Ford 8.8 install with pics

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Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:32 pm

Why you ask?

Several reasons; like it's famous 9" big brother, the 8.8 is very tough. Many drag racers run this rear end stock and have no breakage when running in the 9's. For the cost of just a limited slip for a Chevy 10 bolt you get the stronger rear end AND disc brakes!

I picked up a Ford Explorer rear end with limited slip & disc brakes for $250. This rear end will nearly bolt in. This is a better way to go than to put money into the Chevy 10 bolt.
8.8 rear ends came with an ID tag, the one I got is a 3.73 with a locker. The "L" stipulates the locker, if no L, then it would just say 373.
The tag below shows 3L73
Image
Other ratios available were; 3.08, 3.27, 3.31, 3.55, 3.73 & 4.10
If your truck is a 4X4 or AWD you MUST match the your front axle ratio!

S-trucks without a 4.3 are 7.5", and with a 4.3 are 7.6".

The ring gear size went up to 8.5" in 1998 I believe. This is the strongest rear end ever put in an S-truck. You can tell if you have one by the stepped axle tube. 2 limited slips were offered by GM for these trucks. The posi and a Gov-lock. The RPO for the Gov-lock is G80

The Chevy 10 bolt rear end from my 1989 S-15 4X4 Jimmy is a 7.6" with open diff.
Note that 2 wheel drive rear ends are narrower than 4X4 rear ends. If you swapped this 8.8 rear end into your 2wd the wheels would stick out further. If you installing an 8.8 in a 4X4 you do not need to narrow the rear end. Other threads here describe what is required to narrow an 8.8
Note that because the 8.8 axle tube is larger in diameter, your truck will sit 3/8" lower at the rear.

A few measurements;
My Chevy S10 4X4 Blazer
Distance from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface, or drum to drum.
59"
Distance between axle locating pins on the springs.
38 1/2"
173 lbs with disc brakes mounted.
2.65" axle tube diameter.

Ford 8.8
Distance from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface, or drum to drum.
59 1/2"
Distance between axle locating pins on the springs.
39 1/2"
210 lbs with disc brakes mounted.
3.25" axle tube diameter.
10" by 2 1/2" drum/11.25" rotor
Image
Image

What do you need, besides the Ford 8.8 rear end?
* You need the Explorer drive shaft pinion flange & bolts.
* A conversion U-joint, Spicer # 5-793
* 2 - 3/16" metal brake lines, 24" & 36". Or you can use longer if you loop them.
* New U-bolts & nuts.
Dimensions shown are for a stock S-truck with an 8.8 axle. If your truck is using lowering blocks, just add the height of the block to the length of the U-bolts. These are custom made. When they are bent to the diameter that I specify, they spring back and actually measure larger. So I specified a 3" diameter and they sprung out to 3 1/4", perfect fit :thumb:
Image
* If you are pulling the axles out to re-drill, then 3 liters of 80-90 gear oil & friction modifier if it's a limited slip rear end. And a new lock pin for the spider gear cross-shaft.
Image
Last edited by AWD V8 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:52 pm, edited 7 times in total.
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:32 pm

This next post covers the modifications required to the 8.8 to fit Chevy wheels to it.

If you are using the truck just for racing you may choose to save some money here and run Ford wheels, so you can skip down to the next post. If this is a daily driver you would probably like to only carry one spare tire, read on.

You will need to remove the axle shafts from the axle housing for these modifications. It's not difficult to do.

First remove the diff cover.
With the cover off, rotate the gear assembly until you see a small bolt head at the end of the cross shaft. This bolt locks the cross shaft in place. Use a tight fitting 8mm or 5/16" 6 point socket and long extension. The socket should fit tight and not slip. Do not re-use this bolt, it's not uncommon for them to break. If yours is already broken you will need to use a pick to remove the piece left inside.
Image
With the lock bolt out you can slide the cross shaft out.
You do not need to remove the S-spring to remove the axles.
Now just push the axles in a bit and you can remove the C-clips. This is the same whether open or limited slip diff. Shown below is the limited-slip diff (S-spring).
Image
You can now slide the axles out. Support the outer end to protect the seal. Better yet, replace the seals while the axles are out now.

You are now ready to prepare the axles for the machine shop.

First remove the 8.8 wheel studs by driving them out with a big hammer, they are pressed in.
Check the pilot hole on the wheels you are using, my Corvette rims needed to machined down to 70mm or 2.755" to center the Chevy wheel.
Image
Be sure to leave the slightly larger shoulder right next to the flange. It's there to locate the drum/rotor. Just machine down the outer section.
The Chevy wheel bolt circle for the S-trucks is 4.75" or 120.7 mm
Re-drill the new holes between the existing wheel stud holes. This must be done with precision! The hole size for the Chevy studs is 31/64 or .484"
Image

With the axles machined, you can now install the Chevy wheel studs. Just place the axle, flange down on 2 supporting blocks and place a stud in a hole. Take a big hammer and drive them in like they were nails. If you already have installed the axle in the housing, you can pull them in using a wheel nut on backwards with washers underneath the wheel nut.

