RustENutz's Waggy D44 swap! | Page 2 | 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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'97 V8

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Are you not afraid of bending springs when you hit a tall obstacle?
 
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RustENutz

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Are you not afraid of bending springs when you hit a tall obstacle?

Not as afraid of hitting an expensive radius arm or control arm on something and bending.:scratch:
 
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RockRanger

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I didn't cut and turn my waggy axle. The lower U joint would bind though on full drop ( doesn't help that I didn't have limit straps on the front). As far as the front U joints being out of phase I never go much over 30-40 mph with the hubs locked so I wasn't worried about it up front. I also think I might have a bit too much caster in my front end which doesn't help.

When I added the doubler and my front driveshaft was made 7" longer then the bind went away. I only run about 5" of lift so with more lift it will become a problem.
 
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RustENutz

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Yeah, I mocked it up and have decided to cut and turn. I live minutes from the sand dunes and do some higher speed running out there, don't want any vibration. But you mentioned having a doubler, how do you like it? I saw a thread on it the other day but didn't read much into it. Sounds pretty cool.
 
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RustENutz

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Not much to report today, reamed my pitman arm to except the 1 ton TREs, and took my out knuckles back off so I can cut the inners. Now I just need the rest of my material to come in so I can fab up my rear hangers.

Here's a question for everybody. I've been worried about what backspacing to get when I buy wheels. I'll be running 15x8's and I want to keep the tires off of my springs at full lock. Wheeler's Offroad carries 15x8, 5x5.5 pattern wheels with 2.5" backspacing that I'm considering. So will 3.75"-4" backspacing be enough or should I go with the 2.5"?
 
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RockRanger

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I rub with 4" back spacing with tires a bit under 35" (315 75 r 16) I have spacers I am going to add to the front.
 
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RustENutz

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Got the rest of my stuff and am gonna be starting in on it in about 2 hours!:chug: I can't even concentrate at work right now. So I'll be posting up pics tonight. I'm anticipating getting the rear SOA completed and hopefully be well into removing all the front suspension tonight.:D
 
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zainyD

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Sweet, can't wait to see the pics! Good luck with it.
 
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RustENutz

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Can't put the pics up on the shop computer, but takin a dinner break right now. Got the rear buttoned up in just over 2 hours and are now taking apart the front. Holy crap this thing is tall!
 
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RustENutz

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Sorry, still haven't got the pics up, been too busy working on it. I'm currently out of welding wire, and I'm waiting for my ride to come back to the shop. Got the entire front end out last night and today have almost the entire front end done. Fabbed up my rear mounts which I'm very happy with, don't think I'll be breaking them! Everything is going too smoothly, got my shackle angle set dead on the 2nd try, set my pinion angle, the knuckles turned with out much effort, so my caster is set. And I just about finished welding the perches and knuckles when I ran out of wire. Taking lots of pics so hope you guys have DSL or better when I post them!
 
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IZwack

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GOod progress!
 
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RustENutz

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Ok, finally here are some pictures!:D Enjoy!:bounce:

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Welding the new perches onto the 8.8

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SOA!

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All done in the rear.

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Tearing out the D35...

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All gone!:wavey:

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Plasma cutting rivets

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Radius arm mounts gone

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No more ttb bracketry

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3.5 Sq. tubing...

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Now a rear spring hanger.:D

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Axle bolted to springs, mocking up rear hangers.

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Welding hangers to outboard platform

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Welding on hangers

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Knuckles turned and re-welded. 6* caster.

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Everything back together.

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On my massive 31's!:rolleyes:

Tomorrow I'll finish my custom draglink, do my front brakelines, mount up my F250 shock towers (maybe), measure up and order shocks, maybe try on 35's, and measurements for driveline modification.
 
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IZwack

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Nice job! Very clean.
 
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95exploderboy

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Looks great! You are a great example of how proper planning and parts gathering can lead to a clean and timely swap. Is this your first project of this type?
 
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RustENutz

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It's the first of this kind, but I've built 2 long travel sandrails. So I know how to fabricate and how to plan. Plus I've been researching for quite sometime, especially on this site.

Today, I got my drag link all made. If I had to do it all over again I would of just bought weld in threaded inserts. It wasn't really hard to drill out the ends and tap them, did it all in the lathe, but just the cost of a 13/16 drill bit in this po-dunk town was ridiculous. Luckily I finally found someone who had the 7/8-18 taps I needed, cuz no one had any here, and they're pretty spendy to buy! Also ran around town for over an hour trying to find a set of banjo bolts! NAPA didn't even have them. But I finally found some and I used Procomp extended big Bronco lines that I had left over from a few years ago. I just had to drill them out to except the bigger banjo bolt. I also got both drivelines dropped off to be lengthened. Other than that just buttoning some things up and getting measurements for shocks, which I'll order tonight.

I'm also just gonna go ahead and get 3.75 backspace wheels and hope they don't rub too bad. I just don't want to deal with being pulled over everyday cuz my tires stick out so far (I work next door to state police).
 
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zainyD

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Looks great man!! Very nice job on the fab work and good, clean welds.

What gears will you be running? I forgot to ask and I didn't see it in any of your other posts
 
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RustENutz

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4.88's. I've got an aussie locker for the front, and plan on putting one in the rear. I've decided on 35x12.50 Swamper TRXUS for tires
 
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RustENutz

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Well, I'm just playing the waiting game now. Drivelines should be done tomorrow, shocks, tires and wheels will be here later this week. In the mean time I need to figure a couple of things out, maybe some one could give me some advice...

My steering box doesn't have enough throw to turn the knuckles stop to stop...leaves about a 1/2" both ways. Does anyone know of a longer pitman that would bolt up to my steering box? My other issue is my emergency brake cables aren't long enough to reach. What has everybody done for this? I sifted through pages and pages on the search but couldn't find anything. Any suggestions would be great!
 
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Burns

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You can look for the pitman arm from the superlift 5.5 inch kit. I run it on my sas explorer.
 
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lifeguard379

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my e break is off a full size f-150 from the adjuster back.
 
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