Explorer Ford 8.8 Swap

Discussion in 'How-To Submissions' started by Brinker88, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Brinker88

    Brinker88 Black sheep o' the family

    This "how-to" consists of successfully swapping a ford explorer 8.8 disc brake rear axle into my current ranger.


    Tools needed:

    Magnetic Angle finder
    Grinder/cutting wheel/torch
    wire brush
    Odds and ends tools (wrenches,sockets, etc.)
    Air tools (a +)

    The main thing you have to know about this is it is NOT a direct swap and welding IS required to keep your exhisting spring over axle configuration. You are also going to have to slightly mod your e-brake cables for them to work properly. (this will come at a later date for me as Im not running them at the moment) You will also need bigger diameter u-bolts and ubolt plates (kit is available through ruffstuffspecialties and ballisticfabrication). Some say you will need a new master cylender for 4wheel disc brakes but research shows that may not be the case ( I will update thread when I am complete)

    1.) Purchase axle. Ideal years are 1995-2003. I purchased mine from a local junkyard for $200 with an open differential other than a Limited Slip. I opted out of this option because I will be installing a locker in it. I've seen these axles go for up to $500.

    2.) Tear down. Inspect everything and purchase new parts. Paint if you want it to look nice (I suggest Chassis Saver). *Paint AFTER welding*

    3.) Grind off sway bar mounts. They will be in the way for your shock tabs. If you feel like it, grind off the leaf spring mounts AFTER you take the correct measurements!! (you can reuse these if your on a budget)
    I bought new leaf spring mounts and shock tabs from Ballistic Fab.com. The leaf spring mounts are 2" longer than stock which all but eliminates axle wrap.

    4.) Prep surface for welding. Set your pinion angle to what suits your application (take measurement on axle in the vehicle). Set to desired pinion angle. Set leaf spring perches to zero (0) degrees. Weld. Measure angle for shock tab and weld on as desired. (in my case 2.75 and 6.75 inches from pumpkin flange respectively)

    5.) Reassemble axle and put it in the truck. Bleed brakes. Enjoy! :thumbup:
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  2. Ranger Forum Sign Up!

    Join RangerForum.com Today - It's Totally Free!

    Are you a Ford Ranger fan? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Ford Ranger Fans to meet online.
    Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your Ford, and have a great time with other Ranger fans. Whether your an old timer or just bought your Ford you'll find that Ranger Forum is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

    Join RnagerForum.com Today! JOIN FOR FREE

  3. klinger86

    klinger86 Moderator

    Pics!!!!!! lol great writeup
  4. Hooligan

    Hooligan Rangerholic!!

    Its pending pics for now
  5. 01B3000

    01B3000 ORIGINAL Portable Seizure

    How did you determine where the shocks went, or did you weld them while they were on the truck?
  6. OP

    Brinker88 Black sheep o' the family

    From the Pumpkin flanges, they get welded on at 6.5" and 2.5" respectively at a 40 degree angle, when the pinion is at zero degrees. I measured the old ones that were on my old axle while it was still in the vehicle.
  7. doyouquaxu

    doyouquaxu FUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    ballistic fab has ****ty customer service and is hit or miss on getting you what you order (or some random crap) in an untimely manner. i have the ruff stuff kit and it included everything i needed: spring perches, u-bolts, spring plates and shock mounts for around $120.

    i have an 8.8 that was formerly drums, converted to disc. i did NOT swap the master and have had zero problems in a little over a year of city, highway and off road driving. just giving more input on the matter.

    as far as the e-brake, mine is not hooked up but i have heard and seen of people using uncommon sizes of 1/4" sockets as a spacer since the ranger cable is a bit too long if i remember right.
  8. ZRanger28

    ZRanger28 Got boost?

    you could also use copper pipe as a spacer. iv seen that done on other things
  9. OP

    Brinker88 Black sheep o' the family

    Yes, the copper pipe works well for the conversion with the e-brake.

    As for Ballastic Fab, I've never had a problem with them. They're leaf spring perches were $40, I used F150 u-bolt plates, used OE shock brackets from Broncograveyard, and made custom length u-bolts.
  10. 01B3000

    01B3000 ORIGINAL Portable Seizure

    Luckily I pulled the axle from the expo i got it from, so i have the parking brake cable all the way till it gets to the cab.
  11. OP

    Brinker88 Black sheep o' the family

    They're not quite long enough. You'll have to make a bracket or some extension. I have the expo ones too and havent hooked them up yet
  12. 01B3000

    01B3000 ORIGINAL Portable Seizure

    More questions but essential ones.

    Did you use the stock expo u-bolt plates? Im thinking of just cleaning it up and reusing it, still in good shape.
  13. OP

    Brinker88 Black sheep o' the family

    I used a stock 80-96 F150 u-bolt plates. I didnt use the expo one as the shock mounts are on them. I couldnt use the shock mount in my configuration so it wouldnt have looked as clean as Id like it to be.
  14. greenmachine2000

    greenmachine2000 New Member

    Doing this mod..will need advice. picking up axle tommorow...pics would be awsome!

Share This Page