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.