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Old 04-26-2009, 02:08 PM
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8.8 Ford Explorer rearend-Tools Needed for Removal?

OK, I have decided to search out an Explorer rearend from a 95-2001 model year. After looking at the possibilities for rear disks, traction-lock, gear ratios and width that will work on my 1955 2nd series Chevy 3100 with 4-speed 700-R4 transmission, I am ready to get one and ready it for the install. When I find one, does anyone know what tools I need for removal aside from the standard floor jack, jack stands, 1/2" rachet set, long 1/2" breaker bar handle, penetrating oil, prybar, and metric wrenches? I have not pulled one before, and I know that it is secured to rear leaf springs by U-bolts. Do I need to try and save the U-bolts, or do they typically twist and break like most? Is there any trick to the emergency brake cables, brake lines, driveshaft yoke? I know I need to get the driveshaft with the rearend if it is still with the vehicle. If anyone has had any experience with the Ford Explorer rearend removal, and has any tips so that I only make ONE trip to the salvage yard or where one is being parted out, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks

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Old 04-26-2009, 07:08 PM
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  • U-Bolts: Keep 'em, they won't twist up. Best if you have a battery impact wrench though.
  • Driveshaft: Bring a 3/8" ratchet set and some box wrenches.
  • Brakelines: Side cutters! Cut the hardline right in front of the hose, remove the clip and keep all the lines on the axle intact.
  • E-Brake: Do you need 'em? Can't help you. If not, then cut 'em ahead of the backing plates.
  • Shocks: Again, the 3/8" drive set will make it easier to remove...
  • Swaybar: 3/8" set...

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Old 05-01-2009, 05:32 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I did just get an Explorer rearend on Thursday. I sprayed all the bolts with penetrating oil as soon as I got the vehicle in the air on jack stands. I got a 3:73 traction-lock out of a 1995 Explorer with disc brakes. Here is what I used for tools:

-Driveshaft to pinion connection flange, there are two bolts. 12 point 13mm wrench to remove them. Bolt heads are 12 point, you have to use a 12 point wrench. Socket won't have the clearance. I used a gear wrench and they came off just fine.

-U-Bolts, I used a six point socket, 18mm-1/2"drive. I initially broke them loose with a long breaker bar, and then my 1/2" drive rachet to finish removing the nuts. These came off without too much trouble, I was surprised. (8 total)

-Rear Sway Bar, attached to the axle housing brackets with 13mm bolts, two each side. (4 total)

-Shocks, 18mm nut and a 15mm bolt head. (nut and bolt each side)

-Extra Side mounted Shock, bracket held to pinion housing with 3-13mm bolts
(passenger side only-optional?)

-Brake line, cut in front of frame connection with side cutters. Removed clip with long screwdriver.

-Emergency Brake Cables, cut long cable on drivers side frame rail just after the factory connection splice coming out of the front floorboard. Removed frame bracket just in front of the rear wheel with 13mm socket. I kept them attached to the rearend, but don't know if I will use them or not.

-Rear Leaf Spring Shackles, cut them with a cordless sawzall. These were frozen and wouldn't budge. I think they were 21 or 22mm bolts. I cut the rear mounts and let the rearend slide back out of the vehicle.

Start to finish by myself in a local junkyard that I could drive up to the vehicle was 1-1/2 hours. Vehicle was sitting on the ground without rear wheels, so I spent alot of time jacking the vehicle and placing it on jackstands to get to everything accessable.

I did grab the drive shaft to get the rear pinion flange. I will use the Spicer u-joint 1330 (#2-2-1369) adapter u-joint to make up a drive shaft that will come off of my 700-R4 transmission. I initially tried to pull it off out of the tranny, but it had a rubber seal boot on it that would not allow it to come out of the spline. I used my side cutters to cut the rubber boot around the perimeter, and it slid right off.

Last edited by fasteddy51; 05-01-2009 at 05:46 PM.
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