8.8 Swap, the Cliffs-Notes - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
SouthernGypsy
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8.8 Swap, the Cliffs-Notes

Hopefully this wont open an overly-complicated bucket of worms but can someone give me the Cliffs-Notes version of the 8.8 swap into a TJ? Just the simple basics that I can present to someone who is looking for a strong alternative to their stock setup. Neither myself nor any of my guys have ever messed with an 8.8 at all so this is virgin territory for us. I already tried searching using several variations but didn't come up with anything that really told me anything useful.

One important starting question is what is the best donor vehicle to find an 8.8 so we have an idea of how hard it would be to find one in the first place.

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post #2 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 09:58 PM
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95-01 Ford Explorers

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Yakima Valley Mountaineers.
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post #3 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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95-01 Ford Explorers
So something easy to find and cheap to buy in our area

In what ways do the axles need to be modified? Are we talking changing the lengths of the tubes or just bracket relocations?

Also, what kind of gear ratios do they normally come with or do you normally end up having to do a re-gear?

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post #4 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 10:23 PM
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Cut off the old brackets and buy new ones. I was very pleased with the Artec Truss System I used on mine and IMO it is the best way to go even with the little extra bit of cash. The truss was indexed for the other brackets and it made installation so much easier. Tube lengths are fine, should look into welding the tubes to the center section, I opted not to since I had the truss anyways. Most from the Explorers come with 3.73 and some will have 4.10 gears. I found one with an LSD carrier and rebuilt the trac lok too. Try searching around some more, there is tons of info on this swap and some really good writeups on here and JeepsUnlimited. Try to find Freeskiers writeup on here, it was for a YJ, but still lots of great info and pictures

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post #5 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Nice that they come with the gears we need anyway.

I remember someone having a thread about something to do with the brakes? Was it just the em cable they had to modify? I wish the search function on JF worked better than it does.

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post #6 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 10:59 PM
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I've never had a problem with the search function on JF, I use it a ton and get tons of good info back.

I ended up using parking brake cables from a 2006 Jeep TJ with rear disc brakes and Blaine's reverse TJ style parking brake cable adapters that allowed me to flip the calipers forward for ease of future outboarding of the shocks. I did a complete rebuild of mine which meant new pads, rotors, calipers, hard lines, gears, bearings (twice...), seals, brackets, axle shafts, sandblasting, fluids, and a diff cover. I probably had about $2,000 into the axle then another $1,000 into rear MC arms, Tatton DS, and the JB SS SYE once it was completely finished. I did the gears myself though so that saved some cash, that I later spent on a second set of bearings after the new ones pitted and deformed due to leftover contaminants in the fluid. Thought I cleaned it well enough the first time, nope...

Lesson learned: "Time saved now is time lost later" -Grandpa

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post #7 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Good info. If you hadn't done all the extra stuff, ie. like you was doing it on a tight budget, and not counting the price of the axle itself. What would you say such a swap could be done for by someone on a very tight budget if he needed 3.73's and found one with those gears already in it so no re-gearing, etc?

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post #8 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 11:38 PM
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Well I was on a tight budget, a senior in highschool budget to be exact. It's tough to say what it could cost. Idk if you could find one with gears in good enough shape to run as is, but if you could probably $200 on the axle, 250 on brakes, 350 on brackets or less if you don't do artec, i would though, then about 300 on a driveshaft and 300 for an SYE and 250 to 500 for control arms. Some claim to be able to use the stock shaft but to do it right I'd do the SYE and DC DS. Maybe around $1500 to $2000 total.

Edit: Actually I don't really know about that. The only things I left off that list was the axle shafts which were like 150 or so off rock auto and the Yukon gears that I scored brand new off Craigslist for $140. Axle swaps aren't cheap and don't it corners, cause they're kind of important...
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post #9 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevlaw View Post
Well I was on a tight budget, a senior in highschool budget to be exact. It's tough to say what it could cost. Idk if you could find one with gears in good enough shape to run as is, but if you could probably $200 on the axle, 250 on brakes, 350 on brackets or less if you don't do artec, i would though, then about 300 on a driveshaft and 300 for an SYE and 250 to 500 for control arms. Some claim to be able to use the stock shaft but to do it right I'd do the SYE and DC DS. Maybe around $1500 to $2000 total.

Edit: Actually I don't really know about that. The only things I left off that list was the axle shafts which were like 150 or so off rock auto and the Yukon gears that I scored brand new off Craigslist for $140. Axle swaps aren't cheap and don't it corners, cause they're kind of important...
I can get one of those axles probably at no cost from a low mileage Explorer, so that part is easy.

Why are the brakes so much?

He has a SYE and Tom Woods SYE/CV driveshaft already, assuming that one would still work.

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post #10 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 11:49 PM
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I was assuming you replace pads, calipers, rotors, and parking brake shoes and hardware. That was all about $180 my employee discount at Napa so I just figured around 250. Also gonna have to do new hard lines and soft lines probably. His driveshaft should still work, he will just need to buy the flange adapter for the axle end because the 8.8 does not use a yoke. There's a spicer number floating around here somewhere...
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post #11 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 11:56 PM
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Here's a few pics of the finished axle with artec brackets. Also made a custom ramp on the bottom to protect the pinion, eliminate any catching on the notorious lip on the bottom of the 8.8 and to prevent the cover from being peeled back when dragging over stuff due to the lack of clearance with an 8.8 on 31"s
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post #12 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevlaw View Post
I was assuming you replace pads, calipers, rotors, and parking brake shoes and hardware. That was all about $180 my employee discount at Napa so I just figured around 250. Also gonna have to do new hard lines and soft lines probably. His driveshaft should still work, he will just need to buy the flange adapter for the axle end because the 8.8 does not use a yoke. There's a spicer number floating around here somewhere...

Ah OK. Our ranch gets large commercial discounts at all of the local parts stores so probably no more than your $180 if that much at one of our stores. I like NAPA but their prices can sometimes be kinda high comparably. Hopefully could get a low mileage donor and not really need many of those kinds of parts beyond new pads and having the rotors turned.

Will have to try and find the link to the reverse part you referenced earlier for the EM brake cable.


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post #13 of 145 Old 05-24-2016, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevlaw View Post
Here's a few pics of the finished axle with artec brackets. Also made a custom ramp on the bottom to protect the pinion, eliminate any catching on the notorious lip on the bottom of the 8.8 and to prevent the cover from being peeled back when dragging over stuff due to the lack of clearance with an 8.8 on 31"s

That's a nice looking axle Looks like you built it to go under a small tank


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post #14 of 145 Old 05-25-2016, 12:48 AM
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When installing my 9" I used the universal E-brake cable set from NAPA and it worked well... HTH
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post #15 of 145 Old 05-25-2016, 07:30 AM
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I love my 8.8. I did almost the exact build trevlaw did. Artec truss, black magic caliper flip, new gears, ARB locker, I did my skid on the bottom of the 8.8 different. It was fun to build. I don't regret it. But I do wonder about other axle swaps instead of doing the 8.8.
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