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Cut Down or Full Width?

bmxking5

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As some of you may know, I am in the process of searching for axle(s) for my future SAS. I am stuck on one thing though. Should I cut down the dana 44 and keep the 8.8 or should I leave the 44 full width and match it with a Ford 9". I know all of the pros and cons to both of them, but I want other's opinions now.

If I go full width, it wouldn't be for the same reasons as many of the others who have done this swap. It would mainly be for lowering the cost of the build-up and not so much for widening the stance of the truck. My Explorer will still be daily driven for a little while after the SAS and although the performance of the axle/steering (both on and off road) is the top priority, I still want my truck to look pretty. ;) :D I have been told by many people that my Explorer looks good because it has a clean and smooth look to it. Do you guys think that wheels with LOTS of backspacing would be enough to compensate for how far the full width axles would stick out? I don't want to make my truck look bad or not be road-worthy because I have full width axles.

So, do you think that going full width would ruin the "clean and smooth" look of my truck? Any opinions on what I should do are welcome. :)
 



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stretch

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I personally like how cut down axles look under our trucks. To me, it looks more like factory (or how they should have built them :rolleyes: )I've never been a fan of the tires sticking way out on the sides. Plus, you said you were doing it based on lowering cost, so keeping the 8.8 would be cheeper than setting a 9" up to fit (not that it would take much depending on suspension plans).
 






bmxking5

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So I'm assuming you'll be cutting down your 44? Also, the more that I think about it, I think it would cost about the same to do the 9" swap as it would be to keep the 8.8.

Anyone else have an opinion?
 






appx91

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Why would you butcher a perfectly good axle. Leave full-width if you are going to wheel it. Alot more stable and it will keep some of you body panels from getting beat up. You can run bigger tires with full-widths as well. Please if you go to a narrowed one just get a waggy and leave all of the full-widths for guys who are going to leave them full-width. That all is IMHO. Full-widths are just bad..Thats what mine is and get a 60 for the rear not a 9".
 












CodePoet

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Leave it full width. 9"s go for as little as 75 bucks, your 8.8 with discs can sell for that plus some. If your doing an sas your going to be taking it offroad, keep it full width, even though you'll have alittle more problem in very tight trails. You do gain lateral stability, and full widths also tend to clear other things better. I recently asked the exact same question over on rrorc...here's the thread, lots of good info (KEEP IT FULL WIDTH!) lol. For some reason it's not letting me link over there...i'll give you the link tonight in chat :D

cp
 






bmxking5

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Thanks, but it isn't really the feedback I was wanting. I know the benefits(stability, etc.). I just want to know would it look bad on mine, and do you guys think that the extra width could be compensated by more backspacing(puller the wheels in more).
 






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bmxking5 said:
So, do you think that going full width would ruin the "clean and smooth" look of my truck?

The answer to that is yes, instead, it will look bad ass. I'm going to guess and say it will probably look a lot like this, but lower.

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DSCF5737.jpg
 






appx91

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You will feel alot safer on and off road with full widths. You will have a lot more stability with fulls. You can get real good money for your 8.8. Just go full.
 






bmxking5

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Thanks Fenderguy, I haven't seen that third pic of svande's full widths. Before this thread, I've looked on and off for the past three days for pics of a full width swapped Explorer or Ranger. I couldn't find a single one that was a head on pic, they were all at an angle or flexed out. ;) Svande said his wheels had about 3.5" BS. Does anyone know if I'd have any problems with lots of backspacing on my wheels (ex: 4.75"+)?
 






CodePoet

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Ok...if you run a full width it's only going to be 3 inchs wider on each side...get some flares. If your ever seriously go offroad there are going to be trees that'll ruin the nice smooth look lol. I'd build some sliders too, that way when you are on tight trails and need to get the axles around a tree...you don't have to use the body as your pivot point ;)

cp
 






bmxking5

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Well I already have sliders. I didn't even think about the fact that svande doesn't have any flares on from a Navajo, so mine won't stick out as far as his. I already take it offroad, I am just careful what lines I take and try not to go through stuff that's too tight. (Don't want to scratch up the new paint too bad. ;) ) BTW cp, my 8.8 has drums in the rear, not discs.

