Completed Project - Kirby's Navajo Next Level | Page 5 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Completed Project Kirby's Navajo Next Level

Use this prefix for completed projects that are not "How to" articles or threads asking for help.
So I haven't been posting much or working on the Navajo. I have been wheeling some and dirtbiking alot and just not doing much new stuff to the truck. Anyway, I have been gathering parts and need to do some wrenching and take it to the next level. I did add a new door last night! The old one wouldn't roll up due to the new dents. Partly from Independance trail, partly from an encounter with a tree snow wheeling!

Here's the new parts going in:

1) 8.8 New Axle- The old one has some ghetto brackets and the pinion bearing is toast. I paid a guy to setup the gears and he must have set the pinion preload with an impact or something. I need to do something about this soon!

2) 8.8 Detroit EZ Locker Got it cheap

3) Dana 44 Detroit Electrac Its a gear driven posi until you push the button, then it is a spool. Got it Cheap

4) New Front Bumper. Got a Warn X8000I mounted up, now it needs some tube to keep the grill off the rocks!

5) Wristed Arm- Picked one up a guy built and didn't use for cheap. I need to redo the welds because I don't trust him.


Winch Mount ( I think I need to make a thread For this)


Side View


Top View


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I posted the bronc here first then I decided it needed its own thread!

Yes, I ditched the Piece of Junk Electrac for the ARB. The Electrac was toast before I got a chance at it!

I got a good deal on the front ARB from and the research I did on the Electrac says it was junk anyway. I guess that is why Detroit stopped making them. ARB has a pretty flawless rep! I have never been a huge fan of the airlines and what not, but they are tried and true so I guess I will try it. A couple of Jeep buddies have gotten them recently with good results.

Do you want to wheel tomorrow Jaime?

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I got a good deal on the front ARB from

I still cant say enough good things about Crazy Ed, I'm sad he left Biloxi, MS....but a good thing for you out there in CO. I still order my stuff from him and have him get the MFG's to drop ship

dang wish I would have seen this!

Do you want to wheel tomorrow Jaime?

Julee and I would love to see some new trails down South

It wasn't really down south. We did wheeler lake near breckenridge. I will post pics in the trip report page and on the bronco thread! We are doing Holy Cross soon. I will drop you a PM when we are going.

I guess it is time for an update here. The front End is back together. I guess this is Dana 44 version about 5.0???

ARB IS IN! Also installed is half of the Yukon Chomo shafts and superjoints. The short side was on backorder, but I just found out it came in this week. All parts are from


That Sweet Blue Line

Switch Placement

HO Pump Placement/ Air Up Kit


Relocated Air Intake (Snorkle for my Pump!)

So hows it work? I did a couple of trails over Labor Day- Grizzly Lake, Iron Chest and China Mens. No broken shafts! I felt like I babied it, too. It was nice to only lock it up when I needed to. It also airs up tires real nice! Pics?

Iron Chest (only one I took!):

China Mens:

The Crew:








Did a tiny amount of wrenching on the Explorer this last week.

I am prepping it for Hunting and found a broke upper yoke on my rear CV driveshaft. That was an unexpected $120 to get the new yoke and have it put in.:rolleyes:

I finally installed my short side (driver) 4340 shafts and superjoints. I don't want to break my stocker shaft in a snow drift up hunting.

Also, added a sport Grill and bezels and header panels, so now it is officially an explorer. Nothing left that says Mazda. My Navajo header had been broken for about 7 years and I had ghetto fixed it (because I couldn't find a reasonable used one) with some 1/4" strap. It rattled and it was never right, so it was nice to finally fix it. It amazes me how much easier parts are to find then when I first got this thing back in 2000. Anyway I wanted a sport grille cause chrome is lame. I finally found one!!

I am thinking of putting an "Bronco Sport" Emblem on the fenders. I have 2 from a 1969 Bronco. Always loved those, after helping my buddy rebuild his over a 2 year expanse I am glad I have a 1993 model!


Nice build. Kind of what I had in mind when I do my SAS (sometime, someyear). I really like your integrated cross member. Nevermind about the PM sent today.
Please post what you would do differently if you had to do it again.

holy moley thats a big change front fascia, looks nice although I liked your navajo

ARB + colorado = perfect together

Jaime- that ARB rules. I wish I could put them in my wifes TJ too. Definately expensive. I hear Yukon and some others will be coming out with an air locker soon. ARBs corner is about over. That should make them more affordable. I would love to get one for the rear. That lunchbox is a little annoying at times.

Here is some more Pics with the new front end. I like it because it is finally fixed. I like the looks too. Not only that I got tired of explaining what a navajo was to people:rolleyes:. Either way it doesn't make it go up the rocks better, so it is just details right??




