Explorer 8.8 Axle in a G Body

8

81cutlass

Royal Smart Person
Feb 16, 2009
1,399
1,691
113
Western MN
#21
Fox body or sn95 mustang rear works. Thats what the article talks about.

Explorer doesnt since it has
a) no upper control arm mounts
b) offset pumpkin and wrong width

People use the explorer rear in 4th gens and leaf spring cars since it has better axles, 31 spine vs. 28 in a lot of the fox body stuff, along with 5 lug axles and disks. Usually they buy 2 and use the short axle out of both and throw the other one in the scrap pile.

You can put a mustang rear in with the control arms. You can't put an explorer rear in unless you do some serious fab.
 
Macguyver

Macguyver

SOUTHSIDE MACHINE PERFORMANCE
GBodyForum Sponsor
Mar 21, 2017
67
69
18
#22
So what am I missing here? You say no mods to the explorer rear.....so you installed it "as is" with the pumkin offset to one side?
Correct, no reason to center the pumpkin. (The guys who think otherwise with no first hand knowledge debate in another post) We have run these to 150mph with no vibration issues.
The arms are only $400 and the bracket kit is $200

No modification of the 8.8 is needed. Other than the bracket kit.
Wheel fitment is 8" with 4.5" BS and a 10" with 5.5" BS.​

The weld on bracket kit deals with the instant center issue and upper control mounts.
This control arm kit from SSM Performance is designed to bolt an Ford Explorer rear end into GM G-Body, A-Body cars; this includes Chevelle, GTO, Monte Carlo, Malibu, El Camino, Regal, Grand National, Grand Prix and Cutlass and many others. These upper control arms are built at the correct angle and length to attach to the the truss and chassis. The relocation bracket kit will allow for proper instant (geometry) changes. The adjustable lower control arms allow you to center rear.
(Found in Ford Explorer)


  • Ring gear measures 8.8".
  • 31 Spline axle shafts with a 1.32" diameter
  • Ratios: 2.26, 2.47, 2.73, 3.08, 3.27, 3.31, 3.45, 3.55, 3.73, 4.10 & 4.56, 5.14

These are stronger than the Mustang 8.8 with 28 spline

THIS KIT IS FOR THE PERSON WHO DOESN'T WANT TO SPEND
$1900 OR MORE ON A 9" REAR-END.

Our extreme duty control arms allow for pinion angle adjustment for reduced vibration and increased traction. Our exclusive Polyurethane bushings offer controlled positioning during suspension travel which improves traction and rear suspension efficiency. This item is a must for any high horsepower
Benefits: Pinion angle adjustments for improved traction and reduced wheel hop. Heavy duty construction for long lasting durability on the street or track. Complete ready to bolt-in and most kits includes polyurethane rear end housing bushings.

  • 2, Adjustable lower arms
  • 2, Double Adjustable upper arms
  • 2, Upper control arm mounts
  • 2, 4 hole lower adjustable control arm mounts
  • 2, coil spring pads
  • 1, axle truss
  • Ford 8.8 NOT included


The control arm kit is all bolt on. The simple fabrication to the rear-end obviously will require welding.

These are truly overkill! All grade 8 hardware is included. Made in USA!
All parts are custom built in house. Indianapolis Indiana
Please give us a call before your purchase to make sure this is the right kit for you. We have several kits available for different types of cars.

Always feel free to contact the shop.
https://southsidemachineperformance.com/
 
8

87National

Master Mechanic
Apr 15, 2009
264
114
28
eastern SD
#23
Correct, no reason to center the pumpkin. (The guys who think otherwise with no first hand knowledge debate in another post)
So everything is included in the $600 kit to physically mount the rear into a gbody? Is the placement and welding of the brackets and spring perches fairly straightforward (for a weekend welder like myself)?
 
8

87National

Master Mechanic
Apr 15, 2009
264
114
28
eastern SD
#24
You can put a mustang rear in with the control arms. You can't put an explorer rear in unless you do some serious fab.
The southside machine kit looks to be similar to the trick chassis kit and others......involving welding of brackets and spring perches to the 8.8.
 
