2001 XLT D44-SAS | Page 20 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

2001 XLT D44-SAS

Ok, I'm going to start this thread since I'm hoping to be done with this by the end of September.

d44-f001.jpg


d44-f003.jpg


Ok, those were the pretty pics...then I cracked the cover off the pumpkin-

d44-f005.jpg

d44-f006.jpg

d44-f007.jpg

d44-f008.jpg

d44-f010.jpg

d44-f011.jpg


The thing had a ton of water inside...no gear oil came out, only water...

Now the questions for all you axle Gurus...

I can rebuild this no problem right?

Are the axle tubes sealed from the pumpkin, or did the water travel down the tubes?

I'd appreciate any opinions on this cause when the water came pouring out I got disgusted and put the cover back on...I'll have at it again tomorrow and start stripping it down.

From what can be seen- any ideas on what would have to be changed right off the bat?

Or am I looking at a total rebuild?

I want to swap out the knuckles and spindles for 5-on-5.5, they're hard to get here...any body know anyplace in Jersey or PA that I could contact and secure some F150 knuckles and spindles?

Opinions would be greatly appreciated!!

Particularly since I'm hoping to pick up the springs this weekend. :D
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
NOTAJP said:
Yes and no. The u-joint will fit (good news) but the yoke will need to have certain parts grinded down to clear the DC center section. They will bind at max angle is they aren't and brake. The other good news is that the driveline shop knows exactly what to grind and is very easy for them to modify. Just take the yoke in when you get the driveshafts. I don't think it costs that much to have done either.

I'm sure you'll get some flak for not going with a bigger u-joint. I kept the 1310s for many reasons. I only have to cary one trail spare for all 6 u-joints(I have DC front and rear). I also like to have a fusable link in the driveline. Your driveline is only as strong as the weekest link. I'd rather pop a u-joint then a driveshaft or axle. Cheaper and easier to change on the trail. Besides, I carry a spare rear driveshaft if I really screw it up. Hope that helps.

Actually I heard a similar thing about not going too big on the yokes, but I was told the dual cardan can go right into the 1310 yokes on the Atlas no mods. I'll have to double check that.

I'm going to go dual cardan for the front shaft also that might, "might" get me far enough forward so I don't have to modify the tranny crossmember. I've also read about running dual cardan at both ends of the front shaft to eliminate vibrations and help with the harsh angles.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





NOTAJP

Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 7, 2003
Messages
2,830
Reaction score
3
City, State
Mountain Home AFB, ID
Year, Model & Trim Level
No more Exploder
That's awesome they'll fit. You shouldn't need double DC's on the front. First, one DC joint should alieve any vibration that you might get if any angle is off just a little. You still need to have your front pinion close to the same angle as the output. Second, DC's don't have the range of motion as a normal u-joint. This will severely limit your travel. Usually only Jeeps with very odd angles need the double DC. Your truck should be just fine with a DC at each output of the Atlas.
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
NOTAJP said:
That's awesome they'll fit. You shouldn't need double DC's on the front. First, one DC joint should alieve any vibration that you might get if any angle is off just a little. You still need to have your front pinion close to the same angle as the output. Second, DC's don't have the range of motion as a normal u-joint. This will severely limit your travel. Usually only Jeeps with very odd angles need the double DC. Your truck should be just fine with a DC at each output of the Atlas.

Thanks! I checked my Atlas has the 32 spline Heavy Duty output with 1310 CV yokes.

I got the rear shaft back tonight right before I left for work- CV at the T-Case end and flange at the diffy, the slip joint is down at the diffy end. I told them to make the front shaft, CV at the T-Case single at the diffy.

My front pinion isn't pointed toward the T-Case, if I pointed it up any further it'd kill my caster. I asked and PM said it shouldn't be a problem since it's not in use full time and not at high speeds...he said if I have too much vibration I could change over to double dual cardans. They're not recommended, although some people do use them.

The only way to get my pinion up any higher would be to cut the knuckle off the tube and reweld them with the pinion further up.
 






NOTAJP

Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 7, 2003
Messages
2,830
Reaction score
3
City, State
Mountain Home AFB, ID
Year, Model & Trim Level
No more Exploder
As long as it's close you shouldn't vibrate at all with the DC.

It still unreal have this beast as come about. :thumbsup:
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
No vibrations, quiet as hell-

AND OMG it is so smooth and responsive it's unreal!! Atlas II ===> HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

No snap when you hit the gas the way the 4404 did, I actually ripped a tire loose and spun it...in reverse :), with 3.55 gears in the rear...I still have to get the 4.56s in the rear...got'em, but gotta get'em in.

