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Old 02-24-2012, 05:59 PM   #1
Captain Ledd

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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,309
Vehicle Year: 1984, 1997
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Rangers
I use this vehicle for: Literally everything.
My credo: If you're not making mistakes, you're not learning.
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Default FUNCTIONAL 4-linked, bagged, rear axle

Nearly posted this in the low riders forum, but it doesn't really fit. Been searching for a good hour and have gotten tired of getting the same links again and again. So time for a few questions.

Things are getting more serious about a new position which pays substantially more, and I'll have more free time . So now some wild ideas that would have been kinda nice to do, have a chance of actually happening.

I use my Ranger as a truck. It's predominantly street driven, however often is called upon to go into fields and haul/yank crap out. I tow things constantly.

So I'm wondering about a triangulated 4-link and airbag suspension. The idea of a softer ride when empty, firmer ride when loaded, and the added control of a 4-link for stability, intrigues me. But few sites/builds seem to have the criteria I have and I haven't found much to base, well.. anything on. Most of the information in HEAVILY catered to being slammed for shows, or substantial lowering and precision handling/performance. The only applications I run across is helper bags for huge trucks and maximum capacity.

This is on my 97 Ranger, the 4x4 donor frame specifically. I plan to do work on the frame and get it ready, while driving the working 2wd truck around.

I've read the larger diameter the bag, the softer the ride. Is there any charts around to help figure weight capacity/ride quality? Equations? Is there such thing as too big? What happens if my bag IS too big?

I'm not running standard springs, only the air bags. Everything seems to be for helper springs for trucks. What should I be looking for? (I think I may have found this, but I have no idea)

Are standard shocks ok? Softer shocks? harder shocks? What shocks should I use?

Self levelers. Damn these things are expensive. why? I can get pendulum brake controllers for damn cheap, air levelers are ~$700. Should I just go manual control?

I plan on running the bag right on top of the axle, and out-boarding the shock absorber to right behind the bag. Stock Ranger 4x4 shocks have 10-11" of travel. I'm also running the factory sway bar. Link ends will be bushings, no fancy rod ends or heims, it won't see enough travel to warrant those. Truck will sit ever slightly lower than stock height, basically the truck will be leveled, but with the rear lowered to match the front.

The rear axle has an ARB in it. So I already have the compressor, and I'm not that concerned about extreme flex.

Anybody with experience care to chime in or at least point me toward other information? Websites?
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" - Albert Einstein
Never give up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6hz_s2XIAU

1984 Ranger - std cab, long bed: The Deathtrap
302; T18; D20 Tcase; 6' lift; 4.56 gears; 33' pro comp MT's; Aussie locked rear
1997 Ranger - std cab, short bed: Red Ranger
2.3L; M50D R1; 2wd; 4.56 gears; Explorer 8.8; ARB locker; 235/75R15 AT's
(soon to undergo 4x4 conversion )
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