Ford 8.8 3:73 Gear Swap - Mustang Evolution

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Old 03-17-2015, 07:05 PM   #1
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Ford 8.8 3:73 Gear Swap

So I got home today to find American Muscle delivered my Ford Racing ring gear set

So i went down positioned the car and started taken the axle out, removed Tires and brakes

Removed Shocks then stabilizer bar then control arms

I will clean up tomorrow set the axle up and start tear down

I will take more pics if anyone is interested
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:13 PM   #2
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Hey i got another question and a few more pictures. i have read this twice now and i'm just not sure about it, Scotty I'm hoping you know. The so called Dog Bone on the bottom of the Differential can be removed if swapping gears, it is said ford did this to resolve a vibration issue with the stock rear ends, anyone know?
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:36 PM   #3
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Cool!

Have you ever done a gear swap before WJL?
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:23 PM   #4
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yea i have, but it has been a while, plan on taking my time.
I have a solid plan will be tightening in small increment and will check pre-load often. Because i have all new bearings i will be shooting for 25 lb in for rotating pre-load, shooting for .010 to .011 backlash. If i do have pinion depth trouble i plan on removing the original pinion bearing in working order so i can grind the inside and start swapping shims.

But i had a plan
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:25 PM   #5
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It serves a purpose and is designed to reduce NHV whether you'd feel it or not if you took it off... That's up to your butt. I left mine on.


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Old 03-17-2015, 08:38 PM   #6
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yea i have, but it has been a while, plan on taking my time.
I have a solid plan will be tightening in small increment and will check pre-load often. Because i have all new bearings i will be shooting for 25 lb in for rotating pre-load, shooting for .010 to .011 backlash. If i do have pinion depth trouble i plan on removing the original pinion bearing in working order so i can grind the inside and start swapping shims.

But i had a plan
Awesome!


I've never done my own swap without professional supervision and it is one of the things that I would just rather pay to have done.
I've watched it being done by professionals several times and it really isn't that difficult.
Definitely post pictures as you go along because I'm positive that this thread will be helpful for those interested in doing their own gear swap.
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:00 PM   #7
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Nice work! *subscribed*


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Old 03-18-2015, 06:37 AM   #8
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ive been interested in doin this myself down the road. subscribed.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:58 PM   #9
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i didn't get much time in the garage today, i did stop at the local steel supplier and bought this piece of steel for $10.70 Drilled it out and ground around the pinion nut, it fits pretty good. will start again tomorrow
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:26 PM   #10
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Got a little more done to day, removed caliper bracket, Rotors, differential cover, pinion shaft bolt and pin, "C" clips and axle shafts and bearings.

I wanted to make sure i kept track of where i started from and right now there is 0.011 back lash.

Planning on pulling the ring gear and pinion tomorrow. couple more pics
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:45 AM   #11
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Good progress.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:00 PM   #12
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Thanks Azure, i had to stop i bought a beam type lb in torque wrench and didn't like it so i'm sending it back. i just purchased another one online and now i have to wait for it to be deliverer. I will take the ring and pinion out tonight, drive the bearing races out and plan to get the pressure washer out tomorrow
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:05 PM   #13
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Did you recently buy the gauge for back lash measurement, or did you already have it? I was wondering if you have to buy one that is like a Harbor Freight brand level or you need a higher end brand?


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Old 03-21-2015, 04:19 PM   #14
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Yes i did buy it just for this project, the problem was i couldn't get it to hit the same torque value every time it torqued a different value sometimes by 3 Lb In. So i just ordered a KD Tool.

I cant say i haven't bought stuff from Harbor Freight but i'm not a big fan. got more pics but will post them later, i got an issue with American Muscle.
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:05 PM   #15
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So first i checked backlash again 0.011 then i checked ring gear run out less than 0.001 i took the ring gear out, pulled the pinion, pulled the bearing off, cleaned every thing, washed, dried and painted.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:12 AM   #16
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So first i checked backlash again 0.011 then i checked ring gear run out less than 0.001 i took the ring gear out, pulled the pinion, pulled the bearing off, cleaned every thing, washed, dried and painted.
Looking great!

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Old 03-22-2015, 09:52 AM   #17
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You are looking great. I've posted on this forum before that if you can follow directions you can do gears. And since AM sells a whole complete kit it makes it hella easy.

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Old 03-22-2015, 10:41 AM   #18
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Looks great painted! 👍 So what must be replaced inside the pumpkin when you upgrade to 31 spline axels? Do you have to disassemble the gears and have to reset backlash and all that?


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Old 03-22-2015, 12:14 PM   #19
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Ford 8.8 3:73 Gear Swap

You really won't need 31 spline unless you have a good power adder and are running slicks all the time doing aggressive launches. But if you do upgrade to 31 spline you need new 31 spline axles, new 31 spline diff and all the crap inside. That's really about it. You will need to disassemble the ring gear on the diff and check to see if it's still in spec as far as backlash and run out. But it should be in spec.


