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Best gear ratio for E-150 1989 ?

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Old 11-10-2017, 03:50 PM
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Best gear ratio for E-150 1989 ?

Hello guys.
what is the best gear ratio for 1989 e-150 302, AOD ? Ithink i have all stock, currently i have no problem with trans or engine but i woul like to get more juice from it. Going for faster acceleration, but highway cruise with low rpm is also important. Can anyone can help to explain best option for eseries van to get more life from it ?

anyone can help to understand what gear ratio i have ?
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:26 PM
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If I am not mistaken my 85 and 88 E150 both have the factory 3.55 gears and are both AOD's. One has a ford 9" axle and the other has a Ford 8.8 axle. So I would guess that if your 89 is stock, that you have a ford 8.8 axle with 3.55 gears.
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:50 PM
fordman75 fordman75 is offline
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That's a hard question to answer. It's like asking what's the best color paint? The answer is going to be different for every person. It depends on how you drive, the tire size, is it just a driver or is it used for hauling or towing.


To find out what gear ratio your van came with. Check the decal on the door or door jamb. It should have a "Axle" code listed. It will be either a letter or a # or both. With that you can look it up and see what gear ratio your van came with.


The 3.55 is the tallest( lowest # ) gear I'd want with the AOD. Anything less then that and it will be a total dog. The 3.55 will give ok acceleration and decent highway RPMs. I don't like the 3.55's with a OD transmission.

Personally I prefer 3.73 or 4.11 gears with a OD transmission. These will both give better acceleration. The down side is both with turn the engine slightly faster at highway speeds. I feel the 3.73's are the best all around gears with the AOD. But the 4.11's are more fun( at least around town ) .

The steeper/lower ( higher # ) the gear is the quicker the acceleration will be. But the higher the rpms will be on the highway. I owned a 87 F250 truck that had a 5.0L with a 4spd manual transmission ( no OD ) . It had about 31.5" tires and 3.73 gears. It would turn around 2900-2950 RPMs at 70mph. I didn't have any problems with that. And I could drive it a whole lot faster then that too. Again that was with no overdrive gear in the transmission.


Selecting the right gear is going to be a compromise. To gain acceleration you are going to have to be willing to live with slightly higher rpms at highway speeds. Or if you want low rpms at highway speeds you are going to have to live with less lively acceleration. There are ways to get around both but it's not cheap.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:39 AM
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Something I noticed with my 85 E150 302/AOD with 3.55 gears was that when pulling long up hill grades is that if I left it in OD, I would actually get worse gas mileage then if I let it kick down out of OD. I noticed that when in OD there would come a point going up long uphill grades to where the gas peddle was almost all the way to the floor to maintain the speed, just before the point of downshifting.
On the same hill in D instead of OD, I would be using around half or less throttle and still have acceleration left if I needed it.
I would think that perhaps the 3.73 gears might solve that problem on the same upgrade hill.
Another thing to think of is where you live. I live in the foothills of the north GA mountains so many of the roads are quite hilly. In town I just keep mine in D but on long state roads or highways I will often put it in OD if I know it wont be shifting in and out of OD.
If I lived in flat land like say Florida, I would be happy with my 3.55 for the type of driving I do without pulling a trailer.
I do have a 4x8" trailer I plan to use to haul camping gear and my canoe but it is so small I don't think it would really make much of a difference.

So that is just my thoughts added to the great advice Fordman has and pertains to my driving style and what I want out of my van. Personally I think if the E150 had a 351 in it instead of a 302, people would be allot happier for all around use.
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:28 AM
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Look at the calibration decal on the drivers door pillar or on the door edge and post up the axle code, that will decode to give you the gear ratio. 3.55 gears were very common in these trucks but Ford crippled some with 3.08 gears.
3.73 to 4.10 will perform much better overall and deliver better fuel milage despite the increased hwy cruise rpms, this is one of those counter intuitive things with these smaller V8.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:08 AM
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It sounds like you are saying you want more acceleration but a lower hwy cruising RPM, correct? You can do this, but is will take a little more than just changing the gearing for the reasons others have listed above. Swapping out rear gears without adding adding any gears to the transmission will never get you where you want. You would need to swap out the likely 3.55's that you have with 4.10's to give you the added acceleration that you want. Then you would need to address the trans. This could be done by swapping in an OD transmission (e4od/4r100) or by purchasing an auxillary OD (such as a GearVendor or a used US Gear/Doug Nash). That way you could get the hwy RPMs down and have the acceleration in town. In doing this you may want to look at ways to boost the hp/tq of your motor some since the added trans gear could make it pretty doggy at hwy speeds in the hills/mountains.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:47 AM
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I often like taller gears than Conanski seems to, but I'm right with him on this one. I had a '95 F-150 with a 351 and E4OD and 3.55 gears. For most of its life it had 32" tires, so effectively 3.22 gears with 29" tire. With a 351 that was nice for what I wanted, but even with a 351 it had to come out of overdrive a lot below about 65 mph.

