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Ford 8.8 swap

Old 07-20-2009, 12:49 PM
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Ford 8.8 swap

i started my 8.8 swap apporx a week ago. i got the rear out of a 98 exploror, it has 31 spline axles, posi, and disc brakes. i got the rearend for $107 at a junkyard about 1.5 hours from me. as some of you know the pumpkin is offset 3 inches to one side. i narrowed the long side to match the short side. which mean now the rear is approx 5 inches narrower than my stock 7.5 10 bolt.

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/6095/0713091938a1.jpg
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6095/0713091938a1.jpg
http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/7...13091938c1.jpg
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6123/0718092132a1.jpg
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/3421/0719090353b1.jpg
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/1850/0719091620a1.jpg
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/1772/0719091620b1.jpg
http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/6092/0719091858a1
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:31 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

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Old 07-20-2009, 04:28 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

yea that was my thread. i just finished the swap about 2-3 weeks ago. took me about 1 week to do the swap. i just transfered all the stock brackets over to the ford 8.8 but mine was outa a ford crown vic. its 3" wider than the stock 3rd gens. it on the otherhand only has 28spline axles. but i rebuild the posi with carbon fiber clutch pack and used all ARP studs and support girdle. now the weakest link is the 28 spline axles.

i have a few issues with your design. first... the 5" shorter than stock axle is gona kill your wheel selection. your gona have to run short backspacing prob 3" or so and massive offset. Unless your gona throw on some spacers/adapters 2" or 2.5" spacers will get u back into normal range. If you were to do spacers i would have then be adapters as well... the ford bolt pattern is 5x4.5" and chevy is 5x4.75"... so unless u want to use ford rims i would suggest getting the adapter/spacer to convert your ford bolt pattern to a chevy pattern. Unless your using custom axels in which you could have them machined for chevy bolt pattern.

The only other thing that i have to say is that your design is SUPER strong. alot of metal there for support for the TQ arm... but negative to that is that its not really all that neccessary. Also you might have issues with clearance to the floor pan. ppl have complained that the "ears" of the 12bolt/ford 8.8 will punch holes into the floor pan behind the rear seat when the rear compresses. to be safe most ppl will cut the ears off for the clearance. THe tubing youve used is gona cause less clearance but you could get away with it.

You've basically used shagwells idea... which is a good one. the tubes allow for easy welding and a strong bond. the support which you both welded and bolted to the pumpkin will add stability and incorporate the pumpkin like the stock design. only issue i might see with this is that the forces of the rear rotating will put more stress onto the axle tubes vs the pumpkin. in which case you will have to weld the axle tubes to the pumpkin completely around so you dont twist the axle tubes(which u did). that support bar thats bolted to the pumpkin will help but im not sure how much force it will soak up.

also looking at your pics u posted... you made all the brackets for the LCA/springs and panhard bar... but your panhard bar is not braced? the stocker uses and V pattern of fully welded steel in the inside of the panhard bar bracket across the whole underneith of the bracket. this is to control collapsing forces from the pushing/pulling of the panhard bar. could take some pics of mine if u wanted

What tq arm are u gona run? a custom one like shagwell? Over all its a strong design, looks good. let us kno how it works out.

Last edited by customblackbird; 07-20-2009 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:17 AM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

Similiar to my design, but being box not bent tube definitely makes it bigger. Clearance between the top box and the fuel tank may be an issue. - As customblackbird noted, that much skinnier is going to make wheel fitment more difficult. Depending on what you planning on doing with the car, you may or may not be able to run adapters.

Did you use a squaring jig to re-set the tubes? I hope so. Going with a custom tq arm?
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:52 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

very interesting...i came up with a similar design about 3 years ago, but to use a gm 8.5" instead...i'd love to get away from my heavy *** 9" but still know that it's gonna hold up...
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:34 AM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

Originally Posted by mw66nova View Post
very interesting...i came up with a similar design about 3 years ago, but to use a gm 8.5" instead...i'd love to get away from my heavy *** 9" but still know that it's gonna hold up...
You and I talked about this years ago. I initially did one with 1/8 flat plate, basically surrounging the housing making it look similiar to a fabricated housing from the back. I didn't like how it largely relied on the welds between the housing and the plate for strength, so I canned the idea and went with tube. It's not been tested to potential yet, but I trust it for everything the 8.8 will handle.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:12 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

i do remember that. i'm really interested in results as i'm seriously gonna try it on an 8.5" if you guys have good luck with it. i HATE how heavy my car is right now, and i know that an 8.5" would be far more efficient. i have a buddy that's been deep into the 7.xx range in an 80's cutlass on an 8.5 so i know they can be built to handle decent power...and i could use the extra cash i get from selling my 9"...or put it back in my dad's car or something...
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:20 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

There's pics of mine a few posts down in this thread:
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/tran...arm-mount.html

The upper & lower bridge pipes weld to both axle tubes, as well as the housing. Then there are 2 kicker legs on each side(4 total) that come from the bridge pipes to the housing; bolted and welded to the pinion damper casting pads.

