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Yes, Blacksheep Josh is asking about LIFT for a First Generation!!!

Blacksheep Josh

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Okay, well... the time has come. I will soon be entering the world of the lifted.

I am not speaking of "Thunder", or my current Explorer, in fact, I don't even own the Explorer I'm planning on lifting. This thread is merely to iron out questions and get the planning underway. So here's what's up:

I've decided that I'm tired of being one dimensional, meaning just the 'lower' end of suspension. Yes that is a pun, and yes I just "LOL"ed at myself for it. So come Spring, I'm going to buy, yes BUY, a 4x4 Explorer and lift it. It will pretty much be the opposite of my Explorer now. Meaning nothing stock and out of this world.

What my goals with this project are:
1. Be able to still drive on the road, meaning either as a daily driver, and keep it road legal, at least in Georgia, North/South Carolina, and Virginia. I understand that a lot of SUVs are technically breaking the law, but I'd like to stay within as much as possible. But depending on what it is I might break it. Like I'm sure a cop isn't going to pull me over for being 6" lifted instead of legal 4" for instance. Minor/un noticeable stuff really...

2. This truck will mainly stay at my Dad's place so he can use it to haul stuff back and forth, meaning a light trailer for pine straw or backyard stuff, heaviest being a riding lawn mower. He owns a Jaguar, and my Stepmom drives a Lexus SUV, so both are impractical for trips to and from Home Depot and Lowes.

3. Be able to do some light offroading with this. I'd like to go out to the mudpits and not struggle to much, but I"m not expecting to be the best. Mudpits to me are just big puddles, not the behemoths you guys take on.

So in short, I want it to be a daily driver if need be (mostly Home Depot trips and short trips, like up to McDonalds and back), be able to offroad a little, mostly mild/medium type stuff (like offroad camping trips). I just want a vehicle that's meant for messing around in... I'm not expecting it to be a gas sipper, but I'd like to get a solid 14-15 miles per gallon if possible.

So this is what I know I want...
-31" tires (at the minimum), I'll probably keep the stock rim, I actually like how they look. Possible beadlock, but not sure if I really NEED them.
-302 V8 conversion. I figure with the lifts I'm installing I shoudl have room. I have no problem losing A/C, as long as I can keep the heater.
-Maybe a SAS, but not sure. I'm still reading up on the SAS's that've been done.
-I'll most likely do a SOA, as it's cheapest and fastest for the rear. Along with the F-150 leaf swap.

So the reason I'm posting? I want to know what works and what doesn't pretty much. Do you know of a lift that doesn't work so well? Or a lift that does work well? Any pointers for a first time "lifter"?

If you've made it this far, thank you for reading everything, and thanks, it means a lot to me. I know it's a lot of information at once, but those that do read it this far will be those that help me out the most. I'm new to lifting, but I hope to keep everything contained in one thread instead of a bunch.

-Josh
 



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Adam.Buelow

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Hey Josh-

Im new to lifting as well and intend to use my sploder' for pretty much the same uses as yourself. However, i do currently own my first gen (94 XLT) and it is my daily driver, i wont be entering giant vats of mud nor will i be rock crawling at all. So with that said, i figured we could share our progress with one another and the forum as we tackle our current projects.

Im not sure how high (insert number here) lifts will look on the truck, but i dont want to go to high, but i dont want to look stock either. Im used to low profile tires, so imma have to learn the numbers associated with these muddin tires. I want the wheel wells to look "stuffed" but dont want any rubbin of course and i dont want to have to cut or trim anything.

Right now im lookin at these tires http://www.jcwhitney.com/PROCOMP-MUD-TERRAIN-TIRES/GP_2011506_N_111+1994+200005341+600009979_10614.jcw?reviewflag=1 (not sure on the size) to go with these here wheels http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/ItemBrowse/c-10614/s-10101/p-100000516800/mediaCode-ZX/appId-12123299/Pr-p_CATENTRY_ID:10000051680012123299 prolly just keep same wheel size as stock ?

Now i have no clue where to begin with the lift. Do i need a lift kit, an SOA set up, extra leafs, longer srpings n' shocks ?? Help in this area would be VERY appriciated. Id like to keep costs as low as possible as well.

