1991 SAS build


gradan07

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photo test

Any other advise for embedding photos in my posts. I must be doing something wrong still.

I have access to Google photos, Amazon prime photos, and flickr.
So far i have only been able to make links back to google photos and flickr. Seems like photobucket really screwed a lot of people last year.

Nvm got it figured out using imgur
 
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gradan07

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build log 9

The next major challenge was the steering linkage. I spent a lot of time considering options. I am not a fan of Y link steering due to the toe changes as the suspension travels. In fact this was one of the reasons I moved away from the TTB. (aside from the pre runner dual pitman arm set up that I really like). I really wanted one solid link to control toe and a drag link to go from the pitman to the knuckle. If I had chosen a Dana60 or even a 44 I would have had lots of high steer options. Unfortunately the dana 30 knuckles don’t provide enough meat to attach a high steer arm. At the time the aftermarket high steer knuckles were $$$. I also considered a bolt on design from blue torch fab. That could work well. After researching the jeep xj/yj/tj world I found out about the option to use the knuckles from a jeep grand Cherokee WJ. The WJ steering was cross over design with a high steer mount and included larger brakes as a bonus. Lots of jeep guys convert the WJ set up to chevy one ton steering components as well. So I went this direction. The steering would be overkill compared to the strength of the dana 30 housing but at least it should take some hits without having to worry about strength. A few more trips to the local yard and I found a 1999 V8 grand Cherokee with the knuckles and brakes I needed. I also grabbed the drag link for parts.





This swap requires a bearing and brake caliper spacers and requires that you re drill the rotors for the xj bolt pattern. I chose to run new XJ unit bearings as well. The brake spacers I made on a lathe from 4140 alloy steel. The bearing spacer I bought from TMR. Longer caliper bolts were sourced from bellmetric.com I will caution anybody going this route that you need be careful what wheel spacing and diameter you run. Also the later WJ brakes where considered to be better with less problems with warping rotors. I have not had any issues with the earlier caliper design and brake wear.






One ton Chevy steering parts were from ruff stuff. I used the big miller TIG welder at work to burn in all steering components. The drag link uses jeep wj ends, swapped end to end and a custom 4140 anneal solid bar. The WJ drag link ends use a metric thread so I payed one of our CNC machinist to cut the internal threads after work one day on a Hitachi S25.





I used a Bridgeport and a slitting saw to replicate the factory clamp. In general I am very happy with the steering. The angles and components all worked out really well and the truck has very predictable, strong safe steering now that it is on the road. The current weak point is likely the stock ranger steering box but I have not broken it yet.
 

gradan07

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build log 10

It was around this time that I purchased a 1996 ford explorer 4.0 from a friend. I gave $400 for the entire truck running and driving. I got the explorer for the rear 8.8 31spline posi and for the 4.0 OHV.



The project worked out great I was able to take the rear axle and the motor and then scrap out the remaining parts and chassis for $400. So I basically was able to get an engine and rear for free. Just a bunch of work and time. I cleaned up the rear axle and got it under the truck. I don’t recall what the stock axle ratio was but I was planning on re gearing the truck anyway.




For now the 4.0 motor would sit on an engine stand until I figured out what I would do for a transmission.


To install the rear axle I had to cut off the old leaf spring pads and weld on new anti wrap units for the ranger leaf spacing. I also welded the axle tubes while I was at it. The factory plug welds have a tendency to cause problems when you really push them. The backing plates and parking brake assembly were shot. Later in the project I was able to find a really clean set at a local salvage yard for a good deal. Ford want way too much for the sheet metal backing plates.

Other odds and ends. I picked up a set of 16inch steel wheels with tig welded on rock rings. The guy had them on an XJ. The offset keeps the truck pretty narrow. The rims came with 285/75/16 goodyears.

Also I had a few afco shocks from a dirt circle track car. The rears were remote reservoirs and the front are non adjustable. I am not using them as coil overs but I do have the parts to go that route if I ever wanted. I really only used these because I had them. If I were to buy shocks I would tend to go with Rancho or fox if I felt like burning up a few hundred dollar bills.






