Ford 8.8 Axle swap - Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ General Discussion Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today

Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on
Old 10-29-2009, 12:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Dothan Alabama
Posts: 25
Ford 8.8 Axle swap

here is what i just got from the guy that i am trying to get my Ford 8.8 done through; just want some input from anyone that knows more than I do about this:

i jsut cant see dropping 12-1300$ on this axle and then regearing it would put it over 2000$ it worth that? Also, this axle has just been "sitting" for 3 years.. this pricing is assuming that everything on the inside of the housing is in good shape...

williewardjr is offline   Quote
Old 10-29-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 298
A local 4X4 shop was going to charge me $150 for bracket set up and welding. I paid a friend $100 to do the welding, and I essentially did all the set up myself. He tacked where I told him, then after I checked measurements, he put them on for good.

Bracket kits are a lot cheaper than $350. I got an RE kit for $225, but it's for a D44, and it was a PITA to clearance them for an 8.8. Mad4WD has them in the low $200s, and I think they are sized for an 8.8. M.O.R.E. has them for an 8.8, but they are in the $300s. We put on a set of MORE brackets, and they fit good, but you pay for those things.

As far as the drive shaft goes, you can use a front drive shaft out of an XJ, but it's going to be about $120~ or so after the cut down and balance job, and that's if everything else is in good shape, and the drive shaft runs you about $50 from a junk yard. I replaced the U-joints and centering ball for good measure, so I spent a little more. Personally, I would get a new one from a place like Tom Wood. I went the cut down route initially, and found out a year and a half later that the pin the centering ball fits onto was worn out, and ended up having to buy a new drive shaft anyway. If you go that route, just inspect the hell out of it before you sink any money in it. I had a drive shaft place inspect it, but apparently they didn't check it good enough.

I spent $20 on the flange adapter at a local drive shaft shop. There is no such thing as a single source for parts, so look around.

My disc brakes are modified using the existing cable with a 20˘ U-bolt on each side. It took a little extra work, but I didn't spend a ton of money, and my e-brake still works great after two years with no further adjustments since the initial one when I first installed the axle.

If you have a D35 axle with the coveted 3.73s, it will fetch quite a bit on Craigslist. I sold mine for $100, but I should have asked 4 or 5 times that. I had people trying to outbid each other for it. Of course those axles break easily, and when non-Jeeper types go to shops for repairs, a shop will say that it's sometimes easier to replace than repair. When the replacement cost the shops were quoting was $800-$1000 for the axle alone, you can imagine I had a lot of people offering quite a bit more than I was asking to hold it for them when I was just going on a first come, first serve basis for what I wanted. The guy who walked away with it was an older gentleman who broke his pulling a trailer, and about wet himself to find such a great deal for what I felt was a boat anchor.

One more thing I would recommend before installing is replacing the axle bearings and seals. They are cheap. It's a LOT easier to do this while the axle is out and you are able to tear it down easier. I had to fabricate a tool to do that job and found out my axle had a bad bearing shortly after installing. I intended to do the bearings before installing it, but my enthusiasm to get it under my Jeep got the better of me.

ChrisTX is offline   Quote
Old 10-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Dothan Alabama
Posts: 25
My issue is...I cant find anyone locally to do this.. those quotes were from a guy an hour and a half away so I have to have a working vehicle when i leave there. I also can pick up a D44 with drum brakes from a TJ for 800$..Dont know much about them so I was wondering if that would be a better route to go. Even with a new set of gears and upgraded shafts i think i would come out cheaper than letting this guy fix up this 8.8..thanks for the input!
williewardjr is offline   Quote
Old 10-29-2009, 02:11 PM   #4
snwchris's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,718
Try looking thru classifieds or on ebay.
Therre's usually 8.8's already set-up for good prices.

Pirate4x4 as well has some on there, cause I'm usually on that site alot

98TJ / Hi-Lined / Zip Lockers / 35s

Family Rig / Tow Rig: 08 Tundra & 16ft Trailer
snwchris is offline   Quote
Old 10-29-2009, 03:56 PM   #5
Rawkon's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: fullerton/big bear
Posts: 2,061
Send a message via AIM to Rawkon Send a message via MSN to Rawkon for all your bracket needs. I got mine for 150bucks. I just need to weld up my axle and its ready to roll.
Rawkon is offline   Quote
Old 10-29-2009, 03:58 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Dothan Alabama
Posts: 25
So there isnt a company out there that sells these things already set up..I mean i can buy a D44 right now set up for 2200$ and just bolt it in.. i cant see spending that if not more on an 8.8. I will check into those sites tho, thanks guys.
williewardjr is offline   Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 09:44 PM   #7

