Have you looked at any gearing ratio charts? The ones that tell you speed and rpm based on tire size and gear ratio?
Smaller tires make a big difference IME....I think besides the size, the reduced weight and rotating mass really frees up the ponies. Sounds like you are gonna have a fun truck.
Yes, on all counts. It's been a little while since I've looked at actual gearing charts, but I have played with a lot of tire size and gearing calculators over the years. What you said there is why I'm not going entirely off diameters and gear numbers. There are many aspects beyond RPM that have an effect on the overall outcome. Smaller diameter, lower mass, less rolling resistance (depending on tires) less sidewall deflection. As I said previously this change isn't MPG driven, that's a potential bonus
Sounds like you are gonna have a fun truck.
That's the goal. I finally figured out how to describe my goal. It's not going to be a clone or tribute build, but lets say its going to be very inspired by the Saleen XP6/8. Not after the Saleen "appearance", but the stance, handling, etc.
Suspension wise will be very similar, though I probably won't go to 18s. Brakes will be the later 12" setup found on the Rangers because I don't know that a larger setup is available. Most of the XPs were eventually converted back to stock brakes anyway due to poor design on the conversion causing failures. Might eventually ditch the torsion bars for coil overs, but that'll be down the road.
I say 6/8 because the Saleen was available with stock 4.0 SOHC, 5.0L or 5.0L supercharged. I'll be sticking with my 4.0L OHV for a while, but open to 5.0L swap down the road. So open to it that I'll probably go ahead and stash away an Explorer donor when/if I find one for the right price, maybe a set of TM headers too. I will stay naturally aspirated, but will probably make similar power to what the supercharged Saleens did (or more).
Not sure what I would do on a TTB front re-gear....probably either have a shop do it, or just leave it and have two different gear ratios lol... I have gotten away with it before, just sticking with 4wd only on very loose terrain (pun intended).
I'm not either, probably pick up a spare beam and learn how to do it myself. Glad that I don't have one, so I don't have to worry about it.
I'd do about the same with this 99 if I wanted a non-stock ratio. I'd get a spare differential assembly, buy the gears, learn to do it myself. Since I'm dealing with a stock ratio, I might as well pick up a complete differential in the right ratio to just swap in. I'll check it out and change fluid of course, but I don't see a front diff being that bad on wear and tear.