Completed Project - Turboexplorer's Full Width SAS Build Thread | Page 11 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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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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Now to make the sway bar axle mounts. I did run into one problem though and that was where the left one needed to be was dead on top of the breather tube. So decided to TIG weld the breather tube hole closed. And then metal finished it.

I will drill and tap a new one up here on top of the pumpkin that way I can flip the axle so that the cover is facing down then stick a shop vac in there while I drill and tap so that NO shavings get inside. I didn't want to have to disassemble the gear set and things in order to do a new one on the axle tube so on top it is going.

Built these out of 1/8" plate just like the factory ones on the 8.8. I just copied that hand here they are.

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Here they are and they are just tacked in place until I know for sure what I am doing with the rear shaft. I talked to Tattons today and gave the ride height measurement for length and he thinks that doing a double cardan will be easy and so that's the way we are leaning now. Soon as I know for certain the sway bar mounts shock mounts and leaf perches will be final welded then the axle can be painted and fully put back up in the truck.




Also got the U part of my trans cross member bent up today as well. Hard to explain what I have to do but its kind of a PITA to fit it in there and clear the drive shaft. So as it gets done I will post more pics of it and explain.


Now form info on the shock hoops. I am going to make some 1/4" plates that will be attached to the frame for the hoops to mount off of. Then I will use some 2"X.250 wall tube that come off of the plates then off of those the shock hoop will attach. The shock hoop itself will be 1.5"X.120 wall tubing. They will always be in tension so they are more than strong enough.

Some one broke the vertical band saw blade so I had to cut these out with the plasma torch. I made some patterns on paper with the size and shape I wanted to use. I didn't use any square corners as that just creates stress points. So diamond type shapes eliminate that so this shouldn't give the frame anywhere to start tearing from. Plus i made them so they go close to the top and bottom of the frame which uses the frames beam strength and ties them in where they roll to the top and bottom of the frame so they will be very strong.



I forgot to take pictures but again like everything else I tacked them together and metal finished them so they look really nice and clean. Then I marked on the patterns where I wanted the plug welds to go to help tie in the center of the plates to the frame. I did 3 plug welds on the rear bigger plate and did 1 on the front smaller plate.

I then painted the frame and the back of these plates with some weld through primer to help prevent rust between the frame and the plates. I then help the plates up where I wanted them and with a steel scribe I marked where the plates edges where as well as where the plug welds will be. I then took a flat punch and scraped off the primer around the edges as well as where the plug welds would be this will eliminate any contamination from the primer.

Bad picture but painted the back sides of the shock plates.

Frame Painted where the plates will go.


Tacked the plates in place.

Now first I weld up the plates with the plug welds to fully attach the plates to the frame. They are 1/2" holes. Burned them in nice and hot.



I then metal finished the plug welds so you can't even tell they are there. But they are to help support the center of the plates. I then wire wheeled the frame around the plates so that all the weld through primer is gone. This way when I weld around the plates it is all free from any contaminates. :) They turned out great.





I then welded the plates fully to the frame. I welded a 1/4 of the plate on one side then on the other. Then went to the next plate. So all 4 where welded 50%. 25% on opposite sides. Then let the frame rails fully cool. Then welded the next sections until all 4 plates where fully welded.

These welds where the welds that I was by far the most nervous to weld. They can been seen whenever the rig is flexed and everyone will notice them. They can also be seen when the rig sits at ride height so I had to get these not only strong but aesthetically pleasing as well :) And I really am happy with the way they turned out. Again I am by no means a professional welder but I think I did well and and very happy with the results. So I will post a bunch of pictures of the welds.





And a few more. There was a few small spots where its not perfect but I had 2 times where my hand or elbow slipped that was guiding me so that's where those spots came from. There was a few little award spots because you have to go all the way around each plate and some places the clearance to get you and your helmet to see properly was a pain. And the curves mean while you are welding your gun angle has to be constantly changing with it. But again I am very happy with how they turned out.





A few pictures of the bends. Again these are rough bends I will have to bend them a hair more but that can be done easily. Un bending them is a pain so didn't want to have to deal with that.





A view from the top looking down at the plates. I removed the ABS control module on the drivers side and I removed the coolant overflow and the washer bottle reservoir on the passenger side. These will more than likely have to be re located. That is done fairly easily though. These shock hoops will be very tight in there but should work fine.


You can see the coilover simulator in there. Set to the length that will give me 6" of compression. From these I can better see where the shock mounts and hoops will need to be.


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The lower link plug welds are done. Will wait to do the rest until it comes apart for final welds and paint. These plug welds are TIG welded.