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Extended RA with ballistic joints on a 92

I decided its time to work on the extended arms.. its a small enough project and the kind I can do without taking the X down for a long time...

I got these from an EF member a while ago (came with a 5.5" lift and other parts)..

They currently have Heim joints which I don't think would last very long in our dusty climate.. Also, they were female heim joints instead of the normal male ones which means its harder to find good joints...

I already cut the ends off, and removed the extra support material that was in the tube..
3586026496_d2cb6da8b4.jpg


I'm looking to use a set of Ballastic Joints (http://www.ballisticfabrication.com/Forged-Chromoly-263quot-Ballistic-Joint_p_1636.html).

This means I'll need to make new hangers for the joints since the ones for the heim will be too narrow..

I do have two somewhat stupid questions...

Bolt on or Weld on the joint mount to the frame?

Will it really matter if I get get left or right handed threads for the Joints/tube adapters? For my use I can't think of a reason to have either, other than lefty loosy, righty tighty :).

~Mark
 



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...Did you get any pics of all the stress cracks?

..It might help others for places to look for them...:D
 






...Did you get any pics of all the stress cracks?

..It might help others for places to look for them...:D

The drivers side axle beam was cracked just inboard of tthe axle pivot bushing. It appears the crack started right about at a weld from a crack that hapened a long time ago (more than 100k miles).

The passenger side Axle beam was also cracked right at the Axle pivot bushings (about 2" inboard) and it also had one in the big part of the beam. Here is a wider picture of where it broke in the bigger portion of the beam. This was the worst crack we found on the beams.

4164430365_5b18298ce9_b.jpg


After finishing the beams (had to fix the drivers side beam this morning) we worked on the RA mounts. We changed our minds again :). We decided to just modify the Transmission cross member on the passenger side and to cut down the RA mount we made. We chopped off about 2" from the mount so it would allow us to trim less on the trans cross member.

We are re-using the vertical transmission cross member bolt on the drivers side as one of the bolts to hold on the RA mount.

Tomorrow we will drill the frame, bolt the arms on, and hopefully find a spring and collar to finish the c-clip eliminator.

We were trying to get all the welding done today as it is supposed to be Windy, Rainy and cold tomorrow all day and there really is no room to weld in the garage so we tried to get it all done today since we weld outdoors.

I have a few pics from today, but I didnt' bring the camera back home today. I'll take some more tomorrow and try to post them all at once..

~Mark
 






Here are the pics from day 2 and day 3..

To help locate the axles back to where they were before, we marked the fender with a sharpie and used a plumb bob.
4170384655_eb74b2c331.jpg


We weren't sold on the 3/16" wall mounts so we added some reinforcement. We started with some 1/4" plate steel.
4170382715_1e792f4789.jpg


Then we added some more 3/16" steel

4171145746_1f7c859377.jpg



After some test fitting and re-designing, we decided to shorten the passenger side mount and modify the transmission corss member instead of making a new cross member.

4170388733_1a9f0899e8.jpg



Since the top of the mount was now 6/16" we drilled a hole in the top for the bolt to go through, and then used a bigger drill bit to make a recess for the bolt. This will allow us to put the bolt right above the joint.
4170400385_595fd283a2.jpg


With the shock and spring off the rotor was sitting on the ground. It looks like steering and springs are now limiting the travel.
4170403213_c25d3c7309.jpg



Driver side buttoned up. We did decide to make and install some J hooks since the spring seems to be the component that limits droop.
4171160188_53977266fa.jpg



All buttoned up. The suspension is drooping under its own weight, without tire weight to help. As it is sitting there is about 6" of droop from normal ride height.
4171163084_668c62c7c9.jpg



Arms finished and installed.
4170406267_a07e18d736_b.jpg



We learned quite a bit, and if I were to do it over, I'm sure it would go much faster but it was a great experience. Now to get out and try these..

~Mark
 






...Those were some nasty cracks...Glad you caught those ..:biggthump

..Did you re-install the c-clip?
 






Yea.. those cracks were a little un-nerving.. Probably a good thing I now have a spare set of beams sitting here..

The c-clip (looks more like an e clip, but who knows :)) is now in the left over parts box, along with the old Radius Arm bushings..

