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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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The safer method of beading the tire is using a stick with a flame on it. I learned the hard way about using a match with my hand.

Now is that the final hieght for the rear of the ex?
 



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[QUOTE='97 V8]The safer method of beading the tire is using a stick with a flame on it. I learned the hard way about using a match with my hand.[/QUOTE]I sprayed a trail with the starter fluid from the tire to where I huddled behind a large trash can. Thats where I ignited the spray trail which the fire then followed to the tire. My friend walked by and thought he was safe from the flame.


[QUOTE='97 V8]Now is that the final hieght for the rear of the ex?[/QUOTE]No - my rear leaf springs are pretty much dead (flatenning). So I will eventually put a 1" or 2" block on it to get it back to the proper height. This new height will be the basis for the front lift height. But in the near future, the rear will be 4-linked so all this leaf-spring stuff will be no more.
 






[QUOTE='97 V8]can you do me an enormous favor and pm me some details. on how you did that...or better yet make me one :D. Where would i get a tone ring though..thats what i am having trouble with. I use my rpms also..41 is when theres a shift point...in 4th at 60 it will be a hair under 2000.[/QUOTE]

got your pm. ya i'll get u some details on it. get some pics up on my cardomain for ya. i ordered my tone ring from ford. had someone put a center piece in it so it could be bolted inbetween the driveshaft and the transfer case. built a bracket thats bolted to the transfer case. it holds the sensor in place. and snoborder88... ya my non engine related cel will fail me but no speedo or odometer is perfectly legal. :rolleyes: i have a manual transmission so i have no ill side effects from this. but wouldn't there be some possible problems with an auto tranny since it wouldn't know when to shift etc... or does the tranny simply go off the rpm's? ford told this would cause problems if i had an auto. but they are wrong alot more than right soo...
 






hiridin said:
ford told this would cause problems if i had an auto. but they are wrong alot more than right soo...
They are right on this .. there has been at least one SAS project on the board that had problems after swapping both axles out and having no speedo sensor on either axles. Off the top of my head, I remember a Ranger in Michigan that ran into the same problem.
 






Wouldnt that only be an issue with the 98 and newer rigs? Without a speedo my truck still shifts normally.
 






[QUOTE='97 V8]Wouldnt that only be an issue with the 98 and newer rigs? Without a speedo my truck still shifts normally.[/QUOTE]
Yes sorry forgot to mention that.. it only applies to 98 and above Explorers


Now onto the SAS thing.. I removed the front axle and cross member today. I'll only get an hour or two every day for the next few days so within that time frame, I'm just going to clean up the front -- mostly grind away all the extra metal left over from the cutting process.
 






Finished removing all of the front-axle related stuff (lower A-arm brackets, upper A-arm brackets, shock tower thingy). Its supposed to thunder storm tomorrow so I probably won't get much time on the vehicle. On Thursday I have the meet-n-greet thing up near Baltimore so that'll take up most of my free time. So next chance I'll get to work on it is Friday - given the weather plays well (20% thunder storm). So.. I hope to be mocking up the links on Friday and over the weekend.
 






Pics.
 






hehe sorry I didn't take any pics 'cauz there's really nothing too impressive to show .. just a bare chassis rail. but i'll try to remember to take a pic before the mockup over the weekend.

on a side note, I got tired of scratching up my prescription glasses so I just bought two pairs (one indoor/outdoor lense, one smoke lense) of these HOT safety glasses for this SAS project thing (~$5 a piece).
ban-llama.gif


safetyglassesusa_1903_85114535
 






where did you buy those, id be interested for 5 dollars, i wear glasses too
 












section525 said:
A few days late but here you go:

clean_chassis.jpg


This weekend I hope to mock the links up
 






Are you a perfectionist?
 






LOL no.. why u ask?

The frame rails had to be cleaned up cauz shock towers must be welded to that thing. And it only takes like 7 minutes with a wire brush cup on a grinder to get the chassis to that state -- it easily ate through the left over dirt and the undercoating to reveal the metal.

As for the mock up links -- its critical because one of the things I *might* have to do is relocate the engine mount so that its on top of the chassis instead of the side. The reason being is that the upper link *might* run into it at full stuff. If I have to relocate the engine mount, I'd rather do it now while I have easy access to it as the shock towers will make it difficult to get to after they are welded in.
 






Why not a 1st Gen Explorer box? Or did I miss that somewhere?
 






section525 said:
Why not a 1st Gen Explorer box? Or did I miss that somewhere?
I went with the Toyota box for three reasons:

- I got it for I think $23

- I might run a hydro-assist later on, and there's plenty of writeups on how to tap the Toyota box for this setup.The reason why I'm consdering hydro-assist is because the backspacing on the wheels are only 2.5" - which will make turning just a tiny bit more difficult on the trail.

- diversity
ban-split.gif
(GM rear axle, Jeep front axle, Toyota steering box).
 






Well today I didn't get as much as I wanted done (it never does go that way does it - especially on a one-man team project).

I relocated the fuel and brake lines that used to run on the side of the left chassis rail -- they now run on the top side of the rail. This is required for the long upper link.

Chopped the left side of the transmissoin mount so that the transmission is only supported by the right mount :D Ehehe I know this is VERY iffy but its temporary. And the reason for this is also for the long upper link.

Tomorrow I get to mock up the links ------------- FINALLY!!!
offwall.gif
 






What all is involved and how hard was it to move the fuel/brake lines?
 






JoshC said:
What all is involved and how hard was it to move the fuel/brake lines?
I didn't remove them at all. What I did was notched the top of the frame rail. The notch is about 1.5-inches long - just long enough for all four lines to pass through. I then welded a piece back to stop the lines from coming back towards the inside of the frame rail.

I can't explain it really well but I'll post a pic of it tonight.
 



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IZWACK, my hero, hopefully i can find my camera cord and give you a pretty visual update of mine tonight, either tommrow or tues ima start tearing down and im gonna catch and pass you ;), im just playing ur gonna kill me, you know what ur doing, im just making it up as i go.
 






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