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Completed Project Turboexplorer's Full Width SAS Build Thread

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Hello everybody! It's time to start the SAS on my Explorer. It will be an awesome project and the first project of this type and size that I have ever undertaken. Up to this point the sliders where the hardest thing that I have made myself. I am open to any suggestions and or insights from anyone as the project gets underway. I have bought every last part for the build minus the hard brake lines (axles, and from master to the frame) and the flexible lines that go down to the axles. Those are all easy to make so I am not worried about it for now until I get the axles put together and can see what i want to do with those.

Now for a list of things I will be doing with the project:
1995 F-150 8.8 - I bought this used rear axle that I will strip, lock with a Detroit, convert to Explorer Disc brakes, and mount to the truck. Factory rear sway bar will be used. I will be doing a spring over conversion and will also be remaking the rear V8 anti axle wrap bars to help the leaf springs out with the leverage and TQ the V8 37's and 5.13's will put on them.
1976 F-150 HP Dana 44 - I bought this used axle and will be stripping it of the Ford factory wedges, trussing, and building custom glorified radius arms. Like DB_1 runs and like Rubicon Expresses makes. Front will also have a Detroit Truetrac LSD in it as well. This Dana 44 has 1/2" thick axle tubes.
Fox 14" Remote reservoir coil-overs - I will be building shock hoops for these coil-overs, bracing them, and tying them together across the top of the engine with removable double lock tube clamps.
1995 F-150 Steering box - This will be mounted inside the frame rail and used with the factory PS pump and will build a custom steering link from the box to the column. I picked this 1 to keep it ALL Ford and 2 because they are fairly cheap and easy and can be tapped for hydro assist at some point if I want or need it. In order to fit this steering gear I also have to remote mount my oil filter so that it has room. I will be getting rid of the factory oil cooler and have a Trans Dapt remote filter relocation kit.

Project Parts Section:
-37X13.50 R17 Interco M-16's
-Fox 14" Remote reservoir coil-overs with Eibach Springs.
-Detroit Locker for the 8.8
-Detroit Truetrac for the Dana 44
-Yukon 5.13 gears for both front and rear.
-Both axles will receive ALL new bearings races and seals u-joints etc.
-All wheel studs front and rear and spindle studs have been replaced for safety reasons. To cheap not to.
-Already had EBC brakes on it so those pads on rear will be reused and new EBC 7000 series pads for the front have been purchased.
-New front rotors wheel bearings and new Spicer ball joints, going to reuse the warn locking hubs as they work great and are in good order and easily changed later if i wanted.
-1978 Ford T-Bird calipers have been bought in place of the factory F-150 ones. They are 17% bigger in piston size so will give me a little more brake up front to help stop those 37's.
-Trans Dapt Oil filter relocation Kit and addition mount to hook to the block at a 90*.
-Currie Johnny Joints and Rubicon Express Clevite bushings for the all the link ends.
-GM 1 ton tre's for the steering with a high angle tre at the pitman arm.
-Front axle truss. (wasn't impressed with it at all so will be making some changes)
-Extending current Expedition rear drive shaft and will have a custom double cardon one made for the front.
-Metal used: 2"X.250 wall DOM for lower links, 1 1/2"X.250 wall DOM used for upper links, 1 1/2"X.375 wall DOM used for trac bar, and ALL tabs and brackets will be made out of 1/4" Flat plate by me.
-Double lock tube clamps for the shock hoop cross brace that uses 2 3/8" bolts on each. These are so It can be removed.
-All Grade 8 hardware will be used.
-All flexible brake lines will be braided stainless steel Teflon lined hoses.

I like to follow others projects and often find myself wanting more pictures so bare with me there will be A LOT of pictures of the build. I hope you enjoy lots of pictures as much as I do.

First some pictures of what the truck was! Then onto some parts pictures. Build will start shortly.
1998 XLT Explorer. 5.0L with the 4R70W trans. I have the 4406 T-Case. 3.73 gears with rear LSD. Goodyear 31's. Rock sliders and front skid plate. Links to those builds are in my signature.





And here is some video links! :) There are a few videos of me wheeling in CO with nssj2!


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Here are the Fox Remote Reservoir 14" Coil overs and the Eibach springs. The springs are going to be set up in series just like most off road applications in a dual rate set up. The spring rates are a 200lb uppers and 300lb lowers. I am planning on 6" of compression travel and 8" of droop. I will be building shock hoops with braces and a cross brace between both hoops over the engine that will be removable with interlocking tube clamps.

