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MAJOR SUSPENSION FAIL !! Now what? (old aftermarket)


eightynine4x4

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Vehicle Year
1989
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Ford Ranger
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2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5" Suspension
Tire Size
31 x 10.5 x 15
It occurred to me that the reason why most instructions / guides say a bunch of stuff has to be loosened or detached in order to change out the radius bushings is probably because OEM radius brackets are riveted in place. These aftermarket ones are of course just bolted. I’m going to assume I can safely unbolt these brackets later on and change out the bushings without needing to disturb anything else.
 


bobbywalter

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sawzall?
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My credo
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It occurred to me that the reason why most instructions / guides say a bunch of stuff has to be loosened or detached in order to change out the radius bushings is probably because OEM radius brackets are riveted in place. These aftermarket ones are of course just bolted. I’m going to assume I can safely unbolt these brackets later on and change out the bushings without needing to disturb anything else.
Yeah....that and maybe a ratchet strap to adjust it on install
 

eightynine4x4

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1989
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5" Suspension
Tire Size
31 x 10.5 x 15
I’ve got it all propped up. Jacked it by the aftermarket crossmember. Put it on stands on frame at the radius brackets. Then I also stacked a ton of 12x12x2 bricks in middle of truck under crossmember point, with just a half inch air clearance between it and crossmember, as a fall back in case stands fail. I always need a fallback prop so I can not feel so near death all the time.

When I first got the truck I checked the front brakes pads but didn’t inspect for much else since they worked and didn’t make noise. Now I see that the passenger caliper is missing a “cotter” pin or whatever these clunky ones are called. And the caliper sits low and lightly drags on the edge of rotor. I’m surprised I’ve never seen sparks or heard sounds from this. Also, even when lifting the caliper up a tad by hand so that it’s not dragging on rotor edge, there’s still a light weight scraping sound and the pad appears to still be making contact with the rotor. There is more resistance to this wheel spinning too. Not sure if it’s the brake/pad or not.
In any case, I gotta order up a pin. May as well order new pads now too and do those. There’s a few MM left on each side. This passenger one looks worse,

Am also unsure that there should be so much grease all over inside the hubs. I guess it makes sense that all these parts need grease! Or maybe this is a sign of some leak. It’s the same on both sides. This summer I’m planning to dig deep in front with the hubs/bearings/u-bolts.

All these pics are passenger side..

IMG_1951.jpeg

IMG_1956.jpeg


IMG_1953.jpeg
 

bobbywalter

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sawzall?
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33-44
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damn lucky on that caliper pin.
 

eightynine4x4

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4WD
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2.5" Suspension
Tire Size
31 x 10.5 x 15
damn lucky on that caliper pin.
Got a pair of replacement pins on hand now.

I have the front drop bracket out which was the hardest part. The other one was replaced last year so the parts aren’t rust siezed.

Upon looking at some stuff, I’m wondering if it’s worth the time to also replace the following three sets of bushings, while I have it lifted and without tension, circled in yellow below. Seems like the purpose of this whole bar is to help hold the wheel assemblies in place. Thoughts? Seems like it might be pretty straight forward.

Il also concerned about the steering linkage. I haven’t greased them at all yet, although the shop may have when doing alignment last year.

IMG_1978.jpeg

IMG_1977.jpeg
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Got a pair of replacement pins on hand now.

I have the front drop bracket out which was the hardest part. The other one was replaced last year so the parts aren’t rust siezed.

Upon looking at some stuff, I’m wondering if it’s worth the time to also replace the following three sets of bushings, while I have it lifted and without tension, circled in yellow below. Seems like the purpose of this whole bar is to help hold the wheel assemblies in place. Thoughts? Seems like it might be pretty straight forward.

Il also concerned about the steering linkage. I haven’t greased them at all yet, although the shop may have when doing alignment last year.

View attachment 91984
View attachment 91985
That is the sway bar and link bushings. Might as well replace if worn.
 

bobbywalter

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Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
I usually throw all that sway bar stuff away. But bushings are cheap and easy
 

eightynine4x4

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4WD
Total Lift
2.5" Suspension
Tire Size
31 x 10.5 x 15
I usually throw all that sway bar stuff away. But bushings are cheap and easy
I already deleted a steering shock / stabilizer and didn’t notice a change. Interestingly there is no sway bar indicated in the 89 shop manual for 4x4’s, only 4x2.
So what’s the deal? Without one would it in theory be leaning harder on other components to do their job well and not fail?
 

bobbywalter

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
Ttb is a sway bar.....😀
 

scotts90ranger

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35"
I deleted the sway bar on my '90 4x4 when I did the Dana 35 swap and 6" lift, I don't drive it any slower around corners than I ever did, haven't fallen over from that yet, it has gotten tired and fallen over a couple times for other reasons :). With stiff enough coils like they all have (unless you go jeep or early bronco coils) the sway bar is just kinda extra weight... but bushings are cheap and if you don't like body roll then go for it... with a lift and not having longer end links it isn't working to it's full potential anyway...
 

4x4junkie

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35x12.50R15

eightynine4x4

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Location
New York
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5" Suspension
Tire Size
31 x 10.5 x 15
That looks pretty normal as far as the grease is concerned... But do I see that the wheel bearing locknuts have loosened in this pic?
I’m not sure what to look for so I’ll look in the shop manual. Or can you explain?
I’ll check both passenger side and driver side.
 

4x4junkie

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35x12.50R15
I see what looks to be a gap between the locking washer and inner locknut.

IMG_1953.jpeg
 

Josh B

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I heard once about this thing called preventative maintenance I've been thinking about trying sometimes :)
I haven't seen a good breakdown of the manual hubs before
 

eightynine4x4

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Location
New York
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5" Suspension
Tire Size
31 x 10.5 x 15
I deleted the sway bar on my '90 4x4 when I did the Dana 35 swap and 6" lift, I don't drive it any slower around corners than I ever did, haven't fallen over from that yet, it has gotten tired and fallen over a couple times for other reasons :). With stiff enough coils like they all have (unless you go jeep or early bronco coils) the sway bar is just kinda extra weight... but bushings are cheap and if you don't like body roll then go for it... with a lift and not having longer end links it isn't working to it's full potential anyway...
Any thoughts as to what would need to be corrected to regain the sway bar’s OEM performance in the context of a 2.5” suspension lift? Maybe shorten the main bar ends or link ends so that there isn’t as much “slack” in the design now?

I have thought about it and I do want to keep the truck as flat as possible. Not so much for safety for fear of rolling, but just for preferred feel.

Got both new drop brackets installed, just need to torque them down. I measured my old good bracket (as in not broken or replaced by me) and compared to new same bracket, and found that with the camber bolts adjust for lowest point it should be about only 1/16” - 1/8” less drop than originals. So translated over to the wheels it should be quite close to old ones that the truck had been aligned to by previous owners.
 

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