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AJE Ranger K-Member Who's Done It!?

Yotaismygame

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Splash 2wd
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Looking back I wish I would have done a bed mounted radiator. I managed to have my intercooler only cover a third of the radiator so hopefully it'll stay cool enough in the stock location. Bed mounted would be a bit more complicated but I'm sure it would cool better.

Probably not an issue for you but I found out the struts that come with this kit are just a generic oem type of strut. Not nearly enough dampening for me and probably too compressed on my setup to function properly. I'll be swapping them out for single adjustable QA1's to match my rears.
 


n2xlr8n

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I gotcha. Look carefully at the drawing, then at my engine location relative to the frame. Most of my clearance issues are on the top of the frame channel on the pass side, and the steering column on the other.

Where the Holley v-band exits is exactly where I have a lot of room:

View attachment 65823View attachment 65824
Looking back I wish I would have done a bed mounted radiator. I managed to have my intercooler only cover a third of the radiator so hopefully it'll stay cool enough in the stock location. Bed mounted would be a bit more complicated but I'm sure it would cool better.

Probably not an issue for you but I found out the struts that come with this kit are just a generic oem type of strut. Not nearly enough dampening for me and probably too compressed on my setup to function properly. I'll be swapping them out for single adjustable QA1's to match my rears.
A lot more expense, that's for sure. Again, I could have done it cheaper, but I've ridden the roof of one going about 140 and I want to avoid that scenario if possible. I'm actually taking a chance by using copper tubing and silicon couplers at the Y manifolds.

PXL_20211128_215327394.jpgPXL_20211128_215406752.jpg

I started gutting the interior for my cage. If you look close at the 2nd pic above, I'm tying in the open ended 1.5" AJE strut towers to my dash tubes and cross brace. I'm also tying the motor mounts to the frame with 1" (0.250 wall) DOM tubing. That is how much flex is in these strut towers. I'll say it: It's not well engineered, and I don't think a ME was involved in it at all. The motor plate helped a ton, but not enough to make me feel safe during a pass (or with my wife in it).

S&W won't have it made for a few weeks, and I asked that they revise the belt / seat crossmember like the S-10s (adds more legroom because the crossmember is closer to the rear of the cab..it's two bends at each end). I have plenty to do in the meantime- wiring an entire vehicle takes time. FWIW, Racewire did the entire harness and bulkhead connections. See below for some of their work (billet turn sig / lighting / horn assembly)
PXL_20211128_215847984.jpg

Gutted (the stock dash and cluster will go back in right where it was):
PXL_20211128_210923966.jpg

'Til next time.
 

Yotaismygame

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A lot more expense, that's for sure. Again, I could have done it cheaper, but I've ridden the roof of one going about 140 and I want to avoid that scenario if possible. I'm actually taking a chance by using copper tubing and silicon couplers at the Y manifolds.

I started gutting the interior for my cage. If you look close at the 2nd pic above, I'm tying in the open ended 1.5" AJE strut towers to my dash tubes and cross brace. I'm also tying the motor mounts to the frame with 1" (0.250 wall) DOM tubing. That is how much flex is in these strut towers. I'll say it: It's not well engineered, and I don't think a ME was involved in it at all. The motor plate helped a ton, but not enough to make me feel safe during a pass (or with my wife in it).

S&W won't have it made for a few weeks, and I asked that they revise the belt / seat crossmember like the S-10s (adds more legroom because the crossmember is closer to the rear of the cab..it's two bends at each end). I have plenty to do in the meantime- wiring an entire vehicle takes time. FWIW, Racewire did the entire harness and bulkhead connections. See below for some of their work (billet turn sig / lighting / horn assembly)

Gutted (the stock dash and cluster will go back in right where it was):

'Til next time.
I really like that multi function switch. If I end up going with a race column I'm going to use that.
 

n2xlr8n

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Engine Size
LS
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
28x10.5
A couple of changes to the plan:

Rather than totally redo my fuel system for the additional power, I just added another -10 line and a A750 in parallel (as well as another 100u filter). It took me about a day to figure out how to mount it all, but it kills two birds with one stone- if I decide to go E90, I can simply swap injectors. This system is good for about 1000whp on E85, 1400 on 93.
PXL_20211209_212150468.jpg PXL_20211209_212242077.jpgPXL_20211209_212505050.jpg

The other change is the 4-link plan- I went single leaf with Assassin bars and QA1s to save a bit of cash (I'm waaaaaay over budget).
I've removed about 140 pounds off the nose, 70 from the cab and moved about 160 over / behind the axle- if folks are going 7s with Assassin bars, they'll do fine for my little project. I'll add pics of the rear suspension this weekend.
 

Blmpkn

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Yotaismygame

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That thing is gonna spank if you can get traction.

Where did you go for your shaft?
Local Speed shop. Most the local draggers here use them. Should have it later this week or next. I'm running Falkin AZENIS RT615K+ in 295's. Small turbo, small cam, low boost. Hoping not to make more than 500hp....for awhile at least.
 
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Yotaismygame

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I've driven her about 5 miles so far. Baby steps...

Here's what I've learned about the AJE kit. The recommended 175lb springs from AJE were way too soft. Truck bounced and bottomed out on every bump. They are a 12" spring and just sitting would compress down to 7". I talked with some mustang guys running a AJE setup and went with 350lb springs in the front, and moved the 175lb springs to the back to replace the 150lb that were there. The 350lb spring feels just right for aggressive street driving. I have QA1 single adjustable shocks on all four corners and have them set at 8/16 clicks for now. Even though I just have the alignment eye balled right now the suspension felt pretty good.

