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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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410Fortune

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yukon is good stuff, very good stuff
Both of my diffs were setup with Yukon bearings and install kits (15+ years)
Just put together 2000 Explorer axle with all Yukon master install kit so far so good.
 


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Kirby N.

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I think he means koyo. I heard they actually bought timken from some random parts guy but you never know how much truth is there. Like I said, timken isn’t what it used to be. Most Ford and Jeep diffs I crack open have Timkens in them from the factory.
 




Kirby N.

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yukon is good stuff, very good stuff
Both of my diffs were setup with Yukon bearings and install kits (15+ years)
Just put together 2000 Explorer axle with all Yukon master install kit so far so good.
I agree Yukon is good stuff- however, thier master install kits will have reboxed bearing from various manufacturers- not Yukon. However, if you pay a little more you can usually get a kit with timken bearings from Yukon.
 




BKennedy

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I ordered the Yukon carrier bearings off Amazon yesterday and they arrived today. They are Timken, same as the axle bearings that came in the C-clip eliminator kit. I don't think I will get to this for a while, but now I have all the parts to get it done.
 




BKennedy

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I finally got around to installing the yellow top and it doesn't fit. They must have changed their group 34 batteries so they are about 1/4" longer and 1/8" wider. Doesn't fit in either of my mounts. Amazon said it would fit a 1994 Explorer and I have used that size in the past. They refunded me the money within a few minutes of chat with customer service, and told me to keep the battery. I have group size 25's in both locations currently and they used to be the same size. The only yellow top group 25 Optima makes is a 75/25 that has side and top terminals. Without being sure the 75/25 yellow would fit in my auxiliary battery location, I ended up ordering another red because I knew that would fit. My neighbor stopped by and as luck would have it, he needs a new battery for his TJ, which calls for a group 34. Sold it to him for $140, which means my red top cost me about $60.00. I think that's the first thing this year that has gone well from start to finish, but its not over yet because I need to wait for the new one to ship.
 




BKennedy

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While waiting for the new auxiliary battery to arrive, I decided to rewire the main cable and the cable that feeds the amp. I wanted the 200 amp breaker to be closer to the battery, its about 2' of cable away currently but in a very safe and accessible spot. The breaker is mounted to the flat space on the body where it steps up for the cargo area, above and behind the axle. I can get under there in a few seconds and push the breaker if it doesn't pop on its own. After messing around with everything I figured out that its already in the best spot. I also want the amp power cable to be be on the cable side of that breaker so I am rewiring so everything can be disconnected at the breaker. The only accessory I will have mounted directly to the battery is the air compressor, but it has its own plug and breaker.

Things are going slow for me as I am still recovering from surgery. A few months ago I was diagnosed with a small tumor at the base of my tongue, that had spread into lymph nodes on the left side of my neck. There are basically two treatment options; chemo/radiation or surgery with possible follow-up radiation. I was initially told that the only option for me was chemo/radiation so I had a feeding tube installed into my stomach, and one radiation treatment. It was then I found out the best surgeon in the country for this type of cancer practices in San Diego. I really didn't want anything to do with radiation or chemotherapy and the lifetime of after effects they bring. I consulted with the surgeon, and then stopped radiation treatments while I consulted more surgeons, ENT's and oncologists. I opted for surgery on November 30. I had the tumor removed robotically and I was the first person to be operated on with the newest, latest, greatest device at Sharp Hospital. I was asked to do a interview about my experience but really don't remember that part. The lymph nodes were removed the regular slice and dice way. Six hour surgery went well, spent the night intubated in ICU. I was supposed to be out the entire time I was intubated as I had explained to everyone that my biggest fear is waking up with that dam tube down my throat. I was with my father when he came out of surgery and he tried to pull his tube out. I have that same type of fight survival instinct. Fear realized as I was awake almost the entire time and remember the nurse on the phone telling the doctor "he's fully sedated and wide awake" and asking permission for a fentanyl drip. They restrained my arms with soft restraints. Not fun, luckily for all of us I was heavily sedated or they would have been in for it. Spent four additional days in the hospital, mostly because the surgery is in my airway. Came home to have to put my best friend and loyal companion Sasha to sleep three hours later.

