Off-Road magazine | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Off-Road magazine


Elite In Memoriam
November 16, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
La Habra Hts, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
90 Bronco II
If anyone reads "off-road" magazine ( there's an article in the february edition about the mcneiloff-road d35 4x4 suspension kit. i searched around and couldn't find any pictures of it on the web and don't have a scanner to uploads pics from the magazine. so i knw this is "worthless without pictures" but im just trying to let others know what i found out, that there's a company that sells a race ready "kit". so im trying to add to the list of places people know about for explorer/ranger lift kits.

well anyways, hopefully someone will read this and load some pics on here of the kit.

mcneil off-road (not perry macneil or mcneilracing) has a 4x4 dana 35 suspension system that they sell. they're one of the only companies to sell a race worthy kit that you can bolt on, most companies are mainly fab shops that must install it for you. they're kit (and they're not affraid to call it a kit) comes with cut and turned beams, fully plated and trussed and ported for axle clearance.they have cool extra plating on the bottum of the pumpkin too as a skid plate. radius arms and tranny crossmember, brake lines, axles, sterring linkage and a drop pitman arm and are designed to run with coilovers. the kit cycles 17" of travel, and if you want to get swingset steering, it can pull 20" of travel. i talked AT LENGTH to the company owner Chad Mcneil (perry's cousin) and he's a great guy to talk to if you have any questions about rangers/explorers. he's been building kits since 1998 and i-beams are what he really knows and is a really nice guy when it comes to just wanting to ask him someting and not even thinking about buying his products.

they have different kits available too. the three main kits they have are

-just the whole d35

-d35 beams with d44 outers

-or the entire d44! (beams, axles, knuckles!)

each kit they can install or just sell as the kit and ship anywhere. and all kits are extended 4" per side. but you can get whatever length you want if you ask. and the d35 setup only uses on extended axle. d44 setup uses all stock components.

the kits are on sall now for $2,750 (usually $3k) but an engine cage for 14" coilovers is $1k (not included in the kit)

the steering on these systems are stock style steering, but they've extended them and got rid of all the bends and curves that the stock steering has. chad mcneil went on and on about how well his steering works and how most people don't even bother going swingset steering after they run his sock style custom steering. they engineered it to keep toe in/out angles to a minimum and not to bind at full 17" travel drop. and they worked it so they can move the beams farther forward than stock as to not hit the fire wall area with larger tires.

they also are a full shop just like mcneil racing. so they creat bumpers, cages etc. and mcneil off-road also has a full line of fiber glass, seperate from perry's fab n' fiber.

just thought i'd write a little (haha little) thing about mcneil offroad bucause i don't know of any one other than autofab that sells a d44 kits for rangers/explorers. and they're the only ones i know that offer a d35 kit with d44 outers on it.

if i come across any pics, ill post them on here. really nice lookin stuff

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

So are you gonna be the giunnea pig that's gonna buy and install the first one?;):D

So the rest of us D35 can see how it fits and works?

i wish, maybe some day :D

he affered for me to come down to the mdr superstition race on the 29-31 to check out one of his customer's ranger with the d44 front end and take a ride in it a lap around the race track. so i need to find a way to get to plaster city :cool: he's gonna be down there dialing in the truck and adjusting the bypass's in the back.

i emailed him for pictures so hopefully he'll email me back some pictures that i can post up

i am definitely interested in this they have this up on their website or anywhere?

no :(

there websit doesn't have any pics or info. they're supposely updating it and they'll have there whole line of products up when they're finished. but the website has they're email adress. so i would email them or call them if your interested

That is a sweet set up. I saw it in Off Road and was instantly attracted. But as said above, their website does not show any info.

Perhaps we an get someone from McNeil to give us some info.

leave McNeil alone. Go autofab.

I prefer Autofab parts, due to the fact that they are manufactured in house in el cajon ca, rather than third party down in mexico. I used to be a big McNeil fan, until a McNeil setup showed up at my boy's house, with ovaled out bolt holes around all their brackets, and their goofy-ass sterring rod coming apart. The autofab stuff is tougher, better engineered, and the same price. 5 grand gets you a full 22 inch travel D44 beam setup with custom steering. And by the way, the only place you can use swingset steering is on a 2WD. You cannot make 4WD beams equal length, because of the axleshafts. And frankly, anyone with a decent eye can fab up a set of old kingpin I beams with WHATEVER outers you want for 2WD, and buy a swingset setup to go with it.
Check out this setup, and really look at the fit and finish.

mcneil designed a 4x4 swingset steering. pual b has swingset steering.

autofab is great stuff. top notch. im not puting them down. just wanted to show other options then them. i would think autofab would design the best geometry you can find, thats part of their main specialty. but for me, i kina like the mcneil cause it runs coilovers. and if you wnat it installed its only like $500 instead of $3,500 for install at autofab.

What about Camberg, I see they have a extended radius arm and cut and turned I-beams for like $600 for each?

I live on the east coast so there are no deserts, and the beaches have a 25 mph speed limit, but we have a little bit of everything else, just no high speed. But it seams to me that a properly tuned suspension with lots of wheel travel will benefit any off road vehicle especially at low speed rock crawling or hill climbing.

Damn, that is one nice ranger, that front end looks really well-built.

And that's my point. I'm saying that you get what you pay for. The McNeil kit is not worth what the autofab stuff is. Ask Danny!

are you saying that you would be able to break the mcneil setup?

are you saying that you would be able to break the mcneil setup?

Prove it! :popcorn: :)

You go buy it, and i will smash it. 3 hours.

Hah, i'll pass. Maybe someday i'll be able to test it out myself.

exploderpilot, you have skills! haha. you stay away from my truck, only i get to break it! :D

I'll tell you what, I'm not a huge fan of any Dana 35 TTB kit, but I took a truck that was sitting in Wisconsin for 4 years full of rust, has 110 K on the ticker and have beaten the living snot out of it without changing a thing. Suprisingly, the front end has held up and the first thing I managed to break were the rear u-bolts.

I'm still baffled at how the autofab kit makes that axle not break. I was launching hubs off my old rig like they were toothpicks.

I also just saw a set of 4" extended TTB beams for $400 on Dezertrangers. Pics the guy emailed me looked a little home-made for my liking, but we can't all go spend the big bucks at the fab shop like this clown is these days.

for $400 they'd be worth getting to see if I could break them.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

And by the way, the only place you can use swingset steering is on a 2WD. You cannot make 4WD beams equal length, because of the axleshafts. [/url]

Okay Jason, I looked for about an hour to prove you wrong. One night I was up way past my bed time reading on long travel TTB kits, I had the page in my favorites, but then reformatted my pc and lost it.

This is nuts, equal length TTB, passenger shaft goes in front of drivers shaft.

Probably way too much money for "bling effect" to have a buzz word under the front end.

I don't even think you and I could combine our A.D.D and make something so cracked out.


  • 4.jpg
    27 KB · Views: 327