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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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O and here is a picture of the hub that fell on the floor that I mentioned in an earlier post. Cracked it :( But will make it straight and TIG it back into place.

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Updated first post. I added some youtube videos of the truck in stock form. Some in UT some in CO and some in WY. :) Enjoy

The Build is looking great!! :thumbsup:


What spring perches are these.... warrior??

Nice build so far. I like the detail. Good craftsmanship.

The Build is looking great!! :thumbsup:
What spring perches are these.... warrior??

Nice build so far. I like the detail. Good craftsmanship.

xsportx - Here is the link to the rear perches and u bolts that I bought. Was great value for money I thought. VERY strong and big. Was very happy with this product.
Spring Perches Used

cmhaah06 - Thanks! I've tried really hard to be inventive and really take pride in the quality. If its worth doing its worth doing right. :)

We talked about shaving housings in class but there is a good chance of warping the housing and plus the extra time it takes. I do have an idea for a good skid plate though. I think I saw it somewhere on here. It would bolt to the pinion area where there are the 3 bolt hols for the 5th shock. Extend it forwards so you can protect the u joint area and pinion seal and then run a plate back to the diff cover and curl it up and bolt it there. I would put it right up against the housing so that the housing could do all the work, but the plate that went back would allow it to better slide over things where that lip on the 8.8's is. I'll see if I can find the link. I'm positive it was recently on the forum I saw this idea.

I need this rolling on its own in 3 weeks. So projects like shaving the housing will have to wait. This week I hope to have all the front links fully done, the rear sway bar in, shock mounting/shock length figured out, trans cross member figured out, plates on the frame for shock hoops, tubes cut that will hold the hoops to the frame, gussets done for lower links, gussets done for upper links. Lowers will get gussets on both sides and uppers just on the top, will all be TIG welded in and will look really clean. Then next week I can do the shock hoops and the engine cross brace and the track bar and steering. That leaves me with the last week to final weld things gusset things do brakes etc. Will be a lot of work but should be able to do it just fine.

And if the nickel TIG rod shows up in time I will weld the tubes to the housing. doesn't need much would just do an inch on tops and an inch on bottoms of tubes.

Incredible Work!

If you end up making one of these, make 2 and send one to me! :)

I haven't gotten under my truck to figure out how to make one yet, but I was thinking about using those 3 bolt holes too. I think the ribs on the housing might not allow the use of the front u-bolt design.

So in order to fit the steering box inside of the frame I have to remove the oil cooler and remote mount the oil filter. Factory oil cooler.

And in order to spin on the new 90* block adapter you need to remove the left engine mount bracket.

And I didn't have any teflon tape to put the plugs in on the block adapter so I taped off the block to wait until Monday. All oil filter relocation stuff is a Ford adapter bung and all trans dapt stuff. Looks like big lines and things so that made me fill much better about not restricting the oil flow.


My mounts for the trans cross member are done. I used 2"X.250 wall for these and welded a piece of 1/4" plate that was cut round to the bottoms of these. Then I will drill holes through that plate and the bolt will go up inside the tube through the frame and bolt on. Then I will make a tube cross member and bend it from side to side. There are 4 of them because one set will tie the transmission cross member together and hold the trans mount. The second set will go on farther back and will go somewhere around the T-Case and the two will be tied together with a few tubes and then a 1/8" plate between the two to make my trans mount/skid plate all in one. Will be full removable to.


Corner to corner so the weld penetrates in and makes full contact with both the tube and the plate.

You can see the idea I am going for.

Than after they where welded they where put on the lathe and cleaned up nice and straight so it looks like one piece. Shiny of course but it will all be painted and look like its just the tube.

Here is the truss tacked in place and ready to be fully welded on.

Here are a few pictures as I started to weld on the truss. Don't want to weld very far at all in order to minimize warping/pulling the axle tubes. And so that also means a lot of starts and stops and doing that with MIG never really looks good for one and two I had a hard time finding the setting I wanted. After these pics I found the right settings (had to be hotter than I thought) the next welds where MUCH better. I didn't grab pictures of that but I can this week. So yes not pretty but the rest was better. It surely its going anywhere. I think if time allows I will metal finish it all flush to the truss so it looks a lot better. Will see. Didn't TIG weld it because it would put way to much heat into the tubes. Whole truss is now fully welded onto the axle.


Remember the V notches I cut into the top of the truss and was going to fold over to better match the inner C's? I think you can see it in the first picture on the previous post. Anyways that is all done and it really did turn out great.




That is really nice and very well thought out! You are building a masterpiece! Nice man, Nice!!!

Alright everyone ready to get to the good fabrication stuff? I sure am. So now with the rear axle in the truck and all ready, the truss on the front the frame clean I am finally ready to get on to the fun parts of the build.

I started with the radius arm frame mounts. There is really only one place for them to go. I wanted to keep them on the fully boxed part of the frame and as long as possible so that only leaves you with one option. More or less right where the T-Bar keys where. Nice strong part of the frame and back as far as possible. Lower control arms should be roughly 36". :D Perfect for off road rigs.

So I bought 4 feet of 12" wide 1/4" flat stock to make all my suspension brackets out of. So I took measurements off of the frame and where I wanted the mounts and off of the Johnny Joint. Drew out the design on paper to make sure it was what I wanted and that it would work and then transferred the dimensions to the flat stock with a scribe and got the first portions cut out.

These portions of the mount will go up 4" on the outside of the frame rails and hang below them to hold the joint. They are 6 1/2" long front to back and total 7" tall. In this picture I have cut one radius on the mounts already. I used a vertical band saw to make all these cuts. Can do radius cuts if you relief cut the material before hand.

Holding them up to the frame to make sure that is what I want before more time is spent on them.

Both outer frame sections cut with the radius cuts made. Radius cuts help avoid any stress points in the mount and where it contacts the frame.

I then cut 2 more pieces for the mount that are only the size of where it hangs below the frame. These two sections will butt to the bottom of the frame and be the inner sections of the mount.

Here are some pictures of the four mount pieces together. You will have to excuse the poor pictures I forgot my camera that day and had to use my phone. Does good most of the time but in the lighting in the shop it struggles.


Now got all the mount pieces lined up perfectly to each other and tack welded them together. The Tig tacks are easy to break so I used the TIG. (you can tell the tungsten was dirty. Lol just tacks)


I metal finished and final shaped all the brackets while they where tacked together so they match perfect. :) They turned out great I am very happy with them. :D





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And while they where still all tacked together I drill 3 holes in the outside the frame mounts to do plug welds in. And then drilled the bolt hole for the Johnny Joint in all 4 mounts at the same time. This will ensure that all the mounts are perfectly symmetrical and will line up when the joint is bolted in. :D Little things learned in class and that I hope others on here also use is things like this. Tacking the brackets together finishing them and drilling holes all together really make for a quality end product. We can all improve our fab skills with tips from the trade like this. I honestly wouldn't have thought to do this before this Fabrication class with instructors that really care about quality.


Now the mounts broken back apart. Took one good wack with a hammer and they came apart. The 2 bigger sections I did have to use a flat chisel to separate them.