Rear End Swap

Discussion in '2005+ Ford Mustang v6 4.0L Tech' started by Legend_Jr, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Legend_Jr

    Legend_Jr Junior Member

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    Hello everyone, i hope you all are doing well and being safe during the Covid pandemic.

    I work at a salvage yard and got my hands on a 8.8 3.73 rear end out of an 03 Explorer running the 4.0L SOHC engine setup, same drive shaft and everything. Is it possible to install this into an 05-09 Mustang? I do know that i would need to have the proper suspension brackets welded onto it, but aside from that i am unsure if anything else needs to be done.

    Any help in figuring this out is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Juice

    Juice forum member

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    Why?
     
  3. JimC

    JimC Senior Member

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    No you can't use that. The Mustang rear end and the Explorer rear end don't mount the same. The Mustang uses a 3 link and the Explorer uses leaf springs.

    You have to get a rear end out of a a 2005-10 Mustang GT or from any 2011-14 Mustang.
     
  4. RavenGT

    RavenGT Member

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    The 03 Explorer has an IRS, so no it absolutely will not fit. You don't need an 8.8 in a 4.0 car anyway.
     
  5. Legend_Jr

    Legend_Jr Junior Member

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    This rear end is not an IRS setup. Right now sitting in my bay is a solid axle design like youd find in stock 05-09 Mustangs V6 or GT. And most people would say, "Why" or "just get a GT", blah blah blah. Im building this how i want so that it is MY CAR and not some ready to race GT like most people settle for. For what i am doing, an 8.8 is needed and since most people want more than an arm and a leg for 1, im doing what i can with i can get ahold of and make it work.
     
  6. Midlife Crises

    Midlife Crises Member

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    Sounds like you have the perfect rear end for your car. Not only will it not bolt in but I wonder if the anti lock break wheel sensors are compatible between a 03 Explorer and the 05 to10 Mustang. I don’t know what your building but if the run of the mill, race ready 8.8 won’t do it for you check out the Currie 9”.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
  7. JimC

    JimC Senior Member

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    The other thing on the Explorer rear end, in addition to not being a 3 link, I think that the length is different compared to the Mustang 8.8
     
  8. Juice

    Juice forum member

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    So all the OP needs to do is weld on 3link brackets, cut axles and axle tubes.
     
  9. Joe combs

    Joe combs Junior Member

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    first problem is 03 explorer rearend is about 59 and half inches wide. the 05 mustang is 65 and half...
    you might get it to work, you just wont be able to use a stock offset style wheel. Then you have to add your shock/swaybar mounting brackets, upper control arm mount and panhard bar bracket. Then are the abs ring counts the same? and making the park brake cables work. then dont forget changing the pinion flange, as i believe its different too.
     
  10. RED09GT

    RED09GT Senior Member S197 Team Member

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    The 3rd link mount is cast into the housing for the S197 cars as well. It is one thing to weld brackets onto the axle tubes but to try and weld the 3rd link mount onto the cast iron housing takes a high degree of skill.

    Realistically, all you have for common parts between the mustang and the 2003 explorer sport/sport trac is the ring gear diameter so you would start with a bare pumpkin and be building off of that.

    Sell it and find the right one.
     
  11. JimC

    JimC Senior Member

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    It will cost more to modify the Explorer rear end than it will cost to simply buy a 2005-10 GT or 2011-14 (all Mustangs those years got the 8.8) rear end and swap it in.
     
  12. Midlife Crises

    Midlife Crises Member

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    Skill is required for sure but the housing is not cast iron. It is cast steel and welds very well.
     
  13. RED09GT

    RED09GT Senior Member S197 Team Member

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    Did not realize that. Either way, trying to make that rear end work in a mustang is a fool's errand.
     
  14. Midlife Crises

    Midlife Crises Member

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    Completely agree.
    I used 7018 stick to weld the tubes to the housing and I didn’t have the least bit of trouble.
     
  15. RED09GT

    RED09GT Senior Member S197 Team Member

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    True, They didn't mention any issues when I had this done on my fox but that was at a chassis shop. I elected to use the pin method on my current car but I'll get a shop to do a bead next time it is out of the car.
    I still need to do c-clip eliminators or 9" ends on this car.
     
    Joe combs likes this.
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