How To: Explorer Axle Swap - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 09-19-2005
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How To: Explorer Axle Swap

Mod:Explorer Axle Swap
Difficulty: 5/10 (some mechanical knowledge required)
Time: [Approximate time needed]

Author: Scott Gabriel (Gay-briel)
Please direct all questions and comments to the author.



Tools/Equipment needed:
  • Basic hand tools and a good mechanics wrench set.

HOW-TO EXPLORER AXLE SWAP

This was done Danger94Ranger (from RPS) and myself.

Before shot with flip kit


First is first. Remove the bed by unbolting the 6 carriage bolts, also disconnect the tail light harness and unbolt the gas filler neck.

Bed Removed


Jack up frame and support with jack stands on either side near cab. Maybe sure you place blocks in front of the wheels or else the truck my move

Wheels off and on Stands


Use a jack to support the axle, and use a block of wood or something to hold up the drive shaft. You then need to unbolt the 4 U-Bolts holding the axle to the leaf, and the bolts holding the drive shaft to the yoke. Also remove the ABS sensor wire, brake lines, Parking brake lines, and breather tube

Undoing brake lines


Then unbolt the rears of the leaf springs and pull the axle out.

Removed axle


Then place Explorer axle on jack (transmission jacks work great) and place in the spot where the Ranger axle was removed

Explorer Axle in place




Line up axle on the leafs



Go ahead and bolt in the explorer axle to the drive shaft and reattach brake lines


Now, install the U-Bolts to attach the axle to the leafs. The explorer 8.8 rear is actually thicker the then the ranger 7.5 and 8.8, so you might need aftermarket U-Bolts, or get OEM ones from the factory. We used U-Bolts from AutoZone and just had to clamp the ends together to get the spring plate on.

Ubolts on



Now make sure all brake lines are hooked up and that your brakes are blead. Then is time to put your rims back on.




We did not have all the proper pieces for the sway bar so we removed it. We also didn’t have the proper parking brake lines, so danger94ranger is running without parking brakes. Make sure when you get your explorer axle you get the parking brake lines that go with it.

Finished Pics




Mod Complete:

For more discussion of this Mod please view this thread.
https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...367#post172367


Edited by Jason Gonderman (rngprerunner) for grammar and format.

Last edited by 98liftedranger; 11-28-2011 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 06-26-2012
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Please note that this how-to does not contain hardly any of the steps required to accomplish this swap on a normal truck. This is not a simple swap, it requires welding new spring pads and shock mounts, and re-rigging the parking brake among other things.
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Old 06-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Smith View Post
Please note that this how-to does not contain hardly any of the steps required to accomplish this swap on a normal truck. This is not a simple swap, it requires welding new spring pads and shock mounts, and re-rigging the parking brake among other things.
Thats if you want lift or stock height. OP was going lowered so it worked fine.
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Old 06-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98liftedranger View Post
Thats if you want lift or stock height. OP was going lowered so it worked fine.
Like I said, for a normal ranger. And you would still need a solution for the shock mounts and parking brake. All of that info was completely left out, and it makes this mod look much simpler than it is. Just FYI for the next shmuck like me.
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Old 09-06-2013
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So what did you do for shock mounts? And you're saying to use the stock expo parking brake cables?
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Old 07-09-2016
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Shock Mounts

I saw on this useful information on another more detailed thread.

"Explorer driver side U Bolt Plates/ Shock Mounts (2). This is the trick, and also a source of bad information on the internet. The Ranger has the passenger shock in front of the axle and the Explorer mounts them both behind the axle. The Explorer shock mount for the driverís side works perfectly, and a second driverís side mount rotated the opposite direction works perfectly for the Rangerís passenger side. The Ubolt Plate/ Shock mount for the Explorer is a single part, and you need two of them, both from the driverís side. I obtained one with my junkyard Explorer rear end, and bought the other at Ford, the cost was about $35. (Ford Part number F57Z-5798-AE)"

ALSO can you reuse the same brake lines from the Ranger axle on the Explorer axle?
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Old 07-10-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangermanmark View Post
So what did you do for shock mounts? And you're saying to use the stock expo parking brake cables?
Just did mine a few weeks ago and everything was pretty smooth. Yes you have to weld perches and shock mounts for stock ride height. Which also means getting the angle of the differential before removing the OE rear so you can set the new one at the same angle before welding perches in place.

Parking brake cables from the Explorer worked just fine but the adapter that brings the 2 cables to 1 must be the one from the Ranger. Be prepared to pull hard from both ends to get the cables back together. There is ample slack in the auto adjust at the e-brake pedal but it is under spring pressure and would be much easier with a second set of hands (still doable solo).

For the rotors, calipers and pads (depending on year of donor) mine is a '97 and I ordered e-brake shoes and rotors for a 2001. Calipers and pads were purchased for a 2003 (a) calipers were aluminum (b) pads have twice the contact area. The original Ranger (fluid) brake lines attached to the rear diff do not work unless you plan on converting the disk brake rear back to drums.

Nothing in the OPs post is wrong, he was simply replacing a spring under setup with a spring under as stated.
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Old 07-10-2016
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What do I need to get the disc brakes working? I dont think it was mentioned

I am going to go with the Explorer Driver's side U-bolt method for the drop and ease. As for the parking brake, one side was locked up on the Explorer i took the 8.8 off of due to it being exposed to the elements. Anyway, Ill only need one side to work, will I be able to get this done with Ranger cables? My automatic is pretty nice so im not worried that it'll fail, so I think one side is adequate.

Last edited by BlueNostromo; 07-10-2016 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 07-10-2016
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Get both sides working. Regardless if your auto is working reliably or not, if your braking system should fail, these parking brakes are your last resort to stopping the vehicle in a safe manner.

If only one side is working, then it will pull you to that side. This also means more heat will be generated, and that one working brake in this example will begin to fade. That's not something you want to happen.
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Old 07-11-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArcticWolf1911 View Post
Get both sides working. Regardless if your auto is working reliably or not, if your braking system should fail, these parking brakes are your last resort to stopping the vehicle in a safe manner.

If only one side is working, then it will pull you to that side. This also means more heat will be generated, and that one working brake in this example will begin to fade. That's not something you want to happen.
Not worried about it. Back to my actual question. I have the brake lines that connect the disc brakes together at a T, but I cut the brake line that leads back up to the master cylinder.
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