• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

The Lone Ranger – Kage’s ’94 X-Cab Leaf SAS and Bed Bob


Kage

March 2012 OTOTM Winner
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
781
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
Near St. Louis MO on the IL side
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
How it looked when I last saw it (it has since been reduced to just the bed):


How it used to look:


Quick Links:
Note: I have gone back and rehosted (and reposted) all of the original information found in this thread over on my website www.midwestnomads.com due to Photobucket being dumb. So if you're looking for something in one of these threads and the photos are missing, head over to my site and take a look.


I’ll update these as I go to make it easier to find stuff (I tend to forget things, so I try to leave little crumbs for myself here and there :icon_rofl:)

  • NHL body lift (one puck) (Linky)
  • Front Leaf SAS (Dana 44/60)
  • Rear Dana 60/14 Bolt
    • Quick Rear Mock up and Bed Removal (Linky)
    • Stripping the Rear and Quick rear spring location for 115" WB (Linky)
    • Rear Dana 60 (Linky)
    • Rear Test fit and Chevy 63’s (Linky)
    • Rear Test fit #2 and Leaf Mounts (Linky)
    • Rear Leaf Mounts Final Location (Under cab) (Linky)
    • Rear Add A Leaf to boost the Chevy pack (Linky)
    • Bastard Pack (LInky)
    • Rear Shackle Mount Final Location (Linky)
    • Rear Shock Mounting (Linky)
    • Rear Shock Moutning V2.0 (Linky)
    • Shocking the Rear (Linky)
    • Moving the Shocks out (Linky)
    • Rear Bump Stops (Linky)
    • 14 Bolt Swap (Linky)
  • Driveline Stuff
    • M50D Maintenance (Linky)
    • 1350/1354 Doubler Build with D&D Machine kit (Linky)
    • Crawl Box upgrade (1354 guts in the 1350) (Linky)
    • 1354 Manual Linkage (swapped out the E case for a manual one, had to make linkage) (Linky)
    • Aerostar Speedometer Cable (Linky)
    • Clocking the Transfer Case (Linky)
    • Bronco II Fuel Tank Swap (Linky)
    • Stock motor mount modification (Linky)
    • Extended Spare Drive Shaft (Linky)
    • Doubler Shifter Linkage (Linky)
    • Master Cylinder Fun! (Linky)
    • 1354 Flange to Yoke Swap (Linky)
    • New Transmission Cross Member (Linky)
    • Updated Transmission Mount/Crossmemeber (Linky)
    • Chaining Down the Motor (Linky)
    • 4 Banger Gear Swap, using Plum Crazys Thread (Linky)
    • Misc. Maintenance (Lower intake Fix and 2 row Radiator Swap) (Linky)
    • Reid Knuckle Upgrade (Linky)
    • Trans mount v3.0 (Linky)
  • Armor
  • Bed Bob
  • Misc Stuff (I'll come up with a better name latter)
  • Trips
    • 1st Long Road Trip (Linky)
    • 1st Offroad Trip - 2011 SIJA Jeep Jam at SMORR (Linky)
    • 2nd Offroad Trip - 7/30/11 Washita MX (Linky)
    • WY/MT 2011 Trip -(Linky to very long vacation post)
    • 3rd Offroad Trip - 9/24/11 Interlake (Linky)
    • 4th Offroad Trip - 10/15/11 SMORR (Linky)
    • 5th Offroad Trip -11/19/11 Washita MX (Linky)
    • 6th Offroad Trip - 3/12/12 Interlake (Linky)
    • 7th Offroad Trip - 4/21/12 Washita Mx (Linky)
    • 8th Offroad Trip - 5/5/12 SMORR (Linky)
    • 3rd Road trip -5/6/12 Ha Ha Tonka State park (Linky)
    • 4th Road trip - 6/2/12 Valley Glades Mo (Linky)
    • 9th Offroad Trip - 6/16/12 Washita Mx (Linky)
    • 10th Offroad Tip - 7/21/12 Washita Mx (Linky)
    • 11th Offroad Trip - 8/5/12 Flat Nasty Offroad (Linky)
    • 12th Offroad Trip - 11/17/12 Flat Nasty Offroad (Linky)
    • 13th Offroad Trip - 12/29/12 Washita Mx (Linky)
    • 14th Offroad Trip - 2/23/13 Badlands Offroad (Linky)
    • 15th Offroad Trip - 3/9/13 Flat Nasty Offroad (Linky)
    • 16th Offroad Trip - 4/6/13 Interlake (Linky)
    • 17th Offroad Trip - 5/18/13 SIJA Jeep Jam at SMORR (Linky)
    • 18th Offroad Trip - 6/1/13 Moonlight Racing (Linky)
    • 19th Offroad Trip - 7/27/13 Turkey Bay (Linky)
    • 20th Offroad Trip - 8/24/13 Flat Nasty (Linky)
    • 21st Offroad Trip - 9/21/13 Interlake (Linky)
    • 22nd Offroad Trip - 9/22/13 Stocker No Locker at Moonlight Racing (Linky)
    • 23rd Offroad Trip - 3/15/14 Moonlight Racing (Linky)
    • 24th Offroad Trip - 5/3/14 Flat Nasty Off Road for SIJA Jeep Jam (Linky)
    • 25th Offroad Trip - 6/21/14 SMORR (Linky)
    • 26th Offroad Trip - 7/26/14 Washita (Linky)
    • 27th Offroad Trip - 10/11/14 SMORR (Linky)
    • 28th Offroad Trip -11-1-14 Moonlight Racing (Linky)
    • 29th Offroad trip - 1-1-15 Washita MX (Linky)
    • The end of the line? (Linky)
  • The End (Linky)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well I’m finally far enough along on my current project to go ahead and start a full blown build thread on it. I’ll try to keep the top post updated with current information as well as the links that I’ll put in as I go. The name comes from the fact that in the St. Louis area, I’m surrounded by Jeeps. Its very rare to see something other than a Jeep-type-thing out on the trails (even the buggies out here are mostly Jeep based).

