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Barack Obama linked 2nd gen. SAS

So let me first start with a quick introduction .. my name is Barack Obama and apparently I'm the junior US Senator from Illinois :thumbsup: . I love slow walks on the beach and bed-side stories. Yeah I'm talking to you big boy:

Barack.jpg

Okay now onto the goods...

So recently I've been starting a few threads all relating to my Dana 44 front axle and other tid bits - so I figured it would be best if I just started an SAS thread to pull all of those threads together into one centralize place instead of having them floating about the sea of other threads.

Follow me now as I look back on the threads that I've started:

1) Reading Pinion Depth Number In this thread, I was confused on which number was the pinion depth offset number of my ring and pinion set for the Dana 44. After calling up the good people of Randy's Ring and Pinion, I was told that the numbers on the ring and pinion are no longer used for the pinion depth offset. So I'm like wtf m8!? They did give me a number to start from and so thats what I started with.

2) Ford 9" For Off-Road Use In this thread, I ask the general public what they think about the Ford-9" axle for off-road use. Conclusion, bowties - the GM 14-bolt axle with the stock Detroit locker is a God's send and so thats what I'm going with (it comes with a pinion bearing support - just like the Ford-9").

3) RE SuperFlex Assemby I've never put together a Rubicon Express SuperFlex Joint so in this thread, I ask the public how in the world these things are put togehter. And to be more specific, I was confused how to drive the plastic bushings into the housing. Conclusion - use a press <- faaantastic.

4) Hi-Steer Arms 10-degree Correction In this fabulous discussion, we discuss the ever-popular 10-degree correction that is often placed on High-Steer Arms. In the end, I decided to go with the Sky-Manufacturing arms (although I never updated the thread I dont think - darnit).

5) Dana 44 Ball Joint Sleeve > Replace? Ah finally, the pain in the asymptote. In this thread, which I have yet to resolve really, the problem is that the upper Ball Joint sleeve has frozen itself onto the "C" (aka inner knuckle). The issue has yet to be resolved so no conclusion yet.


Well then, lets dive into some concepts and design ideas.

3link_concept.jpg

As you can see, the front axle is located via a 3-link with a panhard bar. Each link will be mounted to the chassis using Rubicon Express Large SuperFlex Joint. Why go with the RE Joint? Well I was quite impressed at how much JEFE's front axle flexed - so I decided to go with the same joint. I recently asked him whether or not he has broken the 9/16" bolts used to attach the joint to the chassis and he said no - a big :thumbsup: . The link's body is made of a 2"x2" - 0.25" wall square tube - similar to Clayton Off-Road's long arms. Currently, my calculations are aiming for the bottom links to be 38.7" in length and the upper to be 34.2" (figures may change). This gives me an anti-dive of about 105% but I will make the upper link adjustable vertically at the chassis so the anti-dive characteristic can be fine tuned. The bottom links are angled "toe-out" becaue the Dana 44 is a "Wide-Track" axle and the Explorer's chassis is about 2" narrower than the Wide-Track axle's ideal mounting points. The "toe-out" angle however is not severe : about 2" out for the about total 38" length. The two bottom links are attached to the axle via a regular rubber-bushing. The upper "third" link is attached to the axle with the same type of rubber bushing except this one is adjustable - to allow for pinion angle changes.

Onto the front axle itself: As stated, the front "Wide Track" axle is from a Grand Wagoneer (I believe '86). Currently, its geared 5.13 with open differential. I'll throw in a locker in the future after I get this running. The axle was originally running the Wagoneer 6-lug bolt pattern but, because the rear GM 14-bolt is 8-lug, I switched the Dana 44 to 8-lug pattern using parts from a K20 (caliper bracket from a J20). As for the high-steer arms, as stated previously, I decided to go with SkyManufacturing's standard arms with the 10-degree correction angle (arms are on their way from CA).

The steering gear box is out of an IFS Toyota and the entire steering setup will utilize only Chevy TRE's except at the pitman arm.

The front axle will be suspended by Fox 2.5" Nitrogen Air Shocks with 16" of travel.

The rear axle, again as stated before, is a GM 14-bolt with a Detroit locker. Initially, it will be leaf sprung using the Explorer's stock leaf springs (with an AAL and WAR153s). However, I do plan on going 4-link in the near future after the Explorer starts rolling again.

