The front drive axle on the Ranger, Explorer and Mountaineer can be either the Dana 28 series, or the Dana 35 series. However, there are two versions of the Dana 35 and while both are an Independent Front Suspension (IFS) axle, their differences are drastic.
The Mountaineer, 1995-99 Explorer and 1998-99 Rangers use a centrally mounted front differential with unequal length upper and lower control arms and front axle halfshafts. Also, these axle assemblies do not use hub-locks at the wheel ends. Instead, they use a vacuum operated disconnect system mounted to the axle housing, which locks and unlocks the axles. See Vacuum Disconnect Axle Lock later in this section for service procedures.
All other models use the twin I-beam style front axle assembly with either manual or automatic locking hubs at the wheel ends.