1976 Mustang rear end swap

Anickm3

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Sep 30, 2019
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I have read where on the 1976 Mustang that the axles can be swapped out for 5 lug axles.
I also just heard from a guy at a car show this weekend that several years of Ford Explores rear ends will bolt right up into a Mustang II, can anyone verify the years and what it will take to do a swap like this?
 
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LILCBRA

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Dec 6, 2005
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Yes, you can swap the axles from any 8" as long as the length is correct. It's been a while since I've seen the info on this as I still run factory 4 lug axles, but it seems that, as long as your axles are the correct length, you can use drums from a Ranger as well. But I don't recall what year you'd have to get them from.

As for the 8.8 from an Explorer, I don't know if any of them are an actual bolt in. And, from what I am finding through internet searching is that the Explorer rear is roughly 2-1/4" wider than that of the II's 8". I know that they have been swapped into a II, but I don't know if the perches are located properly. But I also understand that the 8.8 is super-simple to narrow and as long as you have the capability to weld you can put the perches in any location that works for you. But as far as a bolt in, I don't think that they are.

Here are the 2 pages where I retrieved all of this info, someone else may know more about this topic than I do....


 

74stang2togo

NERD!
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Mar 7, 2002
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There was a full how-to on MustangII.net before it shut down on how to shorten an Explorer rear to fit a II. (It's not a bolt-in affair, spring perches need to be cut from the II axle and moved over after shortening the Explorer axle).

I still have the URL bookmarked on my PC, for all the good it does.
 
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extra_stout

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Aug 27, 2018
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You can also remove the lug studs from you axle weld one (or all) holes and redrill for the 5 lug pattern (a 5-lug drum can be used to get the pattern right). Or you can find a machine shop that will do it for your.

About shortening the 8.8: most cut a piece of tube from the middle of the tube and weld it back together. I like what this guy did: Link
 

74stang2togo

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Mar 7, 2002
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You can use Explorer 8.8 with disc brakes but the drivers side needs to be shortened 2". Then you get another passenger side axle to put in the shortened side. The axle need to be stripped of all mounts and II spring mounts welded on. Here is the old Mustang II net site that is still viewable.. http://web.archive.org/web/20170415051308/http://www.mustangii.net/default.asp
The problem with Web Archive and Wayback Machine is, they only archive about 1-2 to layers deep. I can see the link for the thread on Explorer differential narrowing in the modification tech forum, but you click it, and the actual thread isn't archived.
 
Oct 7, 2019
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Fort Worth, TX
Yes, you can swap the axles from any 8" as long as the length is correct. It's been a while since I've seen the info on this as I still run factory 4 lug axles, but it seems that, as long as your axles are the correct length, you can use drums from a Ranger as well. But I don't recall what year you'd have to get them from.

As for the 8.8 from an Explorer, I don't know if any of them are an actual bolt in. And, from what I am finding through internet searching is that the Explorer rear is roughly 2-1/4" wider than that of the II's 8". I know that they have been swapped into a II, but I don't know if the perches are located properly. But I also understand that the 8.8 is super-simple to narrow and as long as you have the capability to weld you can put the perches in any location that works for you. But as far as a bolt in, I don't think that they are.

Here are the 2 pages where I retrieved all of this info, someone else may know more about this topic than I do....


what is the year model to find the 8" rear axle on the explorer???