Front and rear axle swap, 1995 to 1988


PetroleumJunkie412

2.9 Mafia
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
2,732
Reaction score
1,946
Points
113
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Ok, so new axles are inbound. Both out of a 1994 or 1995 (can't remember) extended cab xlt 4.0l, 4x4, M5OD, 1354, 8.8 posi rear, D35 front.

Will these be a bolt on for a 1988 frame? Same setup- 4x4, manual, etc. Was guessing both will be, but wanted to double check.

Planning on setting these up on my new frame as soon as it comes back from sandblasting. May get the axles blasted as well; my guy works cheap.

Oh, and off topic (which one of my posts isn't...), but is the M5OD that's behind the 1995's 4.0 geared differently than the 1990 M5OD on mine? Mine came from a 1990 2.9 truck. Already planning on robbing the 10 inch clutch off of the 4.0, so if it's trans is a better set of gears, I'm going to grab it as well.
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 173A8B749AB83C Expires: January 1, 2020

don4331

Active member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
768
Reaction score
50
Points
28
Location
Calgary, AB
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.3
Transmission
Automatic
I wanted to make the list but can't get a smart@$$ comment that wouldn't be too obscure.

The '94/5 rear axle has the same 38-1/2" spring centers, same tube diameter, so bolts up in exact same spot you pulled the OEM axle out of. It's just 2" wider (1" each side).

D35s were all 59.5" wide and they too bolt in to same spot you pulled the OEM axle out of.

M5OD from your 2.9 has 3.72/2.20/1.50/1.00/0.79 ratios; the 4.0 transmission has 3.40/2.05/1.31/1.00/0.79, you will need to decide if that is better gearing or not. Lower 1st versus stronger transmission.
 

Josh B

Active member
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
786
Reaction score
194
Points
43
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
I swapped a front and rear axle once, back around 1982. It took a loose ball joint and a telephone pole to do it.

Disclaimer, No animals, or other people, were hurt in the accomplishment of this procedure
 
Last edited:

PetroleumJunkie412

2.9 Mafia
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
2,732
Reaction score
1,946
Points
113
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
G
I wanted to make the list but can't get a smart@$$ comment that wouldn't be too obscure.

The '94/5 rear axle has the same 38-1/2" spring centers, same tube diameter, so bolts up in exact same spot you pulled the OEM axle out of. It's just 2" wider (1" each side).

D35s were all 59.5" wide and they too bolt in to same spot you pulled the OEM axle out of.

M5OD from your 2.9 has 3.72/2.20/1.50/1.00/0.79 ratios; the 4.0 transmission has 3.40/2.05/1.31/1.00/0.79, you will need to decide if that is better gearing or not. Lower 1st versus stronger transmission.
Give it time, everyone will eventually make the list.

Awesome info. Should give me the increased stance I'm looking for as well.

Doesnt seem like the 4.0 gear Ratios will be an improvement over the current ones. Was looking for a slightly better ratio on the highway.
 

Josh B

Active member
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
786
Reaction score
194
Points
43
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
I was hoping that hadn't highjacked your thread sir, please carry it on, I can be of no further assistance here, thank you
 

snoranger

This page left blank intentionally
Supporting Member
ASE Certified Tech
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
4,930
Reaction score
1,189
Points
113
Location
Jackson, NJ
Vehicle Year
'79,'94,'02,'17
Make / Model
All Fords
My credo
I didn't ask for your life story, just answer the question!
I was hoping that hadn't highjacked your thread sir, please carry it on, I can be of no further assistance here, thank you
That was close enough to being on topic for this group. Don't worry, this thread will go off topic soon enough, but we eventually get back on topic.

94 or 95 makes a difference. 95 used bolt on calipers, 94 still used those stupid rubber/metal sliders.
95 will be different brake hoses, 94 you should be able to reuse yours.
You'll need a new front driveshaft. If you're swapping everything (D35, 13-54) the front driveshaft from the donor will work.
Your current rear driveshaft should work. You may or may not need to change the flange to match the 8.8. (It might be just the Explorer that used the bigger flange.)

When you go to the bigger clutch and flywheel, don't forget the starter and block plate... I'm pretty sure they're different.

Edit - Why would you need a bigger clutch behind a 2.9L? One would think you could replace the clutch disc with a frisbee or an old record... Either of which should hold up to the "power" of a 2.9L.
 
