Completed Project - Turboexplorer's Full Width SAS Build Thread | Page 16 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Completed Project Turboexplorer's Full Width SAS Build Thread

Use this prefix for completed projects that are not "How to" articles or threads asking for help.
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!


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

And here they are all welded up. I plan to do more bracing on the upper side of these mounts which is where you will see in them in the engine bay but ran out of time for now.




Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

The shock hoops where then tacked in place double checked then I did 2 1" sections on each frame mount with the TIG welder fully maxed out at 175 amps. That let me know there is a 2" worth of hot TIG weld on each of the 4 frame mounts. I then cranked up the MIG and fully burned them to the frame plates. Again the frame plates are there because its the only flat spots on the frame and I had to move the hoops a little bit forward on the plates because I wouldn't be able to get to the blower motor ever if I didn't

This is 4 pictures of all 4 different mounts for the hoops.




Then made a temporary shock hoop brace so that the hoops would have some support on the drive home This is not metal fit yet and will have some tube clamps that will allow it to be removable as well.



Here is the rest of the trans crossmember. Bent a piece of 1/4" plate for where it holds the transmission and then made a 1/4" support in the center. Its all fully welded of course but in these pictures its not.





Here are some of the other projects that where done in class. Several engine stands several tubing benders and tubing notchers. But these are the bigger projects.

These 2 guys had pictures of the ariel atom and with instructor help scaled it all and these are the starts to the frames they built after the ariel.




Here is a taco that he put a trail gear kit on. It has almost no parts that where fabbed at all. Just a kit.........easy



Here is a mustang that is owned by one of the instructors. He did the rectangle mandrel bent frame but some of the better students in the class did all the tube work. It really turned out great!!!





Here is a bit more on the steering box. I made some sleeves out of some 1" solid bar stock drilled out to 7/16" for the box bolts. The bolt spread is barely big enough to allow the top and bottom bolts to go above and below the frame rail. I still need to drill the hole and sleeve the 3rd bolt but that can be done later.





Of course I still need to fully weld on the steering box plate and do that 3rd bolt. But it got the box in place and allowed me to build everything else and see clearance things. The sleeves and plate will all be fully welded to the frame.




This is the picture that describes what I was talking about earlier. How when it goes to full compression the tie rod will hit the joint on the pitman arm. So I need to get another pitman arm and ream it from the top so that I can move the drag link to the top of the pitman arm. This will solve my issue. This picture is deceiving there is 2 1/2" of clearance there but that's not enough and there is plenty of room above the pitman arm.


This is the drag link and when the ends are threaded in I believe it ended up at about 32" long. The trac bar was designed and built to match the drag link to eliminate bump steer. Also the trac bar was matched with the angle that the drag link will be at when it sits on top of the pitman arm.

Also on the table you can see the axle side bracket for the trac bar.

First pass welding the bungs to the drag link.


I put the steering box dead centered and then set toe on the tires then put the joints on the pitman arm and in the tie rod and threaded on the bungs and measured. That gave me the tube length for the drag link.



Welding up the upper link mounts to the truss. again pictures look funny for the mounts since the mounts are set back from one another to accommodate the upper links that are at an angle.





Here is the trac bar. It is 1 1/2"X.375 wall tubing.

Had to put it in the lathe and drill out the center so that it could be tapped for the 1" shank on the narrow JJ for the axle end of the trac bar.

Notching the trac bar for the urethane frame side mount for the trac bar.

The ring for the urethane mount. Both the urethane mount end and the narrow JJ side have 5/8" grade 8 bolts. Everything is nice and big. The urethane has 2 halves that you can hand press in and then has a steel sleeve that goes through the center.

Here is the narrow JJ that threads straight into the tubing.

Here is the frame side mount for the trac bar. (Still needs to be fully welded)

Axle side mount for the trac bar. I have another plate to weld onto it. I will lay a plate at a 45* angle from the front edge of the mount to the axle so that it will help support the mount from the stress it will see from the trac bar.

There is a nut welded to the back side of the mount so that the bolt can just go in and hold the trac bar. Small thing but no worries is that you have to tack off the tie rod in order to get the trac bar bolt in and out.

I bent the trac bar a little in order to help clear the pitman arm when the passenger side will be in compression. It gives me 7" of compression on that side before it will hit the pitman which is more than the shock is set up for so it will be perfect. Bending this thing was almost a joke. It took 3 people on the bender and it bend the pins in the bender just to get it to do this little bit. If you don't want to break your bender then this tube isn't the one you want to use. But hey since they have access to lathes they will just machine new pins for about $2. But it sure did turn out great though.WAY overkill but this I do not want to bend under any circumstances. Brings safety on the freeway to mind. Here are the pictures I know a few guys really wanted to see how this one turned out. These pics are of it at full droop so its hard to see how the bend helps it clear the pitman arm. Also I should take a few pictures of the weld I did with that ring to the trac bar. The huge TIG machine was at 220 amps to weld it on and get penetration and was also probably the best weld that I have done on the truck. The very last structural TIG weld on the truck was my best, that was awesome and I am so happy with it.

You can see the urethane bushing all installed in the end. It took over 4 hrs for the trac bar to cool enough to allow me to put it in the urethane and me not worry about it melting it. 3/8" wall tubing takes forever to cool.




Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

After reading you last few posts, I'm at a loss for words right now. A lot to take in all at once, but this is a great thread for those that will learn from your work here.

After it is finished, and taken to the trails, you will see what needs to be tweaked, and can make some final comments on what works, and why.

How many hours do you think you have in this build? :scratch: