Front Axle Problems | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Front Axle Problems

booosted supra

Active Member
April 14, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Haddonfield NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 Explorer Sport
I have a 1993 Sport, and when i bought it i never really noticed, my wheel sticks inward on my driver side and out of the fender by a little on the passenger side. I inspected closer and noticed that the front guard that the differential bolts to has a pretty nice bend in it. I am kind of worried that there may be some frame damage from this? i cant really notice if anything else is bent. would this be enough to offset my front end like this? and is there any threads on how to take the front end apart, i cant find anything and ived searched for days. i would just like to fix this before i go ahead and do anything else to it because it kind of bothers me. but its bent bad enough where its resting on the crossmember and the differention is ****ed a little bit and the angle on the u joint on the driveshaft is changed a little bit. would this cuase any imediate problems? and is this a hard thing to swap out? i have a parts truck at my dispossal:thumbdwn:

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yikes, sounds like your drivers beam is bent

If you have never worked on the Ford TTB it can be quite a challenge, but it can be done.
I could swap a bent beam for a straight one in one full days work myself with hand tools.

The beams by nature have a funky shape to them, so first thing to do is make sure you actualyl have a damaged beam, I woukld comapre it to another similar truck

Your front end is a Dana 35 TTB or twin traction beam Ford front end used in the Explorer 1991-94 and the Ranger 1990-97

There is alot of information about this front end on this website, perhaps you jsut didnt know what to look for.

Just because it appears one tire is further out from the fender then the other side does not mean you have a bent beam
Did you hit anything?

it could be a worn bushing, bad alignmnet, several other things.

by driver beam do you mean the BIG beam that the diff bolts to, that covers the shafts and makes it "look" like a solid front? if thats it, it is most definately definately bent. the top of the beam hits the lover cross member by the oil pan, and its setting my diff off at an angle. the shaft going in on the passenger side has a slight bend in it at the u joint so its not a straight on run to the diff. im worried that there is frame damage, i bought the car like this and didnt relize it until someone pointed it out. the offset on the passenger side is like 1-2 inches out of the fender and on the driver side its inward. i dunno if the bend from the beam is pulling my driver wheel in?

also the plastic flairs on the fenders are gone so it may be an optical illusion of how much its sticking out on the passenger side. i've tried searching and i cant find anything. i have a full parts truck at my disposal to.

like i said im worried about the frame becuase i dont want to dump money into something that has a bent frame because i will most likely have to pay somoene to do this for me or one of you local guys because it looks like a major pain in the ass

also if the frame was bent wouldnt it not drive straight on the highway and wouldnt the body mounts be all ####ed up etc etc

lets see some pictures.

The TTB if not aligned or if bushings are worn out can look awfully strange :)

Yes you have a drivers and a pass side beam.
Drivers has the diff bolted to it
The pass beam is behind the drivers

If a pivot bushing or radius arm bushig is worn out the beam cam move an awful lot. If the springs are sagging one side can be up higher, or down lower, etc
If the ball joint shims are turned out on one side and in on the other it can push the top of one tire out and the other one in

How does it drive? hahaha

we need pictures of the front end.
If it is bent you need to look at the pivot brackets first, then the beam, then the frame

it actually drives really nice. , other than that small problem that i dont really see as being a problem that i can fix in the future. i dont know how to host pics here but i can take some at work today if someone can host them for me. As for the frame and everything attached to it, it LOOKS straight to me, the way i was thinking about it, i thought that beam was attached on both sides and naturally if it got bent, since its bolted down on both sides pretty securly it would pull the frame inwards with it, if that makes sense, so naturally i would think the frame is bent but i took a closer look and i see the 2 "sides" your talking about and nothing else seems bent. Im pretty sure it would take more than a bent beam to mess up the frame on an explorer, but i'll take pics for you.

ive just always wanted a lifted explorer haha and somoene practically gave this one to me after i flipped my ranger and id hate to be able to do nothing with it

i dont want to seem like an idiot but i AM a newb, can you fill me in on some of the lingo around here? like TTB, SAS, SOA(spring over axle?) etc... like i said im a newb and just getting into offroading and i honestly dont know so please dont flame haha

Check out...

Forum dictionary and general terms

TTB = Twin Tracktion beam. The Dana 35 front axle on the Explorer is not solid, rather it has a left and right side as can be seen in the pic below..


sweet, now i know what that means, yeah my right side in that picture is the bent part, and i was worried about the frame being messed up because i thought, it bolted down on BOTH sides of the frame but i took a closer look, and i saw the bracket on the passenger side, and then it the suspension on the other side, so that was kind of a relief, because like i said, i thoguht it was bolted on both sides of the frame and naturally to bend somebthing like that and if it WERE bolted on both sides, it would pull the frame, but after looking after what 410 told me and what you pictured, that is not the case