As I said, I’ll update this thread as I get things done, so it may be a few days between posts. Don’t fear though, I will keep it updated.

Back Story: (This will be a little winded, but fun!)
I’m not really new to this kind of fun as I’ve been playing off-road for several years now. It started out with an ’84 Bronco II that I picked up on the cheap. I threw some 31’s on there with a James Duff lift and proceeded to beat the crap out of it. This poor thing saw air time daily. In spite of this routine abuse, it never left me stranded (except when it got stuck, which was often). While it was a love/hate relationship, I can point to this little BII as the starting point in my off-road adventures. Here’s the only photo I have of it electronically:

’84 Bronco II:


After selling off the BII, I got the urge to build another toy, this time in the form of an ’85 Toyota X-cab (the last year of the solid front end). I tore this one down to the frame and did a pseudo restore on it. Unfortunately, I sold it off to help pay for college so it never really got the chance to scratch the off-road itch with it. (No photos, they’re “Pre digital”).

Several years passed went by while I managed to put off getting another toy (going to college, working two jobs, getting married, and living in an apartment at the time also helped stifle those urges as well :icon_rofl:). During that same time frame, I had a good friend that moved out to the Salt Lake City UT area for a bit. He seemed to enjoy taunting me with the awesome wheeling out there, which in turn started to fuel the off-road itch again :tease:. It would be a few years before I got to make the trip out to CO/UT, but the wait was worth it.

One of the Teaser Photos he sent:


I finally caved in to the craving and picked up another toy to get me back out into the woods. For the past 4 years I’ve been beating on a ’87 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) that’s served me well. This poor thing has gotten me out wheeling more often than all the prior vehicles combined, and served me well during those times. However, being a unibody, it has a finite life before things start to go down hill (Stress cracks, shell tweaks, etc). I won’t go into too many details about it here (PM me if you have a question) but its Locked at both ends, with a 4.7 in it (Stroked out 4.0), and a small lift.

