Unscrew the vent fitting on the passenger side axle tube. You will be able to see the wall thickness of the tube. Yes. The Explorer 8.8 is almost famously narrowed easily. Ford 8.8, Narrowed Rear End, Explorer, Narrowing, Q&A. Q: I heard you can narrow the Explorer 8.8 by making only one cut. Is this true? Ford 8.8, Narrowed Rear End, Explorer, Narrowing, Q&A. Easily found at almost any junk yard Variety of gear ratios and options (LSD, open diff, etc.) available Easy to fit into most RWD vehicles Rear disc brakes (typically an upgrade) Common 5 x 114.3 0R 5 on 4 ½ lug pattern Plenty of Aftermarket support for future upgrades Very strong. Handles abuse from track racing to offroad and everything in between. The Ford 8.8 or Explorer 8.8 is becoming a very popular axle to install to just about everything. With the availability of practically "everywhere", high support, and ease of mod, it is no surprise why people are turning to the Ford 8.8 as their solution to differential upgrades. Tons of information exists regarding the 8.8, but only "talk" about the task of narrowing the Explorer 8.8 seems to exist no matter how much searching you do. This article is not written to discuss all the vehicles you can use it on, which is best, or any opinions regarding "the best" for the job. This is simply a "How-To" get the job of narrowing done and into your ride. You might. Every install is different. You should know what you are installing your narrowed diff into and what is needed to adapt it to your vehicle. Leaf spring perches, coil spring buckets, 4 link tabs, and so many more parts can be purchased online from a multitude of vendors. Just remember to order parts for a 3.25 inch axle tube. Parts are usually listed for the diameter (3.25 or 3-¼"), but some are listed with a radius of 1.625". Q: Where do I find the correct Ford Explorer 8.8, 31 spline axle? Technically, no. It takes two cuts to narrow the Explorer 8.8. You also need to weld the tubes back together. The Explorer 8.8 is sometimes known as the "one cut diff" because you only need to cut one side down to narrow it. It takes 2 cuts to remove the correct length of tube needed to narrow the axle and one weld to stick it back together. You need to grab a second axle from the Passenger side of a separate/different Ford Explorer with the 8.8. You are basically narrowing the Driver's side to the same length as the passenger side, so you need 2 passenger side axles. Once you narrow the Driver's side, you will install the shorter axle just as it would be from the factory. Right Hand Drive Swap in 3 Days: Dash Prep. ( located in driver door jamb or on differential tag ). How To Narrow a Ford Explorer 8.8 Rear Axle: Part 3 - Cut & Weld. You should use a capable welder and be proficient with the welder you intend to use. A welder rated for 20 Gauge sheet metal to⅜" steel is a capable welder because⅜" is the max, which is more than ¼". A welder rated for 26 Gauge sheet metal to ¼" steel is technically not a capable welder because you are welding at the maximum rating. Welding at max can lead to a weak weld due to low duty cycle. It is possible, but not recommended. 75W-140 synthetic gear oil (rear), 75W-90 synthetic gear oil (front). SPECIAL NOTE: Since most people will be purchasing a used Ford Explorer 8.8 from a scrap yard, take a few extra minutes to remove the second passenger axle, remove the long driver's side axle, and purchase the whole assembly with the shorter axle. There is no use at all for the longer Driver's side axle. MIG, Arc, or TIG welders are capable of doing the job. A little flux cored hobby welder (aka "Shock box") from your local bargain store is NOT considered a capable welder. Your welded should be able to weld ¼" steel, but not at a "max" rating. Q: Which Side Needs to Be Cut To Narrow the Explorer 8.8? Q: Where do I source a shorter axle to match the narrowed Driver's side?. 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