My no-budget 91 Sport SAS | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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My no-budget 91 Sport SAS

Spoiler ending pic:

Just how cheaply can a SAS be done? I'm about to find out. Granted, I'm cheating because I have almost everything on hand from SASing my other Ex. Should have no problem getting it driving for under $500, getting it geared and locked up for under $1000.

Rig as it sits now:

91 Sport, 5spd, electric t-case, 3.73s, open/open, 31" ATs on stock suspension

What I have on hand:

Full width D44 from 74 F100. 1/2" tubes, welded on wedges (cut off), all gone through, Chevy knuckles/brakes with 5x5.5 bolt pattern. All brackets in place for 3-link with panhard.

Full width 8.8 in good used condition but nothing gone through on it. May exchange for a 9".

1354M t-case with all linkage, has not been gone through but was behind my DD until I pulled it out for the 1/2 ton drivetrain.

Piles of misc steel, to fab what ever other brackets I need.

Box of poly bushings and sleeves for control arms.

36" TSLs on steelies.

3.5" Jeep coils, 13" travel Ranchos, F250 shock towers.

Complete 1.5" diameter .25 wall DOM steering kit with 1 ton Chevy TREs.

Double cardan rear driveshaft, 2" longer than stock.


Flex joints for frame end of long arms, Shocker or Summit weld-on for $30 or $45. 2 or 3 needed, depending whether I go true 3 link or "Y-link" radius arms.

Chevy D44 brake calipers and pads, $20 each, $80 total.

Panhard, steel on hand, need 3/4" heim kit, $50 with all the trimmings off ebay.

US Standard 5:13 gears for 8.8 $150.

Sierra Gear 5:13 for D44 $127. 3.92+ carrier ~$50.

Total so far $567

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Here's the new parts list.

Complete 96 ZJ D30 3.73 gears $98

4 Johnny joints, jamb nuts and tube bungs, 6ft link tubing and 2 coil springs $80 (lightly used JY score)

2x4 3/16 wall rectangular tubing for tranny crossmember $11

4 34x9.5 TSLs with half tread $FREE after horse trading.

Chevy 1 ton TREs $FREE cheating on this, they are new and I paid for them at one point but they've been laying around

8.8 Lockright $120 wasn't planning on getting it yet but couldn't pass it up for the price

Crossmember steel $11

XJ LCA bushings $17

Misc steel $90

Bolts and welding wire $50

Hiem for trackbar $25

94 Chevy 1500 2wd brake lines $28

Running total $530 and 54 hours.

Still left to get:

8.8 open carrier $47
Maybe a front locker $200-300
Longer front drive shaft
And more as I think of it...

WIll put something here too

So yeah, almost a year later and I'm just now getting around to it. Plans have been tweaked quite a bit.

Debating, should I do my arms angled in at a more extreme angle or more parallel to each other? I've seen itsaid that an extreme angle will reduce bind but increase the tendency to roll. Also should build both arms the same or make one "wristed". My last SAS used Y-link radius arms and it made no difference if I pulled one upper.

Don't need this anymore.


I suppose I haven't learned the benefit to SASing
what is it supposed to do?
what do you lose?
just trying to figure out the purpose of this
I like the project though, it seems like you know what you're doing and I am quite interested in the turnout of this!

I see about 4 benefits to your typical SAS.

Stronger axle.
Ease of lifting.
Ease of maintenance.
Better articulation and traction.

Number 1 is actually a wash for me, I ended up with a D30 just to get this done, my TTB was falling apart and I needed to keep her roadworthy.

if i was going for stronger axles i would be aiming more for a dana 60/44 the 44 is well used and the 60 just seems to be a great option for strength
but why exactly are you going for a stronger axle?
I supposed for the ease of lifting it is worth it but at that point, i guess id look into maybe a bronco or something of the sort... idk if youre going to be using this as a fun truck (mud/offroad) or if this is going to be a daily
i assume youre going for the fun because the trade off is most likely mpg's
i guess i dont have the desire for a solid axle

It's just a toy and winter rig mostly, but sees very few miles.

A 44/60 would be better, but also take longer to get on the road and cost more. This 30 is the same width and bolt pattern as the rear axle and has the same gear ratio. Damn near bolt in.

A 44 is only marginally better than a 30 anyway since they use the same u-joint which is the weakest link on both. If it evolves any further from here I'll go straight to a 60.

As far as MPG there should be no difference between TTB and solid on the same tires. If anything, in theory the solid axle should be better with less wind resistance.

So right now I have about 13 hours into it. The TTB and all related brackets are out, engine crossmember is trimmed for more uptravel, D30 stock coil pads and trackbar bracket cut off and ground smooth, one new coil pad made, tranny crossmember pulled and new 2x4 crossmember held in place and marked for cuts.

hmm, I want an older model for playing with, so i would be in the same boat as you with the SAS
I have been looking for a beater explorer to have fun with so when I find one I will definitely look into the SAS project
good luck!

13 more hours killed. Coil pads all done, crossmember done, lower part of long arms done.

Next up long arm frame side brackets, upper half of long arms, tracbar/brackets.

Slow plodding progress, the old lady doesn't support my allocation of hours...

2 more hours down, finished cutting out the frame side link brackets and had to chop a valley in the crossmember for driveshaft clearance. Hope to get all that welded up and bolted in tonight.

How about that, I managed to squeeze a 4 link under there. Should be able to have it buttoned up and ready for a shake down this weekend. 16 more hours over the last few days and $90 in misc steel.

2 more hours of grinding welding and painting, with pictures finally.



About 8 more hours and $50 spend on bolts and little more welding wire. All the major fab is done, should have her buttoned up tomorrow. Will have to tack on some shock and swaybar brackets later but that's minor.



I like the crossmember. Great Job on that. Lets see some pictures of it together

Well there will be no pics tonight, last step of assembly I couldnt get the tracbar hiem threaded in, will need a tap.

Tracbar and draglink the exact same length and plane and super flat, should be no bumpsteer.


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