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4X4 Suspensions For stock & off-road suspensions using stock & aftermarket parts (IE suspension kits). Forum sponsored by RCI Metalworks

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Old 07-22-2009, 12:37 AM   #1
nola mike
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Default how to beef up my rear?

just bought a slide in/pop-up camper for my '97 4.0. the plan is a x-country trip next month. i brought it home 70 miles, and it actually did ok, but it looks like the rear end is straining. truck has 185k miles on it; probably original shocks. trying to figure out the best way to minimize strain on the suspension. looks like the best thing i've found is a bolt on air suspension like so: http://www.suspensionconnection.com/...con/2172F.html.

it needs to be cheap and easy to install--this looks like it would fit the bill, though i'm certainly open to other suggestions. PO said the camper was ~600#, but i think it's more than that, maybe 1000. i'm going to get it weighed soon.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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If your on the original shocks I would replace those just cause. Then from there, airbags are the only way to go.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:32 AM   #3
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The rear axle rating is 2,750#. Keep that in mind when you weigh it. Pretty easy to overload it. Might be fine around town, but cross country, not as good. I don't know what you have, but THIS ONE weighs 1,170#. A 4x4 Ranger is typically 2,000# in the front and 1,400# in the rear. This leaves you about 1,350# of capacity so it won't take much to overload it. Sagging can be dealt with using airbags, but not overloading the axle itself. It's a semi-float so it has smaller bearings and they are both holding the weight and floating the axle shaft. I had an axle bearing fail on a 9" in the middle of Glacier National Park while pulling an overloaded U-Haul trailer on my Honeymoon.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:41 AM   #4
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hmmm. yeah, that looks similar to mine, though mine is much older and doesn't have a furnace or fridge--i'd imagine mine probably weighs a bit less. either way, it SHOULD be within the capacity of the truck. airbags looked like they'd take the strain off the springs and related components at least. as far as the bearings, looks like it would be a PITA to replace en route--any benefit to just replacing them before hand? i kind of doubt it, but who knows...
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:04 AM   #5
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I know this is a little out there... but the explorer 8.8 gives you a little better load rating at 3200lbs. Gives you a couple extra 100lbs of leeway. :E
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:21 PM   #6
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Yeah, that explorer axle looks like the way to go, but it looks like more work than I'll be able to do before I leave. Got weighed today, and came out to be 2680# rear and 2320 up front with a full tank of gas and a 50# dog in the cab...certainly cutting it close. I can't believe that the camper is that heavy--it's pretty basic. Looks like I'll be a little over the gawr no matter how light I pack; guess I'm just going to have to take my chances. Hopefully that gawr is conservative...
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:04 PM   #7
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Have you taken a look at your GVW? I bet you'll be overloaded
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:20 PM   #8
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If you don't mind how much did you pay for the camper? I have kinda been looking for one but every time I look they seem to be way pricey.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
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@odie: $1000
@rangersport: no idea. My sticker's gone so I don't know the gvwr. Looks like the gcwr is 6-7k # depending on the diff. Google hasn't helped me with an answer so far...
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:11 PM   #10
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I had this stuck away for my reference on the 2000 Ranger, pages 12-15 cover some of what you want.
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https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas...0/BBRANGER.PDF
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