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1993 dually conversion kit

Rick W

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Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
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
Ha haha, “edge of reality,” I think you’re starting to understand!!! It’s “what’s possible,” not “what’s practical“ or wise, it’s for fun.

You’re still thinking of this practically....

The only reason I’m doing this with the 93 Ranger is cuz it’s already in my back yard! & when I said “could” and when I said “use the gears,” I meant theoretically possible, on the back roads. Basically, it’s going to be a grocery getter. If I was going to do serious Towing I’d use the diesel 4WD F250, or I’d get another 350 dually and a stock trailer.

When I was a youngster in college I worked part time for a plumber, and I used a 1962 C-10 chevy with a small 6 and three on the tree to pull a Ford 3500 backhoe on a tri-axle trailer all over the hills and valleys of Ithaca New York. As I recall, I think I paid $135 for that truck but I had to put $11 into the brakes before I could drive it. I’m trying not to go too far over that budget for this project....

And it might have been in a different thread, but the reason I would use the 302 is to use a late 80s Lincoln 302 with the mustang heads, Cam etc., only because I have other 302 dealer HP Town cars, it has nothing to do with what the best thing for the money would be...

I know The engine and tranny and rear end are too light to do anything serious with this set up. Once I put it together, if the gods and Guinness want it, I’ll upgrade the power train!
 


Roert42

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Once I put it together, if the gods and Guinness want it, I’ll upgrade the power train!

The budget seems more Hams then Guinness
 

Blmpkn

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Southern maine
Vehicle Year
2021
Make / Model
Ford ranger
Engine Type
2.3 EcoBoost
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5" level
Tire Size
275/65/18
My credo
Its probably better to be self deprecating than self defecating.
I really like oddball bullsht. That being said, please make this happen.
 

don4331

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The elephant in room which we haven't discussed is licensing.

For mine, they wanted me to have class 3 license, as truck has 3 axles, had to get the required medical.
The tester, of course, was a little off put that I was taking test in Ranger, and when I got my license would be able to drive a concrete truck, but we discussed that it was no different than taking motorcycle license on 125 enduro and then being able to ride a Hayabusa.​

And insurance was interesting too. Needed inspection and sign off by Department of Transport engineer (same individual who reviewed and approved home built trailers as it turned out). You need to review all the requirements for your locale, i.e. whether tag needs brakes, lights, etc.
 

Blmpkn

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2.3
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4WD
Total Lift
2.5" level
Tire Size
275/65/18
My credo
Its probably better to be self deprecating than self defecating.
The southern US is a lot more relaxed with crap like that than Canada is. I can't believe some of the hoops you guys have to jump through up there lol.
 

franklin2

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If he builds it for fun, and only takes it to shows and weekend gatherings, in Va he could license it as a antique and not worry about any of the official stuff. He probably could even get away with hauling a show car on the back to a car show.
 

Rick W

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Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
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
The southern US is a lot more relaxed with crap like that...
HAHAHA, Hey, this is Georgia! I could get that squeeze toy model registered! No inspection law here except emissions and that’s for first 25 years, then exempt, if it’s not commercial. I’ve made and driven and registered a lot of weird stuff over the years. But this may be the pinnacle. It’s like guns, you can’t have one in NJ where you need it. Down here its safe as can be, and you can buy all the guns you want on the spot in the grocery store if you have a pulse (& the pulse is optional).

I’m kinda thinking I’m going to have to go through with it now after making all this noise about it! Even with my questionable reasoning, I would never drive it if it was unsafe for me or the targets, er, I mean other drivers. Seriously.

I’ll probably leave it registered “as is.” No one cares down here if it’s not commercial unless you have an accident. Insurance would still cover, you’d just get cancelled. A daydreamer could always pull out, but then it would be in their insurance. My worry is more side swiping someone in a curve or turn. A lot of stuff driving around is $65 grand or more these days.

Down here, I can’t even imagine getting stopped if I’m not driving stupid (driving, not being). If I did get stopped for the equipment, the worst thing would be a ticket, maybe stop and tow (very unlikely), & probably not even due to some long term relationships I have with some boys in blue and under the dome. I might be crazy, but nothing is worth getting hurt or hurting someone (but I wonder if either of my Ex’s would want to borrow it, hmmm).

