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1993 dually conversion kit

franklin2

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I didn't get all that. But I know of two conventional ways to make two axles work together; The triangle equalizer setup and the walking beam setup.

Here is the equalizer setup used on most trailers.




Here is a walking beam setup used on lots of big trucks.

 


franklin2

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The military likes to use walking beams. P.S. I like the wide wheel single idea. Afterall, modern trucks are going to single wide wheels correct? And you could easily get some chrome bling going at the same time, and get matching narrow rims for the front.

 

JohnnyO

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J. C. Whitney used to have the dually kits. I don't know if they still do.
 

racsan

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J. C. Whitney used to have the dually kits. I don't know if they still do.
they havent had them in awhile now. Arrowcraft discontinued their ranger kits too.
 

Rick W

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You should see the videos....
 

Rick W

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The walking beam would probably be the best option, but it’s also pretty expensive, and I’m stupid cheap, the depression mentality from my mom. I’m concerned that using the trailer equalizer between the axles will to easily let the weight come off the drive axle and spin the tires. Not “fun spin the tires,” I’m worried about “kill myself spin the tires.“

I had a brainstorm to go to the Goodwill store and buy a couple of Tonka trucks or such and make a little model to test how it would work. But I hate to be throwing money around like that....
 

Rick W

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Wow, sometimes you just get lucky. I was debating whether to call the accountant or the attorney about springing for a couple of used Tonka trucks at Goodwill when I ran up on these squeeze balls at a client’s place. The price was right. Also, since the model was already red, that definitely cinched the deal so I didn’t have to paint it.

This gives a real quick glance of what I’m talking about. The added frame for the second axle, actually that frame piece would hinge up, but would not hinge down. That way the drive axle is always planted on the ground and could not be lifted up by lifting up the floater axle. The frame pivot point would be the front of my little piece of cardboard. When I do it for real, I’ll probably use some steel, not cardboard.

The pivot point for the back part of the frame would be centered on top of the original ranger axle. In the picture, the pencil underneath the back axle indicates what would happen if you rolled up on the curb or such.

The hitch point would be in the center of the two axles, so when a trailer was loading it, it would put equal weight on both axles. When stopping it would put more weight on the front drive axle (only truck axle with brakes) by just a little bit. And the trailer will definitely have brakes, I’m not that incredibly cheap!

I know I’m nuts, and my gal and all my friends know I’m nuts. I’m asking you ranger guys to tell me WHY I’m nuts on this.
 

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Roert42

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What happens when you drive over a speed bump or something with the trailer on, and the back axle comes up?

I assume there is not going to be a bed, and the hitch plate for your "5th wheel" will be mounted onto the frame.

Maybe I'm not clear enough on how the hitch will mount, but it seems like it would interfere with the hinged frame if it is centered over the two axles.
 

Rick W

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I’ll try to answer the second questions first. The “Hitch plate“ and the pivoting rear frame are one and the same item. If you look at it from the side, the front end of the plate hinges on the Ranger frame. The point of connection for the hitch would be centered between the two axles.

At the rear of the floating frame, there would be a flat vertical piece, kind of where the license plate would go. I have two concepts on this. First, the top of this vertical piece would hinge on the top the same way that the hitch plate and frame hinge on the Ranger frame. The trailer axle springs would bolt to the bottom of this vertical piece, so the vertical piece would be the “shackle“ for the rear axle. Then I would positioned the front of the axle connection point vertically so that the trailing wheel lines up with the ranger wheel. The height of the rear plate would be adjusted so there’s only a little bit of load on the rear trailer axle when there is no Trailer load.

There are maximum limits to my budget, there is a balance between distributing the load across both axles when you go over a speed bump versus keeping the drive axle, which would also be the brake axle, on the ground firmly at all times.

understand I’m doing this like I would build a plastic model as a kid, it is not being designed for any serious work. I imagine the only thing that would ever be on the trailer would be one of my other collector cars, and I wouldn’t be speeding or hotdogging with that, or it would be a bunch of high school cheerleaders in the Fourth of July parade or sexy Santas helpers in the light up Christmas parade at 7mpg (my actual preference).

