Drag Truck - The Danger Ranger


ksack

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Bad news....went to mock up the traction bars today so I can get measurements for the driveshaft and get that ordered. Welp, here's the result. The picture below is with the heim joints run all the way out to 1 turn remaining just for demo purposes. I will be calling them in the morning to see where we messed up.

 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 173A8B749AB83C Expires: January 1, 2020

ksack

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Good news! Smith's Racecraft is making me a new set at the correct length. The owner (I can't for the life of me remember his name) gave me his personal number when I had originally ordered them so I texted him the pictures and what was happening. After asking a few of the idiot questions, which I can't blame him for, he gave me a call and we talked about it and he admitted he didn't take into account the axle being under the spring, which accounts for the extra length needed. Should be getting them in early next week. Boy they are hard people to get a hold of, but once you have a foot in their door, they are excellent people to work with and I have nothing but positive things to say about their customer service.

Also, anyone know how to scale down the size of my pics? They automatically size down on my other forum.
 

proz07

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Good news! Smith's Racecraft is making me a new set at the correct length. The owner (I can't for the life of me remember his name) gave me his personal number when I had originally ordered them so I texted him the pictures and what was happening. After asking a few of the idiot questions, which I can't blame him for, he gave me a call and we talked about it and he admitted he didn't take into account the axle being under the spring, which accounts for the extra length needed. Should be getting them in early next week. Boy they are hard people to get a hold of, but once you have a foot in their door, they are excellent people to work with and I have nothing but positive things to say about their customer service.

Also, anyone know how to scale down the size of my pics? They automatically size down on my other forum.
It's unfortunate the good places are that way. But most are smaller businesses and take more pride but the lead time can be long.

I Dont use imgur but on Flickr you choose the size to post when you go to the share link.

Z
 

ksack

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Update. Smith Racecraft built me new bars that were 1.5" longer and they fit like a charm now. Very happy overall with the product and we shall see how they perform once the truck is together. Here's a pic of one side done (both are now installed).



Today I hoped to get in a solid afternoon of work after mowing the grass, but the afternoon thunderstorms showed up way earlier than normal. I was hoping to get the fuel tank out of the F150 and pull the pump but that didn't happen. Instead, I took the dremel to the headers to smooth out the joint where I cut and welded them. Those tungsten carbide bits are amazing! However, they throw off metal slivers that WILL get stuck in your hand and hurt like a SOB. Anyway, I ran out of things I could do without pulling more parts from the F150, so I finally got around to putting my sponsor's banner on the truck. I know Kalob, the owner of Auto Mafia Racing, from back in college. I won't throw any plugs for a non-supporting vendor, but he's always treated me well.

 

ksack

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Sorry for the time between updates! I've been busy with work and getting in a couple hours here and there. Since the last update, I've built a fuel tank, installed the F150 fuel pump guts on the Ranger fuel hat, and modified the EPAS to fit in the narrower wheel base.

First, the fuel tank. I'm trying to save money in areas I can, so I took the stock ranger tank and chopped it up so it'll fit between the frame rails where the spare tire used to be. I estimate it's about 8 gallons now. Let me tell you...welding thin sheet metal and trying to make it water tight is HARD. I got pretty close by throwing lots of heat and wire at it but still some small slow leaks. Finished it off with some POR15 fuel tank sealer and it's 100% tight now.





I don't have any pictures of the fuel pump assembly, but I soldered in the fuel pump and gauge wires onto the fuel hat pins then soldered on the connector to the other side so it will be plug and play into the harness.

Lastly, chopped up the EPAS and F150 tie rods. The ranger tie rods are male and the F150 are female, so I welded the F150 ones onto the ranger ones. (sorry no pics). This gives me the ability to actually adjust the alignment on the front wheels. I then chopped most of the non-threaded part of the EPAS ends off and welded it all back up to make it narrower. The pictures are for reference of how much wider the EPAS was. I also had to notch out the frame for the input shaft because it runs right through it. Still have not yet run the steering column and subsequent linkage....future me problems.





