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Kirbys 1991 Ranger Build Up and Solid Axle Swap


Kirby N.

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So here is the reason I ask. In order to run the stock block, I have to modify the perch due to the larger center pin on the blocks. If I do that, I am committed to running the block. The front is going to be as low as possible without trimming the heck out of the fenders- but it will be pushed 3.5" forward. I am hoping for around 5" of lift. I think that can be pulled off since the full width axle in the front will move the diff to the drivers side as compared to my explorer with a narrowed axle. That was all that forced me to run around 7" of lift on my explorer.

I am trying to figure out if i will end up adding the block later. According to my research, the 64s with the stock overload and the 7" shackles with no factory block will only give me about 2.5" of lift? It seems like more right now.
 


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RangerSVT

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If you dont flip the rear shackle, the 63's will give you about 3" of lift. If you flip them, you won't get lift, but you'll get a bunch of flex. With the shackles, you should have close to 5", which should clear 35's, if you plan to do a lot of flexing, you'll need the blocks...

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Kirby N.

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Ok. Thank you. So around 5" with the blocks or without?


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Without. 3" on the springs without a flip, 2" for the shackles...

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Kirby N.

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More progress. I worked on it Monday night until my neighbor came over and asked me to shut the body shop down, then a little on Tuesday night with out pissing off my neighbor then all day today from 9am until 9pm.

I started off by removing the 2 piece driveshaft. What a waste. I can understand why a 2 piece driveshaft is valuable. Especially off-roading- keep that shaft off the rocks! The rangers is pretty odd though. The shaft by the tcase is only a foot long or so.- I don't think it helps much!!


I torched out all the rivets, then I removed the crossmember, a little has tank skid and the carrier bearing. Then out came the shaft.




Then I bolted everything up and set the pinion angle. And located the spring mounts, and




Then I burned in all the brackets and while I was there I welded the tubes to the center section.




I also built some brackets out of 2" strap to hold the short brake hoses for the calipers and plumbed the brakes.




I had a few bad experiences with stainless braided lines (like almost died when I was pulling a trailer and one burst) so when it became apparent I needed a longer rear brake line I started looking for oem solutions. I read a thread where stic-o used a 96 f350 rear line for an extended line. I got one and it was only about an inch longer than the ranger one. 2 inches longer than the f150 one. So I found another solution on trs. It is off a 1989 dodge w150 truck. Part number BH38744.


Perfect. Plenty of length. I used the f150 brake lines. It comes down on the drivers side, then splits from there. I had to switch out an end because where the sides come into the hose in the block for the 150, one is larger. I was having to shorten them anyway so no prob. A little flaring and life is good.





Then I filled the diff, got a game plan for the ebrake,- then I mounted the tires and tightened the spring mount bolts with weight on them. Also tightened lugs! Forgot that on the explorer build and noticed a bad vibe on the way home before I lost a wheel! That would have sucked!


Tomorrow I get to make an ebrake bracket, drop off the driveshaft and get one made at 63 3/8" ride height, mount the bed and bleed the brakes. Giddy up!


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Kirby N.

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Thanks svt for the info btw. I ended up running the blocks like I planned originally. I can always pull them later.

I am planning on leaving out the crossmember for the carrier driveshaft bearing. I read in the tech article that's a bad idea, but I see lots of crossmembers under there so I am not worried. Has anyone destroyed anything by not reinstalling it?


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I cut my crossmember in two pieces, one at the passenger framerail and the other right at the gastank mount for one piece driveshaft clearance. Drove and wheeled like that for years, no ill affect...

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Kirby N.

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Thanks svt. I won't sweat it.


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Kirby N.

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I got the ebrake cable bracket built kinda temporary to see how it works. It almost makes contact with the spring when the tire stuffs. Probably would if it was really stuffed. Adjusted the ebrake and it works excellent. Bled the brakes and they grab great.







I ended up with about 6" of lift. That's. 64" Chevy leaves with overload left in and the stock ranger blocks. The rear wheel wells on the rangers are tiny! I am worried about butchering my fenders to fit these tires. I front wheel drove it to some spots to check travel and measure for shocks. Almost got stuck !


















I am happy about the travel. A little bummed about the fenders. I need to figure out how to cut them and fold them under nice.

I went to the drive long shop to have them mod my 2 piece shaft and lengthen the main part and put the end on the long part . It was going to be $350 because they would have to rebuild everything. The slip/ tube is too small for the 63 3/8" length I needed.

So I went to the junk yard and found one off a. 2000 ranger that was the right length! $20! Except they moved the truck with a fork lift and bent it. It should be $100 to get retubed. It will be ready tomorrow.

I think I am going to order bilstien 5100 shocks tomorrow. They need to be 20" compressed and. 27" extended. Pn 33-185569 should work. I had bilstiens on my one of my jeeps and they were great.


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Kirby N.

