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Old 03-22-2013, 04:10 PM
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building an all out expedition/DD rig..

I'm wanting to build an all purpose type rig.. something that has plenty of ground clearance for the axles without lifting 10-12" to run a 40+ inch tire just to gain a few inches on diff clearance, a daily driver, and tow rig with a strong motor (i'm currently building a new block and collecting parts, but looking at around a 550hp range..)

so my questions..

1: anyone have any info/opinions on MOG 406 axles? I like the ~5" of diff clearance they offer..

2: which would be better, a built BTS trans.. or a zf6 with a upgraded clutch, short throw shifter etc..

3: tires? i'll probably keep my 4 inch lift with the mogs (or something similar) so that would be about a 9" lift with tons of diff clearance so could clear a 40" tire easily.. best ones for airing down, taking abuse, then airing back up and driving back home on the highway..

4: fender flares? about all i've seen are bushwacker, and i'm not a fan.. any other similar flares for tire coverage and maybe a cut out? any writeups/tips for rolling fenders (like the old hot rods <-- dad mentioned that lol)

5: on board air? I run a york compressor on my old s10 for tools and tires and such.. anybody fit one to our trucks? maybe with the use of the second alternator bracket? i'm running dual tanks in a modified job box bolted in my truck that i plan on eventually hooking up to my air horns..

6: leaf springs.. i currently have rough country 4" lift springs, and they're exactly that, rough.. any springs that are softer, but not bouncy, that can flex when needed and not beat you to death on the trail, but still give a good ride down the highway?

I think that about covered it.. if i think of anything else, i'll ask later.. but open to all opinions but please, no bashing..

UPDATE/EDIT:: Views on expo and daily usage have greatly changed since I started this thread, so the first few pages are now irrelevant, but there is a great wealth of info on cb and ham radios, along with a few other subjects. Everything is still open for discussion, so if you have any info you want to add.. feel free
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Last edited by codyryan07; 02-12-2014 at 06:37 AM. Reason: update
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:16 PM
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What is this truck actually going to be used for? Are you actually going to be taking it on long expeditions, or weekend offroading? What kind of terrain will it be spending most of its time in? How much and how often will you need to tow with it?

If it will be used for long expeditions and daily driving, I would personally be building it for reliability instead of high HP. If you will be towing light trailers you might be OK with the way you want to set it up. If you will need to tow heavy trailers, 40 inch tires and soft springs won't be ideal. This is just my opinion though.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:37 PM
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Re: building an all out expedition/DD rig..

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Originally Posted by 99' Powerstroke View Post
What is this truck actually going to be used for? Are you actually going to be taking it on long expeditions, or weekend offroading? What kind of terrain will it be spending most of its time in? How much and how often will you need to tow with it?

If it will be used for long expeditions and daily driving, I would personally be building it for reliability instead of high HP. If you will be towing light trailers you might be OK with the way you want to set it up. If you will need to tow heavy trailers, 40 inch tires and soft springs won't be ideal. This is just my opinion though.
Its going to be more of a long expedition, road trip, rescue/recovery type vehicle since I recently joined the local search and rescue team. About the most it will tow is our 20' camper, or my dedicated crawler.

As far as terrain, its whatever comes in front of us. Whether its rocks, mud, trails. I just want it to be capable.

It doesn't have to be a high hp build but its kind of a dream, may just set aside the money from the motor and build a single cab shorty.

Thanks for the opinions. Its exactly the type of stuff I'm looking for.

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Old 03-22-2013, 06:14 PM
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Are you talking about Unimog axles? That would be a sweet setup if you can get them to fit on your SD. Do those come with lockers in them already? Check on the T444 engines used on the International trucks for air compressors. I think those have a setup like you're wanting so you might be able to adapt it to your truck as long as there's enough room for it. I would also use a manual tranny. You don't need any short shift kits......you aren't going to drag race the truck.

It sounds like you're on the right track. Don't get insane with HP. Make sure you have great air filtration. Get selectable lockers if unimog axles don't already have them. I'm not sure what kind of gearing is in the unimog axles. I would guess they are really low. Keep the truck as low as you can to fit the 40's you want using as much fender trimming as possible. And don't forget a good winch for recovery.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:25 PM
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Re: building an all out expedition/DD rig..

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99' Powerstroke View Post
Are you talking about Unimog axles? That would be a sweet setup if you can get them to fit on your SD. Do those come with lockers in them already? Check on the T444 engines used on the International trucks for air compressors. I think those have a setup like you're wanting so you might be able to adapt it to your truck as long as there's enough room for it. I would also use a manual tranny. You don't need any short shift kits......you aren't going to drag race the truck.

It sounds like you're on the right track. Don't get insane with HP. Make sure you have great air filtration. Get selectable lockers if unimog axles don't already have them. I'm not sure what kind of gearing is in the unimog axles. I would guess they are really low. Keep the truck as low as you can to fit the 40's you want using as much fender trimming as possible. And don't forget a good winch for recovery.
Yep you got it. The unimog 406 came with a selectable air locker. The gearing is low, with around a 5.99:1 in the "street" version and 6.5:1 on 6x6 models (I think). The pinion is like a 2.79:1 with reduction in the hubs. That's part of the reason I wanted to stick with something along the 40's.

I'll definitely look into the air setup like you mentioned. With the mogs you can run a through-hub air pressure setup like on the military hummers.

And I would be okay with trimming if I could find some decent looking cutouts. Im just not a fan of the buckwhackers. They may look alright with a set of sliders or something.

I've got an idea for a front and rear bumper to mount winches in and keep them hidden and away from debris and stuff.

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Old 03-23-2013, 05:55 PM
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bump for some more info..

mogs may be out of the question due to the extreme low gearing and lack of aftermarket parts.. price isn't an issue, but if i have something break, i'd like to get it fixed fairly quick and be back on the road..

I know in the original post i had said i didnt like the idea of a huge lift and 40+ tires for a bit of ground clearance, but I did some reading and found a guy who did a 4.5 inch 4-link and ran 40's.. if i could find something like that it would be awesome, plus i know coils ride a lot better than leaves.

I could run a triangulated 4 link with pan hard bar, front and rear. would offer amazing flex and stability in offroad and offcamber situations but would still be great for highway driving.. any opinions?

(excuse the rambling, thinking out loud.. but like bouncing ideas and hearing info from other users..)
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:09 PM
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a friend of mine has a pair of u900 axles for sale. 6.5 gearing and air lockers. i think they're 72" wms and superduty is 79" but i think you need to use wheels with no backspacing anyway.

you'll never need to worry about parts for these because you'll never need anything for them. and they can be re-geared up to 4:1

if you have the know how to make these work you'll never have to touch them again whereas the stock axles will need constant attention when used in dirt and water.

and you can't beat this ground clearance


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Old 03-23-2013, 11:10 PM
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:53 AM
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Re: building an all out expedition/DD rig..

Id like some back spacing to help protect the portals a little. Plus with the weight of our trucks, that's a lot of extra strain on the boxes. Mogs and volvos all use a lot of back spacing for that reason.

I do love the ground clearance they offer though. 40s with a 406 mog put the diff at 18" of clearance.

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Old 03-24-2013, 02:43 PM
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Re: building an all out expedition/DD rig..

Correct me if im wrong, but I thought the ford srw d60 was ~69.5" wms and the drw is ~65" without the spacers? That's all i've ever seen. But according to the wife im wrong all the time

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