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Old 11-23-2009, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What Axle or Gear Ratio do I have?

How to read your axle:

The rear axles come with a tag (see photo below) that should be attached to a bolt on the rear cover. If there is no tag, someone has unfortunately removed it, and it will be difficult to determine which axle you have. There is also an axle identification code inside the driver’s side door on the vehicle information sticker with a two digit code for the stock axle (this may be inaccurate if anyone has changed axles previously). See chart at bottom.

Each set of numbers has a specific meaning. The diagram below explains this. All Bronco II’s came with a special version of the 7.5” rear, which has a capacity of 2640lbs. Other Ford 7.5” axle housings will NOT work in place of the BII unit; however, the rings and pinions from any 7.5 can be swapped into it. The main reason for checking these tags is to see the axle’s gear ratio. The bottom diagram illustrates the differences in axle ratios.

On 4x4’s, there is a Dana 28 axle up front, until late 1989 when it was replaced with a special Dana 35. The front axle should have the same gear ration as the rear. The D35 is a stronger (than the D28) and can be swapped over from a Ranger (or newer BII, if not already equipped). The D28 can be re-geared; however, units with the 3.45 ratio, going to a lower (numerically higher) ring and pinion gear must use the appropriate housing.







All Explorer are 31 spline 8.8" rear.
Most all Ranger 8.8" rear axles are 28 spline and all 7.5" axles are 28 spline axles.
Some late model 8.8" Ranger rear axles are 31 spline.

Aerostar Code Description Capacity Ratio
22 open 7.5" 2950 4.10
23 open 7.5" 2950 3.45
24 open 7.5" 2950 3.73
25 open 8.8" 2950 3.27
29 open 8.8" 2950 3.55
B2 L/S 7.5" 2950 4.10
B4 L/S 7.5" 2950 3.73
B5 L/S 8.8" 2950 3.55
B9 L/S 8.8" 2950 3.55

(Note: Aerostars with axle codes starting with "1" are Spicer/Dana 30 axles with Aluminum housings)

Bronco II Code Description Capacity Ratio

42 open 7.5" 2640 3.45
44 open 7.5" 2640 3.73
47 open 7.5" 2640 4.10
D2 L/S 7.5" 2640 3.45
D4 L/S 7.5" 2640 3.73
D7 L/S 7.5" 2640 4.10

Ranger Code Description Capacity Ratio

72 open 6-7/8" 2200 3.08
74 open 6-7/8" 2200 3.45
82 open 7.5" 2750 3.08
84 open 7.5" 2750 3.45
86 open 7.5" 2750 3.73
87 open 7.5" 2750 4.10
91 open 8.8" 2750 3.27
92 open 8.8" 2750 3.08
95 open 8.8" 2750 3.55
96 open 8.8" 2750 3.73
97 open 8.8" 2750 4.10
98 open 8.8" 2750 4.56
F4 L/S 7.5" 2750 3.45
F6 L/S 7.5" 2750 3.73
F7 L/S 7.5" 2750 4.10
R5 L/S 8.8" 2750 3.55
R6 L/S 8.8" 2750 3.73
R7 L/S 8.8" 2750 4.10
R8 L/S 8.8" 2750 4.56

(Note 4.56 geared axles '99-up are 31-spline)

Explorer Code Description Capacity Ratio

41 Open 8.8" 3200 3.27
43 Open 8.8" 3200 3.08
44 Open 8.8" 3200 3.73
45 Open 8.8" 3200 3.55
D1 L/S 8.8" 3200 3.27
D2 L/S 8.8" 3200 4.10
D4 L/S 8.8" 3200 3.73
D5 L/S 8.8" 3200 3.73

L - Limited Slip Differential
C - Conventional Differential

Code Ratio

85 3.55C

89 (1992-1998)4.10C

89 (1999-2001)4.56C

F5 3.55L
K6 4.10L

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Old 11-23-2009, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

I dont get why they dont just put the two letter code on the axle.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

very good topic! it gets asked ALL THE TIME on the other forums...

Sticky!
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

you bet!
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

nice to have
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

Ive used this same thing multiple times.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

Hey Dyllan
Good write-up. A few questions.
Can you explain why the ranger axle won't fit the b-II?
And how do you tell the different d-28 housings? Do you mean the pumpkin?
The spicer/dana 30 are interchangeable - yes/no.
Thanks, Richard
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

Rangers and BIIs dont have the same frame width, so the perches on the rear axle arent spaced the same. Thje perches can be cut off and moved though. The front axles are the exact same.

The D35 uses 10 bolts to hold it to the beam, and it is much larger than the D28. The D28 uses 12 and has a smooth housing unlike the ribbed D35 housing. Then there is the hybrid D35/28 which is a D28 carrier in a D35 housing. It can be identified by the smooth housing using 10 bolts.

RBV's never used the D30. Jeeps commonly used the D30 front axle.

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Old 02-03-2010, 06:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

1) Can you explain why the ranger axle won't fit the b-II?
"Rangers and BIIs dont have the same frame width, so the perches on the rear axle arent spaced the same. Thje perches can be cut off and moved though. The front axles are the exact same." - PlumCrazy
Hats off to PlumCrazy

"The D28 can be re-geared; however, units with the 3.45 ratio, going to a lower (numerically higher) ring and pinion gear must use the appropriate housing." - Dyllan
2) how do you tell the different d-28 housings? Do you mean the pumpkin? - alwaysFlOoReD
"The D35 uses 10 bolts to hold it to the beam, and it is much larger than the D28. The D28 uses 12 and has a smooth housing unlike the ribbed D35 housing. Then there is the hybrid D35/28 which is a D28 carrier in a D35 housing. It can be identified by the smooth housing using 10 bolts." - PlumCrazy
I am wondering if the housing is specific to certain ratio ranges, e.g.(3.45 to 4.10 is one type of pumpkin/housing)( 2.90 to 3.44 is another type of housing) both being d-28?

3)The spicer/dana 30 are interchangeable - yes/no. - alwaysFlOoReD
"RBV's never used the D30. Jeeps commonly used the D30 front axle." - PlumCrazy
" Aerostars with axle codes starting with "1" are Spicer/Dana 30 axles with Aluminum housings" - Dyllan
Question still stands. Hoping that clarifies things.
Thanks, Richard
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axle Codes.

The D28 housings are not specific to the ratio. Ford came out with the hybrid so they could use the old D28 carriers on the new D35 axle beams. They were very common on the 93-94 3.0 Rangers.

There is a carrier break in the D28. 3.73 & up share a carrier and 3.45 & down share a carrier. The difference is the location of the ring gear flange in relation to the pinion.
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