Bkennedy's SAS and Rebuild Thread | Page 67 | 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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I bought the All in 1 jack from Tractor Supply a few months ago. Good jack for changing tires on and off road. The base gives it good stability. I've also used it to take the weight off the leaf springs on my excursion when I was doing some rear end work. I don't have a long term review, but short term it works well and holds pressure. It is now my main jack for my explorer since the stock one doesn't lift the truck high enough to change tires.
 






I bought the All in 1 jack from Tractor Supply a few months ago. Good jack for changing tires on and off road. The base gives it good stability. I've also used it to take the weight off the leaf springs on my excursion when I was doing some rear end work. I don't have a long term review, but short term it works well and holds pressure. It is now my main jack for my explorer since the stock one doesn't lift the truck high enough to change tires.

Thanks.
 






Looked up the MC and booster on Rock Auto. The T-bird has a hydroboost model. Something to think about.....
527077-bot_ra_p.jpg


@jmdirk Also, now that I have your attention.....
After taking the MC's I have apart, I noticed the primary piston and the secondary piston are quite a bit different in length. I read your post about brakes again, and got confused. From what I understand, both pistons put out the same amount of pressure, but how is that possible with the different lengths of stroke? It seems to me that the primary piston operates the rear brakes and the secondary piston the fronts looking at where the brake lines enter the MC. However, having the longer stroke piston operate the smaller diameter calipers seems strange. Is that correct, or should I have the lines reversed so the secondary piston operates the rear calipers?

I also noticed that the longer I am out wheeling, the softer the pedal seems to get. You think getting some super duper brake pads, like Green Stuff would help?


I have one of these in my explorer, it comes from a Chev. Suburban 2500 6.5 diesel, also have a saginaw steering pump from an 80s cadillac, this gives superb braking power, front wheel lockup on 46" tyres with relatively little pedal force, its so good its' almost dangerous!

I blew apart every old brake line in the car first after I put this thing in, then I put an adjustable valve just after the master cylinder to ease the pressure, especially to the rear wheels, they would lock up real easily even on dry tarmac!


Gets my recommendation the entire way, but I wouldnt recommend doing it unless you get a larger power steering pump also!!

good luck my friend, you can see photos of my booster in my build thread!
 






Took the interior and windshield out to do some cage work. First and last time I ever remove a windshield. Took about two hours to get it out. It has had a 10" crack working its way up the center for a few years, and developed another in one corner so it needs replacement.


ForumRunner_20151209_173059.jpg


Main reason I removed the windshield was to get to this and finish weld it. It will also make it easier to redo the windshield cross bar.

ForumRunner_20151209_173202.jpg
 












Mount the visors to the new bar.
 






Mount the visors to the new bar.

Zukman told me at the last Explorer run that's what Stic-O did with his. We basically have the same cages as the tube was bent at the First Explorer Forum Southern California Cage Party. I might be able to use the existing piece, I just have to be careful about removal. Won't be able to fully weld the new piece as the top will be nearly touching the head liner, and cutting the entire cage out to redo one piece is just not practical, or necessary. When I built the cage, I cut all the down tubes and fully welded the top of every joint, then sleeved the down tubes and welded them all back up. The problem is, I did not have the C pillar supports that terminate in the cargo area, the C pillar diagonal, the B pillar diagonal, or the dash piece in place. They would all have to be removed to get the cage low enough to weld the top of the new windshield cross piece.

Other cage work is another diagonal piece on the B pillar roll bar to cross the existing piece, and maybe one on the C pillar. I think having another diagonal piece on the C pillar might limit over the seat access to the rear too much for my liking. The C roll bar is much stronger than the B as is, because it has less bends and the down tube portion is shorter.

I was going to add a few supports to the lower portion of the B pillar so I could tie the cage into the frame at the A and B pillars. Decided against it as it would take most of the existing foot space away from any back seat passengers. I also remember when Tom Rio's Navajo rolled. It was a pretty nasty rollover but the cage did not punch through the floor, and my cage has larger base plates.
 






