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Unread 11-07-2013, 03:06 PM   #46
StanF
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Update on 11-7-2013

Everything is installed except for the skid plate. Brakes are bled; bolts are torqued; knuckles are scraped!

I was able to do a short test drive last night (11-6-2013). I only went about a block. The 8.8 was great - no issues there. The exhaust system was also great - no leaks or issues. However, I did find some other things:

1) I had a massive oil leak out of the rear of the AX5. I assume it's because the 3/8" clock ring is keeping the seal from working properly. It could also be a bad seal. I'm going to pull out the clock ring and drill the AX15 flange. And install a new seal.

2) I also didn't have enough adjustment in the NP231 shifter rod - the shifter would bottom out before hitting 2wd. I think this is also due to the extra length of the 3/8" clock ring. Removing the clock ring will also fix this.

3) Unrelated to my recent work, I noticed a small drip of gas coming from the driver's side of the gas tank lines where an old, worn soft line connected to a hard line. I'll have to drop the tank and replace all the rubber lines.

4) Also unrelated...I noticed that my front axle seals are also leaking. I'll have to tear into those soon.

One step forward...two steps back!

I'll try to get some new pictures posted up soon!

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Unread 11-14-2013, 03:19 PM   #47
BamianYJ
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I haven't posted in years, but I absolutely love this thread you put together. Hats off to you. Keep up the great work!
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BO'hemoth- 93' YJ 2.5l, AX-5, NP-231, 33x12.50x15 BFG, Herculined, Ford 8.8 w/ 4.88's, Shorty SYE, SOA w/ OME 2.5" Springs, MORE 5/8" Boomerangs, Daystar 1" Body lift, All RuffStuff hardware, Tom Woods CV D/shaft, WORKING ON RR OTT STEERING
05' WK- Bare Bone Stock Baby

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Unread 11-15-2013, 06:46 AM   #48
StanF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamianYJ View Post
I haven't posted in years, but I absolutely love this thread you put together. Hats off to you. Keep up the great work!
Thanks for the nice comment!

Another status update...

I've been fighting the oil leak at the rear of the AX5 for over a week now, but I have two of the four issues solved:

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post
Update on 11-7-2013
1) I had a massive oil leak out of the rear of the AX5. I assume it's because the 3/8" clock ring is keeping the seal from working properly. It could also be a bad seal. I'm going to pull out the clock ring and drill the AX15 flange. And install a new seal.
I was half right about this. I removed the clock ring, drilled new holes, and replaced the seal, and it still leaked BAD. I replaced the %#@^& seal again! It still leaked. Okay, I'm not a total idiot when it comes to installing seals. (The good news is that because of all the practice, I am really, really good at removing and installing the 231, shifter and driveshafts )

It took me way too long to realize that the AX5 wanted a longer input gear than I had on my 231. My input gear wasn't even touching the seal (even without the clock ring!). I should have known something was up, as the PO had the AX5 replaced. There was also RTV between the AX5 and NP231 cases, which should have given me reason to question why.

The right way to fix this would be to buy a new input gear ($$), wait a week to receive it, tear open the NP231 and replace the input gear. The quick way would be to use RTV between the case again. I used RTV...

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post
2) I also didn't have enough adjustment in the NP231 shifter rod - the shifter would bottom out before hitting 2wd. I think this is also due to the extra length of the 3/8" clock ring. Removing the clock ring will also fix this.
I was wrong on this one. I just had a bad vacuum switch. It wasn't really in 4wd, but the switch on the dash was lit. And because of my front locker, it felt like I was in 4wd. Replacing the vacuum switch was quick and easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post
Update on 11-7-2013
3) Unrelated to my recent work, I noticed a small drip of gas coming from the driver's side of the gas tank lines where an old, worn soft line connected to a hard line. I'll have to drop the tank and replace all the rubber lines.

4) Also unrelated...I noticed that my front axle seals are also leaking. I'll have to tear into those soon.
I've still got to address these two issues!
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Unread 11-19-2013, 09:54 AM   #49
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The skid plate is modded and installed.