Coat the new seal & the axle bearing surface with gear oil or Lubriplate.
Slide the axle shaft into the housing supporting the wheel flange to protect the seal.
Slide the C-clips into place and pull the axle back to hold the C-clip in place.
Now slide the cross shaft down and install the locking bolt.
Clean the gasket surface of the cover & housing and seal with Permatex Ultra. Do not refill immediately as the gear oil can seep through the uncured sealer and leak later. I like to give it at least an hour to cure, just don't forget.
When refilling for a limited slip unit, use an oil designed for limited slips like Pennzoil Gear Plus. Add the required Ford additive for limited slips first, then top up with gear oil. If you are using Royal Purple synthetic lube, it contains an additive for limited slips already.
Last edited by AWD V8 on Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:33 pm

This particular install is a drum brake limited-slip Ford Explorer 8.8 axle into a 1992 Chevy S10 4X4 Blazer.

Generally a rear axle change is pretty simple; U-bolts, park brake cables, hydraulic brake line, shocks, drive shaft and vent tube. And ABS if equipped. This vehicle has rear ABS but is being removed so I will not concern myself with that.

Removal of the S-truck rear axle, condensed.
- After blocking the rear of the truck up with the wheels removed, remove the brake drums and detach the park brake cable. The cable pops into the backing plate and is retained by 3 prongs. To remove, grab the cable from behind and pull to one side. Take a regular size flat blade screwdriver and press each of the prongs in to release it's grip, twist the cable as you release each prong until it pulls out the back of the backing plate.
- Remove the drive shaft bolts at the rear end and pry the drive shaft out from the yoke with a large screw driver. Place a pan under the tail shaft of the transmission and pull the drive shaft out.
- Remove the vent tube from the axle housing.
- Remove the ABS harness from the body if equipped.
- Remove the metal brake lines from the flex hose junction and remove the fitting from the housing and plug the hose to stop the brake fluid leaking.
- Remove the lower shock nuts and pull the shocks off the studs.
- Now you just have the leaf spring U-bolts left. These are usually rusted and you won't be reusing them. If possible, it's best to simply cut them off. A cut-off wheel or oxy/acetylene torch works best.
- Optionally you can remove the rear leaf spring shackles. This makes it much easier to pull the rear end out and place the new one in postilion. The 8.8 rear end is MUCH heavier than the Chevy 10 bolt, and if you don't have someone strong to help it can be very challenging to slide it out the side over the leaf springs.

Now clean up the top of the leaf spring where the axle rests. An air sander will clean off the rust quickly.
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
User avatar
AWD V8
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:33 pm

Preparing the 8.8 before you put in in position.

- Before placing the 8.8 on the leaf springs, cut off the lower part of the anti-sway bar brackets at the back of the axle, or remove it completely, they will hit the shocks.
Image

- The spring perch locating holes need to be elongated. Some people say they just pull the leaf springs over and the axle will drop down over the pins, but I don't like running the springs with side pressure on the bushings, they should be relaxed with the axle resting over the pins. You will need to elongate the holes to the center of the axle housing by 1/2". I used a high speed die grinder. I STRONGLY suggest using a high quality cutting tip, like a Snap-On. I tried a Home Depot brand and it just didn't cut easily. The Snap-On cut through like the steel was plastic. PLEASE WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES AND GLOVES! The metal coming off is metal shards and will embed themselves in your skin very easily!
Image
This bit has done the 8 spring plate holes & the 2 spring perch holes and still looks brand new!

- The U-bolt holes in the Chevy spring plates will need to be elongated just under 3/8". The holes should be extended outwards at a 45* angle. Use the new U-bolts as a gauge to see when you have gone far enough. This will allow the U-bolts to sit square on the axle tube. Some people have used the Explorer spring plates. This saves elongating the holes but requires welding shock mounts in place.
Image

- The U-joint at the rear of the Chevy drive should be removed and the Explorer flange be installed with the conversion U-joint, #372 from NAPA or the stronger Spicer, # 5793. A large vise works well for this. If the U-joint is the original OEM joint, it will have plastic injected to retain the cups. You must heat the end of the drive shaft to soften the plastic so you can drive out the U-joint cups. An oxy/acetylene torch will do, I'm not sure if a mini-torch will get it hot enough. You don't need it glowing red, you will see the plastic oozing out. Take a punch and drive the cross to each side to remove the cups. When its cooled down, clean out the holes with some sand paper or emery paper. Compare the cup sizes to see which cups fit the Chevy which for the Explorer. A helper would be good here to help balance the drive shaft while you fiddle with the U-joint. You need to work clean and take your time. Place the Chevy cross inside the yoke and gently slide one cup in place.
Image

