7.5 to 8.8 Swap (Components)


BlackMoses

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Hey guys,

Just picked up an 8.8 with 19,000 miles out of a '98 4x4 with 4.10 and limited slip! I've got everything out at home and I'm going to be cleaning it up this weekend and installing it...however, I've got some questions.

The 8.8 has 10 inch drum brakes and the 7.5 has got 9 inch (I've got an '01 XLT)? Does this mean I can't reuse my brake lines, emergency brake cables, etc.? I realize everything else is bolt on, but I was hoping to reuse the brake hardware on the outside since mine was in better shape then the 8.8's (I cut one of the e-brake cables on the 8.8 anyways).

What paint do you guys recommend to put a nice anti-rust coating on the whole thing?

Pictures will follow!
 


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rangerguy1996

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I always get new e brake cables there only like 20 bucks each. As for the lines they should work there the same size
 

sloth69mustang

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i agree. i am doing my 8.8 swap fri. i actually just finished building it today. but mine is an explorer 8.8. you should be ok when it comes to all that stuff bolting up. the explorer ebrake cables where pretty much the same length and everything and my 8.8 has rear disc. i still bought new ones tho. actually i bought new everything. rotors, pads, caliper, brake lines, brake hoses, e brake cables, parking brake hardware. i dont want to touch this rear end for a long time lol
 

BlackMoses

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Did you throw a coat of paint over that Expo axle? If so, what did you use?

Can I get all of that hardware locally you think, at like a Pep Boys or O'Reilly's?

Thanks guys, I think I'll probably just reuse most of my exterior hardlines and emergency brake cables. I'm definitely going to get new drums, shoes, and internal brake hardware so that way I don't have to mess with it either!
 

scotts90ranger

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ranger to ranger is a direct bolt in, no mods needed... pull the drums and look at the pads, with 20k on it in cali the brakes probably look new...
 

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The parking brake cables are different part number for 7.5/8.8, but I used a 7.5 cable in my 8.8 with no issues. Running F150 cables now. (found new ones in the shop)
 

BlackMoses

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Scotts they look pretty good, but the hardware is a little rusty and looks worn from being out in the elements while it was out in the yard, better to be safe then sorry I guess.

Teddy thanks for the tip, that's good to know I can reuse my e-brake cables, I'd rather just keep what I have in there knowing that it's in a good shape and it works.
 

sloth69mustang

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i didnt paint my axles bc they are covered in grease aka rust proof! lol i am not to worried about it. if i snap an axle i have a back up set
 

BlackMoses

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Well good news to report, I've got the axle installed and so far I'm pretty happy with the results. The change in gears from 3.73 to 4.10 really gave my truck some power when driving up a hill on the freeway and some get up and go from a stop.

Now what I've learned about doing the swap is:

The original hard lines for my 7.5 were all interchangeable with the new 8.8 so if you don't want to use the brake lines and emergency brake cables that come with your new axle, just use what you already have and it will bolt right up!

Secondly when supporting the rear of the truck I found it was best to support it on the leaf springs, HOWEVER to make removal and installation of the differential easier, put the jack stands in front of the differential (towards the front of the truck).

The shock tabs on the 8.8 seemed smaller then the ones on my 7.5 so I had to beat the crap out of them to spread them apart so I could seat my shocks in there. My advice is to test fit them first before you get it under there and realize it's too tight.

I'm using the Duplicolor Engine Enamel paint on the whole thing which is rated up to 500 deg. So I think that's going to keep it protected from rust and corrosion for a long time.

The last suggestion I've got is after I read on another forum about a guy changing his pinion gear seal, is to tie up the drive shaft right after you disconnect it that way you don't have mark it to reinstall.

Okay well that's it, so far I think it paid off and I'm hoping with the limited slip and new gears my truck will tear up on and off the road.
 

dangerranger510

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hey im kina new here and have been searching around on here for a while. i got a 94 ranger 2wd 2.3L. and i just blew upmy stock rear end (the pin for the spider gears broke) anyways i got a replacement axle from the junkyard. same 7.5in, but its got 10 inch drums as opposed to mine having 9 inch. i noticed the parking brake cables are different wheat can i do to solve that,besides buying new cables. im not sure what year the new axle is from. But does a 8.8 bolt right in? like no mods needed what so ever? i mite just pick up a 8.8 if everything bolts in.
 

scotts90ranger

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your stock E brake cables should fit, either that or swap the 9" brakes onto the newer axle...
 

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ranger to ranger is a direct bolt in, no mods needed... pull the drums and look at the pads, with 20k on it in cali the brakes probably look new...
Found this thread and created an account (hello everyone!) as I'm interested in doing the same swap but I have a 86 ranger. Mine is a 4x2 with an open 7.5 with 15in rims, I would to put in a LS rear with 4.10 gears but I am having a hard time finding a F7 rear (7.5 LS) in the yards around me. That's when I found this thread about swapping in a ranger (not explorer) 8.8 rear. I direct bolt in is what I'm looking for but would any year ranger with an R7 rear (ranger 8.8 Las/4.10s) work for me or only certain years? I've looked over what I could find in the "How to Tech' section but I didn't find anything specific.
 
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Any Ranger axle will bolt in, but any 8.8 and 7.5s made after 1990 will not have the correct bolt spacing on the companion flange. You will need a spacer or a conversion joint and a later yoke.
 

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Kellogg:

Did you read the following:
https://www.therangerstation.com/stock-ranger-specifications/ford-ranger-rear-axles/

It specifically describe the differences in width/tube diameter (neither which change it from being a direct bolt in; you just need the correct u-bolts/spring plates for the '10-11 axles).

If your truck was newer, we would have more detailed discussion on the 8.8 having tone ring with more teeth (which affects speedo) for '98-09 and the '10-11s which have ABS sensors on both wheels instead of the ring gear tone ring.

What isn't mentioned, but is identical, is the brake pilot dimension is 2.525" for both as well. The Explorer's is 2.775" (which means some gen 1,2 4x2 wheels don't mount correct on Explorer axles).

Several individuals run the 10" rear drums where they previously had 9". You get more braking from the rear axle, but you also run risk of rear wheel lock up. If your ABS/RABS is functioning correctly, no issue. If not, it can be exciting in a panic situation.
 

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Thanks adsm08 for the info! Two of the yards i checked out told me that only 7.5's between 1983-1988 would work for my 86, although they couldn't tell me why... Maybe the shock mount being narrower as mentioned above.

I will look more into that conversion joint and later yoke for after 1990, but my best bet seems to be to find a pre 1990 (or 1988?) F7 or R7. Is anything else different between 1990 and 1992 on the ranger 7.5s and 8.8s besides the bolt spacing on the companion flange and shock mounts? I know after 1992 the axle lengths increase from 56.5 to 58.5in (not sure if thats an issue)

Don4331 I did see that page on rear axles. I knew that the axle tube on the 8.8 was larger but like you said that's just a matter of larger U-bolts and plates for 2011. And thanks for the info on the disc rears. My truck doesn't currently have ABS so if i end up with 10in drums i am already well accustomed to wheel lock ups lol. Keeps things interesting!
 


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