• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^

Bkennedy's SAS and Rebuild Thread

Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,223
Reaction score
58
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
The ranger has one forward and one backward to help with axle wrap. Would be fine on your setup if it fits.

The closer you get the shock to the wheel the more effectively it will work- especially in sway situations. Two shocks Inboarded might not work as well as 1 outboarded. The reason is that the shock moves at a closer rate to what the tire moves. You might need a sway bar- but I would look at something tunable like an anti rock.
 
Join the Elite Explorers for $20.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.


BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
Got it home. I know the springs need to settle and break-in, but it hardly sways unless I do a high-speed right or left turn. Its very stable. I am going to pull one shock off each side and drive it around to see how it feels. I might end up getting a longer pair of Rancho 9000's when I figure out how long a shock I need and call it good. No way to outboard the shocks, there is just not enough room. Tony, the shop owner, seems to be going old school with how to mount the shocks. He says to put them at a 45* angle to the springs. To me, it seems like they wouldn't be doing much good at all at that type of angle, but they would never interfere with spring travel.

New springs
20200123_173015.jpg


They did the fork lift articulation test when I went to pick it up. They were impressed. They could have gone up farther because the front limit straps were still loose. I jumped up and down on the slider to show them it was still stable, and was telling them to go a little higher but they chickened out.
20200123_151547.jpg

20200123_151606.jpg

20200123_151622.jpg

20200123_151703.jpg
 
Last edited:

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
I took it for a drive today. About a mile up a dirt road I started hearing clunking on hard bumps like something was banging on the floor. I have a busted rear shock mount. Now, I am thinking a complete redo might be in order.
20200129_143738.jpg


That is the second time that shock mount has broken on the same side. Last time it broke next to the weld. I gusseted the heck out of it, so it broke above the gusset. I am wondering if the frame flexes too much in that location for a cross member/shock mount. Originally, the guy I used to pay for stuff welded a 2.5x2.5, 1/4" thick piece of square tubing and drilled some holes through it for shock mounts. It was bowed when I removed it several years ago.

I went by the shop that built my springs for a little advice. We figured out that there is room next to my secondary battery and air compressor for shock mounts that are mounted to the inside of the frame on both sides without a cross bar. He thinks I can use the shocks I have. It also looks like I can cut the exhaust off, then take it to a shop and go over the shock mount after its all installed. First step is finding a OEM sway bar. Anybody have a OEM rear sway bar laying around?
 
Last edited:

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
Spent most of the day looking at Ford Ranger, Explorer and BII rear sway bar pictures on-line. If l laid the shocks back and as outboard as possible, they would share the same space as the sway bar ends and links. Even if I moved the bar up, they would still interfere with each other. Can't run the sway bar forward because of the gas tank. So, sway bar no bueno.

Sway Bar Options For Your Ford Ranger

I am going to dig into the shock mount/cross member tomorrow and try and see why its failing.
 

Stic-o

Elite Movie Star
Elite Explorer
Joined
September 1, 2002
Messages
13,747
Reaction score
448
City, State
Lake View Terrace, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 Navajo '99 XL '16 XLT
I have a first Gen sway bar you can have, it's still attached to the axle. Heck you can have the entire 8.8. I just need a tone ring, that I was planning to pull out of it if you have one laying around.

This is Froaders old axle that was in his current daily he was driving that was making some noise.
 

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
Thanks, I might take you up on that. Actually I will, just in case I go that route.

While driving it I did notice that most of the sway is gone. It only leans over when I make hard slow speed 90* turns. I might try running one pair of shocks like the shop owner says I should without the sway bar and see what happens. Then add one somewhere if I need it. I just need to get under there and get to work.
 

RockRanger

Elite Ranger
Elite Explorer
Joined
January 14, 2001
Messages
6,200
Reaction score
172
City, State
Fresno CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
86 ranger no more
Callsign
KK6TDL
I have a first Gen sway bar you can have, it's still attached to the axle. Heck you can have the entire 8.8. I just need a tone ring, that I was planning to pull out of it if you have one laying around.

This is Froaders old axle that was in his current daily he was driving that was making some noise.
If Brian only wants the swaybar I could use the axle for mock up parts on. I have an 8.8 tone ring on the carrier I can bring you.
 

Stic-o

Elite Movie Star
Elite Explorer
Joined
September 1, 2002
Messages
13,747
Reaction score
448
City, State
Lake View Terrace, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 Navajo '99 XL '16 XLT
If Brian only wants the swaybar I could use the axle for mock up parts on. I have an 8.8 tone ring on the carrier I can bring you.
This would work, We can toss the axle on the trailer when your down here tommorow, and you can pull the sway bar and give it to Brian next month when you see your parents. Lot easier to throw a sway bar in the car, vs a axle...
 

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
Oh, this is working out well for me. I need the entire sway bar, brackets, links and hardware if they are on there. Matt, you can pick up your transfer case spare while you are down here too.

Spent about half the day removing stuff under the back of the Explorer. I did some investigating into the cause of the repeated failure of the shock cross member. The frame flexes like crazy in that spot. I could push the broken piece of the cross member up and down with ease. I think I found the problem. The original cross member was a stamped steel plate riveted across the top of the frame. I think that allowed the frame to flex.
Current setup
20200129_144950.jpg

More room
20200131_135405.jpg

Cross member out. I left a little of the tube on the ends in case I decide to add another cross member there. Not sure how I would do that and keep it from eventually failing. The problem is, without it there is nothing joining the two frame rails together from the back of the gas tank to the end of the frame. I guess I could use a piece of thinner wall tube so it flexes.
20200131_143713.jpg


Not sure if you can see it in the pictures, but the tube is cracked in several places. That is thick-wall DOM
20200131_143931.jpg

I am always surprised at how fast stuff that took a week to fabricate can be removed.
20200131_143936.jpg

I ordered a bunch of shock tabs from Ruff Stuff last night. I think all I am going to do before that arrives is remove the axle shock mounts.