Now as far as the body goes, the truck needs a paint job, and ive always wanted to paint it like a flat black, but in search of the post i saw last i found this, and this is like exactlly what i want to do. http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=220515&highlight=Rhino

Other plans of mine include new air intake, exhaust, headers, car alarm, and some cosmetic upgrades here and there.

Alright i think im done. Hope your not tired or anything. haha, feel free to hit me up on aim or the ever popular myspace. uhhh, e-mail works too as well as this here thread.

Crap, its time for a smoke break.

Have a good one....:salute:
 






Burns

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I personally started out with just slapping 31s on my stock ride height explorer.
30743stock2.jpg

Ran that for a while untill i found this site. Then I stepped up to the SuperLift 5.5" lift kit. Ran it for a while and then stepped up to a SAS suspension. The Superlift suspension did fine. I had 33s and drove it ever day. With a reciever hitch hauling a trailer would be no problem at all. I ran all kinds of trails. Never did anything hard but pushed it when i had the chance. I could have been happy with staying at the 5.5" lift but I really wanted to give the SAS a go.

30743hump.jpg



Right now my explorer is a Streel Legal daily driver. This year i have already put about 19K already and will get more before the year changes over. I run a 36" tire. I have entered the huge mud and have been on rocks. There is a best in both worlds. You worry about gas mileage and I say dont worry with it. With the right gearing and tire size you can keep your mileage around 16-18. Thats my average. I run the stock 4.0 with no mods. Just keep my regular maitance and its never fails me.

Explorer-4-032708.jpg


I have put it there and will do it again

100_2643.jpg
 






Adam.Buelow

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And the confussion sets in...

ok, first off, im concerned with changing the center of gravity. Is it a big problem with rasing the our x's? And if so, can you throw on a sway bar with the lift (kit or not)??

I honestly dont know how high a 5.5 lift is on the X, and with upgrading to a bigger tire, so you have to mess around with the speedo at all ?? If so, how does one do that (im sure its on this site somwhere).

Im not really to concerned with MPG at all, cus id rather pay for gas, then a new car payment AND gas. But anyways, I need to be schooled on the difference between a body lift vs. suspension lift vs. add-a-leafs vs. longer shocks and springs vs. any other kind of lifting.

As far as my engine is concerend, the only bad thing about it is high miles. It runs really strong, no problems. Like you i keep all maintenance on it and service fluids regularly, but i would like to gain more torque and maybe more horsepower out of the stock engine before i look into engine swaps. I would def like to be able to have the possibility if reaching higher speeds than 85, not that im gonna be racing the truck, just 85 dosent cut it sometimes.

Ive been on the forums here for like the past week goin from topic to topic and saying to myself "ooo i want to do that, and that ooo AND that tooo" Lossin track of what i was lookin at 5 min ago, hahaha. Ive found and saved alot of pics of what i would like my truck to look like, but dont really know what kinda lifts they have on and tires as well.

As i finish this here post, i was wondering what the hell shackles and TT's are ???

Thanks for all the help, its really is truly appriciated. If it werent for these lovely car forum sites, id prolly waste money and performance shops all over town. Money i dont have..:rolleyes:

Time for another smoke, then bed for friggin 4 hours. "sigh"


:troops:
 






Gatorblazer

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And the confussion sets in...

ok, first off, im concerned with changing the center of gravity. Is it a big problem with rasing the our x's? And if so, can you throw on a sway bar with the lift (kit or not)??
It will change the center, as will adding a lift to anything. You will not be able to drive it lifted like you did stock, you will have to me more careful, but you should be doing that anyways

I honestly dont know how high a 5.5 lift is on the X, and with upgrading to a bigger tire, so you have to mess around with the speedo at all ?? If so, how does one do that (im sure its on this site somwhere).

It is as high as Burns pic shows. Pretty big. Your speedo will have to be changed only if you or you local traffic laws say it needs to be. There are numerous write ups on changing your speedo.

Im not really to concerned with MPG at all, cus id rather pay for gas, then a new car payment AND gas. But anyways, I need to be schooled on the difference between a body lift vs. suspension lift vs. add-a-leafs vs. longer shocks and springs vs. any other kind of lifting.

Body lift is just what it says, a spacer that lifts the body off of the frame.

Susp. Lift will raise the entire vehicle, not just the body.

