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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Darn, you’re too quick Mark… A guy can’t get away with anything on here… :eek:)

I can’t believe I forgot something else. I haven’t been checking my parts list as much lately because I thought I had everything I needed and was too caught up with the tear down/install procedures. I ended up ordering extended stainless skyjacker pieces for a stock ’96 from 4wheelparts.com. They should be here Tuesday or Wednesday because of the long weekend. It will take me that long to get the steering links cut, drilled, and threaded anyway since I have to take it to a machine shop for the drilling. (a lathe is down on the down on the list a ways)

I did get a few more things done last night. I finished getting the rear spring hangers off, opened up the stock bolt holes to 1/2” and mocked the new shackle over mounts into place. I needed to cut about a 1/2” off the bumper mounting bracket to be flush with the forward edge of the mounting bolts for more room, and I’ll likely have to clearance the bracket itself about 1/4” so that everything will fit flush against the frame. The holes in the bracket are not perfect, but they shouldn’t be off more than a 1/4”, so I should be able to open up two of them without any trouble. The biggest problem is that two of the bolt heads will be hidden behind the gas tank. I’ll have to try and figure out tonight if I can get a socket wrench back there, or if I should weld a finger type flange onto bolt head so I can just pull them through with wire and keep them from spinning. Or if all that is too much of a big deal, I’ll just drop the tank. Of course it is about 2/3rds full though.

I painted the shackle hangers and my axles, so I can put the U-joints in tonight or tomorrow.

I also finished my lower tracbar spacer. I might have to take some more off of it for clearance issues, but at least it’s the right depth and has all the machining done on the face. If nothing else, this should make it easy to make it double shear in the future when I get some more time. It should be as easy as cutting and welding a piece of angle to this piece and then having it run down to the axle tube. I might look doing it now if I have time, but that not all that likely at this point.

Which bring me to my other issue… I haven’t gotten my axle back yet. I was supposed to be last week, then Monday, then Wednesday, then Thursday, now today. I’m going to be pissed if he doesn’t have it done. I guess it won’t hold up the main radius arm and spring tower fitments, but it would be really nice if I could put the axle back together this weekend while I’m going to have some help around and not have to worry about it anymore.

I’m being too long winded, and I have pictures to add in later, so I’ll clean this up then.

Don

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Today's progress...

Didn't start until I watched Virginia Tech LOOSE! So that kind of put me in a funk, and I wasn't as productive as I wanted to be. But I did get some done. Before the game, I drove the 2hr round trip and picked up my axle with all gears and the ARB installed, so that we nice, and he even gave me a pretty good price for the install. I picked up about 30, 1/2", grade 8 bolts and the two 3/4", grade 8 bolts from Tractor Supply for about $30. I thought that was a great price compared to the chain hardware stores. Got the axle back and started painting it and the other outer components. I finished the lower trac-bar mount and painted it once I checked everything for fit. It's going to be a little larger than the stock axle mount, so I'm not sure if it will look goofy or not, but it should give me a good surface to weld to at least. Don't have any pics of the axle and outers components painted, but I think everyone knows what they look like anyway. Here is what the lower mount configuration will be like...




After I got the first coats of paint on all the axle components, I started on the rear suspension and got that all done. As stated on the first page, I used Ruff Stuff's shackle reversal kit with 6" shackles. I think it will end up giving me about 4.5" of lift, but haven't had a chance to put the weight back on the axle yet. This brings me to another good point, in all the rushing around, I never took measurements for my stock suspension height. If anyone reading this has a completely stock suspension on their bronco, can you take a measurement from the axle center to the bottom of the wheel well lip molding? I'd appreciate it so I can use it for comparisons. I know I've seen these measurements before, but I wasn't able to get any good hits while just searching. I'm still waiting on brake lines, and I might have to think of some other way to mount the new 14" travel shocks as I think they might bottom out prematurely. I had to do more modification to the Ruff Stuff brackets, the frame, and the rear bumper mounts than I wanted too, but I wasn't too bad, just time consuming. I had to cut about 1/4" away from the rear bumper mounting bracket, grind about about 1/2" away on the shackle brackets, and open up two of the frame holes on each side by about 1/4". They kind of mount on a weird angle when using the stock frame holes, but I guess that's not a bad thing. The front two holes on the brackets are hidden from the back by the gas tank. I started taking down the gas tank, but chickened out. Instead, I cut some 1"x3.5" pieces of plate, drill a 1/2" hole, and welded the bolts to them. I then used a wire leader wrapped around the threads to pull them through the holes from the inside. Everything worked fine, but that's why the back two bolts of each bracket have the nut on the inside, and the front two bolts have the nut on the outside. But anyway, here are the pics of the rear shackle over suspension setup:








