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off roading overhaul need advice


bubblepoint

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After some extensive online reading (still need more) I am ready to throw out my plans and get some advice from the forums!

Ranger specs: (all stock)
• 2001 Ranger Edge 4X4 SOHC 4.0L Automatic
• Open 8.8” with 4.10 ratio
• 151,000 miles (purchased at 110,000 miles)
• 30” tires​

My goals:
• 33s but ideally 35” tires
• 4.88 gear ratio
• Automatic lockers
• Upgrade front axle, leafs, ball joints?
• Enough suspension and body lift to clear 35s
• A winch
• A role cage? Grandma took a spill at the dunes
Background:
Budget slow to start but will pick up when my credit cards are paid off, should be 4 months from now! I am against buying a new car and am justifying that with putting up to 5K into my truck for performance based upgrades and up to 3k for repairs. My grandparents bought my truck after I got a 4.0 my sophomore year of high school (a feet I was unable to replicate). My wife received her 06 Mazda 3 by finishing high school with a 4.0! Surprisingly her Mazda has been a lot easier to work on than my Ranger (the 4.0L seems a little crammed for space). I recently finished college in May, and am working in beautiful Midland TX. I want to take my Ranger down to Big Bend for some off roading. I will also be driving in Colorado some to see my family and go skiing.

Now that the background is out of the way here are my questions:
1. With 151,000 miles am I wasting my time and money?
2. Are my goals/budget realistic for the truck I have?
3. What should I start with first?
4. I have always noticed rattling around 2500 RPM, any fix to the timing chain rattle?
5. How much lift, suspension, regearing would I need for a decent off roading experience? (possibly some climbing)
6. I have some mechanical skills; I do brakes, oil, spark plugs. I feel limited from the big stuff without the proper tools. What should I attempt myself and what should I get professional help with? I know a local mechanic who does performance mods/overhauls that I can hire.
7. If you have any experience with brands/parts let me know! I’m the kind of guy that would buy a Hyundai over a Beamer, don’t care much for the name just the end result.​

Did you make it this far? If so please offer any advice or comments you may have!
 


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Destroyer000

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a real common front axle swap is a early bronco dana 44 .its coil spring TONS of aftermarket parts for them and damn reliable. another axle is the front cherokee coil dana 30 axles. again big aftermarket for them and there the same bolt pattern as a ranger. as far as your rattling. ive seen people put an xtra 100k on a rattling motor. ive got a 98 bottom end in my 95 and when i checked it all out before i put it in everything was tight.. one day it made a hell of a noise when i started and the blade tensioner blew apart. was able to replace it all and fix it for about 120 bucks and no more noise. i replaced a motor in the ole mans 04 which should have been a non issue year and all the tensioners were blown apart.
 

982WDRanger

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I agree with destroyer. Go with a solid axle. Gives you the option of full custom-ability. Re-gearing your axles will take a few special tools and some know how so do some research and maybe find a friends who has done it before to assist you. Your power option will be fine, don't need a V8 to run big tires with low gears. I do suggest going with a selectable or Limited Slip in the front though. Turning will be much easier on and off road.

It takes time, blood, sweat, and tears but you could get it done. Also $$, not that big of a deal. Just save and pick at it. When you have all your parts then tear down. That is what I did, two weeks and done!

Best of luck.
 

MastuhWaffles

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I think limited slip would be nice because you can just drive and not have to touch anything. I plan to put one in my 8.8.
 

4.0B2

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with an autolocker, like Aussie you don't have to touch anything.
I have one front and rear (on a DD) and love it.
 

ridgerunner

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I'd go for a winch first, then everything else afterwards.
 

Mudstomper99

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Maybe look into a beater car so when something goes wrong on a Sunday you can get to work on Monday morning. Nothing crazy just something cheap to get point a to point b.
Solid axle is way to go for sure.
At 150k your good to go for awhile
 

kryptonitecb

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I agree with the second vehicle idea. Personally I had a motorcycle to use in case I broke stuff and I did multiple times.

Solid axle is good to but my opinion is to go d44 or up. A d30 from a jeep is weaker and won't "get" you anywhere a ttb couldn't.

Bigger tires for sure and lockers make a huge difference.

Also a winch will be a tool you'll find yourself using now and then that without you would be SOL. Hopefully you never need it but when you do, you usually really need it.

Sent from the road while ignoring traffic
 

4.0B2

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GEARSSS. don't forget gears!
 

Grunizzle

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Personally it sounds like he is new to offroading and I would not recommend a solid axle swap to someone with limited experience and knowledge.

I would recommend doing a 2" body lift, putting whatever tires you can fit with the clearance. