• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

The War Wagon: Slowlyvverot's '93 X Eltee

I've been a EF member long enough that I think it's time i put up a registry for my truck. This forum's been a huge help in turning my Ex into what it is today, and I doubt I would even own it if I had never chanced upon EF.

The War Wagon's (DubDub's) story:
1993 Explorer XLT
A4LD, Electronic 4WD, 207k

I traded my old '98 Firebird during the summer of '09 to my dad for his stock 1993 Explorer XLT, because I wanted a vehicle I didn't have to keep clean all the time...AND I had found Explorer Forum a few months prior and I was hellbent on acquiring my pops' truck so I could do all kinds of silly things to it such as a SAS and 40" tires and all kinds of cool technical jargon I didn't understand (And still sorta don't :rolleyes:)

The old:
4824_102044681923_571006923_2618571_2202661_n.jpg


The good ol' days. but hey this ain't about the Blue Demon...

The New:
6009_105241401923_571006923_2678646_6486456_n.jpg

Taken post-maiden voyage (stuck in 2wd, I might add)

I was a happy kid to own a big lunkhead suv like this after driving such a small 2-door sports car. And I was ready to get this thing in the air.

Before I knew it, I had applied bedliner to odd places like my grille and the sides of my doors, acquired a brushguard and some lighting, slapped my spare tire on the roof and bolted a 109" whip to my rear bumper. I was going crazy with my truck, which my dad had come to call "the War Wagon." I prefer DubDub :p: (War Wagon= WW= "doubleyooo doubleyooo= DubDub...get it?!)
And best of all I loved wheeling with it wherever I could. Still stuck in 2wd...hadn't found out how to fix my electronic 1354 yet.
7329_143500226923_571006923_3235531_4269912_n.jpg


Next came a set of lift shackles for the rear to give DubDub a good 2" boost back there since the springs had sagged a bit. By this point in time I had realized that I was not afraid to cut sheet metal and cut out some rocker rust and the chrome panels behind the rear wheel well in case I needed clearance for my new 31's. Turns out I didn't need it back there, but the front was a different story...
11047_175438431923_571006923_3514932_2950773_n.jpg


The outside lugs on my new 31x10.5 TSL's would reach out and grab the inner fender inside my front wheel wells pretty often so I knew I had to do some trimming up there eventually. I also went ahead and bought myself some 15x8 soft 8's for my new meats. DubDub was a happy truck! :)

Over the next few months things came and went such as more lights, a roof rack, winter, and the outside edges of my bumpers. Even stuck in 2 wheel peel (that's right, still hadn't cracked open my tcase :rolleyes:), the TSL's helped me get around in the snow more than a few times.
17054_279641101923_571006923_4038611_1580422_n.jpg

20254_308278461923_571006923_4128246_6164709_n.jpg


Once spring hit, I knew it was time to work on my truck some more. I ended up getting myself some 2" skyjacker coils, taking my doors off a few times, and doing some much-needed fender trimming.
26975_356789076923_571006923_4278139_5898885_n.jpg

24468_380654476923_571006923_4412839_567039_n.jpg


By this time, my 31's were starting to get pretty worn down so I needed new tires. And I thought to myself "Now, while I'm at it, why don't I try and get some 33s in them thar wheel wells?" (A smart man would've attempted to fix his transfercase, but nooo I wanted bigger tires) Ideas about drop bracket lifts and body lifts came and went in my mind but in the end I just resorted to defacing my front fenders even more.
37591_412159916923_571006923_5259482_2240222_n.jpg


64674_436825691923_571006923_5898416_3410214_n.jpg


And WALA! I ended up with 33x12.5 MTRs on 2" of lift, and generously trimmed front fenders. no rubbing at all on the street, and only the rears rub off road when i flex the 8.8 too far (The ttb don't flex all that far though anyway). I was po (poor) and had to save $$$ for school in the fall so I only regeared the rear axle. With my old 31s I had my stock 3.73 gears but I wanted a bit more power with the 33s so I went with 4.88s. I'm glad I went that low because I love the way this thing can turn the tires now.

So basically up until this point I've built a pretty cool mallcrawler which I like to beat on and get dirty sometimes.

