Completed Project - Turboexplorer's Full Width SAS Build Thread | Page 23 | 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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I cleaned all the sand out out good and its coming back out of everything! But the best thing i have done to that truck Is the Bilstein 5100 shocks! So smooth on the hard hits!

Any pics or info on how u rolled the fenders?

Yeah Ill try to get some pictures tomorrow and show you. Was pretty easy, Sector9 had all the ideas he is more of the body man so he showed me what to do and I did it.

Here are some pictures. Now when i cut part of the fender lip away and then folded the rest it split the paint. But the gray e coat is all still there, the fender has no bare metal showing. When I get it down to St. George I will have my brother fix it. Also have his paintless dent repair guy do a few small sections on the truck to fix the few small spots it has.

Anyways here are some pictures of the fender itself.

You can see where the tire had grabbed it that day and folded it badly so that's why its not smooth on the underside is from the tire.


The dent above on the fender is from when I rear ended a honda accord 2 years ago and it smiley faced the front bumper and the edge of the bumper caught it and bent it up.

So what I did with the bumper is I didn't trim any additional off then from the previous posts. I taped the bumper on the inside where I wanted to fold it and then took it off the truck. I then took a die grinder and on the tape line cut about 50% of the way through the bumper I then grabbed a rag and put over the end and used a crescent wrench to clamp on it and bent it over. With the back side of the bumper cut it was much much easier to fold it. Plus it makes the metal bend in a straight line where you want it to.





Here is how it looks currently. I am going to cut back the plastic to where it matches the chrome bumper and then take a small torch and heat the plastic to make the edge look nice and factory.


Here are 2 pictures showing how and where it sliced my tire up good. It went all the way through the 23/32" tread lugs.


I am going wheeling tomorrow night to do the same trail and we will see how it does. I trimmed and moved things as shown in the few posts above and I also adjusted the dual rate spring collar so the last 2 inches before the tire touches the fender it goes to a 300lb per inch spring. I haven't had a chance to get the shocks re-valved yet. But the stuff to do it is all on its way. Wish that was done it would help a lot when coming downhill but o well. If it does rub at all it will be with less pressure and there is no longer any sharp spots for the tire to get cut on. I could disconnect the rear sway bar so the rear would flex a bit easier which would make the front have to do a little less work but we will see. I hope to flex it fully and see where and how to make the bump stops for the front. Would make it nicer as I wouldn't have to worry about it at all but its hard to judge where to place things and at what angle when the axle angle changes so drastically during flex.

turboexplorer said:
Well I took it out wheeling last Friday up to forest lake. Its a mild trail, a trail that i could get through with 31's and sliders before but it would take some very careful guiding and line picking to get through. But in its current state it didn't even think about it. It walked up anything i pointed it at.

I did however find a few additional things that i need to do though. Main thing is I need to make some bump stops to stop the axle from coming up that last 1" What it does is it pushes the tire up into the fender and bumper. So I am going to roll the bumper and trim and roll the fender some to help with that. The biggest disappointment with that was it slit my tire pretty bad. All the way through 5 lugs. :mad: O well part of wheeling. Anyways going up was easy fun and went well coming down however was a little more challenging. With the weight of the rig now on the front the coils are soft and i need more shock for sure. When a tire would fall off a rock or ledge the truck would follow and wouldn't stop would just sink right through the shocks. So another thing i am going to do is to re-valve the shocks at least 20% stiffer. This will help in 2 areas. 1 when off roading and coming down off ledges, and 2 on the freeway the front end looks a hair bouncy. Like when a car has a bad strut in the rear and you can tell that the tire isn't being firmly held to the road, kinda looks like that so stiffening up the front should better help keep things planted to the road. So trim and roll panels and re-valve shocks, and do bump stops. But really other than that it was fantastic and was great and smooth and really just plain awesome.

So I made a little quick video of the trip. It has the pictures from the trip as well as the video parts. Sorry the GoPro was only in one spot the whole time but hey its awesome to watch the front axle and its crazy how much it moves. In the video I also included the parts where the tire gets pushed up into the bumper and fender so you can see how hard it hit twice. Anyways was great to get it out to the trail and that included a 30 mile drive to and from the trail and up a canyon road. All in all did very well. Have about 175 miles on it now. Enjoy! (It's nothing special but cool none the less)
<a href="">YouTube Link</a>

I'm just curious where is this forest lake trail? Looks like fun!

