7.5 to 8.8 - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 06-24-2016
TheArcticWolf1911's Avatar
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7.5 to 8.8

Something I've been really wanting to do is toss my 7.5 to the curb and swap in an explorer 8.8. Unfortunately for me, I don't have access to a welder for the shock absorber attachments. While lying awake last night, I thought of a couple things that hopefully will work like I'm hoping.

For sake of argument, let's say I grab thje 8.8 from a '97 Explorer. It's a 4:10 gear ratio with L/S and disk brakes.

I understand that if I swap the 8.8 in as-is, my rear end will be subsequently lower. However, if I were to also take the leaf springs from the explorer, would I get back to my factory height with this method?

If the above does work, would I then be able to swap over my Ranger's rear drum brake setup onto the 8.8?
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Old 06-24-2016
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I'm putting a 97 8.8 with 3.73 gears in mine, not there yet but one thing I don't understand... why wouldn't you want to keep the disk brakes? I read more than one article that there was no valving or master cylinder mods or changes needed at all. You just plumb it, bleed it and it works.

I know I recently saw pics of a 5.0 ranger selling locally here in columbus that had explorer rear end, explorer springs and longer shackles. It still looked too low to me.
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Old 06-24-2016
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I have pretty new brake hardware in the rear, and if I go and buy all that (plus gear oil and whatnot) then I'd also have to buy (or would feel most comfortable with, really) buying two new calipers and new pads as well as rotors.

I wouldn't entirely mind rear disks, but I'd just like to cut costs and use what I already have if I can.
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Old 06-24-2016
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When I did the 8.8 in mine I paid $125 for the complete rear, rotor to rotor
and I was able to get a set of calipers off another Explorer that only had 66K
miles. All said and done with new rotors, e-brake shoes and pads I have $210
invested so far.
Only issue so far is the rear brakes work a little harder than usual so I am
adding a Wilwood adjustable proportioning valve and swapping out the residual
pressure valve. Seems to be holding the rear brakes engaged after coming to a
stop.
From what I seen while doing mine the caliper brackets are bolted to the axle
tube in the same manner as the backing plate for the drums.
The springs on the Explorer are positioned under the frame rail which makes
up for the spring under axle.
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