With the old springs, I used to have to push them down to get them to unload completely. The new springs unload themselves to the spring clamp bolt. its right at about the limit of my park brake cable and brake line so the shop must have taken that into consideration. Its also about 3" lower than the shocks allowed.

I have also decided to order a Redhead steering gear box after I noticed a slight leak at where the power steering return line goes from solid to hose. I can use the OEM box I pulled off the donor Explorer for the core, then return the sloppy Autozone lifetime warranty box for a new rebuilt POS box.
 

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
I don't have the sway bar links (probably to short anyway) they are still attached to Colin's truck probably.
I was going to make some with rod ends anyways. Can't complain about the price. I called five salvage yards yesterday. Whomever answered the phone would immediately say they didn't have any, which I know is bullcrap. I don't think they thought it would be worth their while. I even pointed out that I could use a sway bar from any Ranger, Bronco II or Explorer from 1983-2011 and they still claimed to not have any of those vehicles.
 

Stic-o

Elite Movie Star
Elite Explorer
Joined
September 1, 2002
Messages
13,747
Reaction score
448
City, State
Lake View Terrace, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 Navajo '99 XL '16 XLT
The wife will be happy to have the axle removed from the yard. It's been sitting next to the garage door for almost a year now. I only kept it for the tone ring, as the Navajo needs it for the speedometer. I've just haven't felt like opening it up and smelling like gear oil everywhere:fart:
 

mounty71

It's green, not gray.
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 3, 2007
Messages
3,581
Reaction score
163
City, State
Oakland, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 Mountaineer
Connecting the cage to the frame will fix the frame flex more than anything else.
 

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
Yes, but the way my cage is situated, only the A pillar and the down tubes behind the C pillar would tie into the frame. B pillar sits about 1" and directly above the frame rails in a busy spot on my frame. C pillar is on top of the rear fender wells.

I think I am going to make a new bolt-on cross member with sleeved bushings at each end. WFO has them for $9.99 each with 20% off on everything right now (KOH2020). I can use the ends of the old, square tube that would be very hard to remove (I would have to torch or plasma them out).
 

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
Removed the old shock mounts today. Cutting torch, reciprocating saw, 4.5 cut off discs and two 40 grit flap discs. I guess I built them to stay. The new stuff should be arriving tomorrow.

What's left of the mounts;
20200205_161051.jpg


Clean slate;
20200205_161105.jpg
 

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
I actually had to go to work today, but I spent a few hours on the axle shock mounts. One of the shock mounts I got from RuffStuff was a 10* mount for a Jeep Axle. I liked how sturdy it looked and figured I could modify it for my axle.
20200208_101703.jpg


I spend a few hours staring, measuring, cutting, etc. and cut them down to this
20200208_122230.jpg

They fit the axle perfectly. However, they are still too bulky and when I angled the mounts to make sliders, the shocks sit way too high. Also are on the bottom of the axle, which I am trying to keep clear. I got the other set of mounts I purchased and trimmed them down. I increased the angle of the mounts and got the shocks closer to the axle. They fit much better. Of course I ran out of time and didn't get a picture of them. Got one tacked on and I think its more what I wanted.
Stock photo
R1180-full.jpg

Crappy edit, but this is about where I made the cuts. I will get a picture of them mounted soon.
R1180-fulla.jpg
 

410Fortune

Mud Season
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
August 3, 2000
Messages
24,801
Reaction score
1,159
City, State
NORTH IDAHO, 7B
Year, Model & Trim Level
B2 Slightly Modified
so nice to be able to get pre bent and drilled tabs!!!

wonderful day and age to be into fabrication

Looking forward to see what you come up with this time around
 

BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
It is more convenient, but also more pricy than cutting tabs out of some scrap plate. The axle mounts are the only thing that will actually be fixed. I am using 4x5", 1/4" plates that I got from WFO laser cut with four mounting holes for the upper shock mounts to bolt them to the inside of the frame channels. Build the mounts off of them. Then, if I ever decide I need longer shocks, or need to move the mounts for any other reason I can unbolt them, drill new holes and remount. I am going to try the single shock mounts and see how it drives. If that sucks, I will add the sway bar. If that still sucks or rebound is too much, I will convert the mounts to double shocks or more likely get a new set of tunable shocks, possibly from Radflo to match the front. Need to get all the stuff back in there and build the shock mounts and see if there is room to add a removable cross member in there so I can still access the air compressor and auxiliary battery.
 
Join the Elite Explorers for $20.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.


BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
6,948
Reaction score
860
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
I'm stumped. I let the springs hang at full rebound. I compressed one of my current 8" travel shocks about an inch and worked up the upper mounts.
Mocked up mounts at full rebound:
20200211_141711.jpg

20200211_141729.jpg

The flat bar is just for mock up. I was planning on using some cut down 4x2" square tube as gussets.

So here is the problem; When I put the truck back to ride height, the shock is nearly at full compression. It can compress maybe 2" before it bottoms out. I can move the upper mounts up to 2.5" up and slide it up to about 7" back, and I can move the axle mount about 3/4" lower but that's not going to help.

I am thinking my shocks are just way too short to run this way with these leaf springs. If I ran longer shocks, they would have to lean back even more like the picture below I found online, making them easy to damage while crawling. In the pic below, I also don't see how he is not bottoming out those shocks
7493100057_large.jpg


I am really tempted to just say screw it and rebuild the old shock mount location.
 

Top