Its up American Fork Canyon. You have to pay $6 to get in. Its ran by the forest service. We are headed up there again tonight.

Thanks for the info and pics-definitely not for the first timer like me to try! I like what you did with the chrome part of the bumper, plastic will look good once you finish it/melt it!

Thanks for the info and pics-definitely not for the first timer like me to try! I like what you did with the chrome part of the bumper, plastic will look good once you finish it/melt it!

Yup hope to do it this weekend if I get a chance. I think it turned out pretty good though. Looks good when you walk up to the truck doesn't look just cut.

We went up the same canyon as before but decided to do a harder trail this time. Was easily 3-4 times more difficult. There is no chance in heck I could have hardly even done the first 100 yards of this trail in stock form. Lots of very big rocks. Was fun, a couple of sections where unnervingly tippy but it did great! I took a bunch of pictures in this first part which is on top of the first obstacle. I also took GoPro video of the whole trail with the GoPro mounted on the left rear of the truck I haven't even looked at the video yet so I hope I got some good video. I am really curious to how it looks and if it did some of the ledges and boulders justice. :) Anyways here is a couple quick pictures of last night. I'll work on getting a video made this weekend, may take a bit since most of it is just 1 huge 1 1/2hr video. I wish I had a few more GoPro's so I could get several views of each obstacle and things but o well I don't have a bunch of money laying around for $300 cameras so 1 will do for now.

Me and my wife, Kilie.

Adjusting the GoPro.

Me and my daughter. She loves wheeling she giggles the whole time. :) I love that my 2 girls like being outdoors and wheeling, makes the truck SO much more fun to have.

My 2 beautiful girls!!!

Great pictures! Cool that you can take your wife and baby wheeling, and everyone enjoys it, too! :D

Thats the best part is we can enjoy it as a family!!! :)

man i just sat down and read through all 23 pages of this build... really awesome work dude!

Thanks!!! Been a lot of work but its great!!!

Also another update on what I did with it today. I hooked the ford IDS up to the truck and I re calibrated it to the biggest tire size that Ford has available for this year. Its a 265 75 R15 I believe its slightly bigger than a 31 10.5 R15. So the factory size showed in the Ford computer at 721 revs per mile. The biggest tire that 265 is 679 revs per mile. So I changed it by 42 revs per mile. So long story short it count's 1 mile now with 42 tire turns less than before. So it is roughly 6% closer now. Interco says that my 37" M-16's are 571 revs per mile. Roughly now speedometer is now only 18.9% off :rolleyes:.

Anyways other things I did was find the box cal code and the strategy code off the PCM. So what I am hoping for now is that Torrie with unleashed tuning in FL can change it so I can get it right on without having to buy like a superlift truespeed or something. So what I think I have found out is that in these years the VSS signal goes through the ABS module before going to the PCM which is why aftermarket tuners really can't do much more than the 31 because that's all ford lets in the ABS module. So further more it looks like the tire sizes are set and that is all it will allow but what we are hoping to do is to change how many revs per mile it thinks the tire is. :D So I hope to be able to pick a 31" tire more or less and instead of a 31 at 682 revs per mile it will say that a 31" tire is 571 revs per mile. So it a way we are hoping to trick how Ford did it. So use a tire size it allows but change the value of that tire if that makes any sense. Anyways I will update on what we come up with.

Dang it. Torrie was unable to get into that calibration and change anything. More or less the ABS module is to "dumb" so to speak. It is like a burned chip with set programming and there is no way to get into it to change that programing. If you think of it like a CD where once its burned that's it and thats whats on it forever. Same thing with the ABS module. So there is no way to re-write anything on it. But hey he tried his best.

So as for speedometer correction I am now back to deciding which interceptor/signal changer to get. The Superlift truespeed seams to be the best and have all the best reviews but its $250 :eek:. Hate spending that much just to fix the dumb speedometer, heck that's almost a new tire or gears for an axle. O well. It needs to be done. For 1 I hate not knowing exactly what speed I am going. 2 its hard to track mileage and things of that nature. And 3 its messing with my downshifts. It seams to upshift fine off of the TPS and engine RPM, but downshifts using the VSS is off. Most normal driving downshifts from throttle are fine but when I come up to a light it does a hard 3-1 downshift. I am betting it does this because it thinks I am going much slower (18.9%) than I really am. So It downshifts to early coming up to lights which makes for a harsh downshift. However the slight change I was able to make mentioned in the above post did take a bit of that harshness away which again leads me to believe its a wrong VSS signal causing the rough downshift.

