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ttb dana 44 in v8 explorer

SoCalltd

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Alright here we go... My original plan was to buy a 91-94 explorer 4x4 to build into a mild wheeler and "pre runner". The plan will include f-150/Bronco Dana 44 TTB front and full width 8.8 from an f-150. I know the frame is wider and will need to lengthen the TTB 1" per beam in order to retain the stock axles. I will cut and turn the lower ball joint to make up for the camber angle while converting the front to coilovers. This should bring roughly 10" wider than stock which is the goal of the swap. For the rear end I’ll be using late 90's Chevy springs that will be re-arched +12" and re-locate the brackets as necessary. This is not my first TTB build I had a 96 f-150 before. Now I state all this to prove I have used the search function, done my research and I'm a huge fan of 4x4Junkies work and knowledge.

Due to availability in my local area and considering that it is in fact 2016 finding 91-94 4x4 4.0l explorers is slowly becoming more and more rare. Yes they are out there, and yes they are cheap. At the same time in seeing a lot of V8 4x4 explorers around the same price but those were only offered after 95. I’m stuck on explorer and not a ranger because I need to build a family friendly off-roader. I was hoping I could find some guidance on what it would take to swap in the TTB. I have found a couple post and everybody just bashes the guy but never really explains why.

So for the big question. Since the TTB front really only uses 4 mounting points why does it seem so impossible to swap it into a newer explorer. From what I understand the main reason would be the cross member where the TTB mounts are located. If that's the case is it at all possible to swap the cross member with the TTB arms from an earlier explorer. The radius arms will be custom made and use 1 1/4" heims and custom mounts. Of course this will bring up questions about steering which I have yet to truly solve but most likely will try and take that from the TTB donor as well until a better steering solution comes along (swing set).

Now I know there are a lot of haters of the TTB and will say SAS, But I have ran TTB in the past and know its limitations, strengths and weaknesses. I'm not trying to rock crawl it, so it will stay open. I just want to be able to climb a hill run through the mud and be able to get through the sand. So in advance I kindly ask for you to save your time because I will not SAS.

To anybody willing to help thank you in advance, I'd really like to run a newer V8 Explorer TTB Dana 44 front but if not possible I’ll settle for a 91-94.
 


4x4junkie

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Thank you for the kind comments :)

Here's the scoop:
A TTB suspension can be swapped into pretty much anything you want with the right amount of time, work & planning (I recently saw in a magazine a TTB under a Jeep Cherokee XJ). What makes a TTB swap somewhat more difficult where one wasn't previously is the TTB axle doesn't really have any good reference points on it other than the wheel hubs themselves for positioning it under the vehicle, combined with the fact the two sides have different beam lengths and different fore/aft bracket positions. If you could fabricate some sort of a jig for the axle based off the pivot bracket positions of the F-150 the TTB D44 comes from, may make things go a little easier (in which case there should be no need to lengthen the beams since the brackets would then be in their proper positions).
I seen on another forum, where a guy ingeniously welded a pair of steel wheels to a length of steel tubing positioned as the wheels would be with the axle & suspenison mounted under the vehicle, then he bolted each half of the axle into the wheels. This made for a complete axle assembly that he could then move into position as if he were working with a solid beam axle, allowing him to mock up his axle brackets and other stuff.

The other thing (which also affects the SAS guys) is IFS frames have almost no up-turn above the axle, so to fit a different axle under it will require a taller ride stance (especially after a C&T at the ball joints as this sets the diff up higher as well). If these are things you can work around then I don't see why a TTB swap under an IFS truck wouldn't work for you.

Dealing with the steering should be about the same as with a SAS: The rack & pinion junk has to be tossed out, and a standard (recirculating ball) steering gear put in it's place. A search for SAS on these trucks should yield plenty enough info about swapping in a steering gear, to which you'd probably want to attach a crossover, swing-set, or K-link style linkage for steering the TTB axle.

Of course the other option would be to swap a 5.0L engine into a '91-'94 truck...

Hope that helps. If you decide to go the TTB-swap route, do post up some pics. :icon_thumby:
 

turbo91xlt

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wonder how hard it would be to just swap the whole 1st gen chassis under a 2nd gen and just swap the engine/trans over?
 

SoCalltd

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Thank you for the kind comments :)

Here's the scoop:
A TTB suspension can be swapped into pretty much anything you want with the right amount of time, work & planning (I recently saw in a magazine a TTB under a Jeep Cherokee XJ). What makes a TTB swap somewhat more difficult where one wasn't previously is the TTB axle doesn't really have any good reference points on it other than the wheel hubs themselves for positioning it under the vehicle, combined with the fact the two sides have different beam lengths and different fore/aft bracket positions. If you could fabricate some sort of a jig for the axle based off the pivot bracket positions of the F-150 the TTB D44 comes from, may make things go a little easier (in which case there should be no need to lengthen the beams since the brackets would then be in their proper positions).
I seen on another forum, where a guy ingeniously welded a pair of steel wheels to a length of steel tubing positioned as the wheels would be with the axle & suspenison mounted under the vehicle, then he bolted each half of the axle into the wheels. This made for a complete axle assembly that he could then move into position as if he were working with a solid beam axle, allowing him to mock up his axle brackets and other stuff.

The other thing (which also affects the SAS guys) is IFS frames have almost no up-turn above the axle, so to fit a different axle under it will require a taller ride stance (especially after a C&T at the ball joints as this sets the diff up higher as well). If these are things you can work around then I don't see why a TTB swap under an IFS truck wouldn't work for you.

Dealing with the steering should be about the same as with a SAS: The rack & pinion junk has to be tossed out, and a standard (recirculating ball) steering gear put in it's place. A search for SAS on these trucks should yield plenty enough info about swapping in a steering gear, to which you'd probably want to attach a crossover, swing-set, or K-link style linkage for steering the TTB axle.

Of course the other option would be to swap a 5.0L engine into a '91-'94 truck...

Hope that helps. If you decide to go the TTB-swap route, do post up some pics. :icon_thumby:
thank you that really clears up a lot for me and I hope it answers somebody else's questions later on down the road. maybe one day ill give this a shot but i just scored on a 92 explorer sport 4.0 4x4 with a 5 speed manual transmission for $300. found a dana 44 ttb for $100 with manual hubs out of a 85 bronco and still have the full width 8.8 from my f150. I'm sure I'll have more questions soon but I feel like most are answered in your previous post. I'm gonna start a build thread and show personal progress im looking to follow the og 94 explorer build thats on dezertrangers.



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4x4junkie

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Looks like it has some damage to the front, but great score nonetheless for $300.

That thing should be pretty wicked with a 5.0L in it. Good luck with your build. :icon_thumby:
 

SoCalltd

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Looks like it has some damage to the front, but great score nonetheless for $300.

That thing should be pretty wicked with a 5.0L in it. Good luck with your build. :icon_thumby:


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SoCalltd

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yea the front right had some damage hints the price but the drivetrain and interior are almost perfect

5.0 will be sweet one day but for now im just gonna focus on suspension

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scotts90ranger

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Your original plan was similar to mine, I even got as far as getting a '00 V8 Explorer for $800 with a blown LS in the 8.8. I fixed the LS for free with spare parts I had around then welded the forward clutches in the tranny so it's been parked... I did manage to get a TTB D44 for $100 with a F150 steering box and manual hubs and linkages, but that's as far as I got...
 

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