Ford 8.8 Axle Swap

Page 3

LCA gauge

The lower control arm mounts are a bit harder to locate as it is very hard to get accurate measurements across the axle with the differential in the way.


We first measured from center to center on our lower control arm knuckles on the Jeep and came up with 44".  With that we used some scrap we had laying around and fashioned up a gauge with which we could make sure the spacing between the mounts was correct, then all we had to do was make sure we had everything centered left to right on the axle tube.  If you don't have any scrap metal laying around you could just as easily use 1" PVC tube and fittings to make a similar type of gauge.


With our gauge set for 44" center to center we set up our LCA mounts and tack welded them in place.  A few adjustments got us right where we wanted to be. 

Measurement from the axle flange to the LCA bracket was 3 1/4" on each side.  We measured the distance from the bottom of the stock spring pad to the center of the LCA bolt and came up with 4 1/8".  We set our brackets with the same measurement which put the top of the LCA mounts at about -1 degree on the tube which you might be able to see in the pictures below.   One thing to note is that the LCA brackets were designed to mount at a lower angle and to that end they would not interfere with the spring pad mounts.  However, as we were trying to keep things as close to the stock axle as possible and to eliminate the need to adjust our LCAs on the Jeep we had to trim the outer edge right at the upper bend on the LCA mounts so that they could fit around the spring pad mounts.

Passenger side LCA          Driver side LCA


Swaybar mount

We decided that the best way to locate the swaybar brackets was to actually bolt them to the swaybar and use bungee cords to clamp the bar in place.   One thing to remember here is that placement left or right on the axle tube for the swaybar brackets is not critical.  However the swaybar bushings should be near the bend in the bar at the outer edge.  With our pinion angle still set at 17 degrees we placed the swaybar mounts at 90 degrees or straight up and down.


Swaybar     Swaybar Mount     Swaybar

The last chore to complete was to install the Nth Degree Shock Shifter lower mounts.  Although Nth Degree is no longer in business these kits should be available soon through A.E.V. in Missoula, Mt.  The mounts are meant to locate the lower mounting point further out towards the tire, a bit lower and rotate the shock mount 90 degrees or perpendicular to the axle tube so as to eliminate the bushing binding during axle articulation.  The plastic spring isolators from the spring pads on our D35 were then glued in place on the new spring pads using a silicone adhesive.

A test fit of the axle under the Jeep showed all things lining up very well but the pinion angle was just a few degrees low.  In retrospect we could have mounted the lower control arm mounts a bit lower on the tube but this is the big reason for having upper and lower adjustable control arms.  It may be advisable that once you have the upper CA mounts in place that you place the axle under the Jeep with the UCAs attached, use a jack stand to place the pinion at the correct angle and then attach the LCA mounts on the LCAs and use them to place the mounts in the correct location for tack welding.

Ford 8.8 Axle Swap Page Four