I’m hoping I can Insure it with Grundy to keep it cheep. I’ll be honest with them what it is & they require pics. I’ve got 4 with them now, but I’ve had 35-40 over 20 plus years. I’m a proven commodity with them.

On the CDL, I just thought about that myself a couple days ago. I know I’d be under the weight requirement, and it’s not commercial, so I think I’m ok, but I do need to check on the third axel/articulating concept.

But I kinda like the idea of getting a CDL. Most of my cars over the years were German, Italian or British. I had a couple muscle cars in my youth. About 15 years ago, when my buddies and neighbors bought their dream mustangs and GTOs, I got a 1973 F350 old “draggin waggin“ tow truck, put a 390 Mercury in it, graphic’s, rotating beacons, etc., etc. crazy, huh? They all thought I was, but when we went to the car shows they all gravitated to “Rick’s Wrecker,” wanted to drive it etc. They have really great cars, but never had the balls to do something like that, and when they got around it, they all got woodies, and I don’t mean the old Ford wagons. The only reason I don’t have it now is a guy came to one of the cruise nights and just had to have it more than me. I highly suspect that’s what will happen with this one, That’s what has happened to probably 1/3 of the many cars and trucks I’ve had over the years. I’m thinking getting a CDL at this point would make the folks in the home go equally crazy! It’s worth it just for that!
 

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don4331

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Interesting - California got all anal about it back in 80s, when tandem/tridem mini trucks were the rage. They required the same or higher driver/truck requirements, and that put paid to the fad.

We're probably more concerned about because of the 9 months of winter and 3 of road construction.

Locally, they considered a tag axle part of the truck so it counts against the GVWR. Any moveable frame section to be a trailer - counting against GCWR, and up here, you are only allowed 1 5th wheel and 1 regular trailer, if moveable frame section doesn't pivot like a 5th wheel, it is a regular trailer (i.e.g a high lift tag axle as seen on concrete trucks is a trailer so they can't tow a second trailer.
 

Rick W

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Age
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Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
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
I’ve traveled a lot, but Georgia has been my home/base since 79. The attitude is very very pro personal rights and liberty if you don’t make trouble for others. The government focuses on business and growth and real estate (my arena) and does the minimum necessary on stuff like this, just enough to keep crazies like me at bay.

States around us out to Texas and northern to NC or VA are pretty much the same, no worries if you have southern plates, and Georgia is the center. (& you know the War of Northern Aggression is only over in the North).

The last year we had an annual inspection, I got my four stickers for the cars while I was driving my truck. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons they did away with it, just didn’t bother with enforcement on stuff like this. The only reason they still check the emissions is because they get federal dollars for doing it!

& hey, we have winter too. You said there are 9 months of winter there? Here too. There have been at least nine months of winter here if you add it all up since I came in ‘79!

& keep the comments coming, I’ve figured out a lot with all this.
 

franklin2

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The CDL thing has been changing, nationwide. Getting a CDL is always a good thing if you can do it. Always good to have something under your belt to give you options for making money besides having one for your little truck. One problem you may run into, you need the proper truck to take the CDL driving test. Your little truck would not be good enough.

I have a class B CDL with air brake endorsement. I can drive anything like a dump truck with any amount of axles up to the legal weight on the road. But I can only pull a trailer in combination with this up to 10,000 lbs. When I went to take my test, I had to borrow a dump truck that had a GVWR over 26,000 and had air brakes to take to the test.

This is the new part. Even with my class B, I cannot drive combination vehicles over 26,000 without a class A. A combination is considered truck + trailer. So I cannot drive a dually pickup with a goosneck trailer where the combination is over 26,000. We have a goosneck trailer at work that is rated for 25,000. So I cannot use that trailer at all legally without a class A. We have a small f350 dump truck and a bumper pull 14,000 lb rated trailer. I cannot drive that combination either, the dump is rated for 13,000 GVW and the trailer is 14,000. So it's over 26,000.

