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D-Ranged

Discussion in 'Offroad Projects' started by josh40601, January 19, 2011.

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    1. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      After getting the axle back under the truck, I gave up on the fab work, and shipped it off to my buddy in Tennasty who does damn good fab work on the side.

      1st he rebuilt the 205 and installed the twin stick kit and clocking plate for the NWF Doubler
      [​IMG]

      next he built a bad ass crossmember/belly skid
      [​IMG]

      All mounted up, its about 3" lower than the frame, but with no body lift, this was as high up he could go because of the drivetrain. And he even had to cut out the floor
      [​IMG]

      then he built me some new control arms that are a little simpler (and stronger) design
      [​IMG]

      and since the engine cage that was on it didn't fit, he built me a new one
      [​IMG]

      Decided to go on and throw a cage in it too
      [​IMG]

      After mounting the seat to the brackets and stuff, not much room between the steering wheel. Might have to make it removable or something in the future. Or revise the mounting setup for the seat. My fat ass still fits though!
      [​IMG]

      Remember that hole I was talking about? Here it is
      [​IMG]

      Added an adjustable prop valve, and an entire new brake system
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      put the springs back in the coilovers, and sat it on her own weight. Slight lean...
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: March 30, 2016
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    3. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      a friend of mine had some factory leaf spring blocks for the rear, and I had an extra set of u bolts, so I put them in it to level it up.

      [​IMG]

      then i put the bumper back on it. HOLY BAJESUS it is huge
      [​IMG]

      then I took it to my dads for paint and body
      [​IMG]

      Coated the entire interior with lizard skin and painted it all black
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: March 30, 2016
    4. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Getting closer...
       
    5. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Really looking like the ol girl now. Still lots of little things to do, and my dad burned through the passenger door in 1 spot so he has to fix that, and get the overspray off the rubber, but its really close now.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      This time I made the flare bolt on so when we do go off-roading, I can take them off instead of ripping them off like last time. The rear flares still need to be trimmed, but am waiting until I build the rear bumper so the flare mounts up nicely to that too.


      Decided against the headers. Just going to run this engine like it is until it dies, then I'll do a different, more powerful engine at that time.

      Biggest thing now is just getting it running well, and able to daily it again. Still a lot of little stuff to do. Hope I will have it DDable before May. House is pretty much dun, Explorer only needs like 2 days work and it will be dun, so the rest can be spent on this.
       
    6. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      That should work..:biggthump
       
    7. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      thanks bud. :chug:
       
    8. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      house is coming to a close so I decided to spend some time on D.

      My dad let me use his truck and trailer to bring it from his shop to my house
      [​IMG]

      strapped down on the trailer, i love the ride height of this thing. Now to just figure out how to get the truck to sit this way will be another task.

      [​IMG]

      after I got it back to the house, I threw out the chunk of wood we were sitting on to move it around and put the new seats in.

      [​IMG]

      I now know why everyone raves about suspension seats.

      [​IMG]

      one thing I was ecstatic about was the placement of the shifters. after getting both seats in, I positioned the shifter as far forward as I could without causing additional bind in the cables, and it really is perfect placement.

      Now that it is home, I am really hoping to get this thing figured out. Weather is looking pretty crappy this week, but getting the 02 sensors in is the the focus now.
       
    9. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Pasting this on my thread so it is easy to find. I thought there were only 3 on these trucks...
       
    10. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      I'm not too good at the loading of videos, but hopefully these work. Got D running on Saturday a whole lot better than it used to. I added all the bungs for the 02 sensors, and gave it a tune up. I still need to add 1 more, and I had to hack off the muffler to get the pipes out, but it is full of shit anyway, so I'll order a new one to put back in.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      I still have a pretty large list of things to get finished up, but it is steadily being chipped away. I'm hoping it will at least be drivable by the time we move, but that's going to be close. Down to 36 days...
       