Lots more pictures in Part 8 - Skid Plate Mods

I've got everything with the build completed, but I need to get some final installation pictures. That'll be delayed while I replace the dripping gas lines back at the fuel tank, do the 15 to 20 gallon mod and do a 1" gas tank lift.
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Unread 11-20-2013, 10:18 AM   #50
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Part 10 - Gas Tank Lift

When I did my first test drive after the 8.8 install, I noticed a very small gas drip coming out of the joint from the soft fuel line to the hard fuel line here:


It was time to pull the tank and replace those lines. At the same time, I am going to do the 15 to 20 Gallon Mod and a 1" Gas Tank Lift. The 15 to 20 gallon mod will be great - it'll increase my range another 75 miles or so. The 1" Gas Tank Lift will give me better offroad clearance - it ties in perfectly with the Tummy Tuck, U Bolt Flip and Shock Mount Extensions that I already installed. The best part of both of these mods is that they are basically free! Just the cost of a cutoff wheel and some welding wire.

For purely cosmetic reasons, I'm also happy to repaint the skid plate, as most of the black paint was gone, and it was lightly rusted.
(this is an old picture, but it's the best one that I have that shows the rusty tank)



Luckily, I only had about a gallon of gas in there, so it was light and easy to remove. The tank, skid plate and rubber mat all had a ton of dust/dirt in/on them. I scrubbed them all down with water - especially the skid plate and rubber mat. I took extra care to not get water into the tank, of course. There is some rust on the skid plate, but it's not bad. I'll remove the rust and get it painted after all the mods are done.
Tank Pulled:


I cut 1" down from the flange on both sides. I used a 1" square tube as a spacer and straight edge, and then marked the cut lines with blue tape. First Cut Made (using an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel):



Then cleaned up the edges, paint, rust and weld line with a flap sander in my angle grinder. Because I measured and cut exactly 1" from the flange, all I had to do was make the flange flush with the cut edge. Clamped it together, and started welding. Outside weld:



The overlapped sheetmetal and clamps made it very easy to weld. I jumped around - welding about 1" at a time. I'm not sure if it really helped, but I didn't want the heat to distort the sheetmetal. I welded both sides and both edges. I still need to clean off more rust and grind the welds smooth. Inside view:



More to come...
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Unread 11-24-2013, 08:44 AM   #51
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Conclusion of the Gas Tank Lift - 11-22-2013:

I marked and cut out the frame member like the instruction link. To add some strength back into the frame, I welded in a piece of 1.5x1.5x1/8 angle. I'm not sure it is really necessary or if it will really add any strength, but I figure it can't hurt!





Before, for comparison:


The end result:





If you have a 1" body lift, this is basically a "free" mod, so I love it. Highly recommended!

If you are doing this mod along with the 8.8 swap, then do it before installing the 8.8. It'll make it much easier to weld in the new frame crossmember (if you decide to add it).
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Unread 12-27-2013, 11:16 PM   #52
BamaFanInTX
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Thanks for sending me the link to this. It was an awesome write up on the 8.8 install. I'm looking forward to our 8.8 shopping trip for my TJ!!!
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Unread 12-28-2013, 03:03 AM   #53
varangian
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This is an incredibly informative thread! Thank you for doing this write-up!
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Unread 12-28-2013, 06:22 PM   #54
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nice job!
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Unread 02-07-2014, 01:01 PM   #55
StanF
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I tried to put a great amount of detail when I did my 8.8 swap, but some areas are thin. Here's a little more detail the parts needed and my comments and some general pricing:

DEFINITELY NEED FOR ALL BUILDS:

1. Ford 8.8 from Junkyard (duh!).
Expect to pay about $200 for your axle, but this can vary widely. I've seen prices in various threads from "free" to $450. I also saw a good suggestion to check Craiglist for individuals parting out Explorers - it might be a great way to get a better price. I personally would only look at 1995-2001 Explorers with disc brakes. The earlier 1991-1994 Explorers had drum brakes.

