Rear end upgrade to Ford 8.8.
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  1. #1
    Official RnS Addict Stude Star's Avatar
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    Rear end upgrade to Ford 8.8.

    Hi guys,

    The blue Stude currently has a small block Chevy, TH700 and an open ford 8".

    Since the engine has been rebuilt with ali heads the car is gagging for an LSD, while we're at it rear discs would be nice.

    I started looking around at options and to rebuild the 8" to what we want is going to cost a fair bit. So I started looking into the Ford 8.8 live axle, 24 different Fords came with this axle apparently, in open or LSD form, in varying widths and ratios, with different offset diffs and 28 or 31 spline.

    After some research I settled on the Ford Explorer rear end, 31 spline, 3.73 locker with discs, the quirk of it is it's too wide for the Stude (59 1/2"), but it has an offset diff due to it being from a 4WD vehicle, which means it has a long and short axle, the longer axle being approx 2 1/2" longer than the other. The trick is to narrow the axle casing on one side by the difference and locate another short axle, i'll then have a 31 spline, 3.73 LSD disc braked rear end for a lot less than a 9" or a 12 bolt, or my modded 8". The 8.8 is basically a 12 bolt clone. It'll end up around 57"- 57 1/2" which is perfect for most old cars.
    But, to get another short axle you've basically got to buy another rear end as it's grief getting the axle out for what it's worth and I may need other parts of the rear end anyway due to damaged/unusable parts.

    Anyhow I took a drive down to Maidstone on Saturday and molested the rear end of an R reg Explorer for £175.



    It wasn't too hard to get out but that mofo is heavy! Don't try this on your own, it was hard work with two of us. I got the prop, sway bar and mounts, handbrake cable, shock mounts etc and took lots of pics of the Explorer.

    I then got the axle home and started to strip it down to assess the condition of the parts. The intention is to replace all consumables and rebuilt the rest.


    The pads are shot, one disc is shot, the hand bake shoes are cracked and there's too much end play in the axles, all will be renewed anyway.

    The callipers seem fine but will be rebuilt too


    The gears are ok, not bad but not great, the ABS sensor is redundant and will be plugged, the sway bar will probably be left off as they're not much use on front engine/rear drive cars if your suspension is good. I'll decide later. A new brake line will be made and new rubber hoses.


    I've got two more axles lined up and another drum brake axle which could be used to get the shorter shaft.

    If anyone's interested in this setup for themselves then give me a shout as i'm making a collection of these rear ends to get as many usable parts as possible. It would be handy if someone is after an axle shorter than 57" as this would free up another short axle. To go shorter than 57" it'll require aftermarket axles.

    The plan is to get three or four rear ends, strip them, assess, get the difference cut out of the long tube, check the tubes for straightness, weld the tubes (interference fit from the factory) to the pumpkin, cut off the sway bar and leaf spring perches (if they're no use) and weld on new perches, fit new bearings and seals, new LSD plates, new pads, rotors and rebuilt callipers, new brake lines and proportioning valve, new handbrake cable and away.

    Let me know if you have any short axles, or complete rear ends (drum or disc brake models), and get in touch if you want to go about this with me.

    Cheers, Aaron.
    Last edited by Stude Star; 11-05-2014 at 18:52.
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  3. #2
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    They take good power.

    I put one under a customers pop running 550 hp but went for mosser shafts as narrowed it to much .cheap as chips.wilwood do a bolt on brake kit for these

    If you wanna junk the stock stuff
    Rod/custom/drag build profiles:
    Mini | Pop | Porker | Trike | Morris 8

    | 48 chevy coupe | ford f100 | tube chassis,d pop
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  4. #3
    Official RnS Addict Stude Star's Avatar
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    Yeah they are cheap and tough. I can see these being put under lots of cars.

    I may trim the backing plates down so the discs can be seen from underneath, the wheels the Stude has pretty much obscures the view of the disc and the backing plates hide them from the underneath view, any views on that? Just a thought.

    That Pop sounds nasty. Do you have the old short axle by any chance?
    Last edited by Stude Star; 11-05-2014 at 20:09.
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    No mate.as they are c clip type axles i shortened the originals first so we could roll the car round and make sure they were the right lenght befor we ordered

    the aftermarket shafts.

    Ebay is always worth checking for shafts.they do nice ally diff covers for them if you want a bit of bling
    Rod/custom/drag build profiles:
    Mini | Pop | Porker | Trike | Morris 8

    | 48 chevy coupe | ford f100 | tube chassis,d pop
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  7. #5
    Official RnS Addict Stude Star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody View Post
    No mate.as they are c clip type axles i shortened the originals first so we could roll the car round and make sure they were the right lenght befor we ordered

    the aftermarket shafts.

    Ebay is always worth checking for shafts.they do nice ally diff covers for them if you want a bit of bling
    Sure thing, yeah I will get a bling cover! Let me know if you come across any short shafts
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    Official RnS Addict rp460's Avatar
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    Got an narrowed one under my truck. It cost me an arm and a leg to get it done (by a well known company in Irthlingborough). Hopefully it'll work out ok on my setup. 400bhp+ with 31" tyres
    1932 Ford Model A Coupe
    1940 Ford Coupe
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  9. #7
    Official RnS Addict Stude Star's Avatar
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    I'm sure it'll be just fine mate. They're reasonable compared to a 9" but still ££. Looking to get mine sorted for under a grand. Hopefully around £800.
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    Official RnS Addict Stude Star's Avatar
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    Got another rear end, same as the first, 3.73 locker with discs. Picking it up next Saturday from Southend.

    Will strip that and use the pair of shorter shafts for the new narrowed axle.
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  11. #9
    Official RnS Addict Stude Star's Avatar
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    Picking up two rear ends today now, one in Colchester and one on Southend for a total of 3. All 31 spline 3.73 lockers.

    I've swapped one diff already for another short axle + cash, I will cut up one axle for the perches and sway bar mounts.

    So i'll be left with two complete rear ends ( I need one), and a spare disc brake conversion kit for anyone with a drum brake 8.8.

    I'll also be left with 3 no 31 spline long axles (approx 30").

    Pics to follow today.
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  12. #10
    Official RnS Addict rp460's Avatar
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    The disc brake set will also fit a 9" axle.
    1932 Ford Model A Coupe
    1940 Ford Coupe
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