WF Supporting Member
AdrenalineJunky45's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 276!!!!!
I dont know what WW3 will be fought with, but WW4 will be fought with Sticks and Stones.....
AdrenalineJunky45 is offline   Quote
Old 04-04-2011, 10:23 PM   #8
2003x's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,002
Originally Posted by AdrenalineJunky45 View Post!!!!!
x2, you can have a 8.8 built, geared, and shipped for around $1,200 w/o a locker.
HP D30, Ford 8.8, 4.88s, 4" RC Long Arm, 1" BL, 35" Toyo MT's.
My Build
2003x is offline   Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 02:42 PM   #9
alamike's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Grass Valley, California
Posts: 60
x2 on 2003x's post.
'97 Sahara TJ
-4.0L manual on 35's
-4" Teraflex lift, 4.56 gears
-Dana 30 w/ OX locker up front, Dana 35 w/Detroit in the rear (for now)
alamike is offline   Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 03:40 PM   #10
sickboy98tj's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SOUTH TROY, NY
Posts: 70
I had a friend do mine for me a few years ago. the splines on my chromoly D35 shafts were bending, so I checked my options. It would have taken 2 weeks and $1000 to get a bolt in D44 w/ matching 3.73's and disc brakes from a TJ shipped to his shop. Instead, I had him pull the F 8.8 out of a 97 exploder Eddie Bauer he had for parts outside of his shop. $250 for that, pulled, and I did all the prep work (cutting everyrthing off and grinding it smooth, sand blasting, disassembly right down to everything except taking the internals apart). He took it from there, setting up the brackets, welding them, shooting it with paint and putting all new parts (including brakes, pads, rotors on). He also welded on a Rock Krawler cradle/truss and hooked up the control arms. At that point i think i was into it for about $500 or 600. We brought it to 4sight in Johnstown NY and dropped my Jeep there with it as well. Ivan installed all new bearings and seals, (full rebuild kit) and an ARB locker. I'm a bit fuzzy on the final cost but i think it was somewhere around $1200-1300 for an 8.8 w/ ARB. Better than just the bolt in D44. Been wheeling it hard now for nearly 3 or 4 years... haven't had any problems.

In your case, it doesn't sound like it would be worth it. might just be easier to get that D44 or the built 8.8. I loved working on it and gaining the knowledge and inner workings of things, but if i had to do it again, given my current circumstances and the fact that my buddy no longer has his shop, i would probably just order one of those.
'98 TJ "Stomper"-
Seen in Jp!-SOLD.
'04 Rubi- "Stomper" II- Warn XD800i, mostly stock for now.
R.I.P. HOOLIGAN (3/3/81-11/1/13) spotting for all of us now.
sickboy98tj is offline   Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #11
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast
Posts: 339
Send a message via AIM to CapnDean
I bought mine off this site from a fellow who did it right! M.O.R.E. brackets are worth the 3 bills UNLESS - - you find some that are the same thickness. The ears that your control arms go into are a full 5/16" thick - Nearly twice what the factory D35 ears are. The down side is that it was tough to bang the new control arms into the slot.... the good side is that it won't ever break.

I am happy with my 8.8. You will be too. X2 on the new bearings etc... don't take a chance on somebody's ole wore out 8.8. Go through it while you have it out.

Mine has 4.88, rebuilt trac-loc LSD, M.O.R.E. Brackets: Disc brakes, ebrake cables from East Coast Gear supply - to boot the seller tossed in a pair of arcfab4x4 easy adjustable lower control arms and the 4.88 ring & pinion (for the D30) . . it was a sweet install!


1999 TJ Sport 4.0L I6 5 spd Warn 8000
4" susp 1" body 35" AT's
4.88 Gears in Ford 8.8
Adv Adapter SYE
Adam's Driveshaft
CapnDean is offline   Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Axle upgrade and swap options jbone03 TJ General Discussion Forum 6 06-15-2011 06:44 AM
Ford 8.8 Axle Swap williewardjr TJ General Discussion Forum 0 10-21-2009 01:41 PM
xj front axle to tj front axle swap aquaholic TJ Tech Forum 13 06-04-2009 02:14 AM
Ford 8.8 swap questions jamesbernatchez TJ Tech Forum 42 05-07-2009 11:16 AM
8.8 Facts, Opinions & How-to's (f.a.q.) Iquois General Jeep Discussion 2 06-15-2007 10:41 PM

Download our Mobile App

» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:32 AM.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2015 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC. is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC