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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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Alright so to get back to talking about the vibration. Long story short I got very tired of staring at it sitting sad in the garage. So I started to drive it, a few times a week to work. Put 300 miles on it or so.

The more I drove it and played with when it does it, how bad, what speed etc etc. I thought it is in the rear driveshaft. Like before everything pointed there, as the vibration is VERY fast and is much faster than wheel speed. Its also the first thing I changed when the vibration started.

To catch up. I bumped a rock (barely) put a few scratches and a VERY small dent in the tube near the pinion side of the drive shaft. It did not vibrate heading home from that wheeling trip. But it bugged me so I had it retubed to correct the small dent. It then vibrated and for more info can look back over the last few pages and catch up. I took it back and they retubed and balanced again. Still vibrated. I had a 2nd shop check balance and straight etc and still vibrated. I then purchased a 100% new drive line start to finish from Tom Woods Customs Drivelines. Still vibrated.

So at that point I though well crap Ive now been through 2 shafts and 3 shops etc. Can't all be incorrect so then rebuilt transfer case, still vibrated. Replaced tail shaft housing bushing, still vibrated. Torn down rear diff all looks good. Rebuilt locker. Still vibrated. Rebuilt rear diff. New pinion flange, gears and master install kit. Still vibrated. GRRRRRR.....

So back to driving it recently and everything still pointed at the driveshaft. So last Friday 4/15/16 I had my wife (she is such a great sport) run the Tom Woods driveshaft up to Tom Woods shop which is 1 1/2hrs North of us. I called and discussed everything. I'm sure they are like this guy is crazy. They then called Tuesday and said it was ready and they wanted to talk a bit more about the vibration. So I called and discussed it. From how I described everything they as well thought it is drive line or excess play somewhere. They then said they had triple checked the balance etc as we know we are trying to correct a driveshaft vibration. They said they made a small weight change. Said it is a good weight change on a normal driveshaft but this one with 1350 joints, 3" tube and double cardon upper joint it is a smaller change. He also described how these reverse slip yoke style with the double cardon joints are picky because there is naturally a small bit of play where it goes into the transfer case and since the mass is so high it is kinda of a problem child is how he described it. He had concerns that it also may be a bit short as to where the bushing is riding so to double check length. (same as on original receipt) He also asked me to check the plunge so fully stuff into transfer case and measure how far it is from rear flange. (1 3/4") Seal shows about 1/2" plunge where it rubs under driving which leaves roughly 1 1/4" it could be longer. So I will call them on that tomorrow. He wasn't sure if the change is large enough to correct the concern but to run it and see then we can discuss.

Well I picked it up on the way to Idaho on Tuesday for a funeral and installed it Thursday night. Drove it to work last Friday pulling a trailer even as I was headed to pick up extra metal a friend was getting rid of after work. First stretch from my house is 55 mph so all I could do before. I got it there and was smooth. I then went up to 60-62mph and is smooth. :eek: What is this smooth things I am feeling!!!!!!! No idea what this smoothness is. :confused: Very confused! So next stretch of road is also 55mph but is VERY fast usually on the way to work cops and all. Its is easily 65-75mph during rush hour as I live south of the main valley. 18 miles to work. So I got up to 65mph and was able to cruise. :thumbsup: :salute: :thumbsup:

So it was always there but was worst when in a no load condition and decreased 10% on coast load. And 40% or so when under driving forward load. So Was great I then went to my friends picked up the steel and headed home. Going home got up to 70mph and far as I could tell was 90% gone. Going to take rear tires in to be balanced Tuesday as they did have a little small hop from when I stripped all weights off looking for the issue.

So for now even if 70mph is the limit and it starts again it is now drive able! So a step in the right direction. It was the driveshaft all along. I have spent 1 1/2 years and $1,800 and lots of labor chasing this issue but was the original issue the whole time. So I am happy now its corrected but now slightly frustrated that between all the shops and times it was not corrected which caused me to look elsewhere. But that's all in the past and am happy that it is corrected.

Anyways its a long post but that's how I got to a corrected rig finally! Couldn't believe how great it felt to get it up to 70 again. That's part of what made the rig fun is I can wheel hard and then hit the freeway heading home. And that my wife can comfortably drive it on the freeway with our kids safely. Isn't that part of enjoying the rig is the fact that all my efforts in building a proper rig paid off? Not being scared to spend money in the correct places, taking my time and keeping it clean. The fact that I can let my wife drive it on the freeway and not be nervous about it is a great pride thing for me. May sound weird but its true so again VERY glad to have it back!!!!

So I am going to call Tom Woods tomorrow and discuss the length thing and see their thoughts as well as their thoughts on going back to traditional driveshaft as the mass decreases by almost 60%. All I have to do is change the rear axle pinion angle and I need to redo the spring perches anyways as they are about 3/16" to close together as I set them up when the rear leaf bushings where bad originally.

I did head to the junk yard on Saturday to look at the Expedition shafts everyone and myself used when I first swapped to the 4406. But they are to short now that I am lifted. My flange to tail shaft is 40 1/2" and they are 39" so would be pulled way out of the tail housing. So if I go that route then I will have to have one made. Thought it would be a cheap option to try but a bit short.

But before any of that will talk with Tom Woods and get their thoughts and I need to do a extended freeway drive and get it up to 75mph and see. If corrected then my just run with what I have and if I even had it come back I would go back to a traditional driveshaft. The angles really aren't bad. Think is it 7* or so. So not sure what to do moving forward. [MENTION=12558]boominXplorer[/MENTION] mentioned that his didn't go away until he got rid of the double cardon. And as far as I know there are lots of people on here running the SOA that run a traditional driveshaft. Mine is a bit shorter than the 4.0L guys as my drive train is longer.

Anyways will let you know what they say tomorrow and at the very latest I am taking it to work on Friday so will get it up to full freeway speed and see.

Glad to hear your on the right track. Speaking of driveshafts I need to get my rear one checked. I took the ranger waaaay deeper in the slop than I normally do (all we have mud, ruts and water on the east coast). I only got stuck/high centered once but I did manage to take every bit of paint off the last 18" of the shaft from going through the giant ruts.

On a side note ever through of trying the ghetto 4406 slip yoke eliminator? It slips a flange in the rear and you drill and tap the output shaft to hold it. Then you have a same flange as the 8.8 which makes driveshaft shopping much easier. Just a thought

So Tom Woods said that in an ideal world they would like it 3/4" longer so that there was 1" of free plunge at ride height. But to run it if the issue is fixed. I did drive it again this week and feels great no issues so far. Again need a long freeway drive to fully settle myself on the subject. Then want to swap the original 4406 back into it as it is the case with the new tail shaft bushing and just freshly rebuilt.

I did take the 2 rear tires in to be balanced as I had removed all the weights trying anything and everything to find the issue. And they scratched both rears fairly badly. They may end up buying new rear wheels, was supposed to hear back by Friday but didn't hear anything. That was a specific note I gave them to be careful with the center section. Looks like they slid the cone up the spoke when they where tightening it to the machine. I know they are just steel wheels but no need to scratch them.

Went out wheeling with [MENTION=137709]sector9[/MENTION] a few weeks ago. He tried Wayne's World. It is an interesting climb and slides you sideways so you generally have to bump it fairly hard to get up before the rear washes over to the left and sucks up the left rear tire.



But as he did so several times it would hit the left slider fairly solidly but not crazy hard. Anyone ever have their B-Pillar separate? Looks like when it would hit is was a quick hit similar to a hammer and the weight of the front door on the striker and rear door on its hinges was enough to pull the B-Pillar out as the truck is fairly off camber to the left. So drove home with a huge gap in the doors that you could fit your hand out of. We triple checked everything and only the B-Pillar moved. Inner section was in place the outer part pulled away.






So this week we hooked up mine and winched it back into place. Lol, took a fair bit of pressure but pulled back easy enough. Now doors line back up perfectly. First time I have had a reason to use my winch. :)












I've had my B-pillar seperate! Weird but almost fixed now!

Been awhile since I have posted. The above posts turned out with a bunch of double pictures and couldn't figure it out with the new website. Need to spend a minute and figure it out. Once I do I will have a few pictures to upload.

Had it out wheeling a bunch and pulled trailer to go camping etc. Been very nice to have it back with no vibration. I've put more miles on it in the last 3 months than I did the year and half before.

Anyways for an Update I tore down the front end and made some changes I have been wanting to do for a long time. I clearanced everything possible and gained a full 1 1/2" up travel for full straight bump. This turned out to be a lot of work. Had to notch the right side frame rail, the diff cover, both motor mounts, top of the truss and change the position of the steering stabilizer a bit. Turned out great and am very happy with it. Now I can full bump the axle to 1/4" of the old pan and can do this straight or full lock in either direction with no rubbing or touching. This now frees me up to install my Fox air bumps as the stopping point which will be done later along with the Currie antirock bar. That extra 1 1/2" will be amazing in the whoops and even better when I re valve again and add the bumps.


Here is a few pictures. This is the small amount that I removed from the front truss. This is added clearance for the oil pan at full bump.


Before the trac bar would hit the front diff cover at full bump, needed a bit more clearance.


Cut hole in the front diff cover, mounted it up and made some new pieces to fill the space. I made it so that there is only 1 playing card clearance to the ring gear to give as much clearance as possible.


Can see the pieces are straight and don't curve correctly so notched the corners and edges and tapped to the correct shape then just fill the small notches and metal finish.


Right frame rail notched and motor mount raised on the front portion to make room for the right side upper link to go up into. Used 1/4" plates as reinforcement.