Summer came and went and school didn't work out so I'm stuck with a great new job now and the money will be flowing out my pockets and into new parts for my Ex. My plans/priorities/dreams are as follows:

I'd like to get a drop bracket lift (I'm leaning towards a 6" skyjacker) and SOA the rear so I can stuff some 35s, maaaaybe 36's or 37's under my truck and wheel the snot out of it. I'm generally easy and careful with my truck whenever I do take it offroad so I feel like with the right internals and the lack of a locker, I could make the d35 stand up to such big tires. I might go with a 2" bodylift/coil spacers and lift leaf pack if I decide to go the 37" route. Time will tell.

In the end (if that ever comes?), I want my truck to (at least) sit something like this:

D35
-Aussie locked
-4.88
-Pushed forward 1 inch
-4/6" skyjacker drop brackets
-Skyjacker RA's
-Fullsize coils
-F250 shock towers
-James Duff coil buckets
-Passenger beam window, clearanced
-Warn Jeep hubs
-Spicer 5760X Ujoints

8.8
-Locked
-4.88
-SOA
-Disk brake swap
-Super 88 kit
-Relocated shock mounts
-Solid diff cover

Misc-
Sliders
RLC front/rear bumpers
Smittybuilt xrc8
35"-37" meats


Wayyyy down the line, after this suspension is finished:
Chop top
Yellow paint job with bedlined lower doors (like it is now)
Exocage with boatsides

Hopefully I can get start working on this thing again and start wheeling it a lot more than I have been! Any and all comments, advice and criticisms are welcome!
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
On the way home from work today I decided to get a flex shot. Having the ability to quickly disconnect your front sway bar is really convenient, and cheap. I recommend making sway bar discos to anyone who doesn't already have them.
64671_436445381923_571006923_5890143_6859530_n.jpg


Here's a good idea of the stuff in front...
33741_436450301923_571006923_5890215_7267123_n.jpg

I'm gonna look into getting some Heep coils and making them fit the ttb buckets. I've read that they are not nearly as stiff and allow the ttb to flex like mad. I was introduced to the idea by checking out 4x4junkie's BII. It looks like his ttb flexes as well as a straight axle, and I recommend you check it out too if you want to see well how a correctly modified ttb can perform.
Here is a writeup I found on TRS detailing the installation of jeep coils on the ttb and the engineering behind it all:
Maximum TTB Flex
 








Foxracin

Explorer Addict
Joined
August 29, 2008
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1
City, State
Mount Holly, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991
Haha. Reminds me of exactly how my build started about a year ago and we done pretty much the same mods.

Looks great.

You going to bring it out to Uwharrie this weekend?
 




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
Thanks. I've learned a lot about automobiles and wheeling since I started working on this thing. Im proud of it and really glad I found this forum to get me into the sport.

You going to bring it out to Uwharrie this weekend?

Dunno about that. I haven't started getting paid yet from my new job so even if I have the weekend off, I wouldn't be able to pay for gas to make the trip and back. Soon enough, though. I've wanted to go for a long time!
 




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
Anyone know if it's safe to chop an inch or two off the front or the frame rails and move the bumper back for a better approach angle? I'm forever tryin to climb a vertical wall.

Any ideas on how to improve approach angle are appreciated. I saw something in a thread a while back about using washers on the radius arm bushings to push the front axle forward a little bit. I'll probably look into that at some point.
 




yellowford

Well-Known Member
Joined
September 2, 2007
Messages
920
Reaction score
1
City, State
Gardner ks
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 xj
Anyone know if it's safe to chop an inch or two off the front or the frame rails and move the bumper back for a better approach angle? I'm forever tryin to climb a vertical wall.

Any ideas on how to improve approach angle are appreciated. I saw something in a thread a while back about using washers on the radius arm bushings to push the front axle forward a little bit. I'll probably look into that at some point.

You should be fine chopping a couple inches off the frame.

For the jeep coil thing you have to get some that are way longer, as I just tried doing this with stock cherokee coils and it went back to stock hight even though they were close to 5in longer than stock ttb springs.
 