    11. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      So, the current project now is sealing off the cabin from the outside.

      The biggest task is the hole that had to be cut for the doubler.

      This is the hole with no covering. I want to keep this side as an access to the shifter linkage for the doubler

      [​IMG]

      This is a birds eye shot of the other side of the seat frame
      [​IMG]

      I really would like to be able to remove the cables in the future if need be, so trying to figure out a way to seal the cabin while allowing the cables to be removed has been tough for me. I was thinking get metal skin close to the cable, then use expanding foam like good stuff or whatever it is called to complete the seal. Then if i ever do have to remove it, just have to dig out the foam and slide the cables back out


      Here is where I am at so far with my plates on the inside of the rail. These are the two panels I want to be removable. A buddy of mine is using sami hold downs for his access panels on his toyota, so I am thinking something along those lines as well. Just gotta find something that will work for me needs

      [​IMG]

      Here is where the cage had to be cut for the rail to go through. I tried strengthening up the joint by fully welding the mounting plate for the shifters to both the cage and the seat rail. This truck probably never needed a cage in the first place with the type of wheeling I plan to do with it, but its in there now, so I think this joint will be good enough. If not, and I'm still alive after it fails, I can always rego it then. And I know my welds are not great. But way better than when I first started playing with a welder.
      [​IMG]

      I think i can do a little plate work to finish off under the cage where the cover plate will go and with some type of rubber/foam sealant, it will be ok.

      What do you all think?
       
    12. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      I got the overflow tank mounted and the hole in the floor mostly finished.


      One thing, I changed the oil today and it was pretty much black water. i have never seen oil lacking the viscosity like this. There wasn't water in it, because the oil was black, not milky. I changed it out and the 2 filter remote setup for a single filter setup. I haven't decided on the mounting location, so it's just ziptied to the engine cage for now. Do any of you have experience with oil that is in the state of what mine was?


      3.5 weeks until it is loaded up to move back to Cali
       
    13. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      well, I finished up the floor patch, and now we are back in san diego. We are living with friends right now, so I don't have access to my tools, or a place to work on it, so I dropped it off at my buddy's shop in San Marcos.

      1st thing is getting it running and driving reliably. He seems to think it is all the little issues adding up to the truck running shitty.

      He is also going to get the steering straightened out so that it doesn't feel like you're going to die when you drive it. This is mainly due to missing nuts, worn out heims, and a janky pitman arm.

      Then we move to the rear where he is putting in new shocks and shock mounts because the shocks are wasted and the mounts are broken. Just going back with stock replacements as I plan on using the truck as a truck along with wheeling.

      Then we move into fixing the front axle and the axle angle so that a driveshaft will fit in the front without contacting anything. Currently the pitch of the axle is rotated forward too much, which is putting the pinion yoke and the front output yokes at the incorrect angle, AND putting the driveshaft right into the the front brace on the skidplate... at ride height. So that will have to be reworked.

      After all of that, then we will work on getting the coilovers rebuilt, springs changed out, and get the suspension fully dialed in.

      Lord only knows how long this is all going to take, but Jordan is good at what he does, so I know that when he is finished, I will be able to drive this truck everyday again without the fear of it killing me.

      Then I have to try and figure out a way to get it registered in california... Going to keep it registered in Kentucky as long as I can, and not drive like an asshole to hopefully keep CHP from being too interested in it.
       
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    14. RockRanger

      RockRanger Elite Ranger

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      That is a good list of items to address. You have till October when desert season starts.
       
    15. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Good thing is he doesn't have any other customer projects right now, so I'm hoping he can really start knocking out the list. He said he doesn't think it will take him too long.

      But the big girl is ready and waiting to play in the desert. I can't wait for that thing to get here.
       
    16. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Haven't posted much on updates for this thing on here, but I have been busy.

      1st I sold the 1st gen cummins and bought a newer 2500 Gas truck. Really similar setup to my dad's old truck that used to use to tow the explorer around until I got my old dodge.

