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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First Gen Rear Suspension (4 Link Build Attempt)

There are so many highly skilled fabricators/builders lurking around here, so it can be a bit intimidating to share progress on some of these projects as things progress. But i often find motivation when seeing posts similar to this. Where a person, just does his/her best to accomplish a goal, with a limited budget and with what they have. Long story, short, it is more difficult for me to work on projects (after a long fight with cancer and being left with misc "issues"/pain, etc., but that has and will never stop me). I figure if i post some of it, as i go along, that will keep me pressured to finish it. I have already installed DSE subframe connectors (and other misc) and wanted to address the rear setup, prior to anything else.

I have a 65 SS... Im working on upgrading the rear suspension. It has the 8.2 (non posi, 5 lug) and the factory leafs. My goal is to swap it out with a more capable rear end setup and 4 link style suspension. Though I am def not new to the DIY world, I havent tackled something like this before. But im all in.

I started off visiting the yard. There were approx. 4-5 Explorers, with a 4.10 and the rest 3.73 posi 8.8s. I pulled a 3.73. The total price caliper to caliper ended up being approx. $194.40 (normal price would have been about $324, but 40% off day).

Not sure how to make the original pictures smaller, but hopefully they are resized, as posts are made
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I initially thought about putting together a ford 9" and after deciding to go with an 8.8, I checked pricing on having a shop shorten it, etc. Currie would not work on it and recommended another shop, whose price was prob fair ($250). However, I wanted to try this myself, as I am on a tight budget and want to spread resources around, where I can.

Got it striped down and started working on cleaning the axles tubes (bracket removal, etc.).

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It took me quite a but of time to cut out the section, and slowly grind the tubing down to final size. i ground a bevel on the edges, triple checked measurements after clamping it all together tacked it in 8 places. and put the axle in, along with the carrier etc. to check fitment with the passenger side axle. It fit perfectly. so I welded it up, being careful with heat and alternating approx 1" welds, letting it cool to touch every two welds.



after tacking it together, i did v out the tiny section i left where my alignment line was...
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I intend to weld the tubes to the center section and wanted to test welding the two together... so i cut the ears off next to the sensor and welded one to the section of tube i cut out the drivers side... not that it made me anymore confident to weld them together, but it did weld nicely... once im done tacking all the brackets etc on the rear end, i will carefully preheat the entire center section and weld the tubes...



 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
my car had some odd looking hangers on it and the rear was super high in the air, not my particular style, i ended up re drilling them to drop the rear leaf down to almost touching the frame... and wanted to be able to set the rear end up, closer to ride height, so I picked up some currie leaf spring perches and u bolts, for 3.25" tubing. I will not be using them, only as a helping hand, but the price for the perches and ubolts/currie was approx. $58

prior to re drilling and lowering
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
i dont have any ford wheels to mock up on the rear, nor did i want to, so after calling a few places and asking about having the axles drilled to the chevy pattern (which i was quoted anywhere from $288-300), i decided to drill them myself. The other option was to buy moser axles, those are $385, plus shipping. when/if i buy axles, i will be upgrading to 35 spline etc... or else i need a way to drill the axles, where my mind would be comfortable enough that it was done properly.

I was going to make a jig, but found one online, after a quick search... it was $100 and dual pattern (came with drill bits too). I also kept the original longer driver side axle and will be cutting the shaft down and can use it to bolt rotors to it and drill those also, though it is fairly easy to find dual pattern rotors, this way im not stuck, if i need to buy rotors at any point and dont want to order dual pattern or the currie chevy pattern rotors...

 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
threw the axles back in, put the factory 14s back on it (though they wont work for what im doing, they gave me a relative height to work off of), so tht i could check to make sure the new ride height was close enough, to start trying to 4 link everything...





i think it is close enough, and if i need to lower it anymore, i can adjust it through the links... same as with final pinion angle etc.


i may move the rear end back 1/2-1" (depending on the final tire/wheel diameter), but now that the rear end is basically setup, and relatively square, i can start trying to build the 4 link setup
 

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Awesome diy tech report, I’m thinking about building my own 4 link n not have to purchase one. Keep up the good work, I’ll b watching n taking notes.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Awesome diy tech report, I’m thinking about building my own 4 link n not have to purchase one. Keep up the good work, I’ll b watching n taking notes.
thank you... just giving it my best shot... i had spent some time looking at 4 link set ups. i like the cbr racing setup. but i have to try to keep my budget down...
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Nice work! I'm subscribed so I can follow along with your very cool project.

Gerry
thanks...

although some brackets have shown up, Im still waiting on parts (rod ends, etc.). I believe the weather in other states is causing a delay...
these particular brackets are ridetech.. i did not buy their kit, but got a good deal (from a friend) on the individual brackets, i wanted... i will modify them as i need to.. i cut the ears off (the ones with ears), to be welded to the bottom of the dse torque boxes, i previously welded in and will try to modify the others to be the chassis side upper bar mount, if that doesnt work, then as i get into it, i will find some brackets or make some, best i can...


 
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