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Bkennedy's SAS and Rebuild Thread

As some of you know, I am working on building a parts list for a shortened Dana 44, long radius arm with coil overs SAS. 5:13 gears to match my rear axle and an ARB, maybe an electric locker. I have a pretty good list so far. At the same time, I am going to swap out the rear drum brakes for discs off of a 99 Explorer.

Please note: The plan is to keep this project as simple as possible with mostly off the shelf parts. I am not a fabricator, just a decent welder with a what I would consider the minimum required tools (chop saw, cut off wheels, air tools, welder, etc.), who likes doing his own work. Your opinions are welcome, but what I really need is technical advice. I have been thinking about this for several years and now have the time and cash to make it happen. Please keep on topic with your advice and don't go off on a side track about how you would do it as a four-link, or caged arms, or leave the axle full-width because that is not what I want. I want a simple-ish set up that works.
 


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BKennedy

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A few weeks ago I noticed the speedo cable was seeping a little transfer case fluid. I removed the skid plates to access the speedo cable housing, removed it and replaced the seal. No biggie. I left the skid plates off because I am going to make a little one to replace the front plate that covers the transmission. I have never even touched it and have been some places I probably shouldn't have been. It traps all the heat from the trans, the cat and the exhaust, which contributes to my trans temps.

I drove the Explorer over to my parent's house to check progress on the estate sale people and fix a sprinkler issue. The driveline vibration I had been feeling at 65 and over is gone. I guess if you ignore some things they actually do go away. I had tightened up the transmission mount bushings a little because I figured they settled by now, but I don't see how that could be causing vibration. Guess I can skip replacing all the U-joints on the rear driveshaft.

Still haven't gotten around to installing the 8.8 C-clip eliminator kit yet.
 


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Rick

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Could the skid plate been the cause of the vibration?
 




BKennedy

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Most of it went away when I shimmed the axle to fix the pinyon angle. I thought about the skid causing it, but just don't see how. The skid bolts to the frame and the cross member, which is also bolted to the frame.
 




410Fortune

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WTH? Let us know how this turns out......... bolt plate back on see if shimmy comes back?
I'm amazed you are still running a VSS with CABLE!
 




BKennedy

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WTH? Let us know how this turns out......... bolt plate back on see if shimmy comes back?
I'm amazed you are still running a VSS with CABLE!
I think the 1994 was the only 1st generation Explorer requiring a VSS. It was originally integrated into the speedo housing, then with my NP231 it was a mated 231/OEM speedo output since they have the same square speedo cable fittings and they fit together with a lot of RTV. That always leaked or caused issues. It wouldn't fit with the Atlas II's shifter housing above the speedo cable output, so I went with a in-line VSS, a custom speedo cable and a D300 type speedo housing.
 




BKennedy

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I got motivated and pulled the rear axle apart to install the C-clip eliminator. I used a wrench on the ring gear bolts to turn the locker so I could remove the C-clips and noticed the ring gear bolts are not very tight. A few of them were snug at best. Might have been the rest of the vibration I was feeling. Glad I got in there when I did or it could have gotten very expensive. Gears look great, bearings look great as far as I can tell. I removed the passenger side carrier bearing cap to remove the block for my Detroit and the bearing looks good.

Really don't want to pull the entire carrier out if I can pull the ring gear bolts one at a time, add some thread locker, them torque them all to spec before it dries.

If that's a bad idea I can pull the carrier.

What type of thread locker can I use on them for oil?
I'm thinking Permatex Orange
 




gmanpaint

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Those ring gear bolts torque specs, have been a hot topic this year between quite a few of us. Seems those bolts are just backing out on everybody, causing all kinds of mayhem.

Ford spec is higher (85#) than the aftermarket lockers are calling for. Most call for 60 #'s. I would check and see what Detroit is calling for, and decide after.

I went to the higher Ford spec for the ARB install, using ARP bolts that are a hair longer then stock, to be able to go to 85 Ft lbs, and accomodate for the thicker ring gears we use. I think this torque value is something to be taken seriously, for us that are using traction devices. New replacement bolts should be used because of stretching them out when applying the torque.
 




RockRanger

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What size bolt head do you have on the ring gear bolts? I had them back out on me. They had an 11/16 bolt head. I replaced them with Ford Motorsports Bolts and the had a 3/4 bolt head. I torqued to 90 ft lbs. That was two wheeling trips ago. I will pull it apart this winter and check them again.
 




BKennedy

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I ordered the orange thread locker since I can't find it locally. Around here its either blue or red.

