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Thread: Wheel options for the wider 1999 Ford 8.8" axle

  1. #1

    Wheel options for the wider 1999 Ford 8.8" axle

    Hey guys,

    This is my first post on my build. I've ordered the base kit to be delivered mid-January, 2018. I'm using a 1999 Mustang GT for my donor car. I've been planning this build for 16 years - got my first build manual from my girls on Christmas, 2001! I attended the build school in December, 2013 - had a GREAT time.

    My question is regarding wheel options. I'd really like to use Halibrand wheels, but due to the width of the 1999 8.8" rear end (62.55") as compared to the older 1987-1993 8.8" rear ends (59.25"), the wheels from FFR won't work as I currently understand it. FFR is telling me I either need to go with the narrower wheels, or I need to have custom wheels made with a different offset to work with that rear end - which all makes sense. I really want the 9" wheel on the front and 10.5" wheel on the back.

    I'm thinking having custom wheels made will be way more expensive than if I just went out and purchased an older 8.8" rear end.

    Are there reasonable priced Halibrand wheels out there with the right offset to work with this rear end?

    For those (like me) who like to look at pictures and hear stories of each others' builds, feel free to check out my blog at https://denverstevecobrabuild.wordpress.com/

    Thanks!

    Steve

  2. #2


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    Jeff Kleiner's Avatar
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    My friend Thierry ("mydream" on the forums) had custom wheels made to work with the wider rear end. As you can see they do not have the deep lip look which may or may not be important to you:



    You may indeed want to weigh out the cost/benefit of going to an earlier rear end or having yours narrowed vs. using non-standard custom wheels.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

    thierry.JPG

  3. #3
    Thanks Jeff for sharing mydream's photo. I can see where the wheel would have a shallow look. I definitely do like the "deep lip" look that you mention. Something like in this picture.
    Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 11.10.03 AM.png

    Looks like I'll be shopping for an earlier model rear end.

  4. #4
    Or, if you don't plan to use ABS, you can simply get the shorter fox length axles and the brackets to move the brake calipers in. That's what I did with parts from Gordon Levy.

  5. #5


    Not a waxer
    Jeff Kleiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver_WT View Post
    Or, if you don't plan to use ABS, you can simply get the shorter fox length axles and the brackets to move the brake calipers in. That's what I did with parts from Gordon Levy.
    No can do on a '99 or later axle. The housing is wider than Fox or '94-'98. The '94-'98 vintage SN 95 rear ends can be brought to Fox width by changing axles and caliper brackets because they share the same housing which isn't the case with '99 and up.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    I would look to sell your axle and get one the right width. The Fox width offers maybe 100 times the wheels choice because there are so many Mustangs out there. If you go the custom route you have a wheel w/ no deep lip, and, if you ever want something different, it's custom wheel $s again. I think you can find a 98 axle and sell your 99 axle for little $ difference in the long run.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  7. #7
    Love the website. Keep it up

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    I would look to sell your axle and get one the right width. The Fox width offers maybe 100 times the wheels choice because there are so many Mustangs out there. If you go the custom route you have a wheel w/ no deep lip, and, if you ever want something different, it's custom wheel $s again. I think you can find a 98 axle and sell your 99 axle for little $ difference in the long run.
    Thanks Craig - it looks like this is my next move.

    How much should I expect to get for my rear end and pay for an earlier model rear end?

    I DEFINITELY would use the disc brakes from the 99 - what's involved in converting the 87-93 rear end to disc's?

    Thx,

    Steve

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kleiner View Post
    No can do on a '99 or later axle. The housing is wider than Fox or '94-'98. The '94-'98 vintage SN 95 rear ends can be brought to Fox width by changing axles and caliper brackets because they share the same housing which isn't the case with '99 and up.

    Jeff
    Ah, I did not know that. I used a 1998 rear axle for my build.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DenverSteve View Post
    Thanks Jeff for sharing mydream's photo. I can see where the wheel would have a shallow look. I definitely do like the "deep lip" look that you mention. Something like in this picture.
    Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 11.10.03 AM.png

    Looks like I'll be shopping for an earlier model rear end.
    DenverSteve,

    There is a set of those 18" replicas like the ones on wareaglescott's build (the picture you attached) in the for sale forum at a pretty good price. MPS Auto sells complete rear ends with brakes for very reasonable prices.

    http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...nd-wheels-1500

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/94-95-FORD-...pI6xDA&vxp=mtr

    If you are in Denver as your forum name implies, give me a shout if you want to get together and chat. I'm not too far from the city.

