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Anyone using a 95-01 Explorer 8.8" rear?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by burger, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. burger
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    burger Member

    A local guy who sets up rear ends recommended that I use a 95-01 Ford Explorer 8.8" rear in my '54 truck. It seems like a really good option...

    1. Stronger than a GM 12-bolt
    2. Disc brakes w/ seperate built in e-brakes
    3. 3.27 or 3.73 ratio
    4. Most have posi
    5. Common and cheap (like some people I know!)
    6. Approx 59.5" from flange-to-flange

    The only downside that I can see is that I'll have to have the axles & hubs drilled for a Chevy bolt pattern (no biggie).

    So.... has anyone used (and abused) them?? Any stories to tell??


    Thanks!
    Ed
  2. spudshaft
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    spudshaft Member

    It's the same rear end as in a 5.0 mustang, but with disc brakes and 5 on X bolt pattern. They are pretty durable, but I'm not sure if stronger than a 12 bolt. I have an OT '89 Mustang OT and it is fine. They are pretty popular for mustang swaps to get the disk brakes.

  3. Fat Hack
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    Fat Hack Member

    Just be carefull when you shop for one. Ford had supplier problems with some Ranger/Exploder rear axles for a while...piss poor quality axles were the result. They didn't make a big stink out of it, just quietly replaced faulty rears when customers experienced a failure. Just inspect your junkyard Exploder rear axle to be sure it isn't here at a bargain price because it was one of the shit ones!

    Aside from that, you should be okay...they're kinda ugly...but hidden under a body, who would notice or care, right?!
  4. Beemer
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    Beemer Member

    My father has a '00 in his '57 Chevy. They also have fairly large diameter 31-spline axles. He redrilled his to the chevy bolt pattern. His has the 3:73 posi with disk brakes. He's running a blown L88 427 with LOTS of modifications and 18x9 rear wheels. Rear is holding up fine. Swears he'll never go back to a 9" after his success with this rear.

    Good story: His friend bought a brand new Z06 a couple years ago and decided he wanted to drag race my father. Long story short, the Corvette lost big through the 1/4, but since the '57 doesn't have overdrive the Corvette could go faster down the road.

    Cool car that most here would condemn even though he did all engine, body and frame work (S-10 front widened 4") himself, just paid to have it painted.
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  5. spudshaft
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    spudshaft Member

    It's the same rear end as in a 5.0 mustang, but with disc brakes and 5 on X bolt pattern. They are pretty durable, but I'm not sure if stronger than a 12 bolt. I have an OT '89 Mustang OT and it is fine. They are pretty popular for mustang swaps to get the disk brakes.

  6. thehazmatguy
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    thehazmatguy Member

    I would never have even considered an 8.8 rear end! That is what I love about this forum... that's good info. I belive stock 55 - 57 chevy's have a 60 inch wide rear... so this would be a really nice fit.

    I'm just curious... I don't suppose anyone knows if 14 inch wheels would clear the calipers on that rear end? (I had a friend find that out the hard way on some second hand aftermarket brakes.)
  7. Beemer
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    Beemer Member

    Goin off a shaky memory, I doubt it. They have some fairly large disk brakes. I think even with the Mustang 8.8's you'd have to use 15's.
  8. Beemer
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    Beemer Member

    I wouldn't use a Mustang 8.8 in a rod just because of the upper control arm mounts being cast into the rear...not that you couldn't cut them off. Though, if memory serves, all Mustang 8.8's are Traction-Loc since the lesser versions (NOT V8) of the Mustangs, to this day, use the 7.5. My '82 GT had a 7.5, I think that was the last year for them [7.5] in the V8 Mustangs.
  9. Gotgas
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    1986 was the first year for an 8.8 in a Mustang. They all had 2.73, 3.08, or (autos only) 3.27 ratio.

    All Explorers had 15" or 16" wheels, so I'm not sure if 14" would fit. Probably depend on the wheel itself. And I bet you could trim the calipers if needed. There's only a 1/2" difference in radius.
  10. 286merc
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    286merc Member

    Another source for the 8.8 is RWD Volvos from 86-97. YES, Volvos! At least they wont have been abused and the prices around here are much less than from any Ford.