The ring gear bolts have a 3/4 head. They haven't been touched since the Detroit was installed at least 15 years ago.

I continued on with the tear down. I got to the outer axle bearing and I do NOT have a slide hammer bearing puller. I have knocked them out before but this one was not budging. I pulled the rollers out of the bearing housing and cut a couple grooves into the lip, figuring I might able to bend the rest of it up so it loosens. It didn't move, but I did manage to destroy a metal cutting blade in the process so I have that going for me. Then I figured I might as well cut off the end of the axle tube since I have to do that anyway to install this kit, which might make it easier to bend the bearing housing. I cut around the axle tube doing my best to not cut into the bearing housing. Then, I cut the tube in two places straight up to the circular cut and knocked the tube end chunks off. Now, about half the bearing housing is sticking out the end of the axle tube. I cut several notches in the bearing housing and all that accomplished was to break up the housing outside the tube. I got out my Dremel and cut at an angle across the face of the bearing housing in three places. Couple of hits with a chisel and it broke up and fell out. What a battle. At least now I know what to do with the other side if the bearing doesn't want to come out. I was planning on drilling out the rotors for the 5x5.5 bolt pattern today but did not get that far.

The only picture I took was of the mess
20200924_173105.jpg
 




410Fortune

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ouch! Way to persevere. That is the word of the week, persevere
If it helps I am doing rear drums on a 79 F250.....looks like I'm the first one to re do these drums since 1979.........

My 88 BII also had the VSS with cable, I kept it for a long time. The 97.5 PCM I am using also needed the VSS, so I am still using one...but I got rid of the cable, too many issues..... I now have a autometer speedo that works with a Gen II explorer so I was simply able to remove the cable, same VSS sends the speedo signal to the dash
OEM cable lasted like 300K miles, aftermarket cables lasted like 1 year........may have been my routing :)
 




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ouch! Way to persevere. That is the word of the week, persevere
If it helps I am doing rear drums on a 79 F250.....looks like I'm the first one to re do these drums since 1979.........

Persevere should be the word of this entire year.

The thought of you working on 30 year old drum brakes does help a little. I feel your pain. I don't like working on 6 month old drum brakes.
 




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I got all the hard stuff done, or what I think is the hard stuff anyway. The other axle bearing came out like the first one, but since I had it figured out it took about half the time. End caps are pressed on and sealed. I thought drilling out the rotors for the 5x5.5 bolt pattern would be the difficult part, I got it in my head that they would be hard to drill. They are actually pretty soft and it went quick. I just stuck the rotor on the axle end, rotated it so the new holes would be approximately in between the old holes, marked them and drilled them out.

Waiting on the orange thread locker. I need to see how hard a press those bearings and bearing retainers are onto the axle. I am hoping I can tap them on with a long piece of pipe and a BFH. If not, I will need to get them pressed onto the axles at a shop.

I had to stop because it got hot, and I didn't want to keep Sasha the Wonder Dog out in the heat for very long. She was not her usual self last week and I took her to the vet last Friday. They found blood in her abdomen and ultra sound showed she had tumors on her spleen, one of which must have been leaking. It was either put her down or remove her spleen. I always said I would never spend a bunch of money on a dog, but I just couldn't do it so I had them perform the surgery. She is feeling better already and its been a challenge keeping an eye on her. She likes to move fast and scratch at itches, both things to be avoided for a few weeks. I have had several dogs, but this one is special. Anybody that has been around her can attest to that. She is only about ten and deserves a chance to live a few more years. Should get the lab results towards the end of the week, but there is a fair chance its cancer. Vet didn't find tumors on any of her other organs so she would be a good candidate for a short run of chemo to prolong a relapse. Apparently with dogs, they don't try to bombard it into remission like with people. They just do a short treatment to keep it at bay for a few years. I wasn't even considering chemo treatments for Sasha until I learned that. Cancer sucks; It has taken most of my dogs, both my parents and several good friends.
 




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Lots of pets to Sasha ❤
 




yostyexplorer94

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I got motivated and pulled the rear axle apart to install the C-clip eliminator. I used a wrench on the ring gear bolts to turn the locker so I could remove the C-clips and noticed the ring gear bolts are not very tight. A few of them were snug at best. Might have been the rest of the vibration I was feeling. Glad I got in there when I did or it could have gotten very expensive. Gears look great, bearings look great as far as I can tell. I removed the passenger side carrier bearing cap to remove the block for my Detroit and the bearing looks good.

