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Old 02-28-2011, 05:26 AM
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ford 8.8 truss system for g body.

Hey everyone. I was wondering if someone could point me in the direction of a good truss system for the 8.8. This is going in my 86 cutlass. My spring break is in two weeks and would like to finished this rearend swap during that time. I am going to get a rearend from a 97' and up Ford explorer and hopefully find one with true trac and decent gears. There's always a bunch of these at local u pull and I can get a whole rearend for like $60.

From what I read online they have the better 31 spline axles, disc brakes, a lot were Posi with like 3.73 and 4.10s.

I already found a mount kit for a 9" with the g body mounts on ebay for $90 and my machinist said that should work for the 8.8 but due to the cast center housing we would need to build some kind of truss system for the uca. so I figured I would look online and see what I can get premade. I already planned on welding the axle tubes to the center housing. If anyone can chime in on anything else that could help me it would be much appreciated. I believe I am going to need to shorten the width by an inch or so on both sides. I wanna keep the wheels i have because they are Oldsmobile wheels and are painted to match the car so I would prefer not to just get offset wheels. And I need to redrill the axles and rotors for my 5x4.75" bolt pattern.

This car should be making around 400hp and 400tq at the engine. Will I have any problems with this rearend holding up? Thanks again. Sorry for the long thread.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:05 PM
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I recommend that you start with a Mustand 8.8, which already has the eyes cast into the top of the housing. These are a popular swap in the G body cars and you can get a controll arm kit that makes it almost a bolt in. You just have to add the spring perches.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:09 PM
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There were some threads over at www.MalibuRacing.com that showed a couple different designs for getting the center ear mounting points with the Explorer rear end, but I don't know if the pictures are still in the threads.

One design I remember looked like 3/8" x 2-1/2" steel plate, cut and welded to each tube just outboard of the housing, then going up over the center casting in sort of an 1/2 octagon shape(actually 1/2 decagon, 5 pieces - two up off the tubes, two angled for ear mounting, and one flat on top) with the top piece bolted tight to the top of the center casting in some way(drilled and tapped?)for stability.

I agree the Mustang rear seems like a better fit and will easily handle your power requirements(its basically a 12-bolt Chevy in disguise), but it will require the swap arm kit. The Exploder rear will work out if you have the fab skills to pull it off and is a bit stronger with the 31 spline axles.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:15 PM
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The center section should be cast steel, in which case you can weld directly to it.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
The center section should be cast steel, in which case you can weld directly to it.
My machinist told me its really tricky to get good penetration with the cast steel which is why people build this truss. The reason I wanted to use the explorer rearend cause if i use the mustang rearend i will need to buy gears probably and wont have disk brakes and not always posi and pay a lot more for a housing. I can get the explorer rearends for dirt cheap at my local u pull... ugh decisions decisions...
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:14 PM
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So if you get the cheaper Explorer rear end how much money will you have in it by the time you get all of the modifications done to make it fit in the car safely?

The center is cast nodular iron. Welding iron is not easy, and not strong.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big gear head
The center is cast nodular iron. Welding iron is not easy, and not strong.
Thanks for the clarification so i think right now the best thing to do would be make a pros and cons list of each.

The mustang rearend would be a lot less fab work but i think will cost more in the end. And if I went with the mustang rearend I would need to switch to aftermarket upper control arms with spherical ends. But the only fab work would be the spring perches.

There are always like 15 or 20 explorers at the yard so chances are i will find one with all the goodies i want. so $60 for that and then $100 for the brackets then $20 for lunch for my machinist lol. idk i think im leaning more towards the explorer rear end.

I just don't know the difference in width. ive been looking online but haven't seen a definite measurement of either rearend.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:30 PM
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What about the pinion offset on the Explorer rear end? It's offset quite a bit. Is that going to cause problems with the drive shaft hitting the floor?
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big gear head
What about the pinion offset on the Explorer rear end? It's offset quite a bit. Is that going to cause problems with the drive shaft hitting the floor?
I wanna find out what the width of the two rearends are that way i can figure out if i can just cut the tubes equal on both sides that way the pinion will be back in the middle. ill just have to get another axle of whatever side i didn't cut. ex say the passenger side is 1 1/2" longer i will cut that off a get another driver side axle and put it in on that side

A couple different threads i have read seems like people don't run into issues not even changing the offset. I read somewhere that you cant like have the pinion angle change vertical and horizontal cause it messes with the u-joints or something....idk exactly though im a newbie

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:52 PM
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http://www.therangerstation.com/tech...plorer8_8.html

wow great info!!!! says its offset 2"

Okay so according to this site http://www.maliburacing.com/faq.html#stock_rearend
the g body rearend is 52.125" housing flange to housing flange and most sites says 58" axle flange to axle flange
and according to this site
http://www.therangerstation.com/tech...plorer8_8.html
The explorer rearend is 59.5" wide axle flange to axle flange
So if i cut off the 2" from the longer explorer side and get a second shorter axle i will be only 1/2" narrow.

Last edited by zildjian4life218; 02-28-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:02 PM
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The pinion is not centered in your G body. The pinion is offset 1/2 inch to the right, which means that the pinion is 1 inch closer to the right side than the left. If you center the pinion on the Explorer rear end then the axles will not be the same length. You have to be carefull when cutting rear ends. Things are not always what they seem.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big gear head
The pinion is not centered in your G body. The pinion is offset 1/2 inch to the right, which means that the pinion is 1 inch closer to the right side than the left. If you center the pinion on the Explorer rear end then the axles will not be the same length. You have to be carefull when cutting rear ends. Things are not always what they seem.
Thank you for pointing that out on my gbody rearend. My machinist has a jig that will keep the tubes straight when we weld them back in place.

So i guess i should only take off 1 1/2" that way the explorer rearend will be the same exact width and will have the 1/2" offset that the current 7.5 has. Is this right?
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:21 PM
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If you want the axles to be the same length then I would measure them both and take out exactly the difference between the axles. If the long axle is 1 5/8 longer than the short axle then narrow the housing 1 5/8 inches. Go by the length of the axles, not the axle tubes or pinion offset. This is only if you want to use the same axles in both sides.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big gear head
If you want the axles to be the same length then I would measure them both and take out exactly the difference between the axles. If the long axle is 1 5/8 longer than the short axle then narrow the housing 1 5/8 inches. Go by the length of the axles, not the axle tubes or pinion offset. This is only if you want to use the same axles in both sides.
Well i was going to make both sides the same length if the pinion in my 7.5" wasn't offset. But now that you told me it is offset by 1/2" i would like to keep that same 1/2" offset to avoid any issues....
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:19 AM
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Can anyone else post possible problems i may run into? Thanks for all the input so far big gear head!!
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