I tried to get the spring today, but none of the so-called echo parts suppliers in town stock echo parts. I'll just order it online and throw it in. I can pull the axle to install it in < 10 minutes now that the clip is out.

~Mark
 












..Did you re-install the c-clip?

Some pics of the c-clip eliminator.

The axle with the spring and shaft collar on. That boot is a bellows boot used for rack and pinion systems.

4194124216_70d1011bf8_b.jpg


I cut the tips of the boot off so it would fit on the axle. and then slid it on. Here it is before i pulled it back over the spring and collar.

4193366797_3b06647de6.jpg


With the boot pulled over the shaft collar it was time to reinstall the axle.
4193367603_55623df600.jpg


Once installed, I pulled the boot farther and its a nice tight fit and looks "somewhat" stock.

4193368593_e51a484b2a_b.jpg



I did take the X to get the alignment checked (towed it). The toe was "close" and has been adjusted. The Camber was "close enough". Its not far enough to warrant buying new camber bushings. The caster is a little off. We went from almost no caster before the new arms to way too much. IIRC, we are now at between 10 and 11 degrees of caster.. I don't have the paperwork with me. The idea is to turn in the ballistic joints to get rid of some caster. You don't have to fight the steering, so the extra caster isn't that bad.

~Mark

EDIT:.. You can see a few of the crack repairs in that last pic. IIRC, there were 7 cracks that we fixed between the 2 beams.
 






EDIT:.. You can see a few of the crack repairs in that last pic. IIRC, there were 7 cracks that we fixed between the 2 beams.

And everyone calls me a thrillseeker:p::rolleyes:
 






I almost forgot to post some shots of the suspension in use.

Here are a couple shots of the arms being used from the 2010 January truckhaven (mudhaven) run

The Drop travel is now limited by the length of the spring. I'm going to modify the upper spring bucket to allow the spring to drop down some and get some more droop travel.

My up travel is limited by the shock, fender and airbox. I may have to put a bump stop in there but I already had a bunch of up travel before and didn't really have a problem with the shock. The tire hits the airbox and inner part of the outer fender right about where the shock bottoms out.

4312861860_5cbf692416_b.jpg


You can see the spring is pulled pretty hard. If I let the spring drop down it should give me some more droop travel.

4312860376_f7d7f618f8_b.jpg


~Mark
 






I was able to zoom and pull out some of the shadows so you can see how much the suspension is drooping.

4341173098_1962238a84_o.jpg


~Mark
 












any noise from the ballistic joints?

On the road, yes, you can definatly tell the Radius arms are solid mounted. You can feel the road much more than you could before and you can hear it through the truck. You don't actually hear the joints themselves though. When I'm really flexing the truck I get all the normal creaks/cracks/pops etc.

~Mark
 






I was thinking about doing this myself and wondered if youd answer some ?s to help a guy out? lol what length shocks are you running with the taller shock towers? is the tubing for the radius arms mounted flush agaisnt the bottom of the RA, are they at an angle? Any pointers you could give me would be greatly appreciated!
 






The shocks are rancho 999012 shocks. 19" compressed, 32" extended.

The tubes are against the bottom of the Arms which gives it quite a bit of caster. I'm only running about 4" of lift and I have 12 degrees of caster (a little too much). I'll be running longer springs once I get the axle beams cut/turned but thats a different project.

I didn't "build" the arms, I just modified them. They were already extended when I got them. I like the ballistic joints but they do transfer the noise on the dirt road much more than rubber bushing will. Ballistic does make a rubber bushing (threaded) that is the same size as the Ballistic joint we are using now.

One thing I did notice is that the tires hit the arms more than they did with the stock arms. That is because the stock arms are actually mounted inside the frame while what I built is mounted "under" the frame. If you can pull the Ra mounts in from the frame it may help.
 












hmmm why is there a triangular piece of steel reinforcement on the drivers side arm but no such reinforcement of the pass arm ?
 






hmmm why is there a triangular piece of steel reinforcement on the drivers side arm but no such reinforcement of the pass arm ?

I just noticed the question? Are you talking on the Radius arm by the tube? If so, there is reinforcement on both arms..

Its got some blue powdercoat on the reinforcement on both.

3664333154_48697cb376_b.jpg


~Mark
 






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