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Thread: Explorer 8.8 rearend in '66 mustang questions. width, pinion angles, offset rearend etc...

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    Club Member wikdsvt's Avatar
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    Default Explorer 8.8 rearend in '66 mustang questions. width, pinion angles, offset rearend etc...

    So I've been reading ALOT about this swap.

    1966 mustang has a 8" rear end that is 57.25" wide wheel flange to wheel flange.
    Currently it has an open diff with I think 3.00 gearing. so i can do one wheel peels forever. (with the AOD, the RPM's are just above idle on the expressway)
    I recently bought some bullitt rims and tires that rub on the inside of the tire on the leaf spring. So my choices are to buy adapter plates or a wider rear end.
    Since I want to change the rear end gearing to a 3.73 or 4.10 and toss some type of posi track in there, I started reading on line to see what my options are to adding adapter plates (better than spacers) and then later rebuilding the rear end to get what I want.

    I discovered many people swap Ford Explorer rear ends into their old mustangs. They are 8.8, 31 spine and usually 3.73 or 4.10 with a trac-loc installed. Sounds great.
    Furthermore, the rear end from a 1997 explorer is Width 59.5" wide wheel flange to wheel flange. This means an extra 1.125" on each side over my stock 8" that is in there now to help offset the rims (which i think will be enough). (59.5 - 57.25) x.5 = 1.125/side.

    Obviously, I will have to have new leaf spring and shock perches welded onto the explorer rear end so it will fit on the '66 mustang.

    Sounds like everything will work fine. AH.. but there is an issue.

    The Pinion on the Ford Explorer is offset to right of center 2-3/16" It is not centered like the stock 8" mustang.

    So I am going to have 2 pinion angles.

    http://www.therangerstation.com/tech..._files/ap2.jpg

    I've read where this creates and issue and others it doesn't create an issue.
    read here:
    http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/vi...n-updated.html

    What some have done is taken the 8.8 Ford Explorer rear end long tube and cut it down to center the pinion and simply grabbed an extra short tube axle from another 8.8 Explorer rear end (from a junk yard) and put it in there. This centers the pinion. That's fine, but then the overall width of the axle will be close to my stock width and I will still need wheel adapters to offset the Bullitt rims. (Instead of wheel spacers, I would use wheel adapters, as i read they are much much safer).
    something like this:
    http://www.americanmuscle.com/eibach-spacers-25mm.html

    My questions is:
    IF I use the stock Explorer rear end that has its pinion off set to the right 2 3/16" and my drive shaft does not hit the tunnel, will I have vibration or premature wear issues?

    Also,
    If I get a rear end with disk brakes, do I HAVE to have a power booster for the brakes? The reason I'm asking is currently the car has no power brakes and to add a booster will add a several hundred dollars to the cost. With a 4 month old at home, I'm trying to keep it on the cheap side.


    what are your thoughts or other options that I haven't considered.
    Keep in mind that I can get the rear end from a junkyard under $150 and will need under $100.00 in other parts.
    ---------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Christensen (PINKS)
    If you want to represent imports, don't ask for 20 cars
    Fun toys: Banshee (x3), KFX 700, '66 & '70 Mustang, '99 Lightning

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    Club Member black88coupe's Avatar
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    Not that long ago either Hot Rod or Car Craft performed this swap on a 67/ 68 Mustang project car. Seemed pretty straight forward from what I remember.
    Did the wizard ever get back to you about that brain?????

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    Club Member wikdsvt's Avatar
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    Anyone else?
    ---------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Christensen (PINKS)
    If you want to represent imports, don't ask for 20 cars
    Fun toys: Banshee (x3), KFX 700, '66 & '70 Mustang, '99 Lightning

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    Club Member beertestr's Avatar
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    Dunno if you are still contemplating this, but I would not go though all that trouble just to fit your wheels, but upgrading to 31 spline axles and more readily available 8.8" gears and posi's would be nice. . I believe the pinion IS centered, that's why the axles are different lengths. Both the Exploder and the Mustang 8" have 2 different length axles.

    IIRC, the pinion is not centered on either of them.
    Last edited by beertestr; 08-26-2012 at 07:49 AM.
    Mike
    99 Ultra Classic, 89 Softail, 67 Kaw 250

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    Club Member wikdsvt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beertestr View Post
    Dunno if you are still contemplating this, but I would not go though all that trouble just to fit your wheels, but upgrading to 31 spline axles and more readily available 8.8" gears and posi's would be nice. . I believe the pinion IS centered, that's why the axles are different lengths. Both the Exploder and the Mustang 8" have 2 different length axles.

    IIRC, the pinion is not centered on either of them.
    Its sitting in the garage wIting for me to have time.... now i have do some remeasuring.
    ---------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Christensen (PINKS)
    If you want to represent imports, don't ask for 20 cars
    Fun toys: Banshee (x3), KFX 700, '66 & '70 Mustang, '99 Lightning

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    go on stangnet. there is a sticky in the classic section about EVERY rearend 8/9/8.8 inch and all the measurements.

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    Forum Member derbydad276's Avatar
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    I have 2 explorer rear ends at my cousins yard come down and take all the measurements you need

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    Club Member Krazybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derbydad276 View Post
    I have 2 explorer rear ends at my cousins yard come down and take all the measurements you need
    does he have any 8" posi units laying around that yard? Thanks
    ****MATT***** A.K.A. Mini Bike Mafia Frontman

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    Quote Originally Posted by wikdsvt View Post
    Also,
    If I get a rear end with disk brakes, do I HAVE to have a power booster for the brakes? The reason I'm asking is currently the car has no power brakes and to add a booster will add a several hundred dollars to the cost. With a 4 month old at home, I'm trying to keep it on the cheap side.
    I have a 67 and want to do this swap. I have been keeping my eyes open for a cheap donor rear end. I plan on 'fixing' or centering the pinion by using two short axles. The other advantage of an 8.8 over a 9" is efficiency. The 8.8 has less friction than a 9".

    You can run manual disk brakes, but you need to use the correct master cylinder and brake pedal. I have manual drum brakes still and don't mind the effort. I have never driven a manual disk brake vehicle.

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    I have a 64 ford falcon and i put disk brakes all around it with manual brakes. Car stops on the dime. Front brakes and suspenion are granada and the rear is a 9' inch out of a lincoln versialle. (1977-1980) i did no cutting at all. 245/45/17 tire on the rear with no mini tube.

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