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Bolt on SAS kit

ThatFabGuy

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Oak Ridge, TN
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'91
I know I'm cross-posting but I like to share the info I get. We done this about two months ago but I've been plagued with problems ever since I got it home so no real seat time has happened yet. I'll answer any questions I can.




Been busy getting stuff ready for the swap. JD finally called and said they were ready to do the bolt-on SAS to the Ex. Took it and dropped off this morning. Figured I'd start a thread to document the trials and tribulations as they are encountered. This will all be fabricated using my Ex as the guinea pig and turned into a bolt-on SAS kit to be sold thru JD. The key is to be able to bolt everything on in a driveway and be able to duplicate it 100s of times. There will be pros and cons to the kit but that's what happens when you try to appeal to the masses. If it were a one-off for just me, things would be done differently but since it has to be an affordable, bolt-on, mass produced kit some compromises have to be made.

I will continue to update this thread as progress is made. Looking at around one week to do everything. Biggest issues are track bar bracket, tranny cross-member/t-case skid, and what we found out today---frame mounts.

Here's what we are using: JD EB extended radius arms, EB 5.5" lift coils, RBV universal coil buckets that take either RBV or EB coils, were going to use regular RBV frame mounts from my old kit but ran into issues so maybe have to custom make those too. We are also going to mock up both an EB Dana 44 as well as a '78-'79 Dana 44 so that either can be used with the kit. I will be sticking with the full-width 44 and matching 9 inch rear that I have already built up with chromo shafts and 5.13 gears to turn my 39.5" Iroks.

The rear will be simple enough, I'm going back to my stock Ex springs in a SPOA configuration with probably a 1" block plus the shackles I already have. All the real work will be in the front.

I took a few parting shots today as I was driving into the shop. Flexed out the TTB a few times on their 30 degree ramp and then got out the impacts and started working.

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One last shot of my Stonecrusher Steering. Hopefully Anthony will make me a new steering setup for my new axle.

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Then it was time to start dropping stuff.

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That's about all that got done today as we were working measurements and what ifs and boring junk like that. Looking to actually start bolting stuff up in the next day or so after we tweak some mounts and such. Got a sweet x-member done up but don't know if it will fully work out or not.

I will update with pics. and info as we roll on. Got several big rides coming up so we are hoping to get this thing mobile to show off at the events.


I will continue to post the follow up postings individually.
 


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ThatFabGuy

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Well didn't get to work on it this weekend like I'd hoped to. Did get a chance to stop by today and see what was going on. Frame mounts turned out to be no problem, reused the ones from the TTB lift (had to move back about 8").
Rolled the new axle under to check fitment.

e7ed5c81.jpg

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Shot it with some chassis black before attaching the EB extended radius arms.

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Check out that pimp tie-rod!
Got everything lined up and squared

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Started bolting things up. Put some coils on it (5.5" EB coils) and sit it down to ride height.

a455f443.jpg


With the 3" per side difference from the coil towers to the lower retainers, we modified JDs heavy duty coil retainers to sit in further so the coils didn't bow out. Tomorrow will be all about the track bar bracket and the trans mount/skid plate. More to come.
 




ThatFabGuy

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Moving forward, here are progress pics. for today.

ff19f24e.jpg


Everything is bolted up on the front end. Made a track bar bracket that uses an adjustable EB track bar. It's still in the "maybe" stage. They have a backup plan in case we decide to change this one. It all depends on the EB 44 that they are going to bolt up tomorrow to see if they will interchange.

Here is the front sitting on it's own. 39.5" Iroks makes the roof height at 6' 10", I have to jump to get in it seeing as how I'm only 5' 8". The bottom of the windows is about chin height on me.

e9aa7c31.jpg


Looking at about 5.5" of uptravel before the crossmember wants to connect with the pumpkin on the axle housing. That means that the 5.5" EB coils would be almost completely bottomed out. Don't see this as being a problem unless someone was jumping the vehicle. It takes a lot to compress the springs that much in low speed rock crawling especially with a spring rate of 310-390 lbs/in. Could possibly trim the x-member a bit to prevent this but will wait until it's done before we mess with it.
 




ThatFabGuy

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Today's progress.

It's all grown up!!

Got the rear SPOA done. Went back to the stock springs plus the shackle I was running with the lift springs. Still sit about 1" low in the rear so we made new spring perches that were a little taller. Still sits a little lower in the rear but the rear springs are already settled and we plan on the front springs to settle some so it should even out within a few weeks.