I will probably have to remove the ABS control module which I wont use anyways since the front won't have any speed sensors. But will keep the electronic part for speedometer. And I may have to relocate the washer fluid bottle and the radiator overflow bottle. We will see what happens that will be easy.




My new baby in with the best part of this build!

Here are the tires and rims I have! Links should take you to the products. They weren't cheap but will be SO worth it when it is done. I am running the Interco M-16's for tires. They are 37 X 13.50 R17. They are monsters and weight in at 78lbs per tire not including rims. They are 10 ply tread and 3 ply sidewalls. I have a friend in Salt Lake that runs them on his 09 J/K and they are amazing tires. Really quite on the freeway to.

Rims I have are the Black Rock 997 series rims. They are 17" rims and 9" wide. They have a 5" backspacing. I tried to get the big backspacing to suck it over the brakes a little and they did clear my steering so that made me very happy.

I bought them all through a Discount Tire in Holiday UT (know a great manager). When my in laws came up to see our new baby they brought a trailer and got them here to WY for me.

I love the bullets in the side of the tire! :)

Should fit in the wheel wells great :)

Looks good with rims they are 100lbs or more a tire so it just about takes 2 people just to put them on the axle.

I think the 37's are a wee bit taller than my 31's! :)

I am going to run the Rubicon express style radius arms like DB_1 runs. I Will have a truss to mount the upper links to and will be custom building the links and all mounting tabs and brackets. Here is some pics of the parts that I will be using.

BIG Johnny joints will be used at the frame side of the radius arms. The smaller ones will be used on the upper links where they mount to the lower links since they have a 2" mounting width which will be great to mount to the 2"X.250" DOM tube that I will be using for the lowers. Upper links will be 1 1/2"X.250" DOM.

Large Rubicon Express clevite bushings to mount both uppers and lowers to the axle side of the links. These will be nice to help with road noise and will allow the arms to flex when I am twisted on some rocks. I will be leaving both uppers on all the time for safety reasons. You can take out the upper pass side link to get easier/more flex but I don't see it being a problem at all anyways. DB_1 doesn't take his out and we have all seen the flex of his Ranger.

Box full of random stuff. You can see the 5/8" U-Bolts and mounting for the rear axle spring over. The plate and the spring perch are all 3/8" steel. Couple boxes of bearings seals etc. There is a TON of parts for the build and I have 2 big boxes full of parts that you will see as the rig gets built up.

Johnny joints there in the back. Then a bag full of more bearings seals front axle u joints slingers spindle bearings ball joints etc.

Another box full of stuff. I started buying parts in Dec 2011 so I have acquired all this stuff over the last several months. See the labels and invoice there from Dirt Fab Racing? Scott at Dirt Fab has been absolutely fantastic to do work with. I have bought dang near everything through him since he helped me out on my Fox Coil overs with deciding what I wanted to go with and what would best suit this rig. His name is Scott and tell him Kyle sent you and he will treat you right Guaranteed!!!!

Here is the old F-150 Brake caliper next to the new 78 Ford T-Bird calipers. The T-Bird calipers are the exact same dimensionally as the F-150 ones where but they have bigger pistons which if you know about hydraulics means more force. You can see the bigger piston. They will give me 17% more clamping force than the F-150 calipers. I really wanted that to help stop with these 37's. I also bought the EBC 7000 series Greenstuff pads as well. I had EBC on my stock IFS and they made a world of difference so I bought them again for this axle.

Here is the front axle truss I bought to use for this swap. I wanted to make one but decided to just use this one to help save on time because once this hits full blown fab work it will NEED to be done in 5 weeks so I can drive it back home to Salt Lake City where we are moving as soon as school is over on April 20th.

Back view of the truss. Axle wasn't cleaned up yet and the welded on wedges for the factory radius arms haven't been cut off yet. I wasn't impressed with their welding at all. So I will be fully welding it fully up and putting supports in the under side where the coil overs will mount. Its all 3/16" plate.

Here is the ring and pinion for the 76' F-150 HP Dana 44. They are Yukon 5.13 gears with a 8-41 tooth count.

Here is the Yukon 5.13 gears for the 95' Full width F-150 8.8. They have a 7-36 tooth count.

Both axles set up kits. All Timken Bearings, seals, shims, ring gear bolts etc.

I bought the G2 Bearing puller to do this project and plan to set up more gears in the future. I bought a press, bearing splitter, TQ wrench for pinion preload, new dial indicator, big 1/2" impact wrench etc.

