspace

3 7/8

4 3/8

5 1/4

3

4 1/8

5 1/4

6

7 1/2

9 3/4

11 3/4


REVERSE WHEEL BACKSPACE

14 X 5 1/2

14 X 6

14 X 7

15 X 5

15 X 6

15 X 7

15 X 8

15 X 10

15 X 12

15 X 14

Minimun
Backspace

1 3/4

1 3/4

1 3/4

2

2

2

2

2 1/2

2

2

Maximum
Backspace

2 5/8

3

3 1/2

2 5/8

2 3/4

3 1/8

4 1/2

5 3/4

7

9

Shipping Weights (lbs)

21

22

24

23

25

27

28

34

39

43


Determining your Bolt Pattern

bolt pattern Follow the diagram to measure. You must add 1/4" to your measurement to determine the correct bolt pattern.

For Example:
When X is 4 1/4"........your bolt pattern is 5 lugs on 4 1/2" bolt pattern.
When X is 4 1/2"........your bolt pattern is 5 lugs on 4 3/4" bolt pattern.
When X is 4 3/4"........your bolt pattern is 5 lugs on 5" bolt pattern.
When X is 5 1/4"........your bolt pattern is 5 lugs on 51/2" bolt pattern.

NOTE: Our 6-lug wheel measures 5 1/2" from the center of one stud, across the center of the wheel, to the center of the stud directly opposite.


How to Determine Wheel Size

wheel size Following is a simple method to determine what size wheel will fit your vehicle. This method will work on both stock front and/or rear ends, or those that have been modified (widened or narrowed).

Let's say you want an 8" wheel in back and 6" up front.
1.) Jack up your front or rear end and remove the wheel.
2.) Cut a strip of wood 9" long (overall width of proposed 8"wheel) and hold the wood in the fender where you know the wheel would clear everything (allow about 1" clearance on either side for "tire bulge").
3.) The amount of wood that extends back past the drum/rotor face would be the backspace to order.
4.)Try the same at the front with a 7" wood strip (overall width for a 6" wheel) to determine the backspace and clearance at the front.


 


 
 
 
 


What is the proper way to install safety wire on clevis' pins and what is the purpose of this wire?


 

Safety wire is designed to lock fastners when conventional methods are not possible such as on clevis pins. The design of a clevis pin is to tighten onto itself without tightening against the clevis it is holding in place. This safety wire will lock both outer halves of the pin together, so it can not losen or come apart. To install, simply slide the wire through the hole on one end of the pin and then into the other, leaving a short "tail" on either end. Twist both "tails" together, locking the wire in place. The twisted section can then be hidden under the pin for a cleaner look.
 


 


 
 
 
 


What kind of brakes fit T Buckets?


 

For spindle mount wire wheels, TP sells 175 series Wilwood brakes available in both black and polished aluminum finishes. Early T's ran 150 series Airheart brakes. (if you are unsure what you have, measure the pad; 175's=1-3/4" 150's = 1-1/2"). For bolt-on wheels, use our Street Rod Brake Kit. For the rear, Drum or disc brakes are available.
 


 
 
 
 


How do I identify my spindles?


 

See chart. Also, TP and Early Chevy spindles look similar, but TP has "TOTAL" cast in, also you can see rubber "O" ring at top and bottom of king pin. Chevy has recessed "C" clip. Econoline spindles utilize only one bolt to hold on spindle arm. Early Ford spindles have lower arms cast onto spindle.
 


 


 
 
 
 


What Factors Cause Front End Shimmy?


 

Frontend shimmy is caused by a number of things.

The combination of worn out components and or frontend alignment will cause serious problems.

First and foremost, the components that make up the steering assembly must be in good condition. These components are:

Tierod ends

Heim Joints

King Pins and bushings

Steering links

Drag link

Radius rods

Pittman arm

Steering box bushings

Hub bearings

Shackle bushings

All of these components must be in good condition. Replace any part which shows wear, or movement beyond design specifications. If in doubt, replace it.

Assuming all of your components are OK, the next step is to align the frontend. If your T Bucket has bias ply tires then you should have a maximum of 1/8" toe in. Radials should be "0" to 1/8" toe out maximum.

The final step, (and VERY important) is to balance the complete rotating assembly! Attempt to balance your tires mounted on the hubs if possible. If this option is not available to you, then balance the components separately. Your drums or rotors and tires must be accurately balanced!

Tire inflation has been a subject of controversy for a very long time. But there is a basic starting point. For spoked wheels, (motorcycle type) start at MAXIMUM inflation. Generally 45/50 lbs. For all other tires, start at 28/32 lbs. Test your T on several road surfaces especially rough roads. Inflate or deflate your tires to minimize bouncing. You will always get some bouncing, but less is better. Make sure that both front tires have EXACTLY the same air pressure.

There is a big difference between shimmy and bounce! You need to avoid shimmy at all costs! This is a self induced harmonic which will destroy your whole frontend and possibly cause a serious accident. Shimmy starts when the rotating mass (tires, wheels, hubs, and rotors or drums) harmonics go into oscillation with the steering components(links, bushings, rods, and tie rods). They "push" against each other causing a violent back & fourth motion (Shimmy). Because this motion is self induced, it progresses until something breaks, or over come by an external force (IE: hit the brakes and slow down). It is imperative that your frontend be in absolutely perfect working order.

