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Kirby N.'s Navajo Solid Axle Swap


Kirby N.

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1991 Ranger
Finally got Some pictures, so I can finally do my write-up. Here is the Specs

Axle:
76 F150 High Pinion Dana 44- This year has the 1/2" Axle Tubes Like a Dana 60
Narrowed 6" off Passenger side
Passenger side Axle Shaft resplined by Dutchman Motorsports http://dutchmanms.com/
New: All Seals, Calipers, Pads, turned the Rotors, Spicer Ball Joints, SPicer U- Joints
Warn Premium Manual Hubs
Warn Diff Cover (not pictured)
4.56 Gears
Open Carrier For Now

Before Pics (3" VR James Duff lift 235s)
Before2.jpg

Before.jpg


Middle Before SAS (33x10.50 ATs, 4.5" Lift (3" VR James Duff+ Spacers and rear Spring over), Extended James Duff Arms)
33sand4inch.jpg


Steering:
I purchased all the Steering link parts from RockWare (http://www.rockware.net/)
4 3/4" Heim Joints with a 3/4" hole (2 Left hand Threads, 2 Right Hand Threads)
Weld in Threaded ends for the Tubing
1 1/8" Seamless DOM tubing
I used 3/4" Grade 8 Bolts for all the Steering. Drilled out the Pitman Arm and the knuckles.
I also used Misalignment Bushings for 3/4" Bolts from Poison Spyder Customs (http://www.spydercustoms.com/). I used 3 1/4" bushings and 1 3/4" bushing
SAS5.jpg

I put an "s" Bend in the Drag Link to keep the Heims with in Misalignment travel through out suspension cycle. Both the Tie Rod and Draglink are mounted over the knuckles (not pictured) and the Tierod has a small bend in it to accomodate the draglink as it fully compresses

Trackbar:
Same as the Steering
I purchased all the Steering link parts from RockWare (http://www.rockware.net/)
4 3/4" Heim Joints with a 3/4" hole (2 Left hand Threads, 2 Right Hand Threads)
Weld in Threaded ends for the Tubing
1 1/8" Seamless DOM tubing
The upper mount uses Misalgnment Bushings for a 5/16" Bolt That I purchased from Rockware (http://www.rockware.net/) . I did this to give more misaligment travel and to accomodate the mounts width and hole size.

The lower mount uses a 3/4" Bolt and 2 1/8" Poison Spyder 3/4" Misaligment bushings. The mount was drilled to accept a 3/4" bolt.

I put an "s" bend in the trackbar to accomodate the Differential upon compression of drivers side.
SAS4.jpg


Track Bar Mount
I used a stock F150 trakc bar mount turned over and braced with 1/4" Flat stock. I also braced the frame with 1/4" thick 2"x 3" angle Iron. The angle iron is notched for all the bolts for the steering box.
SAS1.jpg

SAS3.jpg


Radius Arms
I am running the Stock Radius Arms of the 1976 F150. The mounts are off of a 70 something 2x4 F150 in the Junk Yard. They were the lowest profile mounts I could find. They are mounted such that the axle is 3.5" further forward than the Dana 35 originally was. I removed the rear lower Body mount rivet and used it as a front hole for the mount. This gave me a better approach angle and allowed me to use a stock driveshaft. I decided this is the most the axle could be moved forward with out serious modifications. I used new Polyurathane Radius Arm Bushings and C-Bushings from Jeff's Bronco Graveyard (http://www.broncograveyard.com/index.php)
SAS6.jpg


Coils & Buckets
In the pictures I am running 5.5" Wild Horses Rock Crawler Springs (http://www.wildhorses4x4.com/). These Springs were not quiet tall enough to give me much up travel before the differential ran into the hacked Engine crossmember and the Driveshaft ran into the Exhaust y-pipe. I originally planned to keep the truck with about 6 inches of lift and 35s. I would reccomend using a LOW PINION for 6" of lift because of the problems I faced with my driveshaft and exhaust.

I have since Switched to 6.5" w/ Winch Springs from BC Broncos. (http://www.bcbroncos.com/store/) I like these coils very much. I get as much stuff as I did with the 5.5s (actually more up travel from ride height because I am not limited by the exhaust) and much more droop. They are very soft and are not progressively wound.

