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Old 05-09-2019, 05:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ford 8 Inch - Build up or Scrap

The guy I bought this XJ from installed a older Ford 8 inch rear in this Jeep. Is it worth putting the coin in to upgrade the third member with new gears and a locker? Could convert it from a 28 Spline to a 31, but not sure the longevity of this axle. Running 35” w/ 4.5” long arms up front. Thx


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Old 05-10-2019, 03:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You're sure it's not a 9"?

A Ford 8" would be a dumb swap.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You're sure it's not a 9"?

A Ford 8" would be a dumb swap.
XJ... 5x4.5... sub-60"... it very well could be a car 8"

I wouldn't spend any $$$ on it. Explorer disc 8.8's are still cheap.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you sure its an ford 8"? A toyota 8" from a 2wd tacoma is also 5x4.5 and ~60" and a semi popular XJ swap.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I’m pretty sure it’s an 8 inch. Check out the pic and let me know


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Old 05-10-2019, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It an 8, the 9s don’t have the cut outs in the mounting face.

My opinion, run it while you keep your eye open for a deal on an 8.8. That 8” going to be just as strong as the 8.25 that was originally in the XJ, with the added benefit of being a non c-clip axle so if you do happen to pop a shaft it won’t leave you dead in the water.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The 8" is a decent axle (basically a baby 9"), but I wouldn't bother putting money into it. I don't know about your area, but 9"s are still around in mine, although they certainly aren't as common as they once were and getting a 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern may be tough (all of the truck applications are 5 on 5.5"). As others have mentioned, an Explorer 8.8 is probably the easiest and best bang for your buck swap. They are a dime a dozen in the junkyards around here. You can pick them up all day long for ~$100 and are fairly common with limited slips and 4.10 gears if you can't afford to re-gear or buy a locker right away. The only downside to the 8.8" is that they are C-clip, but the factory 31 spline Explorer axles are pretty stout. They also make C-clip eliminator kits and have good aftermarket support.

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Old 05-11-2019, 09:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dont waste a dime on it. Ford 9" also are a waste of time. Unless you spend $2k+ "building" the axle, it will break a shaft, split the almighty 3rd pinion support, throw the pinion out the front, etc.

Find a $100 8.8, install locker, wheel on 35s with discs. Throw away the xj and start all over again when you roll it.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dont waste a dime on it. Ford 9" also are a waste of time. Unless you spend $2k+ "building" the axle, it will break a shaft, split the almighty 3rd pinion support, throw the pinion out the front, etc.

Find a $100 8.8, install locker, wheel on 35s with discs. Throw away the xj and start all over again when you roll it.
Whoa, slow your roll there. I certainly agree that an Explorer 8.8" is the best option for the OP's application, but I think you are way off base on the 9".

Obviously, Explorer 8.8s are plentiful, cheap, and almost a perfect fit in a Cherokee (~59.5" WMS, 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern, not too much grinding necessary), but Cherokee-specific fitment and availability aside, the 9" is a more versatile axle.

Stock for stock, I'd say they are pretty similar strength-wise and capable of running 35s and out matching the factory Dana 30, but I'd give the edge to the 9".

Axle Shafts
Both are available with 28 or 31 spline axles depending on the original application, so axle shaft strength is a wash, but the 8.8" is C-clip and the 9" is semi-float, so the failure mode of the 9" is preferable.
Winner:9"

Gearset
Obviously 9" is bigger than 8.8" so the 9" wins in ring gear diameter. The 9" also has a much larger hypoid offset (2.25" vs 1.5" for the 8.8) which drastically increases tooth contact and strength at the expense of ground clearance and efficiency. Finally, the 9" has a third pinion support bearing which greatly reduces gear deflection under load. The only advantage the 8.8" has is a larger diameter pinion shaft, but it is acting in single shear vs. the 9" which is in double shear and consequently experiences much lower bending stresses. In pure torsion, the 8.8" pinion shaft is stronger than the 9", but the pinions are never in pure torsion. I have heard of and seen pictures of people twisting off stock 9" pinions, but that is usually with 37"+ tires in heavy rigs or very extreme situations as opposed to a Cherokee (one of the lightest 4x4s outside of Samurais and early CJs) on 35s.
Winner:9"

Housing
The 9" has a dropout center section with adjustable carrier preload nuts that makes gear and locker installs a breeze compared to the cast center section 8.8". The stamped steel housing of the 9" also makes welding trusses and suspension brackets much easier than with a cast center section, and you don't have to worry about the tubes spinning in the housing like with an 8.8". Both have reasonably strong axle tubes, so I would call that a draw.
Winner:9"

Both axles are plenty stout in stock form for the OP's usage, and like I said, I think an Explorer 8.8" is the way to go in this instance, but the 9" has a lot more room to grow than the 8.8" if he decides to move on past 35s. About the only major strength upgrade you can do to the 8.8" is run the Yukon "Ultimate 8.8" kit (an exact-fit copy of Superior's old Super 8.8 kit) which converts to semi-float and 4340 shafts, but they are still 31 spline. In contrast, you can build a 9" to handle as much abuse as you want provided you have the money to spend. However, either one is up to the task of running 35s in stock form.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sure the 9 will go as far as your wallet will drag it but if you're going to do anything that requires building up the 9 then you're going to be popping the front left and right too so you may as well go to tons and solve both problems at the same time for about what you'd have into the built 9 by the time you're done.

