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Old 07-13-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
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My Explorer 8.8 Installation (with pictures)

This is my build thread for my 8.8. I went with the 31 spline version out of a 1999 Explorer so it had the disc brakes. I also decided on doing an Ultimate 88 kit to eliminate the C-Clips and upgrade to chromoly shafts. While I'm at it, upgrading to new calipers and rotors, EBC yellow stuff pads and doing my SOA conversion using Rubicon Express SOA kit, Bilstein 5100 shocks and upgraded RE1445 Rubicon Express springs.

I'll be updating this thread as I go over the next month or so.

For now, this is how I got the axle from the junkyard. Cost me $100 and I had to drive 2 hours to get it but it was complete from pads to pads:




.... and this is after I ground off the old spring and shock mounts and my buddy's shop sandblasted it for me:



.. and this is after I painted it marking paint neon green. Since the rest of the Jeep is black with green and white accents, I think doing the axles and wheels in highlighter green will set it off. This is after 10 coats of green and a coat of high temp clear:


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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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88 Wrangler SOA lift with Waggy Springs supporting an AMC 360, and ax15 5spd Transmission. She is a work in progress!!!! Every little fix is a victory!
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #3
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That's one angry 8.8.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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Subscribed, ill be doing this swap shortly as well!
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:05 AM   #5
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Looks great Denis...Almost the same color that i picked for my exterior color...

my question is why didn't you wait until you welded the spring perches and shock towers on before you gave it a coat of color? just askin...
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:11 AM   #6
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Looks great Denis...Almost the same color that i picked for my exterior color...

my question is why didn't you wait until you welded the spring perches and shock towers on before you gave it a coat of color? just askin...
I'm doing touchup once the perches are on. Since I'm working on a time table with a few friends to do the perch alignment/welding/fitting/etc. I didn't want to have them help me with the first part and then come back another day after I painted. This way, I can just re-spray the perch areas quickly and let dry for an hour while we're doing the front axle as SOA.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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I figured it was something simple like that, from reading your other posts and replies on here, you seem like a guy that has a keen attention to details.

Keep up the great work, always love it to see another 8.8 replacing Dana's poorest designed rear axle ever...lol.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:33 AM   #8
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I definitely try to think the projects out and I'm by no means a mechanic so I tend to learn lessons the hard way.

That said, I'll keep posting pictures and progress here. Shooting to do the rear gears in the next few weeks, upgraded shafts and the rest of the axle work at the same time and installation in the next 6-8 weeks.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #9
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Let me know or post it on this build...what you end up with for a degree setting for the pinion...when i did mine i set it at 16 degrees above level cause that is what i read in other posts and that is what the old spring perches were for the explorer, but even with my SYE and CV shaft, i still have a slight vibration.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:39 AM   #10
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I'll definitely post what we find. This is where I'm going to need the most help. I know very little about settings up angles and making sure everything is right. The two guys I have helping me with this have both done these jobs before and one of them has done like a dozen of these so I'm hoping this all goes smooth.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:39 PM   #11
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Subscribed. looks good. Wanting to do this as well.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:38 AM   #12
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Thought I'd throw in a "costs" post so others can see what it takes to do one of these conversions the way I'm doing it. Granted, you can do this cheaper. I'm going overkill in some ways because I only want to do this once:

8.8 Rear Axle Costs
31 Spline Axle itself (junk yard pull) - $100
Superior Gears (SUP-F88488 ) - $176
Detroit Locker (187C-145A) - $600
Professional Gear Installation - $200
Ultimate 88 Kit/C-Clip Eliminator with Master Overhaul/Rebuild Kit (YA-WF88-31-KIT) - $515
Two new Calipers (NAPA CALSE5156) (junk ones were junk) - $80 (after core)
EBC 3GD Rotors (GD7049) = $172
EBC Yellow Stuff Brake Pads (DP41201R) = $82
Spicer 1310 Adapter for the 8.8 (2-2-1379) with bolts (N800594-S100) = $50
4 Quarts Redline Shockproof Gear Oil (58404) = $60
Sandblast and Paint Costs = $60
Solid Diff Cover (SA8.8) = $75
Rubicon Express Rear Brake Line (RE-1513) (only 1 came with D35 SOA kit) - $45
FORD 8.8 PARKING BRAKE HARDWARE KIT (8579870) - $29
Total 8.8 Costs: $2244


Dana 30 Front Axle Costs
Axle Costs - $0.00 (was in Jeep when I got it)
Dana 30 Master Overhaul/Rebuild Kit (OKD30) - $125
Superior Gears (SUP-D30488R) - $156
Professional Gear Installation - $200
27 Spline Chromoly Shafts/Disco Conversion (RWKS-D30CMLY) - $420
EBC 3GD Rotors (E35GD906) = $184
EBC Yellow Stuff Brake Pads (EBC-DP41022R) = $140
4 Quarts Redline Shockproof Gear Oil (58404) = $60
Solid Diff Cover (SA30) = $75
Total D30 Costs: $1360

Spring Over Costs
Rubicon Express SOA Kit (RE5015) - $295
Rubicon Express Springs (RE1445) - $160 each x 4 = $640
Bilstein 5100 Shocks (235735107) - $312
Currie Shackles (CE-9040/CE-9081) (to replace my stupid shackle lift) = $160
JB Conversions HD Super Short SYE (Part #16-1201-1945 ) = $300
Tom Woods Drive Shaft (haven't ordered yet so not sure which one to get) = Around $300
Total Spring Over Costs: $2007

Total Project Costs: $5,611

Wow. That's like... substantially more than I paid for my Jeep. That said, I've been buying a piece here and a piece there for months so it doesn't hurt like it would have if I put this whole chunk out at once. Of course, none of this includes the new wheels/tires/etc.etc. that inevitable come after doing a axle swap and lift....
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:35 AM   #13
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With these upgrades, Jeep gets a new pair of shoes. The wheels are gonna go (wrong lug pattern) but I got such an incredible steal on a set of 36 inch swampers that had almost no miles on them (still had nipples and stickers!) that I'm going for the upgrade with the new lift.

