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Old 02-16-2010, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Cost to replace differential?

I just bought a 01' F150 4x4 ext. cab. I will have to double check the code, but I'm almost certain it has a 8.8 w/ 3.55 gears and open diff. I'll likely be buying a limited slip diff. of some type very soon, either Eaton, Ford, or something similar.

Don't really know of any specialty shops around here that do gears/axles so I'll have to look around. Anybody have an idea on how much labor would cost to have the differentials swapped? Or if not a price, how many hrs. it would take? There are several places around here that I'm sure would do it, but honestly I just don't trust them on something that needs to be as precise as this. Most places would probably not do any better of a job than my friend and I could.

I've read about the lunchbox locker type differentials and people say they are easy to install, but they sound too aggressive for me. I don't want the tires dragging or the rear end clicking going around corners and such.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:44 PM   #2
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I don't know if you have a decent local junkyard around you, but through my local junkyard check, most recently, yesterday. You can buy a whole used rear-end with limited slip for a lot less than changing out gears.

The most common gears I've seen are the 3.55s as well, and limited slips are pretty common as well. I'm lucky, my local junkyard only wants $60 for a whole rear-end from brakes to brakes, and the same for the front.

As soon as I get the cash I'm heading back to get me a limited slip!
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:33 PM   #3
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Do you have any ideas which years are compatible for a swap?
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:06 AM   #4
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As far as I know all 97-03 are compatible except for the rear brakes, earlier trucks had rear drums, and later trucks had rear disks.

When I go to do the swap, if I can't find a rear-end with disks, I might do something silly and convert it to rear drums, I'll have to replace the master cylinder and brake booster for that though. I guess it all depends on whats available.

Whatever you do though MAKE SURE you have matching front and rear gears, or you'll blow up your transfer case.

To find the rear gears, either check the tag on the diff or read the 2 digit code on the data sticker on the drivers side door jamb.

Heres a list of the axle codes if you want them for future reference.


18-3.08
19-3.55
26-3.73
27-3.31
28-3.73
H9-3.55 Limited Slip
B6-3.73 Limited Slip

Hope all this information helps.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:17 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help. Converting to drums? Silly isn't the word for that

Sadistic is more like it. Or maybe I'm the only one that has had a nightmare of a time with drums.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:32 AM   #6
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Haha, yeah I know, but I don't mind drums that much, as long as their on the back. I've never driven a car with 4 wheel drums, and I never want to.
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:58 AM   #7
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I don't know if you still want this info, but here where I am at, the local Gear shop would charge $350 for parts and labor on a 8.8....i actually checked for myself, but it turns out my Screw doesn't have the 8.8 so its gonna cost me $500
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:31 PM   #8
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I don't know if you still want this info, but here where I am at, the local Gear shop would charge $350 for parts and labor on a 8.8....i actually checked for myself, but it turns out my Screw doesn't have the 8.8 so its gonna cost me $500
Can you expand on "parts and labor"? Is this parts and labor to install a customer provided unit, or does this price include a diff. of some type?
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
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Can you expand on "parts and labor"? Is this parts and labor to install a customer provided unit, or does this price include a diff. of some type?
Sorry this includes him supplying the parts for the LS, he told me that he had everything in the shop, and I could have it done in a day.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:44 AM   #10
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Haha, yeah I know, but I don't mind drums that much, as long as their on the back. I've never driven a car with 4 wheel drums, and I never want to.
Trust me you don't want to... I drove a buddies' 68 Nova with manual 4 wheel drums... Screw that noize lol.
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