A week later a visit to my surgeon revealed she got it all, no tendrils, nothing in the margins, and she explained there was only one lymph effected and she took 32. She said I am "surgically cured". I debated doing follow-up radiation because the one lymph was 5CM and it was recommended by some national guidelines for cancer treatment. After talking to several ENT's, surgeons and a few radiation oncologists, I decided to take my chances and not do radiation as most of them recommended the wait and see approach. In the "very unlikely" event that it comes back, I can be treated surgically or with radiation or both, with the same level of success as if I did it now. I would also rather not go to COVID central five days a week for four weeks and have my immune system compromised at the height of a pandemic. Cancer survivors are only considered "cured" after five years, so now its a waiting game; CT/PET tests every three months for a year, then every six months for five years, then yearly for life. The surgery beat me down much more than I anticipated and I am finally getting back to normal.

I should be tearing back into that rear axle next week to replace the carrier bearings.
 




JW

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This really is the year that keeps on taking. Very sorry to hear about all that.
 




gmanpaint

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Holy crap. So glad to hear that all worked out in your favor. Sheesh!!

I woke up during surgery, and grabbed someone by the throat. They had to fight me and sedate me again. Knocked me out for 2 full days. I was intubated, and thought I was choking to death, and was only trying to tell them I couldn't breathe. Lol

Thanks for sharing, and am very thankful your still with us sir!
 




BKennedy

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Thanks. I was waiting to hear how it went and what I was going to do before I posted about my troubles. My father was a fighter; Army in Korea, then 33 years in law enforcement. If I hadn't been there when he came out of it, he would have beat them all stupid from his hospital bed and pulled the tube out. I told the surgeon and the anesthesiologist all about it before surgery and that I was concerned I would do the same. It really sucks when they wake you up by yelling at you, then make you wait before removing the intubation. I had to wait two hours because I was intubated for over 24 hours. I remember the respiratory therapist telling me I was five minutes in and doing great, while I'm thinking please do not tell me how long I have every five minutes. Then when they pull that sucker out the gag reflex kicks in and its so very nasty.

I got the amp cable rerouted after taking several work breaks. I wrapped the cable in two layers of flexible loom, as is my custom with power wires. Here is picture of the breaker before I ran the amp cable to it, and next to it is a 400 amp mega fuse. There is another matching breaker at the other end of the auxiliary battery cable. Now I just need to wait for the battery to show up. The 10 gauge wire already attached to the breaker is for a auxiliary fuse box in the rear cargo area. The cable amp attached to the same post, on the off side of the breaker. That thinner wire running past is for my LED rock lights. The breaker and mega fuse holder are secured with well nuts.
20201231_110237.jpg
 




Stic-o

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Take it easy Brian. You need to get healthy first. That's what is the most important. I think we have all aged more then a year this year.
 




BKennedy

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I have been taking it easy, its driving me nuts. I bet it will take me a few weeks to replace those carrier bearings since it took almost three days to rewire a amp power wire. I'm not in a hurry but don't like it when the Explorer is down.

A few positives are I have really good health insurance so it looks like this entire ordeal will only cost me a few thousand. I also got the gastro feeding tube removed the day before Thanksgiving. The G-tube was installed when the plan was to do radiation/chemo treatments. They were supposed to be six weeks of high dose radiation, five days a week. The treatment sounded horrible to me because the throat gets too sore to swallow after a few weeks, and recovery can take months.