Foxracin

Explorer Addict
Joined
August 29, 2008
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1
City, State
Mount Holly, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991
I saw something in a thread a while back about using washers on the radius arm bushings to push the front axle forward a little bit. I'll probably look into that at some point.

Probably seen that in my thread. I put 2 more washers between the radius arm and bushing and it pushed the front wheels forward about 1.5 inches. Also dont have to trim the front fenders for bigger tires since it pushed them froward.
 




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
For the jeep coil thing you have to get some that are way longer, as I just tried doing this with stock cherokee coils and it went back to stock hight even though they were close to 5in longer than stock ttb springs.

From what I have read and understand, ttb coils are REALLY stiff compared to coil springs for other 4x4s, anywhere from 450-500 PPI I think. Compared to stock XJ coils, which are around 200, that is 2.5 times the stiffness! This has to do with the XJ being lighter, but not by 2.5X. The Ex coils are just not meant to flex as much considering it is an independent suspension under a heavy SUV. Even aftermarket ttb coils never go lower than 400 PPI (at least I've never seen or heard of any).

So indeed, the trick is to find much longer XJ/TJ coils that are still rated much softer than ttb coils. I'm thinking the sweet spot would be somewhere between 250 and 350 PPI. I haven't shopped around yet but from what I've heard, It sounds like I might have to find something like an 8 inch lift coil for a jeep, and then maybe add some spacers underneath to get my desired height if that isn't tall enough. Lucky for me used jeep parts go up for sale pretty regularly on NC4x4 so finding them cheap shouldn't be too hard.
 




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
Probably seen that in my thread. I put 2 more washers between the radius arm and bushing and it pushed the front wheels forward about 1.5 inches. Also dont have to trim the front fenders for bigger tires since it pushed them froward.

I think it was Maniak who posted about it somewhere. Dunno where though. Now I just need to figure out a way to get the rear axle pushed back a tad and I'll be set on approach/departure angles at the axles.
 




sport97

Elite Procrastinator
Joined
September 25, 2008
Messages
2,358
Reaction score
1
City, State
connellsville pa
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 sport SOHC 4.0
Awesome looking ex. I love it, black and red look great together. What are the 4.0 badges off of? Why did you ditch the safari rack? I love the safari rack look.

Did your old firebird have the 3.8 or was it the formula firebird with the 5.7:D
 




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
Thanks, I love the black and red too.

I got the emblems at autozone and just spraybombed them. they are plastic with a chromey finish and have adhesive backings. I loved the rack too but I was tight on money this summer when I was living in Boone and I didn't need it to survive so... :dunno:
Plus it got reallllly sketchy trying to park in the parking garages on campus when i had about an inch of room between my rack and the ceiling.

My bird was a 3.8. I put a magnaflow catback on it and it only had about 45k on it. I miss that ol girl but I get to see it everyday in the driveway so :rolleyes:
 




sport97

Elite Procrastinator
Joined
September 25, 2008
Messages
2,358
Reaction score
1
City, State
connellsville pa
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 sport SOHC 4.0
Thanks, I love the black and red too.

I got the emblems at autozone and just spraybombed them. they are plastic with a chromey finish and have adhesive backings. I loved the rack too but I was tight on money this summer when I was living in Boone and I didn't need it to survive so... :dunno:
Plus it got reallllly sketchy trying to park in the parking garages on campus when i had about an inch of room between my rack and the ceiling.

My bird was a 3.8. I put a magnaflow catback on it and it only had about 45k on it. I miss that ol girl but I get to see it everyday in the driveway so :rolleyes:

Yea i hear ya on the money, gotta make cuts somewhere. I'm already forced to park in the high clearance parking garages unless i want to trash my CB antennas so the rack wouldn't hurt my cause. My buddy has an 01 camaro with the 3.8/5spd. He only has 50k on it and put the magnaflow catback on it too. Its a fun little car to drive.
 




Sams01XplrSprt

Southern Cali Explorer
Joined
November 14, 2004
Messages
14,224
Reaction score
2
City, State
Newport Beach California & Bay Area California
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Sport (sold)
nice x u got
 








Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
Well I got my first check from my new job today, it feels good to get paid again haha. I have a few things I gotta do this weekend to keep my beautiful (read: big n' ugly) machine running nice nice.