Things to get with the Axle:
Parking Brake Cables (highly recommended)
Calipers (or definitely just the banjo bolts)
Rotors (only if they are good and you want to reuse them)
Spring Plates (can be useful for budget shock mounts)
U Bolts (can be useful for budget builds if you want to reuse them, but this isn't recommended by some people)

LSD or Open Differential

Gear Ratios

I'll add more here later...



2. 1310 Yoke Adapter
Expect to pay from $0 to $50 for the yoke adapter. The 8.8 has a flange on the pinion, not a yoke, like the Dana 35. 1995-2001 Explorers have 1330 U-joints, so their yoke is the wrong size for most of our Jeeps, which use 1310 U joints. However, earlier Explorers with drum brakes (1991-94), had 1310 yoke adapters. Your best option is to find one at the wrecking yard when you are getting your axle. I kept the flange bolts and reused them (with Loctite) A new one will cost $40-50 from Tom Woods, East Coast, etc.


Brake Lines
You will need to address all of the components listed below. The list is long, but it's NOT difficult. Your brake line strategy will determine your exact parts used.

Soft Lines:
- Driver's Caliper Soft Line
- Passenger Caliper Soft Line
- T-Line to Frame
- New Copper Washers at Caliper, qty 4 (buy at Auto Parts Store)
Hard Lines:
- Hard Line from Passenger Caliper Soft Line to T-Line (long hard line)
- Hard Line from Driver Caliper Soft Line to T-Line (short hard line)
Misc
- Mounting of T-Line to Axle
- Bracket at end of Driver's Side Soft Line
- Bracket at end of Passenger Side Soft Line
- Venting of Axle
- Brake Fluid (buy new at Auto Parts store)

Luckily, the Explorer and Jeep hard brake lines use the same thread size. This lets you mix and match T-lines, soft lines, hard lines, etc.

The banjo bolts on the calipers are also the same size, so you can use the Jeep soft lines on the Explorer caliper. These do not seem to be readily available, so don't lose them. And even pick up a couple of extras at the wrecking yard.

I'm trying to keep it simple by only listing the three main options:

Option 1: Use all Jeep Soft Lines (old or new) with new hard lines
This is what I did. See my Part 5: StanF 8.8 Brake Lines


Option 2: Use Explorer Caliper Soft Lines (old or new) with new hard lines and Jeep T-line (old or new)
This is very similar to option 1, except you use the Explorer soft lines.
You need another Passenger side soft line to use on the Driver's side. This can be purchased new or grab an extra used one from the wrecking yard when you get your axle.

Option 3: Use Explorer Caliper Soft Line/T Line (old or new) with new hard lines
This is another great option that is well-detailed by Feetwet in his thread:
Feetwet Brake Lines.


SECURING THE SOFT LINES:
The end of the soft lines must be secured where they meet the hard lines. The approach you use will depend on which soft line you are using.

If you use the Explorer soft lines, then cut the end off of the 8.8 perches and weld them to your axle (like Feetwet). The end of the soft line bolts down.


If you use the Jeep soft lines, then you can either make or buy some brackets. The end of the soft line is held in with a clip.




VENTING:
My recommendation is to use the Jeep Dana 35 vent fitting - it will thread directly in the 8.8 vent hole. This gives you the T-line mount and the vent all in one piece.

Otherwise, you can use the stock 8.8 vent fitting, and weld on a bolt to mount the T-line.


HARD LINES:
Pre-flared hard lines can be purchased from your local parts store in various lengths. Or you can purchase the tubing and get a loaner flare tool from your local auto parts store. The pre-flared ones work pretty well, and I'd recommend them.

You'll probably need a short hard line about 12-16", and a long hard line about 36-40". Use a coat hanger wire to layout your hard line routing, then measure the wire. Take the old 8.8 hard line with you to the Parts Store to ensure you get compatible hard lines.



Parking Brake Cables

The two ends of the parking brakes for the Jeep and Explorer are pretty different, but there are some good solutions. First, let me say that I think parking brakes are pretty darn important. I'm only going to put down what I think are the two best and most reliable solutions. This is only my opinion (and my thread!), and you can disagree with me.

