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8.8 in a first gen 2.3L

JoshT

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I mentioned this in my driveshaft post in the General Discussion forum, but I wanted to ask here as well since it's axle related.

I read something in the tech library about pre 1990 driveshafts not working with the Explorer 8.8" axle.

Pre-1990 Ranger Driveshafts Will Not Bolt Directly Up To The Explorer 8.8 (Have Custom Shaft Made Or Get A 1990 Or Newer Shaft)
I would assume that applies to any 8.8" axle since the Explorer 8.8" will bolt in place of a Ranger 8.8" as far as the drive shaft is concerned.

I've got a 85 2.3L 2wd automatic long bed that I will be installing an 8.8 into. I know that the 8.8 is not needed for the 2.3L, might actually be detrimental, but it's to support a V8 swap coming not too far down the road. The axle could be a 2000 Ranger or a 1998 Explorer, or different points both could be installed. I have both and intend to lower it while getting ready for the V8 swap. I just don't know how soon that lowering is going to happen.

What needs to be changed to run an 8.8" axle in my truck?

The truck needs a drive shaft, it doesn't currently have one. If it didn't need one I'd just wait until I was ready to do the swap. I can't see buying/building a driveshaft for the current 7.5" axle, then having to replace it in a few months to match an 8.8" axle. I'd rather get a drive shaft setup for, or that I can easily convert to, the 8.8" axle. I've got the parts to install either axle, just a little extra time and labor. I'd rather swap axles twice than buy two driveshafts.
 


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2 things come to mind off the bat.....

1. if you are not driving the truck why place anything into it at all and not just wait till you start the build and do it proper once?

2. no matter what you do you will be doing it twice, as a V8 swap will require a different transmission anyway with different lengths for drive shafts....

maybe you are putting the cart before the horse? ... or maybe i don't fully understand your intentions

cheers
 

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The drive shaft change in '90 was just the flange on the rear axle, you could put the new style yoke on the back U joint and put in a new axle no problem. Either axle you are looking at is slightly wider than the original axle, they got wider in '93 by about an inch, probably not a huge issue unless you really want to stuff the tires...
 

JoshT

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2 things come to mind off the bat.....

1. if you are not driving the truck why place anything into it at all and not just wait till you start the build and do it proper once?

2. no matter what you do you will be doing it twice, as a V8 swap will require a different transmission anyway with different lengths for drive shafts....

maybe you are putting the cart before the horse? ... or maybe i don't fully understand your intentions

cheers
No offense, but you don't understand. It's not within the scope of this thread to explain, but I'll try to do so simply. The truck is getting a lowered, a V8 and an 8.8 not too far down the road, but all of it isn't happening soon. I had the lowering components, the V8 and the 8.8 long before I had the truck. I want to drive the truck, not look at it sitting in the yard until I can get around to doing it all properly once. I fully intend to lower and install the 8.8 before I install the V8, likely some appreciable time before I install the V8. As it sits, to drive the truck I have to buy a driveshaft, there isn't one installed in it. I'd rather but one disposable driveshaft than two disposable driveshafts, and I don;t mind doing the work twice.

As for the cart and horse, usually my horse is sitting in the cart while I'm pulling it and chasing the carrot. Might be a waste of energy and effort, but it's mine to waste. When I try doing it the other way, the horse refuses to cooperate and nothing gets accomplished. Can;t get rid of the horse though, then I wouldn't have anything to go with my cart. <no, that's not really supposed to make a bit of sense>

The drive shaft change in '90 was just the flange on the rear axle, you could put the new style yoke on the back U joint and put in a new axle no problem. Either axle you are looking at is slightly wider than the original axle, they got wider in '93 by about an inch, probably not a huge issue unless you really want to stuff the tires...
Since I've been googling,reading forums, and looking at rock auto catalogs all night instead of sleeping, it is my understanding that that won't work. Apparently the Pre 90 models use a 1210 style u-joint, while the 90+ use a larger 1310 u-joint. You can get a a bunch of 1310 conversion u-joints, but apparently no one makes one for a 1210 conversion. If they did I'd just buy the 85 2.3L driveshaft since I have an Explorer V8 shaft I could pull the rear yoke from when the time came for the 8.8.