Thanks for everyones help, I will probably wind up still going full width, but don't quote me on that. (I am always changing my mind about stuff like this. :D)
 






CodePoet

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Oh yeah lol. for some reason i thought your had a 2nd gen.
 






FROADER

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Ya, they won't stick out as far as svande's since you have the flares. You could always get glass too and your tires would come right to the edge of the glass. I think stock back spacing is 4" and I'm not sure you would want to go any higher due to the rotors/caliper/spindles, but I'm not 100% sure about that either.

I'll try to find a head on pic of Paul Bredehofft's. His is 6" wider than stock with glass on it.
 












bmxking5

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appx91 said:
Please if you go to a narrowed one just get a waggy and leave all of the full-widths for guys who are going to leave them full-width. That all is IMHO.
Haven't been back to this thread in a while. I've been searching just about every forum around here for a full width Dana 44. After searching for weeks and only finding a couple that weren't really worth my time, I DEFINITELY agree with what you said, Troy. About every one of them is in CA, AZ, CO, etc. A few here, but I'd have to buy the truck as well. (My parents won't let me keep another truck here even temporarily.) Just thought I'd say that you are exactly right with this statement. ;)

Oh yeah, I've already got a Ford 9' rear axle. Once I get the Dana 44, the swap will really get going...and my wallet will quickly get smaller. :D
 






Creager

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when he said just get a waggy, does he mean get a d44 off a wagoneer?

arrent those Low pinion differentials? if thats the case it wouldnt be any stronger then a Dana30 high pinion.

IMO go cut down, esspecially if its a daily driver. It looks so much cleaner then Full width. Save the fullwidth when you get another explorer to have as a full project truck.
 






bmxking5

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I've already decided to go full-width and it actually looks better "cleaner" than I thought it would. Barely sticks out more (about 2.5-3") because I'll be going with wheels with a bit more backspacing.

Anyways, I do believe that they are LP. The part I meant I agreed with was how I should save the full-width axles for the people planning to go full-width. Since there was a very limited number of years that this front axle was available, I have quickly found that there are very few over on the east coast, especially compared to over in CO, AZ, CA, etc.

Hopefully one day my Explorer will be a project truck, but as of the end of summer, it will still be my daily driver on 37s, full-width axles, and 4.88s. :D
 






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whatever u do make sure its exactly what u want. screw the money. jus wait a littler longer if u have to. don't settle. if it takes extra money to get it done then so be it. otherwise u'll end up doing it all over again. costing u more money that it ever should have or would have. trust me i know :confused: put the axles u want under it... the width u want them to be... and gear it right the first time. 4.88's and 37's will suck imho. 5.38's and 37's would be ideal but the 9" takes 5.43's so its too much of a difference. so that leaves 5.13's. go with 5.13's or u'll regret it later on. unless u do all yer 4wheeling in 4low. screw the worries about gas mileage. its going to suck anyways. so let the reason it sucks be the extra power u have rather than the engine stuggling to move it. so do it right the first time :thumbsup:
 



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bmxking5

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IDK, I'm probably still going with 4.88s, but there have been several third members on ebay with 5.13s already in them. As of now, I've done most of my offroading in low range, mainly because I HATE my 3.27s even with little 31s. I am not going any bigger than 37s at all. My plan was 35s then move up to 37s, but then when I started thinking about it, why would I waste the money on 35s then 37s. The axles will be strong enough for them while they're still stock, so I'm just gonna go straight to 37s. IDK. I'll just keep my eye out on ebay and pretty much find a deal on the third member and that'll be the deciding factor between 4.88s and 5.13s.
 






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