CL photo:


Quick Build:


Whoops: (Chicks dig body damage, wives don’t)


Chopped:


Kept on wheeling the poo out of it:


As I mentioned earlier, this XJ shell is pretty much done for after 4 years or hard wheeling on it, so it was time to look for its replacement.

Enter The Ranger:
I literally spent several months researching what the next vehicle would be. The basic requirements were for it to have a frame, and a 5 gear. Eventually I stumbled upon Bray D’s build and my interest started moving toward the Rangers. After more research, and plenty of CL surfing, I found the next build platform. A 1994 Extended cab Ranger STX with a 4.0 and a 5 gear (Stupid electric transfer case though, but at least it works). At 218k miles on it when I bought it, that motor is by far the quietest high mileage motor I’ve ever heard. As an extra bonus, I’m the second owner :D

I’ve been driving it around since October ’10 and have racked up an additional 3k miles on it since it was purchased. Its been a fun little truck as it sits, and I’m a little sorry I’m going to hack it up (Heck, its even got some of the best brakes I’ve had on a vehicle in awhile :icon_twisted: ).

Day I brought it home:


The stickers disappeared the next day:


Project Goals:

I’m not out to be the biggest/best rig out there, just something that suits my needs the best that it can. So this next rig needed to:
  • Be road worthy
    • I don’t often have access to a tow rig, and with the nearest off-road park (Washita) being 2 hours away, I need to be able to drive the thing down there
    • I don’t have the space to store a dedicated trail vehicle (this is a 2 car garage build in suburbia).
    • This rig will take us out on our next vacation in MT.
  • Reliable as possible
    • Since most of the trips are a decent distance away, I need to not have to worry about simple mechanical failures. That also means I need to build this as bomb proof as possible with the funds available (You’ll see a contradiction on this later on). With the 4.0/5 gear combo being what it is, I'm not too worried about mechanical failure in that department.
    • The ultimate here would be to wheel all weekend, and park it without having to do any “real” maintenance to it when I get back from a trip.
  • As Low as possible
    • I’m not one for big lifts, so I’m going to try to compact this whole package as much as possible. This should help with the on road manners.
    • Lower package should help keep the local law enforcement happy as well.
      • Going by IL 625 I’ve got to keep the frame at or below 26” and the bumpers at 27/29” (F/R) (GVWR of 4500-7500 lbs)
  • Within the budget
    • The idea being that I can sell off my Jeep stuff and be able to pay for this build. Maybe I should call this thing “The Dumpster” since its getting all leftover parts from other peoples projects :icon_rofl:
The Build List Version 1.0 :

  • 1978 F-250 Full Width D44 Font with leafs
    • Detroit with Yukon Shafts
    • Wagoneer front leaf’s
  • 1999 Full Width E350 D60 Rear with Discs (somehow managed to find one with the right bolt pattern, the bonus is that the spindles are already large enough for 35 spline shafts if I need to go bigger).
    • LSD in the rear (For now)
    • Chevy Leafs (63’s I think, might be 64’s, off a 4wd 1500) with a AAL
  • 4:10 gears
    • Will probably wind up changing these, but I want to get it moving so they’ll do for now. I’m not looking for a race truck, but I don’t want to burn clutch too much when cruising around town.
  • 1350/1354 Double (From D&D)
    • This might be enough to make up for the 4:10’s
  • 1” NHL lift (to help clear the Doubler)
  • 37” Nittos on H2 rims (waaay to big for the D44, but they’ll work)
  • Bed Bob
    • I’m trying to wind up around 110-115” wheel base, I’d like to cut 10-15” out of the bed, however with my lack of body skills, it might wind up being a tube bed by the time I’m done :icon_twisted:
  • Exo of some sort
    • I tend to rub the tree’s a lot around here (see the XJ photos), so it would be nice to have some protection to allow me to open the doors after a wheeling trip. :icon_thumby:
Current - The Build List Version 1.5 :


