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Just another dude.
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917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i figured i should put this up since it is nearing completion. that was a lie, its not even close to being done. :p but the one tons are under it and its driveable. so here is the story. started with a 1994 4 door explorer with 98k miles on it, purchased in 2011 from a 77 year old woman that used it to winter in arizona and summer in colorado. spotless. when i test drove it she warned me not to take it offroad or abuse it. lol. :evil: little did she know what was in store for it.


first things first, was a larger transmission cooler. first one i used was an a/c condenser from a 1978 k30. huge. worked decent barely fit. currently using a 6l trans cooler. much smaller works equally well so far.

throttle cable was stretched, fixed with zipties

for a while i had a 14 bolt swapped in with a welded diff got some weird looks.

front axle wore out an oil seal on a trip home from work in the winter. and toasted the bearings and it was finally time to install the one tons.

i had previously acquired a set of 2004 f350 axles. and pinched some pennies to get 5.38s and zip lockers for the axles. naturally i was to anxious to get the axles in before i got the gears in, so that was fun.

i moved the front hanger on the rear springs 6" forward to fit some chevy 63" springs in. flex is pretty decent. for the front i used the explorers rear springs. with the shackle mounted in front to keep it low. not entirely sold on that. it works but up travel is pretty limited with the diff location. and i need to move the axle back an inch to keep it from hitting the diff cover on the engine crossmember.
 

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Just another dude.
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917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
so currently it has some 38 xmls on it, im finishing up my hummer beadlocks and 37s that will replace the dry rotted xmls.

i did end up using both front and rear superduty axles. i used a crush sleeve eliminator in the rear sterling, to eliminate a weak point, and when i do the first oil change will be putting dana 70 bolts in the carrier with the flanged head to elimnate a second weak point. should be fairly bullet proof.

ruff stuff diff covers front and rear. super beefy.

still need to run the airlines for the lockers, and put in my sliders/air tanks.

future plans include,

-interior rollcage

-5.8l, 4r100 and doubler. may change who knows. im not expecting the 4l to do well at elevation climbing some of these passes. hence the desire for more motor.

-linked front, and 42s

i had to use it as rescue vehicle once already. we took the excursion on the yearly camping trip, since the explorer wasnt done and blew the driveshaft on it.

the excursion has a 2006 radius arm dana 60 swapped in it. ride better, brakes betters, and corners way better.
 

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I like the excursion. If I was doing things over, I'd have swapped my 05 60 under the excursion and the 04 60 under my '78, but the excursion is my daily and I couldn't afford it to be down that long...

the explorer looks a little too narrow for those axles... at least it will never roll over!
 

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Just another dude.
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917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the comments. my goal was to keep it low and stable. its pretty close to accomplishing both. it bottoms out on the front a little too much for my liking though. still need some massaging up there.
 

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Just another dude.
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917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
so still finishing up some minor details.

the engine crossmember would on occasion contact the ruffstuff diff cover. so i made some more room for that. still need to do some grinding after the test drive.

also working on some track bar placement its going to be tight. if any of you guys have pics of how you mounted yours feel free to post them up.

the rear shocks i mounted outboard, with the stock 4.5" back spaced steelies the tires rub the shocks a little bit. the recentered h1 rims have 3.25" back spacing which im hoping resolves that issue. if not ill put in some 1.5" spacers i have.
 

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Just another dude.
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917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Worked on the track bar today, should work ok. Unfortunately this position won't let me use the stock explorer sway bar. I may try the stock f350 sway bar behind the axle. Although the sway is honestly not that bad. The wind was not helping today at all. So the mount still needs some welding and bracing done to it, but I like the position it's in.
 

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Since my 78 F150 wont be done anytime soon and I basically have everything sitting around to throw tons and my 44 inch boggers under something, Ive been eyeing an explorer my folks havent been driving...you sir may have just put me over the edge..haha
 

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hey Bf, great work so far! I'm not running SD axles, but feel free to check out either of my threads, as they both have different trackbar setups. The ranger has an upward 20* bend in it right at the pumpkin to keep it inline with the steering, and it tucks right up into that area on the cradle.

Also, Kyle M before his truck went apeshit crazy has just a 3 or 4" wide piece of channel that allowed him to tuck the front axle up (on a 78 60) really nicely.


Also, why a 5.8 rather than just a 302?
 

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Just another dude.
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917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thx ill check that out.

5l is doable. 5.8l would have more power potential. havent fully decided yet. just kinda what was on my mind at the time. and its a little different than the usual 5l swap. :D
 

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5l swap in a 1st gen sploder is not very common though. 3rd gen rangers it is super common, but even 2nd and 1st generation rangers are rare to see fuel injected 5l in them. Usually a carbed small block ford in the square bodies.
 

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Just another dude.
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Small update, got a few of the new bead locks put together, which looks like it should help the tire rubbing on the leaf springs in the front, and give me more clearance for the shocks in the back.
 

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Just another dude.
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917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
sorry, these pictures were supposed to go with the last post. the first two are sideways courtesy of my phone. this tire and wheel combo is a lot heavier than the xmls and steel wheels. seems to push them ok though.
 

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Looks good. I have a 93 on d44/9" kept it low as well. I moved my axle up and trimmed the k member but haze clearance issues between the tie rod and drag link.
 

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What size are the new meats?

How do you like the ride of those Bilsteins? I am really debating picking up a set for the rear of the ranger
 

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Just another dude.
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917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
new meats are standard military issue goodyear mts 37 x 12.5 r 16.5 grooved by trailworthy fab. and siped locally. ridiculous gription on ice.

i still need to play with the leafs. it rides decent though. not to rough not too soft. havent felt the need for a sway bar yet. i have another set of 7100s for the front im going to put on after i build some shock mounts for the axle. it has 8" monroe shocks on it right now.

code, if you have pictures of it, id love to see it. feel free to post it in here.
 
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