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Ford rear 8.8 swap on YJ questions


TJ Enthusiast
Mar 17, 2018
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tried asking on a YJ forum but looks like no one gets a response on there.. so why not ask here.

what it would take to build an 8.8 with re gear maybe 4:56( I have 4:56 with 35’s on my tj but don’t know if it would be good for the YJ) and a locker and advice on what axle to buy. I have a 88 YJ 4.2L d30 front d35 rear
it’s on 33’s now I want to go 35’s in the future. (I know you have to get perches and shock tabs already)

I have a couple of 8.8 axles I’m looking into.
First 1990 Ford Mustang 8.8 with stock drum brakes 28 spline axles $90

2nd 8.8 it’s currently on a YJ 5:13 open diff Don’t know the axle spline count $300

3rd Explorer 8.8 31 spline axles with disc brakes $320 or better offer

Or go with a super 35? If it’s possible on a YJ d35

Any recommendations? What gears to get and locker type maybe suggest axle brands if I would need them ?


Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2017
AZ, United States
Hi guys, sorry was putting my old OME lift on Wifees TJ.

Ya I had a 98 YJ with a 8.8. I got it from a swap meet out of a Mountaineer, which is the same as an Explorer. I got it for 100 bucks. It had 3:73 gears and factory rear disc brakes. I did a spring over conversion at the same time for an additional 4" lift.

I regeared it with 4:56 gears and an ARB Locker. All I had to do was buy spring perches from M.O.R.E, and then I mocked them up, and had a buddy weld them on the top of the axle. I already had a SYE. You will need one if you don't already because the diff is slightly off center. It wasn't a problem, and may not have been without the SYE, but I put in a chevy motor with a 4l60E trans and Jeep transfercase. It had a 2" OME spring lift plus the 4" spring over conversion so I needed the SYE in my case anyway. In case you are unaware SYE= Slip Yoke Eliminator.

As far as the brakes I just unbolted the brakes at the rubber hose in the middle of the axle, and bolted the new axle to the jeep hose and voila disk brakes. I didn't even have to change the master cylinder. It was really an easy update. The hardest part is mocking it up and welding, so if you or a buddy have access to a welder, and can do a good weld job it is easy as pie. Your wheels will even bolt right on.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Here is a couple of pictures of mine with the 8.8:



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TJ Addict
Aug 22, 2018
Utah and Alaska
If you dont have the 8.8 look into a Rodeo Rear dana 44, it is a bolt in with factory disc brakes. It is a 6x5.5 lug pattern, and I found a waggy front with the same lug pattern for $150, gear swaps are simple with these...