Macguyver

Macguyver

SOUTHSIDE MACHINE PERFORMANCE
GBodyForum Sponsor
Mar 21, 2017
67
69
18
#25
So everything is included in the $600 kit to physically mount the rear into a gbody? Is the placement and welding of the brackets and spring perches fairly straightforward (for a weekend welder like myself)?
Most of the calls we get on our bracket kits (we have several kits) are from newbies of all ages worried about putting things in thew wrong place. We just go over it with them on the phone and they finish the project with a big smile. We have the best tech team available. We do recommend welding experience for obvious reasons.
 
bob64

bob64

G-Body Guru
Mar 30, 2017
626
536
63
Niagara Falls, Canada
#26
For my 96 explorer rearend l already had adjustable control arms so l bought a Currie g-body mounting kit for a 9", gives you everything but the Pumpkin truss(which if you can weld you can build)

If you have the old rearend end you can measure placement. I also went farther as l cut the long tube side 3" shorter and installed Moser axles with GM pattern lugs.

May people do run them offset but l wanted narrower.
 
S

Sid R

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 22, 2018
12
7
3
#27
So what am I missing here? You say no mods to the explorer rear.....so you installed it "as is" with the pumkin offset to one side?
Thanks for all the info. The Southside Machine kit looks a lot like what I built for myself, except I used a piece of 1/2"x3" bar and had it cold formed 45* on each side. It was fun learning how to develop a 3"x45* esclispe to notch the ends with. (None of my old drafting templates were that large.) I used Speedway Motors lower axle brackets and other parts.
I am just now getting ready to put the axle into the car. (My summers are full of sailboat racing, so cars have to wait until Fall and Winter.) My chassis guy just got it welded up a couple weeks ago. Anyway, my last race car was a Mike Duffy Fox Mustang 10.5 car with a 496 BBC / Powerglide / 8.8 axle. The chassis side of the upper bars had to be greatly re-enforced and tied into the cage to keep the axle under the car.
This little Chevy won't be anything near that; but it got me to wondering how much power can the stock g-body upper arm locations take. I know that you can start seeing dimples around the spot welds in Fox body floor pans after your first hit without proper mods. Can anyone address that one?

One other thought: I considered shortening the long side of the housing to install another short side axle and center up the pinion. Decided against it, but it may work for someone else........
 
Last edited:
8

87cutlass

n00b
Jan 1, 2019
1
0
1
#28
Correct, no reason to center the pumpkin. (The guys who think otherwise with no first hand knowledge debate in another post) We have run these to 150mph with no vibration issues.
The arms are only $400 and the bracket kit is $200

No modification of the 8.8 is needed. Other than the bracket kit.
Wheel fitment is 8" with 4.5" BS and a 10" with 5.5" BS.​

The weld on bracket kit deals with the instant center issue and upper control mounts.
This control arm kit from SSM Performance is designed to bolt an Ford Explorer rear end into GM G-Body, A-Body cars; this includes Chevelle, GTO, Monte Carlo, Malibu, El Camino, Regal, Grand National, Grand Prix and Cutlass and many others. These upper control arms are built at the correct angle and length to attach to the the truss and chassis. The relocation bracket kit will allow for proper instant (geometry) changes. The adjustable lower control arms allow you to center rear.
(Found in Ford Explorer)

View attachment 92445

  • Ring gear measures 8.8".
  • 31 Spline axle shafts with a 1.32" diameter
  • Ratios: 2.26, 2.47, 2.73, 3.08, 3.27, 3.31, 3.45, 3.55, 3.73, 4.10 & 4.56, 5.14

These are stronger than the Mustang 8.8 with 28 spline

THIS KIT IS FOR THE PERSON WHO DOESN'T WANT TO SPEND
$1900 OR MORE ON A 9" REAR-END.

Our extreme duty control arms allow for pinion angle adjustment for reduced vibration and increased traction. Our exclusive Polyurethane bushings offer controlled positioning during suspension travel which improves traction and rear suspension efficiency. This item is a must for any high horsepower
Benefits: Pinion angle adjustments for improved traction and reduced wheel hop. Heavy duty construction for long lasting durability on the street or track. Complete ready to bolt-in and most kits includes polyurethane rear end housing bushings.


  • 2, Adjustable lower arms
  • 2, Double Adjustable upper arms
  • 2, Upper control arm mounts
  • 2, 4 hole lower adjustable control arm mounts
  • 2, coil spring pads
  • 1, axle truss
  • Ford 8.8 NOT included


The control arm kit is all bolt on. The simple fabrication to the rear-end obviously will require welding.

These are truly overkill! All grade 8 hardware is included. Made in USA!
All parts are custom built in house. Indianapolis Indiana
Please give us a call before your purchase to make sure this is the right kit for you. We have several kits available for different types of cars.

Always feel free to contact the shop.
https://southsidemachineperformance.com/
Hello 87National. Lets see some pictures of your kit installed in your customer cars. Im very interested in your product. My explorer 8.8 is sitting in the garage waiting to be installed.
 

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