I tried 6.5" lift coils for an 79 Bronco/ 66-79 F150 from Superlift, but they were extremely stiff and they did not fit my mounts right.

Coil Buckets
My coil Buckets are unique.

This is the fist time I have seen this, but I decided to use Full Height Coil Towers from a 70s F150. I did not cut mine down like many have. The reason I did this was because I believe a longer coil will give more travel and I wanted to run a long coil and not alot of lift.

Also, on the drivers side I notched the bucket to fit around the bulge on the frame and then welded it in solid. I did this because I have seen many SAS with severly "v" 'd coils because the lower mounts are spaced closer than the upper mounts. I think that this is magnified when the bulge is ignored and the drivers coil bucket is just mounted on top of the bulge.
SAS1.jpg

Both buckets also have been bolted in every hole possible (the drivers is bolted and welded using Grade 8 1/2" Bolts. The passenger side is fully removeable. They were also moved 2" forward from stock.

Shocks, Shock Hoops, Brake Lines & Bump Stops

I am using Rancho RS9000 adjustable shocks PN 9012s because they have 13" of travel. I built some shock towers out of 1/2" Tubing. The shocks needed to extend into the engine compartment for full travel, so I built the towers to go up into the inner fender. Also incorporated in the tower is a bump stop. They are polyurathe for the front of a Early Bronco and are fully removeable Va the threads. The brake line mount was cut off the old coil buckets and I welded them onto my shock hoops. The hard lines were extended with some couplers and pre- flares tubing from Auto Zone so the hard line would reach the new mount. I think the extension is about 1 foot on the drivers side and 6" on the passenger side.
SAS2.jpg


Rear Set Up
Right now my rear sits 4" lower than the front. It has 2x4 3 leaf springs in it in a SOA. I plan to put in some 4x4 4 leaf packs and a set of Spring Rockers to bring it up.

For the bolt pattern, I used wheel spacers from Bob Myers of Myers MAchine shop. He was the cheapest I found and he built them to my specs. He can be contacted by email at rmyers2051@alltel.net or by phone at 859-253-2259

Tires and Wheels
I am running 34"x 10.50 Super Swamper TSLs on 93 Bronco Stock 15x8 rims painted black. I could fit 37s and I will probably run some 37x12.50x15s when the swampers wear out.

Currently Setup: BRakelines run down at center of axle, Wristed Passenger Arm. ARB. Cheby 1 Ton Tierod End Steering. Went Back to a stock pitman arm. Rebuilt a new 8.8 rear axle and moved it back 1". Rear Custom stacked spring Pack 37" MTRs on 15x10s with 3.5" of backspace.


SAS2.jpg

Moto019.jpg

Navajo034.jpg

Navajo010.jpg

Navajo004.jpg


Current Photo:
Wheelin016.jpg
 
Last edited:


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jrgaylor

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Very good kirby, there was some nuggets of info in there I have be wondering about. Did you change the yoke on the 44? have you notice a diffrence in braking?
 




Kirby N.

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No It brakes pretty much like it always did. I did notice my brakes don't get as hot as they used to when I drive it like a Baja truck.

My 44 had the yoke on it that bolted right up. I had anticipated having to buy one, and even decided I would need to go to the Pick and Pull. Didn't need to though.

Did the pictures work for you?
 




jrgaylor

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The pictures worked fine for me, how is your flex?
 




Kirby N.

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Alot better than it used to be! I am still tweaking it though. It will get better when I wrist the arms. Also planning on putting in some spring rockers on the rear. Right now my front is 4" higher than the rear!
 




jrgaylor

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So you have ~9" of lift in the front, could you measure the distance between the top of the diff and the engine crossmember? and could you get a photo of it also,close up?
I remember reading something about those rocker spring seats, breaking or bending, something not good.
 




Kirby N.

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I actually think I have about 7-8 inches of lift in the front. My rear is really sagged. The springs are completely flat and it only has a 3 leaf pack. The Top of the diff and the Engine crossmember? Where exactly do you want me to measure? I hacked the cross member on both sides pretty huge, only enough is left to keep the differential from going through the oil pan should it get complelty stuffed. The cross member is shaped like a upside down U. I could maesure to the cente of the U where I didn't cut.

I don't have a Digi cam so I can't take any more pics in any reasonable amount of time. The ones that I got were off a disposeable camera that I had developed with a CD.