Low gear is unreal- I had my foot on the brake and it just took off! I had to step a bit harder to keep it still, but DAMN!

I still have to get the boot over the shifter and I don't care for where they are, I'll have to see about extending the shifter rods up, forward and a little to the right. I had to cut the extension tube down some because of the way the 4R70W casting is.

Another note- in the manual they say shifting the Atlas is a learned skill- they're absolutely right, especially with the automatic.

I have to find other options for getting the front shaft, the shop that did the rear said parts for long travel are 6 weeks out...too long for me.
 






stretch

Elite Explorer
Joined
September 4, 2002
Messages
741
Reaction score
0
City, State
Waskom, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'96 XLT V8 AWD
Was the install very hard or not with the atlas? It sounds like you got an adapter to mate it to the 4R70W, is this correct? Do you have any pics from the inside of the X to show where the shifters come through? Thanks.
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
stretch said:
Was the install very hard or not with the atlas? It sounds like you got an adapter to mate it to the 4R70W, is this correct? Do you have any pics from the inside of the X to show where the shifters come through? Thanks.

I'll get pics tomorrow, the install was simple, the only problem was I used a motorcycle jack with a toolbox on it to position the Atlas, so lining it up was a little bit of a PITA by myself. It's a tight fit until you get it up into position then no problems, it went right in about 2 hours worth of work old one out new one in. The shifter was about another hour or so. Yes there's a 1" adapter ring because the tail shaft of the 4R70W sticks out too far. The Atlas came with the necessary studs to mate it all up. One note...the Atlas is much heavier than the 4404.
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
Ordered and received the front shaft from Tom Woods...they got it to me in 6 days. Fits perfect, but I've got to do a little something to get the pinion a little further up, that or think of running dual cardan at both ends (not the way to go I've heard). I'm thinking of finding a shop to cut the knuckles and reposition them so the pinion is up further.

Temporary fix- I'm going to shorten the shackles by 1", that will bring the pinion up a little...then once I swap out the knuckles to the hi-steer stuff (I got 1/2" and 1" spacers for the arms) I'm going to play with the caster a little and try to bring it up some more. I figure 1-1/2" should allow me to move it a little and reduce the number of degrees. It IS rock solid on the road so I think I have enough play to get the pinion up more.

I have too much angle on the universal where it is now.

I flipped the shocks all the way around and it is a much better ride- Thanks!

Last item- run steel tubing under the body for the ARB front and rear, I bought the armored flex hose for the drop to the diffys.

Oh, I still have sponge Bob stuffed in the hole I made for the shifters... :)
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
Parts Mike custom hi-steer knuckles with super arms are in, GMC stub axle, backing plate, spindles all in. Calipers, brakes and new brake tubing go in tomorrow. I used my Bronco rotors and warn hubs.

Then I'll shorten the tie-rod by cutting one side off and weld in a new insert and fab up a new drag link.

I'm debating running the drag link right to the passenger side arm and double over the tie-rod. I believe a 3/4" grade 8 will handle doubing the tie-rod and drag link no problem.

The only way I'm going to correct the front drive shaft universal angle is-
1) pull the axle, cut and turn the knuckles to get the right pinion angle and caster. The drawback to that is that I'll be starving the pinion for oil based on how much the pinion has to go up.

2) try a different rotation on the Atlas dropping the front output about 2 inches, then cut out the section of tranny crossbrace that's in the way and fabricate some additional strength into the crossbrace. I'm thinking this is going to be the best option all around.

I'll get pics of everything tomorrow...
 






james t

Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
January 27, 2002
Messages
10,666
Reaction score
11
City, State
Texarkana AR/TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 SAS sport
cdsl227 said:
The only way I'm going to correct the front drive shaft universal angle is-
1) pull the axle, cut and turn the knuckles to get the right pinion angle and caster. The drawback to that is that I'll be starving the pinion for oil based on how much the pinion has to go up.
It wont matter, you wont be in 4wd on the street and the hubs will be unlocked- the gears wont be turning. To keep starvage in check park the thing on a hill and over-fill the front diff. Point the front of the truck uphill. Pinion starvation and angle is more critical on the rear because it gets used at high speeds. The front is not so much an issue because it wont see much speed. Overfilling it should suffice. :)
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
james t said:
It wont matter, you wont be in 4wd on the street and the hubs will be unlocked- the gears wont be turning. To keep starvage in check park the thing on a hill and over-fill the front diff. Point the front of the truck uphill. Pinion starvation and angle is more critical on the rear because it gets used at high speeds. The front is not so much an issue because it wont see much speed. Overfilling it should suffice. :)

