Review & Install Video
Hey guys, Stephanie with AmericanMuscle.com, here with this Ford Racing Traction LOK Rebuild Kit for 8.8 rears, or to break it down, 86 to 14 V8s and 2011 to 2014 V6 Mustangs. This kit from Ford Racing's going to be a good option for the guys out there with an 8.8 rear that are looking to rebuild their rear for normal maintenance, or while some new rear gears are being installed. This rebuild kit will give the stock diff an upgrade over the factory components thanks to the carbon discs. The rebuild kit is a complete kit for 31 spline axle, which is also an upgrade over the factory axels in the '05 and older cars, and that's another reason why this is going to be an upgrade over the factory components. If you're planning on, or already have some bigger power and torque numbers from your 'Stang, or the car sees track time or hard launches, a differential upgrade should be something you're looking into, and this kit offers the same results as the Ford Racing Complete Diff offers, except at a more affordable price, since this isn't a complete kit. So this rebuild kit is a kit that will get you the same results as the Ford Racing Complete Diff will, except instead of buying a completely new diff, you'd just be disassembling your diff and swapping your old components out for the items in this kit. So with that being said, a lot of the features of this kit are going to be the same as the features that the Complete Diff offers. But taking a step back, there are a couple of reasons to change or upgrade your differential. Your stock diff could be getting old and starting to chatter, and maybe it's started to fail and you aren't getting power evenly to both rear wheels. Maybe you plan on hitting the drag strip and you've got some power that you'd like to cleanly get to the ground, and you need to upgrade some components because the factory parts just aren't cutting it anymore. This rebuild kit offers a good option, because it's got a balance of building an upgraded rear diff that can handle more power and torque, but it isn't such an upgrade that it wouldn't make sense for a completely stock car to upgrade to. This diff rebuild kit will help you build the same diff that came factory in the '03 to '04 Cobras, so it will build a beefed up version of a factory style diff if you have any other Mustang besides the '03 to '04 Cobra. Like I mentioned earlier, this kit's going to come with the S-spring for 31 spline axels, so if you've got an '04 and under V8, you're looking at upgrading your axles, since those cars came with factory 28 splines. Or you can grab an S-spring for 28 spline axles instead. The choice is up to you. If you've got an '05 and up, you can reuse your factory axels with this diff, but you're still looking at an upgrade due to the fact that this diff has carbon discs. The carbon fiber discs that I keep referencing refers to the clutch pack. This kit uses the same carbon fiber clutch pack that's used in the Cobra and Shelby SVTs, and the carbon friction plates are much more durable, and they're designed for higher torque than the stock friction plates are. If we take a step back for a minute, the point of a limited slip differential, or LSD, is to allow both rear wheels to put the power to the ground, and give better traction to both rear wheels. So the thought is, if there's any type of open diff transfer, or uneven transfer of power and torque to one particular wheel over the other, it will create a useless wheel spin where the car loses its forward momentum. This rebuild kit is designed to build an LSD to eliminate that spin. It will work to transfer the torque of both wheels evenly, which will have a few benefits in both street and track applications. This means a stable, differential LOK pattern that won't fail due to the upgraded components, no slipping, more durability, gentle transitions, and even a quiet operation. This is going to work with cars with both solid axle and IRS, or cars with independent rear suspension, just as long as you have an 8.8. This kit isn't for the 7.5 rear. And one other thing to keep in mind is some of the other things that you'll need to rebuild the kit. Things like gear oil and friction modifier, and this is a great kit to add on to some new rear gears. As for price, this rebuild kit is just over $100. It's going to be a less expensive option than the entire diff is, but it will still get you the same results as a complete diff, as long as you have the know how and tools to rebuild your own rear. If you're going to be taking this to a shop for the install which you'll need some expertise for, then depending on the shop rate, I'm not so sure that this option of rebuilding the diff will save you money over just purchasing a complete diff, but that's a call that you're going to have to make for yourself. As far as the install, like I said, this is going to involve tearing apart and rebuilding the diff. It's not just a simple replacement, so you are going to need some experience for this one, or you're looking at taking it to a shop. Keeping things general here, if you want to tackle this install for yourself, you're going to need an assortment of sockets and wrenches, a couple of needle nose pliers, and you are going to need a torque wrench to do this properly. You need about four hours time, and it's a three out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter. You're going to need to get to the diff itself, so this means pulling the rear wheels, dropping the rear brake assemblies, and draining and removing the rear diff and its cover, so you'll need something to drain into. Once you have the diff uncovered, this is where the benefit of mechanical knowledge will come in. You need to remove the rear axles from the diff, the carrier will need to be removed, along with the ring gear, and the [inaudible 00:04:36]. The diff itself will need to be disassembled, and this means the gears and the clutch packs. Once everything is removed, you'll have to put it all back together of course, so your new clutch packs, the gears, the S-spring, the carrier with the shims and races, and eventually the axel C clips, and the diff cover. This is obviously a quick overview of the install, but I wanted to give you guys an idea of what it would take, so you can make a decision as to if you wish to install this yourself or take it to a shop. Wrapping things up here, the Ford Racing Traction LOK Rebuild Kit with carbon discs is to be used in 8.8 rears, and with 31 spline axels, unless you grab a different S clip. It's perfect for those guys that don't want to pick up a whole new diff, but they can rebuild their current diff instead. It's an upgrade over the factory diff components, unless you have an '03 to '04 Cobra, and in that case, it's an exact replacement. This rebuild kit is a good option for those looking for a maintenance rebuild kit, or those looking for something to make sure they get some extra torque planted squarely to the ground, and you can check it out some more online, right here at AmericanMuscle.com.