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Old 11-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default best donor vehicle for a ford 8.8

Hey guys, just curious what's the best ford beater to rip a 8.8 out of? Also from what year to what year? It's going in my 98 s10 2wd.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:37 PM   #2
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Hey guys, just curious what's the best ford beater to rip a 8.8 out of? Also from what year to what year? It's going in my 98 s10 2wd.
Explorer...disk brakes, trakloc diff, 31 spline axles and it lands right on the springs like it was made for an s10.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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What years would be best? Also what would it take to get the chevy bolt pattern?
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:53 PM   #4
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Explorer...disk brakes, trakloc diff, 31 spline axles and it lands right on the springs like it was made for an s10.
What? I know there are a lot of them out there swapped into S10s, but they are a couple inches too wide and the pinion is offset 4" *and* the spring perches are off by a bit, so the springs are always a little torqued if you 'make' it fit as-is.

Wheels with the right offset will take care of the width, and people have run the offset pinion w/o problems, but the leaf spring position issue scares me. I know people run it like that anyway but...

If you get 2 Explorer rears and use the short side axle/tube out of both, you end up with a basically centered pinion and overall width about 1" less than a stock S10....perfect for shoving some wide-a$$ tires under the back.

You can have the axles and brakes redrilled for GM lug pattern pretty cheap too.

Same tech applies to old Mustangs, Novas, and some other older cars...same width rear end, roughly the same spring position, etc. etc.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:48 AM   #5
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The spring perches are 1/4" off each side and the width is perfect for vette wheels. The s10 already has a slightly offset pinion so it's only slightly worse. He asked what was the best option and that is it.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:56 AM   #6
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Why not seek out a 8.5 out of a ZR2 packaged S-10? though from i have researched the 8.8 is a good candidate..I almost went that route with my G Body Grand Prix before i found my G body 8.5 10 bolts. It's waaaay cheaper and easier to get a 8.8 then actually finding a G body 8.5. I had a 2000 S-10 with a 2.2 and actually miss it. I briefly thought about putting a 5.3 in it and thought off how many rides i can smoke with it but the rearend was a big issue....lol!
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:12 AM   #7
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He asked what was the best option and that is it.
If you want to argue what's "best", a 2WD Blazer/S10 8.5" is the *best* option since it slaps right in, and you can find them at U-Pick real cheap (with a little luck) and the Blazer ones even have disc brakes. No messing with the lug pattern and everything fits with S10 parts.

The 4WD S10 axles are too wide and the ZR2 axles are WAAAY too wide.

Another 8.8" option might a Mustang 8.8" - the pinion is basically centered and they are only ~2" too wide. Just weld on spring perches and bazinga! The stock Mustang 8.8" disc brake setups make it even wider though, so that's something to keep in mind.

You can also build your own short explorer 8.8". U-Pick type places will sell 2 complete rears for $300 or less. Cut the spot welds, slide in a short axle tube, weld it back up, add spring perches (in the right spot) and wa-la.

The S10 pinion isn't offset much (~1"?) but we could beat that topic to death. The spring perches being off is scary though...leaf springs are supposed to be free to twist and flex to keep the axle centered in place as you drive. If they are twisted 24/7 due to an 8.8" swap, that's gonna affect the handling.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:54 AM   #8
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Here is another option.... If you s10 is rear drum
87-93 Mustang 8.8, has rear drums but are 4 lug. To convert it to 5 lug use two short axles out of the Ranger pick up with drums. Now get new drums for the Ranger and they will work with the Mustang brakes. Now redrill the axles to GM bolt pattern. Or use spacers.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:02 PM   #9
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I used a ranger 28 spline axle

Havent broken it yet with a 6.0 pushing 15psi
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:13 PM   #10
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I do like the fact that I wouldn't have to change the bolt pattern if I went with the GM 8.5", but can they handle the same power as a 8.8"? It's going behind a mild built 5.3L/A4 trans and eventually a D1SC Procharger.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:34 PM   #11
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I do like the fact that I wouldn't have to change the bolt pattern if I went with the GM 8.5", but can they handle the same power as a 8.8"? It's going behind a mild built 5.3L/A4 trans and eventually a D1SC Procharger.
The 8.5s are strong i ran a 8.5 in my 74 nova with a 406 and 175 nitrous never had a problem in 4 years. stock axels also.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:17 PM   #12
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8.5" GM rear with aftermarket axles and an Eaton posi is said to be as strong as a 12bolt.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:53 PM   #13
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I think the OP was asking about the Ford 8.8". FWIW, In my '96 S-10, I used a Ranger 3.73L axle with the long side tube (can't remember which) cut to use a short side axle (this centers the pinion). You'll need to get the axles & drums or rotors redrilled, and may need to move the perches. My wheels are 15 x 10 with 5.5 BS. I prolly should have used the Explorer (31 splines vs 28 splines), but this is still going strong.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:02 PM   #14
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I was looking on ebay today. Seems there's a few 8.8 out of exploders on there. Not many 8.5" and none are from a 2wd. If I got a 8.8", instead of swapping the long tube out for a short, can I just cut down the long and reweld the perches in the right spots? I'm sure moser or strange can make the correct length ford axles with GM bolt pattern, then I'll just have to redrill the rotors/drums, right?
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:22 AM   #15
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On my S-15, I was contemplating the same thing. I have an 8.8 and the 8.5 and went with the 8.5" for simplicity.

Strength, to be honest, my gen 1 350 / 700r4 wasn't used lightly (towing really heavy loads in the fields on the farm) and I never even broke the 4x4 G80 7.5" with 33's.

I can only imagine how much better the 8.5" would be.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:15 AM   #16
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The 8.8" came in diff lengths depending on year in relationship to mustangs anyhow.

87-93 shortest length tubes but have 4 lug drum brakes.

94-96 Tad longer than the 87-93 and have 5 lug disk brakes

97-98 even longer, 5 lug disk brakes

99-04 longest, best brakes overall - 5 lug

How far off is a rear from a 98 Z28?
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:17 PM   #17
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In not sure bout the 98 z28 rears. I could be mistaken but I think those are 7.5". I know a guy at work snapped the rear on his first pass down the 1320 with slicks on his 98 z28. He's also pushing 550rwhp tho.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:51 AM   #18
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I was looking on ebay today. Seems there's a few 8.8 out of exploders on there. Not many 8.5" and none are from a 2wd. If I got a 8.8", instead of swapping the long tube out for a short, can I just cut down the long and reweld the perches in the right spots? I'm sure moser or strange can make the correct length ford axles with GM bolt pattern, then I'll just have to redrill the rotors/drums, right?
I used an Explorer 8.8" in my Volvo 240 and cut down the long side to match the short side ( 2 - 15/16") and run 2 short axle shafts, no custom axles necessary. Weld on any brackets you need, i.e. spring perches, and you're done. It's a cheap easy way to have a tough rear end. FYI...1995 and up have disc brakes.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:28 PM   #19
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Did 8.8" come in all exploders or just the V8's
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:47 AM   #20
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Almost all of them, regardless of engine
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:47 AM
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