Building the Axle Halfshaft Extensions


Rear Suspension

Rear suspension, axles and differential in place

The car will use standard Honda Civic axle halfshafts, and I had the choice of cutting, sleeving and re-welding them, or building extenders that effectively widen the differential to meet the unmodified halfshafts. The cut/sleeve/re-weld option would eliminate the axle hardening and leave unknown strength, and I’ve since seen an example where this was done and the axle broke right at the weld. The option of “widening” the differential has several advantages. First, we can easily replace the halfshafts if necessary in the future with off-the-shelf parts. Second, moving the inner constant-velocity joint closer to the plane of the control-arm pickup points minimizes the plunge, or change in length, required as the suspension moves through its travel. Third, the halfshafts become equal length, eliminating torque steer. Now you may say “but, the extensions will be of different length and will twist unevenly so the torque steer won’t be eliminated”. The extensions will be much stiffer than the axle shafts so that won’t be the case.

So the choice was clear. We started with a differential and a couple of halfshafts as raw material…


Turning the Steering Rack Extensions

The ends of the steering rack have to be in line with a plane through the control arm attachment points, and unless you have a custom-made rack this will require extensions to each end of the rack. I got these made and then went to the local nut & bolt emporium, only to find they don’t carry 3/8-24 socket-head cap screws. I know, weird huh? Had to order them on Ebay in the US and am now keeping my fingers crossed that they will arrive (at all). I recently ordered some more left-handed nuts the same way and they arrived in eight days with no problems, so yay?

For these I had to dig into my precious stash of 7075 aluminum…