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'97 XLT Dana 30 SAS

Discussion in 'Explorer/Ranger Solid Axle Swap Registry' started by 2TimingTom, April 30, 2014.

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    1. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      Well since I don't have the time/tools/skills to build my own, but I do have the money, this isn't going to be a build log, just show the final product since I don't have much for "during" pics.

      Dana 30, trussed and gussetted. 4.56 gears, Eaton Truetrac (front and rear), SOA with Chevy 1500 63" leafs, 1354 manual transfer case, F-150 steering box.

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    3. RangerX

      RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      That sits REAL nice, and flexes quite well! What size tires are those? How about a couple closeup pics of the front axle, like the trussing and gusseting?
       
    4. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      Sure. I'll take some more detailed pics and post them over the next couple days. Taking it wheeling this weekend so I'll get a chance to test it out.
       
    5. Black99Snake

      Black99Snake New Member

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      how do you like the swap so far? ive been thiking about doing the dana 30 swap here lately. who did the swap for you?
       
    6. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      Swap is great so far. I've taken it on a very difficult trail (Chinamans Gulch) and just got back from a weekend of "expedition" style (road, 4wd trails, camp, 4wd trails, road, 4wd trails, camp.....) and it was very civil. It goes pretty much where I point it- up and over big rocks, through some snow......

      The guy that built Merc, Lazy Boy, Rock Ranger, Snoball and a few other rigs built mine. He's up in Parker- maybe an hour from you.
       
    7. RockRanger

      RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      Always been a fan of your setup. Got a picture of the front spring mount for the Chevy's. Haven't seen many explorers with the longer springs.
       
    8. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      Some long awaited pics:
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    9. Styx

      Styx Elite Explorer

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      Looks really nice any Idea what the front springs are out of???
       
    10. rabbit91

      rabbit91 Elite Explorer

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      bump looks nice and inspiring, hows the dana 30 holding up and is it a HP out of a ???
       
    11. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      The D30 is out of a 96 Cherokee.

      It's holding up great. The D30 + Truetracs = it goes where ever I point it.

      On the road it's good. My turning radius isn't the best since my sway bar hits the sidewall of the tire. It's pretty softly sprung (and its so tall) so it can sway a bit but it's not too bad. I've since added some quick disconnects for the swaybar to make that easy.
       
    12. Thompson1995

      Thompson1995 New Member

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      What size jeep coil springs did you use?
       
    13. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      Initially it had Rubicon Express 5.5" lift XJ springs and now it has Iron Mountain Offroad ZJ springs with about 2 coils removed to give it the same ride height and significantly stiffer spring rate.

      The RE springs were too soft. Bumps on the road were scary as it bounced all over the place. On the trail I would come off an occasional rock or something and it would bottom out. And I wasn't going fast. I somehow knew it was under sprung and not under damped. The ZJ springs have improved everything.
       
    14. derelict

      derelict New Member

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      Were the Chevy leaf packs stock ones? Also, what is the belly height on this? I like it as it seems to sit a lot lower than other conversions? You never mentioned what size tires you are running.
       
    15. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      The Chevy 63s are stock 1500 springs (1/2 ton). They will be swapped out soon for some 2500 springs (3/4 ton) springs.

      Tires are 33x12.5r15. At some point I will upgrade to 35x12.5r15.
       
    16. derelict

      derelict New Member

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      Great. Do you by chance have the belly height? Like, distance between ground and frame?
       
    17. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      I'll get it. It's currently on jack stands.
       
    18. rabbit91

      rabbit91 Elite Explorer

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      What size ZJ springs ?
       
    19. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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    20. derelict

      derelict New Member

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      Thats great. Yours seems to sit just right. It is not a monster truck, which is what I would be going for. Something low with 35s. The Chevy springs seem to work really well. Stock shackles?

      Would love to hear about the belly height. Does it feel tippy at all when going into camber stuff?
       
    21. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      Reused the Warrior shackles from the pre-SAS days.

      I'll get that tonight.

      Yes. At times. Since I went from the XJ springs to the ZJ springs it has improved in that respect, but I think I can still do better. I'm looking into some options.
       
    22. derelict

      derelict New Member

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    23. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      Track width will certainly help. Keeping the height as low as possible will also help- I installed a 2" body lift prior to the SAS. My bumpers and sliders were built to that height- undoing the body lift could be done but would require a far amount of work. I would honestly love to have that 2" back. The body lift doesn't effect belly height, but it has moved a couple thousand lbs up by 2" which does effect it tendency to feel tippy. The stiffer springs have helped.

      The forward spring attach points for the rear leaf springs were moved forward. Not sure by how much.
       
    24. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      The belly height answer isn't really a single number, here's what I've got:
      Gas tank skid: 15.5"
      Transfer case skid: 16.5"
      Frame just in front of the leaf spring attachment: 18"
      Frame just in front of transfer case skid: 20.5"
      Sliders: 21.5"

      I took only single measurements where I thought was the lowest point. All measurements are from the passenger side- I'm pretty sure it leans to the driver side- just like every Explorer (even with the 63s).
       
    25. derelict

      derelict New Member

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      Stellar stuff. I appreciate all the numbers. Your truck really is not that tall. Somewhere around 17"- 18" is pretty low considering you are going to be able to run 35s. That is pretty much exactly where I want to be. RuffStuff has a good 63" spring kit. :thumbsup:
       

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