That's all I got done today... Tomorrow I have FSB help coming to try and get the front axle mounted. Hopefully it should be pretty strait forward. More pics tomorrow.

Don

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· ate lug
88, 90, 96 broncos, 96 F250
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Yep, the brackets should be swapped left to right, and then they will sit straight on the frame. The stock shackle brackets are NOT identical L to R (they are actually mirror images), so if you put them on the wrong side of the truck the bracket ends up on an angle.

Also, if that is your shackle angle with the truck sitting on all four tires, then you need to move those brackts cuz the angle is in the wrong direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I thought the bracket was supposed to point forward? If I switch the sides, it will be pointing backwards... Damn.. I have to take another look at it today then. Crap... Should have paid more attention I guess. I read about it and thought it was right... I'll have to edit my earlier post so I don't have mis-info in here...

And that is with the axle hanging, so I thought it would move back when weight is on the axle.

Don

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Yeah they are backwards, the angle off the "arm" thats welded to the mounting plate should be pointing towards the rear of the vehicle, so that it is pointed toward the incoming shackle. if that makes any sense....

IOW: the bottom of the shackle (connected to the leaf) should be further to the rear of the vehicle than the top of the shackle (connected to the bracket.) The bracket's "arm" should be pointing toward the incoming shackle.

Second thought that may be just as confusing... lol but yeas the brackets are backwards.

-Alex
 

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I thought the bracket was supposed to point forward? If I switch the sides, it will be pointing backwards... Damn.. I have to take another look at it today then. Crap... Should have paid more attention I guess. I read about it and thought it was right... I'll have to edit my earlier post so I don't have mis-info in here...

And that is with the axle hanging, so I thought it would move back when weight is on the axle.

Don

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Don, is that pic of the shackle angle with full weight of truck on it? If NO, then don't mess with it yet as the weight of the truck will move the shackle rearward as RepT stated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Time for some big (or maybe just long winded) updates from Sunday and Monday (Labor day)...

First of all, thanks to John (vt89gtvert) and his buddy that drove 2 hours up on Sunday to lend a hand. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very well prepared and was in a bad mood because of some personal stuff going on, so we didn’t get all that much done while he was here. Sorry John... :eek:) At least he got to go by the local Harbor Freight, so I think it was still a good trip for him. :eek:)

As far as what I got done while he was here and Monday.. John helped me get the rear shackle reversals flipped around, but I’m not sure I like my shackle angle now. It’s not like it’s close to going over even with all the weight hanging, but it’s not quite where I’d like it, and it’s the only position that it will work on a stock truck like mine with out some MAJOR modifications to the brackets or the bumper mounts. Take a look and let me know what you think.

The new shackle angles with full weight on the axle, I’ll try and get some later with the axle hanging: (slightly worse than with the brackets flipped side to side)












John also helped me get everything lined up on the frame by the frame pins and to make sure everything was square. AND HE FOUND THIS:




REMANUFACTURED! Apparently, the engine is new to the Bronco sometime between the engine build date of April ’06 and when I bought it in Feb. ‘07. I’m not sure what to think about it. I was never told about that, so I’m a little shocked, but I guess it’s not a bad thing. I mean it runs great and I still think the chassis only has 55k miles because of the wear on it, and I guess they couldn’t have changed the odometer, so I guess it just means that I have a chassis with 55k, and an engine with some amount less.

