Ford 8.8/HP30 swap and regear
I wanted to make this thread to document my progress, but also provide information for regearing. I'm not sure I want to go into quite as much detail as the "Extreme Novice Regear Thread", which was infinitely helpful. I was mostly hoping to focus on the 8.8 since information was a bit more scarce than some of the Dana axles.
Here are some links to absolute must reads if you want to do your own gears. I think I've read each of these at least 20 times.
BillaVista Tech- Regear
Extreme Novice Regear Thread
First of all I've spent the last couple days working on a spreadsheet organizing costs and parts that will be needed for the swap. Initially I was going to order a bulk of the stuff from ECGS, but after coming up with a final cost I was less than thrilled about, I did some more researching, digging, and came up with some more cost effective, and IMO better quality parts list.
This is a final list of parts and total cost.
Couple things worth noting for the 8.8 is the solid pinion bearing spacer kit and severe duty pinion shims. The solid pinion bearing spacer is to eliminate the crush sleeve and use shims to set preload. This is important to me because if I ever have to replace the pinion seal or something in the future, its a simple torque nut to spec. The severe duty pinion shims relocate the pinion shims from under the inner pinion bearing to under the inner race. IMO this seems like a simpler way to go about changing shims.
To kick this off I got my 8.8 from a 2000 Ford Explorer last weekend. Super clean axle, and only 125$. Be warned, this build is going to start a bit slow. I'm still in school and in about a month I leave for two weeks to go to Africa, but enough text, here are some pictures from breaking down the 8.8.
Got the axle home
Break down is pretty simple. First remove the bolt holding the crosspin in and remove crosspin.
Push axle shafts in to remove c-clips and remove axle shafts
You can then take the spider/side gears out. Watch out, the side gears probably have shims under them. I didn't realize this, would be a good idea to keep track of which shim goes with which side gear and what side the side gear goes on. Mark the bearing caps because they have to go back on exactly how they were. I used a punch. One cap I did one punch and the other two, then marked the housing with a sharpie. You can see the punch marks just to the right of the "5".
Next came the hardest part, getting the carrier out. I tried the rag trick but that only pushed out the ring gear side. I tapped the ring gear side back in a bit, then used a big, long piece of pipe to pry it out. Unfortunately for me when the carrier popped out so did the carrier shims. I had the axle on the ground at the time and they rolled away and I lost track of which was on which side. Oh well, I figure that out later. The carrier shims aren't really shims, they are one piece machined "pucks" that are pretty thick.
Using the pneumatic impact wrench I made quick work of loosening the pinion nut. I left it threaded on the end and gave it some taps and the pinion gear came loose. There are recesses in the housing so you can easily tap out the races.
I don't like sitting hunched over, I have a bad enough back as it is, I prefer to stand, so this was made.
All the parts
As it stand right now I have tools I need ordered, they should arrive the end of this week. In a couple weeks time I'll be ordering the gears and install parts and start the gear process. From there I'll pick up a HP30 and regear it. Then I'll get the truss tacked on, brakes stuff will go on, then I'll be ready to swap everything over, test fit the truss, fully weld it up, and be done. I also fully expect to have to do an SYE with controls arms.
Is the truss you're using going to have all of the mounts for your UCA's, TB, spring buckets on it?
What're you doing for shock mounts, LCA's?
The Artec kit is an integrated bracket/truss system.
Small update. Got all my tools this week and figured I should tackle getting the ring gear and bearings off. The ring gear was pretty stuck on there and it took a lot of pounding to get off. Getting the bearings off went okay, I trashed to pinion gear. Would have been nice to sell but oh well, I got what I was after and that was the pinion shim. The carrier came out fine, only one small knick on the non ring gear side.
I don't think this knick is an issue.
Broke in my dead blow hammer, much nicer than a regular hammer. Here are all my measurements thus far of the old stuff.
Carrier shims- 0.278 and .0279 (Luckily they are basically the same thickness, as I said earlier I got them mixed up while trying to get the carrier out.)
Crush sleeve (this is a reference point for solid spacer)- .446
Pinion shim- .032
Nominal checking distance I think is +1. There wasn't anything stamped on the head of the pinion gear, but what looks like a painted, half worn away +1 on the shaft.
Nice work so far! I like your axle stands! :cheers2:
I used currie lowers and double adjustable uppers (2.5 OME lift),set the pinion angle at 12 degrees and was able to retain the stock driveshaft with no SYE needed.
Hope your trip to Africa goes good:thumbsup:
Next time youre removing ring gears from the carrier remove all the ring gear bolts then use a small punch in the bolt holes. a punch will work wonders when trying to get the pinion out too. Always works for me.