Place this in the vise to press the cup in. Now open the vise and place the other side in place. Gently slide the cross midway between the cups. Place in the vise and press it in. Now you need to place spacers on each side of the cups to press them in the final amount. Only press until you can get the inside clips on. You may have to push the cross over to one side to seat the cup up to the clip. The cross should easily swivel.
Now you need to attach the Explorer flange to the U-joint. This where your helper is most needed. You need to place the Explorer flange over the cross and place one of the cups in the hole. Again press it in with a vise until flush. Now press in the other side after centering the cross. The Ford side of the U-joint has clips outside the yoke. Only press in far enough to get the clips in. Make sure they are in all the way. You might need a punch and small hammer to tap it in.
Image
If you are unsure about doing this, take it to a drive line shop.

When installing your drive shaft, you should have about 1-1/2" of free space between the pinion flange & the drive shaft. If it's less and the drive shaft angle to the tail end of the transmission or transfer case is steep, it could bottom in the transmission and damage something. You might need to shorten the drive shaft. This install was a stock height 4X4 and we had about 1-1/4". A lowered truck may have less. Check it before driving it!
Last edited by AWD V8 on Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
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AWD V8
I only have 3 matching wheels and a spare.
 
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:34 pm

Now just install the axle in the reverse order.

- If you removed the rear spring shackles you can slide the rear end in from behind. If you didn't you will need to go under the truck with the rear end and then up and over the spring to the right, and then lift the left side over the spring. Remember the axle is very heavy for one person to handle.
The axle should drop over the locating pins on the spring pack. If not, see how much more you need to cut out. If more cutting is needed, roll the axle forward and it will rest on the springs.
- When the axle is sitting on the leaf springs properly, drop the U-bolts in place and slip the spring plates under and snug up the nuts. The U-bolts should be sitting nearly straight up on the tube. Work around all the U-bolt nuts until they are pretty tight. These should be about 80-90 lb/ft, and should be rechecked several times over the next 500 miles, they WILL loosen up!
- DRUM BRAKES: Now mount the Chevy flex hose fitting to a cover bolt near the top left. Attach and tighten your metal brake lines.
- DISC BRAKES: Attach the Explorer flex hose to the S10 bracket, it fits like OEM. You need to use an adapter to fit it to the S10 metal line. I'll try to get the Weatherhead #
excaliber - I found a compatable part at Autozone, thanks to the manager being nice enough to let me go in the back and search through their fitting rack. It's part #BLF-23C made by AGS. It is a 3/8-24 to 7/16-24 adapter. There is a compatable part # list on the box that lists the following numbers Edelmann #258430, Weatherhead #7828 , and Continental #WLA828.

Thanks excaliber :thumbup:

Image
- Install the shocks.
- Install the drive shaft. If your truck has been raised or lowered you need to check to see if the slip yoke in the transmission is OK. If the truck has been raised it might pull out of the trans, you need about an 1 & 1/2 inside the trans. If lowered it might bottom out on the output shaft of the trans. If the truck is lowered, you should place the supporting stands under the axle tubes to compress the springs to gauge whether the drive shaft needs to be shortened. If you can't slide the drive shaft forward to clear the large nut on the pinion flange, it's too short. You will need to have a drive line shop modify it. The drive shaft is off-set to the right with the 8.8, you need to check the clearance to the muffler. This one clears by about 1/2". I was able to loosen the pipe clamps and get over an inch.
Image
- Attach your vent tube to the axle. If you haven't raised your truck too much the hose will be too long and you will need to trim it, just leave some slack for it to move about a bit.
- Remove your brake drums and the brake components and attach the Chevy park brake cable, it just slides in and connects like OEM. It will be a bit loose in the backing plate but will work fine. Reinstall your brake parts and brake drum. Adjust your brakes & park brake.
Make sure your rear end is filled with the proper lube.
- Bleed your brakes and put your wheels on, you are ready to roll :D
Last edited by AWD V8 on Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby 99s10327 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:09 pm

Very nice install ,,You know someone needs to make a cheap Lug pattern plate ..for the conversion a thin 1/4" plate with both the ford and chevy pattern on it,just like your axles look with the two,, so we can mark the axles and drill them out ,tapered on one side for the axle drilling ,and the other side for the drums,, or rotor hats :thumbup: Id buy one or ship it out to who ever needs it next
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:22 pm

99s10327 wrote:Very nice install ,,You know someone needs to make a cheap Lug pattern plate ..for the conversion a thin 1/4" plate with both the ford and chevy pattern on it,just like your axles look with the two,, so we can mark the axles and drill them out ,tapered on one side for the axle drilling ,and the other side for the drums,, or rotor hats :thumbup: Id buy one or ship it out to who ever needs it next


Thanks, glad to help out other members.

