FAKRWEE Navajo 44 swap | Page 6 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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FAKRWEE Navajo 44 swap

My new front end got in today. It's a custom Dynatrac 44 front axle assembly.

List of goodies include:
Reverse cut housing upgrade
Warn premium manual locking hub set
30 spline 3/4 ton alloy steel axles
Upgraded Disc brake Ass. 5.5.5
Ford coil spring bracketry
5:13 gears-reverse cut
ARB 3.92+ ver.
1310 dana 44 u-bolt style yoke
Heavy duty ends package
Heavy duty steel dif. cover
High clearance steering package
Width= 62 in.

I saved my pennies for quite awhile to be able to afford it but she's a beauty. I almost feel like not installing it.

I hope the pictures come out my battery started going dead.

The installer is fourxDr. in Burbank and Winter's designing the radius arms. We know they will be wristed but will not have pin's like bc broncos. I'll include pictures as we go along. Today they took apart the front end. I'm hoping the job will take about a month.:bounce:


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Driver Droop.


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Pumkin all the way up.


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Expobronc we're gussetting and boxing the brackets for rock protection and lateral strength.


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Hey Ryan this one's for you.:D


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The axle gonna be pushed foward about a inch and a half.


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The main problem with moving the axle foward is the coil bucket on the drivers side. The rail bows out and is not the same as the other side.


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We might rig something up for the drag link and tie rod similar to this Bronco setup.


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Hi paul, The rear is going to have to wait unless you give me a partime as your helper:D Or even driver. Your's will probaly be finished before mine.;)

Ok, couple questions. How did you attach the trac-bar to the frame? It looks like you went with the explorer springs, did you? I saw one picture of the lower spring mount, is that the final product? Also, I love the radius arms, but you said you were gonna make them wristed arms, how are you gonna do that with those? It was said earlier that those were a Range Rover design but I have never seen them, is that the 'wristed arm' you were talking about? And one more, did you do anything about the tranny crossmember, what?

Love what your doing, I only wish I had the money to do something like that myself, but I have to stick with 'backyard fabrication' with a measly D30. But I'm young yet, who knows what might happen.

What!--No! that isn't drool, I--a-- spilled my drink, OK!?--Ok, maybe a little---OK! so it's drool, what of it!!?

Chad, Hope this helps.

How did you attach the trac bar to the frame?
We're still working on it. I do know the bracket will be tucked in as much as possible either on the side of the rail or on the bottom to avoid hitting it on rocks. The main thing now is working out angles first. The one you saw in the picture is just tacked on for for measurements.

The coils in the setup are the superlift 51/2. This may change as we go along depending on ride and flex. The lower coil mount is also a mock up.

Wristed Radius Arm:
I decided not to go with the wristed radius arm. This being an on going project we have looked for different options never knowing what the final product will be.
When I started the swap I sat down and wrote a list of things I wanted to build into the rig.
1-More clearence, under and body.
2-More articulation
3-More stability
4-Stronger components
5-Bigger tires
6-More torque and crawl capabilities

My original plan was to use true and tried leaf springs with the44. But to get good articulation you need longer springs. When we measured out how much was needed the rear perch was way back under the rail and the front perch was going to affect angle of approach. I was also going to have to reattach my custom front bumper due to the perch and foward and rear movement of the tire, so that idea went out the window.

My second option was the 44 with a Bronco c clip setup. The problem with this setup is very limited travel due to axle binding. The solution is the wristed radius arm. We took some measurements and I found two problems. 1-I'd lose clearence under the axle housing due to the c bracket, and 2- you needed a long radius arm to really get travel. This would again push the brackets under the lowest part of the rail where the would drag. Scratch #2 idea.

The 3rd option was Winter Douglas and Mike Duncan's, owner of 4x4Dr. idea. I didn't know it was the Range Rover setup until ExpoBronc brought it up. I'll have to check it out. Remember, the radius arm in the picture is just a mock up tacked on for measurements. The final product will be totally different. The radius arm will have an upper and lower arm that come out of the axle bracket. These will be attached with Johnny joints to the bracket. The upper arm will connect to the lower arm at about 3/4 of the total length with another johnny joint and the lower arm will connect to the bracket you see in the picture in the rear with a hiem joint. This gave me various advantages. #1 I didn't lose much clearence under the housing due to the type of brackets. #2 Due to the multiple joints I was able to get more flex with a shorter radius arm. #3 The rear radius arm bracket is on the upward curvature of the rail exposing it less to rocks. We still have a lot to due. I figure it'll take another month or more before we can test it.:rolleyes: :(

Cool, thanks. Good work. So are those Explorer springs or Bronco springs?

