Off Roading Forums banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a little question here: I am currenty searching for a Ford 9-inch to swap in under my 89 Jeep wrangler. I have found these very hard to find...especially from under an early Bronco, which is just about the right width for my application. I am wondering how much weaker an 8.8 is compared to a 9. Could it stand up to a built 350? I have another question: My current bolt pattern is 5 on 4.5. I know 9 inches have a 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern, so I'm thinking about custom axleshafts and drums. would that be really expensive? I'm a student, so I'm working on a budget here....the cheaper the better. Any other Ideas?

 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
8.8 is suppose to be stronger then a dana 44 so it should hold up to 350. check out the specs on a ford explorer axle. I think it is an 8.8 and is slightly wider than a jeep and has i think the same bolt pattern.

Tim Springer
1980 CJ7
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the explorer 8.8 also has disc brakes and will make an easy swap. they are a little thin tubed (although it is over 3in in diameter). they are plenty strong as they were used in 1/2 ton trucks since 85.

dan

/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.giflet it snow/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
8.8 is that also in the ford rangers?? I know this would be a disadvantage to the explorer because it has drum brakes but the ranger could possibly be a dime a dozen?
84cj7

 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
8.8s have been used behind ford 4.0l V-6, 300 I6, 302 v-8, and 351 v-8s from the factory. However, if I'm not mistaken, the narrower version (from rangers and explorers) has very different axleshafts than the full-size pickup version...be sure you are comparing the narrow version's strength. The narrow version from rangers and explorers has fewer splines (the full-size has 31 splines...I can't remember how many the narrower one has) and the shafts themselves are weaker if I remember right... The advantage is that the axle tubes are the same diameter in both axles, so the shorter tubed axles are more ______(durable? resilient?). Anyhow, just make sure you know which axle you're buying. Here's the sight for all the tech info you need on the axles and bolt patterns they came with. http://www.ford-trucks.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi

Measure once, cut twice...or is that the other way around?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would suggest the 8.8". I swapped one into my Wrangler a few months ago. I had an early Bronco 9" sitting in my garage for about 2 years waiting until I had the time and money to swap it in. I guess it was a blessing in disguise that I never got around to it sooner because I would have been pist had I installed it, then learned about the 8.8" from a Ford Explorer. The 1995 and newer models come with disc brakes and posi units. I got mine for $650 which included the disc brakes, u-bolts, and the... well the two pieces of steel that the u-bolts bolt to that hold the springs onto the axle (what the heck are they called?). The stock shocks will bolt to these parts so making new shock mounts won't be necessary. The Explorer 8.8" is about 0.5" to 1" narrower than the stock dana 35 axle, but if you have oversized tires, you will never be able to see it. The 8.8" also has a higher pinion than the 9" so valuable driveshaft angle isn't sacrificed. The 8.8" has 31 spline shafts whereas my (and most I've been able to find) 9" have 28 splines. All you really need to do to swap this axle into your Jeep is remove the existing spring perches, weld on new ones, and get a new rear driver side brake hose (if the factory one was cut when removing it from the vehicle) for about $30 at any Ford dealership. I have a Chevy 350 in my Jeep as well and the 8.8" has held up like a champ with 33" tires. I saw a post on this board sometime back and if I remember right, the 8.8" was over 1.5 times stronger than a dana 44. One more thing, you'll be able to keep your existing wheels b/c the Ford axle has the same bolt pattern whereas the Bronco axle is different so you can save some money and not get custom shafts. The big downfall to the Explorer axle was the 3.73 ratio. It's not bad, but I NEVER did find one with another ratio.

Bottom line - save your money and get a 1995-99 (maybe 2000) Ford Explorer axle.

-Dorian
88 YJ w/ multi-speed wipers
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
you brought up another question....what about the gear aftermarket...do they serve up lower gears to 8.8's? Anybody know?


 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Richmond Gear lists 3.55, 3.73, 4.10, and 4.88 available for the 8.8". Other gear mfgs may offer a wider selection.

"My other car is a BULLDOZER"
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Would it be possible to swap a Ford 8.8 inch into a TJ? What other than coil perches would need to be replaced to fit it under a TJ? Any suggestions. Thanks.
Russ

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,901 Posts
You know, this is exactly why I reside at this board (as well as the atmosphere). I didn't know this about the Ford 8.8, in fact, until reading these posts I wouldn't have considered this axle because it's mentioned very infrequently and I assumed it was a weak axle. I am now reassessing my axle choices for later swaps into various jeeps. Thanks for all the info.

JEEPN
'81 CJ-8 Scrambled!
GM151/SM465/NP205/7" Lift/33" Swampers/D44's F&R 4.10's & Lockrights
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are other ratios. When I was looking, I found one with 4.10 gears. I ended up buying a 3.73 because of the milage that was on it.

 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
so now that I know just how beefy an 8.8 is...how do I recognize it? Is it a 3rd member rearend like it's daddy, the 9 inch? or is it just a regular housing? I'm really getting into this now...thanx guys

 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The ford 8.8 was used in '82 and up f-150's, bronco's, explorers and so on. It is characterised by being a 'standard diff' (ie, no third member) and it uses 31 spline c-clip axles. Later years have the speedometer ring and ABS sensors in the axle. If you happen to stumble on a 4.0L Ford Ranger 4x4, those also used a narrower 8.8, otherwise the ranger and bronco II used a 7.5" ford c-clip axle. An example of the interior components of the 8.8, currie uses a reverse cut r&p and carrier for their high pinion ford 9" center chunk. They claim that the 8.8 gears and internals are slightly stronger in design than the 9". even though it's .2" smaller.
anyhting 81 and older has a 9". 82 and later is the 8.8...


Florida Mud CJ-5
'77 RB304, t-150 D20 4" 35" swampers
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Watch the spline counts also. The earlier models with drum brakes use a 27 spline/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif, while the 95 and newer ones with disc have 31 spline/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif.
Another advantage is that there are no carrier breaks on the 8.8. This means that you can use any gear ratio in any carrier, and they do go deeper than 4.88.
Personally I'm waiting for the 4.88 gears to be released for my D30 and then doing the swap.
If you contact Mountain Off-Road in Colorado, they have a "kit" to make installing one of these easier.
There's even a guy on the Jeep-L who is swapping one into his ZJ.

_____________________
John
95.5 YJ with "stuff"
http://SonsofThunder4x4.com
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Are Ranger axles wider or narrower than a 94 YJ? Also what kind of front axle do they have?
Thanks

Kiley /wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif
94YJ
Alittle better than stock.
And now with a future Jeeper on the way.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Ford ranger is slightly wider than the wrangler. Be very carefull when looking at the rangers, from what I heard, only the 4.0L V-6 4x4 rangers have the 8.8, and I don't know if that is year specific... However the front axle is a dana 35-ifs-reverse cut. Not recomended for anything bigger than a 29" tire, and not even the 4.0L v-6 in those trucks. I wouldn't even look at the front axle, I'd keep the d30 in the front of your jeep if you ask me.. /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

Florida Mud CJ-5
'77 RB304, t-150 D20 4" 35" swampers
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
gee with all this talk about a "bullet" proof rear end in the wrangler how do you match it with a good front axle in the front? or could u get away with manuel locking hubs? to get the front end stronger? on the explorers rear end with disk brakes do they all have posi or is that an option?
84cj7

 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top