I got your PM. That crossmember was for the Bronc I built recently- not for the X. (Pic below of the bronco)To build it, we started with some big pieces of angle and drilled them where we wanted mounting bolts. Then we taked them on the frame in the appropriate place. Next we tacked on a piece of 2x2 1/4" square tubing. We measured and built the tranny mount and Radius arm mounts and tacked them on. Then drilled the corresponding holes in the frame, broke our tacks and welded/ gusseted the whole thing.

What would I do different-

1: Use Pottsy's Coil Buckets/ Shock mounts instead of my shock hoops- his are sweet and cleaner. I built mine so I could use RS9012s without bottoming them out. Glad I did, but his would have been easier
2: Build a trackbar mount like the one I built for the bronco- stonger, cleaner
3: build a tracbar like I did for the bronco- 1 superflex style joint, one Poly Joint.
4: Make the tracbar/ draglink flatter by making the upper mount lower and the lower mount higher. For the draglink I would use a drop pitman arm. I get too much lateral movement in the axle during articulation. Not bad, but my tires rub the shock/ coil on full stuff.
5: Use a full width axle and move the cbushings in 2" or so per side and use wheels with less backspacing. Less work, cleaner, more stable, easier to get chromolly shafts. I would also build a f150 8.8 in the rear if that was the case.
I think that is about all.


Thanks; I have this thread saved in my favorites under "SAS".
My crossmember is already built because I have that 700R4 transmission with a NP231 transfer case. Its 1-1/2" x 1/4" tubing, with the transmission mounts already in place. All I need to do is the hard part, making new mounts for radius arms. I think I am going to inside sleeve that tubing as well, so I don't have to worry.
What do you think about extending the EB / F150 type radius arms and using johnny joints as opposed to wristing? I think it might get close to the same flex without the poor road manners and possible problems of the wristing.
On a full width axle (which is what I have), why move the wedgies in two inches instead of three so they match the width of the EB axles?

Ohhh. Highjacking my thread with that ol debate huh?? Thats cool. Here is my opinion:
I like wristing better. My road manners are awesome. I can cruise down the highway at 85 with the pin in. I am running RS9000s and no Sway bars. It corners great, handles great. The Radius arms have a natural bind inherent to thier design (the bind that wristing alleviates) that acts like a sway bar. I like my road manners with stock length arms. On the bronco I built the owner insisted on lengthening his arms and adding teraflex Johnny joints. I bet he has 10-15 hours in them for lengthening and bracing. While not true on his application, for our application stockers will bolt on. His works good enough, but I think it has worse road manners. The nice thing about mine is that I can pull a pin for wheeling, put the pin back in for Daily Driving. To each his own though. There are enough builds out there proving they both work good.

2"?- The EB width on the cbushings is a little narrow for the Explorer frame. Have you seen the "v" shaped coils or bowing in that is inherent in the EB/ narrowed swaps? I would measure the full size frame width at the coil buckets, then measure the Explorer frame width at the same place, subtract them and divide by two. Then I would move the cbushings in that far. I think it will be closer to 2 or 2.5" instead of the 3". 6" is taken off the one side in a narrowing situation to allow use of EB shafts on the passenger side. However, an EB shaft will be 1/5" too short on the drivers side, so I had to use a f150 shaft on the drivers side inner.

Here is my SAS writeups for your bookmarks too!



I never pin my wristed arm and it works fine around town and I can cruise 80 on the highway no problem. Even with pissed off bias 36" beefcakes.

Brian, you should be able to use the Superlift crossmember for the stock radius arms like I did. If you wanted to extend them just a bit to get the axle forward a couple inches, it's pretty easy to do so, by sleeving the stock arms.

Kirby, I don't think he meant EB axle either, he's got a FW 44 sitting in his backyard, which is the ~6" wider he was talking about.

Kirby, I don't think he meant EB axle either, he's got a FW 44 sitting in his backyard, which is the ~6" wider he was talking about.

Sorry, that is not what I meant. I meant that people get the idea that the cbushings on a FW need to be moved in 6" for an explorer SAS because that is the difference between an EB passenger side shaft and a f150 passenger shaft. This misconception comes because many people have done it and EB cbushing width works. I considered when I welded my cbushings on pushing the passenger side out .5" or so, and cutting the drivers off and rewelding it .5" or so out. I am just saying that because the 6" narrower EB cbushing width works, it doesn't mean it is ideal. I would take some measurements and move it in according to frame differences since you are cutting both off you might as well. Also, a norrowed f150 HP axle is .5" wider than a EB axle due to driver side length differences. I figured that out a few months ago. All along I thought I was EB width.

Also, I used the stock crossmember on my setup. I pushed the axle far enough forward that my radius arm mounts missed the crossmember and I am running a stock one. That will change when the doubler goes in though!

Thanks, I will hijack no more..
I just wanted to ask a few questions because you know what you are talking about.

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No thats cool! I was just kidding! That is what this is for. No problem. Ask away.

I updated my sas thread with new pics since the links were all dead.