I got all the brackets for the Spring Mounts and Trac Bar cut on Sunday after John left, and spent Monday welding them together, cleaning and painting, and then drilling all the holes in the frame. After I had all the spring buckets mounted up, I had a neighbor help me man-handle the axle around and positioned it under the truck with plum-bobs and all kinds of measurements. I spent tonight drilling the frame holes for the Cage RA brackets, so that’s mostly done. I’m still going to put a couple more bolts on each side, but they’re not going anywhere as they sit. There’s a small interference between the Cage mount and the extra piece of frame bracing that is only on the ’96 Broncos, so I’ll probably end up pulling the Cage brackets back down at some point and cutting the top 1/8” off for clearance, but again, it’s not going anywhere, so I’m not in that much of hurry. I don’t have the radius arm caps tight because I need to replace them with new ones. I got an easy out broken in one, and I haven’t been able to drill or chip it out, so I bought new and will replace the ones in the pictures once I get them. Hopefully that’s why my chamber is SOOO off. I’m showing about 12deg. right now, but that should get better once I close the radius arm caps, and I might have put the 2 degree bushings on backwards… But I don’t think so. Lots of pictures so give it some time…


























I got my F-250 shock tower today, so I’ll bolt them up tomorrow or Thursday night:




I think I got all the correct measurements of the steering arms and trac-bar, so I cut them all to length tonight too. Thursday, I’m meeting my Uncle after work to drill the holes required to tap tubing for Chevy TRE’s and the 7/8” Heims. I’ll update the front page later once I know these work, but the measurements I’ve got so far are as follows:

TRE’s use 53/64th drill for 7/8-18 left and right taps

7/8” Heims use 13/16th drill for 7/8-14 left and right taps

Tie Rod = 55” center-center OR 46-1/4” tube length

Drag Link = 35-1/2” center-center OR 28-7/8” tube length

Trac Bar = 34” center-center OR 30” tube length
 

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The upper frame brace is not just for '96. as far as I've seen every new 92+ bronco has this, my '95 certainly does.

You're just mocking up the towers right now? still need to add the siding downward? The current setup is totally no go. That tower will bend backward right at top of the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Well, I actually wasn't, but now that I go back and look at the pictures, I completely see your point... For some reason I was thinking that the bracing from the stock portion of the bracket came down further, but obviously it doesn't.

Do you think it would be bad to weld in the side braces in place instead of taking everything down?

It's only 13 bolts, but it would take an awful long time to take all that down and put it back up completely tight by myself.

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I know, the welds look bad. I'm low on gas, and my wire feed wasn't working quite right. It would go the correct speed, and then slow down, so I wasn't able to get a good looking bead. I did get good penetration judging by the heat zones on the back of the work, but yeah, I know they look like sh!t. I have some time before my last parts get here, so maybe I'll take it apart and see if I can get it working better.

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I know, the welds look bad. I'm low on gas, and my wire feed wasn't working quite right. It would go the correct speed, and then slow down, so I wasn't able to get a good looking bead. I did get good penetration judging by the heat zones on the back of the work, but yeah, I know they look like sh!t. I have some time before my last parts get here, so maybe I'll take it apart and see if I can get it working better.

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cool, at least you know what to look for in a weld, you would be surprised how many people dont know.
 

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Hey cool on your new motor!

That rear shackle angle still looks bacwkards of what you want.

I like your extended coil buckets but like Shado said you need to bring some bracing down the sides so it doesnt bend right at the frame (where the angled gussets end).
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Now I'm just being retarded, but I couldn't get to sleep for the past hour because I've been thinking about this... I've decided that while I'm 95% sure they're fine, I'm going to pull them all off, grind a new channel, and redo some of the crappy looking welds and put the side bracing on there. I'll either get mine working better, or take it somewhere and have the final welding done. I was in a hurry when I was putting everything together on Monday, and should have taken more time with the prep work and figuring out why the welder wasn't working correctly. I shouldn't be in a such a rush, and it's only an hour or so taking things apart, and a few hours of grinding one night. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of the total build (or my families safety). Besides, I have the radius arms bolted in place now, so even if the spring buckets are taken off for a little while, I can put the axle back together and get everything together with the steering and brakes.