  • 1979 F-350 Full Width D60 Font with leafs
    • Spartan Locker (I love how tight this thing locks up)
    • Wagoneer front leaf’s – "Stock" pack from Tear Grand Wagoneer (Much beefier than the stock 7 leaf pack)
  • 1987 Surbaban Full Width 14 Bolt Rear
    • Yukon Locker
    • '77 K20 Disc Brake swap using Ruff Stuff Brackets
    • Bastard Chevy Leafs (63’s I think, might be 64’s, off a 4wd 1500) with a AAL
  • 4.88 gears
  • 1350/1354 Double (From D&D)
  • 1” NHL lift (to help clear the Doubler)
  • 37x12.50 .mil take offs and TWF Recentered H1's
  • Bed Bob
    • Sitting at 113.5" for the Wheel Base
  • Exo
    • Its ugly, but it gets used hard every trip out.
Edit:
This project has now come to the end of the line. It's been a fun ride, and I hope I've detailed enough information to make it easy for someone to copy some of the things that were done to this truck.
 
Last edited:


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: DE2235E7692E8C: July 5th, 2021

Kage

March 2012 OTOTM Winner
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
781
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
Near St. Louis MO on the IL side
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
NHL Body Lift (one puck):
I’d noticed when I purchased this truck that there were a few body mounts that were shot. There are also a few of the frame mounts that will need a helping hand, but we’ll get to those later. Since there is a doubler in the near future for this toy, I thought a little extra clearance under the cab might make it easier to install one.
If you’ve never done a body lift, there really isn’t much to one. Loosen/remove the body bolts and jack up the cab. Be mindful of some of the connections between the cab and frame so you don’t do thing like this:



Once the cab is in the air, just cut/pry out the old mounts, Try not to break your favorite pry bar in the process…


Once the old mounts are out, put your new mounts in (I didn’t want to spend the money on rubber mounts, so I just went with poly). Slap your hockey puck on top, align the cab the best that you can, tighten the bolts back down and you’re done:


Be sure to reuse as much of the factory hardware you can (washers and such) as this helps to keep the cab in proper alignment. I goofed up and had to go back and make/fix some of the damaged hardware.

EDIT:

Here's and exploded view of the setup I'm running:
 
Last edited:

Kage

March 2012 OTOTM Winner
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
781
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
Near St. Louis MO on the IL side
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Front SAS – D44, leafs, and D35 Tear out:
Why buck the trend of just doing Radius arms and coils? There are a few reasons, I’m cheap (Links got expensive), and leafs should work just fine for the wheeling we do out here. The additional bonus of leafs is that it will make it retarded easy to put a D60 in if the D44 Gives me too much trouble.

Why run Full Width axles? This goes back to the reliability portion of this build. While I can narrow the axles, it would then mean running custom shafts (at least for the rear). By running as many stock components that I can, it’ll make it easier to find replacement parts if one should fail when I’m away from home. The other added bonus is the wider track width should make for a more stable vehicle off road. Time will tell if the full width wind up being a hindrance out here. Watching my friend tool around in his ’78 bronco, I’m not real worried about being able to “fit” out here.

I started out by picking up a 44/60 combo out of an 1978 F250 (more on the rear 60 later). After getting it home, I stripped it down and cleaned it up:







During the tear down of this axle, I had a guy in my Jeep club offer me his 44 and Nittos for a price I couldn’t pass up.


The D44 was setup for a TJ, so I passed that housing onto a friend for his eventual build. Prior to sending it on its way, I pulled the Detroit, Yukon shafts, knuckles (high steer), and 5.38’s out of it. I then setup the Leaf Sprung axle with the 4:10’s and other goodies. I may throw the 5.38’s in there one day after I see how horrid the 4:10’s are.

After the axle was buttoned up, I turned my attention to the Wagonner leafs. These packs are stock (at this point). But they’re setup for spring under in the stock configuration, so I had to swap the pin around. Easy as pie, just remember to clamp the packs down so they don’t pop on ya.

Leafs:


Swapping the Pin:


I had ordered up some u-bolts and plates from ruff Stuff and slapped the Wagoneer leafs on the axle, now we’re ready to slap this dude under the truck as soon as the truck is ready for it.

