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I have a 2006 mustang GT 8.8" rear axle that I want to change from 3.31 to 3.73. Replacement gears are from a 97 explorer so original ford. Question since original Fords don't have the + - decimal scribed on the end of the pinion any input on measuring pinion depth without doing the put it together and gear mark compound it a hundred times?
Also the ford pinion gear ends are not machined smooth.
 

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Did the exact same gear change recently and just stuck it together with all the shims in the original location just to see where it fell.Pattern and backlash were right on the money. Worth a shot. Without knowing the pinion depth measurement,it's going to be trial and error anyway.
 

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Factory shims are all I've needed in most 8.8's I've ever set up, the tolerances are pretty loose. Put it together and run a pattern and see where you're at, odds are it'll be acceptable.
 

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+1, Ford 8.8" tolerances are consistent, and swapping Ford-manufactured gears typically requires no shim changes. While it should always be checked, other brand gears have unknown tolerances and certainly should be verified without fail, IMO.
 
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