SOUTHSIDE MACHINE PERFORMANCE FORD EXPLORER 8.8" SWAP KIT

Macguyver

SOUTHSIDE MACHINE PERFORMANCE
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Mar 21, 2017
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We wanted to go over the kit and answer most of the common questions and details (see bottom of this post).

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 center (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
Door codes that are limited slip (posi)
  • D1 3.27
  • D2 4.10
  • D4 3.73
  • D5 3.55
  • L73 3.73


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, 2 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.

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.

The control arm kit is only $400 and the truss/ bracket kit is only $200.

Common questions...

Q. What years of Explorer do I look for?
A. 1991-2001. Earlier models have drum brakes and later have disks.

Q. Do I need to narrow the rearend to fit.
A. NO.

Q. Does the rear need to be centered?
NO. The u-joint will work at the slight angle with no issues.

Q. How wide is the Explorer 8.8"?
A. The 8.8 will be a bit wider than stock. 3/4" each side. Stock 7.5" is 58" and the Explorer 8.8" is 59.5".

Q. What wheel and backspacing is needed?
A. 4.5 BS on 8" and 5.5" on 10". The Explorer rear will give you 6-3/8" clearance between the frame rail and the wheel mounting surface.

Q. Do I need to redrill my axles and rotors?
A. No. Just use a Ford pattern wheel to keep cost down.

Q. Will I need to shorten my driveshaft.
A. NO. You will need to replace the rear u-joint.

Q. Can I still run tailpipes with the truss kit?
A. Yes, we have used 2-1/2" and 3" tailpipes with this.
 
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JAMCAR223

Royal Smart Person
Jun 6, 2014
1,712
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Houston, TX.
This is great info. Thanks for that! Only addition I would add to this, is the year models of Explorer that you can source the 8.8 rear from.. I believe that would be 1991-2001. These rears also have an ID tag on the rear cover, that designate them as " Limited Slip". These are plentiful in my area, and I have purchased these for $110 in the past. I have put 800HP to this rear in a S10.
 
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bob64

G-Body Guru
Mar 30, 2017
715
93
Niagara Falls, Canada
The axle truss, do you see or do you think there may be a problem with twist/flex in high HP cars?

Not trying to be an *ss about it but l have thought about this system as alot of rock crawlers have went this direction with the truss for years but they are some what limited to the hp /tq.

So with that being said, an l know the g-body 4 link system was never built for big hp/tq, everything has limitations. So where do you feel comfortable at max limit of hp/tq? What would it be good for? I feel this maybe a question that many would like to know.
 
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Macguyver

SOUTHSIDE MACHINE PERFORMANCE
GBodyForum Sponsor
Thread starter
Mar 21, 2017
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The axle truss, do you see or do you think there may be a problem with twist/flex in high HP cars?

Not trying to be an *ss about it but l have thought about this system as alot of rock crawlers have went this direction with the truss for years but they are some what limited to the hp /tq.

So with that being said, an l know the g-body 4 link system was never built for big hp/tq, everything has limitations. So where do you feel comfortable at max limit of hp/tq? What would it be good for? I feel this maybe a question that many would like to know.
How much power can the truss take? Unlike the common trusses that you see on the market that have only one piece of bent steel that has to be tied into the differential cover to make it suitable for use, our trusses have a 1/4" main hoop structure and then have two 3/16" boxed gussets all of which is made from 100,000 min yield steel to make them incredibly strong. You will also notice that the boxed gussets are narrower than the main hoop. We did this so that you will have no butt welds but have the stronger T weld. We intentionally do not have unnecessary material added to the top of the truss. Our truss top plate is made from 1/2" and if you add more material to the top it just makes it hard to achieve the proper instant center geometry. We have tested the model in Solid Works Simulation Professional (computer load testing program) and real world test and feel this is the way to go. The addition of the welded boxed 3/16 Gussets increases the welding surface area of the truss on your axle tubes to distribute the loads that your axle will encounter. With the increased foot print of our trusses they will also add structural rigidity to your axle and help prevent your axle from bending and warping. This truss system was designed with a state of the art 3D CAD software and plasma cut on a cnc table. Like all of our products our trusses are made from high-strength American steel. If you shop around you will find that our truss systems are the best product for your four and three link suspension needs. Completely over built for automotive applications, as are our control arms. They have been tested at 1500 HP and 1300 lbs of torque (540 BBC 12 PSI on methanol), If you are making more than that I would suggest going to a tube chassis or let us build you something to better suit your needs.
 
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Macguyver

SOUTHSIDE MACHINE PERFORMANCE
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Mar 21, 2017
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This is not a new thing. We have done this swap for over 15 years. We simply offer this easy swap kit for the person who doesn't have the $2000 budget to buy a ready to go 9" or similar rear-end. Here is a pic of one of our older trade show displays. Sitting on a skid, not fully assembled, welded or all brace brackets. If a person were to fab their own tailpipes a 4" would go in there.
 

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Griffin84ss

Greasemonkey
Supporting Member
Apr 14, 2017
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Georgetown, ky
If this is built for the people who don't have a $2000 budget if I may ask the price of this setup here? For an 84Ss Monte Carlo.. thanks
 

JAMCAR223

Royal Smart Person
Jun 6, 2014
1,712
113
Houston, TX.
I'm considering it for my BBB 455 swap in my Century. If I wait for the 50% off sale @ the J-yard, I can get a disc brake, limited slip rear ( complete ) for $55.
 
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Macguyver

SOUTHSIDE MACHINE PERFORMANCE
GBodyForum Sponsor
Thread starter
Mar 21, 2017
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If this is built for the people who don't have a $2000 budget if I may ask the price of this setup here? For an 84Ss Monte Carlo.. thanks
The control arm kit is only $400 and the truss/ bracket kit is only $200.
 
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