      [​IMG]

      had to do some maintenance and added a couple of cheap mods, and then focused back on D.

      Rebuilt both cases thanks to Border Parts down in Spring Valley. The price for the rebuild kit was cheap and they had it in stock. I forgot about these guys when I first moved back, but I will definitely be using them again.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Then all back together
      [​IMG]

      And here's a video of it running. I don't know how to embed it, but here is the url link to it.


      Now I have to figure out why I don't have dash lights, turn signals, or windshield wipers. After that, time to go for 60 mph :D
       
    17. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Drove it for my first time up to highway speed. Also drove around the base for about 30 mins looks for leaks or noises. Ran and drove very well. Once I get the steering and suspension dialed in this thing will be fun again. Here's some pics

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
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    18. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Ex finally made it here, so I thought I would post up a pic of both trucks at the new house.

      [​IMG]

      As far as D goes, I drove it around a couple of times and it is doing really well running wise and driving wise at the lower speeds. Still haven't hit the freeway yet, but I want to get the rear driveshaft, radiator hose, and pitman arm situated before I venture out there.

      The house has been taking up most of the time since we are doing another reno, but I am still making time to tinker back with my babies now that they are both out here now.
       
    19. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      so as i was mentioning above, the caster angle is still too far forward, meaning the pinion is still sitting too high, the ball joints are not in line as they should be, and the steering is aiming slightly downward. I already have the 7* C bushings, so it is maxed out in that aspect. The only real way to fix it is 1 of 4 options:

      1.) cut the welds at the pressed on C's on the axle tube, rotate the axle down, reweld the C's
      2.) lower the rear frame brackets to reduce the slope of the radius arms
      3.) say **** it and cut all the shit out and redo it for a 4th time
      4.) locate the near-impossible to find full width Ford dana 44 with weld on wedges, cut them off, clean up the axle, move all the guts from the axle that is currently installed, set the pinion angle to where I want it without the huge degree bushings, and weld on a set of wedges from James Duff.

      Well, a friend of mine was cleaning out his storage unit and asked me to help him sell some stuff because he is stationed in HI, so I agreed. Just so happens he has a bare weld on wedgie HP Dana 44 :smokin: So option 4 is what I will go with.

      I still need to fix the driveshaft issue with the rear end first, and replace pitman arm, and the lower radiator hose, but at least now I have options with the front end. I could 3 link it, 4 link it, go back to radius arms, etc. I haven't decided if I will keep radius arms, but I already have the weld on wedges in the garage, so it will be radius arm for a while still. I won't be able to dive into this until likely after the hammers, but man it was awesome snagging that axle.
       
    20. RockRanger

      RockRanger Elite Ranger

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      Glad to see you are doing option 4.

      When are you headed to the hammers?
       
    21. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      plan is to leave san diego wednesday morning (2/8/17) around rush hour, which should put me at the lakebed by noonish. This truck wont be coming, the explorer will.
       
    22. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      So, like I mentioned in April, I took the truck back to my buddy Jordan up at Coin Jar Off Road in San Marcos. He's done a lot of stuff on this truck, and his pickiness is something I really like. He is kind of set in his ways on some things, but that has turned out pretty good when it comes to this truck.

      I say that disclaimer because my original goal with taking the truck back to him was just to have the wedges welded on the smooth tube Dana 44 (one without the cast wedge inner C's) and reuse the rest of the setup I already had other friends make for me.

      Well... That didn't happen. Jordan wasn't comfortable putting the new axle in using radius arms with the bushings. He said we could do radius arms like the XJ's run, or we could just do a 3 link. He said he could get it to fit, and knows he could dial in the suspension to what I want with that setup, so I told him to go for it.