The G-tube is the most annoying and irritating, and sometimes painful thing I have ever had to deal with to date. I was constantly bumping or otherwise irritating the tube site. Nothing worked, padded it, no pads, one gauze pad under the flange, nothing worked. It was a constant annoyance, and forget doing anything around the house or lifting anything over a few pounds, because the tube goes through your abdominal muscles into your stomach wall. I used it for three or four days after I got home from the hospital because swallowing was very painful. Its also quite a procedure to install. Removal took a few minutes. Nurse deflated the water bag that secures it into the stomach, then she said; "Ready?" and yanked it out. Felt real weird, like a huge suture being removed, but what a relief. Stomach seals itself up almost immediately, but the skin has to close by itself so its taking a while. Looks like a bullet wound.
gastrostomy-feeding-tube.gif


I am only having a few side effects from the surgery; The left side of my face from my ear lobe down to the bitchin scar at the base of my neck is numb. Surgeon says feeling will slowly come back and I can already tell it is doing just that. The scar covers the entire left side of my neck and is very stiff. I have slowly been working on stretching the scar tissue. Food has a bland almost metallic taste. Anything spicy burns and I like spicy food. Surgeon says its from the swelling of my tongue around the nerves that go to the taste buds and it should go away within a few weeks. Sucks because relatives and neighbors have been bringing me some what I know to be awesome meals, and pies. Pumpkin, pecan, cheesecake, even a bunt cake.
 




RockRanger

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Hang in there Brian. I was sad when Sarah posted about Sasha. She was always by your side. We had to put our pup down today. Not a fun time.

We still have a Dusy Ershim trip we have to get in.
 




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BKennedy

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I did a small modification, but it did take all day. But that's just because I kept changing my mind. My Hi-lift jack is mounted laying down on the roof rack. I actually decided on the rack height based upon the jack fitting inside of it when mounted. I have always used zip-ties to keep the jack handle from rattling. I hardly every use it, and its usually for someone else when I do, but its a pain to have to bust off the ties and then replace them every time. I ordered one of those polyurethane keeper/isolators. It arrived a few days ago, and it was so loose I could move the handle 3-4" side to side, so it was worse than the zip-tie method. After initiating a return request for the crappy isolator, I looked at the jack mounts for a while, then looked at them again. I decided I could fab up keeper/isolator jack and handle mounts to fit my existing mounts so I would not have to redo everything and this is what I ended up with:
20210208_164343.jpg


Yes, the spacers are made from discarded Harbor Freight angle grinder arbors, so once again I have reinforced my "never throw away anything if it looks like I might use it for something in the future policy". The spacers fit inside the edges of the jack bar, securing it to the mount. Only a small amount of tension presses the tabs against the jack handle, which presses the jack handle against the roof rack cross bars, keeping it locked in place and unable to rattle. I have little rubber bumpers around the cross bars, made from some rubber tubing I had here at the house. The keepers use the same 1/2" bolts and nuts I already have in place for the mounts. I will post another picture after the paint is dry, probably tomorrow.
 








BKennedy

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The seller of that keeper / isolator I ordered offered me 30% off to keep it, so I figured it might help to keep the handle in place when getting the jack down. I have had it open up while handing it down to someone so it will at least keep that from happening. The holes in the hold downs are oversized so I can remove and install them with no binding to speed things up while out on the trail.
No wiggle at all
20210209_100829.jpg


The hold downs are offset to the bolts on purpose to get more contact with the handle since the bolts are slightly ahead of where they would be optimally, and I didn't want to pull the roof rack and completely redo the mounts. The jack was difficult to place on the bolts the way it was before so I ended up slotting the front mount bolt hole to move the bolt forward about 1/8". I couldn't remove the bolt to enlarge the hole because its too long to remove without removing the rack. The roof rack is held in with well nuts and also sealed around the feet to make sure no moisture gets in there, and its working so I don't want to mess with it.
20210209_100834.jpg


20210209_100910.jpg
 




gmanpaint

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My rubber keeper thingy is tight, no slop like yours. It is made by Hi-Lift. It is so tight that it's a bear to remove. Between that thing, and the metal wire keeper, there is no movement on the Hi-Lift handle at all. The base is where the noise comes from, and I use a bungee to fix that BS. lol
 




BKennedy

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The Hi-Life base is pushed up against one of the cross bars of the roof rack so it doesn't rattle.
 




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