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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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lynchy wa

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Good stuff mate!!!
 


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Ronin8002

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well had a bit of a setback...my efforts to compress the front springs and assemble them onto the struts failed lol. Those are some strong springs! Seems like the safest and easiest way is to have one of those industrial strength spring compressors.

Dropped them off at a shop this morning to get them installed and will be picking them up this afternoon. Pics to follow later!!
 




Jwigs7

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Cant wait to see the pics!
 




Ronin8002

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Success!

Alright here they are. The crappy lighting makes them look white but they do look silver in person!

2011-12-21195229.jpg


Fronts:

2011-12-21195242.jpg


Rears:

2011-12-21195315.jpg


Turdle did a fantastic job on these at a great price. Very happy with his work and customer service. I like the result but it's pretty much impossible to install these coil springs without marring the surface somehow, so I had to touch up a lot of scratched up spots with silver touch up paint to keep rust from rearing its ugly head. That being the case I wonder if something like Plasti-dip is a better option for these types of springs.
 




Ronin8002

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Couple of progress pics. I did the fronts today and everything went well.

IMG_5886.jpg


Here's a close up of the lift spacer...it is are integrated with the top of the strut mount so you only have one set of studs to deal with. It is 1.25" in height:

IMG_5889.jpg


Here's what the geometry of the suspension parts looks like when its drooped out. It looks like they are touching but you can actually slide a sheet of paper between the uniball cup on the control arm and the spring, and same for the spindle and the spring. Very very close:

IMG_5890.jpg


And one more shot with the tire installed. The vehicle's weight is not yet fully on the suspension in this shot but it gives you an idea:

IMG_5893.jpg


I had expected to lose some lift with this setup since I was going with smaller spacers. about .75" less lift from what I was figuring. Interestingly enough I actually GAINED lift due to the new springs...about 3/8" compared to the old springs. So until the new springs settle a bit, my truck is sitting a little taller than it was before, lol!

More to follow in the next few days when I do the rears. I'll be making my extended swaybar links as well.
 




lynchy wa

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Damn mate, looks wicked!!! Merry Xmas!!!!:)
 








rangermidtn

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Looks good. What did you use to make the spacers?
 




Ronin8002

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Solid cast nylon tubing. Fastenal carries it for cheap. I used 3" i.d. x 5" o.d. for the front, and 4" i.d. x 6" o.d. for the rear. I was a little unsure whether it would be strong enough but these spacers don't see much shear if any...mostly just compression so I think they'll be fine.

Anyway after using my chop saw to cut the right size "slices" of nylon tube for my spacers. After I did that I drilled the holes in them for the mounting studs. I then used my tap set to tap some threads in the holes. Then since I was using new, disassembled struts, I knocked out the existing studs out of the strut tops. I installed grade 8 bolts that were longer than the original studs and threaded them through the strut top plates then through the threaded holes in the spacers, using epoxy to lock them in place. Then I tack welded the bolt heads to the underside of the strut mount plate for extra strength. The strut mount plates and springs were mounted to the struts, and that was that.

I have extra tubing left over so if anyone wants to copy this, I'll be happy to cut a set of front and rear spacers and thread them. Or I can make a set of spacers assembled to the strut tops if anyone wants those...you'd just need to assemble them to the struts.
 




rangermidtn

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I wish this offer was before I worked on my Truxxx spacers. Your explorer looks really good.
 




Ronin8002

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I wish this offer was before I worked on my Truxxx spacers. Your explorer looks really good.

thanks!

Yeah I was still working it all out for a little bit but now it would be a lot easier to make them again. Those truxx spacers will be good though and you can always take them off and sell them someday. Mine are permanently attached to the struts lol.
 




Jwigs7

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Solid cast nylon tubing. Fastenal carries it for cheap. I used 3" i.d. x 5" o.d. for the front, and 4" i.d. x 6" o.d. for the rear. I was a little unsure whether it would be strong enough but these spacers don't see much shear if any...mostly just compression so I think they'll be fine.

Anyway after using my chop saw to cut the right size "slices" of nylon tube for my spacers. After I did that I drilled the holes in them for the mounting studs. I then used my tap set to tap some threads in the holes. Then since I was using new, disassembled struts, I knocked out the existing studs out of the strut tops. I installed grade 8 bolts that were longer than the original studs and threaded them through the strut top plates then through the threaded holes in the spacers, using epoxy to lock them in place. Then I tack welded the bolt heads to the underside of the strut mount plate for extra strength. The strut mount plates and springs were mounted to the struts, and that was that.

