1984 2wd lift opinion


neinnein_nein

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hey guys, I've been thinking of lifting for a while and it seems like this spring is where it's going to happen. It's the only thing I drive and I live in the city so I have to kind of go rogue and just do it on the street, but i can run a power line and have a compressor for air tools, etc. I looked at the kits and I think the rough country 4" suspension lift for 2wd trucks could be cool. I just converted to power steering so it would work.

now for some pics and doubts I have:
The engine is a 2.0L.. I really want to do a swap once I have a place to work on it that's a little more stable but for now it's not an option. That seems to limit the tire size I can put on that thing, correct? And sticking with the current tiny tires might look weird once it's lifted, no?
Having said this, I'm all for a weird look.. 🤡
41530


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sgtsandman

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I don't think your engine will tolerate larger tires very well. Even if you lift it to make room for larger tires. You could regear the axle to a a lower gearing to compensate but since you are talking about working on it on the street. I'm not sure you have the kind of time that the neighbors or the borough you live in would tolerate.
 

neinnein_nein

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yeah you’re confirming worries i had about larger tires. Those will have to wait until I can swap engines. In the meantime, I’m fairly confident i can do the lift just so the ride is higher, I’ve changed suspensions/converted to power steering on the street and it can be hectic but it’s totally doable.

Will a 4” lift look just totally insane with those wheels though? I just think it’d be fun to sit a little higher..
 

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Dana 30 and a 4.0 swap would be ok.


Unless you want to jump it.


Then I say go to Autofab.....they have a sweet econo 2wd kit for decent cost....they have v8 swap stuff for later.

Though I would rather see ya do a 2.3 mazda L with a mild turbo...or Ecoboost for your chassis...the power to weight is awesome. Even a small turbo on your 2.0

Your truck looks to be in great shape and deserves the investment.
 

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I don't think your engine will tolerate larger tires very well. Even if you lift it to make room for larger tires. You could regear the axle to a a lower gearing to compensate but since you are talking about working on it on the street. I'm not sure you have the kind of time that the neighbors or the borough you live in would tolerate.
If properly prepared ahead of time, an axle swap should be an easy Saturday project.

Much easier than re-gearing the current axle.
 

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I agree if the OP wants to just step to a 4:10. Anything higher will require a regear. One could get another axle and regear that on the side before doing the swap.

That leads to a question. What axle is in the truck now? I’m guessing a 7.5. If everything can be arranged and made to fit, this might be an opportunity to swap to an 8.8. Something that might need to be done for a larger engine swap. Something to think about.
 

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An '84 with 2.0...could even have a 6-7/8"!

On one hand, that truck looks sooo nice, I want to say just leave it stock.

If you heart is set on a lift, I'm with Sarge - get an 8.8, re-gear it low, taking advantage of opportunity to add limited slip and maybe get larger rear drums.
10" drums over 9" are double edged sword - they brake a lot better most of the time, but in a panic stop, they can lock up 1st in which case they are braking less.​

You can do a few things ahead - soak u-bolts in penetrating oil, disconnect parking brake lines, ensure the brake line loosens, you have the 12pt 12mm socket for the drive shaft, jack, jack stands, beverages, etc. For the Ranger, you could leave the wheels on and roll it out, then swap the wheels to the new axle and roll it in.

My daughter and I swapped the 8.8 in back of wife's Explorer Sport in an afternoon. And Explorer axle is slightly more challenging as it goes over the springs, so wheels have to be removed to hump it over the leaves.

If you do go for an 8.8, watch the yoke bolt pattern, there was a change early on and your current one might not bolt right up. Not being able to reconnect the driveshaft is a drag, pun intended.
 

neinnein_nein

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Dana 30 and a 4.0 swap would be ok.


Unless you want to jump it.


Then I say go to Autofab.....they have a sweet econo 2wd kit for decent cost....they have v8 swap stuff for later.

Though I would rather see ya do a 2.3 mazda L with a mild turbo...or Ecoboost for your chassis...the power to weight is awesome. Even a small turbo on your 2.0

Your truck looks to be in great shape and deserves the investment.
ok it looks like I'm going to have to just start planning for an engine swap then! much to learn and read about but that's great.