Cool...but then wouldn't it try and blow it up the breather? Definitely sounds like a plan, "if" I can find a shop nearby that'll do it without putting the truck down for a month. :(

Thanks!
 






james t

Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
January 27, 2002
Messages
10,666
Reaction score
11
City, State
Texarkana AR/TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 SAS sport
I know a couple of guys who've done it and never had any problems. Also, ive got my rear 9" done that way-- its a trail only truck so the pinion angle doesnt have to be perfect, and the pinion on a 9 is super low so aiming it up higher than it should be keeps it up out of harm's way. Been overfilled for about 4 years now. We're not talking alot, just enough to keep the pinion bearings from screaming. :)
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
Ok, quick question- does anybody see any problem with running the drag link on top of the pitman arm? I put the heim for the drag link on top because it gave me the clearance between the tie-rod and drag link since I'm running both from the top of the hi-steer arm...

I'm using a 3/4" grade 8 bolt- it seems fine to me...I'll take some pics when I get home.

Hi-Steer --> 100% --> Bumpsteer --> 0 :)

No play in the wheel at all, it's so sweet!
 






james t

Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
January 27, 2002
Messages
10,666
Reaction score
11
City, State
Texarkana AR/TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 SAS sport
Technically, its not as strong as running it under with the tie rod over, but its been done many times and even though its not as strong no one is breaking that way. Alot of eb guys run it setup like that, with the knuckle arm instead of a high steer arm and ive never heard of anyone breaking it offroad. The highsteer arm should be alot stronger than the arm on a stock D44 knuckle.
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
I took a couple of lousy pics, it's raining and dark...gotta get better ones.

pict0150.jpg

pict0153.jpg

pict0154.jpg

pict0155.jpg

pict0156.jpg

pict0158.jpg

pict0159.jpg

pict0160.jpg


I think the stacked tie-rod and drag link should be fine...and I'm going to do some better checking tomorrow before getting it aligned to see if the drag link will clear the tie-rod if I put the heim under the pitman arm.

Suggestions?
 






NOTAJP

Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 7, 2003
Messages
2,830
Reaction score
3
City, State
Mountain Home AFB, ID
Year, Model & Trim Level
No more Exploder
Looks good. I have my drag link on top of my pitman arm. The only downfall I see is that it will be hard to get the track bar to line up with the drag link. This will cause bumpsteer.
 






Vozar

Well-Known Member
Joined
September 12, 2002
Messages
829
Reaction score
3
City, State
Murfreesboro,Tennessee
Year, Model & Trim Level
94,98 & 03 explorer
Are u running those brute force u-joints, if so id ditch them pronto, the bigger 760 spicer joint is way worth the money. Looking good man!!!!
 






cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
NOTAJP:
After driving around I've decided against the track bar. Before going to the Hi-Steer there was plenty of bumpsteer, controlable, but it had to be fixed. The Hi-Steer has totally eliminated the bumpsteer. It was solid as a rock on the road before the Hi-Steer now I don't think a track bar will be necessary at all.

FordBeast98
Geez, can't hide nothing from you guys, yeah they're Brute Force u-joints. That's all these stores have out here...I'll run them for a while and them ditch them next spring. That'll probably be when this trucks going to see some off-roading.

I'm still thinking I might rotate the transfer case rather than cut and turn the knuckles...I'm just feeling that'll be the better option for me, but I'm still checking to see if anybody will turn them locally.
 






NOTAJP

Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 7, 2003
Messages
2,830
Reaction score
3
City, State
Mountain Home AFB, ID
Year, Model & Trim Level
No more Exploder
Awesome. I've never needed a trac bar either.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





cdsl227

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 25, 2001
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLT
Got the wheels aligned today. It drives great, but there's a little wobble coming from the passengers side when I hit bumps going from the right lane to left and the truck has a funny bobble, that's the only way I can describe it. Kinda like it's teeter-tottering from the left side to right (pivoting) not the truck moving from lane to lane, but as though it's sitting on a pivot, I don't know that's the only way I can describe it. I think they may have set the toe in a little too far??? Prior to changing the knuckles and all it had bumpsteer, but was solid as hell on the road...it just seems a little bouncy in the front for some reason. I checked and everything is tight, I'm going to hit a few things with the impact wrench tomorrow to be sure, I kinda doubt that's going to do anything.

Any ideas for me?
 






Top