    Flange to flange is around 54" which makes them a good fit for Model A thru shoebox years where an 8" would often be used.

    Ratios mostly found are 3.54, 3.73 (turbo) and 4.10 (non turbo). Discs and traction lock are common on the upperscale models such as 940 with drums usually on the 240's.
    The various brackets and coil spring supports are easily removed.

    Volvo racing forums figure 400-450 hp max without some rework.
  11. Beemer
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    Beemer Member

    Do the Explorer rears have beefier axles? I recall my father saying his had 31spline axles that were large enough to rival a 9". I know his engine is closer to 500-550 horse and the rear's holding up without modification.
  12. blackjack
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    blackjack Member

  13. 286merc
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    286merc Member

  14. sawzall
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    sawzall
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    ed.. check on the cost of rebuild parts for the rear brakes first.. I had to buy new calipers, Rotors and hoses and ended up with the most expensive junkyard rear ever.. the 75.00 investment at shorty's turned into a very pricey rear axle with the 120.00 calipers.. (EACH!)

    I say stay with what you have, especially if its not broke..

    jeff
  15. burger
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    burger Member

    jeff,

    i'll be using the 4.11 10-bolt that's in there for now... but i'd like something with friendlier gears since i do at least 90% of my driving on the highway.

    fwiw, i just checked the autozone website, and the calipers are listed at $41 each after a $57 core. the parts are kinda expensive, but nothing too crazy... anyway it seems like the best option right now. i was quoted around $600 to put an eaton posi in my 10-bolt and change the gears... on top of that it will still be a 7.5" ring gear!


    ed

    ps- what did you put an 8.8 in? the 40?
  16. sawzall
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    yeah I have a 8.8 from a lincoln.. it works ok.. I think the gears are 3.55 or so.. (i had looked at it one time)

    like I said I bought the rear for 75 bucks at our favorite u pull it.. and ran it without doing anything to it for 5 years.. then just before the big trip I did a total redo.. IT hurt $$$

    jeff

    ..
  17. burger
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    burger Member

    have you ever been to a yard in king of prussia named rossi's? he has two explorer 8.8's for sale, $200 each.
  18. Al T
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    Al T Member

    A buddy of mine was looking at one for his 56. When it was pulled out of the wrecked Explorer the pinion was offset to one side. Does a 4x4 Explorer have the pinion off set for the transfer case? I'm guessing that's the issue? The Explorer rears you guys are using, are they from 2 wheel drive Explorers?

    Thanks.


  19. KCRodder
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    KCRodder Member

    I was just getting ready to say that about the offest pinion.... All Explorers and Rangers both 2x4 and 4x4 have those, supposedly the engine and transmission are offest in those vehicles. Ranger 8.8's were 28 spline axles with up to a 4.10 gear unless it was an FX4 then you got 31 splines and up to 4.56, FX4's came standard with a track-lok. Explorers got the 31 spline axles but only up to a 3.73 gear. Only difference between the housings themselves was the 4x2 Rangers and all Explorers had spring under axle pads while the 4x4 Rangers had a spring over pad. Strength wise, realistically your going to have a hard time breaking this axle during street use. The ring, pinion, and shafts are quite large compaired to a GM 12 bolt. The offset pinion has made this axle hard to swap to other vehicles due to driveline vibration from the compound angle the driveshaft is required to operate at (down and to the right). As far as wheel fitment I belive the compact spare was a 14 incher. I know that drum brake models will accept a 14 inch wheel as this was standard fare on all the 80's model Mustangs, Rangers, and Explorers.

