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DUDER 1's 94xlt SAS

Discussion in 'Modified 1991-1994 Explorers' started by DUDER 1, March 26, 2015.

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    1. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      So for some updates, I started the leaf spring swap. I am doing pretty much the same leaf spring mod that BKennedy did to his ex. I started by taking the old leaf springs out. Both sides had a broken leaf and were rusted. I had to cut the u bolts off lol. I had fun. I measured the height with the old leaf springs and it was 34 1/2". I am using Sunex 10 ton jack stands to hold the ex while I work on her.

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    3. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      The right and left side leafs before removal.
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    4. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      Rusty u bolts and a broken leaf.

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    5. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      The old leaf packs and the right and left side with the leaf springs removed.

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    6. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I like the bumper. Clean, squared-off lines suite the first generation Explorers.

      Just a reminder, my leafs are a firm ride, but the weight of the rear bumper should off set it some. I like it to ride firmer because it has less body roll without the rear sway bars, and I also take some off road adventure, remote camping type trips and when loaded down, it rides very nice.
       
    7. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      Ok thanks for the info, I was thinking if the ride was to stiff I would take a leaf out and put the helper leaf back on to keep the lift. With the old leafs and one being broken the ex had a lot of sway in the rear. The bumper is nice and it works very well. I was told by the previous owner that is was built by a member of this forum. BKennedy again thanks for all the help.
       
    8. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      BKennedy, I also wonder if your ride is a bit stiffer because of your four shock setup. I am running a single bds gas shock. Just a thought.
       
    9. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Maybe a little is from the shocks. Adding two shorter leafs will stiffen up the ride.
       
    10. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      The Frankenleaf mod is done. Here is a picture of how it sits now. I am impressed by the difference in ride quality from my old packs to the new ones. The ride is a bit more firm but in a good way and the sway is a lot less also. I will post pictures later on of what I did and the supplies I used. Thanks again BKennedy for the good info. Aslo the ride height came out almost exactly the same maybe 1/16 less if that. My old setup was an soa on stock springs on a two inch block. The Frankenleaf is five springs with no onerlaod spring and its pretty much the same height. So with that it is at least two inches over the stock springs.

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      Last edited: January 7, 2016
    11. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Looks good
       
    12. malohnes

      malohnes Active Member

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      It does look good.

      I want to get new springs now that I have done the SOA on my rig. Springs are almost flat with no load on the truck, but at least my left and right springs appear to be equally flat, unlike so many others!
       
    13. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      So for an update on the frankenleaf mod, i grabbed two sets of leaf packs from two fist gen explorers for around $100.00. use a c clamp and take the center bolt out holding the leafs together. Mine were rusty so i ground them off. I picked the pack with the best bushings to use on the ex and the others to cut. Once you decide which pack you want to cut, take the main leaf with the bushings and mark where you want to cut it. BKennedy measured 1.5" past where the leaf starts to bend. I could not figure where I wanted to start meausring so I butted the measure tape on the bushing and measured two inches and cut there on both ends. One I cut the main leaf two inches on each end I put the freshly cut leaf under the main leaf I decided not to cut. Next I just simply put the good second uncut leaf under the cut down main leaf to make the third leaf.

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      Last edited: January 7, 2016
    14. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Where you cut should be fine, you just need to give the bend a little room so the leaf does not ride up on the bent part prior to the bushing. You don't need to orient them by marking on them, they are longer on one side than the other. You can purchase new center bolts at nearly any auto parts store. They are the larger diameter size (only two sizes that I know of). If you are planning on using a overload leaf, you won't need it, and it limits flex.

      I think we are posting over each other. After the second leaf, I just split the difference between the original leafs and made my cuts.

      Don't forget to taper the ends like the original leafs. And don't worry about those pads between the leafs, leave them out.
       
    15. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      I think we are posting at the same time lol.
       
    16. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      The next leaf to be cut will be the second leaf spring from the pack you have decided to cut. I cut 1.5 inches off of each end of that leaf and now stacked it under the uncut third leaf to make the fourth leaf. Finally the last leaf to be added to make the fifth leaf is the shortest leaf of the stock pack which you do not have to cut. The overload spring was not used. I hope this is not confussing lol.

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      Last edited: January 7, 2016
    17. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      Once I had the packs cut where I wanted the I clamped an uncut leaf next to a cut leaf so I could angle the edges like factory. I used a grinder to accomplish this task.

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    18. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      Once I angled all the leafs corners that I cut I took both of the shortest leafs which are the fifth ones to my local machine shop to have holes drilled for the leaf spring retainers. I followed Bkennedys mod and also moved the retainers to the rear. I had the shop drill and countersink the hole in between the two existing holes from the factory plastic shims. I also used 1/4" x 1 1/2" carriage bolts. I used the chrome ones because they seemed to hold better in the countersunk hole.

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      Last edited: January 7, 2016
    19. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      I will post the flat stock size later on when i get a chance to review my notes. For the spring retainers I used flat stock. I again had my local shop bend the flat stock 2.5 inches wide with 3 inch sides. The limiting bolt was a 5/16" x 3.5" fine thread grade 8 bolt with lock washers and a 1/2" x 2.5" tension pin in the center so I could tighten the bolts without the sides bending in.

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      Last edited: January 7, 2016
    20. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      Before putting the packs all back together I painted the leafs where there is metal to metal contact with EZ Slide graphite paint. I sanded the leafs a bit before applying this paint because like BKennedy stated this stuff does not stick very well. For the center bolt I just replaced it with the stock size, and for the length I believe I went between 3 or 3.5 inches long with a nylock nut. The new pack is now 2 inches thick. Once the packs were painted with graphite paint and assembled I painted the packs with gloss engine enamal to help the graphite paint from wearing off quickly.

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      Last edited: January 7, 2016
    21. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      I used Ruffstuff Specialities u bolts and spring plate to install the new leafs in my ex. The new ubolts are pretty long so I measured and cut 1.5 inches off of all the ubolts before installing. I also paint the spring plate with gloss engine enamel to prevent rust. My local shop enlarged the middle hole in the new spring plate to fit the larger nylock nut. By the way I use Rustoleum gloss black engine enamel with rust inhibiter. I torqued the ubolt nuts to 90 foot pounds using the same method as BKennedy. While I was in the back I ground the rivits out of the spare tire carrier and removed the rusty piece of metal.

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    22. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      The first picture was my old setup which was stock leafs on a 2 inch block. The second picture is after the frankenleaf mod. Pleas ask any questions because I know I have left info out. I just wanted this done so I tried to take as many pictures when time permitted.

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    23. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Wow, excellent job.

      I used one of the existing holes for the spring retainer and found flat head carriage bolts at a hardware store. I used stainless tubing where you used the roll pin and nylon lock nuts instead of washers. I thought about painting over the graphite paint. Does it stick?

      If you would, please double post in the frankenleaf thread.

      After bolting the spring retainer to the leaf, cut the bolt off flush with the nut. I scraped my first version off on a rock and since I cut the bolts off flush, they have stayed in place.


      Again, excellent job.
       
    24. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      Thank you very much for all the help and ideas.
       
    25. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      Thank you. So far the paint is holding up. I am hoping the enamel will protect the graphite paint from being worn off. The graphite paint just dosent stick very well.

      Will do and I will grind them flush when the weather lets up a bit lol.
       
      Last edited: January 7, 2016
    26. Stic-o

      Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

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      ^need to do this
       

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