Add a leafs will raise the suspension in the rear by adding an additional leaf to your spring pack. You will need LONGER SHOCKS after doing an add-a-leaf install.

As far as my engine is concerend, the only bad thing about it is high miles. It runs really strong, no problems. Like you i keep all maintenance on it and service fluids regularly, but i would like to gain more torque and maybe more horsepower out of the stock engine before i look into engine swaps. I would def like to be able to have the possibility if reaching higher speeds than 85, not that im gonna be racing the truck, just 85 dosent cut it sometimes.

1. If you have high miles and it runs well, the cheapest thing is to not change anything on the motor. Internal Changes often times will lead to a quicker death of a motor with many miles that has run well just like it is. Mine has 250K and I'm not about to change any good chemistry that those parts have with each other.
2. Do what you want, but 85 in a lifted truck is asking for trouble.

Ive been on the forums here for like the past week goin from topic to topic and saying to myself "ooo i want to do that, and that ooo AND that tooo" Lossin track of what i was lookin at 5 min ago, hahaha. Ive found and saved alot of pics of what i would like my truck to look like, but dont really know what kinda lifts they have on and tires as well.
Most common lift here is the TT and Shackles. It allows you to run 31's pretty easily. Add a body lift and you can run 33's in most cases.

As i finish this here post, i was wondering what the hell shackles and TT's are ???

Shackles are what hold your leaf springs to the frame in the rear of the truck. They swing, if you will, to allow for some mobility of the rear end. Doing a shackle lift means replacing the shackles with longer ones, thereby lifting the rear of the truck.

TT=Torsion Twist. by cranking the bolts on the Torsion bars, one can raise or lower the front end. There are many many write ups on how to do this, however, you have a 94.

94's did not have torsion bars. You will need to either do a spring lift, F150 spring seat swap, or find some spring spacers. Search on those and you will find many many write ups and options.
 






Burns

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Its true there are some spedo adujustment that need to be made. I never made them at the time with the 5.5" kit. I knew my spedo ran slow and just corrected myself.

The engine question: Just as Gatorblazer has 250k on his and i had 324k on mine before i swapped the orginal for another proves that higher mileage really is not that big of a deal. I ran mine all out for several years. Even at the high mileage.


Center of gravity i think Gator has that one covered
 






FROADER

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Nice hijack Adam, but welcome to the site. Maybe start your own thread?


Original post.
-Josh
Ok, my honest opinions.

1. SAS and SOA shouldn't be in the same sentence as 31" tires, meaning there is no point in even lifting if you only want 31s. Yes, I saw that you put (minimum) in there. Keep reading. :)

2. A "daily driver" can mean different things to different people, meaning Like Burns (although it isn't), mine could be a daily driver without a problem. I don't mind the noises, body roll or the fact that it's ugly.

3. The ttb would do fine for what you want, meaning puddles and trips to Home Depot or McDonalds won't require a lifted truck, beadlocks, or big tires.

4. Wanting decent gas mileage is great, I get 15 on the hwy with my 6" lift and 36s, meaning.... I don't know. A v8 is cool, but not worth the work in this situation, meaning unless you absolutely love the v8 and want to take on the project and expense of the swap, IMO it wouldn't be worth it.

You really need to figure out what size tires you want to run and go from there. Tire size, depending on your thoughts on trimming/cutting will most likely determine the size lift you will want to run.

What I would do from what I read in your post.
1. F150 coil seats
2. Shackles
3. 32s of your choice
4. Regear to 4.10
5. Done
6. Romp
 






Adam.Buelow

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It will change the center, as will adding a lift to anything. You will not be able to drive it lifted like you did stock, you will have to me more careful, but you should be doing that anyways

What about adding sway bars to the truck ?? Will sway bars be a pointless add when you have a lift done ??

Most common lift here is the TT and Shackles. It allows you to run 31's pretty easily. Add a body lift and you can run 33's in most cases.


Now, how big of a tire is 31 exacatly?? I take it that its a common tire size. I want a tire that will fill my wheel wells nicely without havin to trim ary body panels. How about a 32?? Once im done with this post, imma head down to the tire shop on base and see if they have any tires that size, and do a little size comparrison.

Shackles are what hold your leaf springs to the frame in the rear of the truck. They swing, if you will, to allow for some mobility of the rear end. Doing a shackle lift means replacing the shackles with longer ones, thereby lifting the rear of the truck.