Picture of the 8.8 and the Dana 44 how they showed up to me. I had a friend in Salt Lake who picked them up for me and brought both axles out here to WY when they came to hang out for the weekend.

Another picture. You can see they where both fully complete axles.

Backside of the 8.8

I pulled the axles and the axle races where in perfect shape. Drum was stuck to the axle so had it sit with PB blaster soaking from the backside of the drum. Couple good hits with the axle face down on the concrete sitting on the wheel studs and the drums came off.

Pulled the cover on the 44 to take a look.

All bearings and gears for both axles where in great shape.

Pulled the hubs and rotors. Everything still in great shape. The spindles minus some grease and rust where perfect. The sealing surface of the grease seals was good and smooth, all threads where good.

Took off the spindle, brake mount, axle and knuckle. I have new spindle bearings, ball joints, u-joints, axle slingers, wheel bearings etc. ALL new parts for both axles. It took a full week of spaying PB blaster on the ball joints twice a day to get the ball joints to come out. I didn't want to wail on the knuckles so PB everyday and a big dead blow.

Cleaning the axles now begins.

The truck this axle came out of obviously had a huge oil leak for an extended period of time.

Getting the pumpkin clean. Took a screwdriver and putty knife to get most off then some 40 grit sand paper by hand then a wire wheel.

Pressed in the new Spicer ball joints and spindle studs.

Starting to clean the 8.8. I was going to run the Powertrax No-Slip but it was on back order for 2 months and no sign of when it would be available so I changed and bought a Detroit locker.

I now have the backing plates and drum assemblies off the axle. Brake lines off and carrier out. Now to clean it some before I load the gears. I will be running the factory rear Explorer Disc brakes.

New rear axle wheel studs pressed in.

I did get the front axle brake mount cleaned and painted. All the parts have been a real PITA to clean. Guess that's what 35 years of weather will do to it.

Steering clearance. And I will be switching it to over steer as we go together. Running GM 1 Ton Tre's for all tie rods.

Set the tires on the front axle just to take a few guess measurements. Things like steering angle, track width to better help plan the links and shock hoops.

This is how far they will stick past the fenders :eek: :) Little farther than I wanted but it will be fine. The added width will help from hitting the frame when these 37's turn.

A teaser of how big the rig will be! :D I am very excited for this project. It makes the truck look tiny having these sit in front of it.

Yes still clears the rims they are the exact same exterior diameter as the F-150 ones. I had to go with bigger rims (plus better for freeway stability) to clear my steering since I have 5" of backspacing. As far as if they will fit on the Bronco's I am unsure. Try this site and you can pick your year and model then click on applications and it will give you a list of what years and vehicles the same part# will work on. And no I am running the EBC 7000 series Greenstuff pads for the F-150's. They are the same part# for pads.

Compare Part #'s at Oreily's

Got the knuckles all clean and ready for paint. I have new spicer ball joints in them and new spindle studs. No sense in chancing 35 year old bolts holding 37's on when they are only $15 per side.

Knuckles painted.

Was a royal PITA to get the spindle bearings out. Had to bend a screw driver tip and grind it so that I could get to the lip of them and punch them out. Even then they still didn't want to come out.

Spindles all clean.

Even a bigger chore was getting the axle bearings out. Long story short I ended up prying out the roller bearings and their cages so that there was enough room to side a long pipe through and hit the bearing on the opposite side of the axle from where the pipe was inserted. Carrier was out of course.

Axles fully disassembled minus the pinions so that the axle can hold them while I clean them and don't run any risk of ruining the pinion sealing surface. They are ready to be fully stripped and cleaned this week. Hope to load gears next week.

Went to install both ring gears today while I was sitting at home and the rear 8.8 Detroit and the ring gear wouldn't slide on. So I put the Detroit in the freezer and the ring gear in the oven at 150* and what do you know they fit together perfect. I had to be quick though in finding which gear teeth I needed to take a hair off of because the ring gear cooled down quick on the frozen Detroit and almost got suck there.


Truetrac and the 5.13 ring gear for the Dana 44 are now bolted together and ready for installation.


Detroit and the 5.13 ring gear for the Ford 8.8 are now bolted together and ready for installation.


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Both diffs together. Looks great with both cases all new and shinny! :)

Here are some pictures of the very small amount I had to take off the inside of the gear teeth to clear the cross shaft. I had to take out about 1/32" off is all and it wont even be anywhere near the contact pattern. Clears great now.