My turn signals are not functioning right. I flick right or left and the dash arrow comes on and stays solid, and my lights are lighting up, but not blinking. Anybody got any ideas?

I need to replace my RA bushings. This is long overdue since I noticed my old 31s were wearing oddly in the front. Now I'm seeing it on my MTRs. I haven't looked toooo much in depth at any write-ups, but it sounds like the easy way to do this is grinding out the rivets on the RA crossmember and then pulling it off to get to the bushings. Correct?

I want to do this myself if it isn't too hard, to save some cash and since I've never done it. No sense in wasting a few hundred dollars on the job at a shop when I will just replace my stock RA's with extended ones in a few months. If anybody could put up a link to a helpful thread or give some advice, I'm all ears. I mean, I'm pretty mechanically inclined if I do say so. I can even change my own oil :D

Since I dont really use any % of my brain activity at my 10 hour/day job, I have a LOT of thinking time. Over the past few days I've been dialing in and fine-tuning my idea for the future of the suspension on dubdub. Right now I've decided to start off with a 6" Skyjacker and break that in for a few months, then after that modify it for jeep coils and extended shocks and all the goodies I have listed above.

That is...unless I can find some 6" brackets and extended RA's used, in which case I'll get some jeep coils and go for the hybrid suspension in one sitting. As much as I really love the idea of dropping 1500 on a brand new lift...I'd like to find used parts instead. By the way, are 6" and 4" drop brackets the same? Just different mounting holes right?

Updated list of future mods/parts in post #1
 




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
Updates updates.

So I won't be able to hit up Uwharrie this weekend on account of work. Bummed about that but oh well. There will be other runs I'm sure. And hey I get paid doubletime tomorrow instead!

I examined my RA brackets a little closer today and GASP! I have bolts (not grade 8, I need to get some replacements) instead of rivets in them thangs! That made my day to find that out and so now I'm definitely going to tackle the bushing replacements myself. Now I just need to find a day to do it...I'm scheduled for work everyday till Thanksgiving apparently... :roll: The good part is that enough money will be flowing in to allow me to collect parts for this project in a relatively quick time frame :thumbsup: Which brings us to the next point of conversationnnnnnn-

I found a used 6" skyjacker lift (supposedly) for sale. I'm only interested in the axle drop brackets and springs, not the RA drops since I'll be going with extended arms. I wanted to get someone's opinion if it is indeed a 6" lift, since I've never seen a skyjacker lift in person and the kits online look to have different brackets:
64647_438120961923_571006923_5920224_6363162_n.jpg


The seller is out of state, so I'd be buying it sight-unseen, which is why I want to be sure it's good for 6". If it is what I'm looking for, then I'll nab it up and be that much closer to getting this whole debacle started on it's path of destruction! :D
 




Foxracin

Explorer Addict
Joined
August 29, 2008
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1
City, State
Mount Holly, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991
Yep, its the 6" drop brackets. The driver side one is the same one on mine and the passenger side in that one is the newer one that doesnt use the diff popper drop plate so that a good thing. Snag them up if its at a decent price.

Also if you get them I would go ahead and gusset the big bracket at all the 90* angles. There real bad about cracking in those spots.
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
793
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
Will do, thanks for the heads up on the brackets. How was uwharrie?

I figured out my turn signal issue. bad fuse. haha.

I just realized I haven't thought any about steering for this thing...from what it sounds like, my best options are a modified Superrunner or a custom setup from Stonecrusher, right? I'll just add it to the list of things I need to read up on.

I've also thought about trying to find some D44 outers to slap on the end of my D35. I've read a little about this and it sounds like you have to machine a few parts to work so I'll do some more research about that. I really want to eliminate the weak points on this front suspension and get it nice and beefy.

Since the truck will be down for a few weeks to a month or two while I work on it (I don't have a lot of time after work everyday for my own activities) I need to start shopping for another DD. I was thinking a 93-97 Ranger to keep things familiar and in case I need to transport big tires/heavy parts. And I've always wanted a pickup.
 




Top