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Shortening the Ford 8.8 Rear End - Quick Question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wdstr, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. wdstr
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 11

    wdstr
    Member

    Hey guys,

    Before I put my rear end (HA!) under the knife, I wanted to get a few opinions.

    *When using another 'short-side' axle shaft, most guys online seem to agree the the appropriate amount to cut off the axle housing (tube) is 3" on the long side of the housing.

    BUT The actual difference in axle shaft length is 30.5" - 27.625" = 2.875" Or 2-7/8".

    Should I cut 3" off the long side? Or should I cut 2-7/8" off the long side?
     
  2. Never done it so my advice is worth what it costs. I would shoot for 2.875". You don't want your splined end bottoming bottoming out before the bearing is fully seated. That said, I don't think .125" variance is all that critical.
     
  3. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 8,061

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Can't answer, but those 8.8 rears sure seem be plentiful and cheap, with good gears and posi. What width are you going to end up with?
     
  4. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,245

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I, too, would think the 2 7/8" would be the number to use. Better and 1/8" shorter than an 1/8" too long.


    Ray
     

  5. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    Remember, on an 8.8, it needs to be really close because the shaft is held in with a C clip. The early Ranger 8.8 is 56 5/8 outside to outside. How narrow did you need?
     
  6. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 2,017

    26 roadster
    Member

    I have always cut the difference in the axle length, just made sense.
     
  7. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 8,061

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    So that gets you 53 and change with the one side narrowing? Not much narrower than the S10 at 54 and change.
     
  8. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,094

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Cut the exact same as diffeerence in axle length. 2 7/8".
    The 8.8" Ford is a excellent choice, and very reasonably priced for a strong rearend. Just put a '93 8.8" in my 454 powered Falcon. It's a 3.73 posi for a whopping $175 at the local wrecking yard.
     
  9. DaddyO's..Deuce
    Joined: Jul 31, 2011
    Posts: 782

    DaddyO's..Deuce
    Member
    from Missery

    I would say the 8.8 could take quite a bit more HP and abuse than the 10-bolt.
     
  10. greazy john
    Joined: Oct 13, 2007
    Posts: 457

    greazy john
    Member

    measure the axle, people say 3'' if it's 2 7/8 do it the same ,i have used 2 of these under a 40 coupe and a 33 worked fine...but had a good friend do the narrowing, he also has one under his 40 vert no problems.look for the posi one , plenty out there ...have fun
     
  11. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,094

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    The 8.8" is pretty much a copy of GM 12 bolt rear, but later 8.8" have 31 spline axles, while early have 28 spline. The 12 bolt GM has 30 spline. So the later 8.8" is slightly stronger axles than the 12 bolt.
     
  12. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 9,027

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    Posted a link for you in the 52-59 Ford Group.
     
  13. wdstr
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 11

    wdstr
    Member

    Wow! Thanks for all the replies, guys!

    I plan on pressing one of the tube out of the housing, much like this fellow did:
    http://www.stangfix.com/testforum2/index.php?topic=11946.0


    My end goal is to have an axle that is 56-5/8" WMS to WMS. It'd be just about perfect, and I believe it's where two short axle shafts will get me.

    Thanks again HAMBers.
     
  14. rickl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2012
    Posts: 103

    rickl
    Member

    I've done this with an OT car. I'd go with the 2 7/8". I didn't push out the axle tube, just shoved something down the tube to keep some bits of metal out of the center section.
     
  15. wdstr
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 11

    wdstr
    Member

    I like to update/close my threads, normally.

    Here's the progress on the shortened 8.8.

    I've drilled out the welded "plugs", and pressed the tube out of the center section.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I measured exactly how different the axle shafts were using a rather creative set up! (Those little rare earth magnets are super handy when you need to hold small objects in place.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Comes out to 74mm difference. That's exactly how much I'm removing from the axle tube before pressing it back into the center section.

    Eyeballin' has its place... but I had the opportunity to do it (almost) perfectly, so why not! ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  16. 2dr_sedan
    Joined: Mar 25, 2005
    Posts: 265

    2dr_sedan
    Member

    Seems to be a popular mod. I've got one narrowed the same, going in my '64 Fairlane.
     
  17. cooger
    Joined: Nov 5, 2008
    Posts: 233

    cooger
    Member

    I've got on sitting on stands that has been shortened with the pass. side axle--it's right at 57" backing plate to backing plate. The guy that did the shortening just cut the right amt. for the pass. side axle and welded up the tubes (strongly advised while its out) Mine has drums fyi.
    cooger
     
  18. BradM32ply
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 54

    BradM32ply
    Member

    WDSTR, I am in the process of attempting this same mod. I ma having trouble. I drilled out the plug welds with a 1/2" drill, but I cannot tell if I got all of the weld. I am trying to press it out with the power pac, but it does not budge. Any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Brad
     
  19. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,094

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    From looking at my tube's plug weld, I'd say 1/2" isn't large enough to get rid of all the weld. I'd go closer to 5/8" or 3/4" to get it all. A little big wont hurt, but a little small wont let the tube push out, as you've discovered.
     
  20. Citizen caine
    Joined: Apr 28, 2013
    Posts: 59

    Citizen caine
    Member

    You need to set the pinion in line with the driveshaft.
    At this point you either decide what to cut to be even with where you want your wheel flange to be. Most of the time you have a wheel & rim size selected. If so you need to figure where you want the rim to sit. measure from the back side of the rim mounting surface to your rear. This sets how much you cut off.
    You can also guess where to cut the axle then play with different rim back spacings.

    You can take a stock 8,8 and cut 1-1/2 off each side of the tube and axles. This will allow for propped spline engagement with stock parts. We used c-clip eliminators to hold axles in.
     
  21. Citizen caine
    Joined: Apr 28, 2013
    Posts: 59

    Citizen caine
    Member

    Normally we cut the ends of the housings off. And reweld them on after you narrow the tubes.
    You must use a jig for welding..
     
  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,740

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    never figured out what year/model 8.8 yours is from. from another site I got Rangers 90-92 = 56 1/2" 93 up = 58 1/2" Explorers = 59 1/2" - info may help others with figuring out what to use for their particular ride.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  23. BradM32ply
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 54

    BradM32ply
    Member

    WDSTR, I drilled the plug welds out with a 3/4" drill bit and the tube still won't press out. I tried applying pressure to one side while carefully hammering on the leaf spring perch on the opposite side. No luck. Would it be advisable to heat the casting to expand it?
    This seemed like an easier approach than cutting and welding the tube, but now I am not so sure.
    Thanks,
    Brad
     

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