I haven't checked yet and I will, but reading about axles in the tech pages, I don't see why mine would be anything else than a 7.5
still reading about axle (which sounds very possible right now in my working conditions, esp given the suspension of parking regulations because of corona) and engine swap. I'll def have more questions!

best sources for a 8.8--junkyard? ebay?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/96-97-98-99-00-01-EXPLORER-8-8-REAR-AXLE-END-JEEP-3-73-LS-LIMITED-SLIP-5-0/141087776563?hash=item20d97c9f33:g:k1IAAMXQCtlRSZ2~

I'm also very curious about the mazda 2.3l swap you mention. Is it a difficult swap? all I can find in the tech pages is info about swapping a 2.3 from a Thunderbird...
 

neinnein_nein

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this is getting off topic for this part of the forum but I just randomly came upon this on ebay.. not the same 4.0L, correct?
ebay link
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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If you want to stay four banger.... 2.3 turbo is your option. Thunderbird 2.3 Turbos can be had, and if not, 2.3 lima everywhere and can tolerate mild boost from a ebay turbo.

Mild.

Otherwise, 2.9 can be had anywhere for under 200. I have free transmission that'll fit.
 

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ok it looks like I'm going to have to just start planning for an engine swap then! much to learn and read about but that's great.

I haven't checked yet and I will, but reading about axles in the tech pages, I don't see why mine would be anything else than a 7.5
still reading about axle (which sounds very possible right now in my working conditions, esp given the suspension of parking regulations because of corona) and engine swap. I'll def have more questions!

best sources for a 8.8--junkyard? ebay?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/96-97-98-99-00-01-EXPLORER-8-8-REAR-AXLE-END-JEEP-3-73-LS-LIMITED-SLIP-5-0/141087776563?hash=item20d97c9f33:g:k1IAAMXQCtlRSZ2~

I'm also very curious about the mazda 2.3l swap you mention. Is it a difficult swap? all I can find in the tech pages is info about swapping a 2.3 from a Thunderbird...
The federal sticker on the door will confirm what you have; but there were a bunch of early Rangers ('83-84s) with 2.0 engine which received the 6-7/8" - would be 72 or 74 under axle on the sticker.

I was debating suggesting the Explorer 8.8 given your long term plans - at 59.5" wide, it is 3" wider than your existing axle. Which would make your rear wheels stick out until you do something with fronts. Wider rear than front isn't ideal for vehicle dynamics - tends to make the vehicle oversteer. The Explorer axle is also slightly more work in that you need to flip the spring mount to top of axle - requires grind old ones off/welding new ones on, which no longer makes it a bolt on (the axle in the ebay picture is showing its bottom side). You will also need to come up with a solution for the emergency brake cable (not hard, just another thing to do)

Getting the axle from a wrecking yard means you can grab any other parts you might need (larger u-bolts, correct plates to mount your shocks too, yoke, etc)
 

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this is getting off topic for this part of the forum but I just randomly came upon this on ebay.. not the same 4.0L, correct?
ebay link

Not a super big expert on the mustang 4.0L, but I think that would be the SOHC 4.0L in 2006 not the pushrod one (I don't think they put a pushrod v6 in a mustang). wouldn't be a bad choice, seems like you would get most of the important bits to do an engine swap, minus the gauges and motor mounts and stuff.
 

bobbywalter

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You don't have to grind old perch off and weld new ones on with the explorer axles..... You can make or buy a flip kit.
 

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this is getting off topic for this part of the forum but I just randomly came upon this on ebay.. not the same 4.0L, correct?
ebay link
Thread drift is considered normal.

The Mustang 4.0 would have been the SoHC version, more/less same as found in '01-'11 Rangers (there might be some minor differences in manifolds/accessory positions, etc).
The automatic transmission would have been the same 5R55e as found in Rangers (again, minor differences would be possible).

The biggest difference, is the amount of electronic control between '84 and '06. I'm not certain of your technical abilities at moment - would you feel comfortable wire it in to your existing harness and reprogramming the engine module to remove PATS? You would need to integrate the electronic speedometer into you manual one too. All entirely possible, just what do you want to sign up for?
PetroleumJunkie412 and bobbywalter wouldn't break a sweat integrating the '06 in;​
I'd break a sweat, but could do it. Of course, I'd probably remove the electronics, put a carb on it and find a manual transmission, but then I am a dinosaur. I also have a garage and 2nd vehicle, so if the Ranger was out of commission/in pieces for a few days no foul.​

And I don't disagree with bobbywalter (it would be really stupid of me to do so) - I'm just not a fan of stacked blocks. As your future plans were to install the RC 4" lift kit and it uses lift blocks on the back, putting them on a flip kit isn't my recommendation. (I'd make my own combination lift/flip bracket, but I have both the technical knowledge and facilities to do so).
 


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