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Ok here it is I just purchased an '89 BII with the 2.9L 5 speed 4x4.

I had a 1992 Ranger with a 4.0L auto 4x4, and thought that the axles would be a good upgrade to put on the BII with the 4.0L swapped in as well.

I pulled the axles off of the ranger and guess what ... they are shorter by about 2". This seemed odd to me so I climbed under my 94 explorer 4x4 and they seem to be longer than the ranger.

So my question is this, will the axles out of the Explorer fit under the bronco. (wider is ok but not skinnier) and will I be able to swap in the 4.0L even though it came out of an auto and keep the BII a 5 speed or should I look for a 4.0L that was a standard.

Or scrap all those ideas and just swap the gears in the stock axles and put a lift in it and my mudders.

Thanks, any info or input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Use a tape measure to find out the measurements of the stock OEM Bronco 2 axles, measure the Explorer axles and then measure the Ranger axles; then swap in the widest ones that are closest to your OEM vehicle specs.

If I am not mistaken, I believe the axles out of an explorer --------
(Dana 35 front/8.8" rear)will swap in place of the bronco 2 axles ------
(Dana 28 front/7.5" rear). The benefit, of course, is strength!!. It's best to look for a cheap donor vehicle, than to scrounge looking for parts from different vehicles. If you want to keep a manual transmission, I suggest looking for a 4.0/manual trans/ 91-94 explorer and buy the whole vehicle, then you can swap in the required components at your leasure.

The other option, is as you state, keep your current rig and swap gears, do a lift and add larger tires....my opinion; yes, this is the best method...but ultimately it's your decision. Late.
 
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