1986 2.3 to V-8 sub-frame connector selection and rear end donor?

Panzerfaust

Member
May 22, 2019
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Hello,

My son and I are just beginning to do a 2.3 to v8 swap on his 1986 notch back. It was his first car and he is set on making this a V8 over buying an existing 5.0L car to start from. Makes dad happy :) .

Any way we are just now starting to design/plan our build. We will be starting from the ground up. Meaning 8.8 rear end swap, 5 lug swaps, brakes, K-member(maybe not sure if need to), and sub-frame connectors.

The question i have is we are wanting to make 400 hp when all is said and done, still not set on the exact motor ( suggestions welcome ), and I am not sure if i need to go with full weld in connectors or if bolt in will be sufficient. When searching the forum for answers I found many references to MM sub-frame connectors not sure what the MM means.

Also what are some good cars to look for a rear end out of? There are very few foxbody's in my area and the ones that are available are not cheap. Was going to call around to junk yards and see if there were cars i could pull a rear end out of, but I am not sure if there are different widths/lengths to be concerned about. Are they all the same flange to flange?

Thanks for any advice. and you will likely see me around quite a bit as we begin to dive into this project starting next month!
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
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Here ya go! Must everything you need to know on swapping/up grades and junk yard stuff. Also there is an old thread down at the bottom on a 12 second car build.
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
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I am not sure if i need to go with full weld in connectors or if bolt in will be sufficient. When searching the forum for answers I found many references to MM sub-frame connectors not sure what the MM means.

Bolt in are ok, but still allow for some flex. Weld-in will be the stiffest and the full length SFC's from MM (maximum motorsports) are among some of the best.


For a rear end, an 86-93 8.8 axle from a v8 will be a direct bolt in with drum brakes. AN 87-88 turbo coupe rear end can be made to work but has disk brakes so a few extra steps are needed. A 94-98 v8 mustang rear is also a direct bolt in, but it also has 5-lug disk brakes, although you can remove and swap the drum brake parts from your current axle over.
 

Panzerfaust

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May 22, 2019
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Here ya go! Must everything you need to know on swapping/up grades and junk yard stuff. Also there is an old thread down at the bottom on a 12 second car build.

Hi General karthief, was there supposed to be a link in the message?


For a rear end, an 86-93 8.8 axle from a v8 will be a direct bolt in with drum brakes. AN 87-88 turbo coupe rear end can be made to work but has disk brakes so a few extra steps are needed. A 94-98 v8 mustang rear is also a direct bolt in, but it also has 5-lug disk brakes, although you can remove and swap the drum brake parts from your current axle over.
As for getting rear end, i am scouring the junkyards locally for one, but have yet to be successful. As I mentioned the foxbody is a rare bird around here apparently. Will have to broaden my search radius.

I had heard that Ford Explorer rears were good options, but was not able to determine if they are a direct fit.. or at least easily fit, with out having to modify heavily.

Thanks for the information. Off to scour the interwebs for more stuff!
 

stykthyn

I want to measure mine. It doesn't look that tall.
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Explorer rear has the 8.8 but axle width is wrong. Honestly though that can wait. Not sure what your budget is, but if you are building a 400hp car chassis prep will be key. Maximum motorsports full length sub frames, tubular a arms, and k member brace are going to be key. Your existing k member should accept a v8. If i recall correctly the 4cyl and v8 k member for those years were the same with the v6 having a proprietary unit.
 

Panzerfaust

Member
May 22, 2019
6
1
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46
Olympia, Wa
Explorer rear has the 8.8 but axle width is wrong. Honestly though that can wait. Not sure what your budget is, but if you are building a 400hp car chassis prep will be key. Maximum motorsports full length sub frames, tubular a arms, and k member brace are going to be key. Your existing k member should accept a v8. If i recall correctly the 4cyl and v8 k member for those years were the same with the v6 having a proprietary unit.

We are trying to figure out the exacts, but we are working our way from the ground up so to speak, and are taking on the chassis and drive train first, then working the Motor / Tranny, and finally the interior. So as a package I am hoping to get the suspension, chassis, rear-end, and brakes done for about 1k+. Although the more I look around for used parts I feel like this is not going to be a feasible price.

All in all we have a budget of around 5k we are hoping to stick within. At least for the first round, this will likely be a continuous evolution of increase 'badassery' over several years if we have our way...
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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Yes, sorry
 
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