I am putting the Spring Rockers on the rear under the leaf springs. BC Broncos builds them for sale. They had a prototype that broke, but he fixed them and now he sells them. Lots of Early Bronco guys run them with no problems. They are great people to deal with. Check the website under rear suspensions. He said he would build them to spec for our vehicles.
 




jrgaylor

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It's ok on the measurements, my setup is a little diffrent because I am staying full width.
 




Kirby N.

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OK. You probably won't have the driveshaft clearance problems I did.
 




rino351

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Kirby, looks Great!! Nice write up. My dad and I are gonna put in a new tranny/transfer case and then it's onto a D44.
 




Positive Vibes

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Signing up. Nice write up. Thanks!
 




Kirby N.

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Ryan,
Nice! You are going with a dana 44 too? Holler if you want to see mine before you start. I also am on my 3rd tranny (This one is a manual though- hope it is harder for me to kill it), and my 2nd Tcase- I swapped out the auto Tcase too! Let me know if you have any questions on any of them or want to see mine for comparison since you are right up the street. Also, I figured out the wiring to make the 4x4 lights work on the manual Tcase. I did a thread on it too.

Kirby
 




bmxking5

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Nice write-up Kirby. I also like the write-up on lights for the t-case swap. I just bookmarked both of these, since I will be doing both of these swaps within the next year! :bounce:
 




Kirby N.

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Well, RTI'd the Navajo today. It scored a 840 (20 degree ramp- 540 or something on the 30 degree ramp). I still need to free up some flex, especially since the wife's TJ out flexed it! Her's ramped a 990! It has 30" tires and a 3" lift with no extended or adjustable arms or anything! I think someone took some pics I will get them up when I get them.
 




rino351

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get coilovers :p

still though, that's a hell of a lot better than the ttb. nice work! :D
 




Kirby N.

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RTI Pics!!

OK. Got some pics up. They are Here . Mine is the Navajo ;) My brothers is the red Cherry XJ (hes a pansy who is afraid of Body Damage! My buddies is the Green one. We broke a rear axle shaft in the green one before the day was through. Pretty funny. My wifes is the Blue TJ in the Picture. It dominated the ramp. :eek:

This is my favorite! Navajo all Flexed

Suprisingly enough, the Navajo ramped almost the same forward and backward. I guess the truck and suspension is more balanced than I thought. If it only sat level....

Still working on some spring rockers, then Ill wrist and arm, my TJ won't beat it for long.

Kirby
 




rino351

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looks great Kirby!
:D
 




DB_1

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Lookin' good :thumbsup:
I've got some B.C. Broncos spring rockers i'll sell you if you are interested. I had to modify my springs to work with the rockers but thats's because I have 3" wide springs and the rockers are meant for 2.5"...should be a slam dunk for Explorer springs.
 




CHUNK

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new here!! just wanted to say thank's for the write up and the truck is awesome. im thinking of getting a navajo and came over here to learn more about the explorer/navajo's. if i do get the rig that i want the first mod is eb d44 front and 9" rear. hope you dont mind but i have a couple of question's.

1. do you think that the duff 3.5" coils will lift the navajo enough for 35-36" tires?
2. can you use the stock coil bucket's? if so do you have any pic's of the placement of the stock coil bucket's?

that's all for now.

Kirby N. Well, RTI'd the Navajo today. It scored a 840 (20 degree ramp- 540 or something on the 30 degree ramp). I still need to free up some flex, especially since the wife's TJ out flexed it! Her's ramped a 990! It has 30" tires and a 3" lift with no extended or adjustable arms or anything! I think someone took some pics I will get them up when I get them.
you ever think about wristing one of the radius arm's? that'll help with the flex. :smoke:
 


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Kirby N.

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You can use stock coil buckets, but I don't think it is the right way to do it. Works fine either way though if you build a retainer for it. Do some more research. Tom Davis used the Stock buckets, so did HIX.

3.5" Coils? Depends on how low you mount the buckets. It would probably be pretty close with the stock buckets. Moght need to trim a little, especially if you don't move the front end forward.

Wristing the arm is on the list, but I have pretty much reached my steering's limit for flex. Might have to redesign my drag link when I wrist the arm. I sold my 8.8 out of my truck last weekend, so the 9" swap will be the first thing!
 




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