Thread: Ford 8.8 vs 9

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  1. #1 Ford 8.8 vs 9 
    Member Tuzmaster's Avatar
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    So is there a difference between a Ford 8.8 and ford 9? 8.8 seems to be more common ad I want to get one off of a 89 to 98 f150 (i think those are the years) a full width 8.8. The plan is to run 35s right now on a WJ.

    Will the 8.8 be strong enough for this? Not going full cage, but definitely gonna see some hard wheeling. Anyone selling either one of them btw for a wj?

    Thanks guys
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  2. #2 Re: Ford 8.8 vs 9 
    Senior Member Grand Slam West Planner K2's Avatar
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    Last edited by K2; 08-09-2017 at 03:26 PM.
    95 ZJ, Lift, dents, and noise.
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  3. #3 Re: Ford 8.8 vs 9 
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    That JK set is looking really nice. and its already set up. the question is, whats better? a JK44 or a ford 9"? Or is it a matter of preference?
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  4. #4 Re: Ford 8.8 vs 9 
    Senior Member Grand Slam West Planner K2's Avatar
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    Do you have an extra $3,800?
    95 ZJ, Lift, dents, and noise.
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  5. #5 Re: Ford 8.8 vs 9 
    Senior Member Grand Slam West Planner Mtn WJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuzmaster View Post
    That JK set is looking really nice. and its already set up. the question is, whats better? a JK44 or a ford 9"? Or is it a matter of preference?
    Huge can of worms here.

    Powerpoint presentation answer with bullet points.
    - WJs use rear tone rings for speedometer, therefore when doing rear axle swaps you need to have a plan for speedo to work.
    - use front tone rings wired to rear inputs (what I did). Pull fuses to ABS system.
    - use tone ring in new axle and wire to a reclock device like Lokar and then feed direct speedo input at ECM and pull fuses to ABS system. (several have done this)
    - Use JK axles

    9" vs 8.8 vs JK44
    - 9 inch is probably the strongest and the most aftermarket support. They can be built pretty extreme but the value of a used 9 inch is lost full full custom builds. Hard to find correct widths and you need to know what you are looking for to get large bearing housings. I have Currie High Pinion 9 in rear with Detroit.
    - 8.8 is close to same strength as normally built 9s. Great aftermarket support as well. Come in two size width which one is perfect for a ZJ but too narrow for WJ unless you but spacers on it. Spacers work just fine. Otherwise the other option is wider than WJ and therefore spacers in front. Also 8.8s can come with tone rings that simplify adapting speedometer.
    - JK 44. While not a bad axle, not as strong as the other two. Good aftermarket support and easier to fit into a WJ. More expensive but you pay for convenience.

    All will run 35s.

    Front axle options
    - WJ 30 but build with Ujoint and 30 spline shafts plus an ARB. Kits from IRO make this a pretty simple mod. There are 27 spline kits as well but not enough of a savings and besides if you want 35s you will need the 30 spline shafts.
    - JK 44. Fairly easy to do as well, just a lot more$ than the 30 spline 30 conversion and I am not sure D44s are that much better in the front than a properly built 30. Some improvement sure.
    - Other front axles like a HP44 Ford, Dana 60 etc. These are good options but involve more money and skill set.
    all will run 35, but bigger than 35 you should go with a custom axle as in point #3.
    Ask not what your country can do for you; but what can you do for your country. JFK Jan 20th, 1961

    TnT Customs Long Arms, 33" BFG KM2s, Magnum 9k winch, Ready Welder, Custom HP 30/30 front with ARB, Currie HP 9 rear with Detroit
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  6. #6 Re: Ford 8.8 vs 9 
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    That set of 44s the guy is selling with the wiring harnes to make speedo and abs work. But extra 3800 for it comparerd to the 9" seems much. What would have to be done to make the speedo and abs work for the ford 9?

    As far as the front axle goes, it sounds more efficient to build the 30 instead of getting the 44. Probably better ground clearance too. The question here is, stay with 4.56 or go with 4.88 (ford 9 has 4.56 right now)? I have the 4.7 v8 under the hood, and regearing an axle is a lot of money. The end goal for the rig is to be mainly trail rig, but still be somewhat streetable. What do you guys think?

    It would be a good idea to also truss the 30. Is the 30 stronger than that of a ZJ or are they the same?

    To get wider 30, is there a knuckle upgrade or one would have to go with spacers?

    Also, I was thinking or putting a 2:1 reduction box between the tranny and the tcase. its a 45RFE/242 combo. I really like the 242 and do not wanna spend 2k for an Atlas. is there one on the market?


    Thanks guys
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  7. #7 Re: Ford 8.8 vs 9 
    Senior Member Grand Slam West Planner Mtn WJ's Avatar
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    You will pretty much lose ABS with the 9 inch unless you do some creative fab work to mill some tone rings off your stock 44A and fit them on the 9s axle shafts and create some type of bracket to place the sensor over the tone ring teeth. I wired my front tone ring sensors to the rear tone ring wire inputs, then pulled the fuses the to ABS system. 60k miles later still working great with no ABS.

    4.56s should be fine. I don't think you will need the reduction box. 4.88s will be a closer fit to tire size vs gear ratio to stock tires and gearing with 35s but 4.56s are close enough. Keep in mind with a 9 inch the lower ratios give you a bigger pinion, but with a D30 or D44 its the opposite. So 4.88s will net a small diameter pinion than I personally prefer on the D30.
    Last edited by Mtn WJ; 08-09-2017 at 07:54 PM.
    Ask not what your country can do for you; but what can you do for your country. JFK Jan 20th, 1961

    TnT Customs Long Arms, 33" BFG KM2s, Magnum 9k winch, Ready Welder, Custom HP 30/30 front with ARB, Currie HP 9 rear with Detroit
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  8. #8 Re: Ford 8.8 vs 9 
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    So turns out that the front 44 is built from the teraflex housing and the rear is a stock rubicon 44. I am gonna look at them tonight and sleep on it before dropping the money. At this point I really want to get into dirt for some serious wheeling and this way at least there won't be need to do any axle fab work.
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  9. #9 Re: Ford 8.8 vs 9 
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    Well I got the guy to take the price down to $3600. So now I need to get the clayton lift and sye with a rear driveshaft. Front driveshaft ill pull from a cherokee and just lengthen it. Unfortunately, that'll have to wait as i need to pay for school and get new wheels and tires for the MJ. But the major upgrade pieces are at least taken care off. Thanks for the info guys!
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