Look at how much bigger they are than 33s!



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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #14
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That's a similar setup to what i'm doing but i'm doing mine axle wise.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #15
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you are heading towards a v8, right? Looks good and sounds like it's gonna be more than sturdy enough. I'm looking for a donor vehicle to put a 4bt in that I came across from a salvage yard buddy of mine. I've spent so much time on my wife's yj finally getting it going that I think I'm crazy enough to try the diesel set up. As if I didn't have enough grey hair..Driller
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:16 AM   #16
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Driller - You are correct. The more I think about it, the more I'm drawn to the LS1/LS3 platform. Going to keep it mild (for as much fuel efficiency as I can hope for in a Jeep while still having power on tap), going fuel injected, going with the Howell EFI wiring system so I can use the Jeep's computer and working on a deal now on a SM465 manual tranny. Going to keep the NP231J as I just put $700 into parts for a rebuild/SYE/etc.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:17 AM   #17
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My gear guy Ben called last night.. rear axle is geared, locked and everything assembled. Hopefully getting it tucked under in the next few weeks. My work schedule has been hell lately (4AM to 7-8PM week days plus half days every weekend) so it's gonna be hard finding time to work on it. Hopefully mid month though!
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:39 AM   #18
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Nice, subscribe, also, hope you don't mind, but was considering stealing that Zombie Outbreak Response Team thing. A buddy of mine was talking about them decals today. Love it!
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:53 AM   #19
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Lt Ray - No worries on the zombie thing. I stole it from someone else and modified it a bit to work for me.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:11 PM   #20
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More photos of the install (or rather: uninstall). Front D30 removed (sent to gear guy to locker/gear), Rear D35 removed (sold on CL for $150). Removed both front and rear springs (sold to a friend for another project). Was a bugger of a time getting everything apart from all the rust.. but just waiting on the axles to be done and my new RE1445s to get here.







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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denisbaldwin
More photos of the install (or rather: uninstall). Front D30 removed (sent to gear guy to locker/gear), Rear D35 removed (sold on CL for $150). Removed both front and rear springs (sold to a friend for another project). Was a bugger of a time getting everything apart from all the rust.. but just waiting on the axles to be done and my new RE1445s to get here.
Those pics bring back memories.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:09 PM   #22
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Lots more progress. Bilstein 5150 shocks installed all around. New Rubicon Express RE1445 Springs installed with Currie Shackles. My buddy Nick came over and helped with the perches, getting them lined up and welded in place. Just waiting on Rusty's to send me the U-Bolts I need as my RE kit didn't come with them.

Here's some pictures from the weekend:















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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:23 PM   #23
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I see you welded the tubes to the housing. Nice bead on that. I did the same on my 8.8
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:14 PM   #24
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I see you welded the tubes to the housing. Nice bead on that. I did the same on my 8.8
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:24 PM   #25
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I see you welded the tubes to the housing. Nice bead on that. I did the same on my 8.8
I'm new to jeeps. I come from Toyotas. So forgive my ignorance. What is the advantage of a ford 8.8 over the stock jeep axle. My jeep has a Dana 35 and a 30. I was thinking of getting lockers for them are they even worth the build?
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:35 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditchdoc

I'm new to jeeps. I come from Toyotas. So forgive my ignorance. What is the advantage of a ford 8.8 over the stock jeep axle. My jeep has a Dana 35 and a 30. I was thinking of getting lockers for them are they even worth the build?
With good size tires and gear reduction even a factory 2.5l can blow up a dana 35 pretty easily.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:20 AM   #27
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I see you welded the tubes to the housing. Nice bead on that. I did the same on my 8.8
That's Nick's handywork. He did an awesome job on the welds.

Denis
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:22 AM   #28
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I'm new to jeeps. I come from Toyotas. So forgive my ignorance. What is the advantage of a ford 8.8 over the stock jeep axle. My jeep has a Dana 35 and a 30. I was thinking of getting lockers for them are they even worth the build?
If you never plan on going bigger than 31s and you never plan on locking them and you never plan on beating/jumping/crawling and only want to use your jeep for on road and light offroading, the D35 should be ok. Anything over that and you're asking for trouble.

Both of my axles are locked, chromoly upgrades and are about to be trussed for strength. This will have to work for me until I can afford a matched set of full width 60s.

Denis
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:45 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driller
you are heading towards a v8, right? Looks good and sounds like it's gonna be more than sturdy enough. I'm looking for a donor vehicle to put a 4bt in that I came across from a salvage yard buddy of mine. I've spent so much time on my wife's yj finally getting it going that I think I'm crazy enough to try the diesel set up. As if I didn't have enough grey hair..Driller
You can use my jeep as your donor for that 4bt
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:47 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denisbaldwin

If you never plan on going bigger than 31s and you never plan on locking them and you never plan on beating/jumping/crawling and only want to use your jeep for on road and light offroading, the D35 should be ok. Anything over that and you're asking for trouble.

Both of my axles are locked, chromoly upgrades and are about to be trussed for strength. This will have to work for me until I can afford a matched set of full width 60s.

Denis
Well everything has a breaking point. But the question still remains why an 8.8. What makes that axle better? Diameter, pinion, shaft, or the way it is built are the shafts held in by clips or bolted?

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