On that one I just did a custom tube tq arm, as since that is under a '68 stang and I did the full tube chassis, I did not need a bolt-in type arm. I will be doing another one in the next few weeks that will utilize a stock type arm, so I will be making the bracket to attach a stock type arm.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:25 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

im think about doing the swap my self what would u recomend to get the rear from a stang crown vic or explorer??
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:33 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

Get the housing from a crownvic and the tlock from an explorer. The crown vic housing is wider and can be narrowed to be the same width as ours and the explorer t lock has 31 splines. then order some moser axles.
jmo.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:00 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

i dont agree... the crown vic is good if your looking for a drop in rear as far as length goes, just swap brackets and get new rims, remember ford has 5x4.5" lug pattern, GM is 5x4.75". If you keep the stock axles then u will need ford rims like what i did. But the crown vic rears have a downfall... they can only accept 28spline axles. The 31 spline axles are a larger DIA and require the larger axle bearing that is in the explorer axle tubes... the crown vic/any other 8.8 with 28 spline axles have a necked down axle tube at the axle flange. This would have to be cut off and a new larger end welded on... or replace the axle tube with something stronger/larger for a larger DIA bearing. This is where You have to consider your power/plans.

The stock ford 8.8 28 spline axles are pretty strong... they are forged from the 5140 or something material which is stronger than GM stock axles. they would be stronger than the 28spline axles found in the GM 9 bolt 7.5" rear. However if your making enough power to break one of the 28 spline ford axles you should prob upgrade to moser forged 28spline axles (which would be the strongest axles you could put in the crown vic rear, this would be good for prob around 500-600rwhp, stock ford 28spline lived behind my 460-480hp 383 without an issue) or again replace the axle tubes to except 31 spline axles/bearings.

best way would be to get a ford 8.8 center section, buy stronger larger axle tubes and have them cut to length you want, then add moser axle tube ends for watever bearings you want to run for what ever axles you want. and then get brake flanges etc and axle brackets for your appication. this would solve the issue of having to pick what rear would be better since your going to have to change whatever you get. Get the explorer rear, replace the axle tubes for your length to center the rear. Need axles then for the new length, rebuild the explorer posi.
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:42 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

My bad I never thought about the necked down portion. On the axle housing currently in my car, I made sleeves and cut the 8.8 axle tubes off about a foot from the center section. I then used the sleeves to mate the stubs to my old 10 bolt axle tubes. this way I didn't have to make all new suspension pickup points. It worked I've been driving on it for probably 4 or 5 years. If I were to do it again I would use a crown vic axle and not make sleeves. I have access to alot better fabrication equipment now than I did then though.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:40 AM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

i know the sleeves would help center/align the tubes but how do you know the axle tubes are aligned perfectly? your suppose to use a Jig (long bar that screws through the axle tubes with center section dissasembled that centers them... i believe). How did you align the axle tubes? if they are off alittle bit your gona get some major bearing wear etc. 4 or 5 years is pretty good tho if there are no signs of wear. Are you running stock 28spline axles? where they 9 bolt axle tubes or 10bolt?
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:19 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

The sleeves were machined for a press fit. I also made a jig to ensure that everything was straight and true. The axles are moser 31 spline custom units with a chevy bolt pattern. No problems so far.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:14 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

how much those axles cost you?
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:20 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

They were about 300 shipped, but that was in 05-06 if I remember correctly.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:29 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

unfortunately cash is the bigest issue for me....im going to end up geting the rear coil over kit so im just looking for the quickest drop in option, but not afraid do do some fabrication if nessasary....plus at this point im desprate i need a rear thats better then what i have and will stand up to the motor im saving for

Last edited by c2kvaticide; 11-23-2010 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:19 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

Has anyone just welded steel plate to the cast center? I know cast steel is okay to weld. I do iy on my LS manifolds.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:26 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

Originally Posted by wheels777 View Post
Has anyone just welded steel plate to the cast center? I know cast steel is okay to weld. I do iy on my LS manifolds.
Yes and no. U can but the pumpkins are a different material than the LS manifolds. The LS manifolds are some potted metal and you can essientaly flux weld, stick or tig standard metal to it and be fine. The ductile iron of the pumpkin is actually that and itís like an engine block. You have to know what your doing for it to weld properly, more Nickle I think and preheating and post heating.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:01 AM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

I welded to the 8.8" center without issue.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:28 PM
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Re: Ford 8.8 swap

it will take the weld, but will it last?
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