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Ronin's Rig

Haven't done one of these yet, so here it is. Thanks to all who helped me with ideas and tips along the way!

I bought my 2004 Eddie Bauer 4.0 in 2009.

Current Mods:

-Scanguage II with blendmount rearview mirror mount: scangauge 2 questions
-OEM Class 3 hitch swap
-SCT XCal3 programmer with 87/89/93 torque tunes from Henson Performance
-Gibson stainless catback exhaust
-Hunter Brush Guard
-Helo wheels Maxx8 Black 16x8 wheels, 0 offset
-Treadwright Guard Dog M/T 265/75/16: Buy TreadWright All-Terrain & Mud Terrain Tires for Trucks, Jeeps & SU
-Cobra 75WXST CB radio with Firestik II 3' antenna - mounted over the right rear taillight: What do you reckon?
-Custom 1.25" front / 1" rear strut lift spacers
-12" limit straps - 3rd Gen Limiting Straps install
-Moog Coil Springs mounted on Monroe Reflex struts
-BTF tubular upper control arms with uniballs: For Sale - Upper control arms... Extended WITH UNIBALL
-PA 883 3” body lift: How to: 3rd Gen BODY LIFT. Install.
-Yukon 4.10 gear swap in the front and rear axles: Regearing the front differential - possible solution
-Aussie locker in the rear axle: How to: 3rd Gen Aussie Locker Install
-Rugged Ridge 100 Watt offroad lights x 4
-F-150 Tow Hooks
-OEM Fuel Tank and Transfer Case skid plates
-Custom Rock Sliders: Ronin's 3rd Gen rock slider build thread
-Viair 20001 On Board Air system: My "stealth" on board air install, pics, and video



Removed mods:
-Underdrive crank pulley/underdrive water pump pulley/overdrive alternator pulley
-Black Magic 150 electric fan/HHR electric fan (got too hot in the summer)
-1.5" body lift (upgraded to 3" body lift): How to: - 1.5" body lift for less than $50
-50W Baja Blazer offroad lights (too dim!)
-Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ radials 265/75/16
-KKM cone filter and MAF adapter with outerwear pre-filter: " Stage 2 " Intake 04-05
-BTF 1.75" front/1.5" rear strut lift spacers: How To: BTF-Fabrication Spacer Lift Install

More to come!
 


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Ronin8002

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My personal experience has been good so far. Based on all the reviews I read I think they will be very reliable. No issues with driveability but being an aggressive tread they do have a hum on the road...it is not disruptive though and it actually has quieted down since I first installed them.


Here are some long term reviews I read. There are a lot more out there on the internet but if these experiences are typical then I think these tires will turn out to be very good.


http://www.moabjeeper.com/articles/general/listing.cfm?articleID=553

http://www.frontrange4x4.com/forums...readwright-Guard-Dog-Retread-Long-term-Review
 


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Ronin8002

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also I would like to ask you about rear tow hook, any ideas?

As for a rear tow hook, this is what I use since I have a class III hitch. It just plugs into the receiver and has a pin that is inserted through the side to lock it in place.

_uW4NbkErpOWXeVC91fyXambUNx3_TLkUzRw4if2Yf3HARWWm_De4tNyz1Z72glHk8G5_-KK7LHOEFKsFTeAT97OcGXWThXU9DDnq17lFw1okjkZMazrKciYADx6nbPSsStIvbiqPvE4jrbBDRl1Uc4ooGuK4HiWI_XNa-EQ5vlPhB_-bhpkMJ3rC2rnZ3v6KVobhDCJiaLKGCqLN6WnuA
 








DominicanX

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Ronin8002

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Installed new solenoid block yesterday and changed out the trans filter. I also drained and filled the transfer case fluid...pretty dirty so I bet it was the original stuff.

Before I started I was hoping to put in the deep transmission pan, but turns out you have to remove the y-pipe and maybe the transmission crossmember to do it. I wasn't looking to get into all that so I am going to hold off on that until later when I do the servo bore fix.

Otherwise the solenoid block seems to have fixed the weird flaring issue I had before as well as the hard shifting into D from R and vice versa.

Next on the list is swapping out a bad TPMS sensor and fixing a leaky axle seal on the front drivers side axle. Then I'll be able to start making my custom strut spacers and extended swaybar end links.
 








Ronin8002

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Have you considered adding or upgrading your trans cooler? You would get that extra volume, and it would be doing more for you.

I have....I just wonder how helpful it would be given that the cooling circuit doesn't even open until 150 degrees. The OEM one that I have is as wide as the radiator and maybe 20% as tall. I guess I could add another one of the same type in series above it.
 








