Something w/ rabbits. 72.5 pages of BS | Page 11 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Something w/ rabbits. 72.5 pages of BS

So seeing as spring is just around the corner, I thought I'd start a thread on the future undertaking of swapping in the Dana 60.

The axle is from a 1986 "Fawwd" F-threee "fitty", sporting some kingpins and a whole lot of rust. I took this axle apart a few months ago (except stupid me didnt remove the pinion nut before breakdown :rolleyes:) and had it hot tanked. I wanted it sandblasted, but the machine shop owner smirked and said "naaah yo, that junx is too big for my blasting cabinet" .. okay except he didn't really say that cauz he's old and a really cool guy. ANyways *twirls blonde hair*, this is my plaannn:

- WMS-WMS this axle is just a bit over 69" wide so I'm going to cut the passenger's side down a few inches to match 'ye ol General Motors 14-bolt axle. So this is going to require custom axle shafts and I think I'm going to go Chromos and 35-spline outers off the bat from the most awesome guys at Complete Off Road.

- Drive flange or lockouts? They are about the same in price and its a dedicated trail rig so I'm leaning towards the drive flanges. Right now, the cheapest flanges I found are the Teraflexes at $180 for a pair. If anyone knows of a better deal, please let me know :D !!

- High-steer arms and a double-ended hydroponics goodness ("cylinder").

- Opposite-ended panhard bar! The idea is to mount the chassis end of the panhard on the passenger's side frame rail and the axle end on the driver's side. Doing so should allow a more simple and cleaner design since the axle-mount can be mounted on top of or near the differential housing, instead of a tower on the passenger's side (like in my current D44 setup). I also plan to boost the panhard as far up as possible to increase the roll center of the front suspension. Yeah the concept is a little strange but I'm hoping it'll work and won't have any issues (no drag-link to factor into the design). But if anyone knows of any problem running this config, please chime in!

- Detoit Locker for the carrier. I'm please with how the Detroit in the 14-bolt has performed so I figured I'd run the same in the front. Of course 5.13s to match the 14-bolt.

So here's the little guy, he's been in this position for the past few months just collecting dust:


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LOL oh no!!! not that again!! But its already full hydro. That was the motivation to get rid of the steering assembly that sat in the dash.

Section -- here is the back of the dash. There's a wire bundle that runs behind (relative to the vehicle) of the defrost vent. The two tubes coming out of the center defrost are for the smaller top defrost vents at the side of the dash (that point towards the side windows).


So it should be cake to get the a pillars to go behind the dash? Looks like plenty of room on the driver's side.

Hahaha. Yea were visiting family for a little over a week.
Dannyboy I love your dash. It looks great. I do have a few questions for you though. Are you buying a seperate fuse box to wire all your new guages up? Are you a little worried about being blinded by the shine of that aluminum on the top of the dash? And what are you using for the heater vents? Also if you have any idea. Whats that black plastic sheet type stuff that people lay on the top part of the dash instead of the aluminum like you opted for?

So it should be cake to get the a pillars to go behind the dash? Looks like plenty of room on the driver's side.
I wouldnt push the pillars that far forward. I'd probably run em just a few inches forward of where the body meets the door. This should clear the fuse panel on the driver's side but would require a few small things to be moved or removed on the passenger's side, such as maybe the Air Bag module (which you probably dont care for but I'm not sure if its required for the vehicle to run since the collision fuel pump shut-off switch thing is part of the wire bundle):


Just to give you an example of the biggest wire bundle size:

This bundle runs at the driver's front-most corner of the dash -- one end goes through the firewall into the engine bay and the other is the one that runs across the entire dash to the passenger's side.

Tonight I removed most of the wires and other things on the passenger's side and moved them all to the driver's side. Hopefully this pic gives you a better idea of whats behind the dash:

You'll notice a vertical notch a few inches of where the body and the door meet in the pic above -- the wires that go to the passenger's doors snakes up this thing. I'd put the vertical A-pillar bar near this notch (after of course moving the wires a bit forward).

Freaking serious? The Ostman brothers are going to crash this humble little town? You visiting relatives or something?

DannyBoy -- did you end up re-using the steering column assembly with the key housing and all? I want to get rid of it but man there seems to be a lot of stuff in that assembly to have to redo.

haha thats right :thumbsup: we will be terrorizing the quite community of germantown:D

That reminds me of the good old days of demoliotion derby. Aaah the smashing and crashing.

Thanks dannyboy. dash looks great. the fir will help keep the shine down;)

Engine and transmission totally disconnected except at the mounts:

So now its time to think of how to support the engine and trans. I was thinking of unbolting the bottom half of the oil pan and loosely mounting the engine support cradle on there. Any thoughts? Will the aluminum upper oil pan half support the block?


Im sure it would, but it would be messy.

Built the engine/trans cradle, installed it and removed the engine and trans mounts. Engine and trans were lowered into the cradle by letting nitrogen out of the air shocks.



The engine block is supported where the Ladder Frame bolts to -- so two layers of adhesive insulation foam was used to minimize scuffing the aluminum mating surface.

lookin good IZ. I probably would not have taken out the oil pan as you see engins sitting on them all of the time and they are stronger than they look. But thats just me.:thumbsup:

Intresting set up and i cant wait to see the finished product. Its almost the concept of the militarys hummer. If you need picturs of how the hummer is set for ideas let me know.


Thanks all!

I know this is probably crazy but last night I think I might have decided to get rid of the chassis -- cauz its going to be more work plating and boxing up the original chassis than it is to buy some rectangular tubing, take it to the chop saw, and do 15 minutes of welding. And this new chassis doesn't have to be very long, basically from the firewall to rear doors. It is just a rectangle, no bends or anything. Plus I think I trust rectangular tubing more than a C-channel that has so many holes on it, with odd bends, and with heat affected zones all over the place from my past welding. Plus its going to be a lot of work cleaning up the original chassis like cutting off both rock sliders and everything else.

wow..... thats a ton of work what you have done/are doing/are going to do. props senator, especially for running an election campaign also. No wonder you think there are 52 states.

Dude, just build a tube buggy.

I think at this point it would be easier. You now looking at making all new frame rails, new mounts for the suspension, drivetrain, body, cage, sliders, ect. You doing all the work a buggy requires but making it harder because your trying to make it work around a full bodied SUV.

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Yeah i know but I gotta stay true to the cause and keep the body. It wont be a 'full' body per say cauz most of the bottom and the back is going away. But I'll try to keep an Explorer-ish look.