8.8" Explorer rear axle swap questions (merged) - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 3rd-November-2005, 11:43 AM   #1
sharkattack
 
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8.8" Explorer rear axle swap questions (merged)

I know this is a dumb question but I am new to used parts.

I want to get the Explorer rear end with disks for my 63 and the yard near me has 4 or 5 of them 3.73 posi with the full disk set up for $200. I read that I will need to narrow one side about 3 inches. My question is where should I take it to get that done? Tranny shop, macine shop, or somewhere else ??????

Thanks for bearn with a noob.....
 
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Old 3rd-November-2005, 12:46 PM   #2
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you need to take it to a shop that speciallizes in narrowing rears, a driveshaft shop or a race/chassis shop.

also ditch the factory posi set up. they are very weak , the clutches always break and the s spring is always worn out.

ive built quite a few of them and they all stink. unless its a driver and then just rebuilding it will last for a while.

but if ya decide to street /strip it. it will lose it posi real soon.

good luck, alot of people are swapping to that rear. it may become very popular.
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Old 3rd-November-2005, 02:35 PM   #3
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I agree you should take i to someone who has a narrowing jig so the job will be done right. You will narrow the long side about 3" and use 2 of the short side axles. You want to make sure they narrow it just the right amount or you will have issues whith the disc brake caliper mounting/offset. The factory 8.8 posi's are junk that's for sure. But like said before for a street cruiser will work just fine.

Miles
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Old 3rd-November-2005, 03:25 PM   #4
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Not to hijack the thread, but...

What is the relative strength of the 8.8" explorer rear vs a 9", 10-bolt and 12-bolt?
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Old 3rd-November-2005, 04:03 PM   #5
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i had a 90 musting for a few years. beat the balls off it. got into the low 13's and my bro in laws in the 11's. even ran around with a few boys who ran in the 10's all stock rears . eventually the posi clutches break. but they can hold there own . they are as big and strond as a stock 12 bolt
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Old 3rd-November-2005, 04:49 PM   #6
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Guess what?
The 8.8" Ford was patterned off the Chevy 8.875" 12 bolt. Some (but not all) of the bearings and seals interchange. It's not a carbon copy mind you (ring gear is .075" smaller) but they did "bench mark" the 12 bolt for design features. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 5th-November-2005, 09:01 PM   #7
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My plan was the explorer rear, it sounds good, butt I want 14" w rubber on the ground. and only want to do this once so, (i'm going to narrow the rear frame) I bought a ford 9" center chunk casting letters C7AW E (looking at a detroit locker for the chunk) it's 31 spline 4 pinion track loc 350 gears and have a big bearing housing. I will narrow and brace housing with a ladder bar setup. and either the currie housing ends and axles with explorer disc setup with the e brake or this MK VII disc setup http://www.ultrastang.com/Ultrainfo.asp?Page_ID=14 as far as rearends go, IMHO i think the 9" is as cheap as the explorer rear. my plan is to start with 383 SBC with 400 to 450 HP, but may end up any where.


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Old 10th-April-2006, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Wright
Don't ask me how I know.
Let me guess...You brought in the 12 bolt they reverse engineered...lol....Just kidding ya...
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Old 27th-August-2006, 07:26 PM   #9
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Has anyone actually done this swap?

I found a rear with 3.73's, which I want, disks, 37,000 miles on the vehicle it came out of, and am VERY interested in doing this swap. I suppose the wheel bolt pattern is different. Anything else besides a possible shortening of the tubes?
 
Old 27th-August-2006, 08:09 PM   #10
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Possible? One tube is longer than the other so you will have to shorten the long one. Make sure when they shorten the long tube you get the spring perch dimension right and the yoke on center with the transmission. The driveshaft connection is different on a Ford. You'll have to make one fit the other. You may have to change the driveshaft length.
You can get aftermarket limited slip units that will hold up. Same with axle shafts.
This may sound like a cheap deal but I'll be when you get done you'll have $500-800 in the axle.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Wright
Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol.
.

Last edited by Paul Wright; 27th-June-2009 at 11:07 AM.
 
Old 21st-October-2006, 09:42 PM   #11
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Ford 8.8 Update

This is an update to an old thread I started, asking about using a Ford 8.8 rearend in a Gen 3 Nova. To summarize, the flange to flange measurement is almost exactly the same (60") but the pinion is offset 2 3/16 and the perches are off by about an inch or so. The rearend I got is from a '95-'01 Ford Exploder. If you get the tag that says 3L73 from this series you get posi, 3.73 gears and (I believe) 31 spline axels (at least mine has them and I have heard they all are). The 8.8 may not be quite as strong as a 9" but it is a LOT more common and is still a real beast. Supposedly the 8.8 is based on the GM 8.5 and may even have some interchangeable parts. Here is what I have done....

1. The tech dudes at Curry say the offset is not a problem; that it falls within the normal deflection for a u-joint.

2. Exploder rearends come with a weird 5" flange on the pinion, but not to worry, there is a saddle that bolts on it and NAPA has a u-joint with Ford on one side and GM on the other so it will bolt up to your shaft (NAPA PN PUJ-372 ... thanks Charlie!).

3. Brake lines on Exploders come in from the right side, but you can flip the lines on the rear axel and everything fits...well, it does with a 3/16 - 1/4 brake line adapter from NAPA ($6.09). Check out the pics./

4. If the eBrakes on the Exploder rear axel are even sort-of OK...keep them. Replacing the shoes is a major major B---- !! If you are brave (foolish) enough to try to replace them give me a PM and I will tell you what I learned )

5. I moved the perches. Some folks don't.

So the only other thing I have heard, which I have NOT tried, is that on an 8.8 posi (Ford calls it a limited slip, but what do they know?) you can replace the "S" spring with one from an F-150 and get more "bite" on the posi.

So...that what I found out so far................

Dave
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Last edited by Bluesman; 26th-October-2006 at 09:53 PM.
 
Old 22nd-October-2006, 12:09 AM   #12
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Lookin good Dave, except the pics are kinda small lol.
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Old 22nd-October-2006, 12:55 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info! Nice work.
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Old 22nd-October-2006, 05:15 PM   #14
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So Dave, are you saying that a person could bolt the 8.8 in with no mods to the perches and no shortening of the axle on the one side???

That is what i think i read. Educate me please.
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Old 22nd-October-2006, 11:18 PM   #15
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Personally, I would move the perches. There is at least one guy who did not move the perches but I do not like the idea of having the springs at an angle.

Having the pinion offset by 2" or so is not a problem for a street machine. If you are racing and really putting a lot of torque through it you might want it centered, but that is really up to you. The tech line at Curry said that a 2-3" offset is no problem and falls within the acceptable deflection for a u-joint. It deflects more than this with the verticle movement of the axle.

So I moved the perches to match the Nova spring mounts (and I also took the opportunity to correct for the 1/2" offset that GM built into my Nova's rear suspension), but I have not fiddled with the lengths of the axle tubes.

What I didn't mention up to now is how much that sucker weighs!! When I get the springs and the Cal-Trac mountings bolted on it will weigh well over 200 lbs. I still haven't figured out how I will get it all bolted up underneath my ride!! I think it will involve 2 very large neighbor kids and a floor jack at the very least.

Dave
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Last edited by Bluesman; 28th-October-2006 at 10:33 AM.
 
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