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Turboexplorer's Full Width SAS Build Thread

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.

P1020388.JPG

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P1020488.JPG


And here is some video links! :) There are a few videos of me wheeling in CO with nssj2!

 


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Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




turboexplorer

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Thinking of getting some new rear leaf springs. Deavers is the way I am looking. Who here runs Deaver or National style leafs? And what where the changes when going from a stock leaf to a performance leaf. Body roll changes? Go fast feel? Rock crawling feel?

Currently the truck follows the rear as it is much stiffer than the front. I would like it flex a bit more 50/50 if possible. I would like to add a bit of down travel as well as a better spring rate. Rear cannot keep up with the front. I need a much better shock but would be nicer to buy for the correct length. As changing to a performance spring would possible allow a bit more travel that I could run a bit more shock with.

Thoughts?
 




mounty71

It's green, not gray.
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I have Deavers, although a custom pack and shackle setup. I think off-the-shelf Deavers are probably the opposite of what you want on a crawler, I could be wrong though. They are designed to get progressively stiffer and extreme flexing isn't their main purpose. I'm sure they could build you a set for exactly what you need though, but so could a spring shop more local to you if you're not going for what Deaver typically offers. The stock Explorer shackle setup is the biggest limitation IMO, and by that I mean the location of the bushing in the frame, so Warrior shackles don't really solve it either. I moved my shackle pivot up a small bit and forward quite a large bit and am running 12" shackles now. With the stock length springs (old Nationals, prior to my Deavers) and stock shackle, the shackle hit the frame too early. With a Warrior shackle and the Nationals the shackle was too vertical at ride height, and at full bump the shackle position caused the spring to go way into negative arch. By moving the shackle pivot up and forward, at full bump the springs now don't go that far into negative arch and at ride height the shackle is at a much better angle to let the spring flex and be more compliant. Now that the springs are well worn in I wish I put the bushing even little higher and a bit farther back, but oh well. A longer shackle will also allow more droop, provided it's at a decent angle at ride height. Keep in mind I'm spring-under still.

IMAG0778_zps0c226dd5.jpg

IMAG0777_zpsd9d2e281.jpg

IMAG0774_zpsdfc02e1e.jpg

I hammered the bottom of the frame up to close those gaps before welding...
IMAG0773_zpsc81d3aaa.jpg
 




Kirby N.

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I agree longer shackles would help. The other thing that allows is a flatter spring for the same amount of lift- that helps a ton. I assume you are spring under? If so, getting spring over will help keep your spring flatter too. I know spring wrap will be an issue with your v8 but if you want a flexible rear end you will be fighting that tension. On both my rigs I built my own pack. Lots of leaves, progressively shorter. Clamps that keep them from splaying but don't limit down travel. My explorer has like 10 leaves. I used leaves from a few different explorers. 2 and 4 wheel drive, 2 and 4 door. It was prettt flat- but thick. Painted and put in new pads. I got the pass at a local spring shop.

My ranger I converted to chevy 64" springs. Long and flat. Then added some leaves to the stock pack. Painted and New pads. I also hacked off the stock bushings so I could use the main leaf of the ranger pack.

They both flex pretty balanced with my coil front. Your coil overs might be softer than my front ends. But the new packs made a huge difference in mine and it was cheap. I figured if I hated my compiled leafs I could buy a set of deavers but I have liked them.
 




turboexplorer

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I will need to remain spring over since I would drag the springs everywhere if I didn't. Did some additional looking and it may require a rear shackle mount change to achieve the correct travel. I talked briefly with @sirhk100 and he thinks it would be easy to achieve my goals with Deaver. @Rick also runs similar springs on his but didn't find a thread where he described much about them or the set up. Jeff at Deaver e-mailed me back and said they could make a custom spring and when its time to order to give them a call to run through what is needed.

Currently I run into negative arch when it is fully flexed as do most of the Explorers on here. Getting rid of the current warrior shackles should assist with that bringing the rear eye up further and keeping the same current height with additional arch and limit the negative arch as much as possible. Currently I am running heavy duty version of the factory "F" ford springs. Not happy with them really. They run a shallower arch than the factory springs and bigger leafs. (feels stiff both flexing and driving fast)

I still have my front FOX bumps to install and the Currie Anti-Rock bar as well. So this will give me time to think and see what is needed while I get those others things installed this winter.

@mounty71 Looking through your thread was fun and gave me a few ideas for some other things as well.
 




timtimtimajim

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I just received my custom 3" lift leaf springs from Alcan Spring in Grand Junction. I haven't put them on yet (next week though) so I can't say anything about ride quality. Build quality looks really good though. Customer service was great and the springs showed up on time.

When I was getting quotes from different companies Alcan was just about $200 cheaper than Deaver. And from what I have heard the quality of the two is comparable.

Figured I would throw that out there just to give you some other ideas.
 




bronchole

Driveway flexing!
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So I just finished reading thru all 926 posts on this thread........ WOW!

