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1993 dually conversion kit

Rick W

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Hi. I’m playing with a couple vintage rangers doing a “Rick-storation” or maybe “wRicking” them...

Does anyone know where I can get the wheel adapters or conversion kit to change my single rear wheels into a dually set up? See pics. Alternatives?

Right now it’s a 1993 2WD short/short 2.3/4, 5-speed.

All info, skepticism and criticism always welcome....
 

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I haven't seen a kit for Rangers in years. If you can find a Ranger based RV camper in a junk yard or listed on ebay or something, that might be your best bet. The last place I saw them being sold was either JC Whitney or LMC truck but neither list them for sale anymore.
 

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I saw this while looking for spacers to run JD wheels on my wheel horse, could work as dually adaptors, not sure how safe they would be, they are meant for garden tractors and compacts such as kubota. not cheap, but interesting. I ended up using 1-1/2” jeep spacers on the wheel horse.
3F672CF8-147C-4772-A8FF-D0CFA68BA465.png
5B66CB31-1B41-4AFC-9218-C97EC63D7512.jpeg
 
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don4331

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The Heavy, The Rare and The Weak and a couple alternatives:

So, I have been looking into doing this for s & g myself.

We'll start with the weak:

The setup you show Rick has 3 issues:
1. They are no longer made, so hard to find. And there is a reason they are no longer made...​
2. When they were originally being constructed, you were buying B or C78-14 tires, which would be rough equivalent to 175 or 185/75R14s - good luck finding those at your local tire store. To accommodate more modern (wider) tires, you need to use offset rims for inside e.g. t-bird steelies: 16x6 60mm offset. Tires need at least 1" static between them so sidewalls don't touch while driving over road obstacles. (If sidewalls start rubbing you will get blow outs in no time).​
3. they put a significant load on your axle: normal Ranger axle flange is ~2.5" outside the wheel bearing. Assuming 215 wide tire (8.5"), 1" space between tires (to accommodate flex when they are loaded, the center line of the outer tire is a foot (12") out from the wheel bearing, the outer edge >16". So, when you accidentally clip the curb because you forgot about the extra width, there are major forces on the poor 1.4" diameter axle.​

Toyota/Datsun (they are pre-Nissan name change) class c motor homes had MAJOR issues with axles failing. To the point, Toyota recalled all their chassis and replaced the rear axle with the full float axle which franklin2 references.​

Which takes us to the rare:

Toyota 1 ton dually rear differential. Note there are 2 versions of this 5 bolt and 6 bolt - you would want the 6 bolt.

Again they have a few issues.
1. While rare, there are about 1/2 dozen on market at moment per car-part. But...​
2. The rims are rarer, you need 7 (you could get away with 4, but you probably want a spare and the "look" isn't right without the offset rims at the front). And the occasional rim that comes up on fleabay will set you back a pretty penny - one currently up, he is asking $170. And note the rim is 14x5 (not end of world for your 4x2 truck, not good for those with 4wd). And ideally, you want the 5x4.5 to 6x7.25" adapters to mount the dually rims on the front, and if you though the rims were rare.​
3. The axle comes in 1 ratio - 4.10:1, again not big detail with 2.3 I-4 engine. But the fact that the brake drums haven't been available for 30 years is probably an issue or could be soon.​
4, The Toyota axle doesn't have speed sensor for RABS/ABS/Speedo (Can't remember if that is issue for your '93; it is for my '98).​

Lastly, the heavy:

Take a Dana 70 rear axle out of 1 ton, narrow it to fit under your Ranger, bolt on std 8 bolt rims and you are in business.

The issues:
1. The Dana 70 weighs ~500lbs. Heck the drums on older ones weigh almost as much as the 7.5 axle from your Ranger. Adding in 5 (4 + spare) 225/70R16 tires on steel dually rim from the 1 ton at ~100lbs apiece, and your Ranger basically has only couple hundred legal pounds left on GAWR. And the E weight range tires would have you grabbing kidney belt before taking truck out. (OK, you would probably use smaller, P-series tires as yours is 2wd, but the 40lb rim weight is a killer).​
2. The brakes e.g. 13 x 3" drums mentioned above provide serious amounts more braking, so you need a proportioning valve to prevent locking rear brakes.​
3. As with the Toyota axle, the Dana 70 doesn't have the speed sensor. And the big axle with its big bearings takes serious power just to turn it.​

Couple other options:

5x4.5 to 8x6.5 wheel adapters*, then run the std 1 ton dually rim (OK, 8.x6.5, 16x6 rims might be getting historic now, but you know what I refer to. Note: You can find Aluminum versions of these rims which save 10+lbs/corner.) You need to stay with narrow tires to avoid contact with springs. You might want to swap to an Explorer axle - 1.605" bearing is significant strength improvement.

