RustENutz's Waggy D44 swap! | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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RustENutz's Waggy D44 swap!

Alrighty, picked up my explorer about a month ago and have been collecting parts ever since. It's getting a Dana 44 out of a 81' wagoneer via spring-over leaf springs. So far I've got the axle all cleaned up, converted to 5x5.5, with flat top knuckles and high-steer arm from Sky Manufacturing. Perches are TT Fabworks, probably not worth the money, still had to grind the diff side way out.

Springs are stock 7 leaf springs. I've got 4.5" shackles, which are already hung from my crossmember I fabbed up last weekend. Hmmmm....what else, the rear is getting a SOA with add-a-leaf as the rear leaves are sagging pretty bad. Spider-Trax adapters will match up the width and lug pattern. That's all I can think of right now. I just got a digital camera, so no pictures from before, but I'll show you what I've got so far.

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My saggy rear end.

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Beefy!

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Stuff...

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Axle, hubs/rotor, high steer arm

Spent last night fitting my perches, got them fitting pretty snug.

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That's it for now, more later. The actual swap will take place not this weekend but the next.
 
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Tbars4

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...welcome here...:D

...i'm definately subscribing to this...:thumbsup:...:popcorn:
 
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Bruces expo

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welcome , be sure to take plenty of pic's lol , im doing a SAS come spring , but im using a hp D30 and leave's !!
 
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IZwack

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Sounds like you're well on your way to finishing this project! Good lookin parts! I'm sure itll turn out perfect in the end!
 
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RustENutz

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Every project I do, I tell myself to take a bunch of pics, but then I get it all done and go oh crap, forgot pics! I'll try harder on this one though. I hope it turns out perfect. I'm pretty sure I've got everything I need except tires/wheels and shocks. Don't know what size to run yet and don't know shock lengths yet.
 
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IZwack

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Hey I see you have the SkyManufacturing arms there..

Just a tip if you have the time, get a small square stock and weld it to the edge of the arm. This makes it a lot easier to get a tie-rod out with a puller because there's pretty much nowhere on the arm to put a puller once its loaded with TRE's (without destroying the TRE boots -- which the proper ones are so hard to find).

Oh and did you set your caster? Cauz that's a huge factor not only on the road, but also on the trail when you're trying to turn -- if the caster is very far off, the vehicle tries to trip over itself on tight turns downhill as the tire is wrenched sideways even more by the weight of the vehicle (instead of trying to turn itself straight, which is what proper caster is supposed to do).
 

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zainyD

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Looking good dude! Looks like you used quality parts for the axle rebuild.

A couple quick questions for ya. First, what are the part numbers for the bushings you used in the leaf springs and second, what gear ratio are you going with?

35 or 36" tires would be my suggestion for tire size.
 
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RockRanger

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I had 13.5" travel shocks with a similar setup as you are doing. I ripped the mounts off the frame. To much drop and to much compression travel. You will need bumpstops and limit straps. Looks like you are well on your way.
 
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RustENutz

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Hey I see you have the SkyManufacturing arms there..

Just a tip if you have the time, get a small square stock and weld it to the edge of the arm. This makes it a lot easier to get a tie-rod out with a puller because there's pretty much nowhere on the arm to put a puller once its loaded with TRE's (without destroying the TRE boots -- which the proper ones are so hard to find).

Oh and did you set your caster? Cauz that's a huge factor not only on the road, but also on the trail when you're trying to turn -- if the caster is very far off, the vehicle tries to trip over itself on tight turns downhill as the tire is wrenched sideways even more by the weight of the vehicle (instead of trying to turn itself straight, which is what proper caster is supposed to do).

Thanks for the tip on the arms, I'll test it out with a puller and see what I can come up with. As far as caster goes, I haven't welded the perches yet. My plan is to get everything fabbed up and the axle u-bolted to the springs, then I'll trailer it over to Les Schwab to set the caster. Set the caster, clamp it back down and then weld it. There's probably other ways of doing it, but I just want to make sure it's right.
 
