Mustang Gear Install: Ford Racing 8.8 Ring & Pinion (1986-2009)


If you’re like a lot of
other people out there, you’ve probably wondered
at some point in time whether or not you’re
capable of installing rear gears in your Mustang. Well, there’s no
clear-cut answer to that. You will need above-average
mechanical capabilities along with some specialized tools. All I can do here
is show you how I go about the
process and the tools that I use to get the job done. You’ll want to have on hand
a bearing and seal driver set– this will help
you squarely and safely install pretty much
any bearing or sealed that you come across–
a two-jaw puller to help remove not
only the pinion flange but a couple of
the bearings as well. You’ll need a beam-type
inch-pound torque wrench to check the
rotational resistance of the pinion bearing
once you’ve tightened down the pinion nut and crushed
the new crush sleeve, a couple of large,
high quality drifts to drive out old bearing races,
a mag base and dial indicator to check your backlash, a
pinion flange holding tool. This will help you keep the
pinion flange from rotating whenever you’re removing the nut
and tightening up the new nut and crushing the sleeve. You can buy a tool
that’s specifically made for this purpose,
or you can make your own. Either way, you’re going to want
to make sure that it can accept a 1/2-inch drive breakover bar. And a couple of things
I hope you don’t need are a pinion depth checking tool
and a caliber, be it digital or dial. If you’re going to be replacing
your axle bearings and seals, you’ll want to swing by
your local parts store and go ahead and
rent you a slide hammer and an axle
bearing attachment. Finally, a hydraulic
press is going to make your life a whole lot
easier, along with a good set of press plates and
a bearing separator. Along with the
specialty tools, you’re going to want to
make sure and have a nice collection of common
hand tools along with the stack of new parts, most namely
a new set of Ford racing gears for your 8.8,
along with an install kit and some axle
bearings and seals, if you want to make sure
that those are replaced, some quality gear oil and
some friction modifier. A couple of things you
may want to think about is a reusable cover gasket
and, if your Mustang has some miles on it, one
of these seal savers. That way you don’t end up
with a leaky pinion seal. From our website,
latemodelrestoration.com, you can download and print
the Ford racing instructions for this gear install. That gives you step by
step written instructions along with all of
your measurements and torque specs
for the install. Lift and support your Mustang
and remove the rear wheels. If equipped with drum
brakes, remove the drums. If equipped with disc brakes,
take loose the caliper, remove the pads, caliper
brackets, and rotors. Then remove the ABS sensors. Remove the 10 differential
cover bolts, drain the oil, and remove the cover. Remove the carrier cross pin
bolt and then the cross pin. Doing one at a time, push in
an axle and remove the C-clip. Slide the axle out
of the housing. Noting the orientation
of the main bearing caps, mark each cap if
it will help you. Remove the two bolts per
side and set the caps, keeping them in order, be
it right-hand or left-hand. Carefully pull out
the differential and keep the shims located in
the right-hand or left-hand position. Mark your drive shaft
and pinion flange. Remove the drive shaft bolts. Then remove the drive shaft
or tie it up out of the way. Using the flange holder
tool, remove the pinion nut. Use a two-jaw puller to free
the flange from the pinion. Remove the pinion
from the housing. Pry out the old pinion seal
as well as the outer pinion bearing and oil slinger. Using a hammer and
a drift, remove the inner and outer
pinion bearing races. Take an opportunity to
remove any remaining oil from the rear axle housing. Using a hammer and
the race driver, install the new inner and
outer pinion bearing races. This is a great opportunity
to replace your axle bearings and seals. Using a slide hammer and
axle bearing attachment, remove the old
bearings and seals. You can rent these tools
at your local parts store. Using a bearing and seal driver,
install the new axle bearings fully seated in the housing,
followed by the seals. But the seals just need to be
flush with the housing, not fully seated. Clean off the new pinion
bearing races with Brakleen and wipe them down
with fresh gear oil. Take your new outer
pinion bearing, and coat it thoroughly
with fresh gear oil. Then slide it into place,
followed by the oil slinger. And finally, tap the new
pinion seal into place. Using a bearing separator
and the hydraulic press, remove the old inner pinion
bearing from the old pinion and remove the pinion shim. Clean it up, and slide
it on to the new pinion. Again using the hydraulic press,
install the new inner pinion bearing onto the pinion. Thoroughly coat the inner