    Just be careful of the dreaded 7.5 axle... looks similar and uses the same 28 spline axles but has a much smaller ring gear...
  20. asillymick
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    asillymick Member

    I didn't read what everone else posted so forgive me if it's been covered already. I am running a 4X4 Explorer rearend in a 54 Ford Sedan with a healthy 302 punched 60 over and the gear ratio in the rear is... I think 3.50. I like it but it is not a drag racing rear. Just newer with available parts. I like it, it does what I need.
  21. Comet
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    Comet Member
    1. south carolina hambers

    Just an FYI, the aftermarket offers gearing choices from 3.0-6.14 for the 8.8 depending on model.
  22. Henry Floored
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    Henry Floored Member

    That pinion offset should'nt hurt a bit unless you can see the rear in a bare bones car. Don't forget you can put 9" ends on the 8.8 housing pretty cheap then you can have that long axle cut and resplined to match the shorter side. This also allows you to eliminate the c- clips.
  23. fab32
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    So, What was the FAILURE? Housing, axle shaft, bearings,differential? Also what was the cause of the failure? Heat treat, component fracture, dimensional tolerance specification, etc.?

    Frank
  24. Gotgas
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    I've never paid more than $85 for an 8.8, and I usually seek out Lincoln and T-bird disc rears. The only benefit to a Mustang rear is that it is slightly narrower and always has a (easily rebuildable!) limited slip diff. T-bird TCs from '87-88 do too, and they have 3.55 or 3.73 ratios. Lincolns are basically junk except that they are 5-lug; they have 2.73-3.27 ratio and are all open rears. Bleh.
    Nope, all Explorers and Rangers are spring on top of rear. You have to do a flip kit to get a reasonable drop.
  25. KCRodder
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    KCRodder Member

    Hate to breat it to you... but... your wrong. (actually... that felt kinda good! :D ) You can argue the subject if you like, but I'd rather you read a book, or a webpage, or just go look at them first. I don't want to have to prove to you that the sky is blue, the grass is green, and the spring pads on an Explorer are under the axle. :rolleyes: ...Also, the trac-lock (Fords version of the limited slip) is common between all 8.8's. And the fox body (car versions) of the 8.8 are off topic. Unless Burger wants to install a triangulated 4 link, discussing them is just unnessesary information.

    BTW, did anyone post about the Explorer & FX4 8.8's being 1.5 inches wider than the standard Ranger 8.8's? ... I couldn't remember so I thought I'd mention it.
  26. Beemer
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    Beemer Member

    While you're right about the spring under issue (my Ranger rear was spring under anyway), I disagree about the Fox body issue. It is not that off topic, and anyone who needs a Trac-Loc diff might like to know where to get one. It is also not that hard to cut off the upper control-arm mounts or just not use them. Just because they came from the factory in a 4-link setup doesn't mean thats how they have to be used in a rod.
  27. oldcarmike
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    oldcarmike Member

    .

    The 240 Series did NOT come with drum brakes. I had a '69 142 and a '73 245 and both had disc brakes from the factory with built in E-brakes inside the 'drum' of the rotors.
  28. sawzall
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    i have the upper mounts on the rear under the 40

    um.. if your worried bout where the spring pad is located... your on the wrong forum.. hack.. i thought my linc rear was a 3.55? maybe i am remembering wrong thou...

    ed.. my pal duncan got one of those rears for his 53 ford panel.. from rossi.. good deal round here if you dont have the time to pull one..

    Jeff
  29. born2late
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    born2late Member

    I just narrowed an explorer rear for my buddie's A roadster. Cut like 4" out of the long side tube and went to the pick a part and got a second short side axle for $13.00. Now the pinion is centered. The 31 splines are beefier than a 9". Fits real nice. Can't remember the overall width at the moment. Cleaned all the mounts off the rear and put Speedway hairpin mounts on. Slick as shit. Won't see the ugly thing cuz the car is channeled. Cheap and easy!!
  30. Gotgas
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    Wow, 35 posts and you're already a verified prick.

    I did look it up, and you are correct, late model 2wd Explorers are spring under axle. Kudos. However, YOU'RE wrong when you say 2wd Rangers are too - want me to snap some pics of the axle under my '99 Ranger for you? Can't tell you how good it feels to correct your facts and your spelling all in one post.

    And idiot, no one would ever consider running Ford's poorly designed four-link under the rear of their car. If you can't cut and weld spring perches, this ain't the place for you.

    In fact, if you're always such a dick, this place DEFINITELY isn't for you.

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