Completed Project - Turboexplorer's Full Width SAS Build Thread | Page 8 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Completed Project Turboexplorer's Full Width SAS Build Thread

Use this prefix for completed projects that are not "How to" articles or threads asking for help.
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!


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Now to test fit on the truck with the joint in place. With the joint in and bolted I know exactly where the inner part of the mount will end up. I obviously need to clear more of the original cross member. I cleared more so the inner part would sit flat on the bottom of the frame as well as have more room to work with. For now the original cross member is still holding the trans and T-Case.


I had a friend hold the whole assembly up in place while I tack welded the inner mounts to the frame. You can see where there was a slight gap where the fronts of the inner mounts don't butt directly up to the frame. :( O well its where they have to be. And I will put in vertical braces on the inside of the frame once the cross member is out of the way. Also both mount pieces will be tied together by a plate on the back of the two mounts.


Here are the inner mounts tacked in place.


Here is the drivers side inner mount section welded in place. The inner side of the frame only has a 1" weld on it for now. I will fully weld the inner part when the cross member is out of the way. Then I will have better access to it and the welds will be better. So for now fully welded on the inside of the mount will do.


Passenger side inner mount section welded up as well. Again the outer part of the mount on the inside of the frame will be welded when the cross member is removed.



Now to tack on the outer sections. I bolted the joint back up in case I needed to bump the inner one at all. Also it holds the outer plate right where I want it. I used a square to make sure that the rotation of the outer mount piece matched the inner so I could put a plate on the back of it when I am done and the plate will sit flat. Plus when you look at it from the side they line up perfect and really look great.


I made some 16 gauge washers for all this before anything was welded. This way I can remove the joint without having to pound it in or out and the bolt will pull that very small clearance tight when the bolt is torqued. :) Easy to service and won't scratch paint when joint is put in or pulled out. Also allows for any variation in the mounts when fully welded that they wont tighten up so bad that you can't get the joint in without prying the mount apart.


The outer section tacked to the frame.


Now to after making sure everything is exactly where I want it since once I start welding it will be an absolute chore and waste of time to try and get them off. The plug welds would be the hardest for sure. So they where dead on and I am ready to weld them in. I started with the plug welds. These weld help hold the center of the mount to the frame to help avoid any flex in the mount. I wanted to do 4 plug welds but that section where you can tell there could be one, there is holes in the frame behind that so i couldn't. But even these are more than needed but stronger the better. BTW these holes are 1/2" holes. That why you can start welding on the frame through the hole burn it in really hot and hard and start making circles and tie the mount to the frame. Circle out until its just above the mount so that I can metal finish it later and you wont even be able to tell there is 3 plug welds in there for a cleaner look.


A few more pictures of the plug welds. You can see the outside of the whole plate hasn't been welded yet. I will weld that when I get it off the lift. The lift arms are in the way and I would rather have a better prettier weld so it will have to wait until I can get the lift arm out of the way.




I did weld the inside of the outer mount to the frame. Both sides so they are welded to the bottom of the frame and all the plug welds. Last few pictures have the joint installed. There is 1/4" between the joint and the bottom of the frame :) Nice and tucked up out of the way. Already I am WAY higher for clearance than the T-Bar mounts and skids where.




Now I put the tires on the front so I could see how far the axle needs to go forward to clear the sliders while turning. This is all prep for setting the new axle center line. I just have the square sitting there so I could better see what the edge of the slider looks like in relation to the widest parts of the tire. The axle at this point is set up in full compression so the tire is at its closest. This is full compression with both fronts stuffed when it is flexed the tire will be several inches higher into the fender.
Looking good with the tires up there. :)



Once I got the axle where it needed to be I laid some tape down off the marks on the frame and fenders where the factory center line was and then dropped a plumb bob down off the back of the axle tube to mark where the tube needs to be in order for the tires to clear. I then laid tape down where the mark was for the back of the axle tube. I then measured between the two and that gave me a measurement to set the whole front axle off of. I measured and marked that distance on both sides and laid a long straight edge down to get these lines. That way I could make sure the axle is square to the old factory axle center line. If I measure to the center of the axle tube the new axle center line is exactly 2 1/2" forward from the factory center line. This way I don't have to cut any of the sliders. I may have to trim just a hair off the back of the front fenders but that's not bad would be 1/2" if I need to. This way the axle is now set exactly where I want it in relation to the body and frame. After this its time to set ride height and permanently attach the axle to the frame so it doesn't move while I build the links and the shock hoops and trac bar.

And here is a few more pictures setting the new front axle center line and ride height. I will show in later pics how I figured ride height. I also set the axle dead center from side to side as well so that when links and things are built they are built to eaxctly what they need to be. Man if feels good to get to this point, feels like the truck is finally coming together! :D




So how about some pictures of the truck with tires under it! :) Doing this really made me feel like I have made some progress. I will let the pictures do most of the talking.

Front axle mocked up and ready for tires.

Tires on the rear axle.



Tires on the front! This is with the rig at full REAR droop. Front will have a few more inches than this. But DANG it looks good. I really like the tires on the the truck and the size fits the body well. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D





This is ride height for the rear. The front will sit about 3/4"-1" higher when done. Its as high as the jack stands would go to hold the front up on the new cross member. I had to put the weight on the cross member in order to get the weight to sit on the rear and not chance things slipping on the lift. Looks great! I am SO excited!




Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Got any more info on those adjustable height jackstands with the chain vice grips on them. I like how yours is turning out.