Your point about lifting the rear axle going over a speed bump is valid, but I would go slowly in that case, I’m not planning on any hotdogging at 80 miles an hour on any side streets or Walmart parking lots. The Ranger springs have much more flexibility than the trailer springs even though they are rated for the same weight. The trailer springs are designed for load, the Ranger springs are designed for load and comfort. Hence the Ranger spring should give enough without doing any damage as long as I rode over whatever obstacle with care.

My other vision (sometimes called confusion) is to put a receiver tube in the middle of the vertical license plate back plate. If I do that, that backplate would have to be hard welded to the pivoting frame piece, hitch plate. Since shackles would still be needed, I envision on the bottom of that back plate I would extend a rod out, upside down and similar to the way the Ranger springs are on The frame now, and I would put in a shackle vertically upward on the outside of the rear license plate plate. Again, I adjust all the dimensions so that the wheels end up aligned.

And the third of my two options is to simply let the hitch plate/frame extension pivot either up or down. Theoretically, if the trailer ball is centered front and back between the two axles, the load should be even on the two axles, without removing the drive axle from the ground. Mechanical engineering was part of my training as a chemical engineer and environmental engineer, and I’m actually having a couple of buddy professors down at Georgia Tech (who are also car nuts) look at this with me. In my education and experience, I would be much better at putting out the fire and cleaning up the spill then I would be at preventing it in the first place. Hence all of these design questions.

In any of the designs, I would also add some shock absorbers to keep the frame extension from flailing up and down and out of control we’re not loaded (even if I’m loaded).

As stated before, I’m much more concerned about keeping the drive and the brakes on the ground then I am about equalizing the load in every possible circumstance. My ingenious design covers probably 95% of the bases. My extraordinary driving ability will no doubt account for the rest.....
 
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Rick W

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& BTW, I also have a vision for putting a bed on top of all of this, something that is equally valuable and needed in my life. I would simply make a box bed, like a flatbed maybe with an 8 inch side. I would hinge it to the range of frame in the front, in front of the floating frame pivot, and in the rear I would simply put some kind of slider into a channel receiver on either side, so as the floating frame moves up and down, the back of the bed would simply slide a little bit in the channel. The bedframe would be attached in the front with removable bolts or a sliding rod or something so we could be taken on and off.

This would be a similar concept to the lightweight trailer springs they have With an eye on one end, and just slide in the channel on a plate on the backend. Look at a harbor freight trailer and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I would keep the bed from bouncing out of the channels with a couple chains to limit travel, or maybe a floating long bolt that would limit travel.

Hey, with my automotive design skills, If I had lived in the time of Henry Ford, they wouldn’t call them Ford Rangers, they’d call them Rick Rangers…


And if I can figure out how to scale it up just a little bit, it could probably hold my fat head in my ego....
 

don4331

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Going back a couple posts, so I am caught up.

Ranger dually with Toyota Rims
ranger dually.jpg


Cutting out rim centers would be relatively easy, welding in replacement centers, also relatively ease...the problems is finding the centers. And some back of envelope calculation said I need a 350ton press, and appropriate form/die to form my own centers. A little pricey for making 13 or so rims (Summer set, winter set and spare).

Version 1.0 of the tandem doesn't have load balancing between axles - I wanted to review axle placement, etc before I got carried away with details like load balancing, powering rear axle, etc.
tandem ranger version 1.0.JPG


I was looking for something like this for load equalization
planned load balancing solution.jpg


As OP has indicated trailer springs aren't good choice, they have very small deflection because they are so short - load carrying, not comfort is their forte.

