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2nd Gen Front Diff Swap

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by padddy_fc, July 6, 2019.

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  1. padddy_fc

    padddy_fc New Member

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    Ok so I'm new to the forum, although I have been lurking since I bought my X last summer.

    I want to upgrade the front diff in my 98 5.0, which currently has a TT AAL and shackles with 265/75/16 Falken Wildpeak AT's. My plan is to take the 8.8" IFS out of an expedition or f150 of the sameish year. From my reading and understanding swapping the entire front suspension from an expedition using custom drop bracket mounts similar to a super lift would allow this to work. Because this would increase the track width up front, I plan on taking the 9.75" from the expedition rear end as well, making the X stand with full width axles. Has anyone attempted anything like this or have any insights? I know a SAS would probably be easier, but i love the idea of a beefy IFS.
     
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  3. MAS Tequila

    MAS Tequila Elite Explorer

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    Why?

    I'm running 265/70/18s on my 2000.
     
  4. padddy_fc

    padddy_fc New Member

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    Im not worried about tire size, I want a stronger front diff with locker options. Im a college student studying industrial design and metalwork, so I will be making a custom lift similar to the superlift this winter. It just seems like a logical time to upgrade the diff if I will be making drop brackets anyways. I know this kind of swap doesn't really happen often, But I don't see any ready that with some custom fab work the expedition suspension wouldn't work.
     
  5. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Look at the wheel track differences too, and available wheels in the larger bolt pattern. Plan where you want the tires to be width wise as well as height. The OEM rear has the tires inboard a lot, those can come out about an inch or so, before they protrude past the fenders.
     
  6. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    What? Please explain
     
  7. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Don't the drop brackets only move the LCA's, but leave the uppers on the frame? That would require something custom for the UCA's too.
     
  8. padddy_fc

    padddy_fc New Member

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    i would be moving both, or using larger knuckles. Most likely the prior. This whole plan is still in the early stages so I don't have an exact answer to everything yet.

    '

    My wording my not have been great there. what I meant is my plan would be to either custom fabricate drop brackets that allow the Expedition style upper and lower control arms to be swapped in. Or cutting out the mounts and welding in new ones for the UCA and LCA. Using the Expedition parts will allow for the increased track width, as long as they are mounted in a way that mirrors that of the stock expedition. This will also free up space allowing the front to be converted to coilovers.

    I know this is going to be a big project for sure, but long story short, swapping in expedition style front suspension and the 8.8 using new mounts. Does this seem plausible? I cant see any major reason why not.
     
  9. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    If it moved the UCA mounts outboard at all, that would free up a lot of room for headers for a V8. That is a lot of work though, and where will the tires end up being?
     
  10. padddy_fc

    padddy_fc New Member

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    The expedition is 8in wider overall so the wheels would sit 4in wider on each side, somewhat similar to a long travel width. I need to get under an expedition to measure everything. Hopefully I can figure out all of the geometry if not might just SAS the front end.
     
  11. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    Superlift will sell you their 5" lift knuckles, they are cast with a 4-5" rise on the upper ball joint, so when you lower the diff and LCA the UCA can stay put.
    Superlift will sell you a pair for under $500 you can get them on Summit
    I wish they would sell the sub frame bits separately also would make my life so much easier

    Watching this thread with great interest I have never heard of using exped control arms in a Gen II sploder
     
  12. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    I've got most of a front 4" superlift sitting in storage if anyone is interested in a partial kit. Missing all hardware, sway bar links and a bushing for the rear diff drop. Half of it is used, half is new. I could throw in a good bit of the smaller hardware. I'd let it go for $700+ ship

    IMG_20190425_115920_01.jpg
     
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  13. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Nice, and that looks like the spindles will accept the larger 12" rotors of the 01-05 Sport Trac etc.
     
  14. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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  15. padddy_fc

    padddy_fc New Member

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    well, Just as I thought this plan was almost possible, I climbed under my truck today and realized how close the dana 35 sits to the crossmember. Which means the 8.8 will not fit without some serious fabrication. With this being my daily driver and the budget of a mostly broke college student, I think my dreams of an 8.8 ifs explorer might be dead. Unless anyone has any ideas, Ive hit a dead end. Probably the reason no one has done this swap before.
     
  16. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    I think you would be cutting on the cross member, and the rack location would be an issue. That is, unless you wanted the truck lifted a lot, and the whole chunk and suspension was low enough under the cross member to clear it. But I didn't think you were talking about that kind of big lift.
     
  17. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

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    It's a lot simpler to just do an SAS. There's been so many done that it's practically paint by numbers if you're pretty mechanically inclined and good with a welder. And measuring.
     
  18. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    or save your pennies and buy a mid travel or heck even long travel kit for the IFS from BTF, Camburg, Dixon and others........
     
  19. RALLYRS

    RALLYRS New Member

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    Speaking of Dixon Brothers racing, does anybody have a working link to that business?

    Because I can’t find one, not even a Facebook page.

    Are they out of business, or just forgot to pay their website server?

    ..
     
  20. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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