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Kirbys 1991 Ranger Build Up and Solid Axle Swap


Kirby N.

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1991
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I went to the junk yard today. Still no rangers or explorer missing the engine, however I did find a 1990 2.9 ranger with the front end all gone. I was able to measure just behind the buckets and came out with just under 29". I double checked the 1979 bronco too. It looks like I need to narrow the mounts a total of 4.5" or 2.25" per side. That makes sense because my explorer lower mounts always seemed a little too far in- I guess they were about 3/4" too far on each side since I narrowed the axle 6".

I changed the rabs valve and the brakes seem to be performing better. I may have time to start moving mounts today.


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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 80CBDBD15DC160 Expires: January 4th, 2021

Kirby N.

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It looks like I have a stock ranger frame measurement (from a helpful member) of 28 9/16" at the coil buckets. Compared to 33 7/16" on the bronco, it is 4 7/8" total difference- So that is 2 7/16" per side.

I cut all the mounts off. First I measured how far each bushing was from the outer "c".



Then I put the lower outer "c's" (where the lower ball joint mounts up) at 0 degrees. Then I measured each bushing's angle and marked it down.



Then I wrote everything down carefully on the trusty garage dry erase board and marked each bushing with a "top" which side it goes on and if it is front or back.



Then I cut each weld with a grinder and cut off wheel and drove them off with a big hammer and a piece of solid stock.




I also welded the tubes to the center section. I had some moist spots on my other housing around where the tubes go in from time to time, making me think welding the tubes even on a 1/2" tubes housing like this was even a good idea. After two passes last night, it was still cracking due to different cooling speeds of the cast center and tubes. In the past 2 passes got everything very warm and I let it cool slow in the open air and got away with it. This time I wasn't so lucky- maybe it's the thick tubes? Anyway, applied some pre and post heat with the trusted oxy acetylene torch and did another pass and she is good to go. Welded with my 220 buzz box turned up hot and 7018 rod.






Tada! All ready to clean up and tack the mounts back on!



One thing I am thinking over is that on my Navajo I had a single sheer lower trac at mount utilizing the stock mount and a 3/4" heim. If you look closely you can see the mount here:



Hiems suck for daily driving in the weather, so I would like to use a double sheer lower mount, with a poly upper and a "super joint" type of joint- spherical joint with Teflon inserts on the other end. We learned this lesson on my buddies bronco. However, we left the stock mount and welded to it. This cost an inch or so of potential trac bar length. You can see it here:


I am considering cutting off most of the stock mount and welding the double sheer to it. It will have to be kept low profile, however to clear the spring cups.




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Kirby N.

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Ok, I think I decided on 2 degrees extra caster as I weld on the mounts. I started taking measurements and tacking them up tonight.





When I got to the drivers side I realized how close that arm will be to the pinion and driveshaft. Hope there is enough room with duff arms or I might be running stockers again!


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Kirby N.

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When I built my explorer I pushed the axle as far forward (3.5") as possible without moving the steering box and it helped approach angle, tire/ cab clearance and I was able to run a stock front driveshaft until I doubled the tcase. I really don't need any wheel base on the ranger, but I think I will take it for the clearance, approach angle and driveshaft reasons.

I got the axle all welded up with the mounts moved in 2 7/16" and 2 degrees more caster built in.






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Kirby N.

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All dressed up with no where to go





Mounts are moved in and a fresh coat of paint. I ordered duff arms yesterday in the vein grey color and 5.13s for the front.



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Kirby N.

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Some good news! I got a shipment from James duff!



They are pretty! I also got my yukon 5.13s for the front and an install kit from crazyedsperformance.com

Last week I also made a trip to the Great Lakes to pick up a jeep for my wife. 2006 lj rubicon to replace her 2005. She has been car less for a couple months. I stopped in Madison, WI and went four wheeling with a couple of my oldest and best friends: Chuk and Jeremy. 3 Rubicons on a trail was a odd sight for that a area. We had to go at night, due to our schedule but it was fantastic. Chuk has a 2003 tj rubicon and Jeremy has a 2006 lj rubicon



Now for the bad news. Last Sunday I got home from church and the ranger was hissing and blowing antifreeze all over. It looked like it was coming out of the block. I decided it had to be a lower intake gasket, unfortunately.

So off with the intake today.



