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SVO42's 1-ton SAS

I've been wanting to do this for a while, and I finally had the opportunity. I picked up my "new" axles yesterday: a HP Dana 60 front and a Ford Sterling 10.25" rear, both from an '87 F-350.

My plans as of right now are:
5.38 gears
rear Detroit Locker
? front
doubler transfer case: BW 1354/Dana 20
38"+ tires

So it begins!


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It's late right now so I can't do a complete update, but the Explorer is ALMOST done. I will do a full update tomorrow, hopefully. Here are a couple of teaser shots in the meantime. FYI, I'm 5'10" and BethAnn is 5'2.5". :D




Now wait-
Look at your clothes Bryan , now look at BethAnn's

Someone isn't giving 100% here--

Just kidding. I can't wait to see this thing. Congrats

Holy #&^ , Dang this has come along ways... Hopefully you won't DD it... if so I would check the rear drum brakes, width and diameter, if you have the 3In wide they're not cheap... my brother has them on his 95 PwrStk f350 and my gpa has them on his 96 f250.

I wish I was close enough to see this bEaSt in person...
Great Job.

Looking great!, O well on the doubler, how would that tranny work with the 4.0??
If you could save in your piggy bank Long enough, i would get Atlas 2 , 5 to 1, that be sweet. Then not messing with doubler. Again Looking great!

Long overdue update--sorry, guys! It has been non-stop issues of work, fence-building, and general life issues that have kept me away for a while. I figured since I'm home sick today I'd post up some highlights.

We got it done one day later than we wanted to to head out for Colorado. It was a Saturday and hotter than Hades with humidity closely matching the temperature. We got it ready, tested it on a RTI ramp, and loaded it onto the trailer at Neil's shop then headed home, loaded up everything for the trip, and left about 8 PM. We drove straight through the night with brief rest stops. Halfway through Kansas we got a CEL on the Excursion but everything seemed fine (the problem turned out to be we weren't letting it acclimate to the altitude changes since we never shut it off! A 44 gallon tank lasts a while!). We never stopped for a night until we met up with some FSJ Invasion friends in Salida, CO. We spent the night there and proceeded on to Ouray the next day.

I did some brief road testing trips with the longest being from Ouray to Ridgeway and it drove great--50 MPH on the highway and it rode better that it did in it's previous incarnation. I was also able to use 5th gear again!

I had a brief wiring problem when a harness came loose from where Neil and I had moved it to do some work and it burned on the exhust manifold, killing power to the fuel pump. Two hours later it was good. The next day I noticed a significant gear oil leak on the driver's side hub which ultimately put me behind again by about a day and a half--in my rush to get it done at Neil's I forgot to put the outer bearing back in the hub on the rear axle! :eek: I was able to get a replacement bearing, hub seal, and misc. other items needed from stores (including an overnight spindle nut from the Ford dealer) in Montrose. Once everything was back together properly it was ready to go again.


We got in about two full days of wheeling out there. Aside, I'm glad ScottyJ and his wife had a good time, too, despite his experience with the Million Dollar highway! :p:

Coming up on the playground at Poughkeepsie Gulch:


Just outside of the Animas Forks ghost town outside of Silverton:


Cinnamon Pass summit:


For our last day of wheeling we decided to relax a bit and rode with another FSJer, Mark, who was nice enough to give us a ride. Keep in mind driving these mountain passes, sometimes with areas going too much to one side means you roll off of a mountain and die, in a completely untested SASed vehicle, isn't the best for one's nerves.

We got it home and fixed some other issues, like the front driveshaft U-joint (that's when I said, "I'm done" in Ouray (Engineer Pass, actually) after everything else). The next trip was with my local club to some private property over Labor Day weekend where I had more front driveshaft issues. First, the slip pulled out:


Later, the front shaft just exploded near the front yoke. With the help of a local machinist, it went from the stock shaft with a hybrid 1310/1330 joint to a square tube shaft with a 1350 joint and matching yoke installed on the D60 (thanks to a local club member, Vince, who even machined it for U bolts instead of straps--he didn't want anything, he said, but I at least got him some Sam Adams).

Then we took it out to CCC's Fall Crawl, our annual "big" event--if you want to call it that--at Flat Nasty ORP outside of Salem, MO. We had a good time there and I tried progressively harder trails and was again feeling pretty good about the truck (like I was in CO before I lost the front d-shaft on Engineer). I was still cursing the lack of a really good crawl ratio, though--even though it's better than it was.

You can see Vince spotting me here:


Saturday night I was pretty worn out and went to bed a bit early (also thanks to a bit too much "celebrating" around the campfire). BethAnn wasn't done yet, though. Evidently, I missed quite a trip:


From the stress on the lack of an outer bearing in CO and then wheeling it hard the DS rear axle shaft broke while BethAnn was driving [insert women drivers joke here] that night. The broken shaft has also somehow rendered the Detroit Locker a Detroit Open. I plan on getting it back to Neil's to see if it's repairable or not. I did some searching and found that a broken shaft can lead to Detroits grenading, too, so with that serious design flaw (in my book) I won't buy another. If I have to replace the rear locker it will be an ARB.

