TRS Banner 2012-2015
- Aug 6, 2007
- Reaction score
- Macon/Fort Valley, GA
- Vehicle Year
- Make / Model
- Engine Type
- 4.0 V6
- 2WD / 4WD
Now that I'm on the computer I see the youtube link in your signature. I'll check it out.I do not have build threads for either… yet. I do have a couple vids on my YouTube channel and more coming. At some point I’ll probably sit down and do a build thread or two.
Oh, and for 83-97 Rangers, my understanding is that the engine crossmember and 2wd beam pivots are different. Possibly the coil buckets too. The only RBV that had the same everything except axle pivots was the 2wd Bronco II. My choptop was a 2wd and I believe only the passenger side beam pivot was different. Swapped that and bolted in the 4x4 TTB. Dropped the dummy t-case and put a 4x4 one on. For whatever strange reason, Ford did it that way with those, and only those.
I think I’d seriously consider dropping an older Ranger body on a newer Ranger frame if I wanted the A-arm front suspension. Be faster and easier than doing major mods to an older frame for better road handling. Swap the chassis wiring over while the cab is off and plug it all together when you drop the cab on if you want to keep all the engine stuff matching the older cab, or change cab side harnesses. It’s really not that scary. I was a little worried when I did a half frame replacement on my green 00 but it’s really not that scary once you do it. I wouldn’t be afraid to do it again.
Yep, the BIIs were weird like that. IIRC the idea behind the dummy transfer case was because that combination was actually shorter than the 2wd transmission which meant better driveline angles. I recall the diferent bracketry on 2WD BIIs being one of the issues encountered by the few people that have decided to lower them int he past. Now that you mention those and got me thinking about it, I think you can put the 2wd beams in the 4wd pivots, but you can't get it as low as a 2wd truck would be. I don't know what else was required to lower those BIIs I've seen done. Even if you were to swap the pivot brackets, I don't know how low you;d be able to get before the different crossmember cause problems.
I have seriously considered doing just that in the past. I mean take 3 inches out of the frame between the front and rear cab mounts (not core support bushings) and everything from the earlier frame would bolt right on. Prep the new frame, pull the body off, swap the drivetrain, wiring, and stuff to the new frame, bolt the body back on. Instead I'm going to lower and V8 AWD swap the 99, and think about what the future of the first gen is. I'm think a low street truck with it too, but more of an economy mode build. Something that gets good gas mileage and can daily drive to work, maybe a mildly built 2.3T in place of the stock N/A 2.3L or an EB swap..
Thank you for that info. I thought it might be welded in, but I wasn't sure. I know that it is on my F-100. I think the rest of the crossmembers are rivited in on both of those trucks, but the engine crossmember is welded.OK, frame swap is almost less work...
The difference between the 4wd and 2wd is more/less the engine crossmember (the TIB pivot is different, but it attaches to the engine cross member, so they go together) The issue is, the engine crossmember is welded into the frame rails.
If you want to match OEM, in theory, you only need to cut small chunk of frame out in yard - from just before to just after the coil buckets/engine crossmember
I think you need to unbolt engine, but its been a while. And I think the trailing arm mounts are same, but you can compare in yard.This gets you the engine crossmember and all the TIB components. (Pick a '95+ as they have better brakes)
When you get pieces home, you unbolt everything and cutaway the frame remnants, leaving only the engine crossmember.
Then you remove the TTB and carefully remove 4x4 engine cross member (OK, engine was out for me, and I started with the fire wrench before cleaning up with grinder. With 4wd cross member out of way, install 2wd one, welding in same positions as it was in truck in yard.
However, it might be easier to make TIB to frame brackets - Vendors sell brackets to lift 4wds, so going mounting TIB should be possible - some "massaging" of the engine crossmember might be required.
Bolt all TIB parts in, remove the rear axle lift blocks (or flip to under spring if using dream beams) and go racing. Over the years, there have been "kits" to add 2nd (slave) pitman arm on passengers side and the cross link. Then you use 2nd driver's side tie rod and bump steer is history.
You're luck you're not working with newer SLA frame, they are completely different for suspension mounting and frame swap is definitely less work for those.
So now were talking removing the engine for access to the crossmember. The transmission need to be swapped for the 2wd version. Rear driveshaft would need to be swapped out too. That's the whole drivetrain coming out right there. You're halfway to having it stripped to the frame. If I were attempting any work like this I'd be pulling the cab for access, that just leaves 6-8 bolts to pull the bed.
So do all that, then bolt the stuff back onto a different frame. -OR- Do all that, then remove 4x4 suspension brackets, cut out 4x4 cross member, weld in new 4x2 crossmember, install 4x2 brackets,
Ya know, doing a frame swap really is starting to sound like the more difficult option.... NOT!!!
Ok, I'll play ball a little more here.
If we're going to entertain the idea that 2wd brackets may bolt onto a 4x4 frame without cutting and welding, it shouldn't be necessary to make TIB frame brackets. I know for sure that NEW reproduction 2wd axle pivots can be purchased from Autofab. Considering rust repair needs and the fact that they didn't really change from 1989-1997, you can probably purchase NEW 2wd coil spring and shock towers.
I still think a 2wd frame swap is the way to go. By the time the OP gets done cutting and hacking the frame from 2wd to 4wd the thing probably isn't going to pass tech inspection to run on a track anyway.