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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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Lol, I didn't even notice I keep spelling it wrong.

Edit: Think all the medal's have been changed to metal! Spelling is defiantly not one of my skills. That's part of why i am gong to a specialized Tech school. :)

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Alright sorry I haven't posted but a lot of progress has been done on the truck. I will get pics posted as I can.

Here is the steering knuckles on the mill. They where fully trammed in and set and drilled with precision to 1/128" smaller than 7/8" so that when I put the inserts in for the oversteer conversion using the 1 ton GM tre's they will fit nice and snug. The tre's fit in them perfectly. Very happy with how they turned out. Here are the pics of drilling the knuckles for the tre inserts. I got the inserts from Ruff Stuff Specialties same place I bought the tre's from.





Really looking forward to seeing more. There aren't a ton of fab projects on this site that catch my interest, and i'm too poor to work on any of my own :)

Nope no reamers on that. I did buy a reamer though I will have to ream out the pitman arm. Easily done on the mill.

I will try hard to get all the recent progress pics up tomorrow. I have frame fully clean and ready. Radius arm mounts and trans cross member all designed. Rear axle is loaded with locker gears and e brakes. Rear rotors and axles all machined. Front axle is clean of its wedges. Truss is full trimmed and ready to be tacked on tomorrow. Steering tie rod from tire to tire cut and angled ready for TIG tomorrow. Rear spring perches all ready. So I have done a ton, with try to catch the thread up tomorrow! :)

Alright I guess I will start by posting some pictures of the top of the frame rails all clean. These are of the drivers side and was still a little bit of a paint o sand around the fuel lines but I moved them out of the way protected them with some thin medal i could bend to fit and went to town with a 9" air sander.

Turned out good I am happy with it. :)



And finally the frame where the radius arm mounts will go. I have the desgin I want and am going to go with already drawn out just need time to transfer to the steel plate and to cut out. At these points is where the lower links will come to attaching with a big Johnny Joint.

Here is the passenger side all done. Has been cleared of the T-Bar mounting brackets.


You can see where I drew my quick idea to get measurements from. It will go 4" up from the bottom of the frame rail and will be 6 1/2" long from front to back. The lower portion will extend past the bottom of the frame 3" which gives me 1/2" clearance from the frame for the Johnny Joint and then the joint size itself. The bottom will obviously match the radius of the joint itself so it will look really clean. The mounting hole will be located farther forward and then triangulated back to the back of the bracket.


Looking good. Excited to see more.

Alright I will start by catching up on the machine work that I have done. First I started with the rotors. I needed to bore the center hole bigger to fit over the bigger hub section of the full width 8.8.

Starting off I set the rotary table on the mill. Then the rotor on that. It is kind of tricky because you have to first make the rotor centered with the rotary table which involves turning the table with a hand crank over and over and over until I was within .0005" of an inch of perfect. Then you have to center the rotary table to the spindle that will hold the boring bar.

Here is the rotor on the rotary table and very gently clamped down. To center it you have to use a dial bore gauge and a small brass mallet to bump it back and forth until it is perfect on the rotary table.

Here is the dial bore gauge that reads down to .0005" and only has a total reading sweep of .006" So you have to get very close using a dial indicator before you can use this dial bore gauge. When it sits like this you have to turn the hand crank on the rotary table around 180* off of where you just read and if then needed bump the rotor to where it should be centered and then do it again and again and again until in all directions there is not change in the reading when the rotor is turned.

Here is the boring bar ready to start its job. This is after I had centered the rotary table to the spindle. Using the same tool but instead of turning the rotor you unlock the spindle and you spin the spindle around and around and you move the whole table with very precise hand cranks. Up and Down / Front to back / And side to side. This boring bar you adjust with an hex key and can increase its cutting diameter by .001" at a time. So for these cuts we increased it at .025" each pass. Yes it took many many many passes to get the center bigger. But heck I know that the hole is dead perfect on center when done.

And here it is cutting on one of the first few passes. It was boring down cutting a .025" bigger diameter with each pass and moving down at a rate of .0015" each revolution of the spindle.

Here is a few more pictures of it cutting and making the hole bigger.


