Thinking About Building Superlift-Style Brackets | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Thinking About Building Superlift-Style Brackets

4"x1/4"x20' mild steel stock


Bracket made, no holes drilled yet:


All four complete:


Mine vs. Superlift Bracket:


Weld before cleaning slag:


Here is the story-

I went and bought the stock this morning at a local steel yard. $47 tax and all for the steel. I came back and tried to bend a piece by cutting a groove in the metal and beating it into place. I wasn't satisfied with the angle of the bend and didn't think that I could get them bent consistently. I found and borrowed a chop saw and a heavy steel table with a big vice on it. I cut two pieces and overlapped them to achieve the same effect as the bend. My friend welded the pieces together while I cut everything. I took a bracket from superlift and outlined the general shape and cut it out with a torch, then cleaned it up with a grinder. I still have to put in the "pipes" that go between the brackets and drill the holes for the bolts. I plan to do that tomorrow, pain t everything and install it all on Wednesday.

As for calling superlift about warranty, I read that they didn't honor the warranty if the lift was taken of and installed on a second vehicle. In other words, the warranty applies to the first owner only. I didn't think to try b.s. ing and see if I could get free replacements. I should have.

We spent about all day making these darn things and they seem to be plenty strong. I am going to add cross braces inside the bracket between the bolt holes to add even more strength. All of the holes will be made with a drill and bits for the sake of precision.

Comments? Questions? Criticisms?

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More pictures:

There will be a piece of flat bar across between the upper and lower bolt holes (not drilled yet)


The same effect as bending the metal;


They are all a little different, but they are all the same where it matters;

EDIT: Check out how thick that steel is on the table!



turned out well :D you made more progress than me today <-- eheh

time to drill some holes! and use a pilot hole if you can - a small one.
just make sure the holes are perpendicular if they need to be perpendicular :D cauz it might be difficult to drill one side and go through to the other side cauz the bit will walk a little. I guess if you clamp the piece nice and tight, you should be fine. oh and use a drill press if you have access to one.

So, uhh whenya (intentionally one word) gonna install these bad boys?

Its looking like Thurs or Friday if the wife doesn't have a fit- I still need to buy shocks and she isn't happy about my recent expenditures. (ya know like transfer case, driveshafts) ;)

I know all about that kind contractions- I'm from the south- we invented those!

you better stamp your name on those bad boys and start selling them. looks good, nice work, hopefully it works out for you.


churd69 said:
you better stamp your name on those bad boys and start selling them. looks good, nice work, hopefully it works out for you.


Nobody could afford them, Ive got about 20 hours in them counting design, welding, cutting and drilling. They'd be very expensive if I had to make them for a living.

They are nearly identical to the superlift brackets, but since I had to cut them with a torch they are all different. They don't look as nice as I would like for them to, but I am almost certain they will work. What stinks is I can't test fit them without tearing my front end down. After I get it all apart, I will make them work.

i just hope its all square and everything.

[QUOTE='97 V8]i just hope its all square and everything.[/QUOTE]

They look a little out of whack because the chop saw blade deflected as it pulled through the metal. It was really annoying. I used the factory cut edges for all critical parts. All of my bolt holes are straight and lined up. I believe it will bolt right in. What I don't know is if the A arms will go right into the brackets because of the welds. I may have to grind them down a little to let it clear. They look kind of crude, but I put a lot of time into making them straight. I just need a water jet or plasma cutter, wire welder and metal brake and I can make them look like the the superlift brackets. ;)

Are you using 6010/6011 rods? Perghaps next time, switch to 6013 - much cleaner welds - or even 7018 for higher strength.

And use some anti-spatter spray. :D

Looks good.. Definately switch to 6013 1/8" rods or 5/32. I have about 50 lbs of each sitting in the garage :D :D Bah who need anti spatter spray.. That stuff is for wuss who can't handle a little splatter on them.. :D

Yeah I was wondering what rods to use. I couldn't find a definite answer, so I stuck to what I knew 6011, fair sized rods. I bought some 1/8" but they turned cherry red all the way up after welding for a few seconds. My welder sucks, it has a high and low and it is a sears "colormatic" it automatically adjusts the heat :rolleyes: So I cannot keep it like I want it.

I ran out today, so I will buy some 6013 next time. I like how the 6011 rods burn in though.

You'll definitely like 6013s :D They are a God's send compared to 6011.

That's weird that your electrode turns red all the way up. I dont think this is a problem with the welder. I think its a problem with the electrode. Hot typically means theres too much resistance in the electrode. Try a shorter arc maybe cauz it sounds like you're running too hot.

I tired running cooler, but I couldn't keep an arc, the rods kept sticking. For the main support welds, I wanted a good penetrating weld and plenty of material in there.

I did a test weld before I began and beat, banged, bent and abused the overlapped pieces and the weld never showed a sign of giving way.

I use the gorilla welding technique- big and ugly but strong!

mountaineergree said:
I tired running cooler, but I couldn't keep an arc, the rods kept sticking.
Sticking eh? Perhaps try 3/32 next time. I used 3/32 on almost all of my SAS build. The only parts that were 1/8 were the axle tabs for the links and some of the shock tower -- everything else was 3/32

I got the diff drop bracket made today, everything painted and ready to. I hope to install this thing tomorrow. I have to make some sway bar links and find some shocks, but I am going to try to get it all done tomorrow.

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I need some help here- I don't think I am going to be able to find any rear shocks locally by the application part number superlift or trailmaster has. I was wondering if I can find a shock with a similar compressed and extended length and make it work? Or could the valving be too "something" - stiff, soft etc.?

I cant find the specs on the shock length on the superlift or trailmaster site for the rear shocks. The fronts are listed but not the rear on the trailmaster site and the superlift dosent have a specs page that I can find. Any suggestions?

I am going to make my sway bar links using steel pipe and grade 8 bolts since the superlift links are missing and reportedly junk anyway. I am going to get new bushings to do so. I think I am going to have to fab up some mounts for my rear sway bars because the factory ones are bent to clear something. Not sure how that is going to go. If all else fails I can run without rear sway bar for a while.

My factory traction bars will most likely have to be removed or relocated to lift the back any more. Should I keep it or toss it?

One last thing- do I need to be worried about pinion angle on the rear axle? I have F150 leaves and I am going to add some shackles to finish the lift-