Triumph Sports Cars

engine swaps and other performance upgrades, plus "factory" V8s (Stag and TR8)

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sellersrodshop
Steve Sellers
Nashville TN
(21 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2010 02:00AM

Main British Car:
1966 Triumph TR-4A

authors avatar
"do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: sellersrodshop
Date: May 25, 2011 02:14AM

i see alot of discussion here about swapping to beefier rear diffs when doing the v-8 swaps & thought i would ask the mods if posting a link to a thread on a mustang site i'm a member of would be acceptable. it's an in depth "how to" writeup on narrowing the 8.8 explorer rear end at home. in the older mustangs, you only narrow one side to get the proper length & use an extra 'short side" axle (the explorer rear is offset & longer one one side). in the smaller british cars, the rear would probably need to be shortened on both sides & axles shortened & resplined or puchased, but the info listed would take care of the general narrowing of the housing. i'm planning on using the exp. rear on my conversion for the disc brakes & redrilling my front hubs for a 5 lug pattern. there are some really good mid range gear ratios in those rears too.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: May 25, 2011 08:39AM

I have a narrowed Ford 8.8 for my TR8 and it is a great axle to use. Calipers fit almost all Mustangs from 1986 up to 2000s. The aftermarket for gearing, covers and even the brakes is wide open.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1974 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: mgb260
Date: May 25, 2011 08:41AM

Go for it, We cross post and link all the time here.


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(2987 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing vs. 8" ?
Posted by: roverman
Date: May 25, 2011 02:35PM

Why would one choose this rear over an 8" ? Is not the 8" strong enough for 99.5% of our cars ? Lighter than 8.8". Removable third member a plus,(alloy available). Having an integral rear cover facilitates mounting things like Watts Link, adjustable location roller for "pickle fork", lateral location of rear, etc. Cheers, roverman.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: May 25, 2011 03:53PM

There is a girdle-type cover for the 8.8 that can be used for watts linkage. The 8.8 is every where. I thought about a dana 44 and in the end got an 8.8. I made the right choice. I think in my case with the application anything less than a dana 44 or the 8.8 would be a time bomb.


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2623 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: rficalora
Date: May 25, 2011 04:36PM

Before this strays too far from the topic -- doesn't matter too much which axle folks like better; the concepts in the article are likely to be applicable to lots of choices. I've read some articles & talked with Leonard Marshall (who narrowed his own axle) & I'd like to read it -- post away.


sellersrodshop
Steve Sellers
Nashville TN
(21 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2010 02:00AM

Main British Car:
1966 Triumph TR-4A

authors avatar
Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: sellersrodshop
Date: May 25, 2011 09:45PM

here's the link:

[www.stangfix.com]

the biggest reason behind using the 8.8 is cost effectiveness over the 8" & 9". don't get me wrong, i'm a big fan of the 8"& 9" & have three of them under current vehicles. with the 8.8, if you buy one newer than the fox mustangs you get disc brakes from the factory (i just spent approx $400 to add these to an 8" in the mustang). also if you look under the explorers, you can find 3.55-3.73 range gears & posi traction. most of the 8" &9" rears floating around have 2.79 -3.00 gear ratios. again more expense to purchase a chunk or get a gearset installed. currently at the local pull-a-part i can have my choice of 8.8 rears for $112, so it's just a cost effective decision.



mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1974 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: mgb260
Date: May 25, 2011 11:35PM

I'd like to see if it's feasable to grind the top ears off the coil spring models if you are using leaf springs. Also if the 28 spline axles are the same diameter and spline as the 8" and 9". I had a thread on the MGExperience board on narrowing a 83-92 Ranger 7.5 or 8.8 and using 8" or 9" small bearings and getting rid of the C-clips. Ends up 53" wide using 2 short Ranger axles only 1"wider than MGB.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2011 08:37PM by mgb260.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5812 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: May 26, 2011 05:07PM

Unsprung weight is an issue, the 8.8 is a heavy axle.

JB


tr8todd
Todd Kishbach

(355 posts)

Registered:
12/04/2009 07:42AM

Main British Car:


Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: tr8todd
Date: May 26, 2011 08:41PM

I narrowed an explorer axle for my TR8. I picked up two of them from the junk yard for around $250. Both were posi disc brake 3.73s. One was from a Merc Mountaineer - same as the Exploder. Using the shorter axles from both units meant only shortening one side. Started by grinding away all of the stock mounts. Made two brackets out of angle iron that clamped to the axle tube and bolted to the end flange thru two of the four holes each. Shorter axle is 2 and 15/16" shorter, so I cut out that amount from the longer side using a large pipe cutter. I purposely cut the axle where the lower control arm mount was going to go so that the mount would serve to further reinforce the butt weld on the axle tubes. (Some guy will remove the tube from the center section, cut and reinstall into the center housing) Using a grinder, I beveled the two pieces to be butt welded back together. Lined everything back up using the angle iron jigs and welded it back together. Replaced bearings, seals, brakes and reinstalled axles. Making the new mounting brackets to match the TR8 was the most difficult part. The exploder 8.8 has some large tubes. I waited to drill the bolt holes until the unit was installed under the car and the control arms were located properly. This gave me a chance to set the pinion angle I wanted. I wanted the 5 bolt wheel pattern any way, so I saved a ton over buying custom axles. Total time was about 12 hours and cost around $500 with the new brake parts. Can't remember exact width hub to hub anymore, but I think it was 3/8" shorter than a stock TR8 diff. Works well with the 16X8 wheels on the back of the car.


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2623 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: "do it yourself" explorer 8.8 rear end narrowing
Posted by: rficalora
Date: May 28, 2011 10:15AM

Very similar to what Leonard did on his. Using long pieces of angle effectively multiplies any imprecision when realigning the axle tube pieces so you can get very accurate.


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