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  1. #1
    Jerrod wtwcowboy's Avatar
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    A buddy of mine has a GII explorer AWD and wants to start building it up. I was wondering if anyone knew if AWD and 4WD has the same set up and the same suspensions would work? 410fortune i know u know a lot about this stuff about these, what would be the best suspension for the money? Not sure if he wants to go long travel just yet, but he is willing to check it out if it is worth it. does Dixon or Camburg make something?
    NS OffRoad

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  2. #2
    B2 Mile Hi in Crawlorado 410fortune's Avatar
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    AWD and 4x4 front suspension are exactly the same on a Gen II Explorer (95-01)

    AWD and 4x4 use different T cases
    Both T cases were available with the 4.0L and 4.0L SOHC I believe
    95-01 was available with the 4.0L OHV
    97-01 was available with the 4.0l SOHC
    96-01 was available with the 5.0L GT-40 V8 (797.5+ GT-40p)

    The OHV and SOHC drivetraines used a AWD t case with 4x4high and 4Low selections on the dash switch.

    Performing the "brown wire mod" can make a AWD/4hi/4low case into a true 2wd. He can search for this on the Explorer forum. On these T cases AWD is nothing more then 4hi with a 30/70 split (30 front, 70 rear). When locked into 4hi or 4 lo it becomes 50/50. These trucks do not have a 2wd option, but like I said you can add a switch to the brown t case motor wire and make the 2 case a true 2wd (100% rear).

    Now the V8 trucks (96-01) ONLY came with a AWD T case.
    No dash selector, no shift motor on the T case. This is a full time AWD T case, 30/70.

    Regardless all AWD and 4x4 models of the Gen II Explorer have the SAME front end (dana 35 center section with torsion bar A arm suspension, rack and pinion steering)

    I believe the 4x4 version had a vacuum disconnect on the front end similar to a Jeep. this would lock and unlock the axleshafts from the hubs/wheels. All AWD front ends have no disconnect, so the front axles and wheels are always locked together.


    I have a 96 explorer. 5.0L AWD.
    I plan to lift it using either the Dixon bros edge kit (Ranger Edge is same as all Gen II Explorer torsion bar front end)
    or wait and see what Camburg and Mcneil come up with for thier 4x4 LT kits.

    A simple lift can be done with the old torsion twist. I believe somebody also makes a 2 or 3" 4x4 drop spindle aws well (Fabtec?)
    the stock ball joints limit your travel, then the CV shafts.

    the Sport Trac (98-06) uses the same front end as well, except its knuckles are slightly different because it uses larger front disc brake rotors.

    Hope that helps clear it up a bit!
    88 BII "slightly" modified.
    4x4, ARBs, 35's, 5.0L EFI OBD-II, 4R70W, 6" suspension, D35 cut and turn TTB, 31 spline 8.8 full disc brake conversion, Autofab glass & Eddie Bauer heated leather
    96 5.0L Explorer- daily driver on 33's, converted to a true 4x4 (low Range)

  3. #3
    Jerrod wtwcowboy's Avatar
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    Thanks Jamie, that makes a lot of things clear. He has the 5.0, sorry forgot to mention that. Is Dixon the only one that makes a suspension? I wasnt really looking to step into the drop-down bracket range

    Im not really familiar with the tortion bar twist, i am sure it isnt that hard to figure out, but i wasnt wanting to do that either. I kind of wanted quality so he could use it and it wouldnt break so I wouldnt have to fix it all the time. How about a spindle lift, would that be able to work for this? Like I said, I am new to this type of suspension, I am an i-beam guy so I am trying to help my friend out with his explorer and learn about other suspensions. Thanks a lot for all the info
    NS OffRoad

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  4. #4
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    if its awd then there aren't any spindle lifts (as far as i know) since your dealing with the 4x4 front end. for explorers / rangers your best option is either RCD kit which is coilover drop down brackets, or if you want real performance dixon bros make the LT kit which would be bitchin on an awd explorer.

  5. #5
    B2 Mile Hi in Crawlorado 410fortune's Avatar
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    as of now Dixon bro's is the only place with a KIT that will bolt on and ditch the torsion bars.

    the torsion twist it just that, basically you change the ride height by turning the T bars, so its like putting in a stiffer spring. It does nothing for performance, it only pushes the ride height down into the droop travel and makes the front end stiffer. If you max the T bars out then the ride will be crap, because you lose downtravel (droop)

    However a 2" TT (tosion twist) is VERY common and cost like $10 to do. You can match the lift in the back with Warrior shackles.

    I personally would skip the TT, and the RCD lift, save my $$$ and go for the Dixon kit. Camburgs IFS lift is undergoing testing now as I understand it and should be available in the spring. Mcneil is also rumored to be working on a IFS lift.

    Basically new uppers will ditch the stock upper ball joint which right now is the biggest limiting factor (RCD). the next step is a new lower and upper with coilover and long travel CV joint axleshafts (IE the Dixon kit)
    88 BII "slightly" modified.
    4x4, ARBs, 35's, 5.0L EFI OBD-II, 4R70W, 6" suspension, D35 cut and turn TTB, 31 spline 8.8 full disc brake conversion, Autofab glass & Eddie Bauer heated leather
    96 5.0L Explorer- daily driver on 33's, converted to a true 4x4 (low Range)

  6. #6
    B2 Mile Hi in Crawlorado 410fortune's Avatar
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    Also since his truck is a 5.0L he has the AWD t case. The 96-97 models are problematic when they get high miles on them or alot of HP from the V8.

    The AWD t case on the V8's is a viscous clutch that regulates power from the rear to the front. I believe the split is 30/70 like I said above. I am not impressed with this AED system. I rolled my 96 explorer last March on the ice driving a road I have driven everyday for like 11 years in my BII. It takes osme getting used to and is far better than 2wd, but IMO it is still lacking what a true 50/50 T case will get you.

    All 5.0L Explorer's also come with a 4R70W auto trans. This transmission is basically a AOD-E (electronic controled AOD, no more cable control) with a wide ratio gearset. Two versions, 2wd and 4wd of course. The tailshaft and output adapter from the factory are made to accept the AWD t case. Later model full size T cases willbolt up to this trans (Expedition, F-150, many 4.6L equipped trucks)
    OR
    Advance Adapters offers a wide range of AOD tailshaft and housing conversion kits.
    I used the 5" long (BII = short wheelbase) AOD to BW1354 (Ranger) t case.

    If he wants a low range t case he has options.
    I do. I will likey put a rebuilt dana 20 in my BII behind my 4r70w, when I do the AWD exploder will get the 1354.
    88 BII "slightly" modified.
    4x4, ARBs, 35's, 5.0L EFI OBD-II, 4R70W, 6" suspension, D35 cut and turn TTB, 31 spline 8.8 full disc brake conversion, Autofab glass & Eddie Bauer heated leather
    96 5.0L Explorer- daily driver on 33's, converted to a true 4x4 (low Range)

  7. #7
    Jerrod wtwcowboy's Avatar
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    Jamie thanks so much for all the info. i talked to him and we werent really looking for long travel just yet. I figured introducing him to the sport with one of camburg's 6.0 kits may work with deavers in the rear. i figure no tortion twist, or if any maybe an inch, and running dual shocks so it can take a little more beating the single shock.
    so the transfer case is a known problem? when it goes out, does everything go out? it is a 96 so this may be a problem. if it goes out and he runs 2wd for a while i am sure he will be fine until he gets around to getting it fixed. again thanks a lot man.
    NS OffRoad

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