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Period Dana 27 Modifications
Bare in mind this is all preliminary research work. I have yet to install said parts or perform said procedures and as such I have not validated it. It's the internet man, take it as you see it.
From the beginning of this project I've been working on developing a solution to those Volvo enthusiasts who would require original Volvo performance from their EARLY rear axles like myself just like the dealer offered in the 1960s without the need to fabricate a donor axle that accepts readily available components or the high cost/low availability of a Dana 30 coarse spline unit. This could be beneficial for performance as well as low traction conditions such as snow, etc.
After increasing horsepower on my 1966 Amazon I was displeased at the lack of traction with the open differential from the early Dana/Spicer 27 rear axle. After some research I found that a limited slip was available in period from Volvo dealers after 1961 in the form of Spicer Powr Lok limited slip differentials.
I have found a supplier on EBay that has a large quantity of original surplus units in amazing condition, in original packaging with original installation instructions, better yet the price he is offering them at is phenomenal!
There is one hitch though. These were destined for front axles in Jeeps and therefore lack the proper internal cross shafts and axle centering pins that are required when installed in a Volvo rear differential with drum brakes.
See parts 7-9 on your VP Autoparts website:
There is a solution to this though as another supplier has now came in to reproduce the proper cross shafts and centering pins.
I would also use this page in reference to reassembly or overhaul of these units when performing this needed operation as well as the supplemental Green Book:
This information is essentially what I'll be reposting in my next post with a page by page picture visual of the original installation/owners manual that is included with the NOS differential.
I highly recommend for those of you attempting this procedure that you have a professional transmission shop setup the rear end back lash if you have never attempted it before unless you like lots of noise and premature wear. As such I highly recommend obtaining a shim kit for setting up tolerances as well as new inner and outer pinion bearings and diff carrier bearings as most of these have probably seen their fair share of abuse over the past 50+ years.
181302 x1> Pinion > Timken M86647 Race M86610 Cup
181304 x1> Pinion > Timken HM88649 Race HM88610 Cup
181306 x2> Diff Carrier > Timken LM501349 Race ???? Cup
942905 x1> Pinion Seal
Complete kit with rear seal from VP Autoparts # RA338M27
More great reference material here:
Bringing this thread back to life. I was waiting on the correct cross shafts and axle buttons (Thanks Hi-Performance!) so as to convert this from a front position differential (Jeep, Willy's, etc.) to a rear position differential (Volvo, Studebaker, etc.). Parts are here so I can move forward. In the picture you can see an alignment tool for the splines of the diff which I found are the same as an E30 BMW clutch/input shaft, modified but cutting off the dowel that would fit into the pilot bearing on the BMW.
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