    Dave
    There are 10 types of people in this world;
    those who understand binary and those who don't.

    My Build Thread: http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...ter-Build-9754

  11. #11
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    I can't really help on pricing. I would dig up the local Mustang club on the web. look to sell your axle and get a 98. Usually timing doesn't work out, but in the long run I can't think there is much difference in price between a 98 and a 99. As Jeff mentioned, the 98 has the correct housing width, it's just the axles that are longer. So all you need is shorter axles and different brackets to move the calipers inward. See:
    http://www.northracecars.com/choose.html He used to sell Yukon axles but I don't see them listed now. Call.
    http://discbrakesrus.com/make/ford/rangeraxles.htm
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  12. #12
    You can get yours shortened for probably $800 ish, not sure if that's reasonable to you or not.
    FFinisher/AKA RE63

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    I can't really help on pricing. I would dig up the local Mustang club on the web. look to sell your axle and get a 98. Usually timing doesn't work out, but in the long run I can't think there is much difference in price between a 98 and a 99. As Jeff mentioned, the 98 has the correct housing width, it's just the axles that are longer. So all you need is shorter axles and different brackets to move the calipers inward. See:
    http://www.northracecars.com/choose.html He used to sell Yukon axles but I don't see them listed now. Call.
    http://discbrakesrus.com/make/ford/rangeraxles.htm
    Thanks Craig - this is SUPER helpful. I've run across a few sources of 95-98 rear ends with the right ratio. I'll get a couple shortened axles and brake brackets and be off and running.

  14. #14
    Look at 2005 and later replacement Mustang Wheels for ones with more backspacing

  15. #15
    I had to get different axles as well. I ordered them from Summit and I think they were around $200.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    I recommended North Racecars because he used to sell axles. Maybe he still does. I learned the hard way when I ordered axles and a TrueTrac diff from Moser that, even if everything else is fine, the wheel centering hub on the axle isn't always right. After that I always wished I had ordered from North. So any way check that hub dimension where ever you order from.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  17. #17
    Still sell axles brackets etc. Most are correct, cheaper to get a base 87 to 98 housing and covert it. Our kit is reasonable to say the least. In the last 20 or so years not one call about a broken axle. Thanks for the kind words. Richard.
    Richard Oben FFR builder www.northracecars.com

    Need help finishing your project we can help here or at your shop.

    FFR GTM #34 first GTM with working AC. 400 hp LS1 w/G50
    FFR coupe 3617CP 331 Stack EFI T-5 IRS Cobra brakes, AC/heat.
    Both cars by NRC, we can build (and have built) any FFR product.
    We also make and sell a ton of great parts for the FFR community.
    Brake kits, AC systems, #1 supplier of Team III wheels.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Oben View Post
    Still sell axles brackets etc. Most are correct, cheaper to get a base 87 to 98 housing and covert it. Our kit is reasonable to say the least. In the last 20 or so years not one call about a broken axle. Thanks for the kind words. Richard.
    Thanks Richard. I'll be in touch as soon as I find an axle housing. I have a line on a housing from a 94-98. As soon as I purchase it, I'll be in touch to get your help on what axles and brackets I'll need.

    Steve

  19. #19
    Just to be clear, the housing itself is the same disc or drum. So if two rears are found an 89 with drums and 3.55 gear and a 98 with discs and 2.73 gears get the drum rear. Since the 99 up brakes are being re used it does not matter. We found an 8.8 with 3.73 gears for 100 bucks empty of axles and it worked fines. HTH, Richard.
    Richard Oben FFR builder www.northracecars.com

    Need help finishing your project we can help here or at your shop.

    FFR GTM #34 first GTM with working AC. 400 hp LS1 w/G50
    FFR coupe 3617CP 331 Stack EFI T-5 IRS Cobra brakes, AC/heat.
    Both cars by NRC, we can build (and have built) any FFR product.
    We also make and sell a ton of great parts for the FFR community.
    Brake kits, AC systems, #1 supplier of Team III wheels.