Front diff cover all completed and metal finished.


All welded up and painted. There is a lot more metal there than there was before. Before there was large holes on the bottom and the side of the frame rail where the original motor mount bolt access was. They needed that since in factory form there is the large cross member there.



Front diff cover painted and ready for install. I think it turned out great.


Now the trac bar clearance at full bump. Tons of room.


You can see how much further the right side upper link can go up now with the new changes. Big change in exchange for a bit of work.

A lot more room.

And finally the added clearance for the oil pan. I felt the added insurance to make sure the oil pan cannot hit the truss would be worth it.

I also clearanced the left side motor mount for some added up travel for the left side. But was small changes. In total I increased my straight bump travel by 1 3/8" which is a far amount. Very excited to see the changes now at faster speeds and in the sand. This also allows me to mount my FOX air bumps now in the correct place. They will be limited to 2" of travel so this added clearance I just gained will all be about what the bumps will take. So I will be able to keep my previous travel that functioned great, before the bumps will even engage. Should be a very nice change.


This is the new full straight bump height. Still plenty of room at full turn in either direction that the fenders escape untouched.

The actual newest hit point is the pitman arm on the tie rod. But to get any further I would have to notch the oil pan etc etc. I have now fully clearanced everything to have as much full bump as possible. Of course when fully flexed the tires make it to barley touching the fenders. Perfect!

Got back today from a weekend Moab trip with a few co-workers and @sector9. Was a great weekend and filled with 14hrs of wheeling on Saturday. A bit more time than we may have initially thought but turned out great. We ran Fins & Things and took a suburban along. Was fun to get through the trail. Then we ran Poison Spider, Golden Spike and Gold Bar Rim. Was a great run but ran most of it in the dark and Golden Spike was a bit more difficult in the dark and took a bit of looking to follow the trail. (need side lights so it doesn't feel so tunnel vision at night) Have some good pictures and a few drone shots that I'll post up possibly this week. I've never run Fins & Things, Golden Spike or Gold Bar rim so was great to spend some time out with some friends driving some new trails.

Wish you could have made that trip last May with the forum. Someday/somewhere, we will meet up.

I have done Fins & things at night, and that's a blast. Side lights do indeed help on that trail on the higher hills with narrow paths.
I have also done the PS/GS/GBR all in the same day (10 hrs), but... During the day!! A night run on those trails would be intense. 14 hours isn't bad considering what you had to navigate in the dark. Some sections on those trails are hairy under daytime conditions. LOL

Fins & Things we did in the light from 10a.m. until 2p.m. That was 4 hours as we took some time with a few drone shots and got a stock 02 Suburban through. Sometimes I forget how much fun it is to get a stock rig through things.

Then we went back to the cabin and dropped off the Suburban and napped for a bit Then decided to head out to Poison Spider and started that at 3:30p.m. Originally planned on just running Poison Spider. My co worker with his JK popped out the drivers spring and it hit the brake line, luckily no real damage just a leaking line that turned out to be just a loose banjo fitting on the caliper. (thought our trail was going to end quick) Then we drove through to launch pad and did a drone shot of that then just hung out on top of launch pad and took some pictures and wandered around waiting for the rain storm to come through. It never did it just went around but was great for a backdrop for some great pictures.

At 6:30p.m. we decided to go through and do the rest planning on 4 - 4 1/2hrs. (Ended up taking 7hrs from there) Got dark around 7 and so the rest was all in the dark. Spent a fair bit of time looking for the trail. They have the small white lines painted but in the middle of Golden Spike there isn't near the black tire tracks as in Poison Spider so was harder to follow. I really need some good side lights like @sector9. It would have easily shaved an hour if not more off the trail with some side light. The light bar does great but can't see sideways near enough. Also if anyone had ever run the trail before. :crazy: So yeah took a bit longer than we had planned but was great to have done the whole trail. Got off the trail at 1:30a.m. and barely made it back to a little Mexican place across from Canyonlands that was still open until 2. So 10hrs total on that trail.

Great weekend trip and a lot of fun. No breaks just 1 small scuff on bottom left of front bumper and bottom right on rear bumper and a small scuff on the edge of the left front wheel. Highway 6 was closed headed home and so sat on the road for 30 minutes but not to bad. Moab we will be back!

I have also done the PS/GS/GBR all in the same day (10 hrs), but... During the day!! A night run on those trails would be intense. 14 hours isn't bad considering what you had to navigate in the dark. Some sections on those trails are hairy under daytime conditions. LOL

Yeah everything becomes much harder during the night. Especially with unfamiliar large obstacles. And Fins & Things would be a great night trail I agree!

Dark clouds that we waited to come over us made for some great pictures. This is on Golden Spike. We wanted the clouds to drop some rain and watch some waterfalls but they all went around.





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