Really don't want to pull the entire carrier out if I can pull the ring gear bolts one at a time, add some thread locker, them torque them all to spec before it dries.

If that's a bad idea I can pull the carrier.
I personally would pull the carrier and remove the ring gear. Then inspect the ring gear bolt holes for any oblong holes. Check the mating surfaces on the ring gear and carrier side with a straight edge for any high spots or uneven areas. Run a file over both, clean very well with solvent, and reinstall.
This picture was my damaged carrier. The arrows are pointing to where the holes got oblong and raised up. The surface is no longer flat. I bit the bullet and bought a new carrier to replace this. My bolts also completely fell out so yours may be fine.
20200710_105015 (3).jpg

Those ring gear bolts torque specs, have been a hot topic this year
Who knew, they just fall out. I know what the tell tale signs of little to no ring gear bolts feel like now.
20200704_223604.jpg

What size bolt head do you have on the ring gear bolts? I had them back out on me. They had an 11/16 bolt head. I replaced them with Ford Motorsports Bolts and the had a 3/4 bolt head. I torqued to 90 ft lbs.
Mine was 11/16" head Motive Gear ring gear bolts that backed out and were found in the bottom of the differential. I installed Yukon 3/4" head ring gear bolts torqued at 83 ft. lbs. with plenty of red thread locker. Yukon calls for 60 ft. lbs. and Ford calls for 85 ft. lbs.
Old on top and new Yukon's installed
20200726_121641.jpg
Waiting on the orange thread locker.
I am curious, why orange. According to the interwebs, It has the same holding as red but removing the bolt strength is the same as blue.
I don't understand how can it hold the same as red but be removed like blue? I researched thread locker for my ring gear bolts and from what information I found, I used the red. Next step would be tack welding the bolt heads to the carrier. (I thought about it but couldn't bring myself to do it!)
 








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Motiv gear yuck, I was told a long time ago avoid Motiv something about Italian metal sucks
If you do not use your rear VSS then the tone ring gear can go bye bye.....

Sorry to hear about Sasha! I hope she makes it another 10 years!!
 




BKennedy

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I am using the orange because the manufacture recommends it for ring gears. I will see how much work it will be to pull that carrier. I tried to lever it out yesterday and it didn't budge. I don't have a case spreader so will try the rag in the gears method to see if it pop's loose. I was thinking I could remove the tone ring since I don't have ABS anymore, which would give the threads a little more bite.
 




BKennedy

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I didn't get much done except to paint the exposed parts of the kit and the face of the brake rotors, more to seal them from the elements than for looks. Used etching primer, then gloss black. I don't know why no one ever paints this stuff. It ends up surface rusted in a matter of days, except for maybe the chromoly axles.
20200929_173128.jpg


20200929_173233.jpg


20200929_173206.jpg


I am also going to sell the wheel adaptors here

Took the dog to get her bandages removed and a checkup. Her gums are pinking up again which means her bone marrow figured out early that she is missing her reserve red blood cells. She must be feeling better because I had her in the garage with the door open and she chased the Amazon guy down the driveway. They should pay more attention to their surroundings.
 




410Fortune

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wait wait wait....Amazon has delivery guys?
LOL
 


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BKennedy

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I personally would pull the carrier and remove the ring gear. Then inspect the ring gear bolt holes for any oblong holes. Check the mating surfaces on the ring gear and carrier side with a straight edge for any high spots or uneven areas. Run a file over both, clean very well with solvent, and reinstall.

Thanks for getting it in my head to remove the carrier. Tracking showed that the thread locker was showing up today, so I decided to get everything cleaned-up and ready. I used the stuff a rag into the gears and turn it until the carrier falls out technique. It has worked every time. I removed the ring gear bolts and found this mess.
20200930_153426.jpg


20200930_153413.jpg

The installer must have used the impact until it stops torque method. I picked all the curly threads out of the ring gear, chased them with a tap and then one of the two bolts that were still good. The threads and the ring gear will survive. If I had not pulled that carrier, this would have fallen apart soon and would have cost me a bunch.

The bolts that were in there are 7/16-20 and 5/8" long. They could be another 1/8" longer. Found a set of ARP bolts that are .75" long, perfect.

If you do not use your rear VSS then the tone ring gear can go bye bye.....

Sorry to hear about Sasha! I hope she makes it another 10 years!!
Thanks, she is a very good dog.

I can remove the tone ring with no issues, correct? It appears to be just held in place with compression between the gear and the flange on the Detroit.
 




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