SAS or IFS? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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New Member
January 7, 2017
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City, State
Westminster, Colorado
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer Sport 5spd
Hi all, for my '00 sport I wanted your guys' opinions on what I should do for front suspension. This is going to be later on when I have time to do this, but I plan on building mine to be the weekend warrior but also keep it somewhat of a daily driver. I am located in the west Denver metro so the Rockies is where I like to go wheel, I would also like to keep my traction control and abs if at all possible. I like the ruggedness of a solid axle up front, but involves a lot of cutting to remove the IFS brackets and steering conversion. Also, is it possible to rig my abs system to a solid front axle. On the other hand I like to keep the IFS because if I want to raise it, it is just a bolt on lift and I don't have to do much in the way of modification to raise it. I plan on sticking with 33s when I am done as well as going to a spring over rear axle conversion. would like some input on what you guys prefer on your rides and what would be ideal for mine, budget is not really a concern as I will be slowly gathering parts over the next year or so, I plan on doing this next summer (going to do some skids, sliders, and winch this summer because I plan on going to MOAB in august). Thanks for any input! :thumbsup:

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I'm also in the Denver area and wheel all over the Front Range (mostly- occasionally Moab and the Western Slope).

Staying IFS: you retain that factory fit'n'finish. Death wobble is not something you ever have to deal with. Nothing is custom so everything can be found at the part store or junkyard.

Going SAS: it certainly opens up a few more trails in the area. But everything is custom, so it becomes a project even after you put down the welder and go for that first test ride. I've had to get a new track bar (one with a bend to clear the upper control arm mount on the diff), I got new springs after I decided the originals were too soft, I've replaced all of the heim joints in the steering and some bushings as I've dealt with death wobble. And I've got a vibration of some sort that I think is in the front diff.

Since I've SAS'd (and SOA'd) I don't scrape the undercarriage unless I take a really aggressive line. That extra clearance is nice. Now only the axle tubes get hit on rocks- my 33s need to be upgraded to 35s. When you go snow wheeling, that axle tube is not your friend- it acts like a plow. I usually let the IFS rigs break trail in the heavier snow.

DDing a SAS'd rig: it can be done, but I much prefer my Expedition. With the front sway bar connected, making turns in parking lots has to be done with a lot of pre-planning. And driving on the road with no front sway bar is nearly suicidal. My Chevy 63s (rear springs) are great at flexing but I may need to upgrade them to the stiffer pack- it can get into an oscillation on the highway that can be a little unnerving if a bump sets it off just right.

I go back and forth on whether or not the SAS was a good idea. While I can do the harder trails now with the SAS, I still end up doing the same trails I was doing pre-SAS. The trails are much easier now. IFS with the torsion bars cranked creates horrible ride off-road. My speed on the trail has increased because the ride is more supple on the trail. The increased clearance and traction is nice (partly because of the great articulation and partly because of the Truetracs in both diffs), but the increased clearance has also caused me to feel tippy at times.

You're on the north end and I'm on the south end of town, but if you want to come check mine out, you can. Check the link in my signature for the build progression.

thanks for the input tom! really appreciate it! got another question though, can I keep my traction control and my ABS with a solid axle? are there any conversion kits available? would be nice as my ex is going to be my DD for a while until I get my Camaro paid off haha

You can keep your ABS with a SAS, Atvfred did it with an XJ axle. I mirrored his build and SAS'd with a JK axle and kept my ABS and bolt pattern like he did.

surprised not more people have done it.

if you have any more questions feel free to ask, SAS with SOA I really like and its possible to keep it low so that 33s fit it nicely but easy to go up from there to larger tires if you ever want to in the future.

Great thank you guys! Gonna start gathering parts this summer!:thumbsup: