Rear Axle Upgrades

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by meltmanbob, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. ok it's been a while but i'm trying to decide if it is worth it for me to do some repairs/upgrades to my mustang's rear axle.

    from what i read the 87-88 TC have the 8.8 rear with 4 lug and discs which would allow me to use my current stock wheels. i'm pretty sure that the 8.8 rears from 94-98 stangs have the same axle housing but different axle shafts, bolt patterns, calipers etc.

    i don't know what my junkyards have so i wanted to figure out what options there are so i know what to look for. according to one of the sticky tech articles if i go with the 87-88 rear end then i will run into problems when i want to upgrade to 5 lug, basically it was saying i just need some special bracket.

    is it correct that the 87-88 rear end would only need a special bracket to start using the sn95 5 lug stuff?

    are the axle housings from 94-98 the same as the ones from a tc in 87-88?

    can i just reuse the drums, axle shafts, etc from my 1990 stang in an 8.8 rear from a 94-98 stang?

    basically i have a few problems that would be solved by swapping out for a different rear end (leaks, frozen e brake) but not much money so i need to be able to reuse my wheels and tires (tires are brand new). also i'm trying to do this so i'm not looking for just 1 or 2 years of a specific car, i figure 94-98 stangs are more plentiful here in san diego than 87-88 tc's which i already know will require a special bracket down the road. any help is appreciated!

    edit - another question i have is this; do all the 8.8 rears use the same number of splines on the axle shafts? for some reason i want to say i read they are all 31, is that correct?
  2. You can reuse your stock axles/drums if you use an 87/88 TC rear end. The housings are the same width. The TC uses a longer axle shaft. The 94 and up Mustang rear is the same width as the TC, axle flange to axle flange. You can change the TC rear over to five lug by having the axles and rotors redrilled if you use the TC rear discs. If you want five lug drum, use the Ranger axle/drums in the TC housing. The 94 and up Mustang rear will get you five lug right away, but its wider.

    Edit: all fox body 8.8's use 28 spline axles. The explorer used 31 splines. You can use the differential from an Explorer, but you'll need aftermarket axles.
  3. so what you're saying is that if i want to use my current stock wheels and tires i would have to use a TC rear?

    since you said all mustang 8.8's used 28 spline does that mean that my stock axles would fit in either TC or 94-98 8.8 rear but the problem is that the drum/braking assembly wouldn't mount up to the 94-98 rear?
  4. To keep your existing axle flange to axle flange length, your existing axles and drum setups will go right into an 87/88 TC rear. You'll need to remove some of the disk brake bracketry. They will also go right into the 94/98 housing also, but I'm unsure of the drum brake backing plate mount up situation. I suppose with enough time, you could do anything. But your axles will slide right in, and knowing ford, there's a good chance your drum backing plates could very well bolt up.
    To swap to rear disks, you could swap in a complete TC rear, and use the stock disks. It pushes the wheels out 3/4 of an inch per side, so take that into account. That will keep your 4 lug wheels. The 94/98 rear will do the same thing, only change is you'll now be five lug, and looking for new wheels.
  5. i haven't been able to find an answer to this but if i were to use the stock TC rear discs would they fit in the 14" wheels or would i have to use the drums?
  6. I do not believe you'll be able to keep your 14" wheels. I know for a fact that you can't run the 14's up front with big brakes, and the TC stock rears aren't much smaller.
  7. based on what i've read my car has 10" disk brakes up front. if i were to use the 10" discs off the 87-88 TC for the rear, do you still think they wouldn't fit?
  8. My bad. I got the Mark 7 and the TC mixed up. The TC does use the 10", not the 10.5" like the Mark 7. They would mean the 14" wheels should fit.
  9. cool! at this point i'm assuming that the sn95 8.8 rears are more common and hopefully the brake hardware from the 87-93 stuff will bolt up to the rear axle housing from an sn95. from what i read the axle housings are the same length from 87-98, maybe even the 99+ ones too but i'm not sure on that. also it is the axle and brake mounting assembly that makes one version longer or shorter than another.

    ideally i would find a TC rear and hope that the sn95 brake stuff will bolt on later and just use the stock stuff for now allowing me to use my wheels.

    what other years/models had the same axle housings in terms of brake hardware bolt pattern?

    87-88 TC and 93 cobra are supposedly the same but are there others? i'd prefer to get an rear axle with the housing with the correct bolt pattern for what i need now and worry about an adapter plate later if needed to used the sn95 stuff.