I did that myself; viewtopic.php?f=19&t=24816

Doing the drums/rotors is easy, just place the drilled axle onto the drum/rotor and bolt them together. Run a drill into the Chevy holes to mark the drum/rotor and then drill them by hand. Not much precision needed here.
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby stroked10 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:16 pm

what is the new part number for the adapter for the regular U joint to 8.8 flange?
Napa.com does not have it as 372
85 S10 350/th400 transplant
Little head and cam work
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:43 pm

stroked10 wrote:what is the new part number for the adapter for the regular U joint to 8.8 flange?
Napa.com does not have it as 372

You know, I've been looking for the Spicer number for that U-joint, had it written down somewhere and was planning to update my post.

I'll post it tomorrow!
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby stroked10 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:18 am

I really appreciate it!
Picking up my 8.8 today
85 S10 350/th400 transplant
Little head and cam work
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby Rickracer » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:36 am

Looks like Sticky material to me...... :thumbup:
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'93 S10 SB,RC, Comp XR276 Hydraulic Roller, Vortec head 363, 400 + hp, built 700R4, JW 2800 stall lockup converter, 3.73 posi, disc brake, narrowed 8.8 Exploder rear, LS Camaro front discs, Cal-Trac clone traction bars, Best N/A passes to date: 8.0 in the 1/8th, 12.75@106 mph in the 1/4, gonna spray it soon... :mrgreen:
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby 99s10327 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:43 am

I have a question ,If I was to have an adapter made, To drill my own Lug pattern ,,,,What are the two patterns hole sizes ,for both ,and the stud size too ,what about the axle hub size where the rotors or drums are centered to the axle like this ---- Image
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:49 am

You want the Ford specs as well as the Chevy specs for the hub & bolt pattern?
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby 99s10327 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:52 am

AWD V8 wrote:You want the Ford specs as well as the Chevy specs for the hub & bolt pattern?

Yeah thats it ,My brain couldn't spit it out that easy :roll: :idea: It would be greatly appreciated
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:54 am

I've got it all back together with rotors on, but I think I can get you what you need a bit later today.
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby 99s10327 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:59 am

AWD V8 wrote:I've got it all back together with rotors on, but I think I can get you what you need a bit later today.

ok thanks ,the hub size may not be that important just the two Bolt patterns ......,So how you like the new rear ,,I know thats a dumb question it has to be great !..Are the rear gears the same as what you already had ??
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:49 am

Found the U-joint number, this is the stronger recommended U-joint;

Conversion U-joint, Spicer # 5-793
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
User avatar
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby 99s10327 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:27 pm

Is this about right ?
the ford Bolt Pattern : ( 5x114.3 )--5x4.5
Center Bore : 70.5
Thread : 1/2" ...
Bolt/Stud : ?
The s10 .....
5 lug 4.75" ( 120.7mm ) bolt pattern
Center Bore 70.3mm hub
Thread 14mm
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:08 am

99s10327 wrote:Is this about right ?
the ford Bolt Pattern : ( 5x114.3 )--5x4.5
Center Bore : 70.5
Thread : 1/2" ...
Bolt/Stud : ?
The s10 .....
5 lug 4.75" ( 120.7mm ) bolt pattern
Center Bore 70.3mm hub
Thread 14mm


I can't confirm the center bore as I just machined down the hub to the required 70 mm. The drum/rotor hub size is 71.20 mm or 2.802", Don't touch this part!

I measured the Chevy center bore as 70 mm, and wheel sellers here list the Chevy center bore as 70 mm.

S10 wheel studs are 12 mm X 1.5 mm
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
User avatar
AWD V8
I only have 3 matching wheels and a spare.
 
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Re: Ford 8.8 install with pics

Postby AWD V8 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:18 pm

99s10327 wrote:So how you like the new rear ,,I know thats a dumb question it has to be great !..Are the rear gears the same as what you already had ??


I feels much better with 3.73's than the 3.08's

The truck is going on the road in a few days so haven't had a real chance to evaluate the swap but so far the posi has been "tested" on the street :mrgreen:
1999 AWD Jimmy, 4.3, 8.8, quick steering box, lowered 3/3, 3" CAT back with Magnaflow
'95 AWD Jimmy - RIP
'89 AWD Jimmy - RIP
User avatar
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