Solid axle ?'s | Page 11 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Solid axle ?'s

I have decided to skip the lift kits and go with the solid axle swap. I am in the planning stages of the swap. I would like to lift it to about 4 or 5 inches. I Know a guy that builds and modifies 79 Broncos. He sold me a Dana 44 out of a 79 Bronco and told me he can get me every part of the 79 Bronco suspension for cheap. Is this a reverse rotation 44? I am wondering if anyone can help me, by making a list of parts or telling me what I would need. Should I go with leafs or Coils in the front? Do I need the radius arms, Coil brackets? How would I get it to be about 4 or 5 inches all the way around? How would i get the most flex? Any advice would be greatly helpful.

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Originally posted by 91xltTerd
What is the total cost of an axle swap(without cutting the width down) for front and rear?

Dana 44 front and 9" rear with detroits and discs on front, coil sprung and about 8" lift

How much is a good price to look for for a 9" fullsize for the rear?

Also, I would do all the work other than the welding(which I can have done cheap, I think).

im looking at around 1800 - 2000. cutting down my axle is only gonna cost 125 for the housing and 65 for the shaft. that includes new springs, coil buckets, shock hoop, rebuilding the dana (ball joints, brakes, etc), new rear axles, new rear brakes, brake lines, u-joints etc. and i think that is a CONSERVATIVE estimate i'm sure i'll come out more than that. things that have helped. i found the axle for 125, radius arms and brakcets for 25, rear brakes for free, just had to pay shipping, little stuff like that. bottom line the stock setup needs all that same **** and for what im getting out of this i feel this is money well spent! also that does not include the cost of new gears. that is mearly the cost to get it rolling on that solid axle i may not have 4x4 for a while:shoot:

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SAS = Solid Axle Swap

Mine is going to be just under 6k. This includes setting up the rear at the same height/gear ratio/bolt pattern. This includes gears and lockers (an OXlocker and a NoSlip), axle rebuild kits, coilovers, diff covers, steering, a 1310 series pinion yoke, new hubs and brakes, new (used) rims and tires with 5.5 bolt pattern, spring over components, rear axle shafts, bushings and custom fabrication for transmission crossmember, coil towers, lower coil mount, track bar mount, cutting the axle housing and shaft, redrilling the rear drums, and setting up the gears and lockers. This does not include what I paid for the 79 Bronco, from which I got my radius arms, mounts, and the axle housing.

I got the buckets from Jeffs Bronco Graveyard for $20 I think. They are actually off a 79. You have to use those since the drivers side frame rail is shaped funny due to the steering box. I pushed my axle forward 2 inches and it was easier to drill and bolt the bronco ones on than trying to modify the ex's buckets and allowing room for the F-350 shock mounts that I am also using.

91xltTerd asked What is the total cost of an axle swap would be.

I bought a donor truck for $500, it had brand new brakes on it. I bought sky jacker leafs for the front, shackles, warn hubs, pads, u-joints and new covers,. The rest I fabbed myself, even the cross over steering, ORU wanted $900 for their setup and mine only cost $37 to build, all in all the conversion cost me less then $1000. (not including the motor, tranny,t-case swap).

I actually sold my running gear and a set of rims to a guy for $1000, he was planning on putting them under a bronco II. Then I sold my explorer engine and tranny for $600, It had 240k miles on it. Bought my block for $75 bucks from an old guy and spent over $4000 building the new engine.. anyhow later


Do you have a post somewhere telling exactly how you did your swap and the dimensions of all the fabbed pieces. If I could set mine up like yours for only $1000 for the the axles and lift without tires, etc. I will do it and I know a guy that will sell me a 5.0 and T-5 with the wiring harness, computer, and accessories(I think) out of a 94 stang. It has 78,000 on it but I would rebuild any engine that was used if I was going to the trouble to swap it out.

Well it's more work then you might think, plus the way I did it there is a lot of fabbing to do.. Another thing is how much lift do you want ? I have about 17 inches of lift in the front, do you want that much lift ?

