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Completed Project 5.0 swap - w/ 4406

Use this prefix for completed projects that are not "How to" articles or threads asking for help.
i know there was a thread here a while ago with some guys arguing (i was one of them) that a 8.8 should be fine with some upgrades. the reason why i say that are there are mustangs running 10's and 9's with that diff and they are fine. their argument was a mustang dosent weigh 4500lbs. IMO, a 8.8 with upgrades should work.
BTW, yes i did tell that to don about your white glove truck, lol!

Thanks for the incredible complement!

Tim & delexploder, you're probably right that I would be fine with the upgrades but I'm planning for the future for one thing. Add another 100hp with the weight I'll be asking for problems. We could never get an explorer to go 8secs in the quarter without breaking the 8.8 due to the massive amount of torque that's required to do it.

Here's where I'm at. It will take welding the tubes at a minimum and then spend $1,500 to have a new ring, pinion, locker, & bearings installed in the 8.8. A custom 9" from strange engineering will cost $2,500 and should be a drop in. The only thing I will need to do is put the sway bar mounts on. A compromise will be that I loose the horizontal stabilizer shock that attaches to the diff housing.
 



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All right now you gotta fill us in on your plan and come up with some pics lol
 






lol.. Well I had been on the fence about what to do ever since I drained the oil and saw the metal. I did a lot of talking to racing guys at work and research on the internet. Then I called and talked to Moser Engineering and they were not helpful. So I found a post from a mustang forum that Strange Engineering had much better customer service. I was on the phone with the guy for 40 mins! He walked me through all the possibilities and pricing for making a 9" for the explorer. The only real cridical part is that I measure the pinion angle from the spring perches perfectly so that they can weld the perches on for me. After that I will just have to make and weld on the sway bar mounts. I will also do away with the stock traction bars since they are redundent at this point anyhow (I have a set of Cal Trac bars on it now). I talked at length with him about the strength and weaknesses of the Ford 8.8 and its limitations.

Here's what it boils down too; and forgive me if I step on toes or have very different information than what all of you have heard & know. At some point I do plan on adding boost to this engine and I want to plan for the future so that I don't end up pinching a penny here and blowing a dollar later. I've been told that if bulit right, with a locker, racing ring & pinion, carrier bearing girdel, axle tube bracing, weld the axle tubes, and if you can install c-clip eliminators. In thinking about it and talking to Strange, I realized that the c-clip eliminators push your wheel offset out about 0.9" on each side and I can't figure out how they will work with rear disc brakes. Further, if you already have rear discs, why would you even need the c-clip eliminators - the brake calipers will hold the wheel assembly in if the axle were to break.
With all that said, I can't find anywhere that someone will claim exactly how much power the 8.8 can hold. From what I gather, the more torque and weight you apply to the axle, the more you are stressing it. Strange asked me how much power I plan to put out and I said at some point around 550 and he said if I do all the upgrades to the 8.8 it would probably be ok but I would be pushing it's upper limits.
As most of you may know, the failure points on the 8.8 aren't just the diff and the axle tubes spinning in the pig housing. The other issue is the axle tubes actually bending forward due to the tubes being thin and the torque of the wheeling always tring to move forward. With all that said, you can basically put as much power to the 8.8 as you want as long as you don't hook up! Once you start hooking right off the line (like with slicks) you begin to break things.

I don't feel like gambling on this one (nor do I want to break down in Carlise again!). The current plan is to order a 9" from Strange loaded with 3.73 gears and a Truetrac diff. At that point I can upgrade the rear brakes to Wilwood 12" rotors and 4 piston calipers, purchased through Strange and pre-installed.

Now I want to upgrade the front brakes but haven't been able to find a performance upgrade kit or anything. So far I've found that I can adapt Lincoln Aviator front rotors and calipers on but I would rather get performance ones vs using more stock parts. Input on that would be helpful!

Sorry for being long winded and jumping around on these projects. Moved straight from air inake to axles to brakes! I need to slow down... lol
 












no I hadn't... That's a wealth of info! Thank you!
 






no I hadn't... That's a wealth of info! Thank you!

lol. i just clicked on that thread to look it over because it has been a while and i see you, don, and 4pointslow on it. funny is all of us have trucks with blowers on it, and NEED better brakes lol!
 






Brakes

I put 2003 explorer sport(2 door) spindles and rotors on mine, 2003 explorer sports are 12 inch rotor. Then EBC pads. It stops better now but always interested in anything that can be improved upon. Those Alcon set ups seem to lock up the front according to a post in that thread, maybe to much improvement.
 






If you put 03 spindles on yours, then why couldn't we put the Lincoln aviator spindles and rotors on? They used 13" rotors.. I thought that the spindles were a different design completely on 03 and up explorers. Not true? Do you have any pictures of that 4pointslow?
 






When you replace the spindles and use larger rotors, don't you need to change out the calipers to take advantage of the larger rotors also? I kinda hurt myself in this by buying 15 inch winter tires. My summer rubber would support larger rotors and calipers, but my 15 inch winter rims are a problem for me.
 