I have extra tubing left over so if anyone wants to copy this, I'll be happy to cut a set of front and rear spacers and thread them. Or I can make a set of spacers assembled to the strut tops if anyone wants those...you'd just need to assemble them to the struts.

I am very interested! how does your new setup ride?
 




Ronin8002

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I am very interested! how does your new setup ride?

Noticeable improvement over the old stock struts for sure. When I hit bumps I can feel the suspension reacting firmly but it doesn't create a jarring feeling in the wheel or in the seat.

Not sure how much if that is the springs vs the struts but I am happy with it.

Spacers are holding up perfectly.

As far as height, now that the springs have had some time to settle I'm sitting at 39.5" from ground to the lip at the top of the fenderwell for both front and rear.
 




Jwigs7

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Noticeable improvement over the old stock struts for sure. When I hit bumps I can feel the suspension reacting firmly but it doesn't create a jarring feeling in the wheel or in the seat.

Not sure how much if that is the springs vs the struts but I am happy with it.

Spacers are holding up perfectly.

As far as height, now that the springs have had some time to settle I'm sitting at 39.5" from ground to the lip at the top of the fenderwell for both front and rear.

Glad to hear your plan is working out! what was your starting height after your new struts and springs w/ spacers before they settled? were you serious about making some extra spacers? I'm still torn about what size I want but I would rather my other suspension parts not be rubbing or deteriorating faster than they should so I prob keep them smaller.
 




Ronin8002

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Glad to hear your plan is working out! what was your starting height after your new struts and springs w/ spacers before they settled? were you serious about making some extra spacers? I'm still torn about what size I want but I would rather my other suspension parts not be rubbing or deteriorating faster than they should so I prob keep them smaller.

Right after I put the new struts/springs in and set the truck on the ground it came in at a bit over 40" (ground to top of the fenderwell) in the front/rear. The strut/spring assemblies themselves were the same length as stock, except for the added height of the spacers. I expected to lose a bit of height once the springs settled...as I understand it is normal for that to happen a bit.

Sure I could make some more spacers if anyone wants. Honestly BTF spacers are a lot easier to install unless you are going with small size spacers (less than 1.5") and replacing struts at the same time. Mainly I did it just to see if I could pull it off, though it did end up being a lot cheaper than new BTF spacers.

I can understand your concern about suspension parts...I'd say as long as you stay 1.75" or less in the front and 1.5" or less in the rear you'll be fine. For the front you could install limiting straps and that would fix the spindle/coil rubbing issue.
 








Kazer

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those custom spacers look real nice james, congratulations!

i'm up in the air about what i want to do to my ex next. i want more lift, lol. so i'm sure my truck IS indeed sagging at least 1" if not more. so my options are:

should i upgrade to rancho quicklifts all around in addition to my spacers?
should i make 1/2-3/4" spacer shims?
should i buy stronger Old Man Emu springs and have them mounted on my struttek/stock struts to compensate for the sag?
 




Ronin8002

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those custom spacers look real nice james, congratulations!

i'm up in the air about what i want to do to my ex next. i want more lift, lol. so i'm sure my truck IS indeed sagging at least 1" if not more. so my options are:

should i upgrade to rancho quicklifts all around in addition to my spacers?
should i make 1/2-3/4" spacer shims?
should i buy stronger Old Man Emu springs and have them mounted on my struttek/stock struts to compensate for the sag?

Thanks!

I'd say just replace the springs. That will give you your height back and also likely improve the ride. Increasing the height of the spacers is just going to decrease the ride quality and increase wear on your suspension and CV joints. You might find with the OME springs that you won't even need spacers anymore.
 




Ronin8002

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So I was thinking about doing a winch install, my plan was to mount it between the frame rails behind the bumper cover like some of the 2nd Gen guys do. I figured with the body lift it would be no problem to get it to fit. Unfortunately it seems that the horizontal space between the radiator support and the bumper cover would make it pretty tricky to pull it off, at least with the Recon 10500 winch I was looking at getting. Guess a custom bumper or brushguard winch mount are the best ways to do it. More than I want to spend so guess that's the end of that lol :D

I had plans to build a dual battery tray to have enough juice for the winch so I guess I won't be doing that now either. Still might build a single battery tray since I don't really like how my current one doesn't have a hold down or anything.
 


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Triton8273

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You can skip over both the new brush guard or new bumper. I was going to get a front mount hitch to mount a winch. That way you take the winch off during te week for driving to work and put it back on for the trails and you wont have a problem mounting the hitch b.c you put the brushguard brackets inside the frame.

6495.jpg
 




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