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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I need advice for a 63 with a TCI 4-Link suspension that will have a 90 Ford Explorer 8.8 Differential with the Explorer disc brakes, the machinist is asking for a measurement between the rims and tire combo I will be using (which I don't have yet) the car WILL NOT BE TUBBED , so if possible I need a hub to hub measurement for 4.5 bs on a 15, 16, or 17 x 7 and or 8 inch rim and tire setup if possible.

Thanks for the help in advance
 

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I'm doin an 8.8 now with matching short sides. The total width comes to 56.5, WMS to WMS. What Backspace you run is only half determined by this number. You'll need to measure. Sorry.
 

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1st gen Nova’s can tolerate an 8” width wheel maximum in the rear without tubing. I have 15x8 rallies with a custom offset on the rear of my 64. My axle is a stock width 10 bolt 8.2 that is 57.75” wide. My wheel backspace is 5.25”. You can probably make a 225-235/60/15 tire work. If you go to a 17” wheel then a 245/45/17 on a 17x8 wheel. These are tire sizes that I know should fit the stock wheel houses of 1st gen cars..

With regard to the absolute width you should make your 8.8” axle, I don’t have a hard number for you.. With that said, what most 8.8 users typically do is acquire a second short side axle and cut down the long side to fit the short axle. I believe that makes the total width at the wheel mounting surfaces approximately 56”.. This gives you two factory length off the shelf production axles.

When TCI builds an axle you can probably specify a width. I had a TCI 4-link that was 54” without rotors installed at the wheel mounting surfaces.

Check out the build by LSCustoms he did an 8.8 on his 65 and has just got his wheels.
 

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I have a TCI 4 link in my '63 with a 46 1/2" inch wide axle. Add 4 inch each side for the drums and it's 54 1/2"' wide total. I will be running a 15x7 inch wheel with 3" backspace which centers the tire in the stock wheel wells. I couldn't remember my actual axle width, so I just went out and measured with a tape measure, so I may be off a smidge.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First off let me say THANK YOU AGAIN EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP AND ADVICE, and I hope you and your friends and families are safe throughout all of the issues we are facing.
So I bought this 8.8 maybe 12 years ago and the former owner had already put 3 inch axle tubes on and I need to measure it again butt if I remember correctly it is 57 and3/4 inches WMS to WMS which I think is the same as stock,and now since I need to have the 4-Link shock brackets welded on depending on the cost was thinking of having it shorted to 57 or 56.5 inches and a rebuild ( since it's already apart) , I guess what I'm asking is should I leave it as it is or shorten it.
 

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I suspect this is really going to depend on how particular you are going to be about your wheel and tire choices.. Some wheels are only available in limited backspace options. If those wheels happen to be ones you like then you’re all good. If not then you’ll have to figure out how to resolve this..

Alternatively, you can pick your wheel out now and build the axle to suit the wheel you want to run with.. This might mean that you are going to have custom axle shafts made for your axle. That can be pricey too.. In the event you have replace an axle shaft, you would need to order another custom axle. If you use the shorter factory length axle on both sides you end up in a decent width at 56.5” which is overall 1.25” narrower then the stock Nova axle and giving you 5/8” per side to allow for more space to the outer wheel houses.
 

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TCI recommends a 54.5” rear end axle flange to axle flange When using stock wheel wells. 52.5” I’d Mimi tubbed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you sir, much appreciated, also I am doing this in my Garage and was wondering where are people placing the rear most jackstands to support the rear quarters to prevent buckling and should I install the M2 front clip first or the 44-Link and should I remove the gas tank before I install the 44-Link, Thanks again and sorry for all of the questions.
 

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I doubt you need to remove the gas tank. Where to put jack stands is tricky, but I think in flat section (just before axle) of frame rail, which is just behind where the TCI subframe mounts. I would install the front clip first, but it shouldn't matter. Hopefully others will chime in with opinions as I'm no expert.
405790
 

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Thank you sir, much appreciated, also I am doing this in my Garage and was wondering where are people placing the rear most jackstands to support the rear quarters to prevent buckling and should I install the M2 front clip first or the 44-Link and should I remove the gas tank before I install the 44-Link, Thanks again and sorry for all of the questions.
You can sequence it either way you want. You will have a lot of parts to remove from the front end when you do the MII clip. The rear won’t have near as many parts off of the car. When you support the car I have used large jack stands at the rear of the car located under the heavy brace that angles off of the rear subframe rail to the tail panel just outside of the rear leaf spring shackles.. You don’t really have too many options here. You need a large area cleared to remove the rear end and leaf springs. The front should be supported at the wheels if possible. If not then support under the front clip forwards of the front suspension..

None of this will either prevent of create the buckling of the quarter panels.. Redistributing the chassis load from the leaf springs connected to the chassis fore and aft to coil overs in the middle of the rear subrails is where the problem occurs. I would suggest a strategy for reinforcing the rear subframe that ties the unibody structure into the subframe connectors and rocker panels..

The jack stands at the rear are the largest ones I have. I believe they are 12 ton Harbor Freight units.
39391C79-23D4-4CE5-A732-293FAEF3718A.jpeg
 

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I'm doin an 8.8 now with matching short sides. The total width comes to 56.5, WMS to WMS. What Backspace you run is only half determined by this number. You'll need to measure. Sorry.
🇬🇧
Hi Guys
I have just fitted an 8.8 explorer axle to my wagon after shortening the long side to match the short side using another short shaft it came out 5/8 inch shorter both sides.

Cheers Ian
 

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Hi Guys
I have just fitted an 8.8 explorer axle to my wagon after shortening the long side to match the short side using another short shaft it came out 5/8 inch shorter both sides.

Cheers Ian
Yep. Same. I'll have to measure what's gonna fit best. I'm calculating before measuring that an 8 inch rim with 4.625 backspace is optimal. This is based on the recommendation that a stock axel width, a 7 inch rim is optimal at 4.75 inch backspace.

Thus, Backspace on a 56.5 inch WMS (stock leaf and no tubs) should =

(4.75 + 0.5 (for the 8 inch rim)) - (0.625(shortened axel))=

4.625

I'll measure soon and see what I get.
 
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