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Discussion Starter #1
I'm playing around with the idea of swaping my stock 8.2 rear axle with somthing different. The 8.2 is making some roaring noises at low speeds and I think the pinion bearing is bad and I know half of the ring gear had some rust on it. Works but its a little noisy and getting a little irritaing after 3 years of driving. Rather than spend $350-400 on new parts alone not counting labor for someone to rebuild it, I thought about just going to the salvage yard and maybe get somthing to replace it with.

Some people have run the S10 rear end, But from what i've researched it is 54.5" wide to wheel mounting surfaces. The stock 1st gen is 57.75" wide WMS to WMS. S10 rear seems too short and would require spring relocation and mini tubs, which I don't want to tackle.
I've read in the best of section about the ford explorer 8.8 and the left side axle shortening necessary from 59.5" to 56.5" to make them fit and to center the pinion which is originally offset by 2". Shortening one down and relocating mount perches doesn't seem like a big deal and I really like features these rears offer. Various gear selection, 31 spline, posi and disc brakes. Not to mention plentiful and reasonalby priced at the local pull a part.

However, has anyone swaped in an 8.8 out of a 4.0L 90-92 ranger? Or even the 7.5 rear from the 82-92 rangers? Those are already 56.5" wide. I believe the pinion is also offset by 2" on those. Is this pinion offset a bad thing? I'm guessing the factory disc brakes from a 95 up explorer will bolt on to the ranger 8.8. These rears would be 5/8" narrower per side than the stock 8.2 rear.

I helped my dad swap in a mustang 8.8 with 3.23 posi trac, ranger axle 5 lug conversion and explorer 10" brakes in his 67 fairlane. I really liked the difference it made in performance. Plus it didn't cost a fortune to do.
This is somthing I'm just considering. Any thoughts or additional information would be helpful and appreciated.
 

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The 90-92 ranger with the 8.8 I think would be a better option than the 90-92 with the 7.5 no brainer. The 8.8 in the Ranger would have the 28 spline instead of the Explorer 31 spline count. The Ranger would be less work than the Explorer ( don't have to narrow it ) I believe you can swap all of the disk brake stuff from a Explorer on to a Ranger axel.

I narrowed a 99 8.8 Explorer for my 63, just took my time and checked and rechecked everything.I made my own E-Brake cables out of the Explorer ones and hooked them up to the original Nova E-Brake.

Good luck, let us know what you decide on doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks, 603 chevy II. I would be interested in seeing how you installed the 8.8 and how you did the e-brake cables. Also, what master cylinder or proportioning valve did you use to make the rear disc brakes work? ( question probably belongs in the chassis brakes section huh?)
The only thing that concernes me about the 8.8 ranger rear is the 2" pinion offset. It works in a ranger this way so is there any reason why it wouldn't work in a 1st gen? From what I've read, most guys are shortening the explorer rear ends so the pinion would be more centered to the transmission. is this necessary or is there somthing I'm not aware of as to why this is done? The way I've calculated on the explorer rear, by shortening them 3" and the pinion is 2" off to begin with, that still leaves the pinion offset by 1" in the other direction in realtion to the centerline. Am I correct in my thnking here? According to Bluesman in the best of thread, the 2" pinion offset is within the u joints normal deflection limits.
 

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I think you could install the Ranger rear axel and like you said the u-joint can handle the angle of it being off 2". They survive under the Rangers. I'm not sure what size the Rangers u-joint is guessing 1310 but the Explorer is 1330. I did not shorten the drive shaft, I used a ******* u-joint that has both the 1310 and the 1330 on it and the drive shaft bolted right in.

On the e-brake cables I figured out how long they would need to be, than took the cable out of them, cut the outer housing then put the cable back in the housing.I routed them up to the horseshoe shape bracket at the back of the car. I than routed the new cables around the horshoe one from both sides, Than held them together with a cable farel. ( I crimped it with a feral crimping tool, we use them at wook) Adjust the e-brake cable and it's done.

I also have disk brakes in the front, I used a 68 vette MC with a SSBC adjustable PV, the brakes seem fine for the momet, I need to adjust the rear brakes on it. so the rears don't lock up before the fronts. I lost my window of opportunity (cold weather) I will wait until spring for that. I have plenty of other little things that need to be done.
 
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