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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just found a Ford 8.8 out of a '97 explorer, full axle with disk brakes geared at 4.1. Its even the 31 spline.

I am going to go look at / pick it up tonight, what kind of questions should I have and what should I look for?
 

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You have confirmed its key point, that it has the larger 31 spline shafts. I'd just look for signs of obvious damage, and if possible, remove the diff cover to check the inside out. If that isn't practical, place it on something to support it and rotate the pinion shaft yoke to make sure it and the axle shafts rotate smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just got back from picking up my new 8.8!
It looks great, no crazy signs of wear, its actually still factory black and pretty clean. I helped pull it off the explorer and honestly the thing looked like it had barely been driven.
The guy cut the brake lines way back into the explorer so I should be able to just adapt them. the actual brake hardware is all pretty much new. the only thing I can tell that it needs outside of ford to TJ work, is the e-brake pads. The internals feel VERY smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its amazing what you can fit in a wrangler with a little creativity



I'll get some actual pictures of it tomorrow once I start cleaning it up and prepping for the next step.
 

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Congrats!! Good find. I just got my Artec truss/bracket kit for my swap yesterday. I'm waiting for one of the guys from work to get done harvesting (full time gear head part time farmer) to do the welding for me. I have a pile of parts waiting and it's killing me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congrats!! Good find. I just got my Artec truss/bracket kit for my swap yesterday. I'm waiting for one of the guys from work to get done harvesting (full time gear head part time farmer) to do the welding for me. I have a pile of parts waiting and it's killing me.
yeah, I'm going to have to do the same. Its actually going to be a while before I will be able to get the conversion done.

This was actually going to be a project for next year, either this exact setup or a D44 ready to go with 4.11, but then it showed up on craigslist for next to nothing. The guy even gave me a deal for coming out and helping him get it off the explorer.

Do you like your Artec truss kit? It seems to be the way to go.
 

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I really don't have anything to compare it to. Build quality is top notch seems like it is pretty heavy duty. Truss and brackets were 41 lbs shipped. I would have already started to put it on but I'm leaving the welding to a buddy at work who has done 8.8 swaps before(few tjs and yjs). I just wish I wasn't waiting to get my DD going. I killed my 35 twice and decided I wasn't going to put another penny in it. I'm driving my dad's tj now.
 

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Heavy duty is an understatement, the Artec truss is overkill. Which is exactly why I went with it.

It also makes bracket placement foolproof, except for the shock mounts, be very careful with the shock mounts and be absolutely sure they are in the correct orientation before final welding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heavy duty is an understatement, the Artec truss is overkill. Which is exactly why I went with it.

It also makes bracket placement foolproof, except for the shock mounts, be very careful with the shock mounts and be absolutely sure they are in the correct orientation before final welding.
do you have to do anything special if you do a lift with the artec, i'm getting mixed info... 6 degrees for 0"-3" and 6 degrees for stock and increase 1 degree for every inch.

right now i have no lift, I'm contemplating something small like 1"-2" just to increase articulation. (and make room for larger tires)
 

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It's always a dilemma when talking about pinion angle and considering future mods such as a lift or SYE.

I assume you have stock suspension right now. You could either set the truss to the same angle as stock, throw the 8.8 under and probably be good. OR set it a couple degrees higher in prep for a lift and possible SYE. You have to be mindful because anytime you go adjusting the pinion angle with control arms, the truss is no longer at 0 degrees, which is where you want it for track bar angle and clearance.

It's up to you and how much money you want to spend because if you set the pinion angle up a couple degrees from stock you'll probably get vibes and need adjustable control arms now to adjust it back down until you get a lift. Then once you get the lift, adjust the pinion back up and everything is good.

Or set the pinion at stock and run it. But then when you lift it you might need adjustable control arms to raise the pinion if you get vibes or do an SYE, but now the truss is no longer at 0 degrees.

In the end, if you're only considering a couple inches of lift, differences in pinion angle are fairly minimal. I set my pinion angle with the truss at 12 degrees (IIRC). I only have 2" of lift, and am currently using stock arms and no SYE. Cruising I don't get vibes, but on acceleration the pinion lifts up enough to give me vibes.

The next step for me is JB Conversions super short SYE and some savvy adjustable arms. With the super short SYE my guess is the amount I will have to raise the pinion is very small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so if I build it to match stock, and later on down the road do a lift, adjustable control arms will take care of it? I wont have to cut and re-weld?

I know its probably a stupid question but these are some of the things my head makes me think.
 

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so if I build it to match stock, and later on down the road do a lift, adjustable control arms will take care of it? I wont have to cut and re-weld?

I know its probably a stupid question but these are some of the things my head makes me think.
Correct, you can use adjustable control arms to adjust the pinion angle, you don't need to cut and re weld. However, you want to keep the amount of angle adjustment with the control arms to a minimum otherwise you start binding the track bar and might run into clearance issues with the truss/trackbar/gas tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
hmm.. so maybe it would be safer to give it some degree and get adjustable control arms now... hmm

so much to think about
 
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