I plan to change out the calipers for one better power and 2 you need the caliper mounts that clear the larger rotor and then subsequently a matching caliper for the bracket.
 






It sounds like 4pointslow went to a graveyard and took 2003 explorer spindles with calipers, rotors, and wheel bearings. That would make an easy swap it you had larger than 15 inch rims.
 






It sounds like 4pointslow went to a graveyard and took 2003 explorer spindles with calipers, rotors, and wheel bearings.

if thats what he did, and no special parts are needed thats great....cause the graveyard comes to me! :D

i am getting very interested in this. i was about to order a slotted and drilled rotor and pad kit from rock auto because i think my fonts are starting to get a little thin, and (sheepishly said) i have never in the 7 or 8 years that i have owned my truck done the rears :eek:
 






I saw a thread somewhere on here that someone took a third gen explorer and swapped on the Lincoln aviator aluminum spindles, bearings, rotors, and calipers. I went as far as buying a rotor and caliper mount for a 03 aviator but those are not a direct swap with the 2nd gen spindles. I didn't think the ball joints would line up in the same spot between the 2nd and 3rd gens. It it does then that's exactly what I'm doing!
 






Brakes

Sorry, I was out in the garage all day, Atco Raceway opens tomorrow so I was prepping my truck.(removing center caps etc).
If I remember correctly,
the brake parts were from a 2003 explorer sport(2door).
I got the 2003 spindles from the junkyard, new 2003 rotors from pep boys and EBC pads from ebay. The pads were the same for 98 and 03.
The caliper brackets and calipers were the same as well so I did not need to change them. Check out the caliper bracket holes on the spindle in the pictures.
$28.00 each for spindles from junkyard.
Maybe I should have replaced the calipers since they are so ugly.
 

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brakes

If you put 03 spindles on yours, then why couldn't we put the Lincoln aviator spindles and rotors on? They used 13" rotors.. I thought that the spindles were a different design completely on 03 and up explorers. Not true? Do you have any pictures of that 4pointslow?

I don't know anything about the Aviator Spindles. I edited my previous post to clarify 2003 Explorer SPORT (2door) for the spindles. I had two explorers in the junkyard right next to each other,
1998 explorer 4 door(same as 98 2 door) and the 2003 explorer sport 2door.
It was awesome, I tried the parts on the 98 before I bought them.
I think 2003 "4 door" explorer spindles are different.
 






When you replace the spindles and use larger rotors, don't you need to change out the calipers to take advantage of the larger rotors also? I kinda hurt myself in this by buying 15 inch winter tires. My summer rubber would support larger rotors and calipers, but my 15 inch winter rims are a problem for me.

No, I did not have to change the calipers or brackets. Just spindles and rotors.
I have 16 inch rims on my supercharged explorer so no clearance problems. I was told that the 15's would rub and it looked like they would.
 






How much better would you say it stops with those 12" rotors?
 






Brakes

I would say, at the end of the quarter mile when I let off the gas and hit the brakes that the vehicle feels like it will slow down and stop when needed. Before that it was kind of like well the brakes are heating up and loosing grip now, hope it slows down enough.....
I don't know how else to describe it. Just going to slightly larger rotors is not going to be night and day difference, but it will be an improvement. Adding good pads will also be an improvement. I don't recommend the yellow ones I got. There are different pads for different applications. I was looking for the best Cold bite. After installing them I heard back from an employee at EBC that the green ones have a better cold bite. Research your pads by the type of stopping you want to improve.
 






How much better would you say it stops with those 12" rotors?

I recommend the 01-05 Sport and Sport Trac rotors. I installed the rotors and spindles on my mail truck in 2007 with EBC green pads. They worked great, but as said they are not much more powerful. I later changed to the Brembo Cryo treated rotors, very nice piece.

You have to have the spindle to match the rotor size, in your 2WD or 4WD choice. I also got the calipers back then, not knowing that the pads are virtually the same size. I suggest sticking with the OEM pre-2001 calipers, they have steel pistons and the pads then match the truck.

As for pad choice, I've liked the EBC green the best, but for my big custom brakes I moved to the yellow pads this time. I think these bite much better when cold, I did notice before the green version would be weak when cold(took much more pedal when cold).

As part of a good suspension or truck rebuild, the OEM 01 Sport spindles and rotors are worth the minor upgrade. For a real brake power upgrade, it will require special parts unfortunately. I was the first to do my own, and others have done kits with the Cobra rotors. But those limit wheel choices,,placing the caliper farther outboard, seriously close to the wheels. Few wheels will clear those. Saleen XP8's had Alcon brakes until the brackets cracked and were recalled. Those can be duplicated if you can get steel brackets, but those special rotors and calipers(and pads) are super high dollar(plus wear very fast).
 

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Rotors

What were the two different rotors in the pictures?
 






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