Now my Bronco has a 302 with 4.10 gears and 33" tires (NV3550 5 speed manual overdrive). About the equivalent of 3.60 gears with 29" tires. That's OK with an empty Bronco, but quite a dog towing a 2000 lb trailer.

In a van (heavier than my empty Bronco, lighter than the Bronco and trailer) and stock size tires, 3.73 would be the tallest I'd be willing to go. If you currently have 3.08s, that might be a good choice. But if you already have 3.55s, I wouldn't bother with the small change to 3.73s. I'd go to 4.10s. (Even if you are currently at 3.08, 4.10 might be the best choice. Just that if you're used to the incredibly poor performance and very low engine noise of 3.08s, the OK performance with 3.73s will seem great to you and you might be more annoyed by the additional engine noise of 4.10s.)
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:23 AM
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Thanks for so good and detailed answers. Where i live in town there is a lot of mountains to climb to so right now van is very doggy going up. What do i need to switch 4.10 ? Do i have to change all rear end or just some of the gears if others arw ok ? Axle number on sticker is 19. Rear end is with 10 bolts, probably 8.8.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by monstrs View Post
0

Thanks for so good and detailed answers. Where i live in town there is a lot of mountains to climb to so right now van is very doggy going up. What do i need to switch 4.10 ? Do i have to change all rear end or just some of the gears if others arw ok ? Axle number on sticker is 19. Rear end is with 10 bolts, probably 8.8.
Your van should have a 8.8".

If I remember correctly the "19" axle code is a 3.55 open diff.

You have a couple choices. Either find a complete 8.8" van rear diff that has the 4.10 gears. Or you will need a 4.10 gear set and install kit. But if you haven't done the gear swap before it might be wise to have a shop do it. Or find someone to help you that knows how to do it. If the install isn't done correctly you'll end up with a noisey diff and the gears could wear prematurely.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:49 AM
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Thanks. In rockauto i found ring and pinion kits for 4.10 , 4.56 , 4.88 ratio. Those are too much for van ? Also is it enough to order those ring and pinion gears or do i need a full kit with slweves and so on ?
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:18 AM
fordman75 fordman75 is offline
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Originally Posted by monstrs View Post
Thanks. In rockauto i found ring and pinion kits for 4.10 , 4.56 , 4.88 ratio. Those are too much for van ? Also is it enough to order those ring and pinion gears or do i need a full kit with slweves and so on ?

The 4.10 would be as steep as you'd want to go in a E150. The 4.56 and 4.88's are too much. Yes I would recommend the full kit or a couple of the smaller kits. I personally prefer to use Timken bearings. So I would go with the Timken bearing set ( TIMKEN DRK311 ) . Also the USA Standard Gear ( USA12035 ) minor install kit. This is cheaper then the Timken master kit but you still get all the shims, marking compound, etc. that you will need.

I also recommend getting a second inner pinion bearing ( TIMKEN M802048 ) , also a additional pinion seal, nut and crush sleeve.

The additional bearing is to make setting the pinion depth much easier. The bearing has to be pressed on and you install shims between the pinion gear and the bearing before you press the bearing on. The shims are for setting the pinion depth. The second inner bearing is strictly for set up. You take a die grinder or file and slightly open up the inside diameter of the bearing. This lets you slip it on the gear with out pressing it on. Which makes it easier for the set up. Because you may need to install and remove it a time or two or three or four to get the correct amount of shims for the pinion depth. And if you only have one new bearing that is a lot of hassle pressing it on and off numerous times. And there is always a chance you could damage the new bearing pressing it off. Some people will use the old bearing for set up. But I don't like doing this because the old bearing will have some wear. Which could give you a slight difference from the new bearing. And the new bearing is around $15.00 or less. So it's well worth the money.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordman75 View Post
The 4.10 would be as steep as you'd want to go in a E150. The 4.56 and 4.88's are too much. Yes I would recommend the full kit or a couple of the smaller kits. I personally prefer to use Timken bearings. So I would go with the Timken bearing set ( TIMKEN DRK311 ) . Also the USA Standard Gear ( USA12035 ) minor install kit. This is cheaper then the Timken master kit but you still get all the shims, marking compound, etc. that you will need.

