97’ FORD Explorer Rearend Swap


First of all I planned on doing a SOA ( Spring-Over Axle) Conversion and when doing so i read many articles and everyone seemed to believe that if your going to go to this type of extent you may as well put in stronger axles. After looking a several options not wanting to spend to much money, i thought about a ford 8.8 which i figured had to be fairly strong considering Ford put them in there Mustangs, Explorer’s and some of there fullsize trucks. I did some calling around trying to figure out the total length of this rearend. Im not positive off hand but i think that total length was 59 ¾" from side to side. And a stock Wrangler Dana 35 was 611/4". Which would only pull my tires in about a half inch on each side. Since nobody to my knowledge was trying this swap at the time i pretty much had to figure it out by myself. I first called around trying to find an 8.8 which was from a 95’ and newer Ford Explorer because after 95’ Ford changed over to Disc brakes. I called around and found a guy that had one from a 97’ Explorer and he wanted $450.00 for it. Which i thought was a good deal. I went down there picked it up and brought it home. F-ck that thing was heavy compared to the little piece of shit D35. I cut all the old brackets and mounts off so that the axle tubing was smooth. Luckily i dint even have to change the brake pads, they were still almost new. The rotors were smooth as my ass. O.K. hehe they were smoother than my ass. Hehe but anyways after ripping all the old mounts off and its sitting there waiting for install i proceeded on with my SOA conversion. ( By the way just wait till you set the Dana 35 next to the 8.8, hahaha it makes the D35 look like a golf cart axle). Anyways i got all my SOA conversion stuff altogether and 8.8 rearend ready. On a Saturday i decided to install it, i finally had everything ready. It took about 6-8 hours for the complete SOA and rearend swap.

 ’97 FORD Explorer 8.8 Rearend Spec’s.

  Donor Vehicle = ’97 Ford Explorer

  Factory Gear Ratio = 3.73

  Traction Action = POSI-Traction (worked really nice, very similiar to a licker)

  Brakes = Disc Brakes

  Axle Strength Each = 6,500 lbs. Before breakage

  Total Length = 59 ¾"

  Axle Tube Diameter = 3.25"

’90 JEEP Wrangler Dana 35 Spec’s.

  Factory Gear Ratio = 3.50

  Traction Action = Limited-Slip (One wheel spin, Sucks)

  Brakes = Drum Brakes

  Axle Strength Each = 4,500lbs. Before breakage

  Total Length = 61 ¼"

  Axle Tube Diameter = 2.5"


-Ford Explorer 8.8 Rearend ( Not a Ford Ranger 8.8 there much shorter around 54" – 56")

-Driveshaft Adapter (SPICER PN# E-Mail me i dont know it off hand

-Lunar Brake Line Adapter I never needed to use this but recommended

-Custom E-Brake Line Adapter


 For more information E-Mail me : [email protected]

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