Well I finally got underway with the SAS project. It's a dana 44/ford 9" swap with leaf springs.
I've been dreaming of doing an SAS since I got this truck 3 years ago. I've spent the last year in the "planning and gathering parts stage". Two weeks ago I finally got tired of waiting and pulled the truck in the shop and started on the swap.
First a little history on the truck. It's a 95 supercab 4x4 that I bought 3 years ago from a high school kid for $600- so cheap because the kid ran it out of oil and it wouldn't start (obviously) so the truck sat in the yard for 6 months till I got around to rebuilding the 4.0.
I really liked the looks of the prerunner rangers with fiberglass fenders and such so I started building it to look like that. I bought some 'glass fenders and pulled out the rear fenders about as far as they would stretch. I built some bumpers and a roll bar and drove it around for about a year like that (with white fenders even)
Then the M50d 5-speed started acting up, I replaced the clutch, but it never did shift right so I looked into doing a tranny swap. I wanted an auto, but heard bad things about the al4d's so i went the c-5 route. I bought a b2 c-5 and bw1350 setup off e-bay foy $250 shipped. Then I started seeing articles about doublers for rangers, and since I already had 2 transfer cases....
I got the D.D. machine kit and did the c-5/doubler swap of course i had all this gearing and was still running basically stock suspension with 31's-pathetic, I know.
I got tired of all the "your truck looks cool, but it needs bigger tires" comments. Actually, I was waiting for a good deal to come by on some axles because I decided long ago I wasn't going to spend any mony on the ttb axls or lifting it. I'm glad I waited.
Then I found a guy in town who had a waggy d44/ford 9 set with 5.13's and spools in both diffs. I traded some 38" super swampers I had plus $500, so it ended up costing me about $800 for the axles
I got the axles, a high steer arm, a heim jointed drag link and a set of ford 5-5-1/2" pattern rims for the deal. The guy had them on a cherokee, but was looking for some 1-ton axles. It turned out not to be that great of a deal as the axles needed some work-a broken u-joint, spindle bearings, a rear axle bearing, and someone really messed up the front gear setup, so that needs to be redone.
This SAS project is very budget minded. I wish I could do a 4-link/coilover setup running some 37's, but that's not gonna be possible on my budget.
So I'm doing a leaf setup, I'm even going to a foreward shackle setup for now because it's the cheapest way to go.
I want to run some 35's, but right now I have some 33's on the truck because I had those tires already.
I built all of my own leaf, shackle and shock mounts. I'm a high school drafting and metals teacher so I did most of the work after school and weekends in the shop.
I went with some toyota truck leaf springs for the front springs and I'm using stock rears right now. I added a leaf to the toyota springs, but it still needs more. I only got about 5" of lift initially, which might be a contender for the lowest SAS here, but it's actually about right for the 33's I have on there now. here's one "after" pic
That looks like a fun build. I'm a front leaf spring bigot though -- especially when you have a truck that already had coils, lol. I also don't like front mounted shackles as they further stiffen the ride. I told you I was a bigot!
But to be more encouraging: it's a great project and the results are worth it.
To quote Lewis Carroll from the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter":
And thick and fast they came at last, and more, and more, and more...
Which about describes the flood of Ranger SAS projects the last couple of years!
John Griggs -- Kennett Square, PA
2002 Ranger 4x4, SAS'd, with too many other mods...
Did you make that diff guard? Man, that thing looks like it would survive a nuclear holocaust! I like it. I have to do something on mine. The D44 I have has the "thick" cover -- not sheet metal. But it's still not rock quality, lol.
Nice job. I got one of the heavy aluminum diff covers off an IRS 8.8 Explorer for mine. It's pretty good armor.
I might have to take a shot at making my own protector as well. I'm not a great weldor but that's something I could do. So far my SAS hasn't fallen apart so I guess I'm not an awful weldor either, lol...
This is with weight on the springs, the leafs went inverted. I used stock toyota truck leafs and added a leaf, apparently not enough. Of course, most stock 80-84 toyotas ive seen ride like that too, but I wanted some arch to the springs. So my planned 7+ inches of lift turned out to be less than 5.
It'll work for now, but I'll get new springs this summer when I get the 35's
looks like your penetration on those welds isnt much. you really should clean the rust off if you are using a MIG, flux core is usually ok with the crap but if you are using gas it really needs to be clean for a nice weld.