Explorer 8.8 Swap Questions! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 10-19-2013
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Explorer 8.8 Swap Questions!

I'm trying to plan out my axle swap. I want to swap in an Explorer 8.8 with disc brakes and 4.10's and Limited slip diff. I've been doing some research but I want to make sure I know what i'm getting into before I start buying parts.

Will the spring perches need to be flipped on top of the axle?

Will the shock mounts need to be moved?

Does anything need to be done to get the parking brake to work or is it a simple reconnect?

What type of parking brake is on the explorer 8.8?

Do I need a new proportioning valve or will the stock one be fine?
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Old 10-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redrider11 View Post
I'm trying to plan out my axle swap. I want to swap in an Explorer 8.8 with disc brakes and 4.10's and Limited slip diff. I've been doing some research but I want to make sure I know what i'm getting into before I start buying parts.

Will the spring perches need to be flipped on top of the axle?
Yes. Mind the pinion angle when setting them up.

No. If you want to lower the back 5". lol.

Quote:
Will the shock mounts need to be moved?
Yes. On an Explorer, the shock mounts are built into the spring plates where as a Ranger has them connected to the axle tube in a different location.

RuffStuff offers this very nice kit that includes everything...perches, shock mounts, spring plates, and U-bolts. Welding is required.

Clicky: Ford 8.8 Rear Axle Simple Swap (31 spline) - RuffStuff Specialties

Quote:
Does anything need to be done to get the parking brake to work or is it a simple reconnect?
In short, yes. The cable ends that connect to the brake shoes are totally different. And the cables are of different length. You have a couple options...a: no parking brake hooked up. b: use the explorer cables from the cable split to the shoes and join them to the Ranger stock cable. c: build a bracket to locate/secure the explorer cables and use simple cable clamps to joint the Explorer cables to the Ranger cable. It can be simple...just depends on your definition of "simple" is and the way you attack it.

But you do want to locate a set of rear Explorer parking brake cables.

Quote:
What type of parking brake is on the explorer 8.8?
Disc Explorer axles that swap under our trucks have a small drum parking brake setup within the brake disc. So there's three machined surfaces on a 95-01/05 Explorer disc. And that parking brake set up is a pain to work on.

Drum Explorer axles are exactly like a Ranger.

Quote:
Do I need a new proportioning valve or will the stock one be fine?
No. The adjustments are done electronically. Some live by the theory of an Explorer master cyl is required, but we've got 4whl ABS and a disc swap has been done countless times without any additional parts. Including myself on 4 different trucks.


Something you've not asked about is the brake lines.... You will want to make a hybrid brake line setup using the Ranger soft line to the axle, the Y or T, and either re-use the Ranger hard lines on the axle tube, shorten them up, and double flare them, or bend and flare new lines (cleaner results this way). Then use two passenger side (I think?) Explorer rear soft lines to go from the hard lines on the axle to the calipers. I tack welded an all-thread union to the spring perch to bolt the soft line up. Clean looking and cleap.



And do yourself a favor, before you install the calipers, then them well and spray on caliper paint. I regret not doing it because brushing on paint onto rusted "new" calipers sucks.
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Old 10-20-2013
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BUT....question of the day... WHY?

Are you doing it just for disc brakes? If so, Explorer is completely the wrong route to choose. Look into a SN95 Mustang rear brake swap for your existing 28 spline 8.8". It's a far superior set up in regards to simplicity, ease of install, ease of maintenance, and performance and simplicity of the parking brake. No new cables needed.

Member named "dangerranger01" wrote the how-to. He happens to be my little brother.
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Old 10-20-2013
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Thank you Fx4wannabe01

I want the explorer for the discs plus the stronger axles. The wheel cylinder just gave out on my axle and I've been planning on doing the swap so now I'm just doing it sooner than I thought.

Will the RuffStuff Specialties kit also work if I do the chevy 63" leaf springs? Or are there U-bolts too long?
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