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Discussion Starter #1
Planning on swapping and locking a disc brake 31 spline ford 8.8 axle out of a 96 explorer into my 94 YJ and I just have a couple questions since this'll be my first axle swap. I've done a bunch of research and think I've got a pretty decent plan, but any tips would be appreciated!

So my plan is to tear it all down and clean it up then weld the tubes to the housing. Install all new bearings and seals. Install an OX locker and regear front and rear so I can run 33's. Then install it under my jeep with a M.O.R.E. 8.8 swap kit.

My main questions with that plan are:

1) What's the best overhaul kit for one of these axles that'll give me all the bearings/seals/shims I'll need to regear and replace the open diff with a locker?

2) Will welding on my spring perches and shock mounts hurt the new seals and bearings? Or should I just wait to install the new seals and bearings until all the welding is done?

3) Does the ford explorer use the same driveshaft ujoint as the one in my YJ or will I need to get some sort of adapter?

4) I know the 8.8 is about 5/8" shorter on each side compared to my D35, is that going to be a noticeable difference? (I do have aftermarket wheels with different backspacing than stock ones, they stick out enough so I need 6" fender flares to cover them)

Any other help would be appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I run an 8.8 on my TJ and no, the difference isn't noticeable. I am running 33x12.5 on aftermarket 10" rims.


Ok cool because I was thinking about getting some wheel spacers to try and keep the stock width but if it’s not too noticeable I’ll just save my money and run it without spacers. Thanks!


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Width is negligible as stated. MORE sells the Ford adapter for the driveshaft, or at least that's where I bought mine. You need the adapter. Don't go crazy until you figure out if driveshaft length works.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Width is negligible as stated. MORE sells the Ford adapter for the driveshaft, or at least that's where I bought mine. You need the adapter. Don't go crazy until you figure out if driveshaft length works.


Thanks for the info I’ll look into those MORE adapters! And I’m thinking I should be good with driveshaft length. I have a SYE and a driveshaft that has a double cardan joint and a slip joint in the middle. The way it’s set up now when the jeep is sitting on flat ground the slip joint is collapsed pretty much all the way so I think it’ll be able to extend enough to reach the 8.8 ok. Plus whoever installed the SYE and double cardan driveshaft didn’t bother to change pinion angle of the D35 so if I get the 8.8 in there with the correct angle I think that’ll help too.




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1) What's the best overhaul kit for one of these axles that'll give me all the bearings/seals/shims I'll need to regear and replace the open diff with a locker?
East Coast Gear Supply has a complete kit. Not sure if it's the best, but you won't be disappointed.

2) Will welding on my spring perches and shock mounts hurt the new seals and bearings? Or should I just wait to install the new seals and bearings until all the welding is done?
Your best course of action is to do all your fab work, paint, then do the build up afterwards. It's also highly recommended to weld your tubes to the carrier, as the tubes tend to have separation issues when you load them up.

3) Does the ford explorer use the same driveshaft ujoint as the one in my YJ or will I need to get some sort of adapter?
Maybe. Ford typically has a flange style yoke on the axle, then the driveshaft has it's own flange to mount to the plate. I think Explorer can have either joint depending on V6 or V8. I opted to get a replacement Yukon yoke to go right to my driveshaft, as I didn't get the driveshaft flange with my axle. They are readily available for 1310 and 1330 u-joints. You can also get just the flange in the size you want for a little less and eliminate the u-bolts.

4) I know the 8.8 is about 5/8" shorter on each side compared to my D35, is that going to be a noticeable difference? (I do have aftermarket wheels with different backspacing than stock ones, they stick out enough so I need 6" fender flares to cover them)
Not really. Eventually I added the Yukon c-clip eliminator kit to my axle. Your axles will be held in at the axle tubes, and that pushes them out to closer to stock. Didn't really notice much difference either way.



Good luck!
 

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I'd recommend getting rid of the TC drop. The double cardan shaft is supposed to be installed so you DON'T have to do a TC drop.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
East Coast Gear Supply has a complete kit. Not sure if it's the best, but you won't be disappointed.


Your best course of action is to do all your fab work, paint, then do the build up afterwards. It's also highly recommended to weld your tubes to the carrier, as the tubes tend to have separation issues when you load them up.


Maybe. Ford typically has a flange style yoke on the axle, then the driveshaft has it's own flange to mount to the plate. I think Explorer can have either joint depending on V6 or V8. I opted to get a replacement Yukon yoke to go right to my driveshaft, as I didn't get the driveshaft flange with my axle. They are readily available for 1310 and 1330 u-joints. You can also get just the flange in the size you want for a little less and eliminate the u-bolts.


Not really. Eventually I added the Yukon c-clip eliminator kit to my axle. Your axles will be held in at the axle tubes, and that pushes them out to closer to stock. Didn't really notice much difference either way.



Good luck!


Hey thanks for the info! I am planning on welding my tubes and I’ll look into that east coast gear supply kit. I also found that the OX locker guys sell install kits too with all the bearings/seals/shims. Might just go that route so I can order the locker, gears, and install kit all at once.

As for the ujoint adapter, I just took a closer look at my axle and it does have a yoke adapter thing bolted to the flange and it’s using a 1330 joint so I think I should be good! It is a little rusty though so if I can’t clean it up good enough I’ll just get a new adapter from MORE.




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Discussion Starter #10
I'd recommend getting rid of the TC drop. The double cardan shaft is supposed to be installed so you DON'T have to do a TC drop.


Oh yeah I didn’t even notice I had a TC drop, I’ll definitely get rid of that. The previous owner must’ve installed it but the more I mess with my jeep the more I realize the previous owner was kind of an idiot lol


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Take it easy on the heat, if you get it so hot that you're damaging seals then your axle tubes will already be bent by then.

Weld in small sections and switch from side to side.

I just got the same exact axle for my TJ.
 

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I did my 8.8 swap recently and I like it. As others have said, you really can't even notice the width difference if you're looking for it. The 8.8 yoke disc can be retained or replaced depending on your needs. I replaced mine with a 1310 yoke to get the longest driveshaft length I could, but I ordered my driveshaft after my 8.8 install. You may want to wait on yoke selection until after install to get the right length for your existing driveshaft.
 

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Yolk retainer nut determines the pinion preload. You can not swap out the yolk after the ring and pinion has been set.
You can, remove and replace the same yolk by marking the nut and yolk, such as when replacing the seal, but if you change the yolk, the R&P must be redone.

The preload is a critical part of setting the gear pattern.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah I’m probably going to just use the yoke flange thing the axle has on it now and just get an adapter to fit my axle’s ujoint if I have to.

I have another question though, how do I figure out what pinion angle I need to run? I have a double cardan driveshaft so I think the pinion should be pretty much pointing right at the tcase right?


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Yoke vs yolk? One is good with bacon in the morning, the other not so much...
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Hey does anyone know where I can get a good manual with torque specs and stuff for rebuilding a ford 8.8?


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