After some careful planning and gathering all of the necessary components, we're ready to start work on our Ford 8.8 Axle swap for the Jeep. The rearend that we're going to be using is out of a 91-94 Ford Explorer with a 31 splined shaft. The reason for the axle swap is we need better gearing than the stock 3.07 gears we have in the Jeep. Also when you go to a lower gear ratio, you must use a different carrier. So since we want to use Air Lockers and 4.56 gears it just make sense to get a beefier rearend to take some abuse with everything we have invested into it.
First thing we did was completely strip down the entire axle. Cut off the leaf spring perches, shock mounts and took the factory gears out. We also did away with the stock drum brakes as we're going to do a rear disc brake conversion.
Here we are now on the start of the gear assembly. We are going to a 4.56 gear ratio to match up with the 35" tall tires along with all new bearings.
After installing the the pinion gear and seating it properly, we're now installing the new ring gear on the ARB Air Locker. Part# RD81
With the new ring gear installed, we have to do a little bit of trimming on one of the teeth in order to get the center kingpin out from the locker. All we used was a Die Grinder with a Carbide Tip and shaved a little off.
Now we can install the new locker and line up the gears. When routing the copper air line around the gears, take your time with this. You don't want to snap the line off the fitting nor kink it.
Here we are measuring the backlash
Now for some gear pattern to make sure the ring and pinion gears
are lined up and shimmed correctly. Rotate the gears front to back and back to front to ensure contact has been made on the gears
As you can see by the wear on the pattern, we want the ring gear to line up in the middle of the ring gear. We got lucky on the first try and didnt need to take it apart to re-shim it.
Now we have to drill out a 7/16" hole on the top of differential housing for our air line feed and thread it with a 1/4 NPT Pipe Tap
Shown here is the finished view of the locker and gears installed
Next up on the Ford 8.8 Axle swap, we install Rear Disk Brakes from a Mustang and ARTEC Industries
TJ 8.8 Swap Kit with Truss
Check back with us soon