  20. #20
    I highly recommend using Richards kit. I had the same issue you are facing. I had a rearend from a 2000 GT but did not like the limited selection of wheels, nor the look. I bought a fox body rear end with 3.55 gears and then went to see Richard. I live nearby. (Hi Richard) Since I was using 17" wheels he pointed out the larger discs would look much better than the small ones once the wheels were on. You get everything you need including the parking brake cables which worked great. Do it right the first time and you'll save time and money going forward.
    IMG_3202.JPG
    IMG_3203.JPG
    If you are not using the quad shocks you can remove that bracket from the housing. You may want to add the "anti-moan" brackets too. I'm told they keep the brakes from making noise when backing up. Ford actually added these for this reason. My housing did not have them, so I made them using a muffle clamp.
    IMG_3316.JPG
    Good luck with your build, you'll a lot of good advice from this forum.
    Purchased and un-assembled Mk3 in 2016. 5.0, Aluminum heads, Performer RPM Air gap, Quick Fuel 650 carb, BBK headers T5, 3.55 rear solid axle, Koni Shocks, PS with Hydra-boost. Also own two restored vintage Mustangs, two Model A fords, 1941 Chevy truck and several other hot rods.

  21. #21
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Would wheels that were designed for the later Mustangs from 2005 and newer work?

    The backspacing is a bit deeper (7.15 on 18X10 / Rear) and are tad shallower (6.50" on 18X9 / Front).
    I got the information from the place where I purchased the wheels for my old C-4, Baby Go-Dad's Camaro and our Factory Five Fake Snake MK-4:

    https://www.oewheelsllc.com/Wheel-Se...inch/year/2006
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 12-17-2017 at 12:41 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoDadGo View Post
    Would wheels that were designed for the later Mustangs from 2005 and newer work?

    The backspacing is a bit deeper (7.15 on 18X10 / Rear) and are tad shallower (6.50" on 18X9 / Front).
    I got the information from the place where I purchased the wheels for my old C-4, Baby Go-Dad's Camaro and our Factory Five Fake Snake MK-4:

    https://www.oewheelsllc.com/Wheel-Se...inch/year/2006
    I don't think the extra BS on those rears would be enough to compensate for the wider axle. Most Fox width 10.5s are 6.8-6.9 so you are only gaining maybe 1/4 inch BS. And the front 9 inchers are usually 6.0 BS. We see guys having a little trouble getting fronts inside the fender so these could help w/ that. But then the tires would hit the "F" panel sooner also.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  23. #23
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    I don't think the extra BS on those rears would be enough to compensate for the wider axle. Most Fox width 10.5s are 6.8-6.9 so you are only gaining maybe 1/4 inch BS. And the front 9 inchers are usually 6.0 BS. We see guys having a little trouble getting fronts inside the fender so these could help w/ that. But then the tires would hit the "F" panel sooner also.

    Excellent Points, Especially The F-Panel Issue!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Oben View Post
    Just to be clear, the housing itself is the same disc or drum. So if two rears are found an 89 with drums and 3.55 gear and a 98 with discs and 2.73 gears get the drum rear. Since the 99 up brakes are being re used it does not matter. We found an 8.8 with 3.73 gears for 100 bucks empty of axles and it worked fines. HTH, Richard.
    Thank you Richard! Very helpful - didn't know the housing is the same between 87-93 and 94-98. That will open up my search a bit. -Steve

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by JRD56 View Post
    I highly recommend using Richards kit. I had the same issue you are facing. I had a rearend from a 2000 GT but did not like the limited selection of wheels, nor the look. I bought a fox body rear end with 3.55 gears and then went to see Richard. I live nearby. (Hi Richard) Since I was using 17" wheels he pointed out the larger discs would look much better than the small ones once the wheels were on. You get everything you need including the parking brake cables which worked great. Do it right the first time and you'll save time and money going forward.
    IMG_3202.JPG
    IMG_3203.JPG
    If you are not using the quad shocks you can remove that bracket from the housing. You may want to add the "anti-moan" brackets too. I'm told they keep the brakes from making noise when backing up. Ford actually added these for this reason. My housing did not have them, so I made them using a muffle clamp.
    IMG_3316.JPG
    Good luck with your build, you'll a lot of good advice from this forum.
    Thank you! Once I get my housing, I'll assess the calipers I have from my 1999 GT donor. I have the "anit-moan" brackets on my 99 housing - might be able to use them on my new housing if necessary. I love your version though - looks awesome! The brake kit from Richard looks really nice... tempting. ;-)

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