Ronin8002

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How about those tires? You have had them a while now, and I just went to the treadwright website to check them out. They are out of everything right now but I'll probably wait list. Any regrets?

No regrets at all...I love em!
 




Jwigs7

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Kind of. After doing a lot of research it looks like preloading the springs will give lift without causing the suspension parts to touch...but the main disadvantage is that you still lose downtravel because the strut maxes out sooner. So really you end up in the same situation as with the taller BTF spacers in terms of losing suspension flex.

That being the case it seems that the best compromise (without going with a full suspension lift kit like Duner's or running expensive longtravel coilovers like the Icons) is to go with smaller strut spacers and leave the springs alone. This will allow the full stock strut travel. I just finished making my own 1.25" front and 1" rear strut spacers which will still give lift but not cause me to lose any downtravel and the suspension parts won't touch either. It should work out to 2" of lift in the front and 1.5" of lift in the rear. I'm also making some extended swaybar links to further help the articulation of the suspension when offroading.

That spacer size presented some challenges due to the length of the existing studs on the strut top. So what I did was make solid spacers (not flanged like the BTF ones). I'll knock the existing studs on the strut tops and run new studs through the strut tops and then through the solid spacers so that basically the new strut spacers are completely integrated with the strut tops. That should be durable and I won't have to worry about a separate set of upper bolts like with the BTF struts....they'll just bolt right in like completely stock struts. I'll post pics in my registry as I go forward with it.

Hey I switched this over to your registry. Anyways, yea please keep us updated on this as I would be very interested in doing the same in order to maintain downtravel..
 




Ronin8002

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Hey I switched this over to your registry. Anyways, yea please keep us updated on this as I would be very interested in doing the same in order to maintain downtravel..

Thanks!

We'll see how it works out when I get it all installed. I'll be losing some ground clearance but if it's enough to do the things I need to do then I'll stick with it.

Honestly if I had enough money right now I'd probably go with Duner's kit but I'll need to save up for a good while. With that setup the body lift would have to come off because I don't plan on running bigger tires than 265s but I could sell it. I'd also lose my tow hooks since the brushguard would have to come back down...so I'd likely sell the brushguard and tow hooks and get one of the Sterling MFG brushguard winch mounts with the integrated tow hooks. So to do all that I'd be looking at around $3800. I'd get back maybe $150 on the body lift and maybe a little more for the brushguard and tow hooks....probably sell them all as a package deal for like $325 or so.
 




Jwigs7

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Thanks!

We'll see how it works out when I get it all installed. I'll be losing some ground clearance but if it's enough to do the things I need to do then I'll stick with it.

Honestly if I had enough money right now I'd probably go with Duner's kit but I'll need to save up for a good while. With that setup the body lift would have to come off because I don't plan on running bigger tires than 265s but I could sell it. I'd also lose my tow hooks since the brushguard would have to come back down...so I'd likely sell the brushguard and tow hooks and get one of the Sterling MFG brushguard winch mounts with the integrated tow hooks. So to do all that I'd be looking at around $3800. I'd get back maybe $150 on the body lift and maybe a little more for the brushguard and tow hooks....probably sell them all as a package deal for like $325 or so.

I'm with ya on Duner's kit..my wife would murder me if I took that leap tho haha. If you left your body kit on with Duner's kit you'd certainly have the tallest 3rd Gen on the site :D. One question with your new set up, I guess you would still have room to clear 285's? My plan is to get 285 Treadwrights and 4.56 gears next may.
 




Ronin8002

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I'm with ya on Duner's kit..my wife would murder me if I took that leap tho haha. If you left your body kit on with Duner's kit you'd certainly have the tallest 3rd Gen on the site :D. One question with your new set up, I guess you would still have room to clear 285's? My plan is to get 285 Treadwrights and 4.56 gears next may.

Yeah it would definitely be tall! I wouldn't be able to park in the garage anymore lol.

I think to clear 285's with my new setup it would depend on the wheel offset.
I know at least one guy on the forum is clearing 285's with only 2.25/1.75" spacers and no body lift. My new setup is still going to have more clearance than that because of the 3" body lift. Since you have the 3" BL also you should be OK as long as you have the right wheel offset or use wheel spacers.
 




Jwigs7

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Yeah it would definitely be tall! I wouldn't be able to park in the garage anymore lol.

I think to clear 285's with my new setup it would depend on the wheel offset.
I know at least one guy on the forum is clearing 285's with only 2.25/1.75" spacers and no body lift. My new setup is still going to have more clearance than that because of the 3" body lift. Since you have the 3" BL also you should be OK as long as you have the right wheel offset or use wheel spacers.

yea my new wheels have a -12mm offset with a 4.5in backspace which should put them out 2.25in further than the stock wheels so I would think I'd be ok.
 