Overall, I think the truck has about 7-7.5" of suspension lift in the rear and just a tad more in the front. The 2" body lift is still in place.

So, immediate plans are a Detroit autopsy, adusting the front leaf shackle mounts a bit, some bumpers and sliders, and then a NP-435/NP-205 swap (I found a guy that makes a 4.0/NP-435 swap kit rather cheaply). Possibly also a Bronco II gas tank. I'll have to wait a bit for a front locker and 203/205 doubler since we are going to need a new air conditioner for the house this summer. :(

So, mods, can we move this to the SAS registry now? :chug::party:

Wow! Can't believe you have been holding out on us this long! You built a beast! Looks bad ass!

Hopefully you get it tweaked to your likings, and join us on one of our runs. Looks like either Badlands, or Disney is next (springtime) on the meet list here in the Midwest. It would be good to wheel with you two again. :)

Lots of hard work, lots of time, but when your out there enjoying what you built, it's hard to beat that feeling.

Thanks, guys. I'm looking forward to another outing with the EF gang. I hope that we'll be ready to go in a couple of months. I've been itching to get back to SMORR and my friends in Springfield keep bugging me about it, too. Don't think I'll make the Badlands or Disney, but you never know. I'd give Disney a 5% chance but SMORR first!

We had some pretty looonng days and nights there for awhile before vacation, I was there helping too although Bryan and Neil did most of the work. The whole hub issue was unfortunate... Bryan was unsupervised and sleep deprived? I also pressured him a lot (sorry honey) because of other disappointments earlier in the year. I learned a whole lot about the Ex in a short amount of time and I love that. Still have lots to learn though. I would love to get together with everyone again, SMORR was a lot of fun. It still needs work and everyone says "It's too tall!" but really it won't do that much good to take out a 2" body lift, and we have giant 40" tires now. I had a blast driving it at Flat Nasty, our friend Vince rode along and spotted me and he is beyond capable. I think the stress on the shaft from the Colorado trip was ultimately the problem. It flexed out fantastically when I was driving it! I was amazed at what I drove through, and even more amazed the next day when we walked it in the daylight. We got it back to camp and figured out something wasn't right. Hopefully we can fix the Detroit, we'll see. We'll keep you updated and hopefully be wheelin' with you all soon. :)

Pulled some more pics off of BethAnn's and our friend, Nick's, Facebook files.

Here's a couple of shots of the Explorer on the trailer right after we got home from Neil's shop. Remember, we left the SAME NIGHT for Colorado:



And here's a few more shots from BethAnn's midnight ride at Flat Nasty. The Ex had to be put on a strap thanks to the broken axle shaft and resulting Detroit Open:




You can tell she had a good time!


I'll post up the Detroit autopsy pics once we get it back over to Neil's shop!

i would kill for that thing.

With the busted Detroit, poor crawl ratio (IMO), and other little issues I would hold off on the homicides for now, man. ;) Thanks, though.

The next time it goes wheeling I'll post up when and where in case anyone wants to join us. :roll:

Seeing it on the trailer behind the Excursion makes it look like Godzilla attacking Tokyo. Matter of fact, Godzilla is a perfect name for it Bryan. ;)

I'll keep that one in mind, Greg--thanks. It still doesn't have a name yet.

We do love the Excursion. The only times we noticed the trailer was there were taking off from a stop and when braking. Otherwise it seemed like it wasn't there. Need to pass on the interstate? No problem, push the accelerator and a second later the turbo kicks in and bye-bye! :burnout:

I forgot to post about the steering setup. I got some Dana 60 high-steer arms from WFO Concepts. They're designed to put the tie rod up and behind the axle. It turned out really well but I had to trim the crossmember a bit as it rubbed at times. The tie rod gets very close to rubbing the top of the pumpkin but never quite touches. The drag link and tie rod are made out of DOM tube with threaded rod ends from Ballistic Fabrication. To show it all off I painted the drag link, tie rod, and high steer arms my favorite color, orange. I used flourescent orange spray paint.

In the first pic you can see that it's actually a ratchet and socket in the tie rod. That was to get a quick look to see if we needed to make any changes. We actually used 1-ton Chevy TREs.



I was very pleased about how flat the drag link came out. It's not quite flat but darn close. When I drove it on Highway 550 in Colorado is rode and drove better than the tweaked TTB that was in there before! Smooth ride, tracked well, and no bumpsteer. :thumbsup: I still don't plan on driving it on the street, though, unless we get some horrible snowstorm and I HAVE to go somewhere (BethAnn and I both work in health care, so we don't really get "snow days").

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its very sweet.looks very mean.great work