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Old 01-17-2010, 01:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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90' Montero SAS

Hi all I'm a newbe over here. Altho I have been reading threads on Pirate for some time I've never taken the time to join. I've been a member on the Explorer forum for a while and have completed a sas on my Ranger and swapped in a fuel injected 5.0 With gt-40 heads and intake. Power is transfered through a zf-5, np203/pn205doubler, full width Big Bronco d44/ 9" Ford 5.13 gears. It rides on 37x12.50 15 Swamper SSR's. But enough abought my junk. I have been in search of good info on swapping in axles in my wifes Montero. What I have is FSJ 44's front and rear. The rear is no problem suspension will be 63" chevy springs, It is already mocked up and will give me the ride hight i desire. The front will be a radius type set up as there is not enough room to 3 link it. My main questions are what to do abought the pitman arm (the steer box needs to move and posibly be replaced maby FSJ or f-150 /Bronco). And the front drive shaft definatly will not work, can not get enough angle at the t-case joint. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I retained my stock steering box, but it needed to be relocated about 3" forward so I would clear the coilover hoop and it helped with the geometry on the crossover steering setup.

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Old 01-17-2010, 02:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We need pics.................. or else


If your lucky sneakyninja or lordtrunks will show up they've SAS'd a couple of monteros.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd keep the mitsu rear end and trailing arm setup, no need to do a bunch of extra work to downgrade axles. On top of that you'll get better articulation and ride quality by not going leafs in the back. If you were planning on swapping the 44 in so that you could later build it to be stronger you would still be better off swapping in the gen 2 SR rear end. This will get you discs, air locker and durability at a price less than upgrading the D44, The SR rear is basically a bolt on swap and will be a close width match to the front FSJ D44.


Are you planning on doing a T-case swap as well?
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneakyninja View Post
I'd keep the mitsu rear end and trailing arm setup, no need to do a bunch of extra work to downgrade axles. On top of that you'll get better articulation and ride quality by not going leafs in the back. If you were planning on swapping the 44 in so that you could later build it to be stronger you would still be better off swapping in the gen 2 SR rear end. This will get you discs, air locker and durability at a price less than upgrading the D44, The SR rear is basically a bolt on swap and will be a close width match to the front FSJ D44.
This ^^

If you plan on keeping the Mitsu t-case you'll have to sye both outputs yourself. Not a big deal just drill/tap the shafts, bolt on flange/yoke.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replys. I changed from the stock rear axle due to the lack of gear options. I am not realy concerned abought having the greatest flex on this build. The most important things are clear 35's, descent handling on the road, get a gear in the mid 5s. The truck will see limited off road use and will be more of a weekend ride. The only reason I did not go with leaves in the front is I just dont like the leaf setups I have seen.

http://explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=261060

There is the link to the pics.

Last edited by 94 Crawler; 01-18-2010 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneakyninja View Post
I'd keep the mitsu rear end and trailing arm setup, no need to do a bunch of extra work to downgrade axles. On top of that you'll get better articulation and ride quality by not going leafs in the back. If you were planning on swapping the 44 in so that you could later build it to be stronger you would still be better off swapping in the gen 2 SR rear end. This will get you discs, air locker and durability at a price less than upgrading the D44, The SR rear is basically a bolt on swap and will be a close width match to the front FSJ D44.


Are you planning on doing a T-case swap as well?
I see the FSJ d44s as the best option. The gears match already. And the FSJ axles are quit a bit wider than the montero rear (a few inches is alot). Plus he will gain alot more gearing options down the line. Also, those 63" chevy leafs have been used alot and seem to hold up pretty well on the trail, they can be made to flex.

SWAP IN A NP231 or RUBICON CASE?
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I see the FSJ d44s as the best option. The gears match already. And the FSJ axles are quit a bit wider than the montero rear (a few inches is alot). Plus he will gain alot more gearing options down the line. Also, those 63" chevy leafs have been used alot and seem to hold up pretty well on the trail, they can be made to flex.

SWAP IN A NP231 or RUBICON CASE?
Thanks. That was my thought on the axles. I have seriously concidered swapping cases. I have read abought the np231 out of an xj is suposed to work. But the info on the oil seal/ the length of the xfer case shaft that is suposed to be a problem with the swap is hard to find.

As for the chevy springs they already flex better than the stock setup and I havent realy tried to flex them yet. My concern is will they be to soft.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting that for me TayJ.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice Ranger!

Leaf springs are a good choice. Less maintenance and cheaper over time. A good set of custom springs will give you just as much articuation as anything you could do with the stock setup and more load carying capacity. It'll ride and handle as well or better than the modified stock coil configuration. I would seriously consider custom designed leafs, though. It's expensive - mine run about $450 from Alcan here in CO - but they're well worth the expense.

Depending on what you do on the front you shouldn't need to change steering boxes. No one that I know of has ever had a box failure on a Mitsu SAS so that's probably not an issue. If you go with the Ford radius arm setup - arms, buckets and shocks - you'll probably want to move it forward a tad but that's it. I ended up moving mine forward an inch for better clearance on the track bar so I could get better steering geometry. I absolutly would not go with coil-overs for a primarily street driven vehicle. Too expensive in both the short and long term and they won't buy you anything on the road.

