Just finished my 8.8 swap. No real surprises here, spring under so I was able to use the flexible brake lines that came with the explorer axle. Had to fab a couple of brackets to hold the soft lines in place.
If you can get an extra soft brake hose from the explorer right side (passenger) either new or from the JY, that can be used on the left side in place of the ford connector. Then use the special bolt and the distribution block from you old D35 to hook up the hard brake lines. I did not do this because frankly I did not think of it at the time but did use this method on another 8.8 swap.
The real issue was the e-brake. I searched all over the place for a good way to do it and it seemed that there were a million good ideas, a few expensive ones and a few bad ones. What I ended up with is so simple that I can't believe that no one has posted it before.
First. When I pulled my donor axle at the junkyard I was able to get the full set of ebrake cables and the soft line with it. Without that this would be more of a challenge, or more costly.
1. Cut the existing 8.8 cable housings to be the same length as the former D35 cables. I used an angle grinder for this, very carefully so as not to cut the inner cable. A dremel or a hacksaw would work too, but I am not that patient. Do not cut with pliers, or anything that will crimp the cable.
2. Put a 3/8 hose barb on the end of each cable, as shown. Was a perfect snug fit.
3. I later added a piece of hose to the end of each barb to stop them from rattling, but it is probably not needed. After it is tightened up there will be no rattle.
4. Slide the cable ends into the existing e-brake cable bracket.
Cable stops are Dorman #03339. You may need to drill the hole out a little, depending on your cable. Try not to lose the little ball bearing inside the stop. It helps hold the cable but it seems to work fine without it too.
5. cut the extra end of the cables so they are long enough to reach the adjuster and a little past. Used the grinder here too, got a nice clean cut.
Slide on a pair of cable stops and tighten them down good and snug. Make sure they are even so there will be a straight and even pull on the adjuster.
6. Then slide in the cable that comes from the pedal and adjust as needed. I added an extra spring because my main cable has a little kink that keeps the pedal from coming all the way back up. This spring fixes that.
That's it. The most important thing is that for this all to work properly the cable and the brake shoe parts must be free moving and the shoes must be adjusted properly before tightening the cable. Release the e brake in the cab an hold the pedal all the way up with a bungee to make sure you have full avaliable travel. Last make sure all the slack is out of the cables and they are pulling on the springs a little before you lock them. IF you do all this the brake should hold well.
Here are a couple of pictures of my hard lines and my snazzy new Ruff Stuff diff cover.