Safety plug- could not get a good clamp on the tie rods as I was cutting them so I did the best I could and held on with my free hand. Applied a little too much pressure instead of letting the saw do the work and it jump out...well more like shot out. I'm lucky it didn't go through the wall. Result was a catastrophic failure of the blade and maybe a couple skipped beats. I always wear safety glasses while I'm working and was wearing my welding gloves. Always wear your PPE!



In the last week I picked up 20 feet of 1.5x 1/8 square tube for fabricating the EPAS mount, trans cross member, and boxing the frame a bit. Also, today I ordered my driveshaft. 4" .065 DOM steel. Should be here next week. Once I have that, I can build the trans cross member and motor mounts and get all the driveline angles set. From there, it's subsystems and getting her fired up!
 

ksack

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OK here's updates to what I've been up to the last couple months.

Cut down the EPAS and welded it back together. I wasn't careful with the heat so the bushings got a little warm and don't move quite as smoothly as they did before. I don't think it will be an issue though.


Got the driveshaft in, was able to set the pinion angle at the trans and at the diff, and made the trans crossmember. The guys from Driveshaft Specialists make a beautiful piece and had it to my door 11 days after I ordered it. U Used the mounting hardware from the F150 crossmember and used the actual Ranger crossmember. Final angle ended up being between 2.0 and 2.5 degrees. Sorry no pics of the new crossmember. Welded all the brackets on the rear axle and installed the axles and c-clip eliminators. The old 14" wheels don't clear the brakes on the explorer axle so they are on there just to keep it off the ground.



My original idea for motor mounts was to weld the old mounts to the frame and set the motor down into it and install the 3 bolts on either side that go from the mounts to the block. Turns out I didn't have the clearance to pull the motor and trans without ripping them out so I re-attacked the idea. This time, the mount is cut, with the welded side from idea 1 still being welded, but now the mount is also bolted to the block for good. Attached to the welded parts is 1/4 steel plate that acts as a connection, along with a 1/2" grade 8 bolt. Below is the only picture I have that can give you an idea of how the mounts work. As of last weekend, the motor is bolted in and ready to start getting hooked back up.


I also started the interior. Got the dash frame in with the steering wheel. Because of how big the motor is, I actually had to put the steering shaft through the hole where the brake master cylinder used to live. Relocating the brakes is still a problem yet to be tackled. Current issue is the stock F150 pedal that mounts into all the support framework hits the floor before being at full extension so some trimming may be required.


No pictures, but got the gas tank 90% mounted between the rails near the rear bumper. I'm hoping that extra weight over the back will help with keeping the power planted. Speaking of planting power, I took advantage of Racestar's annual November sale and got some 82 Pro Lite wheels and rubber from the truck's sponsor, Auto Mafia Racing. Also ordered wheel hardware and AN stuff for the fuel system. Wheels were delivered Friday and the rubber came today. 17x4.5 up front with MT Sportsman rubber and 15x10 in the rear with 275/60R15 MT ET Street R Radials to keep it all DOT approved



Up next is getting the rubber mounted on the wheels, getting the fuel line run, then swapping over the full wiring harness. From there, I should be able to fire it up to test. Unfortunately I will be on the road most of January so I doubt I will get a test done soon.
 

proz07

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Id like to see how you did the gas tank as Im going to be looking into that myself by the end of today. May stick with OEM tank retrofited with walbro 450 pump but i will have to redo some of the mounting tabs as i needed room for a driveshaft at the time.

Love the build but man you seriously need to resize your pics.

