98 Mountaineer SAS... | Page 24 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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98 Mountaineer SAS...

Project Merc...

New here. Big time Ford guy but I have been building Jeeps last few years. Having two growing boys I need something bigger then my Wrangler. And my XJ is kinda rough to wheel when you sit in it for 8 hours of off road action. So was looking for something a little more plush. Grand Cherokee are nice but Uni body and there V8 options suck since there is no aftermarket for them. Having a couple Fox Body Mustangs I am already familiar with the 5.0. I worked out a deal on 98 Mountaineer 5.0 V8 should be picking it up Tues. I can't wait!!:D

I will post pics after I pick it up. I did SAS swap in a Diesel Jeep Liberty for a friend so already have practice. Plan on using XJ Dana 30 to start and upgrade to 44 at a later date. I welcome any advice and things I should avoid. I have Miller Plasma Cutter, Miller 212 Mig, JD2 tube bender, and garage full of tools so this will be a fun challenge.

Pictures of my Mustangs...
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j_mazala

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Ever think of using a slider box style shackle to keep it at the same height?
 


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Stang5lgt

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Ever think of using a slider box style shackle to keep it at the same height?

Those are cool but same deal less droop. I like the shackle where it is cause it lays back lowering my ride height. When the truck flexes the shackle pulls forward giving me 2-3 more inches (maybe more depending on the shackle) of droop. With a slider box the leaf end stays parallel taking away that extra extension I get with the shackle. Since the name of the game is keeping your tires on the ground when rock crawling I need all the droop I can get.

On another note one of my Jeep buddies went to the steel yard with me to grab some tube for the new bumper. When we were walking back to the Merc he could see the Chevy leafs in all there glory. He goes holy crap those things are huge. LOL I just smiled and said don't hate. :D

Here is pic of his rig I built the whole thing. He brought it to me almost stock with just a Pro Comp lift. Now the thing is a monster. RE 5.5 long arm, Explorer 8.8 with 4.88 and Detroit, trussed Dana 30 with 4.88 and Truetrac, sliders, bumper, exo, steering all built by me, weld on beadlocks like the Merc, and a bunch of other stuff. He will be my first victim for the Explorer leaf conversion on a XJ. :D
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j_mazala

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Those are cool but same deal less droop. I like the shackle where it is cause it lays back lowering my ride height. When the truck flexes the shackle pulls forward giving me 2-3 more inches (maybe more depending on the shackle) of droop. With a slider box the leaf end stays parallel taking away that extra extension I get with the shackle.


I agree that with a normal shackle setup with two bushings in the spring and one at the frame side shackle mount the spring will experience less longitudinal twist and maybe even a longer life I dont see how it would have a noticable amount more droop.

With a shackle slider the amount of droop is only limited by the length of the slider and the force on the spring. Having only the two bushings in the spring doesnt seem to have an effect on overall flex. Wear and tear from the spring having to absorb a little more longitudinal twist? Maybe... But especially with the length of the 63s I dont see that as being a deal breaker

Heres a pic of Tim from Liquid Irons Industries' XJ with his slider boxes in the back. As you can see the rear of that truck is having no problem flexing out. Any more and you start to hit the point of diminishing returns

RCrocsMay09030.jpg


Just an idea to keep the rig low and working well. I've also hear the slider box gives a more linear rate to the spring but dont quote me on that.

I'm planning on going to F150s in the rear with sliders and ditch the Explorer leaves with lift shackles. I'll let you know how it works out when I get around to doing it
 








Stang5lgt

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I agree that with a normal shackle setup with two bushings in the spring and one at the frame side shackle mount the spring will experience less longitudinal twist and maybe even a longer life I dont see how it would have a noticable amount more droop.

I will stick with what I know works. I know my 64" leafs will flex more with shackles. So that is what I am sticking with. If that is all the flex he is getting out that XJ that is not that impressive the Merc flexed more then that with stock leafs. :D
 




j_mazala

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Not trying to show that its a RTI slinky just that its a viable option for keeping things low

Bumper looks good
 




GRNMACHINE

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Nice work!
 