You mentioned my rig fairly early on. It was NSSJ2's rig originally.

I have since modified and changed several things. One of the projects I have been considering is changing to coil over shocks for the front suspension. My justification is that I want to get a really decent pair of shocks up front and it is not a very big step $$$ wise to go coil over. The coil overs are really great shocks instead of decent shocks. Adjustable ride height and valving also being benefits.

I am wondering now that you have this all under your belt, would you do anything different related to the coil overs?

I see that you settled on 60/90 for the valving. Do you still like this or would you tweak it?

total spring rate of ???/in (I know, its back there somewhere). Would you change the spring rates?

You went with 14" travel. Would you still?

Anything else you can think of that would help in selecting the shock would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan
 




turboexplorer

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I am wondering now that you have this all under your belt, would you do anything different related to the coil overs?

I see that you settled on 60/90 for the valving. Do you still like this or would you tweak it?

total spring rate of ???/in (I know, its back there somewhere). Would you change the spring rates?

You went with 14" travel. Would you still?

Anything else you can think of that would help in selecting the shock would be appreciated.

Would I do anything different than coilovers? No, I have really liked the coilovers and in my opinion a better way to go but is more work with set up but way worth the investment.

For valving the 60/90 (In FOX only, would have to covert to shim stacks for comparison to other brands http://www.ridefox.com/dl/offroad/FOX_OR_20_VALVING.pdf) has been good but I will be changing it. I have since moved to wanting to go faster than just crawl only so will be increasing the compression and likely reducing the rebound a bit. But the original 30/90 in the shock the compression was to light.

For spring rate I run a 200/300. Both are 14" Eibach coils and I run the FOX dual rate spacer the long way up. I have the dual rate collar about at the bottom of the shock body threads. This gives me 2 1/2-3" up travel before the dual rate to 300lbs kicks in. The combined spring rate is (200 * 300) / (200 + 300) = 120lbs per inch. Pretty soft but in reading additional spring theory for off road since I built it I have found this is just about perfect if you want to go fast as well as crawl. I run about 3/4"more preload on the left coilover than I do the right due to battery, driver, gas tank, trasfercase etc on the left side. This lets it sit level.

Yes I would still do 14" In cycling the suspension for changes since I would not be able to run any additional droop due to steering joints and at full droop the trac bar and drag link angles are pretty good so it sits about as far drooped as possible without binding anything at full lock in either direction. As for compression I use all but the last 1/2" of up travel when flexed. The tires just rub the fenders at full compression when flexed.

As far as any helpful tips. My personal preference is to spend a bit more and get what you want the first time. I personally spent a little extra to go with Fox over some smaller named companies. They have been perfect and have never even lost 10lbs of nitrogen pressure and have really enjoyed them on the truck. There have been others that have had a lesser experience with some of the smaller named shock companies. However that may have been coincidence to the issues.
 




bronchole

Driveway flexing!
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Thanks for your reply. I like to rock crawl and I like to go fast too. I think that if I set up mostly for going fast that I can easily live with the results for rock crawling. I know that my current set up handles like crap on the fire roads. I am hoping that I can fix a bit of that so I can enjoy driving this on the dirt roads as much as I enjoy my Early Bronco.

In the minimal amount of research I have done it seems like Fox is paying attention to all the right details. The same shocks you bought are still right at $400 each. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

What valving are you going to aim for in your next stab at it?

You mentioned several times that you were considering some air bumps. Did that ever happen? I am probably going to do them at the same time as the coilovers.
 




turboexplorer

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In the minimal amount of research I have done it seems like Fox is paying attention to all the right details. The same shocks you bought are still right at $400 each. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

What valving are you going to aim for in your next stab at it?

You mentioned several times that you were considering some air bumps. Did that ever happen? I am probably going to do them at the same time as the coilovers.

Agreed which is why I purchased FOX.
I am going to go to a 80/70 and see what that changes this next go around. Really haven't decided if I want to just do compression first then do rebound and see the difference but guess I will decided how many times I want to pull them apart, :dunno:. Not sure if I am currently going fast enough to notice rebound changes, currently doesn't feel like it is packing but a video may tell in slow motion. But again a complete novice and not sure what I am looking for. General idea but the rest is from the few changes I have made so far. I do have full seal rebuild sets for them this next time they come apart.

Yes I have already purchased the FOX air bumps and a Currie antirock bar. I am going to get them all installed before I go attacking the rear.

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20161122_205116.jpg


FOX bumps, cans and limiting spacers. (Limit them to 2" instead of 3") Coilover rebuild kits,oil and valving shims. (Bought enough to do every possible combination of both compression and rebound)
20161122_205452.jpg
20161122_205504.jpg
 




mounty71

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Once again I come back to this thread for more info and inspiration! Dealing with a few under-the-hood items right now. I see you removed your ABS module when building shock hoops and you said you would relocate it somewhere else, and then (page 15) you said you spliced both front and rear brake lines straight to the master cylinder? So did you just get rid of the ABS module altogether? Aside from the ABS light on the dash, any ill-effects? Speedo still work? I know you got the Superlift Truspeed thing but that was just to correct for tire size right?