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Old 03-22-2015, 03:04 PM   #20
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Slater hit it right on the nose, i'm not 100% sure but i think you can just swap the "Cluster" and or "spider" gears to accept the 31 spline axle shafts but again i'm not sure about that.

I'm going to do shift kit next
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:36 PM   #21
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Wow! Great thread. I may have to add this to my winter list of projects to do to my Mustang. I think it would really make the car more fun.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:26 PM   #22
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Just an update American Muscle fixed me up, Thank you Alex if you happen to see this thread. I will be setting up my pinion Friday or Saturday putting the differential in and checking backlash and tooth pattern.

I'm planning on installing the pinion using the old crush collar and nut so i can check tooth pattern and backlash, if all is ok i will go for final assembly, just got a shipping email my new gauge type torque wrench will be here Saturday as well.

I will try to take as many pictures as i can. Can't wait to get started
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:54 PM   #23
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Installed rear pinion bearing, installed pinion bearing cups, i installed the pinion using the old crush collar and nut.

I installed the ring and the initial backlash was 0.020 after swapping around some shims i got it in right at 0.010 which is where it was when i started.

I will check tooth pattern tomorrow.

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Old 03-26-2015, 07:31 PM   #24
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+10000, proving anyone who isn't an idiot and can follow directions and has a decent set of tools can not pay some shop $750 to do this.


Obviously that excludes ppl who have physical issues that prevent them from wrenching.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:35 PM   #25
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+10000, proving anyone who isn't an idiot and can follow directions and has a decent set of tools can not pay some shop $750 to do this.


Obviously that excludes ppl who have physical issues that prevent them from wrenching.

Don't forget you need a bunch of specific tools to do it. If you have to go out and buy all of them for a 1 time thing may as well just take it somewhere.


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Old 03-26-2015, 07:43 PM   #26
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Don't forget you need a bunch of specific tools to do it. If you have to go out and buy all of them for a 1 time thing may as well just take it somewhere.


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Except you can get it all for less than the install and learn a skill/have the tools for something you WILL do again and again if you are into these cars. Also if you are comfortable doing it you can do it on the side for your buddies for some beer/pizza and a Benjie.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:04 PM   #27
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Except you can get it all for less than the install and learn a skill/have the tools for something you WILL do again and again if you are into these cars. Also if you are comfortable doing it you can do it on the side for your buddies for some beer/pizza and a Benjie.

Also gotta look I to the situation. I spend most of my time at school. Go home once and a while and barely even have space to keep parts.... Yea if you own a house definitely go that route of you are good with cars. But guys at school or in apartments have a different situation.... Plus I only paid $350 for my gears


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Old 03-26-2015, 08:12 PM   #28
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I love seeing stuff like this being done at home. I plan on upgrading my diff to 3.73 as well. Seriously thinking about pulling the hole diff out at once so I can paint it proper. Also easier to work on but don't know if I like the rear of my new Mustang hanging with its rear gone on jack stands.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:20 PM   #29
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Plus, we don't know who WJL is. For all that we know, he could be a super smart rocket scientist and this automotive repair stuff is just mere child's play to him!


Nice job WJL!
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:15 PM   #30
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Also gotta look I to the situation. I spend most of my time at school. Go home once and a while and barely even have space to keep parts.... Yea if you own a house definitely go that route of you are good with cars. But guys at school or in apartments have a different situation.... Plus I only paid $350 for my gears


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Yeah I concur. I don't have the tools and this would be out of my comfort range. Luckily my install was a little over $300. So not bad at all for me and it was one of the best ring and pinion shops in Michigan that did them.

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Old 03-27-2015, 05:06 PM   #31
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Wow Stray i wish that were true, i am an Engineer, my Dad GOD rest his sole worked over 35 Years for Caterpillar Tractor Company, I spent a lot of summers working on all types of construction equipment, so i'm not new to it but I don't do it everyday.

The tools are all mine, however you can borrow a lot of the pullers from your local auto parts store, you will need a good set of bushing drivers.

If your car is your dd and you have never done this before or have the right tools, although i agree with Scotty I have to say this is not a first timers kind of project you do need some skill.

You can tell from the pictures but i'm really happy with the tooth pattern it is right in the middle and wide.

Probably finish up this weekend
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:25 PM   #32
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Final assembly is complete, axle is back under the car, had to stop had another commitment, Got some new shocks but i got to paint them black. should finish up tonight and test drive tomorrow
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:33 PM   #33
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Awesome man! Nice work.


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Old 03-31-2015, 06:11 PM   #34
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Finally got the car out today, ran it about twenty five miles, running really well, nice and quite, i can tell already there is a Hugh difference, now the hard part, according to Ford Racing i must drive responsibly for the next 100 miles
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:22 PM   #35
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Ford 8.8 3:73 Gear Swap

Awesome man! You're gonna really enjoy them! As far as breaking them in...I didn't. Straight to WOT right out of my buddies neighborhood. To be fair he said it doesn't hurt to not do it. He said usually after a gear swap he takes it straight to the strip.


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