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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 is some more pictures of the links. I am debating on filling the upper link mounts on the lower link side with a MIG weld and blending it so it looks like part of the tube just rolls up straight into the mount or to lay a nice TIG weld down. Hummm........





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These pictures look way funny. They make it look like the link mounts are way retarded. They aren't. They are however not parallel so to speak since the inner mount is farther rearward than the outer mounts. Makes for a weird picture. :rolleyes:



I also did some lower link bracing to. It is made of 1/8" plate and looks great. When the axle is taken out to final weld things these plates will be TIG welded in place. The upper section or corner will be tapped down so it rolls in nicely to the top of the truss. Will wait to tap that down until the rest is welded so it doesn't break loose.




Looks very nice thus far.

Thanks guys! It's my first real big project so its far from perfect but I am doing my best. I will have more pictures of today's work up tonight. :)

I also talked to Tatton's drive line shop that is doing my rear and the double cardan is a go so tomorrow I can set pinion angle and fully weld everything in and paint the rear so I really hope the rear is 100% tomorrow. (crossing my fingers)

Plug welds done in the upper links. And the hot root pass done on each of the 4 links. They really look great. Had to cool before the final weld is done.


Upper links

Lower links

Looks great and those bungs aren't going anywhere!

Little braces done on the transmission cross member. All that's left is to make the section that will go up to the trans mount and hold it all. Amazing the bends and things it took to keep the cross member up and out of the way on a V8 rig. Lol, glad its over. Still have to make the rear one as well, will go behind the T-Case and then will be tied to the trans cross member and then plated as a skid plate for the T-Case. If I get to it that part isn't critical so it will be last.





These are 2"X.250 wall tubes that are used for the hoop mounts. They will be welded to the plates. I found out today that the shock hoop mounts won't end up dead center on the plates on the frame, :( (they where put there since that's the only flat spots on the frame) It wont be bad just will be a little forward. I had to shift them a little forward because if not I wouldn't be able to change my blower motor ever. That would suck. Still will be wicked tight but should be able to do it. I also had to move the cruise control module as well. Lol, lots of things had to move for these hoops to fit. ABS module, washer bottle, radiator overflow bottle, cruise control moudule. :) Most will be easy to relocate.

Then the hoops themselves are 1 1/2"X.120 wall. Easily strong enough since they are always in tension not compression. They lean from the frame out at a 15* angle. The coilovers will mount on the inside (towards the engine) of the hoops. This will lean the coilovers in a bit so under full compression they will still have a slight lean towards the center of the rig. Help a slight bit with roll resistance, plus give a more linear compression. As the axle swings it will always be in the right spot.

Shock hoop mounts.

Fitting the shock hoops.



Shock hoops tacked in place to the mounts. This way it was easy to fit the hoops to the mounts. I didn't have to bend The hoop to a set point for the mounts. I measured from center to center on the plates and then bent the hoops to where they where at that measurement at the mounting points. Then slid the mounts to the hoops got them all fitted then tacked to the mounts then I can pull the mounts and hoops together and TIG them on. Then I will put them back on the frame and weld the mounts to the plates. This way I can get around both joints to better weld them.





Man those shock hoops are up there. :eek: Man fitting 14" coilovers in a second gen is tight. :) Will be totally worth it though. Tomorrow I will have to make sure all wires and things are on the right side and where I want them before I weld them to the frame or I will be SOL. They would have to be cut to go to the other side of the hoop. But all should fit well. Looks like the brake master and booster are easily replaced if needed. The hardest thing to replace with these in there will be the blower motor. But again I should be able to make that work I believe. No choice where these hoops go so :rolleyes:


See how close to the blower. I will take some pictures from the top tomorrow when the hoops are permanently welded to the frame.


Welding up the hoops to the mounts. Almost done. Have a few sections left on each but had to let them cool and by then it was the end of the work day.




I forgot my camera at the shop today so i wont have any new pictures up tonight. :mad: O well. And I will be traveling all weekend, over 1,000 miles, so I will try to get some up Friday night if possible.

I got the shock hoops tacked to the frame all in place. I will be making the upper mounts for the coil overs tomorrow and when they are fitted right I can then Pull the shock hoops one last time and weld the upper mounts to the hoops then back on the truck to be welded to the truck.

The rear is 100% and is pulled and sitting in my garage so I can paint it on Sunday night when I get back. Then back in the truck Monday. All shock mounts sway bar mounts perches etc are on the axle and fully welded. I like my axle end shock mounts for the rear. :) They are different but will work great!

The double cardan joint is a for sure go so I set the pinion angle pointed towards the T-Case then turned it 2* down so that under power it is straight on and then burned in the perches. Glad to have the rear at 100%

I also got some 1" solid bar stock and put it on the lathe and drilled it out for 7/16 bolts. It will be used as spacers for the steering box. Also as through bolt pieces for where the bolts cross the frame. I am sincerely hoping that the steering box will be in tomorrow. As well as the upper shock mounts done.

Its getting down to the wire and the truck is fighting back hard now. The trac bar will be very interesting. It will be VERY tight in there. Will see what I have to do once the steering box is in. It will have to have some bends but with the 1.5"X.375 wall it will be plenty strong still, but will be a real bear to bend!!!!!!! I have never done it but bending 3/8" wall DOM tube cant be easy.

Anyways that's the updates for today I believe. Hope tomorrow is a wicked productive day.


^ This

I can't even comprehend the amount of patience and time you have in this project. It already looks good and its not even done yet

I had to quote above!!!!

Truly Un Believable Work!!!

You have some serious serious skillz!!! I thought your Trans Am was Incredible (still do), But this is just beyond Real!!!

One of my favorite builds Ever!!

And to think I went to A Big Custom 4x4 shop to get a Superfift Suspension Lift done and they refused saying the Torsion brackets would need to be re-welded and it was not possible....

Using the tapered reamer to make the pitman arm able to receive the high angle GM TRE. :) Reamed it nice and slow on the mill and used TONS of cutting oil. For a $90 reamer I sure didn't want to ruin it.





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Here is the inside frame plate for the steering box. These are 1" solid bar stock that was put on the lathe and center drilled for the 7/16 bolts for the box. The box isn't flat on the mounting side so these space it so that the box has some solid pieces to bolt to. These spacers where TIG welded to the plate so that now the mounting bolts will be in single shear with a sleeve. This plate will be welded to the inside of the frame and will have sleeves going on top and on bottom of the frame that where done from the same solid bar stock.