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Discussion Starter #1
Started this in the drivetrain section and thought it should move off into the construction projects. As where it sits for now, the welding and cleanup is generally finished and getting all the parts fitted back on to the main axle housing as it will be situated on the frame.

This is where it started, a rear end located near Portland from a wrecked 2000 Ford Explorer with 3:55 gearing, 31 spline axles and discs that are about 2 inches bigger diameter that fit nice inside the 16" rims currently on the truck. Came with the shocks, springs, torsion bar with 1 link, and an additional shock mounted on the front of the differential housing. Looks like it can be adapted to fit up to the torsion bar on the other side to provide some better stability.

The internals appear to be in good working order but eventually get it replaced with a trac loc assembly for the 31 spline shafts.

The housing was a bit beat up on one side and was an easy fix. The brake pads for the discs and the ebrake seem to have enough surfacing left and will get them changed out as time goes on.


The new leaf spring supports had to be ground down a bit to fit the heavy duty axle housing.

Came out almost perfect but had to put a 45 degree bevel in order to get the mig welder to give a complete fillet.

Hell of a job for a first time mig weld, had about 30 minutes practice on some scrap before making this permanent.

did some grinding and cleaned it up just before painting.




This is where it stops for now until the truck gets pulled into the garage to start doing the swap, have a small ranger meet in seattle on Oct 2, don't want to miss it.
 

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Awesome! I love that swap... looks like you're doing a fantastic job!
 

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Awesome swap man! Cant wait to see it up in there! This is what I will do one day with an explorer 31 spline and my truck.
 

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Looks good.
Next time you might want to rethink grinding your welds, that will weaken the weld because your taking metal away, especially if you didn't get good penetration. If your welds don't look good, grind them all the way off and redo them. That being said, I've had some fugly, goober looking welds hold just fine. Just keep an eye out for cracks.

Richard
 

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Yes it looks good bro like the paint color but I would agree with the welds but I am sure other people know more then me. Even though I know how to weld :p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
alwaysFlOoReD said:
Looks good.
Next time you might want to rethink grinding your welds, that will weaken the weld because your taking metal away, especially if you didn't get good penetration. If your welds don't look good, grind them all the way off and redo them. That being said, I've had some fugly, goober looking welds hold just fine. Just keep an eye out for cracks.

Richard
Thanks for keeping an eye out for the quality and gob factor, tried to take that into account before smoothing it out. During the prep I put a 45 degree bevel about half way through the thickness of the mount and did 2 passes, was still way thicker than what was on the other mounts. Turned out it penetrated to the inside of the mounts so i ground off just enough to smooth it out. The other part of the strength comes from leaving the other leaf spring support on. What i intended to do is use the shock mount plates from the original setup for the bottom of the axle, use the plates that are on the truck to stay in place on top of the springs and use 4 grade 8 bolts to sandwich the entire assembly together. The shock mount plates can be rotated to hook up the shocks in their original locations. Fairly certain the grade 8 bolts should hold versus using the u bolts when there's support for both of the plates. Wanted to take advantage of the torsion bar that came with the axle to help with the stability when carrying a heavy load. Hope it all makes sense, should get some pics up when the process gets started to work out all the kinks. Keep the ideas coming in, better to be prepared than dead on the side of the road.
 

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If I'm picturing it in my head correctly I'd drive it like that.

Richard
 

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i can picture it sounds like a good plan . i would use a good torque wrench bring theses bolts down to proper spec and recheck them a few times. boxing in the two open ends on the spring perch would not be a bad plan also. just a though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a short bit of time before my job sends me out again on location. As for the progress, I managed to find a couple more weak parts and this time it would be the rear u joint and possibly 1 or 2 of the bearings in the T5 are really getting sloppy and can move the driveshaft up and down on the output shaft. Probably where the vibration had accelerated the wear and tear during the 1,000 mile trip last weekend. It started vibrating around 50mph in 4th and 75 in 5th, and only got nastier as the trip went. There was one part of the trip that I could see how fast it would climb out of the gorge going west to Ellensburg, Turns out it had no problem with acceleration in 4th and was able to maintain 85 to 95 up the steep hill but had vibrations all the way up the long hill, was fortunate to not end up on the side of the road with a blown tranny.