You also need drivelines, so a donor rig would be perfect. All you would have to do with the drivelines is cut em and balance em.

If you are serious e-mail me and I will give you my phone number, it's easier over the phone.

What are your thoughts on a buggy spring setup on the front and rear? Is it possible? I'm looking for a lot of flex to hang with the jeeps out there. What is your best ramp score?

I'll send you a picture

Oh and by the way, anything is posible. Plus it's not that hard to hang with jeeps.

ive got a 2 and a half foot tall by 2 and half foot square "brick", at work, used to hold a big sign. its my goal to be able to drive up that with my expo. think 6" will be enough?? im also looking at revolver shackles since mine need to be replaced anyways.

This may have been covered before, but I probably missed it. I have lost (found?) my sanity and I'm very seriously considering a solid axle up front. I want 4" of lift, coils, eventually coilovers. Can I get that little lift? All the solid-axle Explorers I can remember seeing have more than 4". Also - how much wider is a fullsize axle? I'm going to run fiberglass fenders, but I'd like the tires to be under them.

You can lift it less than 6 inches, but the differential housing may hit your engine cross member if you flex too much or if you have too much upward travel. A lot of people fab custom cross members to correct this.

I think that a fullsize is about 8 inches wider overall, but most people only cut them down somewhere between 5-7/8" to 6-3/4". I think that right at 6" is about the best because you can use a standard size axle out of an early bronco. I don't remember the exact numbers, but they are somewhere on this thread, I think.

(someone correct me if I'm wrong about any of this)

the 78-79 ford dana 44 is like 6.375" wider or something like that. with 5.9" on the passenger side and like 3/8" on the drivers' if the flares you are considering are 3+" wide you MAY get away with it depending on what tires/wheels you use. if you run a heavy offset on a wide rim you will probably hit the radius arms. I'm doing my SAS with 5.5-6" of lift which i think may be cutting it close, not sure about only 4"

Thanks for your response! If it's only 8" wider overall, I'm fine. I could just run a different backspacing if I needed to narrow it. I'm only going to runa 35x12.5 on 15x8 rims anyway. I was thinking that I'd make most of my travel droop, and mount the axle a little further forward. Another thought I had - when I mount the D44 and the fullsize 9", could I mount them at a slight angle, to line up the u-joint on the diff with the driveline? I figured maybe that would reduce stress on the joint. Or would that create some problems that I haven't thought of?


All depending on what kinda axle your using up front. The 1979 F250 axle that I used is a high pinion and that will make your driveline angle better. I also think that you can get some kinda shim, but not sure if they make em for coils. But if I were you I wouldn't over do it, because it's ment to be sitting at a slight angle, not right inline with each other, because when you step on the gas they are gonna line up. Plus you don't wanna mess to much with your camber.

Oknut - did that have disc brakes up front? I want front and rear discs.

Yeah it does have disc brakes in the front. But you would have to get a 16.5 rim.

Is there any way to adapt it to fit 15 inch rims? Or are there other HP D44's with discs that will fit 15's?

yea a F-150/bronco axle will fit with 15"s the 250 and camper special have larger rotors and 2 (or four cant remember) piston calipers. a heafty setup if you find it.

Quick questions

So I am in the middle of the planning stage of the conversion and I have a couple of quick questions. First, how long a shock are you guys using on the front, I plan to use 12" with a little fabbing, back 10"? Second, what is the rear ujoint size on a 9" rearend, is it the same as the 8.8? Third what is the bolt pattern for the Dana 44/9", I am thinking that it is 5 on 5.5? Fourth, do our brake lines match up with the front Danna 44 calipers, or do we need to change lines? Lastly, do our emergency brake cables work with the 9" drums? Thanks for any and all help!

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Diff Whack Daddy

I used Early Bronco coil Spring Buckets and cut them to fit the bump in the frame, Springs fit and work OK.

Welded them top and bottom.