D44 With Leafs (Ignore the ugly diff cover, new one is on its way):



The Tear Out:
Now that the new front axle is ready to go under the truck, it was time to start making a place for it to live. So the truck gets pulled in looking like this:


Hose everything down with a mix of ATF and Acetone (best rest penetrate I’ve ever used), and the front end just falls out:


A little time with a cut off wheel and a 4.5” angle grinder and there suddenly is quite a bit more room under here:
 

Kage

March 2012 OTOTM Winner
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
781
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
Near St. Louis MO on the IL side
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Front SAS – Leaf Mounts:
Now that I’ve got this fancy used axle and used springs, I need to mount them to the truck. For the front-rear leaf mounts (mounts close to the firewall) I came up with a boxed in leaf mount. This mount will be somewhat outboard of the frame in this area. The mounts were made out of scrap ¼” material that I scrounged from the work dumpster.

Parts:


Pre weld:


Welded (its been a little while since I’ve played welder, be kind :D):


For the front leaf mounts (under the radiator) I’m using YJ bushings at this end. Again using scrap metal to make the parts they went together something like this:

All the parts:


Drilled a hole (my poor hole saw didn’t care for this step):


Play with the chop saw some more:


Welded and cleaned up some and welded to the plate that will be attached to the truck:


And done! The next step is to get the 44 under the truck and the frame plating/leaf mounting sorted out. I’ll be outboard the springs from the frame some as I don’t want to move the axle perches (remember, I want to be able to make this 44 go away if it becomes an issue).

If all goes as planned, the front should be sitting on its own weight by the end of this weekend, so look for another update Sunday/Monday. Comments/suggestions welcome as always!
 

02RangerXLT

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,691
Reaction score
53
Points
0
Location
NE
Vehicle Year
2002
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
Cool build for sure! Thank you very much for the neat and organized posts, its truly appreciated!
 

bobbywalter

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
20,303
Reaction score
1,192
Points
113
Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
simple enough.


i assume you will be running histeer of some sort?

running the shackles in the front and hi steer will likely allow you to incorporate the front driveshaft as is with just a cross joint. this usually means the centerline of the axle goes forward 1-2.5 in. i usually just use the 1330 "long" slip at the axle end so that i wont have to use the cross joint...(you can do same out back) i have run into issue with the 1330 strengthwise and either will upgrade to a 1350 yoke and joint or go to a 1310.
 

Kage

March 2012 OTOTM Winner
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
781
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
Near St. Louis MO on the IL side
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Cool build for sure! Thank you very much for the neat and organized posts, its truly appreciated!
No problem, I'll try to keep it up as I move forward :icon_thumby:

simple enough.
Yup, the other part of the goal here is to get back on the trails as quickly as possible (Shooting to be up and running by the end of May if not sooner).

...i assume you will be running histeer of some sort?..
Yup, the Passenger side has allready been setup for the high steer. The drivers side will likely wind up with an arm as well, but for moving it around in the garage, the stock position will work. I'll be running heims to start out with since the knuckles/arm have allready been drilled out for them (drilled out enough that I can't recut the taper for the chevy TRE's).

...running the shackles in the front and hi steer will likely allow you to incorporate the front driveshaft as is with just a cross joint. this usually means the centerline of the axle goes forward 1-2.5 in. i usually just use the 1330 "long" slip at the axle end so that i wont have to use the cross joint...(you can do same out back) i have run into issue with the 1330 strengthwise and either will upgrade to a 1350 yoke and joint or go to a 1310.

Thanks, I'll keep that in consideration. I'm currently planning on running the 1310 joints right now since
  1. I wheel mostly with Jeeps out here, so 1310's are easy to come by on the trail if I were to need one in a hurry (I carrry spares, but you never know).
  2. I don't know if it would be an issue or not, but you do "appear" to get a larger range of motion out of the 1310's vs the 1350's. I haven't played with enough 1350 setups to speak confidently on that issue yet. I've got the 1350 yokes for both axles so I can allways change things up later if the smaller joints pop to easy
Its looking like at ride height the front axle is going to be pushed foward about 3" from where it sat stock, which means the Stock Drive Shaft is going to be short about 2". But with the extra 6" or so of the doubler I'm not going to be able to use the stock shaft anyway. Not that its a huge deal either way, just more details to work out as I move along.