Last edited:

Josh B

Active member
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
786
Reaction score
194
Points
43
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Could I go to a bigger clutch in my 4.0 (93 model), and could it really make any difference ( I drive normal, no racing etc, don't expect to be doing any serious hillclimbing, trailer towing etc)
 

rusty ol ranger

2.9L Mafia-Don
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2007
Messages
5,251
Reaction score
1,105
Points
113
Location
Michigan
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
Could I go to a bigger clutch in my 4.0 (93 model), and could it really make any difference ( I drive normal, no racing etc, don't expect to be doing any serious hillclimbing, trailer towing etc)
In youre case the factory clutch will be fine.

Edit - Why would you need a bigger clutch behind a 2.9L? One would think you could replace the clutch disc with a frisbee or an old record... Either of which should hold up to the "power" of a 2.9L.
What would really be ideal for a 2.9 would be an electro magnetic clutch with the clutch pedal killing electric power to relese.

No wimpy organic compounds ever really grab hard enough for the 2.9 to put its full fury to the pavement. Thats why you guys think their slow, the stock clutches slip so badly. If they grabbed properly thing would look like my peterbilt taking off in low full throttle pretzleing the frame up a hill....

Now ya know.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

2.9 Mafia
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
2,732
Reaction score
1,946
Points
113
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
That was close enough to being on topic for this group. Don't worry, this thread will go off topic soon enough, but we eventually get back on topic.

94 or 95 makes a difference. 95 used bolt on calipers, 94 still used those stupid rubber/metal sliders.
95 will be different brake hoses, 94 you should be able to reuse yours.
You'll need a new front driveshaft. If you're swapping everything (D35, 13-54) the front driveshaft from the donor will work.
Your current rear driveshaft should work. You may or may not need to change the flange to match the 8.8. (It might be just the Explorer that used the bigger flange.)

When you go to the bigger clutch and flywheel, don't forget the starter and block plate... I'm pretty sure they're different.

Edit - Why would you need a bigger clutch behind a 2.9L? One would think you could replace the clutch disc with a frisbee or an old record... Either of which should hold up to the "power" of a 2.9L.

Can't remember if my current front driveshaft is the one off my old 1350 or off of my current 1354. Guess I'll find out. Either way, have spares.

The rear one does concern me a bit. Hoping the one out of the new junker fits. My carrier bearing is shot and I really don't want to replace it. Plus, two piece driveshafts suck, IMHO.

Good info on the brakes. That'll be a fun one 😑. Planning on all new lines though.

Fortunately I won't be down over this one. Literally prepping my southern frame and axles to be a direct frame-off swap. New work truck gets here next week (2011 F350), so I'll be able to start getting to KaP's more serious issues when I get it off the road and torn down.

And laugh it up. Doughnuts are in your future. 🖕🏿
 

Dsetz

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
29
Points
18
Age
34
Location
Montana
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.8 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
If you are going with lower gears and or more power, and aren't planning on crawling around off road, I think the X gearing is preferable.
With stock gears the Ranger shifts out of 1st at 5-8 mph? The X was more like 10-12.
I've dropped the X into 3rd gear at 80 MPH and passed someone in the median.
Versus the Ranger where 3rd is almost too short to cruise on a dirt road and I'm using 4th often.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

2.9 Mafia
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
2,732
Reaction score
1,946
Points
113
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Just an update:

Went with an Explorer 8.8 / 3.73 / limited slip.

Dana 35 is next to it on the shop floor. Donor was a 1994, so it looks like the brakes bolt up.

Weird part is the brackets. The donor truck's center brackets seem to be an inch or 1.5 in longer/taller than my factory Dana 28 ones. Kept them and the radius arm brackets just in case.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
9,630
Reaction score
753
Points
113
Location
Red Deer, Canada
Vehicle Year
'91, '94, '80
Make / Model
Ford, GMC
Engine Size
4.0,4.0,350
Transmission
Manual
I'll bet the difference in bracket length is to keep the tie rods and linkage level for best caster/camber. 4x4Junkie has a good write up on that in the tech section or as a sticky in the steering section.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
9,630
Reaction score
753
Points
113
Location
Red Deer, Canada
Vehicle Year
'91, '94, '80
Make / Model
Ford, GMC
Engine Size
4.0,4.0,350
Transmission
Manual
Yours is the first mention of that bracket being a different length I seen. I've never had the opportunity of comparing side by side. I can't recall it being mentioned in any swap article that I've read. I'm guessing its because of the d35 knuckle being bigger? @4x4junkie
 

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
20,909
Reaction score
1,718
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
Your front axle is the older slide pin style. IIRC you calipers even interchange.

I used my stock ‘85 brackets, brackets for my axle were torch cut.
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,509
Reaction score
276
Points
83
Location
Rapid City SD


Top