More Than Just a Pumpkin

Aside from being the nice and shiny “pumpkin” sandwiched between your rear wheels, the rearend on your car plays a vital role in transferring engine power to the wheels of your vehicle. Inside that “pumpkin” is the differential and inside it contains the one essential part of your drivetrain that provides the final gear reduction, thus slowing down the rotational speed of your tranny before it hits the wheels.

Currie Enterprises Corona.
Currie Enterprises Corona.

So is that all it does? Not really. There’s much more to it. Your rearend also transfers the power to your wheels all the while allowing them to rotate at “different” speeds—which is why it’s called a “differential.” So why is this necessary? Well, it’s needed because each wheel travels at a different distance through a turn. The inside wheels will always travel a shorter distance than the outside wheels and since speed is equal to the distance traveled, divided by the time it takes to go that distance, the wheel that travels the shorter distance needs to do so at a lower speed in order to make an effective turn.

Currie Enterprises Corona complex has 50 employees operating their state-of-the-art facility.
Currie Enterprises Corona complex has 50 employees operating their state-of-the-art...

Once you realize just how important the rearend is, it becomes quite obvious that you need a rearend that’s both reliable and fool proof because the last thing you want is your car failing on a cruise only to be left sitting there waiting for a tow truck or even worse, getting into an accident. That said, when it comes time to get a rearend, look no further than Currie Enterprises.

currie enterprises rearend currie assembly line

Our Selection

For this particular application, we chose to go with Currie’s aluminum 9-inch housing assembly, which we ordered with the factory-polished option. Once we took delivery of the unit, the first thing we did was send it off to Engrave it, where Artie Barajas applied a diamond cut on the edge of the housing fins. The addition of the diamond cuts gives the casing a simple yet sophisticated look and on each end of the differential casing you’ll also find 3×0.188-inch wall axle tubes that are welded to the housing, which makes them stronger and less prone to breakage.

Backed by History

If the visual appeal of their work doesn’t get you, then their work history will. Frank Currie began designing and building differentials for material handling equipment back in 1959, and their list of accomplishments and accolades are long. In addition, Currie rearends are common site on the world’s best builds, regardless if it’s for 4x4s, hot rods, lowriders, or race vehicles.

Today Currie Enterprises occupies a 40,000-square-foot complex in Corona, California. They now have nearly 50 employees and boast a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Currie designs, builds, modifies, tests, sells, and install rearend and drivetrain products all under one roof. From humble beginnings and a dream of Frank and Evelyn, Currie has become the most recognized name in specialty rearends and components and they’ve backed up their reputation decades on in.

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Assembly of the aluminum "factory polished" 9-inch housing.
Assembly of the aluminum “factory polished” 9-inch housing.

The Install

In the pictorial, you’ll find some pictures of the unit being assembled at Currie as well as some images of it being installed onto the frame. We didn’t do a step-by-step pictorial because the install is pretty simple and straightforward, but we do advise that it should be done only if you have the necessary help, tools, and know-how.

*Prior to installing the control arms, Panhard bar, and shocks, we replaced all bushings with polyurethane units from Energy Suspension. In all, it’s about a 20-minute install if you have all the necessary tools and helping hands.

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The chassis is raised off the floor.

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The installation of the lower controls arms.

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Installation of the rear shocks.

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The rear differential is then lifted up and bolted into place.

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Immediately after we install the panhard bar.

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Rearend with panhard bar installed.

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Cylinder and coil installed to the lower control arm.

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View of both rearend with lower control arms, rear shocks, rear differential, panhard, cylinders, and coils installed.

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Preparing to install disc brakes.

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Installation of dust shield.

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Installation of disc brakes.

Now that you have a better understanding of your rearend, it’s time to get to wrenching, and we wish you all the best in your next build. Our tech articles are dedicated to educating our readers about the importance of the components of your car and it’s what makes building them that much more exciting as well as interesting.