Ford 8.8 inch Axle

Ford 8.8 in Differential Specs & Information

The 8.8 inch axle was first produced for the 1983 model year as a replacement for the Ford 9 inch rear axle. The 8.8 has been produced for front and rear applications in both independent and solid axle configurations, including a rear independent suspension variation found in select model year Ford Expedition and Explorer models. As the differential has been used in a variety of Ford cars and trucks, there are many variations of the axles and the specifications will vary by model year and vehicle type. It has been factory produced with gear ratios as short as 4.10 : 1 and as tall as 2.26 : 1, although Ford produces much lower gear ratios for the differential.

A Traction-Lok limited slip differential was optional for the 8.8 inch differential in many applications, but appears to have been limited to 3.55 and 3.73 ring and pinions. The axles noteworthy weaknesses are its C clips securing the axle shafts to the differential and the plugs securing the axle tubes to the differential housing (in lieu of welding). Ford manufacturers and sells a C clip eliminator kit through their 'Ford Performance' parts division. The axles are manufactured at Ford's Sterling Axle Plant in Sterling Heights, MI. Unlike other axles produced at this plant (notably the 10.25" and 10.50" axles found in Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks), the axle is not typically referred to as a "Sterling 8.8" and is always referenced as the "Ford 8.8" by Ford Motor Company.


Ford 8.8" Axle Specs


Ford Motor Company

Production Plant:

Sterling Axle Plant, Sterling Heights, MI


Various Ford cars, trucks, & SUVs beginning the 1983 model year, including:

• 1983 - 2012 Ford F-150
• 1983 - 1996 Ford Bronco
• 1991 - 2011 Ford Ranger
• 1991 - 2001 Ford Explorer
• 1986 - 2014 Ford Mustang

The 8.8" differential is still in production for various Ford vehicles

Full/Semi Float:

Semi floating

Axle Type:

IFS/IRS and solid axle configurations, front and rear applications

Ring Gear:

8.8 in


28 or 30 spline

Axle Shafts:

28 spline w/ 1.29" dia axle shafts or 31 spline w/ 1.32" axle shafts depending on application

Fluid Type*:

75W-140 synthetic gear oil (rear), 75W-90 synthetic gear oil (front)

Fluid Capacity**:


2.11 qts, 2.0L, 3.7 pints


2.75 qts, 2.6L, 5.5 pints


The differential housing has a somewhat unique square shape with large radius rounded corners. 4 and 5 lug axle shafts were produced, the late 80's Ford Mustang being a notable 4 lug example. Differential cover has 10 bolts.
Ford 8.8 differential cover bolt pattern

*Recommended fluid type and fluid capacity may vary by model year and application - always refer to your vehicle's owner manual for specifications specific to your application.
**Always fill axle until fluid level reaches the bottom of the fill plug hole.