They started all this to scoop up the new diesel pickups hauling with those large gooseneck and 5th wheel trailers. And they have now two different class A license. You have the old official class A that let's you drive a 18 wheeler, and you have a smaller class A for the smaller combination trucks that are over 26,000.

I don't think you need anything, the GVWR of the ranger will be low and if you make your own trailer, you can tag it for anything you want and tag it low. You can even buy a trailer that is tagged heavy, and go back to the manufacturer and they will sell you a tag with a lower GVWR. It's all just paperwork.
 

Rick W

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Age
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Location
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Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
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
Thanks, I agree, options are always good. But for me, I’m semi retired 75-85%, I can work at what I want when I want, and let’s just say I did ok with my engineering company and real estate endeavors over the years, so money isn’t an issue.

I worked 20 hour days seven days a week forever, which is why I need something crazy like this to occupy my time now.

I had already thought this out to the point that, whether I get a CDL or not, I was going to get some pro training. I know driving a fifth wheel pivot point is a lot different than just pulling a trailer with a dually truck or such. I’ve done that a zillion times, even driven a couple of the big rigs once in a while in a straight line in a deserted place, but I would want the training just to make sure I didn’t do something unintentionally stupid (as opposed to intentionally building this thing in the first place). & I have access to all my old company’s trucks If I needed one, big & small, a decent variety. But again, this is all for fun and hobby.

I Really do appreciate the info on the CDL. Again, I have a lot of time on my hands, so I’m going to explore it. I guess that’s the engineer in me too.

At the moment, it’s all on hold since both Town Cars and the F250 all got bugs at the same time. They are pretty much pristine, but they’re still 25 and 30 years old, stuff happens. It’s never the big stuff, it’s the little stuff that will drive you nuts. And I’ve got to get them fixed quickly, because if I’m limited to the ‘78 Mark V (7.5/460) with the 7 mpg on premium, that money thing I mentioned could change pretty quickly...
 
Last edited:

Rick W

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Messages
999
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Age
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Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
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 then there’s the house and the honey-dos from the other new model...
 

Rick W

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Joined
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Messages
999
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93
Age
67
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
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
Your little truck would not be good enough.
I just re-read this. Did you ever try to tell a Chihuahua it’s not big enough? Them’s fighting words! Patton was only 5’5” and look what he did!!!!
 

don4331

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Did you ever try to tell a Chihuahua it’s not big enough?
No, but the bull got fed up with the racket and the end result wasn't pretty. The heelers at least were smart enough to know they were overmatched and picked their battles.

Your Ranger might have 1,250# payload but out of that you need to subtract any options i.e. a/c, the full tank of gas, any tools or anything else you stash, and your weight. Most Rangers are lucky to have 750lbs of real payload capacity.

You will be removing another 250lbs for the 2 wheels, the axle, springs, frame extension and 5th wheel hitch. A 5th wheel trailer is going be 500# or more greater than a rear hitch trailer - you need strength members to go up over the height of wheels + hitch + clearance (6" is industry standard), and then forward enough so that in turn your the tightest spot does contact between trailer and truck (full trucks use 8' as industry standard Ranger is only 1' shorter <minus the diameter of wheel for tandem/9" narrower).

The result is a tandem Ranger can't pull a flat deck trailer empty within GVWR.

A dually, only adds 1 tire (you can run without a spare as you can put a rear on front in emergency), and fenders only add about another 50, so maintains at least as semblance of cargo capacity. This is reason tandem isn't finished - it became obvious it was all show, no go. Fine to bomb around on the farm, unable to be driven off.

You should be starting with your F-250, it at least has a hope of doing what you want. And dually wheels, etc to make a mini class 8 are basically off the shelf parts.
 

Rick W

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Joined
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Messages
999
Reaction score
813
Points
93
Age
67
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
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
I actually appreciate all the info, I’m taking it all in for when I get this moving, hopefully in two-three weeks.

But your still missing the concept. This is not about making the best truck, I assure you I can and have done that before, this is about screwing around and making something fun out of the Ranger and pieces and parts I already have out back.

Like you say, if it doesn’t work out, it’ll become a yard beater or go up for grabs. But I still have confidence. In 65 years there has been no limit to my assault on windmills....
 

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