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Explorer Axle swap

Kags101

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Hello all, i know there is lots out there about this swap, including technical articles, but what I haven't found, is a definitive parts list. This weekend im out to the wrecking yard, as there is a freshly dropped off 1994 explorer. yes i know 95 had discs, but im not gonna pass up the 94 and chance it taking years for a 95 or newer to come by. So, since its there, im going to grab the D35 and 8.8 rear end. does anyone know exactly what all i need to take from the sploder? My bronco is currently stock height, with U joint style drive shafts. I will be lifting the truck with a 4" suspension lift at some point( i understand that i cant use the RC lift with a D35?) I understand as well that if i d35 swap before i lift i have to shorten the drive shaft, but allegedly it should work with a lift without modification. those details dont matter as i will cross that bridge when i do the swap( probably in the spring as this is my winter "beater" and im not about to take it out of commission this close to Canadian snow fall.

Long story short, im not 100% on how much of the exploder to take., full rear axle with brakes, easy. should i take the rear drive shaft though? on the front, is it just the beam with the front diff on it, or do i need both beams, and radius arms, and brakes, etc. if there is a thread with all the detail on stripping the donor, i apologize, but i haven't come across it yet. and as im hitting the junk yard by sunday, i need quick information. thanks!
 


alwaysFlOoReD

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No personal experience with the explorer, but you need both sides of the TTB plus the arms. See if the yard will throw in the driveshafts, but check first they havent been damaged by forking lift trucks.
 

BlackBII

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You need both beams, diff, radius arms, brakes, hubs, etc. The whole thing. The rough country lift/drop plate can be used, but, it can knock a hole in the diff when the suspension compresses far enough. The front driveshaft may need to be shortened, yes. You can likely just use the explorers front driveshaft depending on your transfer case. For the rear, the diff probably has a larger flange, so you can use your existing driveshaft, but may need an adapter flange/joint
 

4x4prepper

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Take everything from the front axle, you will probably end up getting part of the frame. Not sure if you can use the coils. Take everything from the rear axle. Take the parking brake and cables. Take the drive shafts. I would see about taking the tailgate and it's related parts. Take the window motors if available if you have power windows. When I was parting a 1990 I kick myself for not saving the tailgate parts, I could have adapted them to my B2. I think the 1994 has the improved windshield cowl with small holes, you could use that on the B2.
 

4x4junkie

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You'll also need the steering linkage, it is wider on the D35.
Coil springs can be reused (I would suggest keep your BII springs if they are in decent shape, Explorer coils are likely to be significantly stiffer due to the Explorer's heavier weight)
 

bobbywalter

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Make sure it's not worn out garbage...at this age you need to look carefully....fully inspect and break it down.

Likely want to rebearing rear diff.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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So, my MO has become to take everything I can get free that isn’t broken when I have the opportunity. Most yards make you pay for every piece though which can get expensive so I do get picky when I go to yards that I don’t have the option to say, throw $500 down and take whatever I want off a vehicle.

Unless I’m just doing something like changing gears, I’ll take as much of the axle assembly as I can, brakes, springs, etc. Even if I’m going to change it (like putting new brakes on when I put it in my truck), I’d rather have extra parts. Easier to sort that out later and anything that isn’t exactly bad (say the brakes are still useable but I put new brakes on), I’ll throw the parts (labeled with a paint marker) in my parts shed just in case there’s ever that 9pm on a Sunday night oh crap I need this tomorrow morning situation. That has saved my sorry butt more than once over the years.

That all said… you will need the complete axles and pretty much everything attached. The coils and leafs work, but be advised they are stiffer than factory Bronco II stuff. They also can provide up to 2” of lift. Coils are good as they are. Leaf springs need the center pin flipped. The rear axle will need the spring pads cut off and replaced/re-welded on the top of the axle. You will need to use the e-brake cables from the Explorer rear axle up to the splitter on the B2, IIRC.
 

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