The "Squirrel" goes under the knife... | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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The "Squirrel" goes under the knife...

Thanks for the picture Ted. How much clearence is there between the frame and the top of the tube there in the picture?

Im curious to see your alignment specs, mostly what the castor is.

I would like to see some pictures of the new RA crossmember.

I can help with that one! This was taken back in April before the work started.

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How many bolts are holding that RA bracket/cross member on? I only see one horizontal one per side. I"m assuming there is a vertical one too (I don't see one).

I changed the two grade 8 3/8" bolts with 1/2" grade 8's on our Ballistic Joint mounts. I just felt like there wasn't enough strength holding it onto the frame. I also have 2 vertical bolts holding it to the frame.

4784370449_ddf1deb0f7.jpg


I'm assuming a cross-member to tie the mounts together would help strengthen them but I didn't think it would be enough to only have 1 keep them from moving (especially backwards).

~Mark
 






...First a little info on why there purposely have been no real good pics of the RA's...The RA's shown here are actually for my X and will not be on my Ranger for Truckhaven..:p:

...Some more info on what's going on with my RA's can be found here, post #111
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=234700&page=6&highlight=superlift

...My RA's for the Ranger are waiting inline after Gil's truck gets done at BTF..Long story short, really trashed my front end and especially the stock stuff...Needed RA's quick to save the rest of the front end so BTF helped me out to buy me a little time...;)

...While I am waiting I am able to do my other mod's but what really helped is fine tuning and deciding if Ballistic joints were worth it for me as a DD/trail vehicle...I am happy to say they are perfect so far..:biggthump

...Joint Pockets...There are actually 3 (5/8" I believe) bolts with fat washers on both sides...Two bolts from inside the pockets thru the rail and then the one bolt you see on the outside..There is also a design flaw on this version of tranny crossmember but DB_1 resolved that on his newer version..

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How many bolts are holding that RA bracket/cross member on? I only see one horizontal one per side. I"m assuming there is a vertical one too (I don't see one).

If you don't mind me answering this Ted...There are 3 half inch bolts holding each bracket on. Two on the underside and the one you see on the side.
I've had no problems with this set-up and I have it mounted this way with my updated version as well. Ted's brackets are much more compact than mine so I wanted to get a bolt mounted up as high as I could.
If there is ever any concern, the brackets could easily be welded to the frame. I just like stuff to be removable whenever possible.
 






...Thanks for adding that info ...:biggthump

...Dave, could you add a pic of your new crossmember and pockets for comparison? I thought they were identical except the actual crossmember bolting...:scratch:

..BTW, before anyone ask...Are my pockets Poly's or did you fabricate them yourself??
 






I'll post a pic of mine tomorrow. Your brackets are from Poly, I'm using larger joints so I needed bigger brackets.
I got mine from www.kore4x4customs.com but they don't seem to be on their site anymore. I would have to think they still carry them or can at least make a set.

Edit: Forgot I had some pics on my Supermotors account.

xmember2.jpg


xmember3.jpg


xmember4.jpg
 






...Awesome...:biggthump

...It does look like www.kore4x4customs.com also carries the 2.63 (2-5/8") pockets for about the same as poly performance...$36.95
http://kore4x4customs.com/index.php...ategory_id=37&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=54

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...But poly performance still carries theirs for $35..
http://polyperformance.com/shop/Chassis-Mount-Link-Bracket-p-374.html

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...I don't remember seeing this style from Ballistic Fabrication yet...:dunno:...Just today Ballistic did add a quick video showing how to assemble/disassemble their joint..:hammer:

 






If you don't mind me answering this Ted...There are 3 half inch bolts holding each bracket on. Two on the underside and the one you see on the side.
I've had no problems with this set-up and I have it mounted this way with my updated version as well. Ted's brackets are much more compact than mine so I wanted to get a bolt mounted up as high as I could.
If there is ever any concern, the brackets could easily be welded to the frame. I just like stuff to be removable whenever possible.

Thanks. I wanted mine bolted too, I don't like the idea of welding them either.. I like them removable. When we put ours in, I wasn't sure 3 bolts was going to be enough. Thats why I went with the ballastic pockets instead of the kore ones and added metal to it. So, instead of 3/16 steel and 3 bolts we have 5/16 to 3/8" steel and 4 bolts. I guess I can forget about the pockets we used coming off or bending. I do like how the cross member attaches.. I want to do that to get rid of the factory trans mount.

