Colindo94 front 3 link | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Colindo94 front 3 link

I decided to sell the radius arms a few weeks ago and redesign the front suspension. I will be using the same steering, trackbar, coils, and front axle, but everything else went.

The links are all made of 2" OD 1.5" ID DOM tubing. The axle end have a 3" poly bushing from ballistic. The chassis end is a 2.63" flex joint from ballistic. All of the flex joints will be adjustable, but the bushings are welded streight to the link. I'm not a hundred 100% sure of the length of the links but they will be pretty long. the lower links are going to be longer then the upper link. and the upper link is going to be a drivers side upper link.

All bracketry is made of 1/4" steel. Some are from ballistic and ruffstuff, but most will be custom made.

I've been working on the 3 link calculater a little and hours of sitting under the truck with a measuring tape trying to plan. MAny research hours. And I can use all the help I can get.

Few pics of the start



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wow. makein quick progres. do you have a deadline when you would like to have it finished? let me know if i can be of any help.

crap i need to quit draggin my arse and get movin!

Lifeguard-Not really any deadline. I would like to finish before I go back to school on the 19th. If I need any help I'll send you a PM.

Cameron- Ya your slow

Does anyone have a trick to grinding these wedges off? They suck.

Does anyone have a trick to grinding these wedges off? They suck.

No trick, just time, a handful of cut-off wheels, and a BFH. Be careful not to cut into the axle tube. I usually cut right at the welds with a cut off wheel and then beat it with a small sledge until the come off.

Do you know if there are welds on the sides? or just the top and bottom?

yup got them all grinded off today. I got a piece of metal in my eye in the process:( I got the lower links mocked up. They came out to being 43.5" eye to eye. I will get pictures soon.

You gotta wear glasses all the time, even for the smallest of jobs.
MONMIX ruptured part of his eye after a wiring connector flew at him.

One of my buddies I used to work with had 'trauma induced cataracts' from just turning on a grinder with a wire wheel and no glasses.. Wire came loose and stuck him in the eye. I didnt even know you could get trauma induced cataracts, and he was only 19.

I second the wearing of glasses/face shields no matter what you do, even BEFORE turning your grinder on.

I'm looking forward to this build, I havent seen many 3 links :D

I was waring nice safty glasses. A piece found it's was around the glasses and nto my eye. My pops suggested waring a face shield along with the glasses. Ony have one pair of eyes so I might try it. ANyways I made a docters appt. to have him dig it out of my eye:eek: Should be fun. Today I didn't get much done because it rained all day:rolleyes:


lower links

lower link so far

home made lower link tabs

I can only do stuff that doesn't involve working in the rain so this is where I'm at.

Good hob. Try drilling a two holes where your tube adapters are and fill them with weld. Added security.

Don't worry about your long arms. People pay over $2k for their long arm kits and what not.

Now, mounting the upper link on the drivers side axle will cuase you to get creative. I already managed to bend my link when i got the full wieght of the vehicle on only the two front wheels with the brakes on descending a very steep drop. have something that reinforces your 1/4" plate. Also have something that prevents forces from pushing the the axle forward(like in my case) and bending it. Fab up a diff cover plate and then weld it into your upper link mount. Go crazy overkill with it and don't be afriad to either.

I'm currently thinking up a .250 wall 2" dom tube upper link, welded on the axle from one side then tie it into the axle/coil mount on the drivers side, along with some diff cover support as well as support from behind the link.
I want this to not happen again, and i have a truck that comes in at around 5870 pounds with half a tank of gas and no spare. Fully loaded with tools, full tank of gas and spare im looking at around 6k to 6.2k.

What is the best way to weld to the cast on the top of the diff. Would that be stronger then making a bridge set up like 97V8. I know I've heard stick welding with a nickle electrode works, but is it as strong?

I used hi-nickle electrode with the "cold" half-inch runs process, hasnt broken yet. Just maximize the weld area

SO stick weld with a high nickle electrode for 1/2" then let cool and repeat? What do you mean by maximizing the weld area?

Yeah thats the process .. it takes forever because you have to let it cool by itself ( no water as it may shock a part of the weld and induce cracking ).

Maximizing the weld area -- what I mean is instead of making a bracket with say a 5 inch bottom section that you're going to weld onto the housing, redesign that bracket and make the bottom part say 7 or more inches instead. And on top of that, make sure you weld some reinforcing tabs so the main tabs aren't torqued sideways because welding to cast is often very brittle.

Electrode diameter is key and I've tried welding with 1/8 inch hi-Ni electrode and, because 1/8 inch requires a lot more power to sustain an electric arc, there was too much heat involved and it lead to some cracking (which I ended up grinding away and redoing with the proper electrode diameter). I found that 5/64 inch, because of its smaller diameter, works the best and this is the electrode I used on my Explorer and on my brother's Samurai.

I purchased both the 1/8 inch and 5/64 inch electrode at a local welding shop.

I'd recommend NOT welding to the cast parts at all...make a "bridge" just my opinion :)

...progress looks good.

if you shouldnt weld to the cast parts, how would you weld the outer "C's" back on after turning them?

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