Kazer

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If you can't clear 285s, you could always couple a 1.5" bodylift with your 3". Don't know about shift cables or anything but since the 1.5" is done with little modification, you should (in theory) be able to do the same after the 3" bodylift?
 




Ronin8002

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If you can't clear 285s, you could always couple a 1.5" bodylift with your 3". Don't know about shift cables or anything but since the 1.5" is done with little modification, you should (in theory) be able to do the same after the 3" bodylift?

Looking at the cables and hoses, steering shaft, etc....I think anything more than 3" would be too much.

Just for comparison's sake though

-A 2.25" front spacer moves the center of the wheel hub down about 3.5"
-Add a 1.5" body lift and now the center of the wheel hub is about 5" further away from the fenderwells over stock.

-Now say you used a 1.25" spacer...that moves the wheel hub down about 2"
-Add a 3" body lift and now the center of the wheel hub is about 5" further away from the fenderwells over stock.

Assuming you have 4.5" of backspacing:

Basically if you can run 285's with a 2.25" BTF spacer and 1.5" body lift, you should be able to run them also with a 1.25" BTF spacer and a 3" body lift. From a tire to fenderwell clearance perspective it is basically the same thing. In fact, the wheels get moved inboard more with a taller BTF spacer compared to a shorter one (though only a little bit) so with a shorter one you should have more lateral space between the sidewalls of the tires and the fenderwell.

The only difference is that there will be about 1.5" less clearance between the center front crossmember and the ground with the 1.25" BTF spacer. But your strut travel will be better with the 1.25" BTF spacer and you won't have suspension parts touching...so it's a trade off between that and ground clearance.
 




The Electrician

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Looking at the cables and hoses, steering shaft, etc....I think anything more than 3" would be too much.

Just for comparison's sake though

-A 2.25" front spacer moves the center of the wheel hub down about 3.5"
-Add a 1.5" body lift and now the center of the wheel hub is about 5" further away from the fenderwells over stock.

-Now say you used a 1.25" spacer...that moves the wheel hub down about 2"
-Add a 3" body lift and now the center of the wheel hub is about 5" further away from the fenderwells over stock.

Assuming you have 4.5" of backspacing:

Basically if you can run 285's with a 2.25" BTF spacer and 1.5" body lift, you should be able to run them also with a 1.25" BTF spacer and a 3" body lift. From a tire to fenderwell clearance perspective it is basically the same thing. In fact, the wheels get moved inboard more with a taller BTF spacer compared to a shorter one (though only a little bit) so with a shorter one you should have more lateral space between the sidewalls of the tires and the fenderwell.

The only difference is that there will be about 1.5" less clearance between the center front crossmember and the ground with the 1.25" BTF spacer. But your strut travel will be better with the 1.25" BTF spacer and you won't have suspension parts touching...so it's a trade off between that and ground clearance.

for me after adding the extra 330 lb on the nose of the explorer (because of Sterling MFG brushguard winch mounts and mile marker winch) I lost a lot of ground clearance, for that I went for a longer coil springs - Old Man Emu #2700 - with Rancho QL Struts and removed the front Truxxx spacers

with that setup I regained the ground clearance without sucrefying the ride quality, also I don't have any touching parts any more. I only lost 1.5" of front wheels drop-down
 




Ronin8002

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for me after adding the extra 330 lb on the nose of the explorer (because of Sterling MFG brushguard winch mounts and mile marker winch) I lost a lot of ground clearance, for that I went for a longer coil springs - Old Man Emu #2700 - with Rancho QL Struts and removed the front Truxxx spacers

with that setup I regained the ground clearance without sucrefying the ride quality, also I don't have any touching parts any more. I only lost 1.5" of front wheels drop-down

Great information! thanks!

I just got a set of Moog coil springs and am going to see if I can have them powdercoated. They are the stock dimensions.
 


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Ronin8002

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Powdercoating on the new Moog springs is complete and they are on their way back to me (thanks Turdle!):

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2863585&postcount=1227

I am glad I did this because although the Moog springs seemed to be made well the coating was thin and left a lot to be desired.

Once I have them in hand I'll be assembling them onto the new Monroe Reflex struts I bought and installing new strut mounts on top that have the integrated 1.25" front/1" rear spacers that I made.

Once they're installed in the truck then I'll make my extended swaybar links and get an alignment and I can cross another project off the list :thumbsup:
 




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