Z
 

ksack

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All my other forums resize the pics so I don't know what to do about that other than individually redo all of them. As for the tank, measured how wide it needed to be, then cut either end so I could fold the sides over and weld them up to the end (think of a cardboard box that hasn't been taped yet). Key here is to do lots of spot welds to control the heat. I had issues originally with the continuous bead not staying in place as it cooled. After it cooled, I would put some water in it and submerge that area to see where it would leak from. From there, hit the areas with a little more heat to seal off the passages the water was coming through. I finally got it to the point where the leaks were so small that they wouldn't form a bead after 5 minutes. From there, acid etch and coat with a tank sealer. 48 hour leak test with water all the way full and zero leaks.

As far as mounting goes, used the rear cross brace just infront of the bumper for one side, then welded in 1/4" square tube to be the other side. Strapped it in over the top and bottom.
 

ksack

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Sorry no pics uploaded this time, but the truck finally has power! Got the wiring harness swapped over and the truck powers on. Waiting on a couple -AN fittings to finish up the fuel system and she should be ready to start. Hoping to have a first firing next weekend!
 

ksack

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Goal for the long weekend was to start it for the first time. Unfortunately a few weeks ago I melted one of the cam position sensors while welding some stuff. Ordered a new one and it turns out there are separate ones for the intake and exhaust cam and I ordered the wrong one. Closest one is 100 miles from me so it's going to have to wait until next weekend to give it a shot.
 

ksack

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It runs! Below is the video. You'll notice is stumbles after I give it a little gas. Log shows that it advances the spark and never brings it back. Throwing codes P0345 and P0349, both are cam position sensor A circuit/circuit intermittent. Only thing that changed since I pulled the motor was I melted a cam sensor and replaced it. Tried swapping banks with the sensors and threw same code so it isn't a bad sensor. Don't see any evidence of harness damage so I don't suspect a wiring problem. Took the alternator in and it tested good but I have other suspicions. I fried the starter on accident so I suspect I may have messed up the alternator but didn't show when it was bench tested. You can see from the log that the voltage does not go up once the motor is started which leads me to think I may have fried a diode. Only other possibility is there is some corrosion on the VCT solenoid plugs which may lead to a bad solenoid. I need to keep troubleshooting. Through all my forum digging, the causes I've found are bad battery, bad alternator, bad sensor, bad vct solenoid, damaged wires, or a broken cam phaser.

Other progress: Brake lines installed and bled, need to wire line lock. Steering rack installed, needs an alignment and support bearing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER25zz8Ao8w

 

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ksack

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Thank you! I'm stoked that I'm getting close to test driving it! Update to last. The other sensor plug wasn't fully seated due to plug deformation from the same welding. Complete oversight on my part and about $50 worth of sensors. Sensor will be here Wednesday so hopefully that'll solve that problem.
 

proz07

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Nice, interesting full harness factory wiring swap. was it significantly cheaper and easier than a full stand alone or just better for your setup? I was going to try to finish the last few things to fire mine this weekend but an EFI tuning class popped up and since it was perfect timing i went to that instead since it will help imensly now that im so close to first start up.

z
 

ksack

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Nice, interesting full harness factory wiring swap. was it significantly cheaper and easier than a full stand alone or just better for your setup? I was going to try to finish the last few things to fire mine this weekend but an EFI tuning class popped up and since it was perfect timing i went to that instead since it will help imensly now that im so close to first start up.

z
I do believe I saved money overall. Got the F150 for about 5.5k plus delivery. When you start piecing together motor, trans, control pack, steering rack, etc, it starts adding up. If I had the room to do a manual, then maybe it would have been cheaper to part it together, but the mt-82 has a remote shifter that just wasnt conducive to the size of the truck. I did some rough measuring and it would have been behind my hip and that just doesn't work. Last I checked the FRPP Control Pack still did not support automatic trans swaps, so an aftermarket trans controller would be necessary and that definitely adds to the cost. As far as the full harness goes, the hardest part was figuring out what I could unplug without upsetting the computer. Had to disable some brake and door functions that are in there for safety, but all in all it's just alot of extra wiring that will eventually be unpinned and removed. That's definitely a separate winter project! Excited to see yours get going.
 


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