And did you ever come up with a permanent windshield washer fluid reservoir, or do you still use the tupperware?
 




turboexplorer

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Yes, I removed the module but only 1/2 way. I separated the electronic part the hydraulic part. The Hydraulic part I tossed as I have no front wheel speed sensors on my 76' front axle. The electronic part that houses the solenoids and things I had to keep to keep my speedometer. The VSS in the rear diff sends its signal through the ABS module which is why it had to remain. It is turned around and tucked up between the large fuse box on the drivers side and the fender. Fits there like it was meant to be there without having to stretch or lengthen the wiring harness. Yes the ABS light was on but removed the bulb as when ABS systems detect faults they default to off. Seeing as how I removed the hydraulic part anyways it wouldn't matter.

The brake lines themselves yes I just plugged them straight into the master cylinder. I do have the slightly oversized T-Bird calipers on my axle but have no problems with proportional braking. If I am in 2WD the fronts lock up just before the rear which is just about right. Rear Explorer brakes are undersized IMO anyways.

I do run the superlift truespeed so that my speedometer is correct as the factory ABS module programming will only accept up to a 31 10.50 tire size. So I programmed it there and the rest is done with the truespeed. Just used GPS to set it correctly and haven't touched it since. Yes was just to correct speedo for tire size is all. Cant stand it being off.

As far as the windshield washer reservoir I am sad to say no I haven't changed it. It's still the tupperware, :banghead:.

One of the many small items that do need to be fixed. Hope that information helps.
 




mounty71

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Yes, thanks for the thorough explanation! My friend was telling me I need a proportioning valve but I think I'll just see how it goes without it first.
 




BKennedy

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I used an aluminum water bottle for a windshield washer fluid reservoir. Drilled out the bottom to accept the pump off the original reservoir, and JB welded it in with a little gasket maker for good measure. Drilled a very small vent hole in the plastic cap. Works great.
 












turboexplorer

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It's been awhile. Been super busy with some great new changes at work. Also doing some fab work on my trailer to get it ready for camping season.

Took it out this last weekend and may have gotten a bit over zealous. The last time out I took a kicker pretty hard and it took it really well. This time however I may have been going a bit faster. :burnout:
I pushed through the front decent but not crazy hard and the rear bucked hard enough it bounced 3 times. Think its the first time its truly been airborne. However if you look back at post #911 I shows the tie rod being the new hit point and the oil pan being close. Well it did tag the tie rod but doesn't look like it was hard at all just enough to scrape the paint off. The right upper link did hit the frame and scraped some paint and bent a small corner piece. And last but certainly not least I hit the oil pan with the truss. So yeah punched the engine with the axle. :laugh: It wasn't from the land it was from going flat to up the kicker. Lucky just a light crack so drove home with no issues. :crazy: Oops... :bounce: Just gives me an excuse to put on the FOX bumps :)

I'll post some pictures this week at some point. However a question does arise. I have the aluminum oil pan from the 5.0L AWD. It looks like the later years possibly 1999-2001 may have had steel pans. If I had a TIG I could just weld this one up as it was barely hit. (Cast aluminum cracks super easy) Any thoughts for repairs? New aluminum pan does not seam to be available anywhere. Hummm.......Maybe an excuse to buy a TIG :) That's my favorite idea but certainly not the cheapest nor the fastest repair. Currently was cleaned sanded and has some crazy nasty RTV suff on it so as to not leak but it wont be going far until a real fix is done.

P.S. Wish I had video, I knew I should have had the GoPro on.
 




mounty71

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Would a stock stamped steel pan work for you? You can have the one off my truck.
 




turboexplorer

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Would a stock stamped steel pan work for you? You can have the one off my truck.

I would imagine it would. :) Is it an AWD? Not sure if there is any difference between 2WD or AWD ones, but my current one does have a spot for the diff to go up into.
 


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Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




turboexplorer

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On FordParts.com it is supposedly part number 6675 in this diagram and it is the aluminum pan and only shows it being $100. Hell if its only $100 and is available then I'll go buy one tomorrow :) Guess we will see, I'll stop by Ford tomorrow at lunch and see what they can come up with. There is 2 diagrams they use in there interchangeably, the other diagram is like of a 90's or 80's 5.0L it has a distributor and mechanical fuel pumps, :snicker:. So no idea, not sure if from fordparts.com is different from what the dealers can get????

Correct Diagram Below - Has aluminum oil pan, the original oil cooler etc.
Oil Pan Picture.jpg


Wrong diagram that they use as well.
oil pan2.jpg


Lol, should have installed these first, would have solved my issues.:p:D
20161122_205452.jpg
 




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