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Reviving my suspension, would like some back up.

Dano!

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Updated 10AUG13

peeps,
I am in the process of attaining parts to bring life back into my OEM suspension, its pretty bad, if i didn't wear my seat belt i would be ejected from the Navajo when i go over a pot hole. you can dribble my front end like a basketball, worst of all both my front tires are pretty much ruined because the sagging has caused a toe-out effect. ect.
i would like some help along the way when all the parts arrive, and would like any opinions or "hey you forgot this"

Things i have, :thumbsup:
Monroe Rear shocks
Mcquay Norris HD ball joints
Moog Problem solver Tie rods (outer)
Timken wheel bearings
Moog coil springs
RA bushings
Bilstein 4600 front shocks
RA heat shield
Moog inner tie rods
Drag link (Didnt realize the drag link and passenger inner tie rod were the same thing :) )
Timken Spindle bearing / seal kit
Energy Suspension Complete Bushing Kit
Borgeson Steering Components (Rag Joint Eliminator)
Shock Boots
Moog Tie Rod Adjusting Sleeves
Coil Spring Insulator
Caliper Guide Pins
Timken Wheel Seals
New Brake Bleeders
New Leaf Springs
Lower Coil Spring Seat
Upper Coil Spring Seat

Things awaiting delivery, :thumbsup:


Things i need to buy
Coil spring compressor
Ball joint puller
Drum brake all in one tool


Things i am on the fence about, :dunno:
-RA brackets - Should i expect the OEM to be bad / rounded out and order new ones?
-U-Joints - 22 years old / good idea to replace / upgrade?
-Rebuilding the Drum Brakes, or Buying 2nd gen axle and do the swap for disc brakes.

Things that are keeping me from starting
-Fix the new car
-Pre-Build alignment
-Tear down and rebuild of leaf springs.

For the time being my Navajo is still my DD and maybe once in a blue moon it gets some dirt road action to a campsite. my main concern is I don't want to have everything broken down just to realize something else needs to be replaced.

I have read as many threads as i could find including the sticky about the D35 restoration. i built my parts wish list over the past month and now finally most of everything is showing up. Before i jump into this i would just like to hear any opinions good/bad, and whether or not i should replace anything else / order more parts.

The only good thing i have got going for me is the lack of heavy duty rust. Again, any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

-Dano:salute:
 
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arco777

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Looks like you ordered the right stuff.

U-joints are up to you. Check yours out and see if they have any play or feel crunchy when you swivel them around their range of motion.

RA brackets will depend on how bad the RA bushings are and how long they've been that bad.
 
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IAmTodd

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If you're going that far in I'd just do the inner tie rods. I replaced mine figuring they were pretty old. The two outter U joints will be pretty easy. The inner one for the passenger side will be difficult if you don't have the C clip eliminator installed.

Cross member is around $36 a side, I replaced mine because it was hacked up. Otherwise I'd be ok just leaving it.
 
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Tbars4

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..I would also replace the drag link (connects at the Pitman)

..It's often over looked and can often be a common cause for loose steering as they are so worn out cause no one replaces them..;)

..This is a good thread too for someone working on their 4x front end...
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122696&highlight=brake+diary

...A couple things I would add is the perhaps new spindle bearings and seals (small ones), new rotors to alleviate future problems with bearing slop and loose spindle nuts, and might even throw on new spindles depending on how much I wanted to revive the front end...

..I see you are getting springs but are those for the front or the rear?..It's a common upgrade to put 4 door leaf springs on a Navajo or Sport..

..And don't forget your rear shackles and bushings...Like your RA cross-member, it depends on how bad your bushings are if you also wore out the shackles. This will get rid of some sway and squeaks..:D

..Sway bar bushings are worth looking into also..;)

..:scratch:..How much money were you thinking of spending?..I could stop now...:p:
 
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Albino 94LTD

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You forgot the Beam Pivot bushings and sway bar bushings.

If you're really rebuilding your suspension, add leaf spring bushings.

You can get an entire Prothane or Energy Suspension bushing kit from places like JC Whitney or Summit Racing
 
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Tbars4

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...Those items can also be ordered and picked up at 4wheelparts if you have one close to you..They will price match..;)

..And the axle pivot bushings as Albino mentioned are often overlooked and are generally shot all to heck..IIRC they are about $70 and now is a perfect time to change those..:hammer:
 
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Maniak

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Since your into the steering (tie rods, drag link etc) check the play in the steering box and the steering shaft.

The Rag joint on the steering shaft can go bad over time and you get some odd slops right in the shaft itself. If its bad you find a new shaft or build one. There are a couple threads on here about building a new steering shaft using either the Flaming River parts or Borgenson(sp?). The Borgenson parts method was a recent thread.

If the steering box has play you can turn the adjustment screw on top of it to tighten up the play (you need to leave a little play though).

~Mark
 
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Bobmbx

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Navajos need a CoExist bumper sticker.
 
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Dano!

