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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2010, 12:49 PM
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The 8.8 is as strong as a 12 bolt and it's lighter and uses less power than the 9 inch. There are less parts in the 8.8, so it's cheaper to build. It's easier to find the 8.8 now that many of the 9 inch rear ends have been snatched up or crushed.

Have you figured ouot what the total width is yet?

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2010, 10:21 AM
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Sorry but my computer crashed and burned and I had to buy another one, so its been a while since I could reply. I haven't measured it yet, but I'm going to today.
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:47 PM
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Pre 92 Ranger rear axle is a perfect fit, but hard to find a 90-91 8.8". Only used in 4.0L powered trucks and commercial box truck models (or those ordered with bare frames). 92+ is a bit wider, but that or the Explorer axle can be used with deeper offset wheels (stick Explorer wheels, 00's Mustang Cobra. etc.). Ladder bars or four links work great.

63 was the first year of the "new" Ramblers -- in the big car line. The 63 American was still the old Nash Rambler with a new skin. The American received a new body based on the big car body in 64, just narrower and shorter wheelbase. The sixes were the old Nash designed 196 for 63, but changed late in 64 to the then new clean-slate 232 six -- the basis for the 4.0L in Jeeps. New small block V-8s arrived in late 66. AMC kept the same basic body structure for their big cars from 63 until the last one was made in 78. It was just stretched and widened a bit.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2010, 08:56 AM
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'90-'92 Ranger 4.0L's will have the narrow 8.8".. Ford changed them in '93 for the updated body style... can actually go all the way back to '86 for an 8.8", but it has to be from a truck that was a chassis-cab
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for the info, thats what I was looking for. I'm out of town right now, but if needed I can post the measurements when I get home in a few days. I think I am going to tub the rear so I can put a little more meat back there, but I haven't decided how much. I don't want to have some big mickey thompson slicks or anything, I'd just like to have something a little wider than stock.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:49 AM
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Unless you "back half" the car (cut the original framework out and build new -- you can get kits for something like a Chevelle and that should fit) you won't be getting much wider tires in there. You can get wider than stock. I'm running 215s on my 63 wagon, and a 225 will fit -- but that's about it. A 235 would fit, but I'm pretty certain it will scrub when loaded or hitting a big bump. 225 will be it for the front, and you may need a spacer to clear the spring. I don't with 215s, but I've got my spindles spaced out in front to clear deep offset wheels. I run 7" wheels with 5.5" offset so the Jag rear axle didn't have to be narrowed. You can get Weld Drag Lite wheels in almost any backset in 0.5" increments (5.5" is the max for a 7" wheel). The narrowest tire recommended for an 8" wheel is a 225. 7" wheels work great on these cars (195 narrowest recommended). The stock width is 6.5" IIRC. I have no problems with the 215s, or the 205s I ran previously. Stock would have been close to a 185 (7.28" wide -- stock was actually a 6.5" or 7" tire for sixes, 7.5" for V-8s... 165, 178, and 190 mm respectively), so a 205 or 215 is a bit wider than the stock V-8 model tires (8" and 8.46"). I run 215/65s, about the same diameter as the optional 15" tires (26").

If you're keeping the original trans and instruments figure out the diameter of the original tires and what metric tire would be close. I use the calculators at www.4lo.com (easy to remember URL!).

Unless you're throwing a lot of power to it and plan on horsing around/drag racing even the Ranger 7.5 axle will be fine. That will easily take 300 or so hp, especially with street tires. I wouldn't put slicks and good traction control to it with 300+ hp though. It will last... a while.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:33 PM
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Well, maybe "a little wider than stock" was somewhat of an understatement. I plan on going a little more than 215s or 225s... but not all-out drag slicks. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, for now I just needed to know which would fit with the least amount of "re-engineering". I was hoping to find a rear with disc brakes already there, but it seems that most were produced with drums during the late 80s/early 90s. As far as hp, I'm guess-timating near 400, over 350 at least. The engine setup (so far) is: 327 sbc +040, reworked vortec heads (bigger valves, all the bells and whistles, etc), 700r4 or turbo 350 transmission, 700-750cfm carb, electric fan(s), possibly electric water pump (haven't decided), convert to serpentine belt, and going to do a custom exhaust setup.... None of which really matters til I find a rearend...
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2010, 07:06 AM
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If you want disc brakes. you can put Mustang 8.8" parts on Ranger axles of any year. 2010+ Rangers also have discs that should fit. if you found a wrecked 1 of those. if you want an early Explorer axle ( 1.5" narrower than '95+ IIRC ) with disc brakes. just pull the parts off of a '95+ explorer
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:15 PM
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Thanks Matt, I wasn't sure what, if anything, would fit. I didn't want to have to buy one of those $2K "kits"!
Oh yeah, the measurement on the Rambler rear is 52 inches.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:18 PM
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As for tire size, I was thinking in the neighborhood of 275/60/15 as a general idea.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2010, 04:41 PM
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Well, a 225-235 is the biggest that will fit without a lot of work, but even those will need different wheels. Since you have to get wheels, you can use an Explorer rear axle. Then just order wheels with the correct offset.

The early Ranger axles is right at 54" wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface, 51" between the brake backing plates where they mount on the axle ends. Explorer axles with disc brakes are 3" wider, 93+ Ranger is 1.5" wider than early Ranger. So you can get wheels with half the wider measurement extra back spacing (extra 3/4" for late Ranger, extra 1.5" for Explorer... + the extra depth needed to clear the outer lip of the quarter panel). You may have to re-radius and flare the wheel openings in the back unless you back-half the car. Will lose some of the Rambler look, but you gotta do what you gotta do! How did you measure the Rambler axle?
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:42 AM
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I measured from inside to inside, (did not include the drum assy). I may be off an inch or so, it was difficult to get under just sitting on the ground with 2 flats.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2010, 04:15 PM
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That should be about the same as measuring from the axle tube flange to tube flange. The distance from the flange to the wheel mounting surface (flat of the axle hub) is usually 2", so add 4" to each side to get that measurement. So the total width would be about 56". The 93+ Ranger axle at 52.5" between backing plates might be a good fit. and you can get an 8.8". Explorer disc brakes should bolt on.

You will still have to back-half and tub to get the meats you want on there though! You might want to stick with 215s at first and back half for larger tires later. The 215s would be good for the front anyway. Using them all around at first will get you on the road quicker. You could then enjoy the car for a little before taking it back off to back-half and tub. Just a thought!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2010, 08:31 AM
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Yes, I was going to worry with making those tires fit later and just go with something that fits now so I could at least drive it in order to work out any body and/or mechanical issues. At least thats what I tell myself, but who am I kidding, I can't wait to get behind the wheel!

Will the front disc brake assembly of an explorer work on the rear axle? I was wondering since all I seem to find on the explorer rears are drums.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2010, 08:40 AM
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95 and up Exploders are rear disc.
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