A trick I saw used to get at the un-weld-able section:

He cut the tube down the center-line about 4" then cut that half-chunk out. (bandsaw stylie)

Weld the top inaccessible bit from the inside, then weld the removed chunk back in.

Not perfect, but stronger than a half-moon weld.
 






Got the B pillar done, except for clean up and paint.


ForumRunner_20151210_165920.png



Cut out the old windshield cross bar. I will be able to use the old piece if I get it right the first time as it is narrower where it should go.


View attachment 87824
 

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Then she'll be ready to roll! (pun intended)
 












Anybody think its worth tying the cage into the seatbelt shoulder mounts?

It would be fairly simple. Weld a piece of 1/8" or 3/16" by 2-1/2" or 3" wide flat bar from the cage to the sheet metal around the belt mount. I could do it at the B and C pillars. I was thinking it might do more harm than good with all the body flex in these Explorers.
 






Anybody think its worth tying the cage into the seatbelt shoulder mounts?

It would be fairly simple. Weld a piece of 1/8" or 3/16" by 2-1/2" or 3" wide flat bar from the cage to the sheet metal around the belt mount. I could do it at the B and C pillars. I was thinking it might do more harm than good with all the body flex in these Explorers.

Nice job Brian...you could do that since your cage isn't tied to the frame but its strong enough for stock seat belts where it is imo.
 






Anybody think its worth tying the cage into the seatbelt shoulder mounts?

I've always been told to mount the seatbelts to where the seat is mounted. If the seat is mounted to the body, mount the belts to the body. If seats are mounted to the cage, mount the straps to the cage.

I wound up tying everything into the cage since the cage is not attached to the frame. The cage can break loose from the body, but the alignment of the seats and belts won't change.
 






I thought it would give the cage and body one more place to connect and reduce overall stress and body flex. I think I am going to do it. I will be using 1/8" plate because the seat belt mounts are sheet metal so anything thicker will do no good. Was also thinking about joining the A pillars to the cage with some plate welded to the pillar. The cage is tight against the pillar so it would not be too difficult, but removing the plastic interior pillar cover will be near impossible. I could cut out the plastic on the windshield side so it would not be as visible after the windshield was installed. Would not be able to reinstall the handles I have there though, and with the cage against the pillar, there might not be any real benefit. Need to think about that for a bit.
 






Decided against tying the cage into the seat belt shoulder mounts, or the A pillar. Seems like too much work with little gain. Also, the way these Explorer bodies flex, I think it would eventually tear the sheet metal around the welds.
 






I know you decided against it, but more info about what I was saying...
http://www.stockcarracing.com/howto/134_0406_seat_mounting

Worse yet is a case in which the seat is mounted to the floor but the belts are mounted to the cage. In a hard side impact, the cage can be shoved over toward the right side of the car. The seat is then, no pun intended, a sitting duck while the cage moves toward it and the driver.All this time, the driver is being yanked by the belts, and his ribs are doing their best to deform the seat.

Can't tell you how much **** I got from racing folks who saw how my seats and belts were originally setup with the cage.
 






I know you decided against it, but more info about what I was saying...
http://www.stockcarracing.com/howto/134_0406_seat_mounting



Can't tell you how much **** I got from racing folks who saw how my seats and belts were originally setup with the cage.

Thanks for the info, it makes sense. It would really only be a concern if I got T-boned in a intersection, but the possibility exists so I should plan accordingly.

Got the stuff I wanted to do done today. Its waiting on the paint to dry. Visibility is greatly improved out the windshield, but will have to figure out if the visors are ever going back in. Haven't used them for anything but to hold maps in many years, but they do have the cool lighted mirror in them.....;) Should have it all back together tomorrow and, depending on the windshield guy, road worthy soon.
 



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Thanks for the info, it makes sense. It would really only be a concern if I got T-boned in a intersection, but the possibility exists so I should plan accordingly.

Same situation could occur offroad if the rig fell against a boulder...
 






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