~Mark
 






Those are the ones Ted, another difference between the 2 is that the KORE versions are made from 1/4" material...really beefy. I still had to clearance to bottom of my brackets to clear the 1.25" heims but not a big deal really.

Mark, I used the football shaped tabs for 1.75" tube from RuffStuff to make the x-member. These are also pretty beefy made from 1/4" plate steel. The actual trans mount platform I made from 3/16".
 






...I've been talking to Ballistic today and they should be carrying the pockets shown in post #27 on their website probably within 30 days, to fit their weld on and forged Ballistic Joints....;)

...They will be made out of 1/4" but, is there any changes that could make these better?

...The only thing I could think of is a little more height room for the 2.63 joints to have some clearance and probably the clearancing for the zerk...:scratch:
 






Make the tab larger then the ones currently on the market to allow more space to drill holes and bolt them to the frame.
 






...I got this from Ballistic...

I'm going to make it custom for your order and then we'll put it on the site, but if you order Friday, I can ship by Wednesday barring any unexpcted machine down time.

I will design them to fit our weld on and forged Ballistic Joints. If you need any specific dimensions please let Will know at the time of the sale.

...They are looking at this pic and I have the base measurements from mine to share with them..
Lower_Control_Ar_4bd5d612549d5.jpg


..From the bottom of the frame, how tall would you want it ??...I like the triangle and centering a bolt at the top kind of spaces it out from the two bottom bolts for frame strength..:dunno:

..We will be finalizing these and ordering the first set on Friday so I hope we get some more input in the next day...:D
 






Another great build thread!

Subscribing
 






Nice can't wait to see it a TH!
 






I can give some dimensions off of mine if you like but there's room on the brackets to drill more holes for bolts on the side. I personally don't feel the need for it.
You've got 1/4" plate brackets vs. the just over 1/8" thick frame, I think the brackets will win every time. In fact, my frame is slightly dented from landing on some 3/8" plate brackets I made once. Ideally the frame should be boxed in around that area to prevent it from folding up.
 






...Yes Dave, your dimensions will help so I can see the difference before I order this set...Which size as in measuring do you like best between the two..??

...I like the length measurement I have for the Rangers pocket along the frame rail bottom and the 1/4" material will keep it from pinching in around the joint after hitting hard stuff..

...I am looking at getting the 5/8" thru bolt size again and having them pre drill it for the bolt...Anyone think that a 9/16" thru bolt would be a better idea???

..I order this set tomorrow a.m...

Nice can't wait to see it a TH!

...It will look pretty much just the same but, it will just move a little more catty..:D
 






I don't know where the vertical bolts are going to go in that one.. But on mine I put one right above the Ballistic joint and the other back 3-4 inches which spreads the clamping force out more.

To get it to fit we drilled through the metal with the bolt size and then drilled 1/2 way through the metal using the size of the bolt head. That way it would be recessed into a pocket so the Ballistic joint could be higher up.

~Mark
 






...On mine, there is a bolt in front of and one behind the Ballistic joint...The heads are on the bottom with the threads and nuts on top...

...The front bolts heads on each are indexed so the joint will fit..This was one of the spots I was originally worried about for the Joint fitment...It actually fit just perfect...

...I will try and remember to get some pics of the joint and front lower bolt...

...This is why I mentioned the length of the bracket...I am going to also see if they will pre drill for 1/2" bolts fore and aft of the joint to take out some of the guess work..;)
 






Hrm.. the kore mounts must be longer then or the through hole on the mount for the joint is farther back. .. I couldn't do that on mine.

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You can see on this one that its pretty close to the front and there is very little room above the ballistic joint...
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~Mark
 



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I'll get you some measurements in the morning. The Poly brackets you have are pretty much made for cartridge style joints. You may be able to fit up to a 1" heim joint but I never tried it.
The KORE brackets are substantially larger so you do lose some ground clearance. I liked them because I had more room to mount a crossmember and was able to fit a 1.25" heim. The KORE brackets are open in the back so it makes it easier to get the rear bolt fastened to the underside of the frame.

So really, it depends on what joints you want to use and that will dictate what brackets to get. You would naturally want to use the smallest possible bracket you can to gain the most ground clearance.

EDIT: Added measurements

Here's some measurements for the KORE brackets:

Overall height: 7"
Overall length: 8"
Joint opening: 4" (top to bottom)
Bottom of frame to top of bracket: 3"
 






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