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"Big Darla" Build Thread


XionicWaste

April 2012 OTOTM Winner
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Location
Menomonie, WI
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
Most Recent Truck Picture:
50942

50943



Modifications from front to back:
Stinger/clean tube bumper
8500 Lb Superwinch
Chopped Grill
Hood Pins
Re-centered Stock Front Fenders
Warn Premium Hubs
4" Front Stretch
1979, F150 Dana 44 Solid Axle (Narrowed to 60") Spool and geared to 4.88
Solid Diff Cover
F250 Shocks and Towers in the Front
XJ 6.5" (180ppi) Coils
1 Ton Tie Rod Ends
1.5x.25 Drag Link and Tie Rod.
Early Bronco ChroMoly Shafts with CTMs!
37.x12.50X15s Pitbull Rocker MTs on Trail Ready Aluminum Beadlocks
Quick Release Door Pins
Painted Dash
CD/IPOD Deck
Aftermarket Seats
5 Point Harness (now just a 3 point)
True Flat Belly Skid
Manual 1350- Manual 1354 Doubler (Homemade sector shaft and plate)
15.5 Gallon Beer Keg (Half Barrel) Gas Tank
Full Tube Bed
Rear Axle Moved Forward 8"
Explorer 31 Spline 8.8 Limited Slip Re-geared To 4.88
F250 Shock Towers Out Boarded (Rear).
12" Travel F250 Rear Shocks
Cherokee Leafs, running them backward with one explorer leaf.
Custom Tacoma 5/8ths offset shackles
60" High Lift Jack with Custom Mount
Moss Paint Job
112" Wheelbase with 3" lift

*Wish List*
Rear Selectable Locker
31 Spline 8.8 ChroMos on 5x5.5
Rear 3000lb Winch Mounted Over the Rear Axle
Small Exo Cage (Only Over The Cab)
Axle Wrap Issue
Bend Control Arms (hang down too far)
Finish Center Post For Coil Springs
Rear Brake Line Mounts
8.8 Truss
finish small exo
rock lights
more headlights
front brake line routing
Rear Brake Line Mounts


So I know a few you heard about my truck getting totaled in Denver, CO. during my axle re-gear.
Old truck now totaled, as you can see the frame is jacked up:





Well I got a new truck and Ive done a fair amount of work on her and its about time for a build thread.
Here she is stock with my buddy's jeep on 35's next to it:


The truck is a 97 Ranger, 4x4, 4.0L, 154k miles, 5-speed, long bed, manual hubs, and a hydraulic plow for $2500. The truck got sucked in a ditch and was pinned against 2 trees. That's why the body is kinda jacked up. The bumper is pretty messed up too from when they pulled it out.

I think I'll name her Darla... Little Darla now, Big Darla later!

Well I had a Moab, UT trip planned before my truck got totaled and the trip was in 5 days so let operation Moab or bust begin!

It was, and still is, the middle of winter and I had no decent place to work on a truck so I found a decent shop/garage to rent for 25 dollars a day.

My plan was to swap my 4" lift, both axles, and my new 35's before the Moab trip.

Well I wanted to get both trucks in the shop but the beams made it damn near impossible to get the trucks in there. I got the bright idea to buy a rolling jack and swing the trucks in.

Got both trucks in:


Now off with the back axle's, Cindy-lou's (thats the name of the old truck) axle off (picture of my buddy):
I used the 64 inch chevy leafs and the belltech 6400 shackles. Also the new 31 spline explorer 8.8:


Got the axle and leafs mounted:


She sits a little hot rod now:


Now with the front suspension:

The front axles took us the longest from them not easily lining up and no pictures :( sorry.

We actually got the axles and lift kit swapped!



Off to MOAB we go!




I broke my locking hub on the obstacle behind this picture:

Trail fix:



Well it turns out that I had the wrong locker and there was too large of a gap inside the locker ( between the pins and springs) and the pins sheared the springs and with no pressure against the springs the truck only has 2 wheel drive because the locker wont engage. (powertrax locker and there is a carrier difference between a Dana 35 with ABS and non ABS.) A new locker spacer/locker carrier is on the way!) Me getting towed off the trail:



We had to cut the trip short one day because of my truck being broke, but had a good time non the less!