Torch on the ring gear, run it around and around not letting get super hot. It will drop off with ZERO effort. Same with installing. Just put in oven or on grill. wrap in aluminum foil and serve to a nice Frozen carrier. It will slide on with ZERO effort... I dont like beating on them. Heat at the levels just too hot to touch and you hurt nothing..
I only have 2 inches of suspension lift, although because the rear end is so light I suspect I have more than that. My guess is it will be fine without an SYE, but who knows. I'll play that one by ear. I'll def. be getting adjustable upper and lowers (savvy) so I can position the axle.
I can't wait for Africa, but hopefully I'll get the gears and install kit ordered by then!
Parts (some) are here.
Ratech Solid Pinion Spacer (P/N 4105)
Ratech Severe Duty Shims (P/N 1134)
Ratech Pinion Yoke Holder
I changed the master install kit. I got the Ford Racing M-4210-C, 99$ shipped from street side auto. This kit includes wheel bearings and seals and should be here tomorrow. Nitro 4.88 gears from ECGS are ordered, but I have no idea when they will be here. Unfortunately I don't think they will be here until next week, which means it could be a while until I get to work on anything. Next weekend is graduation and the following weekend I'll be in Africa. I might try to do some during the week but working 10 hours a day from 6-4, I doubt I'll want to do much.
Oh, and I almost forgot I picked up a bearing press off craigslist for 90$ and got the HF bearing race and seal driver set. No pics though.
Subbed to see how that yoke holder works. No bearing rides on the part of the carrier where you nicked it?
Not enough for me to want to replace the carrier. As you'll see in the below pics the bearing doesn't sit flush with the nose of carrier.
Bearings are all Koyo USA and it came with a very large assortment of carrier shims. So using my new to me press I pressed on the carrier bearings this morning.
Still just waiting for the ring and pinion.
Monday the gears came in. Yesterday I got off work early so I had a chance to work on it. I got the inner pinion bearing pressed on, ring gear shaved, outer race installed, and ground the old inner race for set up. I also wasted a bunch of time trying to find a 1/4" female to 3/8" male socket adapter. I also needed a regular 27mm socket (I had been using an impact socket) for the pinion nut and some 12mm bolts for the yoke holder because I didn't grab the flange bolts while at the junk yard. When I get the flange adapter I'll get the proper bolts. I'll try to take pictures next time of how the holder works.
Monday night I threw the carrier into the freezer, Tuesday night I threw the ring gear on, it slipped right on without having to put it in the oven. I loosely put the ring gear bolt on to keep it aligned.
The first thing I did yesterday was torque the ring gear down with loctite and worked my way up to 70 ft/lb. The install book that came with the gears said 60 ft/lbs, but that seemed low and everywhere online was saying in the 70 range, so 70 ft/lb was middle ground. Next was the pinion gear. Obviously smaller.
I sat and thought for a while trying to figure out how to press the inner bearing on. Unlike the carrier bearings the cage protruded up so trying to press flat on the bearing would mess the cage up. That's when I remembered the old bearing I had cut off, a little digging through the trash and I came up with this.
Back to the ring gear. 30 min of grinding with the Dremel resulted in this.
Not much. It will seem like the cross shaft will never go in, but then after many time of grinding, checking, grinding, it just slipped in like butter. After that I wasted a good hour running around town until I found the adapter at Advance Auto Parts, of course the last place I check. I then hit a brickwall with setting up the pinion preload. Probably being up since 5:00, morning of work then afternoon of working on this damn axle and I wasn't thinking straight. I'm pretty sure I tried the same size shim stack a couple times. At about 7:00 my grandparents arrived from the airport (graduation this weekend) so I called it a day. I'll start back Sunday.
I messed with the preload more this morning and it looks like 20 in/lb is about as good as I can get it. It seems to be on the high side but if I drop the shim size down just .001 (or at least what my calipers tell me) preload drops to 10 in/lb. I tried torquing the nut down to get more, but I would have had to go really high just to get to the minimum 14 in/lb. I think I'm going to leave it at 20 for now. If anyone has any major objections I'll try to mess with it some more.
Here's the holder
Pinion in and preload set
Getting to my first pattern went very smooth, only about an hour.
Ring Gear: .273"
Non Ring: .270"
Ring Gear: .270"
Non Ring: .273"
Backlash: Still none
Ring Gear: .267"
Non Ring: .287"
Backlash: .007", closer but spec is .011" to .016"
Ring Gear: .257"
Non Ring: .297"
So I then took my first pattern.
It hard for me to tell, I think its really close (close as in close to spec) but the pinion could come out a tad (based on drive side). I also think I need to get some more resistance in the gears.
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