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Explorer axle D4? At pick n pull now!


MojoWorkin

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Hi if anyone's around right now, I'm wondering if an axle code D4 in a Mercury mountaineer will work
 


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Ranger850

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@MojoWorkin
What year Mounty?
'It should work, but I'm no expert.
Quick google search says "D4" is limited slip. 3.73
Is your truck 4wd?
 

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Explorer axles will generally work, but you'll have to put spring perches on top, or run it as a spring-under. Different proportioning valve for disk brakes. Will need something for shock mounts, as well. Good upgrade but not really bolt-in.
 

MojoWorkin

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Yep. Fingered that out - It just took me a while as I was the Pick n Pull. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on an Expo Rear-end once I line up a few things. I'm just settling down to do some research. This is what I'm looking to find out:

Perches. It was suggested that I could run without perches. It looks plausible, but my truck is already squatting, so I'd have to tame the lift in the front a little. This would be a short term solution. I'd weld it as soon as I can catch my welder friend in a moment of weakness so I can trick him into it.

Shock mounts? Available as a bolt-on? I can imagine that's a compromise in strength, but I might go for that in the short run.

Brakes. So I've heard that there has been success using the discs with no further mods. Thoughs?

I need this truck back on the road so I can have some other work done to it.
 

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MojoWorkin,

I chose to move the spring perches to the top and relocated the shock mounts to the correct locations. I bought the replacement shock mounts brackets from the local 4x4 shoppe and had my welder buddy do the whole job for his favorite choice of Mexican beer.

The thing to pay the most attention to is the pinion angle, the rest just depends on a quality welder buddy.
 

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I kept the spring perches on the bottom since my truck is 2wd. And lowered the front. I needed lift shackles on the back and used pinion shims. But I didn't have to change the proportioning valve my brakes work fine.
 

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I kept the spring perches on the bottom since my truck is 2wd. And lowered the front. I needed lift shackles on the back and used pinion shims. But I didn't have to change the proportioning valve my brakes work fine.
Mine worked fine UNTIL I went to 95-97 dual piston front calipers... then I had to switch to a '86 F-250 MC (its all cast iron)

Mine was a D4 also. 14 years later I have no idea why I remember that.
 

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Using an Explorer axle in factory config (sprung under) will drop the rear suspension by several inches.

My recommendation would be to use a Ranger axle if you don't have access to a welder.

If you can borrow some space at your buddy's shop, the Explorer 8.8 is a very easy swap. I carefully cut the spring perches off with an angle grinder and reuse them. Then you just need some shock tabs from your local 4x4 supply place. You need U bolts too - AutoZone has a U bolt kit for about $25 that works well enough. Alternately you can spend $130 on a kit from RuffStuff that includes perches, shock tabs and u-bolts... up to you.

Someone was selling a bolt in, no welding required 8.8 swap kit for Rangers but I really am not a huge fan of that. I feel that anything less than welding perches and shock tabs on is not acceptable.
 

MojoWorkin

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I agree that a bolt on solution is not ideal - Wouldn't use it except to patch it together until I can get stuff lined up. I have some other work that might need done, and would get it all out of the way at once.

THANKS EVERYBODY FOR ALL THE HELP!! I'll keep y'all posted.
 

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The RuffStuff kit is the real deal. Makes it so easy I could do it. Literally the hardest part was figuring out where to put the shock mounts. Might want an angle gauge though. (The harbor freight one is great for this.)
 

MojoWorkin

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It's the welding that is tripping me up - I can get it done, but I'm weighing that against the possibility of finding a bolt-in Ranger rear which is proving elusive for less than $500. I found one, though. Prices are all over the place from wrecker to wrecker.

Anyway, can you say more about figuring where to put the shock tabs? (I think I saw a video on Youtube about how to do this.) I found an Expo rear end about 60 miles away, but it's also where Ruffstuff is located, so I can go get all the parts in one swell foop. Rear discs! Yum!

Decisions, decisions...
 

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I just looked at where the are on the ranger axle and welded the ruffstuff mounts in the same place. One of them is directly centered on top of the explorer sway bar bracket and the other is in front of the axle from it. Just set them and spring perches level with the driveshaft flange angled up by however many degrees the ranger axle is when you take it out.

Edit: Basically measure and copy the Ranger axle to the Explorer one. Or bolt it in, tack the perches and shock mounts. then take it back out to finish weld.

I read lots about welding to the axle tubes. How it's supposed to be easy to melt through them. I call BS. I layed into mine with a BIG MiG welder and had no problems. Maybe be careful if you have a habit of burning through 3/16 plate?
 

MojoWorkin

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Yeah - I don't even weld, and I was skeptical when I read that.

Well, I still gotta find a rear-end. I drove 120 miles 'round trip today, 3 Junkyards, six possible candidates. Some didn't even get opened before I passed on it. The best of the bunch, the one that I thought would be *it* turned out to be a chipped-tooth hag with over a 1/2 inch of metallic goo in the bilge. The gears were nice and shiny, though! [sad trombone] Weird though, it felt pretty good when checking for play. Go figure.

Yeah, I'm being picky. If I can find a Ranger differential that is cheap and I just slap it in, fine - It'll do for now, but if I have buy more bits, weld them on, etc, it better be exceptionally cheap and pretty.
 

SenorNoob

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Got anything like a THIS in your area? I got a rear axle for like $70 cause they thought it was a dead axle from a FWD car. Same thing on my front axle. D35 TTB and Explorer 8.8 loaded in both cases.
 


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