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RustENutz

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Looking good dude! Looks like you used quality parts for the axle rebuild.

A couple quick questions for ya. First, what are the part numbers for the bushings you used in the leaf springs and second, what gear ratio are you going with?

35 or 36" tires would be my suggestion for tire size.

I don't know what the deal is with polyurethane bushings and these springs. I ordered and returned 2 bushing sets that were supposed to be for my springs, but kits were different, both didn't work. I finally found some that fit the front that I actually had laying around at my dad's shop left over from my sandrail build. The rears I couldn't find anywhere, so I just put stock replacements in from BJ's Offroad.

I'm planning on 35's, but I'm starting to wonder if they'll look to small. I'll try my dad's bronco's 35's when I get it done, then decide. Gears are 4.88.
 
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RustENutz

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I had 13.5" travel shocks with a similar setup as you are doing. I ripped the mounts off the frame. To much drop and to much compression travel. You will need bumpstops and limit straps. Looks like you are well on your way.

I was planning on adding bumpstops once I get it done, but hadn't thought of limit straps. I figured I'd set my shocks up using ride height and full droop, and give myself about an inch of extra extension on the shock. But I don't know yet, I might not be able to get the mount up high enough and be limiting up travel. Sucks this thing is my dd, I'll probably have to drive around with no front shocks the next week until I figure it out!:dunno:
 
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IZwack

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Thanks for the tip on the arms, I'll test it out with a puller and see what I can come up with. As far as caster goes, I haven't welded the perches yet. My plan is to get everything fabbed up and the axle u-bolted to the springs, then I'll trailer it over to Les Schwab to set the caster. Set the caster, clamp it back down and then weld it. There's probably other ways of doing it, but I just want to make sure it's right.
Sorry I wasnt clear before. What I forgot to mention when I mentioned caster is also pinion angle.

What you have to do is set the pinion angle (pointed at the transfer case if its a double cardan joint at the transfer case), and then you set the caster. And how you set the caster is to cut the "inner knuckle" or "C" so that it can rotate on the axle tube, like so:

inner_c_sliced.jpg


This is the axle w/o the "inner knuckle", you dont have to remove it but this illustrates what I mean by "inner knuckle":

d44_no_c.jpg
 
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RustENutz

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Damn Froader, sure does look good on 36's....:biggthump I'll have to do some trying on.

I wasn't anticipating having to cut and turn my knuckles, figured my front driveline is long enough to handle the angle. Eyeballing it looks good, and I don't remember any one else with a waggy d44 having to do it.....better go check. Thanks for the heads up though, I wouldn't have checked and it would suck to get it all done and then have to cut up my axle again or spend $600~ on a new driveline with with Yota joints from High Angle.:eek:
 
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IZwack

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The length of the driveline doesnt matter (unless you have a 10 ft driveshaft or something), its just the nature of the U-joints, they must be properly phased and angled and I'm assuming you have a double cardan in the front so it has to look like this:

stdgdb.gif

Read more about it here: http://www.4x4wire.com/tech/pinionangle/

Once you set the pinion angle set, which is done by rotating the axle up, the caster will go to negative (which you dont want). Therefore, you have to cut the inner knuckle and turn it to get back to positive caster.

Images%5CTire%20Info%20Caster.gif
 
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RustENutz

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Alright, did some mocking up tonight and my driveline would be at about 24*. Not good. So I'm gonna air-arc gouge the welds out on the knuckles, pull em off and sand em smooth so they slip on nice and can rotate them by hand. Seen to many pictures of guys with 6' tubing trying to twist em'....doesn't look like much fun to me. One little extra step I guess, but it'll be done right. Thanks for the heads up Izwack.
 
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IZwack

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Wow I've never seen anyone air-arc them -- take some pics!

I used a grinder and just kept slicing until it was loose. Rotating it is not difficult as long as all of the welds are gone. I used a small 2.5 lb mini sledge hammer to knock the knuckle out maybe an eight of an inch, rotate it with the same hammer, and knuck it back into its original depth.
 
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