The bed of the truck gets put in the backyard tomorrow.

Got set up in the garage and did a fairly thorough inspection on the drivetrain where the rear u joint looked like it blew out one of the bearings and would move off center. Would have had to do the same thing and remove it since the attachment bracket for the Explorer rear requires it to be changed out for the larger bracket.

The plates for the shocks need a bit of cleanup but should be ready for bolting up.



If all goes well, the mustang club in town gave me an invite to their day with the dyno, keeping the fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Was up till around 3am working on it last night, decided to cut it short tonight. just need to finish up with corrosion control on the shock plates.



Anyone looking for a spare 7.5 rear end, complete.

Got the Expo rear rolled under and bolted on with the u bolts temporarily until i can track down some 8" long grade 8 bolts.




Looking great with the discs, hope that the rest of the assembly goes smooth. Will have to finish most of the final build when I get back from Cali.
 

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very nice. love the red frame .i had never considered any thing but black on a frame, now seeing yours. maybe some color would not look bad at all.. :lamp:how bout a pic of your perch set up iam interested in how you did it. always looking for new ideas
 

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Discussion Starter #13
sloue said:
very nice. love the red frame .i had never considered any thing but black on a frame, now seeing yours. maybe some color would not look bad at all.. :lamp:how bout a pic of your perch set up iam interested in how you did it. always looking for new ideas
I think the red was all i had at the time, thought what the hell, it matches the paint, go for it.

Have to check a few of the perfomance shops around here for the 8" bolts to finish it up, was thrown back a bit when no one in town with parts bins had any 1/2" bolts in that size for grade 8, only the grade 5 and aint going to screw around with that. Had visions of the bolts snapping the first time gunning it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Was able to get a hold of 4 of the bolts, was able to get a perspective on how the shocks were going to clear the frame and if the torsion bar was going to have any issues. Unfortunately the torsion bar might be too close to the left shock and try a couple of different options.





 

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not to sure of the set up your running let us know how it works for you
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Talked to Fastenall yesterday and getting 4 more bolts sent from another shop in Burlington, get to pick them up in the morning after work. As for the torsion bar part of the set up, might have to skip on this. Wanted to provide a little extra stability, especially when carrying heavy loads. Could use the mounting brackets for attaching a link system later on.
 

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When you say torsion bar are you meaning sway/anti-sway bar? You could try looking for different years and maybe swap in? A long time ago I attempted to make my own sway bar. I bought spring steel round stock and heated it up with my bosses oxy/acy system. I followed his advice and it ended up cracking along the heated areas. If I'd done what I was taught in high school, I would of been fine. Oh well, lesson learned - older isn't necessarily wiser. Build your own, or see if your local high school or trade school will do the work if you supply material. As long as your arm length and wire size is the same, you'll have the exact same rating.
I ended up copying your 4-bolt idea, but different perch system. The 8" bolts ended being 1/2" too long with my system. I found them no problem, cost me C$30.00 for grade 8 with washers and nuts.
Awesome workmanship,

Richard
 

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cant see why this sould not work. it s out of the norm, i had problems at first but after much thought on it i just cant see not working
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've got a little bit of time today to do what can be done before heading down south for the month. Have to get the "sway" bar in place after torking the main bolts down and check for clearance. It all looks good except when the leaf springs are unloaded, probably get some weight on the back end and check it again and find a good mounting location for the shock on the right side to get the holes drilled.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Finally got back to work and knocked out quite a bit over the last 3 days.




Corrosion work done, paint applied, axles reinstalled, differential reassembled, brakes bolted on/bled and all the support bolts torqued down.





The brake lines from the Explorer were just a bit on the short side and tweaked the bracket to allow for full travel.





Picked up the new ujoint and found a slight problem with the compatibility. The Ranger has a smaller width than the Explorer and requires an adapter. The friendly folks down at Parts Plus have the catalog to get it on order this week for a 354 to 270 size ujoint. Probably make it easy next time and have the driveshaft converted over to make the search for a ujoint easier.

Looking at extending the solid link for the sway bar to get the right length, needs to be around 16".
 
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