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Rear axle swap

2K-XLT

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City, State
Texas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT V8
I have a stock 2000 Explorer XLT with 5.0L V8 and 3.73 LS diff (D4 axle code).
My towing days are over with this vehicle and I want to change to a 3.27 LS diff (D1 axle code) for better fuel mileage. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to change out the entire rear axle assembly. I will keep my good brakes.
Questions:
1) Is there any difference between a V6 and V8 axle assembly?
2) Can an open diff code 41 be converted to LS by adding the spring/clutch pack?
 



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An open diff can not be converted to trac loc. You need to swap carriers and at that point you might as well just swap the gears too.
 






There does not appear to be any difference between the V8 and V6 rear diffs, although I would imagine the V6's tended to have higher ratio diffs (eg 4:10's). All my V8's have the 3:73 LS diffs.
 






The V8 rear has the torque arms and the V6 rear may or may not have the 5th shock
 






Also, consider where you do most of your driving.

The 3.27:1 gears will help with fuel economy if you do a lot of steady, modest highway driving.

But, they will add some sluggishness around town and might actually cost economy if you do a lot of short, in town driving. The engine will work harder to get things moving after each and every stop!

My Explorer 5.0 powered Ranger with 3.27:1 gears gets very good economy on the highway, but only mid-teens as a daily driver.
 






Also, consider where you do most of your driving.

The 3.27:1 gears will help with fuel economy if you do a lot of steady, modest highway driving.

But, they will add some sluggishness around town and might actually cost economy if you do a lot of short, in town driving. The engine will work harder to get things moving after each and every stop!

My Explorer 5.0 powered Ranger with 3.27:1 gears gets very good economy on the highway, but only mid-teens as a daily driver.

"The 3.27:1 gears will help with fuel economy if you do a lot of steady, modest highway driving" on relatively flat terrain. You might get worse mileage with the 3.27 gears if you drive much where it's hilly. There again, the engine will have to work harder to maintain a steady speed.
 






I wish I had a 3.27 in my van. Going from a 4.10 to a 3.55 gained 3-5 mpg.
 






Id buy taller tires before i changed all my gears out..3.73 isnt that big anyways in my opinion. .

The v6 sohc sport has track bars also if i recall
 






Id buy taller tires before i changed all my gears out..3.73 isnt that big anyways in my opinion. .

The v6 sohc sport has track bars also if i recall

Nope
 












The V8 rear has the torque arms and the V6 rear may or may not have the 5th shock

The V8s have traction rods or torque arms, just different names.

My '99 Mountaineer 5.0 does, my '00 XLT SOHC does not.

The XLT has holes in the frame for the bolt on mounting bracket but does not have the welded on bracket on the axle housing.

I think most agree that 4 doors regardless of the engine have the 5th shock. Both of mine (both 4 doors) have the 5th shock.

I think it's great that we can do so many "mods" to our EX's and still keep them "stock".
 






The track bars are only on the four door V8 , they would have been nice on mine with the 4:10s , the mono leaf spring they come with suck and the V8 I've since dropped in is worse
 






The V8s have traction rods or torque arms, just different names.

My '99 Mountaineer 5.0 does, my '00 XLT SOHC does not.

The XLT has holes in the frame for the bolt on mounting bracket but does not have the welded on bracket on the axle housing.

I think most agree that 4 doors regardless of the engine have the 5th shock. Both of mine (both 4 doors) have the 5th shock.

I think it's great that we can do so many "mods" to our EX's and still keep them "stock".

My 98 xlt 4.0 ohv doesn't have the 5th shock or its mounts , yea lots of different combos to grab parts from
 






My 98 xlt 4.0 ohv doesn't have the 5th shock or its mounts , yea lots of different combos to grab parts from

Is your 98 xlt 4.0 ohv a 4 door?
 






The V8 rear has the torque arms and the V6 rear may or may not have the 5th shock

No, they all seem to have the mounting point in the center chunk casting for the axle damper. Even my '97 Sport has it, it's just not used, nor is it used on my ST.
 












No, they all seem to have the mounting point in the center chunk casting for the axle damper. Even my '97 Sport has it, it's just not used, nor is it used on my ST.

Yea I know the one on the diff is always there , I had to trim it off my sport rear to fit my exhaust , I'm talking about the actual brackets not being there and no sign of them ever being there ,
 






No, they all seem to have the mounting point in the center chunk casting for the axle damper. Even my '97 Sport has it, it's just not used, nor is it used on my ST.

I should clarify, torque arms brackets are unique to the V8 rear diffs. I assume they're there to prevent spring-wrap, but I don't believe they (the brackets) would prevent use in a V6. If you're trying to put a V6 rear diff in a V8 you'd have to add the brackets or forgo the torque arms, which I wouldn't recommend, but you could probably get away with.
 






I assume it's a 2WD vehicle?

Definitely a bad idea to do this with AWD unless you also change the front differential gearing.
 



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Will the Gear Ratio swap pencil out? How many miles would you have to drive to come out ahead?
 






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