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98 XLT Dana 44 on Leafs

Discussion in 'Solid Axle Swap Registry' started by j_mazala, March 25, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. j_mazala

    j_mazala Member

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    City, State:
    Bay Area, CA
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 XLT
    1998 Explorer XLT

    4.0 sohc
    5r55e
    1354 manual

    1982 Jeep Wagoneer Dana 44 front axle
    4.88:1 Yukon gears
    Detroit Truetrac
    Passenger side flat top knuckle (73-76 Chevy) milled and drilled by Sky Mfg
    Passenger side Sky Mfg tall high steer arm
    Small bearing spindles (73-76 Chevy)
    5x5.5 hubs, rotors and wheel bearings (Ford Dana 44 ttb)

    Stock rear axle
    4.88:1 Yukon gears
    Detroit locker
    Spidertrax 5x4.5 to 5x5.5 wheel spacers

    1997 Ranger steering box
    1997 (I think) Steering shaft (has 98+ connection at firewall and rag joint at steering box)
    Jeep Wagoneer pitman arm (had to retaper splines)
    1.5x0.25 wall DOM tie rod and draglink
    Ballistic Fab weld in bungs
    Parts Mike EX2234R and EX2234L tie rod ends

    1995 Bronco master cylinder 1.125" bore
    1985 Chevy 3/4 ton calipers with 3 5/32" piston
    1985 Chevy G20 van front brake lines (~23" long)
    1985 Chevy Monte Carlo rear brake lines axle to caliper
    1979 Bronco rear brake line frame to axle
    ABS pump delete (kept engine bay computer for speedometer)

    Sky Mfg S10 SAS kit
    Sky Mfg Toyota front shock hoops
    Marlin Crawler 4" lift Toyota front springs
    Stock rear springs
    Warrior shackles
    RuffStuff u-bolts, perches and plates
    First gen Explorer front sway bar

    Goodyear MTR Kevlar 35x12.5R15
    Crager Soft 8 15x8 4" BS

    Dakota Digital SGI-5 speedometer calibrator


    Before shot with 3" body lift, TT and shackles
    [​IMG]

    Opened up the 44 and found this, it cleaned up nicely though
    [​IMG]

    Mocking up the steering box, maybe should have looked into an outside the rail mounted box a little more for the longer draglink and ease of mounting
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wagoneer arm (shown installed) vs. stock Ranger arm
    [​IMG]

    I used the stock high pressure line for the power steering but cut off the fitting that went to the old rack and replaced it with the proper fitting for the Ford box
    [​IMG]

    Getting the axle installed using Wagoneer 7 leaf packs that were too weak and replaced with the Marlin's
    [​IMG]

    Got it done and took it out to Carnegie SVRA to give it a shakedown run where I broke both front lockouts (junk yard Selectro) and pulled apart the front driveshaft. (5" slip is not enough)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Overall the truck took about two months to complete working in the driveway and I couldn't be any more satisfied with how it came out.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
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  3. DB_1

    DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    Great job, looks nice and clean. Is that Sky Off Road bracket one of their stock pieces or did you have them modify it for the waggy axle...looks like a perfect fit.
     
  4. BlakeGordon

    BlakeGordon Active Member

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    dude thats sickas hell... jelous.. haha
     
  5. NWOff-Roader

    NWOff-Roader Active Member

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  6. chad551

    chad551 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice job... My wagoneer leafs are to soft as well, still have not found a fix.
     
  7. mrbird09

    mrbird09 Member

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    great truck bro..i live in the bay area as well and im looking for some local help on my sas.i want to keep my rear stock also but i need a d44 up front to math the width..how is the wagoneer 44 with the stock rear? same widths or did you need wheel spacers?
    sick truck
     
  8. j_mazala

    j_mazala Member

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    Thanks to all!!

