Bkennedy's SAS and Rebuild Thread | Page 161 | Ford Explorer 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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Grabbers are very smooth on the highway and quiet. They are new, but are still quiet for a MTR. Only dirt they've seen is the driveway to the Arizona property, so I will have to report back on dirt performance.

Sister came out for a few days and wanted to go off roading. We decided on Secret Pass to Pass Canyon to Oatman. Went out to start the Explorer and nothing. Just a click. I immediately suspect the starter relay and have a few spares. Swapped one out and same thing. I bypass the relay and it starts right up. Test all the wiring and the trigger wire has no power. It should be on in start only. Trigger wire is from the Park/Neutral Position switch.

I play around with the shifter and no Bueno. I figure out I can screwdriver jump the trigger wire from the main battery. If my sister wasn't leaving today, no way would I have gone out in a remote area with any issue, but this was easily bypassed.


Only picture I took. This is about 2/3 of the way through. There are at least 20 burros on the hillside.

Secret Pass is a left turn off Hwy 68. It's very green on the west side of the mountain. This trail goes along the edge of the Mount Nutt Wilderness area. Beautiful mountain, huge sandstone bluffs and rock features that looks like a lighter shade of Moab.

Tires do very well in the dirt, great traction on rocks and loose gravel.

There are only a few interesting spots on the trail that flexed out the suspension, along with a few very steep and loose grades. Took us about three hours with one stop, about 20 miles of dirt. There are abandoned mines all over this area, and a few active mines. Saw one group of old folks in their side by sides, and a solo Can AM at the panty tree. Panty tree is a interesting sight. It's hung with an array of bras (some pretty dang large, like comically huge, like she should have kept the bra so she didn't knock herself out big) and panties. I took what looks like a newly graded trail that went closer to the foothills than I've ever been, and it petered out at a fence. Strange someone would being a big dozer in there to cut in a road to nowhere. There is a large active mine and buildings past the fence. Trail looked like it kept going but couldn't see it going over the ridge where we needed to go, so backtracked to the next bigger wash. Trail went around the active mine and ended up where I wanted to be, which was onto Silver Creek Rd., a maintained dirt road that ends at R66 near Oatman. Would like to tent camp out there and spend a few days prospecting someday.

By the time we got to Oatman, most everything was closed, and it was a Tuesday, so it was a ghost town. Made it more fun to walk around without it being crowded with tourists. Took R66 all the way back to Kingman and to the property. Nice, beautiful day.

Today, I'll be checking the fuse I noticed in my electrical trouble shooting book, then pulling apart the console to get to the switch. I have a B&M shifter and if it's the switch, it's the second one to fail. I'll bypass it until I get back to San Diego or can find someone to order me in one locally. The B&M shifter has a separate switch for the backup lights, which I now realize I didn't check. Don't remember if they use the same circuit, but its likely. That would tell me if it's the wire to the switches, or the switch. Time to start digging.

Explorer started right up this morning. Maybe it didn't like me having a passenger. The park/neutral switch feels weak compared to the reverse light switch. They are the same switch and stacked. There is limited space on that side of the console or I would switch them. I think a local parts store can order me a new one. I bent the tab a little to put more pressure on the switch. It seems to be working fine.

I went through all my notes from when I rebuilt the interior and wiring. The two switches are on the same circuit as the OEM single switch. Wiring appears to be fine since the reverse lights function.

Went for a 120 mile drive today, about 100 in the dirt. Well, graded dirt roads. Never turned the hubs. I took the dirt way over to look at the lots I bought, then found another one I like, with a real old realtor sign. Those seem to be very responsive to low ball offers.

Since I was on the east side of Kingman, I made a left into R66 and headed to Hackberry, then right onto Hackberry Rd. The road is graded dirt and heads due south, eventually crossing under I40, then running into Hwy 93.


I40 overcrossing

I crossed Hwy 93, and the graded dirt road changes names several times as it parallels I40, then terminates at Blake Ranch Rd. I crossed under I40, and decided I didn't want to go on the interstate. I headed westerly, taking several dirt roads and ended up behind Kingman Airport. Headed back to the property the rest of the way on pavement.