Have you ever rolled a tire around your garage, or down a street before? If you have, then you may recall how the surface governed the direction the tire rolled. This same condition exists on your T Bucket. To overcome this, a frontend alignment is setup to create an equal force on both front wheels. This effect is called "toe in" or "toe out". This equal force tends to overcome most road surfaces, making the frontend responsive to the drivers command. However, too much of either can create a new set of problems. Tire scuffing will be the first on the list. Then there is the problem of shimmy. Toe in tends to cause shimmy more than toe out. Zero toe in/toe out will virtually eliminate shimmy however your frontend will feel "loose". In other words, your car will walk back and forth while cruising. This effect is usually manageable, but annoying. Regardless which "toe" effect you need, limit the adjustment to a maximum of 1/8" The next adjustment available to you is "CASTER". This is the tilting of your king pin bosses. This caster effect tends to make your front wheels follow the centerline of the front axle. Caster is good for helping your T track straight. You always want the caster effect to "follow" your axle. You adjust your caster by adjusting the length of the UPPER clevises on your radius rods. Typically, about 5 degrees of caster is plenty, and in some cases 2 or 3 degrees is all thats required. Have you ever pushed a shopping cart around a grocery store, and noticed sometimes the front wheels shimmy? Thats way too much caster! So go easy on your caster adjustment. Finally, there is camber... you can't change it easily because it's built into the king pin bosses. However, as your king pin bushings wear out, you induce more camber. So check your king pins & bushings occasionally for wear.


 


 
 
 
 


How To Properly Adjust a Steering Box?


 

This is the layman's version on how to adjust a steering box. Please read it through completely!

There are two adjustments, the worm bearing tension, and the gear mesh adjustment. First, jack up the vehicle so the front wheels are off the ground, so the steering is free to turn and, the steering box is centered. Put jack stands under the frame!

Whatever you do, “do not” try to adjust out the play at anything other than straight ahead!! You'll kill the box on short order because the worm has a high spot in the center position.

{Before attempting to do this first adjustment, make sure that you back off on the gear mesh screw on the side of the box from 1 – 2 turns.}

The worm bearings are adjusted by loosening the big lock nut, then turning the bearing housing. On the reversed Corvair box, look at the top of the box, where the steering shaft (to the steering wheel) sticks out. On other steering boxes, this adjustment is at the bottom of the box, at the front. Usually a hammer and blunt punch will loosen the locknut. The bearings should be adjusted to get a few inch-pounds of drag on the worm gear (steering wheel), but you can adjust it by tightening up to remove the play, then go just a smidgen tighter, and tighten the locknut securely {make sure you hold the adjusting nut in place while tightening the lock nut}. Now, turn the steering wheel from lock-to-lock. There should be no binding. If there is, loosen the worm shaft adjustment slightly until the binding is gone.

Next, adjust the gear mesh, which is the slotted screw with a {usually} 5/8" hex locknut. Get the steering centered (wheels straight ahead), and loosen the locknut. Gradually tighten the adjusting screw in, while frequently checking the steering play by turning the steering wheel back and forth a turn or two...but leave it centered when adjusting. Eventually, you will take up the slack, unless the gears/bushings are really worn, in which case the adjusting screw will go all the way into the box! (Not good). Tighten till the slack is all gone, then add about a half turn of preload to it. If all is well, you should feel the steering get just a little bit harder as you pass thru the center of the steering wheel's travel. Tighten the locknut securely, and enjoy the "new" feel of driving your vehicle.

A good gear lube from the local GM dealer works really well. The correct GM part # for this lubrication is 1052182. This lube is half way between grease and oil. Oil is too thin and leaks out, and grease is too thick and won't properly lube the re-circulating balls.

If all the above adjustments fail and you don’t want to attempt rebuilding a box yourself, buy a rebuilt or new unit to replace it with.


 


 
 
 
 


How do I order a Front End?


 

Call our tech line at 800.979.0122 and we will help you select a complete package or maybe we can help you choose parts to work with what you already have.
 


 
 
 
 


Why does TP use friction shocks?


 

Friction shocks are easy to install, they offer adjustability, and are appealing to the eye. One more thing: they work!
 


 
 
 
 


How does the Total Performance fiberglass seat insert install into the body? does the insert sit above or below the lip of the body?


 

The Total Performance fiberglass seat insert installs UNDERNEATH the lip on the top of the body. This insert will slide under the lip and get screwed to the bottom of the body lip. The insert is then fiberglassed directly to the body. Once the fiberglass has dried, the screws are removed and the holes are filled in.
 


 


 
 
 
 


My car is not TP, what do I need to know when purchasing parts?


 

Most commonly needed dimensions and info are: Crossmember width, Spring size and location, Tie Rod length, Wheel base, Spindle type, Steering box, Suspension type.
 


 
 
 
 


Why use a "reversed" Corvair steering box?


 

Corvair boxes are light-weight and easy to install.
 


 
 
 
 


Will TP's interior fit my T body?


 

TP bodies have 14" pick up bed and non-opening doors.

Outside to outside Dimensions to check:

Widest point: 46"

Narrowest point: 27 1/2" (bottom of firewall)

Top of dash to floor: 20 1/2"

Top of door to floor: 17-1/4"

Top of back to floor: 22 3/4"

Dash to rear: 44 1/4".


 


 
 
 
 


How do I indentify between an Airheart 150 series caliper and an Airheart 175 series caliper?


 

There are many different features between the 150 and 175 series calipers produced by Airheart. The chart below shows all these differences. Keep in mind that these images are of the Airheart calipers and although the Wilwood versions that we sell today look different, those dimensions are the same as the Airheart 175 series caliper as well.
 


 


 
 
 
 


Why does TP use Radius Rods versus the popular 4-Bar?


 

We have tested our cars with long and short 4-Bars and have found that our design out performs in ride and handling.
 


 
 
 
 


What is Total Performance's Return Policy?


 

Please contact us at 800.979.0122 before sending your return to us.
 


 
 
 
 


My brake pedal is spongy.


 

Try removing the check valve in the master cylinder. For brake tech, call 800.979.0122. The most important things to have 100% correct are steering and brakes!