Now onto some newbie pics..


The axle the day it arrived from New Jersey:
axle_pickup.jpg


Before last winter came, I emptied an entire can of Liquid Wrench (and other llubricants) into the differential to soak everything down in preparation for the following spring.
d44_greased.jpg


When spring finally came, the axle was torn down:
d44_housing.jpg


New carrier and new gears. The carrier bearings below are the set-up bearings which have had their inner races grinded down for repetative installation and removal on the carrier while the pinion and ring gear geometry was fine tuned:
d44_carrier.jpg

Spring also brought wheeling weather and I got high-centered on a rock so I decided to SOA the back for fun (the thing on the back is my snowboard and bike rack) and had to get my driveshaft retubed because it popped in half:
soa_backshot.jpg


The caliper brakets from a J20 after sand blasting and a coat of epoxy paint:
d44_caliperbracket_painted.jpg


Flat-top knuckles from a J10 masked off and ready for some epoxy paint:
d44_knuckle_ready_for_paint.jpg


Inner "C"s on the front axle sliced from the axle tubes (and temporarily knocked out about .125" for easier rotation) to set proper caster angle:
inner_c_sliced.jpg


Chevy K20 8-lug rotors .. "Oh my Mr. Obama, what big rotors you have. Why yes Sally, I do have big rotors." :
d44_rotor.jpg


Chevy K20 calipers:
d44_caliper.jpg


And finally for now, the RE SuperFlex joints:
re_joint.jpg


As for tires, right now I have a set of 36" TSL-SX's I bought for cheap from a local individual.


So what's in the future? Well the rest of the link parts are on their way - as well as the high steer arms. The Fox shocks will be purchased in about 2 weeks and the 14-bolt axle will be picked up about 3 weeks to a month after that. The rear axle is the least of my worries so that's the last thing on this Senator's mind.
 



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section525

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IZ iz off his meds. No further questions.
 






Byrd91

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Is the front going to be suspended by air shocks only? If so is your truck going to see any road time or will it be a trailer queen. I read an article recently in Petersen's about air shocks and the conclusion was that they aren't ideal for street action, especially in a heavy vehicle (anything other than a buggy or Zuk maybe). Something about a squirelly (<-hardest word ever to spell) spring rate. You may want to look into that as coilovers may be a better choice.
 






IZwack

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Yeah the front will be supported only by the air shocks. The vehicle will see some road use (to the local trails) but mostly will be on a trailer for the longer trips.

I agree that the air shocks dont work very well on road - but thats why I bought a Civic :D . One downside to air shocks is their spring rate curve is totally different from coils, leaf springs, or coil-overs (tho coil-overs can be setup to mimic air shocks). It has horrible ant-sway characteristics because the "bottom" end of the spring rate curve maintains a constant rate for quite a bit instead of being more quadriatic which is traditional of leaves, coils, and coil-overs. But I think this is a plus on the trails :D

BTW these are FOX 2.5s with the 1.625" shaft - which supposedly has double the capacity of the FOX 2.0's - so weight should not be a problem for these shocks.
 






SkanlaxJMO

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IZwack

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<---- a male model for Pepsi ;)
 






justin146

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DB_1

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I was originally going to do a 3 link much like what you have planned but ended up building arms like Jefe's due to clearance issues.
I've read where it's better to have an upper and lower link on the diff side but without ever driving with a 3 link I couldn't say what works best.
Square links would be cool, I imagine you would weld the joints directly to the links but that would leave you with no adjustability. If your measurements are dead on then it's a non issue. I have seen some weld in cro-moly inserts for square tubing that uses a pinch bolt instead of a jam nut. Kartek carries them and I forget the name of the mfg. but it's in one of the mags I have. I'll get the name for you if interested.
On the air shock issue, most of the lighter rigs and comp buggies run the 2" air shocks, the 2.5" should work fine for heavier vehicles...you could even rig up a sway bar if need be. PolyPerformance are the people to call in regards to setting up air shocks :thumbsup:
 






Kirby N.

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The reason why people put the third link on the diff side is because the pinion angle will be most regulated through travel if the link is on the diff side. I guess it wouldn't matter if you were running paralell equal length arms, but it doesn't look like you are, and if you were you would run 4 links anyway for the sake of strength.

