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01 Sport Trac SAS

I got a 2001 Sport trac back in September, and with in the first week i did the 3" body lift and a TT/warrior shackles. I've been rolling around on stock rims and tires for 4 months now.

After doing all kinds of research and reading on here and on pirate, i've decided to get new rims and tires. So i ordered 15"x8" w/ 3.75" back space soft 8 rims, with 35"x12.5" km2 tires.

I realize that the 35"s will eat up my IFS, and with having the 4.10 and limited slip gears the trucks going to feel like a dog. So that made me think about re-gearing the truck. Well, after a solid week of reading i've decided to do a SAS and SOA this spring.

It just so happens that i have a '76 bronco sitting in the back yard, that the rear half is totaled. So its the perfect donor for the D44 w/ disk brakes.

My plan is to build a long arm w/ coils. I've been going back and forth between coils or shackles. I know shackles will be easier, and honestly that might be the route i go, but for now its the long arm build.

One question i've got is, why does everyone talk about building their own steering out of DOM and such, why could i just use the stock steering components off of the bronco.

Im going to gear the front and rear w/ 4.88 and the fronts will have manual hubs.




My 35's will be installed this week. I realize that the D44 will have a different bolt pattern then my explorer, and i'll jump that hurdle when i reach it.

Any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to throw them out. And Mods, if this is in the wrong section please move it.
 


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rickybobby

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people make their own out of DOM because the lengths would be all wrong using the stock steering from the bronco because of frame width differences and the positioning of the steering box
 




Dolbs4082

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Right, but wouldnt the tie rod be the correct length?
 




james t

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Yes, technically you could re-use the stock tie rod and make a new draglink with explorer end on it at the pitman arm.

There are virtually no benefits. The stock EB stuff is weak, and probably bent to some degree since its a million years old. The ends are probably worn out. To get a new stock EB tierod end the passenger side is the entire draglink, only driver's side has a replacable end.

Then you have the issues of having the stock steering below the knuckle... this not only puts it in a bad spot to get damaged, it also places your draglink at a steep angle since you will be running alot of "lift" compared to a stock EB. Which means your tracbar will need to be at a steep angle too.
 




OffTrac

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It's been argued that the D44 isn't really any stronger than the D35 IFS. There's other great reasons to do the swap but if strength is your main concern, you won't really gain anything. You can make the D44 stronger but make sure you look into what that will cost. 35s will still pretty much be your limit.

I don't know these things from experience, just from my years of research on the forums so take it for what it's worth.

That said, I hope to see another SAS ST.
 




Dolbs4082

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I've seen numerous d44 swaps with 35+" tall tires here on the bored. The main reason im wanting to do the solid swap is because most of the IFS explorers that are running 35", go threw front end parts left and right. So if i spend a little bit now on doing the d44 swap and the 35's then it might last a little longer before needing parts.
 




james t

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Yea even the LP early bronco 44 is waaaay stronger than the stock IFS. Even better, the "consumables" are way stronger and longer lasting (wheel bearings, balljoints). The only bad point of that axle is the stock shafts run the little 260 ujoint. This can be upgraded for cheap using truck shafts. The long side inner needs to be cut down and resplined, short side is a direct swap. Then later on when $$$ allows you can go with some bling shafts and joints.
 




james t

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I've seen numerous d44 swaps with 35+" tall tires here on the bored. The main reason im wanting to do the solid swap is because most of the IFS explorers that are running 35", go threw front end parts left and right. So if i spend a little bit now on doing the d44 swap and the 35's then it might last a little longer before needing parts.
Ive ran 37's on mine for 5 years, beat the ever loving hell out of it, and even daily drove it for a while and ive never replaced wheel bearings or balljoints. Every year i repack the bearings and retorque the balljoints and it's still going. IFS and 33's would be lucky to get that kind of life.
 




OffTrac

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I'm one year in on 35s with stock suspension. Daily driven and occasionally worked hard. I replaced UCAs at 100k for general maintenance and preventative but have otherwise had good fortune so far.

My brother in law had an '09 JK Rubicon with the works from AEV (directly from factory to AEV) and a few other goodies. The axles were smiling after a year on 35s. He traded it a few months after running H1 beadlocks and 37" military surplus tires (for street). He had already bought a D60 and D70 to replace the failing D44s but traded it as his needs changed.

Being that our trucks are heavier, I'd have my concerns. Maybe he just wheeled harder though. :dunno:
 




01STrunner

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I'm content with the strength of the ifs and 35s so far but I'm not hard on my truck when it comes to the road. It'll run 80 and I routinely drive 70 or so. But I am in the works of putting a LP 44 with leaves under it for the extra flex and simplicity. Not to mention if something breaks on the trails I'm much more likely to find jeep parts than an 8.8 ifs part. It costs a little to make the switch but I'm excited to see how it pays off in the long run. I look forward to seeing another SAS ST as well.
 




01STrunner

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BTW I'm using Super Duty steering components and a crossover steering with passenger flat top knuckle.
 




Dolbs4082

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Runner, after seeing your SAS teaser pics, thats what made my mind up about doing a SAS... your truck looks soooo amazing.
 




01STrunner

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Hahaha thanks man. It's killing me not having it to drive around and go wheeling with.
 




OffTrac

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I'm definitely not saying it's a bad idea. I'm pretty sure I'd do a D44 if I was looking for axles because of the simplicity, availability and cost. Just pointing out that there will be considerations and increased strength, which is debatable, may not necessarily be the best determining factor for such a project. More flex, parts availability, more lift, etc. are pretty awesome reasons.
 




Dolbs4082

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I guess my biggest deciding factor is the fact that i know im going to have to re-gear the truck to accept my 35's. And i know that once i re-gear it, and get the 35's on there, the ifs is going to bind, or somethings going to break. So i've decided to slap my 35's on the truck and run it as is (since i've already got 4.10's and limited slip gears)..

Then while running the 35's and having fun, i'll build the front axle (and might even build a rear while im at it... since i've already got an explorer 8.8 w/ disc brakes for the rear, and the d44 with disc's for the front.)

Then as soon as something breaks in the front end, i'll put the truck out of commissions for a couple weekends and get it all swapped.
 




OffTrac

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I like that plan. So much that it's what I'm doing as well. I'm going to need this IFS to last at least another year and a half or so. I'm not too concerned that it won't.
 




Dolbs4082

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I'd like to see mine make it til june-july (which shouldnt be a problem at all)... I want to get it built by mid august and drive it up to montana for our next family vacation.
 




Dolbs4082

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Well, after reading Sections build and Rustenuts, I ordered some parts.

2x6 1/4 wall tubing for the front crossmember/shackle mount... and some 1/4" plating to start fabbing up my rear shackle mount. My parts list has already started getting crossed off.

And I've officially decided to run shackles, not coils...
 




01STrunner

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Lookin forward to seeing it come along!
 


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Dolbs4082

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Swap might have to come sooner then I thought. Out on the back roads last night coming home from a buddies house, snapped the steering off the driver side. Had to abandon the vehicle. Trying to find a ride out there now to see if I can redneck a way to get it home...
 




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