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Old 05-16-2019, 07:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. What’s everyone’s opinion on a Toyota 8” from a Tacoma?


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Old 05-16-2019, 07:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Whoa, slow your roll there. I certainly agree that an Explorer 8.8" is the best option for the OP's application, but I think you are way off base on the 9".
.
Again, once you get past some 31 spline shafts and gears and locker, you will end up replacing every part and shouldn't have started with a stock axle anyway.

My buddy had one in his 4cly 4runner on 37s, ended up blowing a chromo 31 spline shaft, on the end, so the wheel fell off. Which also took out the locker, and gears. This was after many trouble free years with a plain old ifs Toyota axle.

Is a a Toyota axle stronger than a 9"? No, but a stock 9" is a waste of time imo. If you're on a budget, go 8.8, if you need more strength than that, skip to a 1 ton rear.

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Old 05-16-2019, 07:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. What’s everyone’s opinion on a Toyota 8” from a Tacoma?


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I think they are 6 lug.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. What’s everyone’s opinion on a Toyota 8” from a Tacoma?


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Good lightweight axle, but even from a Toyota guy, go 8.8.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think they are 6 lug.
2wd Toyotas are 5x4.5. Most are a smaller 7.5" r&p though. Up to 95 at least, unless it is a "1 ton"

Im not sure what the 2wd Tacomas got.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. What’s everyone’s opinion on a Toyota 8” from a Tacoma?


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It weighs nothing but your rig had better also weigh nothing and have no traction if you want it to live. I wouldn't run one if it were free.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Sure the 9 will go as far as your wallet will drag it but if you're going to do anything that requires building up the 9 then you're going to be popping the front left and right too so you may as well go to tons and solve both problems at the same time for about what you'd have into the built 9 by the time you're done.
I agree that with a 9", the 30 front will be the weak link, but that setup is more than capable of running 35s on some difficult trails provided you aren't a brain dead half-wit who has been watching too many bouncer videos. Hell, the 8" the OP already has is on par and maybe slightly stronger than the Chrysler 8.25" that many people run with 33-35" tires.

Are you really suggesting that he run one ton axles with 35s in a Cherokee? I would say even 37s are borderline too small for one tons in a Cherokee.

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Thanks for the info. What’s everyone’s opinion on a Toyota 8” from a Tacoma?


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It is not going to be any stronger than what you already have, but there is probably more aftermarket stuff to blow your money on.

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Again, once you get past some 31 spline shafts and gears and locker, you will end up replacing every part and shouldn't have started with a stock axle anyway.

My buddy had one in his 4cly 4runner on 37s, ended up blowing a chromo 31 spline shaft, on the end, so the wheel fell off. Which also took out the locker, and gears. This was after many trouble free years with a plain old ifs Toyota axle.

Is a a Toyota axle stronger than a 9"? No, but a stock 9" is a waste of time imo. If you're on a budget, go 8.8, if you need more strength than that, skip to a 1 ton rear.
So, if you are already doing a locker, you can go to 35 spline Chromoly shafts for about $400 more and have an axle that is lighter, has more clearance, and is Just as strong/slightly stronger than a Dana 60 rear.

Short of going to a Dana 60 or bigger/heavier, what axle is arguably stronger than a stock 31 spline 9"? For 35s, I think anything bigger/heavier is a waste and just going to make the Cherokee perform worse. Sure, he may decide to go bigger in the future, but a 9" will allow his axle to grow with the build without having to reinvest in gears and lockers and adapt another axle to his suspension and driveline. If your endgame is to be on 40"+ tires, yes, you would be money ahead putting in a Sterling, 14 bolt, Dana 70, etc., but nothing the OP has said makes me think this is the case.

I'll reiterate though, get an Explorer 8.8 and be done. There really is no better axle for running 35s in a Cherokee at present.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Are you really suggesting that he run one ton axles with 35s in a Cherokee? I would say even 37s are borderline too small for one tons in a Cherokee.
I mean I'm putting a Dana 80 in my Ranger so I'm probably not the best person to ask.

I agree on 8.8 and be done.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
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A stock 3rd will not take 35 spline shafts, so it's not just $400 more.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:17 AM   #20 (permalink)
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A stock 3rd will not take 35 spline shafts, so it's not just $400 more.
Not necessarily, you can run a 35 spline spool in stock thirds: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/a...8072/overview/ another: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/yga-32098/overview/

I am not sure if any of the 35 spline lockers fit in the stock thirds though.

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