Now here comes a rant: The AJE kit for a ranger is not meant to be slammed to the ground. Which for me that's what I was going for. As you can see in this pic with a 3.5" fender gap I have very little up travel left. I would call this the lowest you can go. And even here I'm using the bottom of the strut and the LCA's are pointed up. Not ideal. The only option is to buy an expensive drop spindle which will just barely get me to the fender gap I'm after but will not solve the other two problems. A custom length strut would be nice and I sent QA1 an email about that. Possible both a drop spindle and custom strut would be best. Which really adds to the expense of this kit. Based on what you see here, to be correct the ride height should come up a few more inches. So this kit does not do much in terms of lowering the truck. And it's not like I'm running thin tires. These are 295/40/18s, they have some beef too them.
height .jpg
height2.jpg
 

Yotaismygame

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Some tips for future users of this AJE kit:

The stack of spacers for the caster camber plates on the strut towers needs to go as such for the top of the strut shaft to clear the Brake MC. Bottom to top. Solid smooth spacer, spring top hat, camber plate insert, camber plate, camber plate insert, strut nut. Ill get a pic of this eventually. You can put the top hat below the smooth spacer if designed but will lose around .25" of travel.

Struts: Next you'll want to use FoxBody struts. Really foxbody everything minus the spindles. These are 1"-1.6" shorter by design compared to sn95 struts(which I have :rolleyes:). That little extra clearance is needed to gain more travel before bottoming out the strut on the spring top hat. Depending on your desired front ride height you may need foxbody struts AND drop spindles. It's looking like I will need both. Having both QA1 single adjustable foxbody struts and 2" drop spindles I could come down another 3.6" which is probably more than enough. Edit: I forgot to mention QA1 replied and does not make custom length struts.

Spindles/camber: Sn95 spindles are fine depending on your desired right height. But drop spindles will be better in everyway. Only options I see if using stock style brakes are Racecraft and AJE. Both expensive. But now onto camber. I haven't measured mine yet but by eye balling it I'm still positive in camber with no more adjustment left. I'd like to get up to 3 degrees negative. With stock spindles I will need to elongate the top strut mounting hole on the spindle. Which this confuses me why AJE would build a kit with very little camber adjustment. If I raised the front up even higher for more suspension travel it would push the camber even more positive. Doesn't make sense too me. Almost seems like this kit should include their drop spindles which do have camber adjustment built into the spindle. Same with the Racecrafts. I'm going to complain to AJE about this and ask for a heavy discount on their drop spindles.
 
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Yotaismygame

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No discount from AJE.:mad:
 

TurboRay

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Slight drop + SOON electric strg & gasser-style tube frt axle
Tire Size
Bigs / Littles
No discount from AJE.:mad:
I'm envious of your patience, perseverance, AND your deep pockets in building this truck, Yota (I don't have any of those things, lol). As a preemptive strike......I didn't read the entire thread, perhaps only about 20% ~ mainly the portions about the AJE front subframe/suspension kit. I waded thru another such post on TurboFord many years ago by Chris Salmon, who installed what may have been the very first AJE Ranger suspension kit.

The kit that Chris installed was slightly different, leading me to think that AJE changed (hopefully improved) their design at some point. Other than the high cost.......one of my other concerns is that the "triangulation brace" (for lack of better terminology) bolts to the cab's firewall ~ while the cab itself mounts to the frame via NVH-insulating rubber biscuits! <shrug> I ASSume, therefore, that you've swapped out those rubber insulators for aluminum replacements?

I also ASSume, based on yer turbo LS engine choice <eek>, that this truck is used primarily as a street/strip drag racer? If so.....did you at any point consider using a "dropped" tube axle with twin lightweight leaf springs (gasser-style)? I'm not sure of the weight difference between that and your IFS setup.......altho I suspect that it would be a virtual toss-up. BUT.......I am fairly certain about the difference in cost, namely about 1/4 ~ plus, the camber, caster & toe never change with a tube axle, regardless of suspension travel. <shrug>
 

Yotaismygame

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Yes they did change it. Better? I don't know. In the thread I talk about how this is a pro-touring autocross style build. I will not be drag racing it. I built a 3-link pan-hard on coilovers for the rear to compliment the strut setup in the front. Whole thing is on QA1 single adjustables. Interesting about the cab mounts. I have poly mounts installed. So far the truck drives pretty good with a lot of adjustability. I'm still messing with the alignment and brake setup before I really take her for a spin.
 

Blmpkn

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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.
Yes they did change it. Better? I don't know. In the thread I talk about how this is a pro-touring autocross style build. I will not be drag racing it. I built a 3-link pan-hard on coilovers for the rear to compliment the strut setup in the front. Whole thing is on QA1 single adjustables. Interesting about the cab mounts. I have poly mounts installed. So far the truck drives pretty good with a lot of adjustability. I'm still messing with the alignment and brake setup before I really take her for a spin.
What's your impression of the qa1 singles so far?
 

TurboRay

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'87 Ranger
Engine Size
2.3 Turbo ~ Bob's Log, 3" exh, Boport, FMIC, PiMP, C4 & 8.8
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
Slight drop + SOON electric strg & gasser-style tube frt axle
Tire Size
Bigs / Littles
In the thread I talk about how this is a pro-touring autocross style build. I will not be drag racing it.

I built a 3-link pan-hard on coilovers for the rear......
Having only read about 20% of the thread, I must've missed the "pro-touring autocross" part. Obviously, a straight front axle would probably not be ideal for that, lol. (y)

When you say, "3-link Panhard" ~ I ASSume you're referring to Watts linkage? LINK
 

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