I eventually want to put disc brakes on my truck in the rear. They are much more efficient and strong. Older explorer axles have the disc brakes on them and you can pretty much do a full axle swap with them on there.
Personally I like Disc brakes off road, but then again I try to avoid excessively sloppy trails and holes (working on a muddy truck sucks). I think disc brakes are faster/easier to dry off after a creek crossing, not to mention you dont have to worry about the adjusters and springs rusting up like with drums. Another problem with drums is that they tend to build up some nasty muck inside them rendering them useless. But my buddy swears by his drums. He ran discs for a while on the back of his BII (dedicated trail rig) and said they didnt last. with calipers all you have to worry about is the caliper pins (as long as the boots are in good shape and you lube the pins they arent an issue)
Just remember that if you run an after market disc setup, then you also have to buy after market replacement parts. After all brakes are a wear item and WILL need to replaced. Wouldnt it be a lot nicer to walk into a parts store and just ask for some 98 Exploder rotors and pads and them have everything in stock. With after market parts you have order things, pay after market price , and not to mention its pretty common for after market companies to discontinue product lines and parts.
The only thing you have to do is weld new perches on the top of the axle and weld on some shock mounts. Most Rangers use the 28 spline 8.8, but the FX4 Level II 8.8 is a the only 31 spline that came factory under a Ranger. It used the Torsen Loc L/S instead of the traditional Trac Lock L/S with clutches found in the Exploder 8.8.
Is your locker a full replacement carrier or just a "Lunchbox" locker that replaces the spiders? If it is a Lunchbox locker than you will need to find an 8.8 open carrier anyway. If it is a full replacement carrier it should drop in an Expo axle.
But you have one of the most desirable RBV axles under you truck already. The backing plates, calipers, and rotors from an Expo axle will bolt directly onto you axle with no modification. The only thing you will need to add is a tab or hole on the perch to mount the caliper hose to.
i just clalled my dad and he said it's the whole thing and lol he already installed it :'( in TWO DAYS ugh i guessi'm keeping the axle and i'll go with ur idea on takeing the stuff off the expo and putting it on my axle and drilling the hole lol thanks for that info man