Started to accumulate more parts for my 8.8 axle swap. Unfortunately, the supply shortages that are appearing as of late are hindering my progress. In particular, it is hard to get 8.8 replacement clutches and I really don't want to use the ones in my diff as I don't know how good they are. I will have to measure each pack and see how thick it is. I suppose if they are above the 0.635" minimum thickness, I can leave them in. Stock is 0.645" and performance ones (what I wanted) are >0.655" and would result in a tighter differential. So far, I have the 8.8, Evo 8 rear rotors, ZL1 rear Brembo calipers, and Permatex Gear Oil Gasket maker. The diff fluid, friction modifier, and u-bolts are on their way.
The parts keep piling up for the 8.8 swap. I took the diff apart earlier and checked the thickness of the clutch pack, it is only at 0.604," so I will definitely have to order a new set. by Jose, on Flickr
Just ordered the clutches and a Spicer 2-2-1379 flange yoke as I cannot find my Ford Ranger one for the life of me smh. Getting this done will require a Toyota to 1310 U-joint. Spicer 721-X works, but is obsolete, and the PTI 1351-31 also works, but is on backorder. I may have to piece one together...
I got the clutches and flange yoke in this weekend. I ended up with the standard material Ford Performance clutches because the carbon ones seem to be on a world wide backorder. The standard material clutch kit is the M-4700-B whereas the carbon ones are M-4700-C. Oh well, the standard are considerably more affordable and will probably last forever on my lightweight Tacoma; they are designed for much heavier Mustangs and Explorers.
Ordered an aluminum battery hold down from Coupe, it will look a lot like the one below:
Mine will just be gloss black. I've literally been wanting this for years. I thought to either adapt one meant for another car or make my own, but once I saw these from Coupe, I knew it was exactly what I needed. I put in the order and it should be arriving to me tomorrow!
Caught a screw in one of my tires, so I took advantage and made a quick video on how to plug it. I can't tell you how many people I know that have no idea how to do this and end up needing a tow when they could have plugged the tire and been on their way.
Alright! My u-joint came in yesterday and with that, I have the final piece of the 8.8 puzzle! Now I need to start fabricating the brackets to hold the Brembo calipers to the axle and then move on to the full installation! 20210324_160456 by Jose, on Flickr
I'm not known for my patience when it come to having a stack of parts ready to go on a car. So, I got to work right away. This is simultaneously an 8.8 swap and rear disc conversion. Now, if I wanted to take the easy way out, there would be no science to it. Simply buy the 8.8 axle with the discs and calipers on it and get a standard to metric adapter to make the brake lines work. However, me being me, I just had to go the hard route and go with the Evo rear rotors and Brembo ZL1 calipers. Now, the stock studs on the 8.8 are too thick to go through the stud holes in the Evo rotor. They are also the wrong thread and I do not want different stud threads front to rear. I intend to adapt my extended studs into these axles. For now however, I just needed a way to hold the rotor on the axle so I could fab brackets to hold the calipers on. In order to make that happen, I measured the larger heads on the Explorer studs and designed a stud that has that size head, but with a 12 mm diameter like an M12 stud. I them 3D printed three of them, just enough to hold my rotor in place.
Now, the rotor needs to be held by hand as there is no nut on the stud to hold it in place. I could print studs with threads and add a nut. Or, I could take advantage of the threaded holes the rotor has (that are intended to help remove the rotor if it seizes in place). I took advantage while I had it all together and marked the hold locations on to the axle face, such that I could drill them for this purpose. If the axles prove too hard to drill, then I will design threads into the studs and print threaded ones.
Alright, hopping back on to the 8.8 swap project: I found an old lug stud and lug nut I had laying around and had never used. I got this back in the day because some shop had overtightened my lugs and a couple broke when removing the nuts afterward. I never got around to using it since I bought and installed the extended studs instead. Using this allowed me to tighten the rotor onto the axle nicely, with the 3D printed studs helping to support and center the rotor. 20210329_141921 by Jose, on Flickr
With the rotor fixed in place, I was able to place the caliper on the rotor and take enough measurements to generate this bracket 20210330_145715 by Jose, on Flickr
I used this bracket to determine where the mounting surfaces on the caliper and the axle would sit relative to one another. That allowed me to take enough measurements to design this caliper bracket 20210330_145732 by Jose, on Flickr 20210330_154228 by Jose, on Flickr
Using this, I took more measurements and realized I had to make minor adjustments to move the caliper further up and make a couple of other slight tweaks. Keep in mind that the real bracket will be of considerably thicker material, this test is printed at 0.10" in order to save on printing materials. Once I have all the dimensions figured out, I will print templates and trace them out onto 1/4" steel sheet. 20210330_154510 by 20210330_154518 by Jose, on Flickr Jose, on Flickr
I made the needed adjustments to the design and went ahead and printed one at full thickness. This allowed me to fully mount the caliper and verify the fitment of the caliper is proper. I am now happy with the bracket design and can begin the work of transferring it onto steel sheet. Of course, the hardware in the pictures is not what I will be using in the end, those are the bolts that held the calipers in the Zl1. 20210331_145523 by Jose, on Flickr
While I am cleaning up the battery area, I figured I may as well replace the broken positive contact cover. This had bothered me for years whenever I would work on or around the battery area. Unfortunately, I would forget about it once the hood was closed. As they say, out of sight, out of mind. Well, no more. I couldn't let that blemish take away from my new battery bracket. I found a the cover for sale on Ebay, being sold by a Toyota dealership of all places. $12 well spent.
Here is the new part and part number in case anyone needs it 20210402_143119 by Jose, on Flickr