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89 Linked Ranger Build (LOTS of pics)


Mud-Nut

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Hey guys.... This is not my Ranger, it's my brothers truck. But, thus far, we've been building it together. I'll start the build thread with some background info (these next pics are from last summer):

It all started when my brother traded his laptop for a 1989 Ranger.



BYE BYE TTB!!!!!!!!





And hello fullsize D44!!



Here's the fullsize Ford 9" that got swapped in (came out of my '79 Ford when I did the 14B FF swap).





Ready for some testing!





Stuck already...... My truck to the rescue!!



Flexing!







More testing?



Stuck again!!!





Something doesn't look right.....?



So after destroying the rear leaf springs at the end of the 2008 season we decided that we were going to do it RIGHT for the next summer of wheeling. And doing it RIGHT includes these heim joints:





We started off my yanking the bed off, removed all the leaf spring mounts, and moved the rear axle 12 inches forward.



Then we fabbed up a new crossmember.





Here's the truss we built for the rear axle.







And we've got lower links!!!









And here's the mount for the upper links.







We cut some steel to fit inside the truss.... We haven't welded it in yet, cause we haven't decided what sort of design to cut out of it yet.



Frame is boxed in.



Nice and strong tabs for the upper mounts!!



And the 2nd set of tabs are in place for the upper links.



Bolted in!!!



And it's officially a 4-link!

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Checking for any binding... And so far so good!!!





Time to chop off the excess frame!!







Then it got boxed in.





Links all welded up.



Some stuff coated in chassis saver.



Tabs boxed in and welded up.



Rear tow point all built.



Lower link frame mounts boxed in, welded, and coated.





The interior got some work done to it as well.... Fire extinguisher was mounted, built a grab bar, made a cool custom tcase shifter, and threw in some crappy free bucket seats from a friend (temporary, they're much better than the water logged bench seat).







More tabs boxed in.



And some steel was added to the rear for strength.







Then we setup a piece of wood and a clamp to be able to drive the truck outside (using front wheel drive).



So yes... In these pics, the rear is sitting lower than it will when the coils are mounted in.









MASSIVE rear tow point... Haha! It's awesome!!!







Bottom coil buckets being built.



The rollbar that will get welded up and mounted (we need to build special mounts because there will be no bed floor).



And lower coil buckets tacked into place and the coils bolted in.







This is what holds down the coil in the bottom bucket.





Next are some pics of the adjustable top part of the coil buckets. We're making them adjustable so that the ride height can be changed, as well as various different coils can be installed incase he wants something longer or shorter, and stiffer or softer.









And since there won't be a bed floor anymore, the rollbar is getting some custom mounts to bolt to the frame.













And we made the top plates for the coils.



Wow.... That's LOTS of pics!!! Hahaha! I hope you guys enjoy them. The upcoming updates will have much less pics in them. This first post was a compilation of work done over a few weeks.

Anyways, we're hoping to finish the coil mounts tonight, along with a few other things. And then maybe this weekend we'll be able to fully flex the truck and figure out where to mount the shocks. Then, after doing a few finishing touches... It's TEST TIME!!!! We can't wait!!! Then, give us a month or so to do some trail runs and whatnot... And then the Ranger goes back into the shop to get a new front suspension built.
 


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Big Red Ranger

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looks like good work to me nice job
 

c_note

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thos hiems are gonna wear out fast. i would have spent the extra few bucks on some FK hiems instead.
 

Mud-Nut

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Thanks guys.

The heims you're talking about are about triple the price of ours.... We're building this on a budget. If the heims get a good cleaning after every trip, I'm sure they'll last long enough to keep us happy! Only time will tell I suppose.

Anyways, we worked a bit more on the Ranger tonight. Started off by getting the u-bolts in the top coil buckets. These will be awesome for flexing the truck (much stronger than a typical coil clip).





Here we are figuring out approximately how much the coils will sag with all the weight on them.



And we got the top adjustable coil mount all tacked together, and then checked the ride height.













LOOK MOMMY!!! It can support our weight without any jackstands or anything.... WEEEEE!!!!! :)



Tomorrow, the top coil mount gets gussets and all the finishing welds, and then we'll flex her out and figure out where to mount the shocks. We'll also throw together a driveshaft and hopefully be testing her out on Sunday. If everything goes well, she goes back into the shop for all the finishing touches (filling the truss, spare tire mount, paint, and things like that).
 

hummer_maxxer

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wow, thats an awsome build. im soo jelous i wish my ranger could be that amazingly great and awsome.
 

93Ranger4x4

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Very nice build!!
 

metalmacguyver

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I like it. Some nice fab work.

You need to improve that rear tow point however. More bolts closer to the center of that plate that the shackle mount is welded to.
 

Mud-Nut

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Thanks guys!!

