Bigger axle swap


ashtonstrish

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Has anyone swapped a bigger axle and bigger leads into a ranger I have a 1994 Ford Ranger 4.0 xlt 4x4 manual I believ with a 8.8 limited slip and wanna put a bigger axle and springs under it for a utility bed don’t worry about power I’m planning on deisel swapping it just wanna know about the axle. Thanks
 


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55trucker

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The 8.8 max is close to 9,000lbs GCVWR (gross combined vehicle weight rating).
 

4x4junkie

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It sounds like he wants more GAWR.

The 8.8" from an Explorer has a 3200lb rating (vs 2750 for the Ranger axle). It has significantly larger axle shafts & wheel bearings. You will need to move the leaf spring perches to the top of the axle tubes and add shock mounts to it, but everything else bolts up if it has drum brakes (a disc-brake Explorer axle will also need the parking brake cable adapted to fit).

Keep in mind, a bigger axle does not change the legal weight ratings Ford specified for your truck. So if you get into an accident, you could still be on the hook for an overloaded vehicle if you were over it's rated limits at the time.
 

evanesce69

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With a diesel your current D35 front axle will see lots of problems, the added weight of the deisel and the torque it produces. The wheel bearings on a D35 are back to back and SMALL. They won't last long.

I'd go with a 63" width Ford 9" and D44 beams up front similar to what I'm doing in my thread. Only thing is you will need extended length radius arms... The factory arms are way too short for the proper geometry.

But I really think a 63" Ford 9" would be perfect. Search on eBay, there is a guy who builds custom width 9's with matching axles for around 750. He is located in the St. Louis area (PEM Racing St. Claire MO) and shipping was free. Provide him with the spline count you want for the axles. You have to supply the dropout gears an locker.

I built an 8.8 with Yukons C clip eliminator... TrueTrac and 5.13 gears. For what I spent on this 8.8 one of these 9 inchers would have been a much nicer axle.

If I were to do it again I'd definitely go with a 9.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, I have F150 leafs in the rear. Just move the rear hanger upside down and back... The rear bolt holes line up then use the hanger as a template for the other two holes... Works beautifully. Pushes the axle back a half an inch but that is livable.

It's a cheap 4" lift and you get more capacity... But like it's said before... Just because you can put more in it doesn't mean it's a good idea... Power to go is great but don't forget the power to STOP.
 
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4x4junkie

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The D35 front axle shouldn't have a problem handling, say, a 4BT sitting over it (a 6BT will not fit between the grill and the firewall anyway, and I don't think the frame would be up for one either). Thing is, you need to use quality bearings (Timken SET-37, for example), and NEVER MIX BEARING CONES & RACES! Then set the bearing preload correctly.
Only thing I would say though is if the truck is a Supercab, I'd put the limit on max tire size at maybe 32-33" rather than the usual 35" since a 4BT is about 300lbs IIRC heavier than the 4.0L (and a 4BT's inertia doesn't dissipate near as quick should a tire get bound up). By the sound of it though I don't think the OP is attempting to build some radical trail machine.

FWIW, the outer wheel bearing on the D44 is smaller than either bearing on the D35 (inner bearing being the same size), but the D44's are spaced wider... However I've not had any issues stemming from the narrower spacing while using good quality bearings & races.
 


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