As for the axle widths, I'm aware of the changes and they won;t be an issue do to my wheel selection. Using SN95 Mustang 17" wheels. On my figuring the 7.5 will almost be too narrow. The Ranger 8.8 will be just about perfect, but I think the Explorer 8.8 will give just the stance I want.

'83-'92 7.5" = 56.5"
'93-'09 Ranger 8.8" = 58.5"
Explorer 8.8" = 59.5"

So the Ranger axle will be like running a 1" spacer on the stock axle, and the Explorer axle is like running a 1.5" spacer. Coincidentally that's about what is needed to have these wheels look right on a Ranger. I will have to come up with some spacers to make the front match, if the brake and suspension upgrades I have planned don't handle it.
 

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As for the cart and horse, usually my horse is sitting in the cart while I'm pulling it and chasing the carrot. Might be a waste of energy and effort, but it's mine to waste. When I try doing it the other way, the horse refuses to cooperate and nothing gets accomplished. Can;t get rid of the horse though, then I wouldn't have anything to go with my cart. <no, that's not really supposed to make a bit of sense>
Would you believe that I actually understand and experience this paragraph?

It's not hard to change the flange on the differential pinion. Some flanges have both bolt patterns anyway.
 

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Josh, gotcha ... (i think) ... was just trying to figure out the 1 or 2 driveshafts i guess... cuz' either way to me it will be 2 drive shafts, or 1 that will need to be shortened when the V8 goes in (but then again, it all could be exact fit) .... cheers
 

scotts90ranger

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If you are staying with an A4LD and have to buy a shaft anyway, just get one for a '90 or newer, one from a '92 4.0L would be the right length for a 8.8 in the first place...
 

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Since I've been googling,reading forums, and looking at rock auto catalogs all night instead of sleeping, it is my understanding that that won't work. Apparently the Pre 90 models use a 1210 style u-joint, while the 90+ use a larger 1310 u-joint. You can get a a bunch of 1310 conversion u-joints, but apparently no one makes one for a 1210 conversion. If they did I'd just buy the 85 2.3L driveshaft since I have an Explorer V8 shaft I could pull the rear yoke from when the time came for the 8.8.
You are correct, you will never find a 1210 to 1310 joint.

Your easy button is to use your existing driveshaft and drill/tap four additional holes into the pinion flange on your new axle so that your driveshaft will bolt up to it. The centering circle thing on the 8.8 flange is the same size as the one on your existing axle so it's literally a matter of clamping your driveshaft on, marking where ever you want your holes at, and then drill/tap them.

 

JoshT

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Josh, gotcha ... (i think) ... was just trying to figure out the 1 or 2 driveshafts i guess... cuz' either way to me it will be 2 drive shafts, or 1 that will need to be shortened when the V8 goes in (but then again, it all could be exact fit) .... cheers
It's more like 2 or 3 driveshafts.

If I keep the 7.5 in it right now I'll need 3 driveshafts.
  1. One to fit 7.5"
  2. One to for Explorer 8.8" swap when I lower
  3. One for V8 swap
If I go ahead and install an 8.8, I'll need 2 driveshafts.
  1. One for 8.8 axle
  2. One for V8 swap
I've already got an 8.8 that will bolt in, so that isn't an issue.

If you are staying with an A4LD and have to buy a shaft anyway, just get one for a '90 or newer, one from a '92 4.0L would be the right length for a 8.8 in the first place...
That's the plan. The transmission won't be changed until the V8 happens. I didn't know if the V6 A4LD would use the same length driveshaft as an I4 A4LD.

