Dana 44 purchased, SAS questions! | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Dana 44 purchased, SAS questions!

Hey everyone,
in my younger days I frequented the forums constantly. After college I got busy with house stuff and rock climbing, and have eased up on working on my truck. Well, I caught the bug again and am back at it! Last weekend I drove to Nashville to pick up the axle built on this episode of xtreme 4x4: https://www.powerblocktv.com/episode/XT2011-02/nissan-crew-truck-part-three#.WB38V8mM51k

Here is the synopsis:
Dana 44 out of a 2001 Dodge ram 1500
Narrowed for early F250 shafts
vacuum disconnect bypassed
4.88 gears
Eaton e locker
all new brake hardware, u joints, bearings, races, seals, diff cover, etc etc etc. Basically every part was replaced 5 years ago for the build for the show.
set up as leaf springs, spring under.
all steering/heim joints from the initial build still set up.
Warn manual hubs installed after the show aired.

I had been looking for an EB dana 44 to use when this fell into my lap. Had pretty much figured out how I would do the radius arm bronco axle, but when I found this for $1200, and my mechanic confirmed that to build a comparable axle from an old bronco axle would cost way more than that, I jumped on it. Problem is now I dont know where to start. Still doing research, trying to figure out what parts to order. So far I've come up with these questions:

what steering box would be appropriate to use?
will the spring under axle be reasonable, or should I spring it over? If spring over will the leafs interfere with the current steering set up? (I will try to get some pics of how it is currently set up, as the show doesnt show it at all) What leaf springs should be used?
Can I still use the F250 shock towers?
what length shocks do I need to be looking at?
is this even a good axle to be using or should I sell it and keep looking for the EB axle?

The end goal is to be able to clear 35s with some room to spare. This rig is a DD, but I tend to log less than 5k miles a year and only drive 1 or 2 times a week. I typically bike commute. I'm sure many of these questions will need pics/measurements/more information to be able to answer, let me know what info you need from me!

Sorry to be so needy, I've done all the work on my truck so far, but this is a little more than I'm used to doing.

Thanks for your help, everyone!!
 



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RangerX

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I suggest you go here http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?forums/explorer-ranger-solid-axle-swap-registry.63/ and look at all the leaf sprung SAS's you can find, and read up on what springs, shocks, etc they used, and why they went with those choices.

I was going to suggest the same link that RangerX posted. Any question you could ask has been asked before and the answer lies in one of the many sas build threads on the site.

Can I ask why leafs and not coils though?
 






Fish Man

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Thanks for the link and advice, guys! I have done searching and reading, just on the wrong subject thus far. I will peruse those threads.

as for the leafs over coils, really just because the axle is already set up that way. As a total novice in this arena, I figured that the leaf set up would be easier, since its already been built that way. Got a friend that can build the needed cross members
 






RangerX

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Yes, a leaf spring setup is the simplest setup, at least IMO, but the perches on your axle are easily cut off if you decide you want coils/radius arms, just putting that out there. Your option are wide open.

What's the width of this axle? You say it's narrowed, but narrowed for F250 shafts. So it's still full width?

Also, on the SAS registry threads, many are just a quick summation of their build. Most had a project/ build thread going where they hashed out the direction they went, and that's where you could really get good info/opinions on all the specifics.
 






Fish Man

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Thanks, Bill. Been doing some more reading and still planning on the leafs, but yeah, really just getting started in the planning stages.

I haven't put a tape on it. Will do that when I get home. It apparently had 4" taken out of it, but yeah, also apparently runs F250 shafts, so full width...guess the Dodge 1500 is that much wider to start with? Hoping to be able to run some wheels with more backspacing so that it isn't crazy wide. Planning to SOA/spacer/adapter on the rear so the bolt pattern matches, which I believe is 5x5.

Been trying to wade through some build threads and registry threads, but lots of fluff to get through to find specs on most builds.
 






Tifoez & Lavinia

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I'll be following.. I just picked up an '01 cherokee, already has a long arm lift to harvest for my '01 ST.. should be a simple build..
About your build, since it's full width, and it's already set up for leaf springs, how far are the perches spread on the axle in comparison to where the leafs will mount to the frame?? might be a wide difference..
I know the Dana 30 I'm using from the Cherokee, the frame is already 2" wider than my Trac, but I'm using prefab coil bucket replacements, and the long arms mount to a skid plate and frame.. it's a solid, quick build.. I have all the parts to complete, and as soon as I take pictures I will start a build page..
Anyhow, good luck with your build, and don't forget to add pictures here, and ask questions.. eventually you can turn this into your build page..
I'd love to see pictures of that built axle!!
 






Fish Man

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Hi guys,
got a couple pictures taken thought neglected to measure the spring pad spacing. Pretty much only get on the internet at work after work, so I dont check back here as regularly as I'd like. Also it seems like this forum is more for build threads, but I couldnt find a good place to post SAS specific questions, is there a more appropriate forum I should be using? Still trying to lay the ground work, not start a build thread. Not sure if these pictures clear anything up, but hopefully give you an idea of what I'm working with so far!
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