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ford 8.8" solid axle swap


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I've started a 8.8"swap. Some may ne interested, others may hate me. Just documenting so others will know what's involved if they want to do a swap. First thing I did was go to the local junk yard and find a late 90s explorer. These are plentiful. So far I've seen 3.55, 3.73, and 4.11 ratios. The 4.11 appears to be the common ratio for 4x4s. Some also have clsd. All will have disk brakes. The explorer rear has a long axle tube on the right side and shorter tube on the left. You want to take out exactly 2.875" from the longer tube and use two right side axles. Here are some pics of what I've done so far. I will update as I go. First picture is the unshortened axle with brackets cut off. Second pic is after the first cut. Third pic is with the correct amount removed, beveled, tack welded, and axles in place.

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I'm going to use this jegs ladder bar kit. I got it on sale for $160 free shipping. The quality looks really good. From my experience with drag racing rear suspension tells me to make the lower bar parallel to the ground. I'm going to try to use the stock rear struts with a custom bracket.

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Cool. My buddy said he's coming tomorrow to do the welding then I'm going to remove the current rear from the car. Getting the rear end square in the chassis is going to be fun. Also I'm hoping that the new diff cover isn't going to hit the area where the old diff mount attaches. I have a solution just hoping I don't have to notch that crossmember.

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  • 8 months later...

Finally making progress on this again. Fabbed my own crossmember instead of buying one. Cut out a section in the floor and welded it in. Welded brackets onto the rear axle. Made panhard bar brackets. This is a big job, wow. Everything is going smoothly though. Rear end seems to fit in the space provided there. Sorry this post is a little vague but I will answer any questions.

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  • 1 month later...

Finally drove the car on sunday. Picked up a driveshaft from an explorer, shortened it and used a moog 290 u joint to install the chevy yoke. The rear calipers don't seem quite compatible with the stock master cylinder. Gonna need a bigger one. I plan on doing more test driving today.

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Finally drove the car on sunday. Picked up a driveshaft from an explorer, shortened it and used a moog 290 u joint to install the chevy yoke. The rear calipers don't seem quite compatible with the stock master cylinder. Gonna need a bigger one. I plan on doing more test driving today.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 months later...

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