Here is the thread on the speedometer I started back in Feb of this year to ask about how to change the signal so if anyone has what they did or any suggestions post them here
Speedometer correction for sensor in rear diff

Alright well ts been awhile since I have done an update so here goes a quick one. It has been up to Forest lake a few times since the last trip that I posted about on here. It is a monster I love it. So everything is still good with the truck and nothing new has been done. There isn't any time currently because my wife is going through training with her new job at 1-800 contacts and unfortunately it is during the time that I work so every morning she has to drive to Orem (30 miles) from where we live to drop our daughter off at her sisters and then drive back to work (20 miles) then after work back down (20 miles) to pick our daughter up and then back to home (30 miles). She drives a lot the last 3 weeks. Have 1 more week to go then training is done. But then I work days and she works nights so that we can raise our kid without daycare stuff so not looking forward to that spending all day everyday away from my wife but the pay is fantastic so in hopes of owning a home in the next year or 2 that's what we are doing.

So long story but hey that's the reason nothing is getting done on the truck. Also still trying to find a shop to build a full blown custom sway bar for the front of the truck. It does great without one but would be better with one as always. Also have everything to re valve the shocks but just haven't had time to do so. But I have driven it to Oren a few times to pick her up and I am pretty sure it gets about 17-18 on the freeway. :) Same as it did in stock form so so far I am very very pleased with it. Around town it drives great and feels perfectly geared and the around town trips with a wheeling trip on them it has gotten 12.5 MPG so same as stock. (That's with the 18.9% correction) At 70 mph it sits at 2350-2400 so it loves it. Also I am convinced that it stops better than it did when it was stock even with the EBC brakes it had. It feels great and coming up on traffic that has stopped during rush hour it does great to fears of not being able to stop at all nice easy pedal. Also I have 700 miles on the truck now. And my new job is further so it will be gong up quick my work is about 14 miles from home.

I have also done lots of side jobs, timing belts, brakes, trailer bearings etc for some extra money. So that will all be for another rim and tire for a spare and for a custom sway bar and might try and do a bunch more side work to buy a nice TIG welder. I miss not having access to a good one. So anyways that's the plan for trying to progress the truck, also its in need of the first rear gear oil change since the gears and locker are well broken in now so I will do that Monday after work is the plan.

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So I have been doing some looking as to what I want to do for the front sway bar. I would like one. The truck drives great on the freeway including several big sweeping 60mph turns getting from one freeway to the other. It behaves very predictable and is easily managed. However if you had to say swerve or do a stiff lane change to avoid a miniature school bus full of pregnant nuns then you really do notice how soft it is. But it helps a ton that I am taller than 95% of traffic so I can easily see whats going on way up ahead so I can start braking early etc. Rush hour is no problem.

But it would be VERY beneficial to have one. Then it would feel nice and balanced. When I am driving around town and pull into a driveway or business that has a steep entrance the front soaks it all up you don't even know you are twisted out on the entrance. But when the rear goes up it then it leans the truck and you notice, the factory rear is always connected. So I would like a sway bar to aid in freeway stability and to give the truck a more even driving feel. The same goes for offroad. I would like little bit more balanced feel. The front does most of the work until it gets through 75% of its travel then the rear will start to work. If you look above at post's 453 you can see how the front is flexed well and the rear is just mildly doing much.

So what I am thinking I may try to do is run a Currie antirock bar.

Currie Antirock Bar
This is more or less a light sway bar. It would help with on road manners and since the on road manners are fairly good now it will make it feel just about right I imagine. Also since you don't disconnect it while off road it will help with the truck feeling more evenly balanced while twisted up on things. Make the front not flex quite so easily. Also would help with some body lean on heavy off camber sections. Like Forest Lake and Miner Basin have. Also I feel it will be a great asset when wheeling in Moab, so the body doesn't favor to lean to the rear.

Any thoughts? I know the J/K guys seam to really like it and if I needed to stiffen it up the arms have different positions so you can move them closer to the bar for a higher rate or further from the bar to lower the rate. Another benefit is not having to disco from street to trail. And if ever needed you can always go to their .900 dia bar which will add rate as well.

Give me thoughts, and if anyone is running one on here. I looked but didn't find anyone running one.