bearing with fresh gear oil. Slide one of the new crush
sleeves onto the pinion, and slide the pinion
in to the axle housing. Inspect your pinion flange. If a groove is present
on the seal surface, either replace the flange or use
one of the seal saver sleeves to repair your old flange. Slide the flange
onto the pinion, and install the new pinion nut. An impact will only
get you so far. Some good,
old-fashioned muscle is needed to crush the
new crush sleeve. The combination of the flange
holding tool and a couple of 1/2-inch breaker bars
get the job done for me. Check the tension
of the pinion flange often as you’re tightening as
you don’t want to over-tighten. Using a beam-type
inch-pound torque wrench, you’re trying to
achieve 8 to 14 pounds per inch rotational
resistance with used bearings or 16 to 28 pounds per inch
of rotational resistance with brand new bearings. As with a lot of things, you
simply find what works for you and stick with it. I take a cut-off wheel and
remove the cage and rollers from the carrier bearings. Then I use a combination
of a block off plate and a two-jaw puller to remove
the remainder of the carrier bearings. Remove the ten ring gear
bolts, and either tap or press off the
older ring gear. Use the hydraulic press
to install the new carrier bearings. Slide the new ring
gear onto the carrier, and start a couple of
new ring gear bolts to pull it on slightly. Loosely install the
rest of the bolts. And snug them up in
pattern, and torque them in two stages, first to 35 pound
feet and then, final torque, to 97 to 102 pound feet. Thoroughly coat the new carrier
bearings with fresh gear oil. Grab the new races. Clean with Brakleen,
and coat with gear oil. Position them on
the carrier bearings along with the old carrier
shims in the same orientation they came out, and reinstall
the two bearing caps. Tighten and torque the cap
bolts to 90 to 100 pound feet. Using a mag base and
a dial indicator, check your, backlash. You are shooting
for 0.008 to 0.012. Finally, check the tooth
pattern with the supplied marking compound. Use the illustrations of
acceptable patterns in the FRPP instructions to make sure your
gear set installation passes. Finally, slide your
axles back into place. Clean the cover and the housing. And reinstall the cover using
one of our optional reusable cover gaskets. Fill the axle housing with
new oil and friction modifier, and completely finish
resembling the car. At this point, you’ll want
to correct your speedometer by using a new speedo
gear, a speed calibrator adjuster, or programmer tuner,
depending on your year model. Once the car is
back on the ground and the wheels are
torque, take a test drive. And drive responsibly for
a couple of hundred miles, so the gears can
set a wear pattern. And that concludes a successful
rear gear installation that required no adjustments. If you’re replacing
factory-installed gears with Ford racing gears, you
should end up just as lucky. However, there are
exceptions to every rule. That’s where some of these
other specialty tools will come into play, like the
pinion depth checking tool. It comes with its own
set of instructions on how to use it to get the
correct measurement to select the right pinion shim. If your marking compound
shows a pattern that indicates the pinion is
too close to the carrier or too far away, you’ll
want to pull this out, along with your caliper, measure
out, select your new pinion shim, and start by
rechecking your backlash. If your backlash
is out of whack– let’s say it’s too
tight– then that means, when you’re looking at
the back of the rear end, you’re going to want
to move the carrier from the right to the left
to give yourself a little bit larger backlash reading. If it’s too lose, than it
needs to move from the left to the right to tighten it up. You want to take your caliper
and measure your existing carrier shims and then use
the selected shims provided in the install kit to transfer
some of your shim thickness from one side to the other. A quick look at the
Ford racing instructions will show you how much
of a thickness change will impact your
backlash readings. Also, common sense
comes into play as you’ll want to make sure
and clean everything thoroughly throughout the
process and definitely make sure it’s all clean
before you go back together. That way you don’t have to
worry about any problems down the road. I also like to keep around some
old bearing casings and races for installing the new bearings. This will help you make your
installation of a little bit smoother and a
little bit quicker. If you want more in-depth
information about our gear kits and you’re not viewing
this on our website, be sure to click the link below
to gather all that information. Also, check out
latemodelrestoration.com for more driveline
modifications and installations for your Mustang.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *