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Help Needed!! 5.5" Lifted TTB Loose....Everything

Discussion in 'Modified 1991-1994 Explorers' started by TxCowgirlInCo, November 26, 2018.

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    1. TxCowgirlInCo

      TxCowgirlInCo The Neverending Quest for my next “parking rock” Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      December 2, 2015
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      Location:
      Somewhere in the Dirt, Co
      City, State:
      Texan In Colorado
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      92,93&96 4dr&94 2dr sport
      Well, big one #2 decided to be cranky now a bit as well. Very quick synopsis. 6 months ago previous owner went to 'tighten up the RA bolts'. Apparently tightened drivers side 1-2 full threads and couldn't get the passenger side to tighten so just left it as is. (No it wasn't up on the frame I'm told, but both front tires on the ground - so not too surprised that trying to 'scoot' the axle rearward basically by tightening the bolt on the RA bushing wasn't successful). Fast forward a few months, PO decided to replace the RA bushings bc they were showing major wear. For some reason still didn't address the slop developing on the drivers side from having that arm 'shorter' than the passenger side. New bushings go in and brackets bolted back up, still visible difference in number of threads past the locknut on back side of the bushing.

      Forward a few more months. Huge amounts of slop in drivers side, so much so that the axle stud had started to elongate the hole going through the RA bracket and the I beam. Slop still not addressed, bearings started making noise and steering response suffered. Instead of checking/tightening or replacing bearings first, PO decided to try and adjust the toe to correct the steering issues and front tire scrub / squeal by adjusting the toe inwards. (Note: when toe was checked using string across front / back tires, in exact same conditions repeatedly, the results were never consistent indicating another problem I thought. Loose bearings, bad ball joints, bad TR ends etc). Both the squeal and steering wander improved for a few days but then suddenly 3 days later, the welded/gusseted steering bracket ripped off where is mounted to the engine crossmember. :mad: It's temporarily welded back up to get the truck home.

      Finally, bearings done etc and most front end noises diminish for a few days. Now with good bearings though, tie rods seem whacked out and the entire steering assembly seems shifted passenger side visibly creating strain on the Pitman arm/drag link connection and slightly changing caster. New sounds and feelings stated developing rapidly now. Clunks and pops being felt in the feet on both sides when suspension cycled or under braking, sliding feeling felt passenger floorboard, lots of 'loose feelings' in whole front end esp on turns etc.

      Few weeks ago PO was trying to get up an icy hill and locked in hubs, put in 4L but when put into Drive, violent pop/jerk/buck in either the driveline or front drivers wheel (debate on where it originated). Truck seemed ok, and up the hill it goes. Passenger door suddenly starts popping when you open it having Never done it before. o_O

      Here's where I come in basically. Things I've noticed. The trans mount that was worn but still holding pretty well a few weeks ago, thrashed big time! The less than a month old bearings are starting to drone, tons of under feet and under seat movement and sounds. It appears as if the steering bracket is shifting on the crossmember causing the 3 bolt holes to begin oval-ing. Axle Pivot bushings thrashed, at least one of the radius arm baker /frame bolts has oval-ed out so much that the entire bolt had seems to want to rip through the frame rain on the drivers side. There's a small Crack on the drivers side drop bracket under the cross member where they're prone to cracking, the very recently changed RA bushings are toast as are AP bushings etc... It APPEARS (haven't measured anything and TTB can look cattywomper anyhow) as though the passenger Side axle is traveling down the road ahead of drivers side creating a dog walk like condition. The transmission xmember and tcase skid have visibly shifted (passenger side more forward). Noticed the axle shaft where it goes through the passenger side beam has been rubbing, but not the top or bottom but the side as if the diff and drivers side axle are further rearward.

      So, stocked with new bearings and bushings getting ready to go tackle this mess but wanted to get any input / advice / suggestions seeing as how everything isn't straight or square with the frame. When I did all this with Two Point Ohh last year after his little collision I had basically unbolted / loosened everything on the frame rails from the tcase skid forward, disconnected the brakelines and let the beams hang from the coils gently supported from below to keep the coils from popping out of the seat. He stayed like that for a week during more trans diagnostic, but I dint have the garage or time I did before and feel a little overwhelmed because I don't want to go just tighten everything as is bc clearly some stuff isn't in the right spot...

      Huge thanks and I really appreciate any thoughts or ideas! Now running to grab the bigger jack stands bc these aren't tall enough to reach the frame rails!


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