This looks like the culprit



I am not sure if I should put a new gasket on and reassemble or have a valve job done and have the heads checked. Any suggestions?




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BabyBronco89

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Solid Axle Swap
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depends on the mileage, whats she getting for mpgs?
a valve job never hurts, as for me id probably slap a new gasket and call her good, maybe give her a good seafoaming while you can, clean up the lifters prelube and reassemble, give the intake a good scrubbing, the more you do the more shell love you.
 

Kirby N.

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I took the lower intake to a machine shop to be dipped. It has 200k on it and gets up to 20 mpgs. I had a mechanic tell me a fresh valve job can be hard on a tired bottom end, so I am thinking of replacing the gaskets and hoping for the best. I ordered gaskets and sensors and a bunch of new parts from rock auto yesterday. Should be here in a few days.
 

Kirby N.

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I got a pile of parts in from rock auto.


I almost have it ready to go back together:



But I couldn't figure out where these o-rings go that came with the intake set. I have 6 of them.



Turns out later 4.0s had a plastic upper with these orings.


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Kirby N.

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I got the Ranger all put back together and running well. When I ordered the lower intake gasket, I decided it was a good time to replace lots of parts. I got new temp sensor/ sender, new coolant hoses, new serpentine belt, new plug wires, I even put a new injector wire on where a squirrel almost chewed completely through. I was going to put new injectors in, but then I priced them. So I cleaned them up and put new ends/ orings on them. I had the lower intake hot tanked because it was filthy and I painted the valve covers and thermostat housing. Of course they are pretty much covered up now.


When I got it all together and fired it up, it smoked like crazy and ran poorly. So I was bummed because I was sure it was a head or gasket. Then I got to thinking and checked the firing order. Sure enough. Had a wire crossed. I fixed it, then it ran great!

After I got the ranger together, I put new plugs in our 2006 Rubicon Unlimited. It took me 15 minutes flat with a plug socket and an extension. no wobbles or u joints or blind corners. They were all super easy to get to. Then I looked at the intake. Then I got angry at my ranger and ford for a while! That jeep is so easy to work on. I still like my ranger too I guess.




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Kirby N.

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I made another order last night because it was cyber monday. Ruff Stuff and Ballistic fab were having a 22.5% off sale and a 30% some/20% the rest off sale. I needed to get my track bar and steering sorted out anyway.

My track bar will have a ballistic flex joint on the lower end (2") and a ballistic fab poly joint on the other (2.63") both threaded opposite ways. I like this setup because I don't have to weld to a bushing, they both have 1.0 x 14 thread studs on them. I will have my buddy with the machine shop who helped me with the rear disks thread a piece of DOM and add wrench flats. That way I dont have to weld in bungs. I had a bad experience once!!

For the brackets, I bought ballistics upper because it matches the poly joint 2.63" wide and 9/16" holes.



For the lower, I really liked Ruffstuffs offset bracket. I plan to cut the stock bracket and weld to it also to gain an inch or so of length. However, the ballistic joint in a 2" has 1/2" hole and the bracket has 2" width and 9/16" holes. I asked each company about this and they said it is for heims. I am not doing that again on my track bar. Luckily, ballistic sells some weld in reducer spacers to accommodate 1/2" bolts in 9/16" holes. So I ordered those too.



I also ordered ruff stuffs Chevy 1 Ton TREs. Buying them from Ruffstuff, I don't have to ream the passenger tierod end to mate up to the draglink for over the knuckle and they were pretty reasonable. Hopefully they are good quality. The steering links will all be made by my buddy with the machine shop from threaded DOM also.

Lastly, I ran across Synergy MFG's low misalignment dust boot for TREs. These will do well to stop the steering flop common with chevy TRE steering. On my explorer this caused a little dead spot in the center of steering. Not awful, but noticeable. I saw another company build something similar, but these are nicer with the metal dust shield. I will let you know how I like them.


They are here: http://www.synergymfg.com/Synergy-Low-Misalignment-Tie-Rod-End-Dust-Boot-p-30954.html#.VH5o2zTF-So

They wont let me order them direct, so I got them through crazyedsperformance.com


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6.2

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Just read through the whole thread. Liking what I'm seeing, keep it up!
 

Kirby N.

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Thanks. I have wondered if this thread is in the wrong location over here it doesn't seem to get much action.
 

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We may not post much, but we're watching, keep up the good work :icon_thumby:

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