Swap the entire rear assembly from an Explorer? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 06-25-2012
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Swap the entire rear assembly from an Explorer?

Rear discs, explorer leaf springs and a stronger rear end all on my projects list. Could I just pull the whole thing, axle with springs attached, out of an Explorer and bolt them into my Ranger? Would the taller spring arch and some lift shackles correct for the spring under axle and keep the ride height about the same?

I have no space for welding or heavy projects right now so this would be the only way I could pull it off. I'm just trying to figure out if there are any gotchas before I start dropping money at the junkyard.

Sorry if this has been covered, I did search for it.
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Old 06-25-2012
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I'm pretty sure it's not a 100% direct bolt in swap. I don't know if the shackles will make you end up at the same ride height but I don't think the Explorer springs bolt right in... I think they're longer. I'm sure someone else has tried it though and will post up!
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Old 06-25-2012
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There is a how-to on swapping to Explorer springs, so the length must be the same or close to it. But on that thread and others, nobody seems to agree on how much lift they give. I'm thinking I would need at least 6 inches to make up for the axle flip, hopefully someone has some better measurements.
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Old 06-25-2012
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You would have to move the spring perches to the top of the axle which would need to be cut off and re welded and some work on the parking brake cable
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Old 06-25-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 4x4 View Post
You would have to move the spring perches to the top of the axle which would need to be cut off and re welded and some work on the parking brake cable
That is what I'm trying to avoid. Any idea what the ride height would be with out flipping it? I'm hoping the taller springs plus lift shackles will keep it about the same.
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Old 06-25-2012
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you also need to relocate the shock mounts to the location for the ranger.
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Old 06-26-2012
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you also need to relocate the shock mounts to the location for the ranger.
Ah, damn. Well that kills it. I was hoping for a no weld solution. Thanks though.
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Old 06-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Smith View Post
That is what I'm trying to avoid. Any idea what the ride height would be with out flipping it? I'm hoping the taller springs plus lift shackles will keep it about the same.
If you mounted an Explorer axle as-is to a Ranger, you would see approx 5" drop in ride height. Essentially a 5" lowering kit. This is because the Expo mounts above the spring whereas a Ranger mounts below the spring. Ranger 4/5 drop kits come with a flip kit that puts the axle above the spring giving it 5" drop in the rear.

Best bet is to have a shop weld new perches on it while retaining the stock Ranger springs.

Expo leafs on a Ranger lift the Ranger approx 2". This leaves a 3" gap between what you're talking about wanting to do. You won't make that up with shackles...at best you'll make up half that. Flip the perches and do it right.








Something to ask yourself......what exactly are you trying to accomplish with installing a Explorer axle in the truck? If you're not turning 35's or greater, the better strength isn't of any advantage to a 28 spline 8.8" to you. If you're doing it for the brakes, that's just a stupid reason. Click here for a BETTER setup of doing discs to a stock Ranger axle....and the e-brake isn't a complete ***** to work with or to make work: How-To: Rear Disc Brake Conversion on Stock 28-Spline Ranger Rear-End
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Old 06-26-2012
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There really is no way to do a no weld swap. It's pretty easy though and well worth it IMO
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Old 06-26-2012
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A shackle and an AAL would get close to stock ride height and you would ditch a block. Depending on what you do SUA axle can perform better in certain situations. You could also get away with making your own shock mounts on the ranger side. That would require a drill and new bolts, but you would only be in single shear unlesss you weld in a full "mount" ranger side.

As for the strength difference 31 spline, thicker tubes, bigger bearings, higher GAWR, disk brakes overall better axle and worth the swap even to a stock truck not just 35" and taller tires.
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Old 06-26-2012
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You could always get an 8.8 disc out of a ranger. That would be plug and play so to speak.
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Old 06-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98liftedranger View Post
You could always get an 8.8 disc out of a ranger. That would be plug and play so to speak.
Only downside to that is the small bearings, smaller tubes, and 28 spline shafts. On a normal truck it isn't even worth the time.
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Old 06-27-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98liftedranger View Post
You could always get an 8.8 disc out of a ranger. That would be plug and play so to speak.
I thought those were not compatible because of the anti-lock system or something like that?
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Old 06-27-2012
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Quote:
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I thought those were not compatible because of the anti-lock system or something like that?
Nope uses the exact same setup as an older model no different from an expo one as far as brakes are concerned.
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Old 06-27-2012
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I've read in several places that they are not, would they be talking about just a disc swap and not the whole axle? Using the mustang cobra brakes will cost about $500, I'm thinking I could get a whole ranger axle with brakes for cheaper if I can find one.
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Old 06-28-2012
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I got another explorer axle with 4.10s that im gonna steal for my truck for $100 tonight.
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Swap the entire rear assembly from an Explorer?-605e801b.jpg  
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Old 06-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdawall View Post
Only downside to that is the small bearings, smaller tubes, and 28 spline shafts. On a normal truck it isn't even worth the time.


Im pretty sure the newer disc brake 8.8's in a ranger were 31 spline?
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Old 06-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brinker88 View Post
Im pretty sure the newer disc brake 8.8's in a ranger were 31 spline?
And so are the FX4's I just don't know what years had disc brakes.
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Old 06-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brinker88 View Post
Im pretty sure the newer disc brake 8.8's in a ranger were 31 spline?
Randy's ring and pinion and rockauto still lists both the 28 and 31 spline available for the Ranger. From what I have seen they have moved to the thicker tubes on both the 7.5" and 8.8" but they still use a 1041 steel 28 spline shaft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 98liftedranger View Post
And the ones from FX4's correct?
The 2002 FX4 and 2003+ FX4 level II's are 31 spline.
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Old 06-29-2012
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So you can not swap the discs from a new ranger, but you can swap the whole axle?

What about all the stability control crap?
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  #21  
Old 06-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Smith View Post
So you can not swap the discs from a new ranger, but you can swap the whole axle?

What about all the stability control crap?
Yes and the RSC is derived from the rear tone ring so it makes no difference you already have the same tone ring your truck.
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