TT=Torsion Twist. by cranking the bolts on the Torsion bars, one can raise or lower the front end. There are many many write ups on how to do this, however, you have a 94.

94's did not have torsion bars. You will need to either do a spring lift, F150 spring seat swap, or find some spring spacers. Search on those and you will find many many write ups and options.


Im guessing that shackles come in different sizes, yes?? With the shackle lift in the rear will i be able to clear a 32 inch tire with ease ?? Or will i have to do any other modification back there ??

As for the front, it sounds like i should prolly go ahead and do a SOA operation in the front , and find some parts that will provide anywhere from a 2 - 3 1/2 inch lift.


Couple pictures here i found. Maybe you fine gents can help me identify what kind of set-up they are running.

#1
gabe-flex.jpg



#2
737088_47_full.jpg



#3
HPIM0223.jpg



#4
Picture143.jpg





OK...Last question for this afternoon, is engine swaping for 1st gen X's pretty common wether it be replacing stock engine or upgrading stock engine...???


Much Thanks,

Have a good day !!


:salute:
 


















Dannyboy

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So this is what I know I want...
-31" tires (at the minimum), I'll probably keep the stock rim, I actually like how they look. Possible beadlock, but not sure if I really NEED them.
-302 V8 conversion. I figure with the lifts I'm installing I shoudl have room. I have no problem losing A/C, as long as I can keep the heater.
-Maybe a SAS, but not sure. I'm still reading up on the SAS's that've been done.
-I'll most likely do a SOA, as it's cheapest and fastest for the rear. Along with the F-150 leaf swap.

Okay in the same post you are saying 31s on stock wheels and V8 swaps with solid axles potentially running beadlocks.

how does installing a lift make room for a 302? A 3" body lift makes room but thats about .001% of what you need to accomplish a v8. I've seen more trucks head to the junkyard where guys said they were going to swap V8s and never finish on this site than I've actually seen completed swaps. plus a 4.0 is more than enough motor for "mild/medium type stuff"

Not sure what a V8 cost but guys who have actually completed them have stated about 3-5K.

Solid axle swaps are $2K MINIMUM unless you pick up a built axle from somebody and have all the parts laying around. Again for "mild/medium type stuff" the only advantage of a solid axle is stronger components and additional flex.


My advice...buy one of the many nicely built 4x4s for sale on this site for a fraction of the cost (JDrapers comes to mind) and let that blow your mind. Even if you want to do a build yourself there is no reason a built truck isn't a good place to start.

To accomplish 31s on stock wheels you can do that for a few hundred bucks. A solid axled 302 Explorer that is still street legal....well I can't even begin to imagine what it should cost but I would say 5 figures to be safe. Just a warning. There is a lot of guys on here who say they can solid axle a truck for a few hundred bucks. FALSE INFO.... I've done a solid axle that works and it wasn't cheap to buy the right parts not to mentions the 3-4 drill bits that I got to purchase for $20-30 each, I also checked out $90 worth of hardware in one trip to Ace. Figure out a budget and develop a plan.
 






Burns

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My advice...buy one of the many nicely built 4x4s for sale on this site for a fraction of the cost (JDrapers comes to mind) and let that blow your mind. Even if you want to do a build yourself there is no reason a built truck isn't a good place to start.

If you think about it this is the best advice yet.
 






Dannyboy

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What about adding sway bars to the truck ?? Will sway bars be a pointless add when you have a lift done ??


Nope, you can still run a sway bar after a lift is installed, most kits extend links or add drop brackets. They will kill flex though. I run my truck on the freeway with no sway bars no problem. You can see a link in my signature.




Now, how big of a tire is 31 exacatly?? I take it that its a common tire size. I want a tire that will fill my wheel wells nicely without havin to trim ary body panels. How about a 32?? Once im done with this post, imma head down to the tire shop on base and see if they have any tires that size, and do a little size comparrison.

31 is 31"
32 is 32" each manufacturer states their actual diameter and they are all usually a little smaller.





Im guessing that shackles come in different sizes, yes?? With the shackle lift in the rear will i be able to clear a 32 inch tire with ease ?? Or will i have to do any other modification back there ??

