Hunter's '96 D44 Swap | Page 3 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Hunter's '96 D44 Swap

Got a big update for everyone!

First off, I moved up to Georgia and soon after bought a 2006 F-250

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I've done some minor work on it, but it was already bullet proofed with 130k when I got it. I resolved a long start issue, EGR delete, and straight piped it. I installed a 2.5" leveling kit and 35"x12.5" tires, some LED lighting, and it's been good since

This allowed me some time to work on the explorer and do what I've been wanting to do for years now.. put a straight axle up front and make it 4wd. I had bought a transfer case, linkages, and driveshaft off of an F-150 several months back and it just sat for awhile. I finally got around to doing some real work on it about 3 weeks ago and have some pictures to share, but it's still a work in progress

WARNING! I enjoy threads that show pictures.. lots of pictures.. so I attempt to do the same for y'all. There's gonna be a lot of pictures in this thread. Anyways,

It all started with disassembly and cutting out the IFS components:






Then I got ahold of a Dana44 off of an early 80's Jeep Wagoneer and started tearing it apart:

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Thanks @Cheeser96 ! always glad to help, so shoot me any questions you have. Unfortunately, dropping money into it is one of those pesky requirements lol

I actually ordered a Viair OBA system last night; 2.5 gal tank 400c compressor and remote power/gauge kit. I'll update everyone with pictures once the installation is complete
 






@Hunter32 you dont happen to remember the part number you used for your drag link and pitman do you? Trying to see what some of these parts are going to run me.
 






Cheeser96, I ended up making my own drag link. With the exact way mine is setup, I'm not sure that you will be able to find anything off the shelf that will fit this application since a straight link wouldn't work for me. Of course, every install is a little different and you could place your steering box differently or go with high steer knuckles and be able to get away with an off the shelf drag link

The drop pitman I got off of Ebay for around $75.00
Pro Comp Suspension FD400 Pitman Arm Pitman Arm For 4" Drop | eBay
 






Thanks alot man, i really appreciate it. ive started tracking parts down and hopefully ill have them acquired within the next few months. hope you dont mind me askin you questions, been wanting to do this swap for a couple years and after acquiring my new explorer after rolling my last one ive finally decided to do it. Your write up is very thorough, gave me a little boost to do mine lol
 












Great Write up. I am planning to do the same with mine. What did you do to get the Speedo to work in yours? I have a 97 5.0 and wanting to do the 4406 swap.
 






@WormsExplorer sorry for the late reply, but I essentially welded a key (weld tac) on the output shaft of the transfer case to accept a plastic gear to mate up with the [plastic-geared] speed sensor that came with my truck. The sensor that came with the newer truck was not driven by a plastic gear, but rather a magneto and pickup that would not communicate with my truck's computer
 






Nice truck and nice thread! Thanks for sharing
 






Hunter,
Old thread, but wondering if you had to angle the front diff up to get it inline with the driveshaft? From the pics, it looks like that front U-joint has a lot of angle.
 






Or maybe @410Fortune you might have a thought? I know you have a lot of experience. I was assuming that I will need to angle the diff up toward the transfer and likely have to reclock the "C"s to get the caster in spec.

-FYI I'm doing the same swap.
Thx
 






The pinion angle is going to want to land in a sweet spot between parallel pinion & t-case output angles and caster, without doing exactly as you've mentioned: cutting & re-clocking your axles "C's".
This driveshaft angle is what makes high pinion axles sought after for these swaps.
I did not clock my axle C's, though I did use some (maybe) 2.5deg shims under the front leafs to get my pinion higher with minimum affect on my caster. WIth that said, I do not have excessive driveline vibration when in 4wd, but I also do not do highway speeds in 4wd.

Here's some good background information regarding pinion angles & u-joints:

I'll add that if you get a custom shaft with CV joints on either end, then none of these angles will matter. You'll have smooth operation at any angle or speed of operation
 






Sometimes the HP axle limits the ability of being able to point the pinyon at the transfer case yoke. In my case, my HP D44 would be within a few inches of contacting the engine cross member at ride height if it was pointed correctly. It needs to be almost level or I would lose about 5" of compression. Front driveshast is also short, at about 26". I have a 700R4 trans and a Atlas II, so the driveline is shorter by about 8". I clearanced a double cardan joint but still had to limit my rebound (axle drop). I recently got a new high angle yoke, which allowed me to get everything out of my 14" coil overs. Driveshaft has a slight chatter when 4x4 is not engaged and the hubs are locked at over 25 MPH. If I had a LP D44, I wouldn't have this issue as I could point the pinyon at the output, but would then lose all the added strength and ground clearance of the HP axle. My next big mod will be a NWF ibox doubler. It will add 4" to the driveline, should still clear the floor, and give me a few more gear options.
 






The pinion angle is going to want to land in a sweet spot between parallel pinion & t-case output angles and caster, without doing exactly as you've mentioned: cutting & re-clocking your axles "C's".
This driveshaft angle is what makes high pinion axles sought after for these swaps.
I did not clock my axle C's, though I did use some (maybe) 2.5deg shims under the front leafs to get my pinion higher with minimum affect on my caster. WIth that said, I do not have excessive driveline vibration when in 4wd, but I also do not do highway speeds in 4wd.

Here's some good background information regarding pinion angles & u-joints:

I'll add that if you get a custom shaft with CV joints on either end, then none of these angles will matter. You'll have smooth operation at any angle or speed of operation
@Hunter32 -- I've been reading up on it for a while already, but more info is always appreciated, thanks!

So you didn't end up needing to reclock your C's. That is good to know. I have a LP wagoneer D44 like you swapped in. My front driveshaft is a custom I had made a couple years ago with DC on the transfer case end (I'll just need to adjust the length 1-2"). So I don't need the 2 ends at the same angle, but I was going to try to get the front to 2-3 deg (and the DC below 20deg).

The diff in the stock installation is SUA and nearly level, so I was dreading cutting the welds and reclocking them like 15 deg.

But you raise a good point about when it's not spinning, who cares. I will be putting locking hubs on, so when in 2wd unlocked, the front driveshaft won't be spinning. Sweet. Problem solved.

Sometimes the HP axle limits the ability of being able to point the pinyon at the transfer case yoke. In my case, my HP D44 would be within a few inches of contacting the engine cross member at ride height if it was pointed correctly. It needs to be almost level or I would lose about 5" of compression. Front driveshast is also short, at about 26". I have a 700R4 trans and a Atlas II, so the driveline is shorter by about 8". I clearanced a double cardan joint but still had to limit my rebound (axle drop). I recently got a new high angle yoke, which allowed me to get everything out of my 14" coil overs. Driveshaft has a slight chatter when 4x4 is not engaged and the hubs are locked at over 25 MPH. If I had a LP D44, I wouldn't have this issue as I could point the pinyon at the output, but would then lose all the added strength and ground clearance of the HP axle. My next big mod will be a NWF ibox doubler. It will add 4" to the driveline, should still clear the floor, and give me a few more gear options.

@BKennedy --I think you and I should swap diffs to solve both our problems, sight unseen of course, lol.
 






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