Difference between Ranger 8.8 and Explorer 8.8 - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 08-31-2008
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Difference between Ranger 8.8 and Explorer 8.8

What is the difference between the Ranger 8.8 rear end and a Explorer 8.8 rear end? Is one 28 spline and the explorer 31? If so, could you put the axles and differential unit into the casing of the Ranger? Or, is the explorer's axles longer?

Also, will my ranger's 7.5 rear drums bolt to the 8.8 rear end? I am fine with my rear brakes. I don't need the bigger ones. My brake pads are like new and I want to reuse them if I can.

I don't want to reweld the explorer's 8.8 spring perches so I am going to look for a ranger 8.8. Thanks all
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Old 08-31-2008
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The Expo axles are larger and have 31 splines. If you don't want to weld look for a Ranger 8.8, I don't know about the brakes.
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Old 08-31-2008
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The Explorer uses larger axle tubes and bearings plus the axle shafts are longer. You cannot swap Ex 31-spline shafts into a stock Ranger axle.

Rangers 8.8's (except Torsen equipped like 2002 FX4 and all Level II's) use 28-spline axles.

28-spline Ranger 8.8 axles usually come from the factory with 10" brakes but a 7.5 may have either 9" or 10" depending on other options. Your complete 7.5 brake assemblies (regardless of size) should bolt right on to the end flanges of a 28-spline 8.8 Ranger axle. Your brakes will not fit a 31-spline Ranger LII axle.
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Old 08-31-2008
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Ok, I just wanted to know. Good info. If I can't get the Ranger rear end with the gears I want, then I will get the expo and have my grandpa reweld the perches. Wish I could find a Fx4 rear end to put in my truck.
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Old 08-31-2008
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What years of 8.8 rear-ends will fit?
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Old 08-31-2008
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I have a stock ranger 8.8 with 4.10s open diff for sale -- we can work something out on shipping if you cant find anything up there...
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Old 08-31-2008
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All Ranger 8.8s will fit. The 02-03 torsen Ranger 8.8s have 31 spline shafts so you can't swap your brakes over.
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Old 08-31-2008
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Ok, I will go to the junkyard next time I come home from college. I wouldn't think that it would be that hard to take it out. They already have the vehicles at my junkyard in the air on stands. I just take the driveshaft off, the shocks off, where the springs attach, and just cut the brake lines. Am I missing anything?
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Old 08-31-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighRollerII View Post
I have a stock ranger 8.8 with 4.10s open diff for sale -- we can work something out on shipping if you cant find anything up there...
Ok, we will see. How much do you think that would cost?
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Old 09-04-2008
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The axle spline count doesn't really matter. The issue is that the flange on the end of the axle is different due to the larger housing/bearing in the explorer housing. That is why the brakes don't fit.
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Old 12-15-2008
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I know this is an old thread of mine but no reason to start a new one. I have been doing some more reading. Would you still have to reweld the spring perches if you use the explorer springs on the truck? Or will the truck ride lower still or not mount at all sing the frames are different?

If I do reweld, is it only the spring mounting spots as in I cut them off and move them to the top of the axle? I just want to make sure since I might go ahead and get the 8.8 at the junkyard since there is a ton of Explorers there with the 8.8 4.10 L/S. My grandpa is already welding other stuff for me so it isn't a big deal to weld the stuff.
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Old 12-15-2008
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YES. you must relocate the perches to ABOVE the tube, rather than BELOW in the factory location on Explorers. Rangers are 'spring over'. Explorers are 'spring under'. If you were to use Explorer leafs, i believe you'll still be sitting pretty low. I've compared the ranger springs vs. explorer springs...and the ranger springs are more arched. BUT..i admit i have no experience in the explorer leaf on a ranger department.

I highly suggest getting new perches and welding those on. You will need
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Old 12-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
I highly suggest getting new perches and welding those on. You will need
Is there anything wrong with the stock spring perches if I just cut them off and move them to the top? Also, I have been looking at Dangerranger's thread alot and was wondering on the brake line deal. Will our Ranger brake lines not bolt straight up to the rear end? Also, you need to reweld shock mounts right?

The big thing is the parking break. Does it bolt up the same or not? Since I have a manual I really need that.

I need some good reasons why I should have this over the other to tell my dad. It being stronger is not a good reason for him. And having to reweld stuff doesn't help either.
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Old 12-15-2008
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Expo axle is 3" wider than your current axle, I didn't see that mentioned. Buy some spring perches from eBay or local Napa (or similar) for a few bucks. People usually use the parking brake lines from the Explorer, from the Y-point on.

The shocks can be solved two ways, 1) weld a shock mount on the front right of axle (I think the right side) or 2) weld a shock mount on the right side of the frame parallel to the opposite OEM shock mount to use the dual rear-facing Explorer shock configuration.

EDIT - http://www.rangerpowersports.com/for...d.php?t=125906
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Old 12-15-2008
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It is not that I mind having to buy a new mount I just wander whats wrong with the old ones?
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Old 12-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cghstrojan08 View Post
It is not that I mind having to buy a new mount I just wander whats wrong with the old ones?
its probably just easier to get new ones instead of dealing with cutting the old ones off. Im not a welder but it may compromise the strength of the mounts cut them and re-weld them on... Im just guessing though.

Check out http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/ for a complete axle swap kit.
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Old 12-15-2008
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If convincing your dad is the problem....just get a ranger 8.8 w/ 4.10ls. bolt on bolt off....considerably stronger than the 7.5 you've got now. Unless you want those discs...

You'll need perches, shock tabs, U bolts, and possibly a spring plate. I think you might be able to get away with drilling out your existing spring plate.

DangerRanger used two passenger side expo hoses i think, and a stock ranger frame to pumpkin hose for brake lines.

If you pull your own axle...i'd grab everything you can....ubolts, brackets, hoses, parking brake lines from midframe back, etc. I pulled mine...then i found a 31spline Fx4 8.8.....i'll be swapping the discs over to it soon. You can't do that to the 28spline 8.8.
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Old 12-15-2008
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Ya, I usually grab everything when I go no matter what I am getting. Somethings also like to fall into my pocket to. When I get home from christmas break I am going to go to the junkyard hopefully on a non-working and warm day. I am going to look for the 7.5 since it will bolt in and if I can't this time (porbably my 12th time there looking for one) I will get the expo since I know they have a bunch of them. Easily 20 expos.

Another quesion - What years will fit? I want to find one with the lowest miles on it so the bigger my range the better.
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Old 12-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cghstrojan08 View Post
Another quesion - What years will fit? I want to find one with the lowest miles on it so the bigger my range the better.
95-01', all the same.
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Old 12-15-2008
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Awesome then. I will hit it up thursday. Thanks yall for your help. I really appreciate it. This is why I love this place so much. So much knowledge.
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