8.8 Ford Explorer Rear End - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 108 Old 06-07-2019, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
Mhendricks
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8.8 Ford Explorer Rear End

Has anyone done this swap? Recommend? Not recommend?

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post #2 of 108 Old 06-07-2019, 03:20 PM
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Lots of folks have. Marginally stronger than a D35 (but significantly weaker than a D44). Requires some fabrication and a few compromises. Lots of folks will tell you don't bother. Why do you want to do it?
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post #3 of 108 Old 06-07-2019, 03:28 PM
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Keep the 8.8 in the Ford Exploder.
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I'd rather knock myself unconscious, cut a finger off, poke my eye out with a sharp stick or be forced to go back to work than install anything made by Rusty's.
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post #4 of 108 Old 06-07-2019, 04:56 PM
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Has anyone done this swap? Recommend? Not recommend?
pretty loaded questions which will net you a bunch of answers.

I picked one up for cheap for my last TJ and was able to build it for cheap. Ran it for 7 years on 36s with an ARB and loved it. Still going strong with new owner. It is a c-clip design , but you can get a c-clip eliminator kit for it.

Some say it is a bit of anchor, but with 36s I never noticed it at all. Had a beefy cover on it. IMO, I disagree it is only marginally better than a d35 and not as strong as a 44. Bigger ring gear on the 8.8, comes with Disc brakes, thicker axle tubes , 31 spline. D44 is 30spline, smaller ring gear, smaller tubes and good luck finding one...for a good price. The pro to the 44 is bolt in.

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post #5 of 108 Old 06-07-2019, 07:31 PM
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If you search you should find some pretty extensive discussions. Opinions range from greatest thing since sliced bread to wouldn't run one if it was free and pre-installed in jeep. Overall, the fans are in the minority around here.
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post #6 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 06:39 AM
williambmac
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Originally Posted by JEK3 View Post
Lots of folks have. Marginally stronger than a D35 (but significantly weaker than a D44). Requires some fabrication and a few compromises. Lots of folks will tell you don't bother. Why do you want to do it?
I'm not sure where you got this info, but your wrong.

The 8.8 is stronger than both the 35 and the 44.

beefier gears, 8.8" which is almost as strong as a 9"
31 spline axles
thicker tubes
comes with disc brakes

I ran one in my 00 tj for years without a problem. locked with stock axles for about 3 years and I never broke an axle. I did upgrade to super8.8 when the kit was introduced. One of the super8.8 axles did break at one point, but that was due to a manufacturing defect, which was replaced under warranty.
the 8.8 is not as wide as a d35 or 44 but super8.8 kit corrects this. The center section is offset to the passenger side a little but was never an issue. you will never grenade an 8.8 with a 4.0. That being said, building an 8.8 is quite expensive. I think the super8.8 kit is around 650.00 (axles, bearings and hardware). You need welding skills or have to pay someone to weld on brackets. you need a locker or gear driven limited slip. The stock trac-lock uses clutches and wont last past 10k miles.
all in all its going to be less $$$ to swap in a d44.
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post #7 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by williambmac View Post
I'm not sure where you got this info, but your wrong.

The 8.8 is stronger than both the 35 and the 44.

beefier gears, 8.8" which is almost as strong as a 9"
31 spline axles
thicker tubes
comes with disc brakes

I ran one in my 00 tj for years without a problem. locked with stock axles for about 3 years and I never broke an axle. I did upgrade to super8.8 when the kit was introduced. One of the super8.8 axles did break at one point, but that was due to a manufacturing defect, which was replaced under warranty.
the 8.8 is not as wide as a d35 or 44 but super8.8 kit corrects this. The center section is offset to the passenger side a little but was never an issue. you will never grenade an 8.8 with a 4.0. That being said, building an 8.8 is quite expensive. I think the super8.8 kit is around 650.00 (axles, bearings and hardware). You need welding skills or have to pay someone to weld on brackets. you need a locker or gear driven limited slip. The stock trac-lock uses clutches and wont last past 10k miles.
all in all its going to be less $$$ to swap in a d44.
Just repeating what has been said in the "Great 8.8 Debate."