Maybe, If the shackle doesn't then an add-a-leaf will

As for the front, it sounds like i should prolly go ahead and do a SOA operation in the front , and find some parts that will provide anywhere from a 2 - 3 1/2 inch lift.

SOA is a spring over axle, that's for the rear on leaf spring trucks

Couple pictures here i found. Maybe you fine gents can help me identify what kind of set-up they are running.

#1
gabe-flex.jpg


looks to be all suspension lift, probably 4-6 inches on 33s



#2
737088_47_full.jpg


can't really tell anything from this pic other than it's still spring under in the rear.


#3
HPIM0223.jpg

I see a body lift through the rear wheel wells plus some auto hubs that will probably fail any minute


#4
Picture143.jpg


Looks like another body lift, I see extra frame hanging down under the passenger door. PS. that hood does nothing for me.





OK...Last question for this afternoon, is engine swaping for 1st gen X's pretty common wether it be replacing stock engine or upgrading stock engine...???


Much Thanks,

Have a good day !!


:salute:

I added comments in bold to your post. Look up "elite explorer registry" threads to see trucks you like and what equipment is under them for the best tip.
 






Gatorblazer

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If I recall correctly, #4 is 2wd as well. I just cant remember who that one belongs to
 












JDraper

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Josh...my truck would fit your needs perfectly. It's got a 5.5" lift, 32's, a 12k winch, rock sliders, 4.56 gears, it's locked in the rear, it's road legal and a decent daily driver. And I HIGHLY doubt you'll be able to buy a truck and build it like mine for less money....considering I've got more in the modifications than I'm asking for the whole truck, and I built the bumpers and rock sliders myself....
 






Dannyboy

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and don't think you can't still have fun modding a built truck. My truck already had a C-5 transmission, suspension system, prerunner bumper, aftermarket power steering pump, 9" rear, 2nd gen glass etc, which I pretty much consider freebies and I was able to build it to so much more with the headstart I had.
 






Blacksheep Josh

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Ok, my honest opinions.

1. SAS and SOA shouldn't be in the same sentence as 31" tires, meaning there is no point in even lifting if you only want 31s. Yes, I saw that you put (minimum) in there. Keep reading. :)

-Yeah, I probably will go bigger.. probably 33-35 would be ideal, but just depends on the time and my mood mostly.

2. A "daily driver" can mean different things to different people, meaning Like Burns (although it isn't), mine could be a daily driver without a problem. I don't mind the noises, body roll or the fact that it's ugly.

-That's what I meant. It'll be parked most times, but in case my Dad's car or my X goes out for whatever reason, it can be driven reliably. It's not going to be a road trip car, although I'd like it to run reliable for about 2 hours continuously if need be. (Trips to college and home and such)

3. The ttb would do fine for what you want, meaning puddles and trips to Home Depot or McDonalds won't require a lifted truck, beadlocks, or big tires.

-But beadlocks look cool!!! I'll probably go bigger later on, meaning when I have a steady supply of cash and am out of school

4. Wanting decent gas mileage is great, I get 15 on the hwy with my 6" lift and 36s, meaning.... I don't know. A v8 is cool, but not worth the work in this situation, meaning unless you absolutely love the v8 and want to take on the project and expense of the swap, IMO it wouldn't be worth it.

-That's pretty much my reason for going V8, just to have it. I'm not to to worried about the expenses, I have a pull-a-part in town, and a V8 engine is only about 200 dollars MAX (no matter what type of V8 it is). It'll be a pick and pull type of thing, but I'll be getting whta I can when I can (meaning when I have the money, lol). Luckily my Mom doesn't mind giving up the garage as a place for Explorer parts to wait until they're reincarnated.

You really need to figure out what size tires you want to run and go from there. Tire size, depending on your thoughts on trimming/cutting will most likely determine the size lift you will want to run.

-Having thought about it, and looking at a few friend's rides, I'd like either 33, or possibly 35. My friend has a Blazer with a suspension lift and 33" tires, and I like how it sits. I'll try to get a picture if possible.

What I would do from what I read in your post.
1. F150 coil seats
2. Shackles
3. 32s of your choice
4. Regear to 4.10
5. Done
6. Romp

-yayuh!!! I figured I'd use at least F150 coil seats and shackles cause of the simplicity.
 






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