I would run the drivers side like one side of a jeep long arm if I were you instead of to the frame. Then just make it beefy. So it will hold up to the torque
 






21robbie21

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when are you attempting to finish by? or just whenever
 






IZwack

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DB_1 said:
I was originally going to do a 3 link much like what you have planned but ended up building arms like Jefe's due to clearance issues.
I've read where it's better to have an upper and lower link on the diff side but without ever driving with a 3 link I couldn't say what works best.
Square links would be cool, I imagine you would weld the joints directly to the links but that would leave you with no adjustability. If your measurements are dead on then it's a non issue. I have seen some weld in cro-moly inserts for square tubing that uses a pinch bolt instead of a jam nut. Kartek carries them and I forget the name of the mfg. but it's in one of the mags I have. I'll get the name for you if interested.
On the air shock issue, most of the lighter rigs and comp buggies run the 2" air shocks, the 2.5" should work fine for heavier vehicles...you could even rig up a sway bar if need be. PolyPerformance are the people to call in regards to setting up air shocks :thumbsup:
Thanks a lot for your input DB_1 :thumbsup: :D Yeah the bottom joints and bottom links are going to be welded directly to each other w/o any adjustment. I just have to measure and re-measure and re-measure :D I will run a sway bar with a disconnect should the handling on normal roads get really bad .


Kirby N. said:
The reason why people put the third link on the diff side is because the pinion angle will be most regulated through travel if the link is on the diff side.
I dont quite understand Kirby N - could you please elaborate a little more (perhaps a diagram) :D ? They way I thought about it, it didnt really matter where the top-link sat as long as the differential housing and the axle tubes did not spin relative to each other (which they wont cauz I'll weld them together). The links will not be parallel for the desired anti-dive calculation results (which has a huge margin of error because I dont exactly know where the center-of-gravity is - took a guess). I think Michael runs the same 3-link configuration (top link on the passenger side) - perhaps he can chime in.


21robbie21 said:
when are you attempting to finish by? or just whenever
Robbie - whats up guy?
Pickle.gif
(that animated GIF is from FROADER). I plan to finish in about 2 months or so. Right now the biggest fear I have is bypassing the ABS- mostly cauz I have never done brakes or brake lines before :confused:
 






Kirby N.

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Well, when the drivers side droops and the passenger side is stuffed, the caster is going to vary huge on the drivers side from when it is stuffed on that side. This causes your pinion angle to change too. That is the reasone people wrist thier pasenger side arms, not the drivers.

Pretty much the side with upper link determines the pinion angle. This is ok, when you have it on the same side as the pinion, becuase you can design it to work.

Umm, I don't know. With your setup:
- When your passenger side is stuffed, your links will cause the pinion to tilt down. This would not be desireable when the driver side is drooped. It will cause problems with the driveshaft.

I have seen some pretty crappy pinion angle through suspension cycle on leaf spring rigs, but why not just put the link on the driver side? Look at the Jeep kits that only use 1 upper link. The 1 upper is on the drivers.

Does that make sense? Sorry I don't have any technical words, or a cad design!
 






Kirby N.

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This is also the reason a wristed arm works or a 3 link is such a good idea. With 4 links, they conflict with eachother through travel- with out some serious designs- parralell, same length. With radius arms they conflict with eachother through travel. I don't know. Someone chime in and help me here? Someone with some animated cad design?
 






IZwack

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Hehe ok I understand you fully - thanks for the explanation! :thumbsup:

You do make a good point. originally I was thinking of putting the link on the passenger's side because personally, I'd rather redo the exhaust than mess with the stuff stitting on the frame rail on the driver's side (fuel rails mostly). I'll check it out sometime the following week. You do make a very good point - thanks Kirby N :D . I do hope the link doesnt physically interfere with the stuff on the driver's side tho - the panhard and the drag link.
 






IZwack

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Went through JEFE's SAS thread and found this image... looks like a link on the driver's side will work :thumbsup: Thanks Kirby N!

10-2_10.jpg
 






JoshC

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So how much do these air shocks cost?
 






IZwack

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You can typically get them for around $350.00 each.
 



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Kirby N.

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Air shocks are sweet. Cheaper then Coil Overs, more tunable, cheaper to tune (you don't have to buy new coils). I can find them used for about $350 a pair.
 






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