Walking beams aren't good either - on full size trucks, the axles are further apart than spring is long, so you can have full travel for both axles. Note: Full size truck springs are shorter than Rangers, so spring travel is less, again all about load carrying, not comfort. Even Wrangler springs are longer than you would want to space axles apart (and they are about 1' shorter than Ranger springs. And if you don't space the axles further apart than the spring ends, the springs will act as suspension stops. As you can see in 3rd picture there is significant overlap of springs.

The ideal is probably airbags on a 3 or 4 link suspension, but cost got better of me. (I'm not as...frugal as OP apparently, but I drive a Ranger.) With 20/20 hindsight, narrowed Aerostar axles (to Ranger width) would only require sourcing airbags. By interconnecting the airbags, they load share; by adjusting pressure, they provide nice ride empty or loaded...

Bed for my tandem consists of 2 Ranger boxes: Remove bed sides, shorten 1st box between box front and forward rear axle by 6" (corresponds to Wrangler spring moving axle 6" forward), then cut remainder of box off at 48" mark. 2nd box, is mirror shorten box between tailgate and rear rear axle by 6", then cut up off remainder of box at 48" mark. Join 2 box sections together at 48" mark. I'm looking at fiberglass for bed sides - my welding/bodywork skills aren't up to re-joining the bed sides together without LOTs of bondo..
 

Eddo Rogue

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skyjacker front leveling kit
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just duct tape another tire onto each side. Rims optional.
 

Rick W

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2WD / 4WD
4WD
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3”
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N/A
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
Wow, is this your stuff, your toys? Way cool. Very close to my visions/delusions!

Over the decades I’ve seen a few guys try to simply add the second axle for looks and cool factor to a solid frame, but they never rode/carried right. I’m sure if one took the time to exactly size the springs, the spacing, etc., you could have two independent axles under the frame with no issues. It actually works pretty good with very heavy loads, but I will rarely carry anything on this, and I’m probably more interested on how it will function with no load or a small load. The cost to do it “right” would be more developing it then building it, and I’m pretty sure the reason you don’t see a lot of dual axle trucks like that…

In my psychotic dreams, the solution to many problems is pivoting the frame with the coupler centered on the pivoting piece of frame. I’ve seen industrial equipment like this in China and Southeast Asia. I like the reverse walking beam with the overlapping springs. That’s something for me to look at, play with. I haven’t said it before, but I like overlapping the springs to keep the overall length down (says the guy with the long cab long bed F250).

And when you guys talk about shortening axles and airbags, etc., I have to remind you of something I’ve said several times. I have $550 in the three Rangers I have bought, not much left in my budget. One is just to steal the bed and the wheels, it doesn’t have an engine or trans. My plans with the “Rick-storation” of the 87 4WD and this 93 custom project are mostly based on what’s already in my hoarder’s “shed of miracles“ and what I find on the side of the road, maybe craigslist. If I go wild and crazy, I might look for other stuff in the Home Depot scratch and dent isle besides the rust oleum and the roller....

Seriously, you guys build some incredible machines and you use them to charge through the woods and up and down hills etc. Mine are going to be simply for Cruise nights and parades with my buddies, and to piss off the Neighbors in my executive neighborhood…
 

Rick W

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Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3”
Total Drop
N/A
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
And to Eddo, Experience has taught me that duct tape won’t last in these applications. You have to use the big long fat zip ties.

And back to Dan, Very little snow in Atlanta, it’s not an issue. Even though I was raised in the north and I can drive in snow, no one else can down here! When it snows, down here, I just play poker with the neighbors and clean out the liquor cabinet.

Hmmm, but to both of you, if I use bailing wire to hold on the second wheel, it would probably help with driving in the snow and ice too! You guys keep these good ideas coming!
 

Rick W

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Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3”
Total Drop
N/A
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
That white Toyota/Ranger is cherry, fab! But, when you think of my projects on stuff like this, think more like MacGyver stuck on an island, except contrary to the TV show, not everything always works out or makes sense.... It’s about the process (and consumption of Guinness)
 

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