Again, thanks for the comments guys!
 

wohlf 16

Banned
Solid Axle Swap
--- Banned ---
Joined
Oct 26, 2007
Messages
243
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Age
34
Location
St. Louisville, OH
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Your front axle should already have the driver side drilled and tapped and machined flat for high steer. All you need to do is order studs, cone washers, nuts, and an arm and you will have full hi steer. Used the same axle on my swap. Those arms on ebay run less than 100 bux and I was very impressed with mine. He also has the stud washer nut kits on there for dirt cheap. Looks good so far! Love to see SAS's on here!
 

Kage

March 2012 OTOTM Winner
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
781
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
Near St. Louis MO on the IL side
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Your front axle should already have the driver side drilled and tapped and machined flat for high steer. All you need to do is order studs, cone washers, nuts, and an arm and you will have full hi steer. Used the same axle on my swap. Those arms on ebay run less than 100 bux and I was very impressed with mine. He also has the stud washer nut kits on there for dirt cheap. Looks good so far! Love to see SAS's on here!
Thanks!

For some reason I'd been avoiding Ebay when looking at my arm options. I've already got the Studs/Cone washers etc for both sides, so I'm set there.

I came across This auction (Linky) that's making me consider picking up a pair of these so that I can run the Chevy TRE's rather than the heims. Unfortunately, I've already purchased the heims and Tube adapters, so that would be more money out of pocket to change directions at this point

But I also see that there are long and short Driver side arms floating around out there as well (For more money than the arm pair ) so I can go that route.

Either way, I need to make that decision pretty quickly I'm going to need some sort of steering here just so I can turn the sill thing around without trying to kill myself doing so.

Question: Does anyone have any experience using hydro assist with the chevy TRE's? Pros/Con's over using Heims? I need to do more googeling on that tonight, but if anyone has any experience I'd be happy to hear about it.

Thanks again for the comments guys!
 

Viva*the*Ranger

New Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
2,108
Reaction score
43
Points
0
Location
Bellingham, Wa.
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
You're off to a great start. I'm really looking forward to watching the progress. Keep it up man!
 

Kage

March 2012 OTOTM Winner
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
781
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
Near St. Louis MO on the IL side
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Front SAS – Test Fitting the 44 (figuring shackle length):
After doing some quick plating of the front crumple zone (I’ll do a separate post on that when I get done plating, as well as final mounting locations for the front leaf mounts) I did a few test fits of the 44. What can I say, I’m kind excited at this point so I’m jumping ahead a bit :icon_twisted:

Since I didn’t really have any reference points to measure off of to being with (cab is loose from the body, and I’d cut off all the things I could have used as an easy reference point). I just kinda winged the placement of the rear leaf mounts to get started and slide the axle in place (which was a pain by myself).


After the rear mounts were in place, I swung the axle around to roughly figure where the front mounts would need to be. (The string with the washer in some of the photos is where the center of the hub was with the D35)


The first trial fit was surprisingly close. Using some scrap steel (again), I’d just punched out some 4” shackles as I’d figured that the shackle length would wind up around 4-5”

4” Shackle at Ride height:

Angle:


Droop:



Droop angle:


As you can see, the angle at ride height didn’t look too bad, but with the axle at full droop, the shackle was too short. So I whipped up a 5” long shackle and gave that a try…

5” Shackle at Ride Height:


Angle:


Droop:


Droop Angle:


Better, but it can still be improved. The angle at ride height was still a bit too steep for me, and I wanted to get a little more down travel. So that called for round three. I Cut off the front leaf mounts and moved them back a ½” from where they were at first, and used the same 5” shackles.

Moved Front mounts with 5” Shackle at ride height:


Angle:


Droop:


Droop angle:


This setup looks like it’ll give me about 7.5” of droop (measured from the frame to the ubolt plate), and about 21” under the frame. Since everything is just tacked in, I didn’t want to flex it out too much. I also haven’t modified the stock waggy pack yet, which should net me some more down travel. I'll put in some sort of "anti-kick-back" thing on the finial version of the shackles to keep them from getting stuck when really flexing out.

