Bkennedy's SAS and Rebuild Thread | Page 93 | 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 need the hatch struts and strut mounts off that donor if you aren't using them! Mine broke when I took them off :(

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I need the mounts because mine are bent, but you can have the struts if you help me remove the hatch, right side doors and hood...:hammer:

I'll take the bent ones!

Yea I'll swing by to help. I'll text you

I installed the transmission gauges today and I think they are both fried. Both went up to max temp/pressure and stayed there. The wiring to them was melted. I let the engine run for 10 minutes and there was no change. I have a email into the manufacture to see if its a possibility the sending units are bad and not the gauges, or ?.

I also noticed the alternator is not charging. Pulled it and am going to get that tested tomorrow.

Funny story. I purchased the alternator new a few years ago from AZ. I took it in to be tested and the tester wasn't working. They warrantied it and I walked out with a brand new one. Installed it when I got home, same thing....no charge. Then I got to thinking maybe the instrument cluster needs to be installed. Plugged the cluster in, alternator is putting out 14.4 volts. I guess I won't tell the folks at AZ about that.

The gauge manufacture of one of them got back to me. He thinks the gauges are probably fine, but the sending units are most likely fried. I ordered two new senders. I had to pull the pressure sender anyway to change the motor mounts (see below) because it will contact the trans tunnel when I raise the engine/trans. It didn't want to come out and got crushed.

Installed Brian1's awesome motor mounts. They went in with about the same amount of work as OEM. I had to pull two nuts off of the donor to do the install. One upper nut had a broken stud inside of it, one lower's threads were all screwed-up. Pulling the nuts off the donor took longer than installing the motor mounts. I forgot how much of a pain it is to work on the stock Explorers. I used two long wobble and one regular extension to get the lower nut off the driver side mount.

Only other issue I had with the new mounts is the engine sits less than 1/4" higher than it used to, which takes the tiny amount of clearance I had between the shock hoop cross member and the Idle Air Control Valve (highest point on the engine). I need to notch the cross member for clearance, but was planning on doing that anyway. It can't go any higher because it already rubs on the hood insulation.

Pulled the bent tie rod and am going to straighten that on Wednesday. Thursday, maybe Friday will be all the metal work; sleeve outside of tie rod, weld ham antenna mount to roof rack, notch cross member, cut off and relocate light bar mounts on bumper, and I am sure I am forgetting a few things.

Tomorrow I am hoping to have the alarm and stereo installed, and the dash finally done. Stereo is already wired, just need to install the mount and plug it in, but am doing that after I install the alarm.

I am also fairly confident I can pull the headliner out over the cage. I got it to move back a few inches by just pulling on it. I ripped the headliner out of the donor to see what is in the way. Think I can slide a few large pieces of cardboard in between the headliner and roof to help it slide. I will see this weekend. If it comes out in one piece, I can recover it with new material for $30-45.

Dropped the front seats off to get new covers made from Cordura type fabric. I drove around town getting several estimates to redo the original leather. It was just too expensive for a trail rig, between $800-1200 for the two front seats in vinyl. Maybe next time I am down at Puerto Penasco, I will have them redone.

Lastly, I purchased two fire extinguishers and some storage bins at Walmart today. Extinguishers are going to be mounted one on each side of the cage B or C pillars. Got some long and low bins for an idea I have been thinking about in the cargo area. Going to make a raised floor that the bins fit under with a recessed area behind the back seats for heavy stuff like tool bags, coolers, etc. Not doing that right now, but after I get it back in the garage.

If you do mind me asking what are they charging to do the seats. I need to get the seats recovered it the super duty but like you I can't justify a thousand dollars for putting new leather on them.o_O

Going to cover the old front seats and go from there. Going to use the rear seat out of the donor; its cloth and in near new condition. The dog will like it, and she has torn up the leather of the old seat. I will let everyone know how they turn out. She is charging $150 for the two front seats, and $20 for the console arm rest. Said it would cost $200 extra to cover the rear seat. They should be ready this weekend.

Can't wait to see how the seats come out. That seems like a great deal

I also posted this in the audio, electronics forum, but I thought maybe someone here would know. I am so close to having the Explorer back on the road again, but its been fighting me lately;
I'm stumped and don't want to do any damage. I am trying to wire the 451M module with my new alarm install. Alarm is a Viper 3100. I wired the 451M like it says in the instructions but it just blows the in-line fuse when I activate the alarm. Its seems like its wired backwards, but I am not sure. Everything else works with the alarm. The doors unlock and lock with the door buttons.

1994 XLT 4 Door.

I wired the 451 M like the instructions below. The lock and unlock wiring is spliced into circuits 119 for lock (pink/yellow) and 120 for unlock (pink/light green). Switching lock and unlock wiring has same result, blown in-line fuse.

Edit: I think I have it wired wrong for the type of door lock switches in the Explorer. I think it should be like this;


This should be the correct schematic. older Fords use the 5 wire scenario.
wires are in drivers kick and are supposed to be
lock = pink/yellow
unlock = pink/green
It's been a few years since i did mine. the wires will be 14 awg or 12 awg


This should be the correct schematic. older Fords use the 5 wire scenario.
wires are in drivers kick and are supposed to be
lock = pink/yellow
unlock = pink/green
It's been a few years since i did mine. the wires will be 14 awg or 12 awg

Thank you. Will the door switches still function this way? I already spliced the wires, but did not realize it needed to go to and from the relays. I will give this a shot and report back. What confused me about this diagram is it shows the relays being wired in between the motor and switch, so it would need to be for each door. If you are saying I can access the wiring from the kick panel, than that must not matter, or the pink / yellow and pink / light green wires must already be in between the switch and motors.

