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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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Those are GREAT! Really all they are is made from scrap metal. They have a 1/2" plate base that is.......roughly.........10X10" They have holes in them for when they mount them to the frame benches to hold rear axles in place while fabricating. Then they have a square tube 3X3 or so and another tube that fits just inside of them. Then they have a hole drilled in the side corner of the larger tube and nut welded there. Then for a bolt to go in they are wheel studs with a small piece of solid stock welded to it for a T handle. You turn this handle to jam the inside tube against the two opposite walls of the bigger tube. The inner tube has a deep V cut in it so you can rotate the axle without it rolling off the stands. Then has a vise grip with chain welded to one side (chain is welded vise grip is not. Then there is a longer piece of chain that goes up and over the axle you hook it into the vise grip then clamp her down.

They are really simple but worked out great. Can make easy changes in height, hold axle in place so no need for a 3rd jack stand to hold pinion or in my case caster angle. Big help not to have three big stands in the way. Then also easy was when cleanup was done couple guys could pick up the axle and move it to the side and set it back down and never have to also move the stands. Plus when moved back was super fast set up since it was all done and clamped to the stands.

I can take some more detailed pictures of them tomorrow if anyone wants to see them. I might anyways just to have picks for when I build me a set.

P.S. They held the axle high enough to fit 37's on the hubs without having to pick the axle up. :) Fast for mock ups, set to where its 1/4" above the tires ride height and your set to take tires on and off to see clearance things.

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Yesterday I sent my rear drive shaft to Cutris at Tatton's drivelines. :) I am shooting to do a double cardan on the rear and on the front of course. :) He should get them tomorrow!

Alright if you remember back to post's 150 & 151 where I had everything set for the new axle center line. This is what I did right after those pics in those two posts.

Since the axle is right where I want it and where it clears everything I set the caster as well when I set the new center line. I didn't want the axle to move AT ALL. So what I did was weld some supports from the frame to the axle truss. This will allow me to keep the correct axle CL as well and caster while being attached to the rig which allows me in turn to lift the rig up and down all I want and keep the axle in perfect alignment! :) Again something all my custom fab instructors do to every axle they put in. This allows you to really dial in your links without ever risking it moving and in turn causing it all to get very frustrating having to always set it back in place.

The axle is set up about 3/4" closer to the frame then it will be at ride height. Its the only place the lift matched the height close when the truck was set on the locks, since it has to sit on the lock for the truck to be level.

Drivers side. It is triangulated so that it can't go up or down or back to front.

Passenger side.



Held up in place!

More views of the temporary braces. Inside of both.


Now I can throw the tires on and check for more clearance things. Like where the lower links have to mount in order to keep a good turning radius. I would hate not being able to turn good while on trails or in parking lots. Would become irritating to me.

Held in place.


A friend holding the tires in place at the desired turning radius/ability. Lower links will be built to accommodate this amount of turning ability.


A few more views of the truck. Remember this is close to ride height. The tires will be 3/4" lower than this at ride height.



Today I got the remote oil filter block adapter on today. Had to take the old oil cooler off and also take the left engine mount off in order to spin on the 90* block adapter. I had to get a filter bung to thread into the block so the threads would be switched to match the block adapter. The bung was for a mustang.


Here is the plugs on the side that I wont be using. I spun on the adapter so I could tighten it and see which ones I didn't need pulled it off Tefon taped it up having NO Tefon on the first 3 threads so they don't migrate into the adapter and eventually into the engine.

Adapter on and engine mount back on! :) Now I can move the truck up and down again. Couldn't yesterday because engine was held with a screw jack. Ends I will be using are taped off for now. Will run the lines after the steering box is in.


Also you can see the new lower radiator hose on in the background. If you have the factory oil cooler and want to remove it you can use the factory lower radiator hose from a 99-01' V8. Ford didn't run the cooler in those years. So that means that it fits perfect from the water pump to radiator all formed, the right size, perfect clean fit. Found that out courtesy of Stang5lgt.

Yesterday I cut the rear sway bar links and got some solid bar stock to extend them so that the factory rear sway bar will be at its proper angle. Axle brackets will be made tomorrow. The solid bar stock on these is 9/16" and my only options where 1/2" or 5/8" so I went with the 1/2" :( I wish I could have matched it but o well. They turned out good. I tapered both the link ends and the new solid stock so that when I TIG them up I can get full penetration right down to the very center of the solid stock. These pics are them tacked on and put back on the truck to make sure the bottom section was facing the right way. Took several passes in order to fill them from the center out to where I could metal finish and paint them.

The 6" extended sections of the 1/2" solid bar stock was done at the lower end where it goes straight down to the sway bar. You can see the two joints in these pictures.




Painted them last night and put them on today. They turned out great and will be great to keep the rear sway bar. I drive it a lot and plan to make many many trips to Moab so the better the truck handles the better! Plus the wife will drive it at times so want it to be as safe as possible.





I think were all just in AWE. :D

Kind of like watching an artist create his masterpiece in silence and soaking it all in first.


^ This

I can't even comprehend the amount of patience and time you have in this project. It already looks good and its not even done yet

Here are some pictures of the adjustable axle stands with a chain and vise grip. The vise grip is one that is specific to clamp chains tight.





One thing I forgot to mention is they have a socket welded to the top of a piece of acme thread that you can use to raise and lower the axle with the axle weight on it. Then you can change height without changing it position.



Those stands are awesome. I am going to have to build myself a set someday. Just curious where are you doing this swap at? I like that stance. Low and big tires always looks good.

Thanks I like the look to. Its fully armored so what I can't clear I can just side over. Will still be very tall roughly 11" more than stock. But low as I can get away with is about the size of it. No sense in having the center of gravity 16 feet in the air. Will still have 5-6" of compression as well then 8-9 inches of droop.

I am doing the swap at my tech school WyoTech. Hence the access to some great equipment! :) Its been really nice to have a lift and the lathes and mills. Plus to have instructors that really know things and have great ideas. If you didn't hear before one welded for NASA and built Top fuel cars, the other owned a road race mod shop. Doing full blown custom suspension for race cars. And the other is a machinist. :)

Good to hear. I hope you get the most out of your education and it turns into a great career for you. With 6" of up travel I see a lot of fender trimming in your future.

When its fully compressed both sides they clear easy. But what I dont know yet is when its flexed and one side is up I bet it will hit, tire will be much higher then.

With as far as the tires stick out I bet you will be cutting 3-4" out to get it to clear when flexed.

:) Hope not but will see when I can turn the axle and cycle it. But If I have to I will limit its up travel. you have me thinking. I do have a brother in body work so if needed him and his buddies can take care of it and still make it look stock. Not just cutting it with a saws all. But all that can be figured after I get it rolling. :) Since I am moving 400 miles away from here in 2 weeks :)

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Time to build the lower links. Again I am using 2"X.250 wall DOM for the lowers. I am running the big Johnny Joints and using clevite rubber bushings on the axle end.

Cut to a few inches longer than they need to be in case the notch gets messed up and I have to do something again. Gives me a small buffer since this crap is expensive.


Then time to notch the tubing to fit on the rubber bushings retaining ring. Had to do all notches by hand since the tube is to big for any of our notchers.