Do you have numbers to support your statements? "Beefier" is a nebulous term. Just because something is thicker, bigger, or heavier does not make it stronger.

Your experience is with a Super 8.8, which is a whole different beast than a regular 8.8, which is what the OP was asking about.

Your width, effort, and expense statements are correct, although there have been some people who have attributed some vibes to the offset center section.
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post #8 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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I had no idea I was stirring a hornets nest with my question.
😂😂😂
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post #9 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 12:02 PM
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Lots of people run them and have no problems. lots of people don’t run them, cause they have deeper pockets.

I ran one for years and never had issues.
When I went to 37s i swapped in a 9”.
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post #10 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 12:34 PM
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Lots of people run them and have no problems. lots of people dont run them, cause they have deeper pockets.
Comments like this are actually the problem with discussions of the 8.8. For most people it is not a cheaper option by the time actually under your jeep (and even then other issues). For a minority of people, it can be a cheaper option but too much misinformation out there from general comments like this.
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post #11 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 12:37 PM
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I had no idea I was stirring a hornets nest with my question.
😂😂😂
Nah, the hornet's nest has already been stirred a bunch of times. This time is rather tame. I predict this will die a quiet death.
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post #12 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEK3 View Post
Just repeating what has been said in the "Great 8.8 Debate."

Do you have numbers to support your statements? "Beefier" is a nebulous term. Just because something is thicker, bigger, or heavier does not make it stronger.
I'm no fan of the 8.8 either but it is indeed slightly stronger than the TJ's Dana 44. That it has a c-clip design does not weaken/reduce its strength by any measurement. Regardless I wouldn't run one if someone installed it for free.
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post #13 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 03:20 PM
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If you don’t care about hooking up the e brake, aren’t going to put new pads calipers and rotors on and can weld then yeah a complete disc brake 8.8 is a quick and cheap upgrade. But if you’re talking aftermarket shafts or brakes or super kit then it depends what you got your housing for. For most people I’d argue the “cheaper” aspect comes from not wanting to narrow something full-size. Or not yet ready or needing to run full-size.

So in that regards yes it’s cheaper. I know in my area I could get a 14 bolt for free, a rear Dana 60 for $500, a rear Dana 44 for $400, a 9” for $100 and a whole explorer for $250 But be realistic and be honest. Keep the web wheeling out of it. Throwing in a 8.8 is a lot easier for average joe to accomplish in a weekend than finding a set of matching axles, upgradeing everything that goes along with, the right way, all at once and back on the road Monday morning to go to work.
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post #14 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by StrippedTorx View Post
Throwing in a 8.8 is a lot easier for average joe to accomplish in a weekend than finding a set of matching axles, upgradeing everything that goes along with it, right then and there and back on the road Monday morning.
While that is true for installing an 8.8 in a leaf spring Jeep like a YJ or CJ, that's definitely not (!) true for the TJ with its coil spring suspension. The 8.8 has to be stripped of its leaf spring mounts and then you have the big task of properly locating and welding into place new coil spring mounts, the track bar mount, and four control arm mounts. If you're not an experienced welder/fabricator that's anything but an easy or quick job.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #15 of 108 Old 06-08-2019, 04:04 PM
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If you have a buddy that welds propane tanks for a living, or a friend who’s a trigger man at a local factory, or maybe even that one uncle who’s a union pipe fitter, it’s going to require him a tape measure and a couple beads and your brackets are set.


But find a buddy who has the knowledge, experience, and confidence to narrow your Dana 60 or 14bolt in addition to welding on your necessary brackets. Hopefully he can shorten and re spline your shafts too or you order a custom set.

I don’t know about you but I bet average joe could get buddy number 1 to show up with a few kind words and a six pack. Buddy number 2 is in for some serious time and work

You don’t have to be a professional fabricator to take some accurate measurements, and lay some quality beads. If you can’t run a tape measure properly you shouldn’t be worried about a new axle anyways.

The 8.8 is a great axle but by all means there are better options. The 8.8 isn’t the be all end all. The smarter approach is to build what you can get. If locally d60s are free go that route. If you know a guy with 10 14bolts for 50$ each go that route. If you find a fully built rear with locker, shafts etc. for reasonable price go with it.
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