I also got one fiberglass fender on:



I found out my tire was being cut by my stock fenders so I decided to chop em' right where the silver molding was:





I gave her a lil bath... she looks good:


Thats all ive got for you guys now! More to come when the weather gets nicer.

(I had to axe some of the original pictures so I could edit this first post with the most recent pictures and spec's.)
 
Last edited:


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

WesB

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Nice transformation. looks like a good time at Moab.
 

crawlin91

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Moab is awesome, can't wait to get back out there.
Local club is Running Chinamanns Gulch in Buena Vista on 6/11/11 and doing some camping all weekend if you would like to join us PM me and I will get you the info. There will be alot of other Rangers there.
 

XionicWaste

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Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
Damn I will be back in Wisconsin for the summer in June... Im in Colorado till mid May. I am going to easter jeep safari however.
 

Viva*the*Ranger

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Sweet build ya got man. Keep up posted on the progress!
 

XionicWaste

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Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
thanks for the support, im going to install a low profile sub right now.
 

dieseldane

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Sweet man, nice to see that kind of determination. :icon_thumby:
 

XionicWaste

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Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
Well my new locker coupler came the other day... Much to my surprise only one side came... Apparently they're not sold as a pair. I went to order a new one but a new coupler now costs 92 dollars and Im not looking to put too much more money into this project. I ended up using the new coupler and making a washer out of 22 gauge sheet metal. I got the clearance I was looking for. I installed the locker and pulled the axle off for I hope to be the last time.


I also bought a low profile sub and installed that. FYI never buy the Boss low profile subs because they have terrible reviews but I got one anyway and it fried in 10 mins. Instead of send the sub back and spend 30 more dollars I just wired the sub up to my 1000W amp. Works pretty well now.





Were supposed to get one hell of a snow storm tomorrow but if we dont Im going to work on the other fiberglass fender/ snorkel combo and paint them. Thats it for now!
 

XionicWaste

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Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
So that snow storm did come today and I really didnt want to work in the snow... Maybe sometime this week I can get the fenders done.
 

XionicWaste

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2WD / 4WD
Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
Well Still more snow :( The snowmobiling and skiing is good but I'm ready for summer and water sports! Im headed to Moab again for the Easter Jeep Safari and my buddy and I will be there on the night of the 21st. I really want to get my fenders on and finished before I go. (she just looks unfinished now) Anyone heading out to Moab then?
 

XionicWaste

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Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
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Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
Today I got a lot done on the truck. I am installing fiberglass prerunner fenders and on my old truck I had a safari snorkel and I want to instal it.
Step one was to mod the snorkel end so the hose and snorkel would fit underneath the fender:

Well I cut the Safari end off (at the output side) and wanted to hook the hose directly to the end so there was no 90 degree end. To get the hose to fit I needed to form the plastic to something more round. Bring on the HEAT :icon_welder:


After the heat was applied the snorkel accepted the hose and I caulked it and took a rubber glove and slid it over it. (my buddy in the pic)


After that a liberous amount of duct tape was applied just to tie it all together:

 
Last edited:

XionicWaste

April 2012 OTOTM Winner
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Menomonie, WI
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1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
While working on the fenders I also painted the drivers side fender. Its only waiting on a few coats of clear now.
The inner fender well I cut with a tin snips and fixed it to the upper body with some self tapping screws. A coat of flat black gave it a nice finished look.



I was curious how the painted fender looked so I threw it on after I fitted up the other fender and the snorkel.









Heres some flex shots. My front end flexes for shit but the rear is pretty good.

 

XionicWaste

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Location
Menomonie, WI
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
37x12.50 Pitbull Rocker MTs
My credo
Custom everything! Purists look out!
Well today I am painting my fenders between my classes and Ive already got one done and clear coated. I put on about 4 coats of gloss black and about 4 coats of clear. I cant wait to see how it looks when its dry and on the truck. The other fender has about 2 coats of gloss black right now and will have the other 2 on today and maybe a few coats of clear. I'll get some pictures for you guys/gals tonight!
Next project after the fenders will be a temporary front bumper for Moab.
 

Josh40601

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Nominated you for TOTM. Seen the Moab pics, and had to do it. Moab is such a blast, especially in a Ranger :D
 


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