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My 8.8! Finally.

Old 12-05-2014, 06:46 PM
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Default My 8.8! Finally.

This weekend I am finally putting in my 8.8 after buying it for $250 off ebay and letting it sit for a year. I've been slowly gathering supplies and now have everything. I have already prep'd the axle for the welds as well as painting. Here are the pictures I have taken thus far. I should have it finished tomorrow and if not Sunday because I have to drive it to work on Monday!

Tomorrow my buddy is coming over to help mock the axle up and then I will be taking it to work to weld everything up. I bought a Hobart 210MVP two months ago and have been practicing nonstop but right now I do not have a 220v plug to plug into and am still using gasless wire so I will be tacking everything on with mine and then going to work to use the miller. I am using the ruffstuff package and am not worrying about the ebrake for now since I have an auto. For the brakes I am using two passenger rubber lines and then making brake lines to connect to the original rear brake line.

Here is the axle the day I picked it up.

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Cleaned and degreased like a ****!

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Jeep went straight in the garage right when I got home from work.

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Old D35

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D35 is now out and the 8.8 is ready for the mock up session.

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Old 12-05-2014, 08:37 PM
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Default Envy

I really envy you! I also bought my 8.8 over a year ago. I want to save for every up-grade possible at the same time. Hope yours goes well. What gears are you going with? 4.56? I would like to go with that gearing and a front selectable locker and 33's. $,$$$.00. Keep us in the loop!
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by JandDGreens View Post
I really envy you! I also bought my 8.8 over a year ago. I want to save for every up-grade possible at the same time. Hope yours goes well. What gears are you going with? 4.56? I would like to go with that gearing and a front selectable locker and 33's. $,$$$.00. Keep us in the loop!
I bought a 3.55 to match the front and once I go to 33's I'll be going with 4.56's . I have a lunchbox in the front right now and will probably go with a Detroit when I re-gear.
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:16 PM
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Should be a good upgrade over the ticking time bomb turdy5
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:42 PM
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I was getting things together to do the 8.8 witch has 3.73 gears. I had 3.07 with my 5 spd. tranny. With the 33's I couldn't wheel anything that required the lower gearing. The reason I postponed doing the swap ASAP was my son's 94 frame cracked by the steering box and I decided that it would be better to get him a diff. XJ and use his for my own purposes. So I took his axles and through them under my rig. Wow with the 3.55 gears and Chrysler 8.25 I can go wheeling again. I still plan oh doing the 8.8 but now I am saving for the locker, SYE, Drive shaft, gears and tires. I would probably be ok with the gears the 8.8 has (3.73 limited slip) but if I am going to go ahead and install the 8.8 I figure changing to 4.56 gears just makes sense.


Right now on the highway with 3.55 gears and 31" tires my overdrive is only used at 75 mph only if it is flat. So I really think 33"s and 4.56 gears will be perfect.


I am looking forward to your write up on your install. Are you using a kit? I was looking at the one Iron Rock w/truss. For the money I think is will simplify things. Also are you just going to leave the spacing a little narrower? I already scored some off-set rims so I don't believe I need to mess with spacers.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JandDGreens View Post
I am looking forward to your write up on your install. Are you using a kit? I was looking at the one Iron Rock w/truss. For the money I think is will simplify things. Also are you just going to leave the spacing a little narrower? I already scored some off-set rims so I don't believe I need to mess with spacers.
I am using ruffstuff's kit. I thought about IRO's kit but read that the truss was overkill. Ruffstuff's kit is really heavy duty and I'm glad I went with it. I run 3.75 backspacing all around and as of now I only plan to add some spacing if it bothers me but I don't think it will be much of a difference.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:41 AM
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I agree the truss is overkill but it looks cool. If you just make sure the axles are welded well to the differential. The 8.8 is strong enough for any wheeling I would get into with or with out a truss. I guess when I get the chance to actually get to do the swap I will know just what I really need. I am pretty new to wheeling and don't have enough hours on the trails to know what I really want out of my XJ.


I was kidding around with my son-in-law when we were talking about regular maintenance on a 4x4. When it comes to the transfer case we are supposed to have ten hours a month with it engaged. And yet I have only gone wheeling 3 times this season. Next season I want to go a lot more, if I can just keep from working so much. In fact I think I will try to get some guys to go wheeling in the snow next Sat.


How are you with welding. Do you have much experience? I have a nice welder but really need to rewire my garage if I want it to preform the way it should. The Holbart is an excellent choice. I would try and get a argon bottle for it. It really is not necessary but your welds will come out much cleaner as you can actually see the flow better.


Is your 8.8 a limited slip? I am glad mine is because I really don't want to have to do a locker on mine. I figure a front locker and the limited slip will be fine.
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:26 PM
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I am okay with welding. This was actually my first welding project lol. I have been practicing on mine for about two months but it is only flux core wire. The welder at work is gas so it made it a lot easier to watch the puddle. I definitely want to get gas for home but I am moving back to California in 7 months and don't want to buy much more stuff that I will have to move. My 8.8 is open. I will definitely be locked front and rear for California's trails!
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:35 PM
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Getting the pinion angle set. I went with two degrees below the angle of the drive shaft.

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All welded up.

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This is what I did with my e-brake for now.

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Painted flat black and brake lines set.

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FINALLY! Drove it around, up to 45mph so far and it feels great. Can't wait to put a locker and 4.56 gears in it.



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The install overall was very easy. I had a minor hickup with one of my brake lines that I had to remake because it was leaking. I cannot tell the difference of the overall width of the axle even though it is shorter than the D35. My only gripe is the amount of height that I gained from the axle. The jeep is definitely not level anymore.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:09 PM
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Looks good. I did an 8.25 swap & it gave me a lot more "piece of mind" when I went to 35's.


post up some pictures from the side, I'd like to see how much higher the rear is vs the front...
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:30 PM
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Default Hoot! Hoot!

Very nice, I am glade you are going to go straight to 4.56 gears. I can't see beefing your axle up and staying with what is basically stock gearing with the taller tires, 4.56 and 33s or 35s will give you the crawl you will love. My son in law used to have a Rubicon and having lockers and the ability to select the perfect crawl for any condition is awesome.


Your swap looks like it went very well. Those welds are great! Did you do them with the mig. or a ark welder?It is great that you already have your SYE and drive shaft. Was the drive shaft length OK? I am waiting to do a SYE till I do the 8.8 because I really don't have any issues and want to make the drive shaft the exact length it needs to be.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:01 PM
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Looks great. Really great job. Made me think about relocating my shock mounts.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:04 PM
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Here is the side view. I don't have a before and after though. Wish I did.

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Old 12-08-2014, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JandDGreens View Post
Your swap looks like it went very well. Those welds are great! Did you do them with the mig. or a ark welder?It is great that you already have your SYE and drive shaft. Was the drive shaft length OK? I am waiting to do a SYE till I do the 8.8 because I really don't have any issues and want to make the drive shaft the exact length it needs to be.
Yea I did them with a mig. I have a hack n tap SYE and bought another front drive shaft for the rear. The drive shaft did collapse a little but not much.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:55 PM
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Just looked it up, D35 axle tube diameter is 2.5"s while the 8.8 is 3.25"s so you gained 3/4" overall diameter, which i'm assuming is just over 1/3" lift.
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