There are two main ways to do parking brake cables.
Option 1: Modify the frame end of the 8.8 parking brake cable to be compatible with the Jeep bracket. This is the best option (IMO), even though I didn't do it. (Note that I do recommend the crimped cable ends like Feetwet did - not just the clamped cable ends that you will find if you look around other threads.)

Feetwet did it very well. Feetwet 8.8 Parking Brakes

Option 2: Buy the Parking Brake Cable Kit from East Coast Gear Supply or MORE. These kits are custom made, new cables, with 8.8 on one end and Jeep on the other. I used the ECGS Kit, and had some issues - see my Part 6 for details. The ECGS kit is about $75, and the MORE Kit is about $125.



I've seen other options, which I won't go into detail about here. One wrapped and clamped the Dana 35 brake cable around the 8.8 actuator. Another made an adapter bracket from the 8.8 actuator to the Dana 35 cable. I don't recommend them (others may disagree- no problem!) - but you can search them out if you prefer one of those solutions.


MISCELLANEOUS:
You'll need Paint, Cutoff Wheels, Grinding Wheels, Rags, etc. - $30 or so should cover it.

Gear Oil - I use the cheapest gear oil from Walmart. I end up changing it too frequently to put in the expensive synthetic stuff. I think it's about $15 per gallon.

Friction Modifier $5 - needed if you have an LSD differential


PERCHES/SPRING PLATES/SHOCK MOUNTS/U BOLTS
This post is getting long, so I'll do section in a new post.


.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 01:01 PM   #56
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DEFINITELY NEEDED FOR ALL BUILDS (continued)


PERCHES/SPRING PLATES/SHOCK MOUNTS/U BOLTS

Complete Kits:
First, there are a BUNCH of different sources for this stuff. Look around at the links below and do some research on the prices and components. Look out for SUA or SOA kits - get the right one for your Jeep.
East Coast Gear Supply - lots of 8.8 swap parts
Ruff Stuff Swap Kits
Barnes4wd Swap Kits
MORE Swap Kits
Very complete swap Kit from knowwhere2jeep.com (too expensive, I think)

Buying a complete kit is easier, and is hopefully a little less expensive.

Components:
If you want to source your own components, then you can do that too.

Perches:
- new available locally or from any of the kit sources above
- Be sure that you get the proper perch if you are SOA or SUA. SOA perches are typically longer to help reduce axle wrap. SUA perches are generally shorter. You can shorten an SOA perch if necessary.
- If you were careful when you cut them off, you may be able to re-use the stock perches from the Explorer 8.8. I would recommend new perches - it would be tough to get them off without damaging them.


Spring Plates:
- new available from any of the kit sources above
- Re-use the stock spring plates from the Explorer 8.8 - modify as needed. Budget friendly. I don't have a good link to this - if someone has done this or seen this, please let me know.


U-Bolts:
- new available locally or from any of the kit sources above
- Re-use the stock U-bolts from the Explorer 8.8. There are many people who recommend against this.
- Consider the Dynatrac U-bolt flip kit for better ground clearance. It's expensive (~$200), but it is a nice kit if you are SUA.


Shock Mounts:
- new available from any of the kit sources above
- many of the shock mounts are made
- Cut off the shock mount tabs from the Explorer 8.8 spring plate and use them - budget friendly!
- Consider adding a shock bar or upper extended shock mounts. This will either give you more shock travel or allow you to raise your shock mounts up on the axle. MORE makes some upper shock mounts - that's what I used. Teraflex used to make a shock bar, but I believe it is discontinued.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 01:02 PM   #57
StanF
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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

Axle Seals and Bearings
These 8.8 axles are 15-20 years old - definitely replace the axle seals! They are cheap and easy.

While you are in there, you could also replace/inspect the bearings.

If your axle has 100k miles, then I probably wouldn't replace the bearings.

If your axle has 200k miles, then I would definitely replace the bearings. Or if the odometer was already removed from the Explorer, and you have no idea how many miles, then replace the bearings.

