Ron Pope Motorsports                California Custom Roadsters               

Future Canadian '27 T-Bucket Project

Kelly Skarra

New Member
Hello everyone,

I am new to this site and have very much enjoyed reading numerous conversations and detailed information from many threads and forums. I am going to be ordering a '27 T-bucket kit from Spirit Industries soon and am looking for ideas and feedback, do's and don't, and maybe some direction and information in order to procure the kit I am looking for. I want to have a Ford 9" installed with a 4-link set up and this will be behind a Chevy TH-400 and supercharged BBC engine. I am planning on adding some frame strengthening to the kit, and have seen many great ideas on this far I have understood that there is no such thing as "too much" in this area. Some basic information I am trying to wrap my head around is rear axle width relative to wheel backspacing...does a person order the kit with the axle complete, then order the wheels with the appropriate backspacing, or vis-versa, and get the wheels and tires first to dictate what axle width I need? What about a roll bar set this something necessary with a high horsepower application and how is something like this grafted into the body and frame?

I have many more ideas and inevitably more questions to follow as I get going, and welcome any and all feedback given. I have already been briefly in touch with Josh at Spirit Industries and he has been a wonderful help so far. Now I just have to nail down what I am going to order.

Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the site. You have made a good choice going with Spirit (IMHO). We have a member that got a ‘27 from Spirit that has a problem with wheel offset that Josh is fixing. Her thread is The excitement is building and her handle is Island Girl. Knowing to look at the problem ahead of buying parts will avoid that problem.
I’m also powering my with a blown bbc.
Welcome, Kelly! Sounds like you have a firm idea of what you want. Josh and Spirit will work with you to make it happen. Be patient and give them as much info as you can as you go along.
I suppose either approach would work as far as kit first or wheels/tires first. IMO, better choice would be wheels/tires first, then provide wheel backspace dimension plus additional dimension of tire profile to Spirit. That way, they can have rear end housing built to work with body width dimension.
I would look to see what back spacing is common for the size wheels you plan on
using. Then the axle can be obtained to fit. Down the road 5-10 years after you first
finish the car you might want to change wheels for a different look and when you
do, you don't want to have to modify the axle.

Good luck !!!
does a person order the kit with the axle complete, then order the wheels with the appropriate backspacing
That would probably save you a lot of headache. If you are ordering from Spirit or CCR or Ron or whomever remember that they have put together the same combination of engine, trans rear end, body and frame that you want to use many times. Any of them will steer you in the right direction. I would get their recommendation and then do my own research to confirm.
Not many have roll bars, many have high HP big blocks, so that’s a personal preference issue but you would have to make accommodations in the interior and body... custom work, to make it all fit.
Welcome aboard from the warm sunny Caribbean.

Spirit's 27 T is a great kit. I got the chrome super kit version and had them do some additional work, paint the frame, install the windshield, fab a gas tank, put the pass-thru for the steering column in, and drill the dash for the gages.

I'm in the Caribbean, so shipping would take time and everything steel would be rusted by the time it got here and cleared thru Customs if not chromed or painted.

I got the disk brake option front and back (with e-bake), and, in the end, opted for the 9" rear.

If you specify that you're planning to run a big block, they make the frame 2" longer in front of the engine mounts than if it's for a small block to accommodate the extra length of the BBC.

The BBC and SBC have the same dimension from the mounts to the rear of the block, so that's why the additional 2" is between the mounts and front cross member.

All their frames are made in jigs, and while the jig accommodates the normal and 2" additional BBC lengths I'm not sure how they'd manage more "stretch" if you wanted more for the blower drive hardware . . . I'd probably want 6" extra instead of just 2", unless it's a mini-blower with a 2" belt or something. You'll want to talk to Josh on this for sure.

The 9" Spirit uses comes from John's Industries: Housing, Axles, Drive Shafts - John’s Industries Ford 9" Housing

You have to know what you're going to run for horsepower so you can plan the options for the rear, you need to get this part well sussed out on your own, as this isn't Josh's strong suit.

If you have over 850HP, you'll want to go with a Moser or Strange center section with the 3.15" bearing, which you'll need to run 35 spline axles and the wave-trac posi unit.

Up to 850 or so, you can run the standard John's center section with 2.835" bearings and 31 spline heavy duty axles and the true-trac posi.

Any way you dice it, a 9" is going to add about $4K to the cost.

Width wise, Spirit has some good videos that talk about the rears they usually use, which are Chevy 10 bolt from S10's for their 23's and 27's.

The difference is that the 27 frame is wider at the rear, and so is the 27 body.

The 23 uses regular 2WD S10 rears that are nominally 56" between the wheel mounting surfaces, while the 27 needs the rear from the 4WD S10 blazer, which is nominally 62" between wheel mounting surfaces.

Spirit usually uses the 9" rears for their bigger, '30 to '34 cars, and it's about the same width as for the 23.

The fact that it seems narrow for a bigger car probably has a lot to do with the tires being partially tubbed back under the body, where with the 27, the tires have to sit outside the body.

I've been about 4 months now getting Josh to get me the right width rear housing and axles, as the one that came with the car needed 3" wheel spacers on each side to get the tires to clear the body, and that's not a workable option with 800+ HP.

I'm running pretty common Weld Racing 15X15's on the rear with 3.5" of backspace, which is as little bs as you'll find for wheels in that size range, If you have wheels with more bs than that, you'll want to add to the axle housing width appropriately. If you have 5' of bs, then you need 3 more inches of width.

With what Josh has been going thru with me on my 27, I'm pretty confident that he'll be sure to get your rear end width right.

Hope that helps a bit with your planning,


You may want to start a new thread for you project in the Project Plans and Updates section.
Thank you everyone for the great responses and information. A special thanks to "Old Round Fart" for pointing me in the direction to read "Island Girl's" posts, as well as Island Girl herself for the detailed information. I look forward to more replies to my post in future, as well as starting my new thread once I order my kit from Spirit!!

     Ron Pope Motorsports                Advertise with Us!