Stang5lgt

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This is where I am mounting the lights. Just set one in there to take a pic. Going to build some brackets for them.
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I picked up two new Kevlars other two are on order.
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Stang5lgt

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Some pics of the lights.
I got drivers side wired up to stock fog light wiring. Light was still loose in these pic.
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This is with just my headlights on.
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This is with the headlights and LED fog lights on.
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Stang5lgt

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Installed some axles sleeves in the D30

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Some new 760x Forged U joints they are stronger then stock D44 joints.
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Welded one some almost alloy shaft ear caps. Helps keep the ears from stretching under load.
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Stang5lgt

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Made some boomerang shackles today for the Chevy springs.
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The boomerangs are about 1 inch longer hole to hole then stock but since they turn back it lets the spring lay flatter. So didn't really gain any lift from them just a nicer ride and should flex better.
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mounty71

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I'm sorry, but that looks so sketchy. Not saying they will definitely fail, but I wouldn't want to run them.
 




Stang5lgt

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I'm sorry, but that looks so sketchy. Not saying they will definitely fail, but I wouldn't want to run them.

LOL why cause I welded them? That weld is as probably stronger then the steel itself. And the steel is 3/8" thick so I am not worried. When they break you can tell me you told me so. LMAO ;)

Also considering the stock shackles are about 1/8" steel this is way stronger.

These are Toyota shackles I got the idea from.
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Stang5lgt

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The so sketchy boomerang shackles blew up today... LOL Just kidding they rock and those Chevy leafs flex so good with the new shackles. Only thing holding me back now are the shocks so I might have to order longer ones now. Drove 300 miles today wheeled the living crap out of the Merc. The Dana 30 is a tank I beat the living crap out of it all day and after I climbed double whammie on Chinaman Gulch I realized I had bent my rear driveshaft. So after I limped back to trailhead I took the rear shaft out and drove 65-80 mph all the way home in front wheel drive (140+ miles). So much for that Dana 30 being too weak! HAHA! The STaK Mini Monster was a beast I love that thing. And everyone who went wanted one by the time they got done watching the Merc kick butt. Even with my bald Kelvars the Merc out wheeled the other 3 rigs. I was very impressed with the STaK it is game changer for sure. Not mention if I would had the 4406 I would have been dead in the water since the Tcase is a slip yoke. It would have puked it guts on the trail and my day would have been ruined. So happy I got rid of that time bomb last fall.
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Glen4X4

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I seen your post on fb so had to come check out the pics, all the things I heard about d30's you keep proving them wrong.
 




mounty71

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Stock shackles also have a 3 dimensional shape to prevent twisting on side-loads. I was just stating my opinion, and you can take it as just that - an opinion. That's what this forum is here for.
 




Stang5lgt

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Stock shackles also have a 3 dimensional shape to prevent twisting on side-loads. I was just stating my opinion, and you can take it as just that - an opinion. That's what this forum is here for.

I know what you are talking about but I wanted more spring twist for more flex that is why I skipped the middle support. Truck is just as stable on the highway as it was before. Great thing about opinions is they can be proven wrong mine is all the time. LOL ;) Don't sweat it I was just giving you a hard time I kinda had my doubts too since I had only seen a handful of guys run these and wasn't sure. But after Yesterday my doubts were answered I even took the old shackles with me just in case. LOL :thumbsup:
 




Stang5lgt

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I seen your post on fb so had to come check out the pics, all the things I heard about d30's you keep proving them wrong.
Yep that little turdy is a tank. When I built it I just figured I keep it til she blew. She doesn't want to die. I very impressed. Considering it uses the same U joints as a D44 and you can even get 30 spline shafts for it like 44 it really isn't much different other then ring and pinion and the fact you don't have lock outs. :D Oh and the fact that the 44 can go up to 5.38 gears. My D30 is stuck at 4.88. But with my new crawl box I am no longer concerned I get better highway mileage and still have crawling power on the trail.
 


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Stang5lgt

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Here is pic of what the 5.22 low range can do to a 3rd gen rear drive shaft. LOL If it can do this to my drive shaft just imagine the pressure it is putting on my little Dana 30. And I was told the 30 wouldn't last one trail. HAHA love it! I have done over 10 trails now and 17k miles on it.

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I built a Ranger clone of the Merc he was worried about D30 but I talked him into it. They are way easier to come by. If had be I could swap one in a half day if original broke(since I used all the original mounts except the track bar). Parts are cheap and super common. They weigh less keeping rig weight down. Aftermarket is strong for the D30. Set of spare shafts with unit bearings would run you about 60 bucks at the U pull yard. I can buy a whole spare axle at the U pull yard for about 100 bucks.

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