Something to consider on a primarly street driven vehicle is liability. Insurance companies and government can get seriosly pissy if you get in an accident with a hevily modified vehicle. I've read more than a few posts of people being held liable for accidents they weren't responsible for because the vehicle 'looked' unsafe or was 'modified'. IMHO, keep the components as 'factory' looking as possible and use DOT parts and factory design(s) whereever possible. I run a Sport with a '75 Bronco suspension front and rear and unless you know Mitsubishis it's almost impossible to tell that it didn't come from the factory that way and someone just put a lift on it. Cops and insurance companies don't even give mine a second look.

On the same note, get a pitman arm built. Find a machine shop if you can't do it yourself, and have them machine a pitman arm. Cut a recess for the splined sector shaft end, snip the splined end off the old pitman arm off, insert it and weld it in. It shouldn't cost more than $100 and it'll last forever. I've busted three of the strongest Heim joints you can buy on my track bar, been through four front end accidents and 10 years of trail damage and I've never had to worry about whether I'd loose steering doing 80 down the highway someday.

Stay away from Heim joints if at all possible. I have one and that's the frame end of my track bar and I'm not too happy about that but I'm having problems trying to come up with a way to replace it that doesn't require an entire redesign of my steering. As I said, I've busted three in 10 years so no matter what anyone says they're not as indestructable as people think. Speaking from experience, you DO NOT want one to snap driving down the highway.

I use 1.25" DOM with Napa 2023 and 2022 tie-rod ends for the steering link. Now you can buy the DOM cut to length and threaded so that's kind of a no-brainer. The ends last me about 80k miles if I'm not on the trail 30-40% of the time, they're dirt cheap and easy to get and replace. I use the Napa drop style ends for the tie-rod betweent he knuckles (don't remember the part number) and I've replaced those twice in 10 years. The 2022/23 have plenty of angle to work with so it won't limit articulation.

If you're not going to do any serious 'wheeling there's probably no reason to flip the tie-rod between the knuckels to the top. Somthing to do if you're boored, I guess.

You really need a Dana HP for the front. I think a one or two of the long wheel base guys have made it work with the low pinion but as far as I know none of those are pirmairly street vehicles. You will get a lot better geometry with the HP. With a 17" front drive shaft I could run in 4WD at 55 MPH on the highway and it was as smooth as glass. Make sure whoever rebuilds the axle installs the oil slingers like Ford used in their Bronco HP. I have two in mine and I haven't had any more oiling issues in five years. Don't forget these or eventually you'll weld the pinion to the housing.

You have to do a SYE on the front output of the Mitsu t-case. You do NOT need to do the rear although I would. Lots of highway driving and high angles eventually beat the crap out of the rear slip yoke so the SYE cuts down on maintenance. There are several ways to do the front and mostly it depends on who does it. I had a new yoke built to fit the Toy CV used in my original front drive shaft. Cut the front of the stock yoke off, weld a flange on, drill the center and drill and tap the shaft.

Your other alternative is to go to the NP231 or NP242 with the SYE kit. For a primarily street driven vehicle I'd try to do the NP242. That gives you all-wheel drive besides 4WD Hi/Lo. As far as I know the process is exactly the same for the 242 as far as parts requirements but others would know more about that than me. I run a 5-speed and went with the NP231 dual t-case setup. Whole different ball game.

One of the really nice things about the NP231/242 is if you're so inclined you can get the Terra Low 231 4:1 kit. Cool, but probably useless unless you're really going to 'wheel it. You can also get the ultra-short SYE for the rear which shortens things a bit and can give you better angles on the rear drive shaft. The usefullness of this, of course, depends on your t-case. It was a good deal for me since the entire NP231 ended up being shorter than the stock t-case and that pulled everything forward.

Since this is going to be primarily street and very limited off-road you may want to consider limiting straps on the front since you won't have sway bars anymore. In an emergency it'll somewhat limit the shift of the center of gravity. In simple terms it'll keep the body from shifting too much over the drive train alowing the body to just drag everything over. On my Sport I have a LOT more articulation than I can actually use. Usable articulation is limited by the short front drive shaft so I also run straps to keep from over extending things on the trail.

Most of this you probably already know since you've already done a SAS and it's not that different with a Mitsu but I thought I'd put my 2 cents in. There are pictures of my conversion on http://www.4x4extremesports.com/ under "SUV Mods"-> "IFS to Live Axle Conversion".

Edward
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Wow! Thats a book 97sport! Alot of good info and shit in there.

Any updates 94crawler?
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90 shadow 1100cc dd

Last edited by TayJ; 01-31-2010 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sorry guys No updates yet. It has been one of those months where I haven't been able to get out to the shop much and when I did I found my liner in my welder was sticking. Hopefully I'll get some time out there this up coming week end.

Thanks for the imput ES_97Sport. I would like to concider the NP 231 swap. And most likely I will go back with sway bars with some quick disconects.
I have to make shure that this thing drives realy well, and will have to make adjustments I'm shure so there are few if any quirks on the street. The pitman arm is now over the drag link and that is with the wheel base at the stock location. I have seriously concidered using my flat top knuckles and going high steer, and just rinning the steer arm to the inner hole. That should give me the best turning radius. Any way I'll post some up dates this weekend I hope.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Like me you will find moving the steering gear box forward like the truck and sport guys above have will put it right where a body mount is, So what i'll be doing with mine is the same some toyota guys do is use a scout II steering box it has a forward facing pitman arm then just make up some line adapters for the mitsu power steering pump lines to the scout box, and adapt the steering shaft but that won't be to hard.
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