Up travel has yet to be determined, but If were to put the bump stops where they would be on a waggy (Remember, stock wagoneer leaf pack here) I would have about 5” worth of up travel to work with. So somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-13” of total travel when measured at the frame. Not too bad for a leaf pack. Since the wheel mounting surface is about 18” out past the leaf’s, that meant I’m going to probably wind up doing some serious trimming of the front fenders


With the axle sitting as it currently is, the placement puts my stock pitman arm directly in line with the “long” hole on my passenger side high steer arm. This is awesome as I get the extra advantage of more steering leverage (may not have to do hydro assist?). But it also means that I shouldn’t lose any turning radius.

As far as centerlines go, the axle is pushed forward ~5” off of the stock dana 35 location:


This means my approach angle is looking pretty good right now..



And for fun, here’s a shot looking down the side of the truck (the wheel is pushed against the mounting surface in this photo)


We’re getting there! :icon_bounceblue:

One finial note, which is more of a PSA type deal (and a reminder that I hate welding upside down).

Kids, always wear your welding gloves, even when you’re just trying to tack a few things together. Welding BB’s make for nasty smelling burns!






I should be burning the brackets home tomorrow, so more to come soon! :icon_cheers:

Edit 1: After sleeping on it a bit, I don't think I'm happy with that shackle angle as it is right now (mount moved back 1/2" with a 5" shackle). I'm thinking I need a little steeper angle to help keep from creating an "infinite resistance" (Suspension Jacking) situation during up travel that could cause me issues. So I'm going to play with it a bit more to get something a little better. I'll edit this post again when I get the "best" solution done.

Edit 2: I played with it a little more this morning try to flex it out as best I can while its on jackstands. It looks like I"m going to stay with the mounts located where they're at with 5" long shackles. It looks like it might actually be the sweet spot. Worse comes to worse, I can allways cut the mounts off and move them again later.
 
Last edited:

Viva*the*Ranger

New Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
2,108
Reaction score
43
Points
0
Location
Bellingham, Wa.
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
Good work. Are you going to, or did you, box in the back of those shackles? Made from 1/4" plate I assume?

Take care of that burn. Ha ha. I've had plenty of them. Those little balls of fire will make their way in to places you REALLY don't want them. LOl. Trust me, I know. I got one in my arm pit once from welding upside down:icon_surprised:
 

Kage

March 2012 OTOTM Winner
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
781
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
Near St. Louis MO on the IL side
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Good work. Are you going to, or did you, box in the back of those shackles? Made from 1/4" plate I assume?
Those shackles are made out of some 3/16" scrap I had laying around. The real shackles are giong to be made out of 1/2" which is waaaaay overkill, but its what I have in my scrap bin right now (if some 1/4" or 3/8" shows up, I'll use that instead). I'll box in the shackel as well once I get to that point.

Take care of that burn. Ha ha. I've had plenty of them. Those little balls of fire will make their way in to places you REALLY don't want them. LOl. Trust me, I know. I got one in my arm pit once from welding upside down:icon_surprised:
Unfortunatley (or fortunately?), I'm no stranger to weld burns, and I'm sure I'll have a few more after I get done doing some more welding tonight :icon_welder:

I hate welding upsidedown! I'm really wishing I had room for a rotisserie...
 

Viva*the*Ranger

New Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
2,108
Reaction score
43
Points
0
Location
Bellingham, Wa.
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
Ha ha, half inch is some pretty serious material.... but at least you know it won't break! And yeah, welding upside down kinda blows. I have a good leather apron, long armed welding gloves, and a beat up old carhartt that do a fairly good job of protecting me. If you don't have an apron, I strongly suggest getting one. Mine has saved me from having to buy new clothes quite a few times. And my girlfriend says I look sexy with it on:icon_cheers:
 

strangeranger

New Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
You talk about 63 or 64s leafs what are you refering to? length?
 
Last edited:


Top