I believe that rear tow point is strong enough the way it is. You'd be surprised how strong bolts are when they're in tension. We'd have to be pulling on pretty extreme angles to turn the pulling force into shear on those bolts. As for the plate itself bending, that's 3/8" mild steel. I think it's going to take some pretty hard hits to start bending it?!?! I could be wrong though, thanks for the advice, I appreciate any kind of input. I'll pass it by my brother and see what he thinks. It wouldn't be hard to drill a few extra holes.
 

84projectFORD

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well as c_note said, those heims will wear out faster than you think. The metal they are made out of is cheaper and its tensile strenght is alot less that of the FKs. What will happen is the teflon inside will start to come out due to the encasing starting to stretch and you will get lots of slop in there, let alone possible the thing breaking. For the stuff your doing, a jonny joint would have been a better setup for you as they are rebuildable and really not that expensive (atleast out here they aint) even if they are though, rebuilding them is alot less than having to buy new heim joints every four to six months.

what metal is sayin is that even though that plate is thick, a few good HARD yanks will cause the plate to be pulled away from the frame and then put a side stress on the bolt, there for snappin the bolt heads off. You otta just weld it all on unless you have a reason to be taking it off?
 

Mud-Nut

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Thanks for the reply!!! I guess we'll just have to see how the heims hold up, since they're on there now. Once they wear out, we may decide to go a different route. Thanks though.

As for removing the rear tow point.... We made it that way incase we want to make different rear "accessories" for the truck. Maybe we'll drill a few more holes for strength. Again, thanks for the reply.

Anyways, we have another update. It was a big day for us!!!!!! We started out by finishing all the welds on the top coil mount.



This is for the filler for the gas tank.



Rear mounts for the rollbar.



All bolted in.



Gas tank is strapped down. He would like to get a fuel cell for it eventually, but this will work great for now.



Test run without shocks.... BOUNCY!!!! Haha! But everything was solid.





Then, using the tractor, we lifted the rear tire as high as it would go without the 3 other tires leaving the ground.













So we decided to flex it by lifting the front tire. We got the tire about 2.5 feet off the ground... not bad at all, considering there's only a difference of 2 inches in the front coils (which means that the majority of the flex is coming from the rear setup). We can't wait to redo the front suspension now!!!





















After having the truck fully flexed, we were able to figure out where to mount the shocks and made sure they wouldn't bottom out.









So now we're pretty excited to test everything out tomorrow!!!! I'm sure I'll have a bunch of pics for you guys! Haha!
 

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Looks like you two make one heck of a team!!:icon_thumby: Very nice job on this, lots of fabbin' fun, and I'm sure you learned a few new things along the way.


My brother and I are also working on my rig. He's got the advanced mechanical and wiring skills and I've got the mathmatical and metal fab. skills. Works good most of the time, except when we disagree on something, then it takes a while..................................:D
 

metalmacguyver

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Looking good.


One other thing, Add some straight verticles on that roll bar from where it comes up from the frame mounts to the top part of the bar. The bend to go out to the cab side makes it much weaker.



So how long till the back half of this thing is tubed?
 

Mud-Nut

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Thanks guys!!!

Yeah, the rollbar mounts aren't done yet. We still have plans to tear it all apart and add some little things, such as what you just mentionned. Thanks for the advice though, it's appreciated. As for tubing the back half.... The idea is to keep it looking like a truck, so we're hoping to bolt on the bedsides (after shrinking them to fit of course).

So today was test day, and everything help up pretty good!!!!! He beat on it pretty hard, and we haven't had a chance to inspect it really closely yet, but so far it looks like everything is good. Here are some of the pics from today:

Arriving to the test location!



Ranger at the top of one of the sand hills.



Flexing on some random barrier we found.



Rob trying to climb it.



Unfortunately, the tires on the Ranger we're too small to climb up the Willys tire (we tried), but the Willys sure was able to climb the Ranger!! Haha!



Stuck... Mainly cause of the slippery logs!



Me winching out the stuck Willys!! Haha!



Joel playing around.



Rob getting twisted on a tree... Haha!



And stuck again!!!!! Obviously he didn't know how deep it was! Haha!!!! Hydrolocked it.... But we got her running shortly after.





Me throwing some chunky roosters!!!!







And now my brothers turn to throw some water roosters.... First in 2wd!



And then in 4x4!!



And heading back home.... You guys like my dual tow bar setup?? Hahahaha!





 

Mud-Nut

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Alright guys, since testing went to well, the Ranger is back in the shop for a final teardown!!!





The rollbar gets some work done to it. Added a crossbar (it serves a purpose, as you'll see in the following pics).



Drain plug added to the rear end.



Got the center of a pair of front D44 rotors milled out to fit onto the 9" shafts.



Designing some rear caliper brackets to convert the rear to disc brakes.



And here's the spare tire mounted tacked into place.





And lastly, with a tire in place.







That's it for tonight boys and girls. More to come soon.
 


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