*I wished I could find steel ones, my faith in aluminum only goes so far.

Back in day, JC Whitney also sold rims with std bolt pattern 5x4.5 but with dually compatible back spacing. If I could find set of these, it would be ideal.
Earlier this week, I sent a request to a wheel mfr to see if they could make a set for me/cost; still awaiting response.​
 

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Ramcharger90

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I posted a truck for sale for a guy in Carlisle pa a while ago might be for sale still.
 

Rick W

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Amen to all of that. Like I said, this is more for play than it is for anything practical. I wouldn’t load it up and make it unsafe, and when the time comes to pass it on it would be part of the bill of sale to be acknowledged that it’s a risky contraption, mostly for show.

I understand the Toyota rear is an option. However in my bizarre vision, the front rear axle would be the drive axle, and the back rear axle would be a floating axle on a floating frame. Yes, I could replace the front axle with the Dooley Toyota axle, but that would still leave me with having to use spacers to mimic the drive axle on what is basically a floating trailer axle. Hence I would still need some kind of adapter.

I agree the Dooley rims will look funny on the front, and I wouldn’t do that. If I’m going to go through all this craziness, there is no big deal having different rims on the front than I do in the back. Having said that, I would prefer all the rims were the same, but I would prefer double standard rims rather than Dooley rims. That would be 10 tires, but no spare would be necessary, since one of the floating Rear rear axle Tires could be used if I got a flat in the front. We’ve done this before on real big trucks.

I sincerely appreciate all of the comments positive or otherwise, it is the way a person should really think about a project before they dive in. On the other side of that comment, when I do these “Rick-storation” projects, it’s always highly dependent on what I find on eBay, craigslist and in the scrap yard for a little or no dollars. It’s amazing how that can affect the “design.”

& I picked up my 4th HF trailer to make the range of trailers. This one was $150.
 

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It could be made to look good. I'm sure it wouldn't be cheap but it could be done.





 

Rick W

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I’ve heard that. All it takes is money.....

What’s “money?”
 

don4331

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Amen to all of that. Like I said, this is more for play than it is for anything practical. I wouldn’t load it up and make it unsafe, and when the time comes to pass it on it would be part of the bill of sale to be acknowledged that it’s a risky contraption, mostly for show.

I understand the Toyota rear is an option. However in my bizarre vision, the front rear axle would be the drive axle, and the back rear axle would be a floating axle on a floating frame. Yes, I could replace the front axle with the Dooley Toyota axle, but that would still leave me with having to use spacers to mimic the drive axle on what is basically a floating trailer axle. Hence I would still need some kind of adapter.

I agree the Dooley rims will look funny on the front, and I wouldn’t do that. If I’m going to go through all this craziness, there is no big deal having different rims on the front than I do in the back. Having said that, I would prefer all the rims were the same, but I would prefer double standard rims rather than Dooley rims. That would be 10 tires, but no spare would be necessary, since one of the floating Rear rear axle Tires could be used if I got a flat in the front. We’ve done this before on real big trucks.

I sincerely appreciate all of the comments positive or otherwise, it is the way a person should really think about a project before they dive in. On the other side of that comment, when I do these “Rick-storation” projects, it’s always highly dependent on what I find on eBay, craigslist and in the scrap yard for a little or no dollars. It’s amazing how that can affect the “design.”

& I picked up my 4th HF trailer to make the range of trailers. This one was $150.
Ya, back home, we usually "robbed" one of the rear dooley wheels when we had a flat on the front - beat digging out the spare, which couldn't be trusted not to be flat.

I can't endorse using 2 standard rims with a spacer, they just aren't safe - as Toyota and Datsun found out.

So, you want to mimic a big rig - 10 wheels:

Well, I've done the tandem too. (Unfortunately, its at farm, so I can't get you any pictures). It current only has front axle powered, but I'm working to power the rear. Again only that "money" thing holding me back. I'm using 8" to allow me to mount a transfer case on the front axle and be able to power both. If you don't want to power the rear axle, a trailer axle is a lot easier/lighter.

My solution to mounting 2 axles was to go to wrecker and cut 27" off back of another Ranger frame. Then I cut 3" off back of mine (basically, to true up frames to make welding back together easier). Then I used Jeep Wrangler springs - I picked soft ones (750lbs ea), so combined rate is 3,000lbs, just over the 2,700lbs that the Ranger had originally*. The Jeep springs are 3" shorter front mount to axle center line/11" shorter overall. For my '98, this allowed me to run a '93-97 driveshaft (the older gen have 3" shorter wheel base). Then, with 30" inter axle spacing, the rear axle was 3" back from original position. Rear springs are under the frame, ala Explorer.

At moment, I'm just letting the RABS handle the fact the rears like to lock. Eventually, I'll put in a proportioning valve and adjust appropriately.
 