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so i did something potentially dumb.

i opened the tie rod boxes, did the ol mix and match and dont know which one is which. my problem is that one is larger than the other. according to the Moog website they are supposed to have the same thread size. so before i try and call anyone up looking for information i figured i would ask here.

is the outer tie rod on one side of the explorer/navajo larger than the other? is there any way to tell the difference between the left and right side tie rod?

thanks

-Dano

Update:
after some searching I found out that, to determine what side tie rod is which you check the threads as each side will be threaded to match the rotation of the tires.

I still dont know why one is bigger
 
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Dano!

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First of all, Thanks everyone, i am adding more to my list, and ordering more parts tonight.

arco777 i am still on the fence on the RA brackets. i will take a close look tomorrow at my RA bushings, maybe i will see how bad they are and be able to make and "educated guess"

If you're going that far in I'd just do the inner tie rods. I replaced mine figuring they were pretty old. The two outter U joints will be pretty easy. The inner one for the passenger side will be difficult if you don't have the C clip eliminator installed.

Cross member is around $36 a side, I replaced mine because it was hacked up. Otherwise I'd be ok just leaving it.

IAmTodd, I ordered the inner tie rods. i have been reading a lot into the C-clip eliminator, i have never dug that deep so it seems to be above my ability to tackle. but i will do some more research while i am waiting for parts.

Once again thank you very much.

..I would also replace the drag link (connects at the Pitman)

Added to the Shopping cart

...A couple things I would add is the perhaps new spindle bearings and seals (small ones)

Added to the shopping cart (I have new rotors / brakes)

..I see you are getting springs but are those for the front or the rear?..It's a common upgrade to put 4 door leaf springs on a Navajo or Sport..

I will edit the list they are the front coil springs. i would ask about the likelihood of finding leaf spring packs in the junk yard in decent shape but i will probably just buy new ones to go with the theme.

..And don't forget your rear shackles and bushings...Like your RA cross-member, it depends on how bad your bushings are if you also wore out the shackles. This will get rid of some sway and squeaks..:D

..Sway bar bushings are worth looking into also..;)

I was thinking of leaving the rear shackles in until i get around to doing a mild suspension lift (JD stage 1) but i will get all the bushings ect. i don't want to compromise on this too much. I like doing new things to my Navajo, and learning how to do it.

You forgot the Beam Pivot bushings and sway bar bushings.

If you're really rebuilding your suspension, add leaf spring bushings.

You can get an entire Prothane or Energy Suspension bushing kit from places like JC Whitney or Summit Racing

I will have to wait until next week to order the Energy Suspension bushing kit, right now summit racing shows it would ship at the end of the month, so i will try and get them through 4wheelparts, as they have a shop about 30 miles from here. i guess i will have a second set of RA bushings.

Since your into the steering (tie rods, drag link etc) check the play in the steering box and the steering shaft.

The Rag joint on the steering shaft can go bad over time and you get some odd slops right in the shaft itself. If its bad you find a new shaft or build one. There are a couple threads on here about building a new steering shaft using either the Flaming River parts or Borgenson(sp?). The Borgenson parts method was a recent thread.

If the steering box has play you can turn the adjustment screw on top of it to tighten up the play (you need to leave a little play though).

~Mark

Maniak, The first time i ever raised a tool to repair my Navajo, when i still did not know how to change my own oil, the very first thing i ever did was replace my power steering pump and power steering lines. (and ever since then my steering wheel has been off center, but tight.)

is it possible to do away with the rag joint entirely and do a U-joint conversion type like in some j**ps? (I haven't searched, when i asked a buddy at work what a rag joint was, he threw that option out.)

keep the ideas rolling, if there are any other bushings that are not included in the Energy suspension super duper kit, let me know.
 
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Maniak

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<quote>
Maniak, The first time i ever raised a tool to repair my Navajo, when i still did not know how to change my own oil, the very first thing i ever did was replace my power steering pump and power steering lines. (and ever since then my steering wheel has been off center, but tight.)

is it possible to do away with the rag joint entirely and do a U-joint conversion type like in some j**ps? (I haven't searched, when i asked a buddy at work what a rag joint was, he threw that option out.)
</quote>
Here are 2 threads that I keep handy since I really want to do this change on our X.

Using Flaming River parts...
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=347868&highlight=steering+flaming+river

Using Borgenson parts.
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=388784

Either of those methods (really the same method, just different brand parts) gets rid of the rag joint..


Steering wheel off center should be taken care of when you get it aligned which you will need to do after chaning tie rod, drag link etc.. If they don't set the steering wheel then they didn't do a full alignment and should never get your money ever again...

One of the symptoms of having the steering box too tight is it will no longer return to center. This isn't the only reason it won't return to center but if you tighten the steering box gear and then it won't return to center you went too far.

To see if it is loose you can rotate the steering shaft right by the steering box. If the shaft as it goes into the box is moving but the pitman arm isn't then you have slop. There should be a little but not 1/2 turn or more (like ours had when I did the adjustment).

~Mark
 
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IAmTodd

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One of the symptoms of having the steering box too tight is it will no longer return to center. This isn't the only reason it won't return to center but if you tighten the steering box gear and then it won't return to center you went too far.