Pics.

Final ride height.

adfe11cc.jpg


Side shot to show the width.

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Me as a reference (before the rear came up another inch)

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Also got the crossmember just about complete. Next is shortening the front driveshaft by about 1.5" and lengthening the rear by about 2.5". Brake lines followed up with my new Stonecrusher Steering and I'll be mobile! Well, that is, once I cut a bunch of sheetmetal!
 




ThatFabGuy

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Got new BEEFY track bar mount made today. Moved the end of the t-bar over under the frame rail and also more horizontal for better angles and less axle walk. Took a couple flex pics but they dont do it justice. Haven't started cutting sheetmetal yet so the pass. rear tire sit on the body and then started pivoting off it. Rear flex coulda went a little more but the front hadn't even started to sweat.

8983d407.jpg

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Duff is pretty much done with it now. I just gotta tie up the loose ends like rear driveshaft and brakelines.
 




ThatFabGuy

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Just had to post up a pic of the new shoes. I ended up with a set of 37s that fit much better and won't take anywhere near the amount of cutting the 39s would have. They stick out way more as these wheels only have about 3.5" backspacing.

96ffe28a.jpg



Yes they are camo wheels, don't fit the Ex but I got a good deal so......
 




ThatFabGuy

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Got a couple of flex pics. today.

frontflex.jpg


frontstuff.jpg


rearflex.jpg


Windrock bound!
 




ThatFabGuy

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That's mostly what I got so far. Since getting it home I've went on vacation, replaced the entire cooling system, reworked the brakes, and now I'm dealing with the starting system. As soon as I can get it rolling again I'll be on the mountain and will return with more pics!
 








crazyflights

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Looks good, James duff stuff is great and the flex you get is just sick, was the same on my 97 Explorer when I used there front arms, how about some more details on track bar bracket and lower coil spacers-which appear to move the coil inwards to compinsate for the wider axle??
 




ThatFabGuy

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I don't have any pics of the track bar bracket yet. It is very beefy as that has been a problem with SASs. It mounts in 2 places under the frame rail and 3 places on the engine x-member. It locates the TB directly under the frame rail.

The lower retainers are their HD coil retainers that we just put new holes in to move them over a tad, we also moved the top of the coil over and basically split the difference to make up for the wider axle.
 




RiverRatTech

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Sign me up. I have a D44 and 9 " out of a late 70's F150, I like how this was done. Its exactly the goal I have set to do with my 98 ex. I wondered about the positioning between the coil towers and lower retainers and how you modified it by moving it 3" in. It looks great!

Do you have a ballpark figure on cost?
 




ThatFabGuy

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The coil buckets are built with a 3/4" offset in them. We moved the HD lower coil retainers in 3/4" so that's 1 1/2" per side. With 1 1/2" of offset in the 19" of coil you can hardly tell it at all.
We had them moved more to begin with but didn't like the way things lined up. That's why we settled on the 1 1/2" offset + 1 1/2" of coil to take up the 3" per side we needed.

As far as cost----I have no idea. This is fresh out of the shop and really has only about 100 miles or so on it so far. It will have to go through a lot of testing and possibly tweaking before it will be released. JD was shooting for the $1500-$2000 range for everything. Not too bad to bolt on a solid axle in your driveway with hand tools.
 




RiverRatTech

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Sweet! Sounds like it will be put on the list for income tax return money spent, ha! Just need to work it over with the wife, lol..
 




crazyflights

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Very nice to see Duff working on this, a good designed track bar mount for the general public is what alot of people need for SAS swaps if they dont have welder and fabbing skills, depending on cost the complete kit from Duff would be a great way to go, they can offer it in stages also, cause yopu dont have to run longarms, but they sure are nice!
 




Naasau

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Are you still running the Stonecrusher steering tester setup that you had on the TTB axle, or did you get a different Stoncrusher product for the SAS?
 




ThatFabGuy

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I have a traditional hi-steer setup now made by StoneCrusher. My old TTB steering got sold when I went for the SAS.

Contact StoneCrusher directly @ stonecrushersteering.com

Anthony builds quality BEEF!
 




ThatFabGuy

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Took a few pics. of the track bar bracket today. Sorry for the mud.

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c7a428ff.jpg
 






Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

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wickedrigs

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Subscribing....
 




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