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I bought an 1986 F150 4wd for a 4sp manual swap ($150). When I went to look at the truck (in his backyard behind the old boys house) the ground had 2 in of standing water so I didn't roll up under to see. When the wrecker came to drop off I noticed it had a 9in rear. From what I can see it is open and 3.50 ratio. Unfortunately my bronco has 3.55 w/ trac-loc so its not a straight swap and don't want to loose the trac-loc. Now I have very little experience with axles. Bronco is stock 5.0 So my questions are..

1. Considering the manual swap i'm doing, is the 9in known for the axle housing strength or the gears as the strength?
2. Are the 8.8 and 9in the same length seeing as they came out of the same year truck?
2. Can I swap gears and axles from my 8.8 into the 9? There is nothing wrong with my current 8.8.
3. Is it even worth it for a truck that see's very mild wheeling (mainly mud, rivers (water crossings) and some trails.
4. I have no intention of selling but does it add value to the truck money wise? I'm leaving the truck to my kids one day and what they do with it is their choice but I do not want to hurt the value of the truck either way though.
5. What other questions should I be asking that I'm not aware of?

Thank you
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Just sell the 9" for a few hundred bucks. None of the 8.8 parts fit. It's not any stronger in stock form than an 8.8 either.

It may add value, to someone not well versed, because they think the 9" is the king of axles.

Yes it is the same basic width as your current 8.8, and would be a bolt in swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the information :) Think I'll stick with my current setup. What are the 9in pulling cost wise?
 

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From what I know:


1. Considering the manual swap i'm doing, is the 9in known for the axle housing strength or the gears as the strength?
I think a little bit of both. But in stock form, it's minimal. From what I understand, the 9" has the ring and pinion meshed closer together, which allows more power to be put through it.

2. Are the 8.8 and 9in the same length seeing as they came out of the same year truck?
Yes, as long as you get one out of an F-series or Bronco. As they were using up the stock of 9" diffs, both 9" and 8.8" axles were put in the same trucks.

2. Can I swap gears and axles from my 8.8 into the 9? There is nothing wrong with my current 8.8.
No, they don't share any parts except (maybe) the brakes.

3. Is it even worth it for a truck that see's very mild wheeling (mainly mud, rivers (water crossings) and some trails.
No, not really. The 8.8 is plenty strong. Issues don't really start to arise until you put really big tires on. But for a mostly stock truck, you won't notice a difference, or be sweating breaking it while you're out tootling around.

4. I have no intention of selling but does it add value to the truck money wise? I'm leaving the truck to my kids one day and what they do with it is their choice but I do not want to hurt the value of the truck either way though.
Maybe, but probably not. It would to someone who wants to really beef up and build up the Bronco, since the 9" is well known and has lots of aftermarket. But for the average person, they probably wouldn't care.
 
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