The tricky part is between those numbers. At 150k, you are probably fine, but the bearings are cheap.

I only paid $30 for a new set of bearings/seals on eBay.

Brakes:

Brakes are pretty important, so I'd recommend that you completely replace all the 8.8 brake components. They are already 15-20 years old, so caliper seals are degraded, etc. I replaced everything, but it wasn't cheap. We are all on a budget, and not all of us will want to replace everything. Definitely search around for the best deals on whatever you buy. I bought OEM value parts - nothing name brand or special. Here were my costs, and the parts that I replaced.

Set of Calipers/Pads - $85 total (Rock Auto). No core charge.
- these usually come with the copper sealing washers, but if not, you may have to buy them.
Rotors x 2 $60 total (local auto store)
Disc Brake Align Kit $6 (Rock Auto) - these are the four little tracks that the disc pads ride on. I lost one of mine at some point.
Parking Brake Shoes $20 (local auto parts store)
Parking Brake Hardware Kit $20 (local auto parts store)
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Unread 02-07-2014, 01:03 PM   #58
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RECOMMENDED:


DIFFERENTIAL COVER:
The stock 8.8 cover is very weak. If you are doing an 8.8 swap, I'm going to assume that you are offroading. I'd recommend a stronger differential cover.

Some junkyards also poke a hole in the stock diff cover to drain the gear oil. In this case, you can either weld up the hole or buy a new cover.

I purchased a "Solid" Diff Cover for about $82 including shipping. There are many, many options. Most of them are substantially more expensive.



MISCELLANOUS:
We're getting down to the final touches here...

Please spend $5 on some fuel line and replace the old, worn Vent Hose on your Jeep. It's a cheap way to protect your axle.

Also, you may want to install 1/2" lift shackles in the rear (SUA) or front (SOA). These will run you $30-$50 or so.

Because of the different tube diameters between the Dana 35 and 8.8, you will either gain lift (SOA) or lose lift (SUA). My Jeep is SUA, and a 1/2" lift shackle in the rear was perfect for keeping my Jeep perfectly level.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 01:03 PM   #59
StanF
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MAY WANT/NEED:

New Pinion Seal/Bearing

The pinion seal is old, and may need to be changed at some point. It is *possible* to change the seal without resetting the gears. You can search around for the exact process, but it involves marking the pinion nut location and counting the threads. Replace the seal, and then put the nut in exactly the same position. The theory is that the preload will be the same if the nut is in the same position.

A bearing change will require a gear setup.


Lockers
There are a bunch of locker options for the 8.8. Each with its own advantages/disadvantages:

Lunchbox Locker (Aussie, Lock Right, etc) - $300-500
Advantages:
- inexpensive
- does NOT require gear setup
- automatic operation
- available for both open and LSD carriers
Disadvantages:
- The 8.8 carrier is allegedly weak, and the lunchbox locker will put more stress on it
- not select-able (ice/snow issues)
- Only Powertrax Lock Right for LSD carrier (there are more options for open carriers)

Full Carrier Locker (Detroit) - $700
Advantages:
- replaces the carrier
- automatic operation
Disadvantages:
- requires gear setup
- not select-able (ice/snow issues)

Select-able Locker (ARB, OX, etc) - $1000-1500
Advantages:
- replaces the carrier
- select-able (ice/snow good)
- excellent reputation (ARB)
Disadvantages:
- requires gear setup
- requires compressed air line or control cable
- expen$ive


Gear Ratio Changes

One of the big advantages of the Explorer 8.8 axle is that it matches the Jeep gear ratios. It really doesn't make economic sense to buy an 8.8 and do a gear change (unless you are going to 4.56 or 4.88). Just look around and find the axle with the ratio that you need.


Super 8.8 Kit - $600
This has three big advantages- stronger axles, removes the weak c-clip, increases the width to perfect YJ stock width. Superior used to make this kit, but they are out of business now (or something like that). Yukon still makes a kit.

Here's one writeup:
Stu's Super 8.8 Kit

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Unread 02-07-2014, 01:04 PM   #60
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