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Discussion Starter #1
Disclaimer: I've spent the past 3 hours searching and reading about other peoples SAS builds.

Now that that's out of the way, on to my build project. I have no idea what route I'm going at this point so I wanted to open a discussion and get some opinions since I know a lot of you have SAS'd broncos and stuff before.


About 10 years ago I put a Sterling 10.25 and a Kingpin D-60 in a '91 explorer. That's been a great rig, I've been through 4 transmissions and 3 engines with it (all junkyard stuff) It was a total budget build where the only thing I really spent money on was the axles, gears, and lockers. I've had "tons" of fun with it but recently I had the most recent transmission fail (a 5 speed, which was a mistake to swap to from the auto to begin with), also the engine is getting some rod knock and quite frankly I'm just ready to build a new rig with a little more wheel travel (i had built this one as low as possible to keep it stable, the bump stops are only about an inch from the front axle at ride height) And I'd like a little more power, the 4.0 did okay with the automatic (usually) but it was horribly anemic with the 5 speed, and I couldn't gear it any lower than 5.38's

A couple videos of the old rig and my wheeling style

I intend to use the same 37" tires I already have.

The one thing which I have the least of these days is time... I have a welder, plasma cutter, and other necessary tools, but I'm hoping to find as much as I can pre-fabricated so I can hopefully get this project done in 2 weekends of working on it.

I'll leave the rear end leaf sprung, although I'd like to move the axle back an inch or so... no big deal here.

For the front, I was looking at this kit
https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/3LINKKT.html

I'm somewhat concerned about the location of the 3'rd link, weather there will be clearance for it without having to run too much lift.
On my old rig I did a radius arm type thing with two bushings on each arm, it worked okay but when it articulates it puts a bind on the bushings, so I can't use heims, and the softness of the bushines allows for a slight bit of axle wrap/shutter when traction is loose, so I don't really like that (especially since with either of the above options ill have quite a bit more power)

I already have high steer and a ram assist.

So, thoughts?
 

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I can comment on coil overs or a 3 link, but I’m on 37’s with about 6 or 7 inches of lift and works great for what I do. Drove from NY to Moab and back. Only down side to tailing a Fullsize is it’s big, not some much of an issue on the west coast, lots of trees here on the east coast.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #3
True.. I'll have the width of the axles either way, i guess if i go with the exploder it keeps the body in a bit tighter and gives me more room for a cage before i'm extending wider than my wheels already will be... guess i'll have to flip a coin.
 

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aka: kemicalburns
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Many trails here in the PNW have an 80" width restriction. now this is based on the tread contact patch on the ground.. not so much the overall width of the axle/tires/wheels.
 

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ate lug
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True.. I'll have the width of the axles either way, i guess if i go with the exploder it keeps the body in a bit tighter and gives me more room for a cage before i'm extending wider than my wheels already will be... guess i'll have to flip a coin.
I think fitting a 3-link in an explorer frame is going to be a challenge.


Ox built a 3-link for the front of his 79 and ran 2" coils for a long time, altho he had issues with the upper link hitting the oil pan. I know its a different generation frame, but its tight up there.

I would consider Superduty radius arms, it would be the easiest way to keep it low to the ground, and i think they handle better than the 70s style arms.
 

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Ford Hoarder
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I also like the superduty arm idea, especially since they are adjustable via a cam bolt.
As much as I like Bronco's a well built explorer would be fun too.

How much of the Bronco Body are you willing to not have, or how much must be there??? If you are cool with not caring about body damage, or making the front and rear smaller id do the bronco, but if you need keep it more nice, I think the explorer would fit better on most trails.

For me personally the 408 would likely win out over the 302 every time, but we are into 2 different types of wheeling.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I've been leaning slightly more towards building the Bronco lately, mostly because I'm picturing the parts just going together nicer (more room for suspension, and as an added bonus I wouldn't have to convert the steering box) I would keep the body basically stock on either, I don't really like the "narrowed" front and rears that some people do, I want it to remain street legal etc.

I can never bring my self to destroy a nice vehicle, so I guess that's another problem.. but that's where an exo-cage, or at least some good armor comes in.

I may have to get them both up on the lift and figure out how I'd build the suspension on either, that's likely the deciding factor. The worst part about my old rig (the 91 exploder) is that the front suspension has no clearance and it's a rough ride.

Crazybronco, what type of wheeling do you do? I like it all, but mostly trails and rocks are what's available, although I do love wheeling in the mud when the opportunity presents itself.
I don't care a whole lot about building this rig to go fast, as I have a can-am to satisfy my need for speed now days. (yeah i've jumped on the sxs bandwagon haha)
 

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I'm in a similar situation. I just purchased a Kingpin Dana 60 and I'm considering different options to perform the SAS (either leafs or coils).

Subbed.
 

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Ford Hoarder
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Sand Dunes, wooded trails not really hard but doing them quickly think like rally car style trails, and mud is what I like/do. I still like taking mine to work every once in awhile too.
Id get bored with a near stock 302 in the dunes really quickly, that is where I spend most of my time and the first thought when changing things on my 78 is usually to do better in that use vs other areas.

Like you said the canam likely excels at those things, so it would make sense to build it (truck/bronco/explorer) more for rocks and articulation needed type things then go-fast.
 

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