I'm looking forward to the results.
Still scratching my head over the whole (what appears to be) reverse polarity thing that we think we are seeing in the schematic. I don't know why this turns out to be such a difficult thing.
You could probably take out shares in a fuse manufacturer by now.

Edit: I messed around with the 451M module for about 30 minutes and could not get it to function properly. Grabbed two relays out of my electrical stuff bag and wired it like the diagram below. Doors operate perfectly now.

Now, the only problem I am having with the alarm is the ignition cut-out function is not working. I think I need to program the alarm to get that to work. I know its wired correctly because when I pull the wires off the alarm box terminals, the Explorer will not turn over.

I went to my buddy Ken's place of work. He has a tough job. He is the facilities manager for Lost Abby Brewery. Ken has a machine shop at the brewery, and a better one at his house, and is a very experienced metalworker. Got a tour, and we attempted to straighten my tie rod. Not going to be able to get it straight this time, too many bends in too many directions. He called a friend of his, who owns a metal supply warehouse. He is sending Ken the tube to make a new tie rod out of much thicker walled stock. I was going to purchase the RuffStuff steering kit, but I think I might have clearance issues with the larger outer diameter kit, so this is better (and free).

Edit: My buddy Ken's buddy sent him a 10' stick of 1-1/4 x 5/8" wall DOM tube to make me a new tie rod. He is going to drill out the ends with his lathe then thread them for the 3/4"x16TPI rod ends. He has enough material to make me a spare tie rod, minus the saddle type drag link mount. If I bend another tie rod, I can cut the saddle off and weld it on the spare. Very cool. Ken trades me work for giving me lots of expensive ales, beers and whisky. I know it sounds strange, but that is the kind of guy he is. I should be able to get up to his place to help him with it, and maybe he can teach me a few things about operating a lathe (probably end up as his beer assistant).

I have been working on getting my headliner out, but the main issue is the mounts for the OEM grab handles. The grab handles came out when the cage went in, but the mounts are under the headliner. They stick up with sharp corners and are preventing me from pulling the headliner out the back over the cage. I am going to try working some thin plastic in between the headliner and the mounts to see if will slide past. Otherwise, I would have to cut the cage out to remove headliner. I have cut it out a few times before, so that is really not that big of a deal, I just need to decide if its worth it to have a new headliner.

Headliner will NOT come out with the cage in place. I have pulled on it to the point I feel it is going to fail in spectacular fashion to no avail. I spent the morning pulling what little of the interior I have installed, and the center console, out. I can't do all this work and leave this above my head, so the cage is getting cut out, again... I have enough room for one more set of sleeves on the A pillar. The rest are fine as the C and D pillars are not sleeved anywhere, and the B pillar is sleeved about mid point.

Oh man what a PITA. I always wondered if I could get mine out with the cage in place, as it's beginning to delaminate :(

Rick gets me. Most people are thinking, so what rip it out and forget about it. Can't, just can't.

Ten cuts, pull cage back a few feet so it drops down, then remove, recover and reinstall headliner. Ten sleeves, ten welds, ten spots to paint. While I have the cage out, it will be easier to install the A and B pillar plastic.

Headliners. As shown in the picture, the cloth material is separating from the foam backing. That seems to be the common way these Explorer headliners fail. The donor was the same way. I wish mine would have fallen apart before I ripped the donor headliner in half to get to the wiring, but hindsight is always 20/20.

They are made from layers of cellulose or paper bonded together and are easily damaged. Most of the on-line guides for headliner fabric replacement are for a rigid type headliner with foam backed cloth as a replacement material. The guides say to remove the old foam by scraping it off.

Edit: I cut the cage out in about 15 minutes. That's the easy part.

I got the headliner out in one piece. The fabric pulled off the foam fairly easy, but the foam is what I think is degrading, not the adhesive. I figured out I can rub the foam off with my fingers without damaging the headliner any further. I was thinking of using the scrubber side of a old sponge to get the rest off. I will report back. looks like I need the foam backed fabric after-all.



The majority of on-line recommendations for adhesive are for 3M 38808. Going out later to look for fabric, adhesive and some aluminum tape. I found this guide thread that I am going to follow. It is the most comprehensive one I have located. It says to use aluminum tape to repair any damage. I am going to use it along the sides to help hold it together.
Repairing Vehicle Headliner

Got more stuff off my "To-Do-List" today. Cut off the top light mounts on the front bumper, notched the engine shock hoop cross-member, cut and prepped 10 sleeves for the cage, and got seven out of ten cage mounting points prepped for re-welding (plug weld holes, shiny metal, get the sleeves to go smoothly into tube, etc.).

Shock hoop cross member notch pic

I cut the tube with a 4.5" cut off wheel, cleaned it up with the angle grinder, cut a piece of flat bar to fit, bent it to fit, then welded it in. I used more wire than needed so I could grind it down smooth without taking away the strength of the weld.

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Ready for reassembly whenever I get finished with the headliner. Having the cage sitting about six inches below the ceiling will makes a good rest for when I reinstall the headliner.