There's '90 4.0L A4LD long bed shaft for $50 about an hour away.

You are correct, you will never find a 1210 to 1310 joint.

Your easy button is to use your existing driveshaft and drill/tap four additional holes into the pinion flange on your new axle so that your driveshaft will bolt up to it. The centering circle thing on the 8.8 flange is the same size as the one on your existing axle so it's literally a matter of clamping your driveshaft on, marking where ever you want your holes at, and then drill/tap them.
Unfortunately my easy button grew legs. The truck doesn't have a driveshaft to begin with. Nothing there to clamp up and use for a pattern. Since I have to buy one anyway, might as well buy one that would fit the 8.8 if it's available. Sounds like it is.
 

JoshT

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Would you believe that I actually understand and experience this paragraph?

It's not hard to change the flange on the differential pinion. Some flanges have both bolt patterns anyway.
That makes me feel a little better.

This flange has 8 bolt holes, but they appear to be the same pattern. Definitely not the drastic difference illustrated Shran's photo. More like the outer ring of holes that his picture shows.
 

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That makes me feel a little better.

This flange has 8 bolt holes, but they appear to be the same pattern. Definitely not the drastic difference illustrated Shran's photo. More like the outer ring of holes that his picture shows.
My flange has both patterns. It's not a huge difference between the two.
 

JoshT

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Maybe it does have both of them are withing a few milimeters or tenths of an inch from being the same size. I didn't have more than a minute to look before heading to work today, but there couldn't have been more than a quarter inch difference, if any at all. It really looked like the same pattern rotated 45° on the flange.

Either way I have to get a driveshaft. If the 4.0 A4LD shaft for $50 is going to work with the 2.3 A4LD, 8.8, and be the right length, it makes sense just to get that one.
 

scotts90ranger

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Conveniently in the Ranger world after they went to the A4LD and M5OD they put the transmission crossmember in the same place no matter what engine, so the M5OD and A4LD are conveniently the same length so you get a driveshaft based on 4x4, 4x2 and wheelbase (regular cab short bed, regular cab long bed or extended cab short bed), Before that it was a crapshoot, I think there were 4 different manual transmissions and a couple autos, not to mention the at least two different transfer case outputs...
 

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The holes circled on mine are ones that I drilled.

Yeah, sounds like doing the 8.8 now is the way to go. That's what I'd do. You can almost certainly reuse most of the driveshaft you get now, later on when you do the V8 if you select carefully.
 

JoshT

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Conveniently in the Ranger world after they went to the A4LD and M5OD they put the transmission crossmember in the same place no matter what engine, so the M5OD and A4LD are conveniently the same length so you get a driveshaft based on 4x4, 4x2 and wheelbase (regular cab short bed, regular cab long bed or extended cab short bed), Before that it was a crapshoot, I think there were 4 different manual transmissions and a couple autos, not to mention the at least two different transfer case outputs...
Wish they'd done that from the beginning. I've got an '84 2.8L 4x2 long bed drive shaft, but it was for a manual transmission. That's a Toyo Koygo 5 speed, not a M5OD. I assumed that the transmission yoke and length would be wrong. May still give it a shot before I go buy one.

So if I understand right, if I found a 90-97 long bed, 4x2 driveshaft it would fit. It doesn't mater if it was V6 manual or I4 auto. Doesn't matter if the engine is 2.3, 3.0, or 4.0. I'm pretty sure I know where one of those is at.

The holes circled on mine are ones that I drilled.

Yeah, sounds like doing the 8.8 now is the way to go. That's what I'd do. You can almost certainly reuse most of the driveshaft you get now, later on when you do the V8 if you select carefully.
I'm certainly leaning that way. Won't need to reuse anything from this shaft for the V8. I've got an Explorer V8 shaft for that, I'll just need to get it retubed to a longer length.

I guess next step is to get it home in a few weeks and see if there is any hope for the engine.
 

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