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97-07 Ford full width 8.8

turboexplorer

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So I am starting my SAS in Febuary and have most of my list done. My thoughts on a rear axle involves narrowing a full width 8.8. I have access to a complete axle shortening/setup jig. My thoughts are to take a full width 97+ full width because they run disc brakes and shorten the axle a few inches make pumkin offset same as current Explorers approx 2" to the right. Then order custom shafts for the width and with a 5X5.5 bolt pattern (have to order custom shafts anyways for it being narrow anyways) not the metric pattern to match my Dana 44 Ford HP full wiidth (76'-77') also being narrowed and then have new rotors drilled for the 5X5.5 pattern.

I would have to buy wheel spacers if I stayed with explorer 8.8, blah, anyways so why not put it towards some custom shafts. I dislike wheel spacers, dont trust them and puts extra leverage stress on the shaft from holding it farther away from the bearings.

Things I gain will be a axle to width with no wheel spacers :) as well as keep same vss setup etc. Also I will be gaining much bigger brakes to. That way I dont have the headache of trying to make explorer brakes work on a 96' or earlier drum braked axle. I'll be running a 17" rim so clearing the bigger 13" ish rotors isnt a problem.

Any thoughts or things I havent thought of? I figure if I have access to a jig to do it right and dead true why not? :)
 


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mounty71

It's green, not gray.
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Unless I missed something else that you're also trying to gain from narrowing a FW 8.8, I'd just get your current axles redrilled with the 5x5.5 pattern and be done with it.

Edit: Do the FW 8.8s have bigger brakes than the Explorers'? Even if they do, that still doesn't seem to be worth all the extra work IMO.
 




turboexplorer

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Current axle is to narrow for what Im doing. I am narrowing a Dana 44 and a 8.8 to match. It will be narrower than a full width and wider than current stock width.
 




mounty71

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Oh ok, didn't realize your goal was somewhere in between stock and FW. What is the particular width you're going for and why? Are the D44 and FW8.8 very different in width? Just asking out of curiosity, as I have no more useful advice to give you :p:
 








turboexplorer

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Oh ok, didn't realize your goal was somewhere in between stock and FW. What is the particular width you're going for and why? Are the D44 and FW8.8 very different in width? Just asking out of curiosity, as I have no more useful advice to give you :p:

They are almost exactly the same when they are both FW. Not set on a width yet, reason for wider is for a little stability as well as a little more room mainly up front for mounting things. And not FW so dont have to worry about getting pulled over as it will be a DD rig still. Also thing somewhere inbetween looks the best. I have access to narrow axles for free so as far as any extra work dont care and is easy on a good jig anyways. And I still want the bigget brakes as well.

And Ill look at the superior kit forgot about that. But at the same time thing Im looking for roughly 4" wider than stock which is also aproxx 4" less than full width.
 




turboexplorer

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Alright so here is what I am going to do for my rear axle.

I am going to cut off F-150 axle tube ends and buy bigger Ford axle tube ends to weld on when the axle is cut to length. This does several things for me. I will get the width I want (ANY width I want) 1514H Custom axle shafts that are stronger than chromoly axle shafts the proper wheel bolt pattern and here is the best part it will eliminate the c-clips! Which is why I need the bigger Ford axle tube ends. :) The bigger tube ends also allow me to reuse my current Explorer Disc brake set up. All I need is re drilled 5X5.5" rotors to match the bolt pattern.

So I gain:
Stronger axles
Custom width axles
Proper bolt pattern
Eliminate C-Clips and make it a semi float axle
And keep current Explorer Brakes

All for $535 shipped to my door!
 








RangerX

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I bet you could achieve the width you want by running the axles full width, and getting rims with max backspacing to pull the tires back in.
 




turboexplorer

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True, but for the steer axles it makes for weird ugly turning wheels. Plus why im doing this is because in custom fabrication class they have a full axle alignment jig. So if I have access to ALL the equipment you could ever want including full blown lathes then hey why not do exactly what I want. All it costs me is axles that's it. Which I want to do anyways to eliminate C-Clips.

I have access to it all and will have 6.25 hrs a day for two months to work on it. :)
 




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