I also recommend getting a second inner pinion bearing ( TIMKEN M802048 ) , also a additional pinion seal, nut and crush sleeve.

The additional bearing is to make setting the pinion depth much easier. The bearing has to be pressed on and you install shims between the pinion gear and the bearing before you press the bearing on. The shims are for setting the pinion depth. The second inner bearing is strictly for set up. You take a die grinder or file and slightly open up the inside diameter of the bearing. This lets you slip it on the gear with out pressing it on. Which makes it easier for the set up. Because you may need to install and remove it a time or two or three or four to get the correct amount of shims for the pinion depth. And if you only have one new bearing that is a lot of hassle pressing it on and off numerous times. And there is always a chance you could damage the new bearing pressing it off. Some people will use the old bearing for set up. But I don't like doing this because the old bearing will have some wear. Which could give you a slight difference from the new bearing. And the new bearing is around $15.00 or less. So it's well worth the money.
If i want to buy this all from rockauto then i need :

1. http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....111666&jsn=503

2. http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....111666&jsn=572

or

http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....=4030491&jsn=3

(But it has fewer parts, what do i need if i go for a budget ?)



3. http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....=1118371&jsn=3

4. http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....111666&jsn=581

Did i forgot something ? can you add some additional parts you mentioned ?


P.S. what about mini spool kit ? Ad far as i remember it was for locking up rear end ? sometimes i need to hal some weight, maybe that would be helpfull ? Or just helpfull for making tire smoke from both sides of the can ?
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrs View Post
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Thanks for so good and detailed answers. Where i live in town there is a lot of mountains to climb to so right now van is very doggy going up. What do i need to switch 4.10 ? Do i have to change all rear end or just some of the gears if others arw ok ? Axle number on sticker is 19. Rear end is with 10 bolts, probably 8.8.
While replacing the gearing in your current rear end is an option, it might be easier to just swap out the rear end for one that already has 4.10s. This would eliminate any shimming, bearing etc etc. Just unbolt the old one and put the new one in. If possible this is the route I would go
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:54 AM
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I have no access on good used rear ends. I live in europe. In US it would be a good choice.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrs View Post
If i want to buy this all from rockauto then i need :

1. More Information for DANA 2020737

2. More Information for TIMKEN DRK311MK

or

More Information for USA STANDARD GEAR USA12035

(But it has fewer parts, what do i need if i go for a budget ?)



3. More Information for TIMKEN M802048

4. More Information for USA STANDARD GEAR USA33085

Did i forgot something ? can you add some additional parts you mentioned ?


P.S. what about mini spool kit ? Ad far as i remember it was for locking up rear end ? sometimes i need to hal some weight, maybe that would be helpfull ? Or just helpfull for making tire smoke from both sides of the can ?



Here's the list:

1. DANA 2020737
2. If you are going for a single kit you need:

TIMKEN DRK311MKS . It has the shims. But if you get this you will also want: TIMKEN 3604 , USA STANDARD GEAR USA33154 , USA STANDARD GEAR USA33085

But if it was me I would save the cash and go with:

TIMKEN DRK311 &
USA STANDARD GEAR USA12035 .

That gives you the parts you need and saves you money. Plus that gives you the spare pinion seal and nut and crush sleeve. But you need both TIMKEN DRK311 & the USA STANDARD GEAR USA12035, if you go that way. Not either, or.

3. TIMKEN M802048


That should cover the parts ( except the gear lube ) . Unless you want to throw in new axle bearing and seals while you have the axles out. Then you would want either 2 of the CENTRIC 41468000 or 2 of the USA STANDARD GEAR USA10001 . The Centric are the repair bearings. I go with those most of the time since most of my 8.8" axle shafts have wear/damage on them due to high mileage.


I would say no, on the mini spool. Unless you are drag racing or doing a lot of off road driving. It will cause more hassle then benefits. For street driving if you are upgrading you want a limited slip not a locker. And that adds a lot of $$ to the gear swap because that requires changing out the whole carrier.
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