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Amen to all of that. Like I said, this is more for play than it is for anything practical. I wouldn’t load it up and make it unsafe, and when the time comes to pass it on it would be part of the bill of sale to be acknowledged that it’s a risky contraption, mostly for show.

I understand the Toyota rear is an option. However in my bizarre vision, the front rear axle would be the drive axle, and the back rear axle would be a floating axle on a floating frame. Yes, I could replace the front axle with the Dooley Toyota axle, but that would still leave me with having to use spacers to mimic the drive axle on what is basically a floating trailer axle. Hence I would still need some kind of adapter.

I agree the Dooley rims will look funny on the front, and I wouldn’t do that. If I’m going to go through all this craziness, there is no big deal having different rims on the front than I do in the back. Having said that, I would prefer all the rims were the same, but I would prefer double standard rims rather than Dooley rims. That would be 10 tires, but no spare would be necessary, since one of the floating Rear rear axle Tires could be used if I got a flat in the front. We’ve done this before on real big trucks.

I sincerely appreciate all of the comments positive or otherwise, it is the way a person should really think about a project before they dive in. On the other side of that comment, when I do these “Rick-storation” projects, it’s always highly dependent on what I find on eBay, craigslist and in the scrap yard for a little or no dollars. It’s amazing how that can affect the “design.”

& I picked up my 4th HF trailer to make the range of trailers. This one was $150.
So are you making a miniature tractor trailer setup? Will it have a 5th wheel and a trailer to match? Or will it still be a pickup?

If you had a bunch of ranger rims, can't you cut the center out of them and change the offset to suit your needs?
 

Rick W

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235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
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Yes. “5th wheel”. Will be an upside down regular a-frame coupler, probably 2-5/16. I’ll put a cosmetic round plate around it.

I have a set of 10”W 15 rims, and if I can’t find a dually adapter, it’s looking like I’ll use them for the back axles. It’ll have homemade diamond plate fenders and mudflaps, so I’ll make them wide to the inside to mimic a dual set up at a glance.

Questions. when you extended your frame to mount the second axle: are you using an equalizer on the springs to balance the load across both axles? Will the rear axle be powered or idler?

I’ll draw a “blue print” of my initial thoughts for a hinged frame over the second axle. If you backed the back axle over a curb, it would roll/swing upward so the drive axle never looses traction. With the ball/receiver centered on that plate between the front and back axles, you would always have half the weight on the back axle, even if it pivots it up. This wouldn’t be a completely loose hinge point. It would be set up so that it will pivot up above the truck frame, but if the drive wheels went over a curb, the plate would lay on top of the truck frame and not swing downward. With the ball/receiver centered on that plate between the front and back axles, you would always have half the weight on the back axle, even if it pivoted up. I’m not sure I have all the bugs out yet but I’ll do a sketch
 
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Rick W

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2.9 V6
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2.9v6
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Manual
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4WD
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3”
Total Drop
N/A
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
OK, everybody be kind, I spent several MINUTES putting this drawing together!

Pivot plate would probably actually be a 2 x 2 by quarter inch angle iron frame, with front to back and side to side crossmembers to support the fifth wheel set up in the center. It would be centered between the front and back axles. Guess what, I just happen to have some of this 2 x 2 angle…

The pivot points on that plate and on the plate on the back would be made out of half-inch pipe with a half inch rod running through it, like a giant door hinge. I cut the half-inch pipe in four or 6 inch sections, and weld every other one to the frame and weld the other ones to the plate. I’ll weld a similar 2 inch angle or a piece of channel or whatever across the frame so that they would be attachment points to whole width.

In the main drawing the back plate would be attached to the top pivot plate the same way. That back plate would act as the shackle at the rear end of the spring.

The idler axle spring would be mounted in the frame of the truck on the front end, in such a way that the axle and tire height would be correct when the plate on top is actually laying on top of the frame. The plate will not fit between the frame, it’ll sit on top. it will lift up above the frame like a box cover that can’t be pushed into the box. I’ll space and gauge it so that that pivot plate actually lays on top of a tire tread cut the width of the frame so it doesn’t bang when you go up and down the road.

Having said that all, I’d also like to put a 2 inch receiver tube into that back plate. To do that I would have to make the top plate/back plate pivot joint a solid weld instead of a pivoting point. That means I would have to mount shackles between it and the floating spring.

Unless somebody has a great idea and a pencil is good as mine, this will probably be a last minute decision as I field fit Everything. I can’t keep spending all my time coming up with these fancy blueprints. Also, if I field fit, I usually have some Guinness helping me, and it plays into one of my philosophies that “any job worth doing is worth doing twice!”

All comments and criticism welcome welcome. You’d have to ask one of the administrators how to record your laughter and then post into the site if that’s your reaction.....
 

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Dirtman

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Your erotic art sucks...
 

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