Now I had to make the bigger bolt pattern. So I got the new axle and measured them. 5X5.5 of course but we needed a measurement to the thousand. So I measured it all and that would take way to long to describe how to do that. A bit of math is involved but I got it set up and turned the rotary table until between existing bolt holes where I would be starting was at 3:00 position. Then I used the x axis hand crank and very carefully moved it out to the correct distance from center the center of the new bolt pattern holes would be. I then used a center drill designed so there is no drill bit deflection to start the holes. Now each new hole is 72 degrees apart. The rotary table has a full degree wheel on it and the hand crank is measured in minutes. So I recorded the degree # and the minute on the crank and then drilled the first hole. Turn it 72* more then line the crank up with the proper minute and drill the next. Recording all these as I went.

Here is the pictures of the center drill doing its thing.


Here is the pictures of drilling the holes to their exact size. We drilled then to 9/16" which is what Ford uses for its factory holes for 1/2" studs. So I just drilled them with that. I recorded all degrees and minutes for each hole so now I just go around again with the bigger bit matting the degrees and minutes and before you know it the drilling is over.



And the final product!!!! Looks mighty fine if I do say so myself. This class has been amazing. When ever will I get to use lathes and mills to make my stuff? I figure if I have access to thees machines I am going to take advantage of it. Fits on axle perfect!

And here is the second rotor all set up and getting its work done. Between both rotors it took me roughly 7 hours to do. If I had to do it again I could do in in probably 2 maybe 3. It takes practice getting everything all set up so precise.



Now for the axle machine work. If anyone has looked closely to the 2nd gen rear rotors they have a small 45* on the very edge inside. This means that the larger flange of the full width just fits inside of the rotor but 1/16" or so all the way around. You I really didn't like the idea of having the rotor only touching the edges of the axle flange and didn't want to put washers or whatever in there to space it out. For one I am using 37's and 5.13's and two its the safety of my family so no way was I going to do that. Only choice then is to shave the edges of the axle flange so that the surface where the wheel bolts to sits dead flat against the axle flange. So to the lathe it is.

Put the axles in the lathe and trimmed them so they would fit inside the rotor flush. Turns out taping the axle shaft bearing race was a bad idea. It started knocking which meant it was coming loose you can see it in the one picture after that picture I removed the tape and the next axle i did right on the race. The chucks are very strong and very nice to what they are clamping and if you do it right and tight the shaft has no way to spin so it doesn't leave any sort of mark at all on the bearing race or sealing area. Anyways enough explaining and on to more pictures. (I talk a lot which is why it is taking forever to get this posted) :)



This is the picture you can see where it slid on the tape. Note to self no more tape on objects in the mill or lathe.

Here is the axles getting shaved. The blue in the other picture and the end of the last post was for marking. I would put the rotor on and bump it on a few times to see where the blue was missing that would tell me where the flange was still hitting the rotor.


And another machine thing I did to the rotors was to make a small 45* on the very inside of the center hole that way when it would be put on the axle shafts it wouldn't bind up in the corner since the axle center section is not a dead 90* with the flange portion.


Next thing I did on the lathe but this was yesterday was I put the tie rod bar that goes between the two tires in the lathe and 15* each end so that it gave me a nice V to weld on the threaded bung. I have to do this on all my links and all the steering since it is all 1/4" wall tubing. I forgot somehow to take a picture of the tube after I had machined it but there will be more tube to come and I can show it there. (Tube was cut to length since front axle is fully assembled but I haven't posted that far yet, just wanted to add it in with the machine work section.) Also had to machine the rear rotors a hair more to clear the backing plate but I will get to that later.

And now to show what has been done with the Dana 44.

Here is the 44 all ready and cleaned. Its ready to get the knuckles on to get everything else made. I am not going to load the gears at this point. It will be a hair lighter and second if needs be I can do that easy enough later at home when I move 400 miles in 4 weeks. But other than gears and the new u joints pressed into the axles it is fully ready to go. Plus leaving the factory pinion in it also when I get the axle where I want it I can order my front drive shaft to.




Here is a pic (bad picture) showing the 1/2" thick axle tubes. :) Between 1/2" tubes and a full blown truss I don't think this axle will have any problems :)

New rotors. All shiny!

And the hubs with the new wheel bearing races pressed in. The hubs on the rotor with the new wheel studs pounded into place. Finally instead of cleaning and painting, things are starting to come together! :D

Front end components all assembled. New spindle bearings, ball joints, spindle studs, rotors hubs, etc. And all painted up nice.




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Now back to the axle itself. I got the factory radius arm wedges taken off. That was a fair chore. The welds are very deep. Took a couple hours to get them off carefully without gouging the tubes any. You can see how much cutting/grinding it took by all the metal shavings on the floor.