      He sent me this last week. He doesn't take a lot of "during" pictures, but here it is before he redoes the steering.
      [​IMG]

      After taking out the radius arms, he rebuilt the new dana 44 with all yukon parts from Ruff Stuff (Thanks Morgan!), added a new steel diff cover, added a truss, and put the 3rd link directly above the driveshaft. Everything has been cycled with a modified JK driveshaft for mock up, but Adam's Driveshafts will be building my new ones. The only clearance issue was at full bump on both sides, the 3rd link mount barely touches the JK driveshaft. Adam's will be using the TJ sized tubes instead of the JK's, so that won't be a problem once it is mounted.

      As you can see, the shocks are spaced a bit off the axle. Even with that height of the mounts, the lower mount is still almost 3" lower than the old setup. This allowed for 1.5" of preload on the shocks, and it is still sitting low in the front. As you can see here:

      [​IMG]

      So there are still a few more things to do. I also decided to go away from heims on this truck, due to the amount of on-road time I plan to have, and well, heims suck on road. Or at least the ones on my trucks do. I'm sure some of you love that shit, not I. I called up Ruff Stuff again and ordered their Y-link steering kit with a set of their tapered inserts. I also picked up a set of used (very used) knuckles from garage fab out of New York. A set of lifetime warranty ball joints from Orielly's and new warn lockouts were dropped off Sunday and the last bit of parts from Ruff Stuff should be there this week. So that brings you all up to date. And hopefully the last time I'll have to change the front suspension.

      things left to do:
      - Clearance the engine cage to access the master cylinder better
      - Clearance the engine cage to access the blown blower motor resistor
      - Clearance the engine cage to fit better around the air intake
      - Driveshafts (Hoping for a 2 piece rear so I don't have to move the gas tank. We'll see what Adam's recommends)
      - install the new steering setup
      - Probably a lot of other little crap, but a whole lot less than it used to be
       
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    23. RockRanger

      RockRanger Elite Ranger

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      Love my three link setup. Though I haven't ran a radius arm to compare it to. When I make it back down to San Diego sometime we will have to meet up so I can check it out in person.
       
    24. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      its fine on the road, not so great off-road but not too bad. The Explorer is basically running a radius arm setup on it and it does pretty well. I will be going to a 3 link in it too though.

      Biggest thing was fitting everything in there with a V8 in the way. Now the engine and trans are a huge unknown on how well they will do. I hope it will last a couple years.
       
    25. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Went and picked up the truck from Coin Jar Off-Road on Friday. This thing drives totally different. Before it was really darty and just felt scary. Now it feels like a lifted truck without a sway bar. The craftsmanship of Jordan's work is excellent and you can tell he put a lot of time in all he did.

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      The truck had a lot of shop dust all over it, and after I washed it, most of it was still there so Saturday morning I clayed and waxed it to hopefully keep the clear coat happy out here in the So Cal sun. My dad spent a lot of time and effort on the paint job, so I want it to last as long as possible. (I know you all are gonna make fun of me. lol)

      Drove it around probably 10 miles saturday. Gutless is an understatement for this thing. Kind of depressing, but oh well. At least it runs and drives now. Evidently there is a guy out here that has tuned the 5.0 to get some more power out of it. Hopefully that will help it a little. I can't afford to do the LS swap right now. :p

      So as of right now, I have a small oil leak where the remote filter mounts, and still need driveshafts both front and rear. Driveshafts will wait, but I want to finish all the little stuff and I'll likely just re-tube my spare shaft while I save up to have the bad ass 2-piece unit built. Truck drives pretty damn good, but I think it could use an alignment. Won't be investing a lot of time on this until the explorer is back together, so I plan on just driving it and getting a feel for it before taking it to the dirt.
       
    26. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      You have kind of a Yin and Yang 4X4 thing going with your two vehicles. One is very clean, the other is a total beater. I have tried for years to have both in one vehicle, but the small amount of trail damage I get is slowly winning out. I care less and less after each dent. Still not planning on trying those concrete ditches at Truckhaven anytime soon.
       

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