    I used their off the shelf kit aimed for the Chevy S10. All I had to do was build a shelf for the shackle hangers to mount to, the front hanger is already set at a 31.5" spring spacing which is what the Wagoneer and I believe most other full sizes use. Heres a link to the kit I used

    http://www.sky-manufacturing.com/new/detaproduct.php?id=197

    Yea the junkyard packs that I got were pushing 30 years old and stated to go into negative arch just sitting in the driveway. After reading around a bit I found that the Marlin/Trail Gear/All Pro springs for the Toyotas were a pretty popular choice for Tacoma and 4Runner solid axle swaps and with their weights being similar to the Explorers I figured they would work pretty well. The eye to eye and eye to pin measurements are nearly the same as the Wagoneers plus the Marlins use a military wrap to make for a stronger pack. So far they have been working great and flex amazingly.

    Heres a few links to a bit of reading on the matter

    http://www.ttora.com/forum/showthread.php?t=129584

    http://www.ttora.com/forum/showthread.php?t=140739

    The Wagoneer is about 61" wheel mount surface where as the 8.8 is about 58" so with the Spidertrax wheel adapters that I used on the rear to go from 5x4.5 to 5x5.5 that are 1.25" thick each the rear just about matches the front. There are some steering advantages to having the rear be an inch or two narrower than the front as well. The only downside to the Wagoneer axle is that it is a 6 lug so you have to convert it to 5 lug using some Chevy parts and some Ford parts.
     
  9. chad551

    chad551 Well-Known Member

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    Is that 31.5" measurement to the center of the leafs?
     
  10. mrbird09

    mrbird09 Member

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    did the front leaf shackles just bolt up to the frame just like the rear or did you modify brackets?
     
  11. RockRanger

    RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    Looks good. Maybe this summer we can meet up at Hollister. Does your draglink rub on the driverside spring when the driverside compresses? Sure looks close from the picture posted.
     
  12. j_mazala

    j_mazala Member

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    Chad - Yep that 31.5 is the on center measurement between the springs on the front hanger

    Bird - There isn't anything on the stock frame to bolt the shackle mounts to and that spot is a touch too narrow to weld the mounts right underneath the frame so you have to build a little shelf to weld them to outboard of the frame

    RockRanger - In the picture straight on of the axle the draglink isn't cut to length on the pitman arm side so it IS laying right on the driverside pack haha. Its pretty much flat like in the picture just shorter. The problem I am having however is when the passenger side droops out the draglink contacts the passenger side pack making steering a little difficult. Im thinking of maybe getting a shorter flat pitman then taper it from the top for the TRE and move the draglink to the rear hole of the high steer arm to get it out of the arch of the spring?

    And I'm definitely down to beat this thing up over the summer!
     
  13. RockRanger

    RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    I had the same issue with drag link hitting the spring. I basically added 3/8" to the spring perches to allow the draglink to clear the springs. The flat pitman arm with the taper on top should help a lot as well.
     
  14. Glen4X4

    Glen4X4 Explorer Addict

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    Nice swap, looks like a clean install.
     
  15. mrbird09

    mrbird09 Member

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  16. RockRanger

    RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    You can kind of see what I did here.

    http://216.189.1.23/forums/showpost.php?p=1292330&postcount=162

    The spring perch on the driverside was higher then the passenger side on my setup. So I made the spacer to make it a bit higher. The spacer I just bolted through the center pin as if it was a really short leafspring. This also allowed the steering to clear. I cant take any pictures cause I ripped it apart and went to a three link instead.

    Here is another pictures that kind of shows it.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. BlakeGordon

    BlakeGordon Active Member

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    have any pics of the shelf you made dude?? im pretty intrested in this build and its got me motivatedd haha
     
  18. crazyflights

    crazyflights Well-Known Member

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    I really like the plate for the steering box, that is nicely done! :)
     
  19. mjenk430

    mjenk430 Member

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    I second that! Pics of the rear shackle mounts please:)

    I hope to head out to the j/y tomorrow to start my search for a wagoneer axle. Wish me luck!
     
  20. 99ex22

    99ex22 Well-Known Member

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    lookin good! I need to do this some day, sick of failed ball joints. If you don't mind me asking what was your total cost for the swap?
     
  21. j_mazala

    j_mazala Member

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    I'll grab some pics of the shackle mounts and a few other odds and ends in the morning guys. Anything anyone wants to see in particular?

    A whole lot more than I'll ever get back from it!! Realistically with regearing both diffs with all new everything and wheels and tires I'm probably on the plus side of 4k. I have all the receipts but don't really want to add them all up haha.
     

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