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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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You may want to consider a rear truss on a full witdh 8.8. I have bent regular explorer 8.8s and really bent my fullwitdh 8.8. I would highly recommend a truss. I wish I would have. Everything is still looking awesome!!

I really thought about it but I ran out of time like the other things that I didn't get done. :rolleyes: What where you doing when yours bent? Some 8.8's had the .188 wall tubing. Mine I know for sure is the .250 wall 3 1/4 tubing.

O well still not to bad for 5 weeks of work. Its all done really nice and I am very happy with the truck. Just need a few things finished and it will be ready, O and to add to the list of things that still need to be done in the post above is I need to load the front gears and do u joints etc. Nothing to big. But of course the small things all add up in time.

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Here are a few pictures of the rig sitting at 2 inches in on the coilovers.

But first what got done today. I got the drag link cut and welded the bungs in the tube. I got the frame side mounts of the trac bar done, the trac bar cut and tapped for the narrow JJ, got the trac bar notched to fit the ring of the frame side urethane bushing, e-brake all fully hooked up for the drive to Salt Lake City, rear tires on, upper link axle mounts fully welded on, all links attached, axle braces that where holding the front axle to the frame of the truck cut out and truss and frame cleaned of those welds, all the weld spatter cleaned off the front axle, (found out I need to get another pitman arm and ream it from the top side, since the axle is moved forward so far the tie rod bar will hit the tie rod end at the pitman arm so I need to flip it to the top, pictures will explain later) coil overs assembled, coil overs installed on the truck.

Tomorrow morning I will weld the ring to the trac bar then install the drag link then hold trac bar up and weld brackets to frame, set the angle for the trac bar and weld on the axle side mount. Then its ready for the trailer.





Your build is making me wanna do a 4dr V8 with my Fullwitdh 1 ton stuff with coilovers, mmm can't wait to get a garage again and sell my house.

Alright I am at least moved to Salt Lake but on our way here the guy called us and literally sold the apartment out from under us so all me stuff is in a storage unit for now and we are living at my sister in law's place in Orem so i now have a 70 mile daily commute. :mad: O well, either way the truck is at my uncles and I need to finish the rest of the stuff so I hope to do that over the next few weeks as I have time and get this thing on the road.

I don't know where my camera ended up but the rig turned out PERFECT!!! Exactly what I wanted, first time I put the rigs weight on front and rear all the math was dead on. It sits perfectly level at just the right height. The only issue I ran into was I had reamed the pitman arm from the bottom like how most people do it. But since my axle is 2" forward the tie rod is going to hit it at full compression so I need to get another pitman arm and ream it from the top. Plenty of room, since the steering box doesn't move, and then the drag link wont hit at all either so I will be set. If that is the biggest problem then I am very happy. I'm sure there will be some clearance issues as it I get it on the trails but all in all it really did turn out great. And the trac bar turned out perfect but broke the bender :) Bending 1.5"X.375 wall tubing takes 3 people lol. Bends all the pins in the bender.

Anyways as we try to find a place to live and get all settled I will try at some point get the pictures up. Tomorrow I hope along with everything else to pick up a new pitman arm and intermediate shaft so I can get this thing moving!

Well I got the Explorer off of the trailer which it about broke the leg of my friend. The steering column isn't connected to the steering so when it was rolling off the ramps one of the tires caught the ramp and turned the tires and the truck fell off the ramps at the top. Truck fell about 12 inches and if the tires would have turned the other direction it would have ran over my friends leg and broke it no question. But on the plus side friend is okay, truck didn't hit anything, trailer is fine, and on the best note I was in the truck so I could hit the e brake when it came off the trailer and the truck landed beautiful. It was amazing and very very soft. I thought that it had fell like 1-2 inches but the wife and others watching said it fell at the top of the ramps so that makes me very happy if it fell that far and was that soft!!! :) Didn't even come close to hitting anything in the suspension or bottoming out. :) Very happy. I am headed up to Salt Lake today to get a intermediate shaft that I can make into a hybrid so that this issue wont be an issue anymore. And to start gettiing all rear brake lines done.

Pictures or it didnt happen. :)


Well I got the rear shocks on, rear sway bar on and the driveshaft in. All the rear has left is the brake line for the rear axle.

Tomorrow I hope to get the oil filter relocation fully done. Mount filter and run lines. Hope to get the intermediate shaft done tomorrow as well. Then can steer it into the garage and weld up the steering box plate on and get the PS lines done. Then all thats left is is the hard brake lines on the front axle and I can drive this thing.

Alright I found my camera it will take a while to catch up on the pictures but I will do it as I can. So now its all done and that last week was very busy so I don't remember the order of things so I will just post as I can and everyone can fill in the blanks :)

Here are some pictures of everything welded up on the rear axle. Spring perches, shock mounts, sway bar mounts etc.




Here are the welds on the lower link. These are the upper link mounts welded to the lower link. I welded most of the inside and all the outsides, I did this because I didn't want to see the inner welds when you look at the truck. It turned out great and these are wicked strong. Big 1/4" mounts are way overkill for upper links but it will work great. The welds turned out really great as well, really glad because these are also welds that you will always be able to see.

Inner welds.


Outer welds.


After painting the links I had to run taps into each of the bungs. The welds distorted the bungs to where the Johnny Joints wouldn't go in. So the 3/4" tap for the upper links where easy, however I had to find a shop that had a 1 1/4" - 12 tap to do the lowers. That is a BIG tap. HUGE tap glad that someone in town had one I can't imagine that buying one is cheap. But ran it through and was surprised how much material it took off. But the JJ went right in no problem after. :)



Links put back on the truck.


Removed axle side of the upper links when I finished welding the upper mounts. I then cut the axle support braces out so that the axle could droop, then I welded the upper link mounts because that allowed me to have a ton more room and do better welds. Also its the only way we where going to get the coilovers in was at full droop.

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Shock hoop coilover brackets welded in place fully. You can see where I left some straight sections of the mounts, near the hoop itself, to allow a brace to go there.


Fitting the brace for the mounts. This brace will be fully welded to both plates and to the hoop. This is on the outside/bottom of the coilover mounts. This will just give more weld surface so that even though the mounts push fairly well onto the hoop they wont ever start to tear off.