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89 Ranger 4.0 Swap and Hunting Rig, the Houndrunner



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BlackBII

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Nice. Now that they're out it'll be easy to clean them up with paint and new bushings/hardware if they need it.

For bleeding the clutch, and brakes, I've been having really good luck using a large syringe filled with brake fluid and with a piece of hose on the end and on the bleeder valve and pushing it up the line. You can get large syringes online for a few bucks
 

Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Yes sir, I was thinkin about it. I’m gonna reinforce them and install a locker eventually. Not sure if I’m ready to do that yet, though.
 

Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Rowdy Fitzgerald

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I got the rear end in and the perches welded up. Still need to cut the shock brackets off the 7.5 and weld them on the 8.8, then hook up the brakes, bleed them and tighten the drive shaft bolts.
After that’s all done tomorrow, I’ll start the front end swap. The new axles are 3.55’s so that’s gonna suck. I may end up re-gearing to 4.10’s when I get lockers and the C-clip eliminators.
 

Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Oh, so incase anyone else does the explorer 8.8 swap into an extra cab that had a 7.5. The explorer drive shaft is the same length as the Ranger drive shaft for an 7.5, but the explorer has larger u-joints, 1310’s I think. It’s about a inch too long because the 7.5 has a shorter pinion than the 8.8.

I recommend either getting the rear drive shaft from the explorer and taking it to a driveline shop. Or the easiest route would be to source the rear drive shaft off of a ranger that has an 8.8. It is a direct swap and won’t require any modifications. You’ll now have the larger u-joints and a drive shaft that fits.

For the spring perches, I recommend buying new. The shock brackets are fairly easy to cut off and aren’t critical so they can be a little off.

As for the pinion angle, I put it back at what it was for the 7.5 axle, at 8 deg.

You’ll also need the explorer u-bolts and the plates for them. The Ranger’s u-bolts won’t fit the explorer 8.8 housing.
 
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BlackBII

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Yeah 3.55 is a bit high. What size tires are you running?

New perches is the way to go 👍
 

Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Tire Size
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I bought it with 31’s and I think I like it how it sets. So I’ll probably stick with them.
 

Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Buttoned up the rear axle today. The E-brake cables from the explorer didn’t work out. I ended up cutting the end off the long one so it was junk. The short one was too short to fit. The 7.5” axle cables fit just fine.

Got the D-28 pulled, straightened and braced the passenger side TTB bracket. It was bent almost half an inch, it was missing 3 bolts and all the rest of the bolts were loose!

The driver side bracket wasn’t mounted straight, it was missing 2 bolts and they decided to booger weld it in one spot. I cut the welds out, ground them off and remounted it correctly. I still need to drill one hole for it and put a bolt in though.

The radius arm brackets are missing like 5 of bolts.... All said and done, I might have it finished tomorrow if the wife doesn’t mind me spending another day on it. I’ve already spent the last 2 1/2 days working on it between pulling the explorer axles and installing them into the ranger.
 

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Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Oh, the PO also put 1” wheel spacers on it. I’m not sure how I feel about them yet. I probably won’t be using them again.
 

Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Total Lift
6”
Tire Size
35
I’m at the DMV right now and the line is ridiculous! It’s like 150 yards long and probably 75 people.
 

Shran

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I have reused 1st gen driveshafts before...you just have to drill and tap new holes for the small bolt pattern into the 8.8 flange. NOT ideal but it works.

If you're good with a cutoff wheel, you can usually reuse your spring perches...cut a little at a time and be careful, clean em up and put them back! New ones are just as easy though. For shocks I usually just buy 4x generic tabs, it puts the shock bottoms up a little higher but also out of harm's way.

U-bolts - Autozone has a kit for like $25 that includes four u-bolts that are long enough for just about anything unless you've got stupid tall blocks in the rear. They are for a slightly smaller axle tube diameter but they work if you squeeze them together with a C clamp as you're putting the plates on, they kinda spread out when you slide them onto the larger diameter 8.8 axle tube. I always use better nuts though, usually I'll get some flanged grade 8 nylocks or steel locks from Fastenal instead of the cheap ass lock washers...those things are doomed for failure.

Explorer u-bolt plates work fine but they have really tall sides and the shock mount provision. I usually cut the sides down so they're about 1/4" tall and then cut off the shock mount. Probably easier to buy new plates but I'm cheap and have lots of Explorer parts.
 

Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Engine Size
302
Transmission
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Total Lift
6”
Tire Size
35
Driveshaft-
Yeah I figured it’s possible but I have a spare 92 ranger in the back yard, so I decided to try that drive shaft and it was a fit. I figured I’d post it on here so anyone that isn’t as handy would know they can get a direct replacement from a junk yard.

Spring perches- Yeah I’ve done that before and there’s nothing wrong with it. I was just being lazy and torched mine off because I had a new set of perches.

U-bolts- That’s good to know! I didn’t know they stocked u-bolts.

Shock brackets- Where do you get those tabs? I’ve seen the universal ones that Ruff Stuff has, I thought about ordering them, but I decided to go cheap and reuse the oem ones. I mounted them level with the bottom of the axle tube to help with ground clearance. I also have a 4” lift so there is still about 5” of up travel available for the shocks.

I contemplated using the explorer u-bolt plates because they’re fairly stout. But I went with the spare plates that I had. I had a set of u-bolts from my other ranger when it had a 9” in the rear.
 

Rowdy Fitzgerald

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Location
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Vehicle Year
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Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
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Engine Size
302
Transmission
Manual
Total Lift
6”
Tire Size
35
Well it’s in. Definitely not finished, but it’s in! I registered it today also.

The short list:
Install new fuel pump
Install new fuel pressure regulator
Bleed the clutch
New front brake lines
Bleed the brakes
Alignment
Replace the steering pump high pressure line.
Replace the driver side auto hub with a locking hub
Install front drive shaft
Find coolant leak
 

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Rowdy Fitzgerald

Hog hunter
Firefighter
EMT / Paramedic
V8 Engine Swap
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Joined
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Messages
3,659
Reaction score
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Points
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Location
Squaw Valley, Ca
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
302
Transmission
Manual
Total Lift
6”
Tire Size
35
Set the camber and aligned her today. The lift brackets have about a inch and of half of adjustment for the beams. I was lucky enough that all I had to to was let them bottom out to hit 90 deg. The lower balljoints do have a a little bit of play in them though. I kinda expected that. I plan on replacing them when I install a locker, extend the RA’s and reinforce the beams this summer.

I made a list of the things I have left to do, to it. I’ve got a decent list left. There’s a couple things I can’t do until I buy parts or until they get delivered because I already ordered them. But either way, I hope to have it done by Monday and driving it to the gas station for its first legal test drive.
 

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