Trust me you do not want to drive it when it's too tight! I had mine too tight for the first few miles I put on it and it was miserable to drive. It takes a couple tries to get it just right but worth the aggravation.
 
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pteepee69

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I just got through with converting my steering shaft, the binding my lift was causing kept it from returning to center when you turned. It was such a pain in my tater. Glad I did it. Most of the slop is gone and now when you turn you can let go and let it come back to you. Still want to do a complete suspension redo though. Everything sounds like hell when you hit a bump. The whole front end shutters, rear end sounds like it might come apart. Rubber only lasts so long before the elements ruin it. Will be watching your progress.
 
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Dano!

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I purchased the energy suspension complete bushing kit today along with The Borgeson steering shaft + U-Joints. the estimated ship date for the Bushing Kit is the 28th of July, so i will have to wait for those.

Thank you for the links for the Rag Joint elimination, it seems simple enough.

Also for those waiting to buy them, I would recommend buying them from SummitRacing and not DuffTuff, Because of one little detail, which is free shipping. The money you save from buying the parts from Duff will not exceed the shipping estimate. (for me just for the two U-Joints it was almost 30 bucks.)

I will update the listing on the first post. if anyone thinks i need anything else just let me know. its already a big project (for me at least) if there is anything that will be right there in my face after i take these parts off and should probably be replaced, i would like to know.

What are all the specialty tools i will need to complete this job.

Ball Joint Puller (or BFH)
Coil spring compressor

Thank you guys for all your input.

-Dano
 
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Dano!

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Holy Parts Batman!


20130810_225319.jpg


I still need to find some proper Poly bushings for the individual leafs.

I am still updating the first post. and will be adding some new stuff. but i am almost ready to get this started.

:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::shoot::dead:
Unfortunately it will have to wait until i get two new shoes and maybe two new rims for the Dodge Dart.. some... Friend of my wife's.. decided it would be a good idea to try and make the car have sex with the curb, and after getting the front wheel a banged up decided she was committed and damaged the rear wheel and tire too.. less than 4k miles on it. to bad warranties don't cover stupidity..

Anyway, i am thinking of adding a rebuild to the rear drums on top of all this since i will be back there anyway. i have not looked into all the parts and junk involved, but would it be cheaper to just pull a 2nd gen rear with the disks brakes vs just rebuilding the drums and new bearings ect?

And should i look into replacing my engine mounts and body mounts while i am under there? i get a lot of vibration and rocking from the engine, can the mounts be replaced without taking the engine out of the truck?

Thank you guys for your help in pointing me in the right direction. I think the only thing i am not replacing is the pitman arm.

If you guys can think of anything else just let me know please i appreciate it.

When the Dart is fixed up i can take the Navajo to get a pre-build alignment, and get the shop to take the leaf springs apart and add the new poly bushings.

At that point i will get the Navajo into the garage and start wrenching.

Thanks again.
 
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arco777

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Aww, kitty :) Mine love the RockAuto boxes.

Anyway, i am thinking of adding a rebuild to the rear drums on top of all this since i will be back there anyway. i have not looked into all the parts and junk involved, but would it be cheaper to just pull a 2nd gen rear with the disks brakes vs just rebuilding the drums and new bearings ect?

And should i look into replacing my engine mounts and body mounts while i am under there? i get a lot of vibration and rocking from the engine, can the mounts be replaced without taking the engine out of the truck?

For the rear drums, personally I feel it's such a hassle to deal with such weak brakes that I don't bother with them. Additionally the bearings last a long time so unless you've been in mud and water or towing a lot, they're probably fine. If you do decide to do a disc axle swap from a 2nd gen, it's not very hard. I did it myself in my garage with a single jack. The only part of the swap that's not an easy bolt-in is the e-brake cable, but if you're good at rigging stuff up and don't mind cutting a bracket, it's no big deal. I can send pics of the way I did mine if desired.

As for the engine, you shouldn't be getting that much rocking or vibration from the engine unless it's misfiring, so check that first before replacing the motor mounts. A miss will cause all kinds of shaking.
 
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Dano!

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I managed to finish this in january.

Had to have the Navajo towed to get the alignment because i had toe in so bad. found out that my front passenger side was in an accident, that whole side of the axle is newer then the other, found that the upper coil bracket is also missing the tab that holds the coil in place, so i have to fix that too. (no off roading yet)

I put the full size explorer leaf springs (4 leaf instead of 3) on and now the back end of the Navajo sits really low. is that normal? it does not hold weight very well either, if i load up the back it sits low. i was wondering if anyone else has experienced this before, would putting the 3-leaf leafsprings back on fix this problem?

But other than that it rides like a dream now. no more roller coaster sensations. its pretty smooth and i am very pleased.

I had to put the rear axle on hold, i replaced the RA brackets but left the U-Joints be for now. I have a feeling my motor is not doing to well, so i am saving for a rebuild. that should be fun..
If anyone has any questions or concerns in their rebuild feel free to post, sorry i wanted to do a write up but i just had to get it done.

-Dano
 
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