98 XLT Dana 44 on Leafs | Page 3 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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98 XLT Dana 44 on Leafs

1998 Explorer XLT

4.0 sohc
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

Opened up the 44 and found this, it cleaned up nicely though

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


Wagoneer arm (shown installed) vs. stock Ranger arm

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

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

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)



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.

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Great looking rig! Awesome SAS with a leaf pack. Considering a SAS and seeing this makes the decision hard. Three link was looking like the clear winner, but, this rig with the leaf packs makes me rethink my plans. Seems very simple with a great outcome.

Thanks man thats exactly what I was going for, clean and simple.

hows the tranny holding up..i supose thats solved from regearing your axle though

No problems but the bigger tires are harder on everything. Gears help to take some of the strain off and I'm going to add a bigger cooler but other than that you just gotta live with the fact that a lot of components on the vehicle will have a shorter life. I built it to wheel and still be a daily driver and understand that I'm going to be replacing parts more often than if I had left it stock and it never saw a trail.

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Can't remember for sure but I believe the 98+ Explorers need to keep the electronic part of the pump for the speedo to work. So I took the pump apart and kept the harness attached to the pump electronics. Then I ran the brake line coming from the rear and attached it directly to the master cylinder. I ran all new lines in the front put a T in and attached them to the other port on the master.

I also switched to a master at the same time that had the proportioning valve built in being that the pump handled those duties before. If I were to do it again I would have used the stock master and plumbed in an adjustable prop valve in the rear circuit. This is because the master I switched to had a bigger bore to match with the bigger bore on my new calipers but I got that ratio wrong and had to switch to calipers with an even bigger bore to get everything right again. The stock master would have worked fine with the normal half ton calipers but I had to swap to the larger bore 3/4 ton calipers with the JB7 brake code.

Overall its pretty simple especially on an earlier model where you can just trash everything and run some new lines with a proportioning valve.

I might be missing some details so let me know if anything doesnt make sense

Thank you very much! :)

So since I am working on a 95/OBDI Ex,... I can keep the stock master, add a T block, install 2 new front lines to the T via the MC, then add a prop valve inline to the rear lines via the other MC line hole, and not worry about the speedo/modulator?

Do prop valves come pre set to the ratio we use now? 70f/30r? I really have no experience with the prop valves, and getting an adjustable valve might get me in trouble! LOL

Im honestly not too sure about the prop valve that I have. It is the stock one that screws into the master off a mid 80s F-150 I think haha. It seems to work though, when I stomp on the brakes the rear doesnt lock up and want to swing around which is what I was hoping to avoid by using this master/prop valve combo.

From what I've read for the adjustable prop valves you just adjust it so that the front lock up before the rear so it stays straight under hard emergency braking.

On a 95 the speedo should be off the cable from the tcase so you should be able to get rid of all the pump junk and not have to have anything plugged in. Just need to route some new lines

Well, there is where the 95 is a puzzle sometimes. It's considered OBD1.5, as the trans is OBDII. There is no speedo cable, and uses the VSS(in t-case) electrical feed only for the speedo.

I need to find out if the ABS is OBDI or II on it. :dunno:

You have helped me a bunch with the info you have already given, and it's much appreciated...thanks :)

Small update on the tan turd..

Finally rebuilt my front driveshaft after breaking it I don't even remember how long ago. Used a couple Spicer parts and a 91-94 Explorer shaft to build what I had in mind. First step was to cut off the spline portion of the shaft leaving the tube and CV assembly. Then I cut the ears off the female portion and ground down the outer diameter from 1.9" to 1.75" so it would fit inside the driveshaft tube and welded it in with 4 plug welds. Then I took the two parts I bought and welded them together with a short piece of 2" by .125" wall tube.

Overall the process was easy but the female splines did distort a bit from the welding but I was able to clean them up and get it to work. Now I have a ~5" of useable travel shaft for $100. We'll see how it hold up but so far so good

The parts




Then I went to KOH, didn't wheel just went to spectate but did ok in the desert and ~1000mi roundtrip.

Got home and started playing around with bumper ideas. Planning on 1.5" poo pipe (1.9" OD) this is with some 1.5" OD tube set 3" from the body. Yes it will wrap around.


Planning on fabbing up some frame horns kinda like this for it


Nice lookin rig

What are the dimensions and type of metal that you used for your steering linkages? The look beefier than most SAS's.

I used 1.5x.250 DOM for the steering linkages and the body lift is looooong gone