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80's Ranger 4x4 for the Trails


eightynine4x4

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New body mounts and tail lights!
With some serious luck, the body mounts will go in this weekend. There were some hardware fitment discrepancies mentioned in profit info from OEM vs aftermarket bushing/hardware sets, so I’m going to be seeing if I can salvage everything from the truck and otherwise replace pieces as needed. Not bothering with bed at all.
51707
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 7FA902352B4C01: April 5th, 2021

eightynine4x4

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New U-bolts arrived. Hoping to tackle this very soon, removing the lower illegal/unsafe stacked block. These ubolts are shorter accordingly.
They came with basic nuts and washers. Do I need lock nuts instead? Or should I just use some kind of thread treatment/locker?

51770
 

ericbphoto

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Regular nuts with proper torque should be fine. Double check them after driving a few hundred miles.
 

sgtsandman

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You won't need to thread lock them or anything. You will need to check the U-Bolt nut torque after doing some driving daily until they stop turning when tightening the nuts with a torque wrench to the specified torque. It took me four days after driving 26 miles round trip to and from work. Once you get there, you should be good to go and shouldn't have to worry about them again.
 

eightynine4x4

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Great, thank you! I'll be installing them pretty soon and will do torque checks on them a bunch as they settle in.

Totally other topic..

Would a bench seat from an OBS F series physically fit inside a Ranger? Or are they just too long? Not referring to direct bolt-up, and am assuming I'll be drilling into the cab floor no matter what i install.
I'm always scoping around for a bench seat and there seem to be many more F series benches on the local used markets than Ranger ones.
 

sgtsandman

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F series bench seats will be too wide to fit in the cab.
 

eightynine4x4

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You can imagine how fun this one was!
3 more to go

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eightynine4x4

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Could someone please kindly tell me what this cute little number is? This under the driver’s floor area.
Some hand wrapped wire holding something together. Shifter related? 4x4 related?

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ericbphoto

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I'm thinking shift linkage. You have an automatic transmission? It's easy to test. Chock the wheels so the truck can't move. Then move your gear selector to a different gear. Then crawl under and see if that thing is in a different position. Reverse the process before starting engine and driving somewhere.
 

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I vote shift rod for the transmission. Something broke or fell off the Mr. Shade Tree Mechanic just wired it in place and called it good.
 

eightynine4x4

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The overall shifting systems takes quite a learning curve to grasp, ive found. I still am not confident what major parts are involved with my truck.
So this linkage seems to be the connection between two major segments. In previous pics (showing leaks) you can see two oil pans in this area under the cab. One is obviously in front of the other. The one in front is this oil pan in current pics of shade tree DIY linkage. I assume this oil pan for an automatic shifting unit, which shifts the transmission behind it? That would explain the two pans. But what about a “transfer case?” Is a transfer case only involved in 4x4 vehicles? Is it transferring axle/drive connections and has nothing to do with gears/auto/transmission? If so, and if I have the oil pan identification correct, then I’ll search under there for the transfer case because I haven’t noticed it yet and I’d like to understand where everything is. Maybe it’s more towards the right.

hopefully will have the u bolts finished today. Major storms yesterday.
 

ericbphoto

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Transfer case is only for 4x4 vehicles. It transfers power to the front axle and allows shifting into low range.

The forward oil pan is for the engine. The one in the picture above is for the transmission. The linkage you asked about comes from the gear shift lever in the cab. That is what tells the transmission what mode you want to operate in - park, neutral, reverse, drive, etc. when you choose “drive”, the transmission then shifts gears based on engine load (vacuum) and rpm and maybe some signal from the ecu. Newer automatic transmissions are much more computer driven.
 

MikeG

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The order is, front to back - engine oil pan (has a drain plug, sitting more or less between the front tires), transmission pan, then whatever the transfer case looks like. That looks like a transmission pan to me, but I'd have to crawl under mine to find out.

The transfer case has the driveshafts, so that should be easy to figure out what it is.
 

eightynine4x4

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Ok I took another look underneath and yes the transfer case is behind the transmission and connects the axles. Got it! So i guess this means my manual 4x4 shifter is a hard connection down to the transfer case. I did some test driving a couple days ago and once in a while got some grinding using the 4x4 shifter when in Park, and also some resistance. Sometimes was able to put it in D and shift 4x4 successfully and do some short driving with it (just around the block), but then after driving and stopping still had a couple grinds going on when doing more testing the 4x4 shifting at stand still. Only very briefly since i'd pull it back out of whatever was grinding once i hear it. I need to get the Owners Manual for this truck so that i am making sure i'm following the procedure and not damaging something. I did the front wheel hubs properly of course but am wondering what the correct shifter method is, in correlation with the Automatic shift lever on steering wheel.

I'll also move the auto shifter to D and see if the DIY wired linkage moves. I have a video scope somewhere in my boxes, that displays live video to the smartphone. Would be handy to watch what it's doing. I'm having trouble locating the replacement part since i just don't know what to call it. Some parts come up as auto transmission shift linkage bushing, but don't appear visually to make sense with the way this linkage looks.

I was poking around for more info about my truck in regards to the previous owner's modifications such as tire size in relation to the gear ratio, wondering about what i can expect in terms of overall performance and found this writeup .. https://www.therangerstation.com/tech/1983-2011-ford-ranger-off-road-builders-guide/
and this gear ratio guide chart...
If i'm interpreting this correctly, F7 on my tag means i have a 7.5 inch axle with a 4.10 gear ratio. My aftermarket tires are 31", which means that the previous owner had the same opinion as the founder of TRS here, that 31 inches is a good overall balance with 7.5" 4.10 axle. That's nice!

I swear i found some reference/article to the other smaller sticker, with the calibration code on it. Is it shift adjustment info?

I'd love to know what feature "version" of the ranger this is. I think there were "Sport" versions out there that were a bit beefier in some ways. Would also be nice just to know what i have everywhere, like a list of tech specs. Anyone know of a good informative VIN lookup that lists stuff like this, not just vehicle history?

52111


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sgtsandman

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Engine Size
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
31X10.5R15 & 265/65R17
My credo
I work in fuel tanks for a living. Don't judge me!
For the shifting into 4 Low, every vehicle I’ve been in needs you to be at a full stop and the transmission in neutral.

Since you have a manual shift transfer case, I don’t know the proper procedure for shifting it. My 2011 and 2019 let me shift while driving.
 


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