Bkennedy's SAS and Rebuild Thread | Page 154 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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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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Stic-o

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Kings are more professional, and not needed by most. They need maintenance and have their issues too. For a oem type use your better off with a Bilstein and if more Offroad biased, go with Fox.

For old basic stuff (jeep, blazer, bronco) Skyjacker M95's are the way to go. I have these on the Bronco and there really good.
 



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BKennedy

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The longer I have these Radflo shocks, the more I like the company. I haven't really had an issue with them in about seven years of beating on them from freeways, to 30-mile-long fire roads, to driving as fast as I can through the whoops, to rock crawling. They just work. I'm not sure now if I'm having an issue, but the way Radflo reacted to me thinking I might have an issue is telling. An engineer came up front to talk to me, and when they rebuild them, he wrote a note on them he wanted to check everything when they were apart. They are priced a little more than Fox, which was 10 weeks out on custom valved shocks when I ordered from Radflo. Radflo is several weeks out in their production now, but when I ordered them, I got them within ten days. That's with me calling them so I could send my triple rate tender springs to them to install so I didn't have to take apart new shocks.
 






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I agree kings are not for every rig, but sheesh man they sure are beefy.....
I've been running Skyjacker "blackmax" shocks on our fullsize rigs, they seem to perform decent, no issues with them yet. I have never had a bad anything from Skyjacker

Hoping the rebuilt shocks with new springs gets your wobble under control!!!!!!
 






BKennedy

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Radflo called and they did NOT find anything wrong with the internal workings of the shocks. They are revalving and rebuilding them. Going a touch softer on compression this time. They should be done today, and I should have them in a few days.

I'm going to pull the rear Rancho shocks and see if there is anything noticeable with them.

Radflo tech just called. They are going to revalve them at 55/80 instead of 65/80. The engineer said it should work better with the spring weights.
 






BKennedy

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Pulled the rear shocks. Removed, cleaned and greased up the adjuster knobs. They are a crappy design prone to getting dirt and moisture inside. I checked the function of the shocks at several different dampening settings and they seem to be working. The difference between setting 1 and 9 is the difference between being able to cycle the shock and not being able to cycle the shock. The shocks felt the same compressing them by hand.

While I was under there I measured the travel length that is being used, it's 9.5" so I could get away with a 10" travel shock and move thr top mount out a few inches. These are 11.3". I have a zip tie pulled tight on each shaft to keep track of max compression.
 






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I used some silicon on my rancho O rings to help keep the debris out
I like the ranchos mainly because I bought the first set in like 2002 for my BII and 4 sets later I am still on the same warranty. I did have to pay a few bucks per shock this last time around because they made them much larger and more expensive. However still on the same lifetime warranty through 4 wheel parts.

If the shocks have been ruled out, what do you think is causing the wobble now? tire balance?
 






BKennedy

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If the shocks have been ruled out, what do you think is causing the wobble now? tire balance?
I rotated the tires and it happened again. Not tires.

If I get it all back together and it still does it, it won't be suspension related.

Edit: I'm hoping I got it fixed just due to the fact that I have replaced everything. Once I get it back together, I'll go for a long drive. If it happens again, I'll stick my go pro knockoff on a magnet mount up under there.
 






BKennedy

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Got the shocks back a few days ago. Got them back in today. The reservoir line fitting at the shock top cap wasn't tight on one shock and it loosened when I was pushing the reservoir around to mount it. I saw the fitting turn and a tiny bit of oil seep out, then I quickly tightened the fitting. The shocks were extended all the way and the gas is on the other side of the IFP in the reservoir so it should be fine. Just shows that no matter who works on them, they still need to be checked prior to install.

Still need to adjust ride height because of the new springs after I remount the tires. I sure hope that wobble is gone.
20220916_133241.jpg

This picture was taken with the front suspension taking most of the weight. My old lower springs had a distinct bow in them.
 






BKennedy

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Got the Explorer on all four wheels. Ride height looks good, maybe a touch tall in the front. I'll spend more time on that tomorrow after I drive it back and forth 8 orn10 times to help the suspension settle. If everything goes well, I should be able to take it for a good drive tomorrow as well.
20220916_170851.jpg
20220916_170844.jpg
 






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Have you measured from the front axle to the rear axle lately to see if they are still square to each other?
 






BKennedy

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Have you measured from the front axle to the rear axle lately to see if they are still square to each other?
Read this, measured it. Still 114" per side
 






Kirby N.

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In my experience, 9/10 times it is the track bar. There is no movement in tb joints? Your brackets are solid? I think I asked before but what are you running for toe in?
 






BKennedy

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Ball joints are solid and only a few years old. Track bar has new lower bushing and upper rod end, tow is 1/4" in.
 






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Got the ride height adjusted. I also took it for a two-hour drive, about five miles was on a fire road. It did not do the wobble. I drove across a couple stutter bumps that I am thinking if it was going to start shuddering, it would have done it right there. I could feel the suspension going over the bumps through the steering wheel, but that was about it. I'm not saying it's gone yet, but this is a good sign. I noticed the driver side upper spring is contacting the spring stops on one side. Springs rubbing on spring stops or the shock body is nearly unavoidable with a 2" shock body and long springs, but I can find the sweet spot by taking the weight off that side and twisting the springs around. Neither lower spring is rubbing on the shock body like the other set did, but these are new.

The new spring and valving set up seems to work a little better (12"x225lb upper, 16"x300lb lower, 55/80 valving). It's quite a bit smoother on the highway and I intentionally drove it hard across some shallow ditches and it sucked them up pretty good. There is less body roll, which I am attributing to having a quality set of new springs.

I'm still getting a bump I can feel through my feet when there is a weight shift.
 






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