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With the help of my buddy Phil (the bronco owner) we got the bed on late last night. I am really pleased with how everything tucks up under the bed. The ebrake mount, the relocated spring mounts, the shackles. I am really bummed how the tires do not tuck up under there though!! I need to trim the rear of the rear wheel wells some how.

On to the pics:










And one with my copilot/ co builder!



This shows where the fenders need trimmed I can always move the axle back or fwd 1" with the ruff stuff mounts and the bed even moves a little. I think it is close. Might move it back a little.



I ordered the bilstien shocks for the rear. They will be here Monday.

The stock speedo gear was a 19 tooth (pink). It is way off with the 5.13s and the 35s. So I ordered a 21 tooth from ford today. Should be here Monday.

I also got the driveshaft in today! Woot woot! I was excited to drive it with the 5.13s. To cycle the suspension yesterday I was rolling in front wheel drive.

First impressions: I have to pay attention driving a stink bug on the hwy at 75 with no rear shocks, but it is wrapped pretty tight. Good bye 20 mpgs!

It has a ton of pep around town, lots of shifting though. It seems faster off the line than it was stock.

With 37s and 4.56s on my explorer, low left a lot to be desired. Then I added a doubler. That brought the final crawl ratio to 94. That was almost perfect! It was hard to stall with that setup. Even by standing on the brakes.

With 35s and 5.13s, this in low has a final crawl ratio of 43. I think I had my expectations really high after wheeling with the doubler. It will be fine for what I need it for now.

I ended the day today by using the eraser wheel on my 1991 radical graphics. I actually kinda miss them.




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BabyBronco89

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Coming along nicely!!!
 

Kirby N.

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Thanks!
I got my shocks and my speedo gear. The speedo reads abou 4 mph over at 75, which is probably a good thing. I will try to forget it.

I keep getting thumbs up and complements on the ranger. I always laugh! It's not done yet! It drives nice now and will be tolerable until I can do the front. It even keeps the tires out of the fenders on normal driving.

I like the way the bilstiens look.






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Kirby N.

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I have been driving the truck a few weeks and everything is working great. I even decided the gears were broke in so I changed the rear diff fluid.

I installed a junk yard (found an auto so it would be rarely used) ebrake pedal assembly. The spring on my old one was toast and it would just pop off of engaged. I had to re adjust the ebrake shoes also, in the process. I found the best way to do it is to engage the pedal about 1/3 of the way and tighten the adjusters until they are tight. Then both are set even and hold well with the brake fully engaged. It was a nightmare to change this bugger out.



I also changed out the drivers side door hinges. I found a gold 91 ranger at the junk yard. The passenger hinges were tight. They looked the same as the drivers. I had to pull the fender off to get them off, but I got them off. So I got them home and installed the upper without drama, but the lowers are different. So I robbed the bushings out of the passenger one I pulled and used the piece that bolts to the tub so I could have a stopper again. I had to grind the studs head and then weld it in when I was done. Door shuts easy again.



I also got started on the front axle. It was filthy, so I took it to the car wash with hot water and some engine degreaser. It became good and clean.



Then I pulled the cover off and the knuckles off and realized the inside was filthy too. The seals have been leaking forever too. The tubes were full of dirty old diff oil. So I took it back to the car wash, stood it on end and washed the tubes and center section out with steam. It came out nice and clean!



I pressed the ball joints out and went looking for some spicer replacements. Napa was the only place carrying dana/spicer and they wanted $50 a piece. $200 in ball joints? I only paid $50 for the housing! Rock auto has Moogs for about $45 a side, so half. Jeff's bronco graveyard has spiders for $55.



I need to decide on one and order. I also need 10 studs for the spindles. Mine came with only 2! The only place I can locate them is Jeff's bronco graveyard.


And finally, I found a 79 bronco with the engine out in the junk yard. The frame measures just under 33 1/2" at the coil buckets.



I need to compare it to a ranger frame, but it is kinda a pain with the engine in. Anyone have a frame sitting without a motor and would make a measurement for me? I need to figure out exactly how much to move in my suspension mounts.


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Kirby N.

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I still haven't been able to get a clear frame measurement. I have to go drive near the junk yards tomorrow, maybe I will check again and see if I can get a good measurement since I can get anything clear online.

On ball joints, I ended up ordering a Dana 44 Solid Axle maintenance kit from bronco graveyard.


It comes with Spicer ball joints, Timken outer wheel bearings, outer seals and needles, and 2 5-760x ujoints (the picture is of TTB ball joints but they sent the Solid axle ones). I thought $229 was expensive until I priced all that name brand stuff. Then I decided this was the best bet. I also got some inner seals. So I have some seals and a couple BK1's to return to napa tomorrow. I also got 10 spindle studs and nuts from bronco graveyard.

I got the ball joints in and welded up the center section on the 44 today. I will include some pics tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be installing a new Rear ABS valve. I am not so excited.
 

Kirby N.

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Ok here is some pics





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