Looks good!!!

I will tell you now that you will want to ditch the 5.5" TTB coils for some 3.5" EB Rockcrawler coils. Works out to about the same lift. Everyone I know that has done a SAS and retained the TTB coils hated it because they didn't gain any flex. TTB coils just don't compress!!!

Other than that it looks good!

Good luck with the trac-bar/drag link/assist ram mounting. I found there was not enough space for all of it and ended up going full hydro to eliminate the need for the drag link. Of course mine is a trailer queen, so streetability isn't an issue like yours.

If you have any questions about the hydro setup, let me know.


Chad they are explorer coils.

Thanks Cory. I'll be going with the EB Rockcrawler coils soon. I've heard the same comments on the TTB coils. It's just the cost of the SAS keeps going up almost daily. I wish I had your welding skills to keep cost down.

The ram assist is going to be a bear. Things are very crowded down there. Hydro setup would be great. You eliminate all the steering linkages that go from the steering box to the axle. But I think they're not DOT approved. Dam:rolleyes: Are you running a single or double ended cylinder?

The other thing I'm thinking of doing is building a beefier tie rod and ends then the one Dynatrac built in. I've heard some stories about bending the ends under stress especially with ARB lockers and these look kinda wimpy. I'm also thinking of eliminating the Dynatrac steering arm which pushes the drag link higher and connecting the drag link to the tie rod then piggybacking the ram. I won't know until next week when I go back to the shop and take another look. Right now we're concentrating on the radius arms, King shocks and trac bar.

I saw your rig in Pirates4X4 readers rigs section. Did you post any pictures on the Explorer site I might of missed the month I was moving. It looks awesome. Calling it a Trailer Queen is like calling a tank a Trailer Queen just because it's mounted on a flatbed to get from one battle to the other:D

There have been numerous discussions on Pirate4x4.com about the legality of hydro steering and beadlocks.

Seems no one can find anything on the books about them NOT being legal.

I will say this though. To properly do a full hydro setup you will be spending at least $700 + labor. That includes:

Steering unit (non-return to center) $260
Steering tree (bolts to steering unit) $40
Hoses $120
Additional reservoir $150
Ram (2x8 single throw) $50
Pieces of steel, bolts, consumables $80
Some form of cooler (mine was free) $0
Total $700

A return to center steering unit will cost at least $100 more than the non-return unit. The labor comes in from making the brackets for the steering unit, welding the tabs on for the ram, adapting the steering shaft to the steering tree, installing the hoses cooler, reservoir, etc.

It's not cheap. However, it SPANKS it when it comes to being able to spin the wheel with one finger lock to lock with the hubs locked in with a Detroit and 38x14.5 Swampers.

If possible I'd keep the hysteer setup. I've already banged my tie rod on a rock and bent it slightly. You can always make your own steering links out of .250 wall DOM and tap it for heims or TREs. Should be beefy enough.

Pics of my junk are in the TrailRide Section somewhere. Was at Tellico. Had a blast!

Let me know if I can help you with anything.


Just got back from the shop. Things are going kinda slow. They finished gusseting and boxing the radius arms axle mounts. The axle has been moved foward about an 1 1/2. We were able to compress the axle some more. The first radius arms built had to be scrapped they were too short so they're building new ones. By the end of next week it should be on the ground. Of course that's what I said 2 mo. ago.:rolleyes:

On another note I thought I had finally recieved the 4 Eagle Alloy 589's rims I had ordered. We opened one box and that's the one in the picture in the previous page. Yesterday they opened the remaining 3 boxes and in them were Eagle Alloys 143's. A different model. This is the second time we recieve boxes with wrong wheels.:mad: These rims were more expensive but they offered to let me have them and two more at the lesser price plus they pay shipping for other two rims. If not I have to wait for the 589's cause they're on backorder at the factory:confused: I don't know if I like them yet. What do you guys think.


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I would have never thought getting 17in. rims would be such a pain in the ass. The ones they do have in stock are the $250.00 and up range. Mine are cheapos they cost $154.00 ea. All 5 15in rims used to cost me what I pay for one.


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This is the 589 I should of gotten.


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Full Compresion:


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