Also welded up a pre laser cut diff cover for the front and a solid brand rear cover for the 8.8
credit to my good friend Shannon for the tig welding



 

gradan07

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build log 11

At this point I needed to address the lack of a bed. I have always wanted to do some tube work on an off road truck. I have done one cage in a 1989 3 series bmw and helped build one formula SAE car so this would be my 3rd try at this kind of work. I had a few design goals

• I wanted the bed to be similar in weight to the stock bed. I expected that the weight would be more but I didn’t want hundreds of pounds more.

• I wanted the bed to accept a 4ft wide sheet of plywood. I use my truck for house construction projects too.

• With the tailgate down I wanted to be about 8ft long.
• I wanted to be able to drag a tree down the side of the bed and not worry too much about dents
• I wanted bed sides to keep camping gear in.
• I wanted lots tie down points for ratchet straps
• I wanted the fuel fill to stay in the stock location ( I have had issues with filler necks on flat beds before not working well).

• I wanted a hoop behind the cab that could be tied into a front exo cage in case I ever go that route.
• Really just wanted an excuse to play with my welder and waste money.


I looked at just about every tube bed / flat bed ranger on this site and the internet and pulled inspiration from these two in particular.



At this point I designed the base of the bed in Solidedge to get an idea of the weight.


Once that was nailed down I ordered the material from alro steel. 20ft sticks and had it dropped off at my work.










Some guys might not like this but instead of steel decking or expensive aluminum I chose to run 1x6 yellow pine lumber to keep the weight down. If this truck was going to sit outside all the time I would have spent the money on aluminum. However it lives in my garage 98% of the year. The decking is actually wood from a school gym seating that they were getting rid of. So if this wood ever wears out I have lots more to replace it with. After a few years though it looks pretty new yet and has performed well. I will let the pictures speak for the fabrication process. The main tubes are 2.5 box tube with 0.080 wall to keep weight low. The cross bars are 1.5 box tube 0.190 wall. This keeps the 1 inch wood deck flush to the top of the sides. I used 1.5 inch angle iron at the front and back edges. The sides are 1.5 inch erw tube with 0.125 wall. If I recall the bed is about 100lbs more than a stock long bed, but don’t hold me to that exact number its been a few years. If you wanted to copy but planned to spend more time on your side than the wheels I would bump up to DOM tube and a bit thicker on the 2.5 inch box. Also a big thank you to my friend who let me borrow his mandrel tubing bender for the main hoop and bed sides.
 

gradan07

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build log 12

For the bed sides I convinced my boss to sell me some 301 full hard stainless sheet drops. This stuff is super strong, like 180 ksi yield strength strong. For reference normal sheet metal is about 35ksi yield. The only down side is that this alloy will show some oxide if exposed to the element for too long. At work we normally cut this stuff using carbide tooling but since I wasn’t looking to spend that kind of money on tooling we just used plasma cutter to cut all shapes and holes. I used stainless hardware to hold it all on. Just ask if anyone has questions.












 
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bobbywalter

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1988
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33-44
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on the first bit where you were contemplating spring under or over vs steering...1st thought was wj knuckle.....glad i kept reading and seen you found it....there are aftermarket setups that are nicer yet..


the bed is neat. sometimes mine is sheet wood and plank....sometimes steel depending on what i am doing....i made a drop in from synthetic decking and it was too slick and thick. the sheet warps though....but i beat the hell out of it. if i trash it too much from oil/chemicals...just burn it and replace.

i can extend the side height when i have too, so i split the difference and raised the deck height in favor of up travel and under bed stowage and built fenders...


the way your deck turned out is really nice. never stained/sealed mine....really like it!
 

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Effing awesome.
 

gradan07

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build log 13

After all new rubber and hard brake lines i was getting close to the point i wanted to hit the trail for a shake down run. I added two tow points to the front and two to the back. I used some A36 1" thick bar stock and my band saw and drill press to get the shape. The frame will hopefully fail before these let go.







I don't seem to have pictures but i also re geared both axles to 4:88 and rebuilt the rear trackloc. I did all new bearings and seals to both axle housings at the same time. Also all new wheel bearings, unit bearings, ball joints and brakes.

I also mounted a fire extinguisher to the floor. I hate to see rigs burn down. if you don't have one i really recommend having getting one. Even if its not your rig it really sucks if all you can do is sit and watch hard work go up in flames.



At this point I was about ready to give it a shot. My son even tried out the drivers seat before we loaded it on the trailer. Since this was the turcks first run i was pretty confident that a trailer was a good idea for the way home.