Ah.. I feel better, now maybe I can fall asleep.. :eek:)

It's funny what having a kid due in like 10 days will do to your outlook on "safety"...

Don

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I'm using a 5/16"x3"x5" Piece of angle for the ends, 2"x4"x1/4" rect. tube for the cross bar, and I'm going to use the two bottom holes on the Cage mount to hold it to the frame, and one hole through the side of the vertical ear on the Cage bracket (the ones that the big heim bolt goes through). That way the cross member and the Cage mounts will be independent, but still tied together. I hope that makes sense, but I'll post a picture tonight when I can take some measurements and start to mock things up. Have to mainly do house stuff tonight though, so don't expect much. :eek:)

One thing that I found interesting, is that when I took the old x-member off, the frame actually distorted inward 1/4"-1/2" from the rachet strap pulling together that I have holding the tranny up. I just thought that was weird.

Depending on timing, I might try to build a skid plate too, but I"m not sure how that will go with all the welding troubles I'm having right now.

Don

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I think that's the best idea here (taking them back off for redo). If it were me, as much as I hate going backward, I'd grind those side welds and triagular pieces completely off, then measure and make new side get you down to the botttom. This will also take care of reinforcing your butt weld.

other notes: what's the rectangular welded in piece for? Are you planning on using the superflex coils? I know the newer ones aren't quite like the old ones, but my old superflex are very touchy to having anything too close since they seem to have slight side to side movement, especially off road. What i mean by that is any bolt, any piece of metal too close to the coil and I would get contact. So those rectangular pieces had better not be sticking out. Also, one bolt that was a problem for me was the drivers one, frontward/lower. I went back and removed that bolt and bought this slim line one from Fastenal, which cured most of my contact issues:



While doing all this, might want to put a couple small holes up top for the added coil U-bolt/keeper (in red in this pic):




on your tie rod measurment, what's the tube length going to be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
I think that's the best idea here (taking them back off for redo). If it were me, as much as I hate going backward, I'd grind those side welds and triagular pieces completely off, then measure and make new side get you down to the botttom. This will also take care of reinforcing your butt weld.
other notes: what's the rectangular welded in piece for? Are you planning on using the superflex coils? I know the newer ones aren't quite like the old ones, but my old superflex are very touchy to having anything too close since they seem to have slight side to side movement, especially off road. What i mean by that is any bolt, any piece of metal too close to the coil and I would get contact. So those rectangular pieces had better not be sticking out. Also, one bolt that was a problem for me was the drivers one, frontward/lower. I went back and removed that bolt and bought this slim line one from Fastenal, which cured most of my contact issues:
The rectangular piece is just a plate to connect the top and bottom pieces to give a little more strength to my crappy welds. It's only a 1/4" plate, so the I hope it doesn't interfere with my Cage, 6.5" progressive springs. As for the bolts, I'll have to keep that in mind, but I'm not going to do it just yet. As much as I know you'll probably be right, it's and easy fix later and I hope with the Cage springs, I won't have as much movement.


While doing all this, might want to put a couple small holes up top for the added coil U-bolt/keeper (in red in this pic):
I guess that's not a bad idea, even though I hope I don't have the same issues with my coil choice, it can't hurt.


on your tie rod measurment, what's the tube length going to be?
16-1/4" Right? Obviously that was a mistake... It should have read 46-1/4". I'll edit that post.


What do you guys think about the shackle angle at ride height?

I'm still trying to figure out if anyone has the measurement from a stock '96-ish axle centerline to the bottom of the wheel lip so I can measure for lift. Looks like I'll have plenty of room, but I'd like to see what it comes out to.

Don

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