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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.
I have a shortened -96 Ford Explorer rear end. The axle length is about 50 inches.
How can I measure what length the axle shafts should be? Easiest way?
The axle is already narrowed on both sides.
 

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There is a lot of info on the 8.8 on this site. If the tag is still on there it would be a starting point.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I have the tag and know all about the axle.
I tried to measure the axle WMS to WMS first and came to almost 59.625 inches as it should be (including brake discs).
Considered shortening only the left side so the whole axle would be 56.50 inches (and use two right axle shafts) but I need even shorter.
I shorten further, but now equally on both sides. From the flange on the end of the tube into the housing, it is exactly the same on both sides.
But it is difficult to find the exact right length of the axle shafts.
I think there was some end play on both sides.

Could it be as simple as cutting the old axle shafts exactly as much as the section that was removed? Just to take a measure?
The spline disappears, but then I will get an indication of the length I have to order?

Thoughts?
 

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I would ask this question on the Ranger Station Forum ( you have to register though there is no fees) in the link I posted earlier as I would thought someone there would be able to give you a positive answer as to how to work out the length of the shaft.
 

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get a gauge block that is about 2 inches tall--can be anything. place the block against the brake mounting surface on the housing end. use a rod installed in place of an axle and butted against the cross pin of the diff to measure to the end of the gauge block, then subtract the gauge block dimension and add the brake offset dimension to your number. that will be the axle length that the maker wants
 

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I bought a new right side axle and did the right side axle on left side and shorten the left tube to accommodate. Worked out great. I used a '97 Ford Explorer with limited slip, 3.73:1 ring and pinion, and disc brakes. I completely rebuilt the rear. I also did a Triangulated 4 Link with Coil Overs. Nice rear, love it. Here's another good 8.8 site. Same or similar to brading post:

 

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Rod...from a Chrysler?
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Can you simply not insert the original axle and measure how much extra it is sticking out?
 

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Can you simply not insert the original axle and measure how much extra it is sticking out?
You say the axle tubes are already shortened. Yes you can simply insert the original axle and measure how much extra it is sticking out. Just make sure you insert the axle all the way in until the end of the axle contacts the spider shaft. Obviously you want the axle flange to be located the same as stock relative to the end of the axle tube, when all the shortening is done.
 

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The easiest way to have done it was basically the way 'Imsport suggested. Plus before cutting the tube take that measurement. Shorten tube and take measurement again. Then take one measurement away from the other and you have the required shaft length.
 

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Rod...from a Chrysler?
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I believe OP has it cut and is not sure of what was cut off.
I did as you suggest and took off exactly 1" and ordered 1" shorter axles.
 

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I believe OP has it cut and is not sure of what was cut off.
I did as you suggest and took off exactly 1" and ordered 1" shorter axles.
Life is a learning curve. Even at my I am happy to still be learning new things. I will be first admit I have made mistakes along the way and take note just make sure that I do not make them again.
 
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