The day started with the truck not wanting to start. It seems that even though i fixed the wiring issue that the intermittent no start when damp was still a problem. We did get it going and ran some easy trails. the truck flexed great and travel maxed out just before the tires got into the bed or fenders. when we got into some blue trails i had some problems.



I tore the power steering return line and i was pissing fluid out. We limped the truck a few miles back to the parking area. During that time i noticed the shifter was moving alot and i ended up with no power assist. Our friend discover then got too much water in the engine bay and would not run. So even though the little 2.3 was wounded i still managed to pull him home too the last mile.



So what ended up happening was the old 2.3 motor mounts gave up when i started leaning on the gas pedal with those 33s and 4:88 gears in 4 low. When the mounts separated the movement caused the power steering lines to tear. So i did what any rational person would do and i junked entire motor in favor of an engine swap a few weeks later.

 
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gradan07

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on the first bit where you were contemplating spring under or over vs steering...1st thought was wj knuckle.....glad i kept reading and seen you found it....there are aftermarket setups that are nicer yet..


the bed is neat. sometimes mine is sheet wood and plank....sometimes steel depending on what i am doing....i made a drop in from synthetic decking and it was too slick and thick. the sheet warps though....but i beat the hell out of it. if i trash it too much from oil/chemicals...just burn it and replace.

i can extend the side height when i have too, so i split the difference and raised the deck height in favor of up travel and under bed stowage and built fenders...


the way your deck turned out is really nice. never stained/sealed mine....really like it!
The WJ swap is a great upgrade with the bigger tires. I can lock up all 4 wheels at any speed even with the bed full of junk. The only reason i see moving away from this set up will be if i decided to run a D60 at some point. But for my driving style i don't see that happening in the next few years.

the bed is my favorite part of the truck, i am glad you like it. I get alot of weird looks driving around town haha. I have been impressed with how the wood has held up. I could see me choosing to raise the bed or add wheel wells in favor of more travel. Right now my shocks limit the travel to about 8" total up/down.
 

gradan07

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bobbywalter

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sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
looks like we interrupted you uploading data......sorry...:icon_twisted:


i would like to order a new ranger with no bed and no front axle unless they will offer a solid one in an upgrade package.


my bed works well for me and reconfigurable...its too high for my age and physical condition these days, but isnt any different then a modern 4x4 1/2 ton...
 

gradan07

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looks like we interrupted you uploading data......sorry...:icon_twisted:


i would like to order a new ranger with no bed and no front axle unless they will offer a solid one in an upgrade package.


my bed works well for me and reconfigurable...its too high for my age and physical condition these days, but isnt any different then a modern 4x4 1/2 ton...
I hear ya, I think the days of Solid axle small trucks in the US are over. Too bad we don't get some of the cool stuff the Australians get. I will have to figure out how to look up your build thread. I see in your signature you found a way to get a full size diesel in yours. Sounds like my kinda project
 

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Nice job.
I noticed the shocks were mount body up and body down. Doesn't matter with those style shocks? I can see having body up so there is less unsprung weight. Probably doesn't matter in your application.
 

gradan07

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Nice job.
I noticed the shocks were mount body up and body down. Doesn't matter with those style shocks? I can see having body up so there is less unsprung weight. Probably doesn't matter in your application.
From what info i got from afco the rears could be run either way. The main reason the rears are upside down is because the remote res. are off the body end of the shock. If i did them the "normal" way i would have had to mount the remote res on the axle or run much longer hoses. You are definitely right on the unsprung weight. I have done that on SCCA and SAE formula cars to save unsprung weight but in this case it was just what worked. The shocks do dampn the truck but better matched damping is on my list of things to upgrade soon. The fronts are marginal for the rig and i have had some minor issues on the street because of it.
 

bobbywalter

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1988
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FORD mostly
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
dont have a build thread....its just hacked apart over time.....my truck was based out before trs existed:icon_twisted:



i will do maintenance things over the coming months....i smashed all the rust off a few weeks back....not much left of the cab:icon_surprised: maybe take a few pics of those shenanigans.


here is a few pics 85 took at the ranger debut....his thread is here from our debut adventures....http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=175191











this is treated sheet and r/c 1x6 on the sides.




your floor is mo betta.....i would hate to lay some greasy ass parts in yours....



 


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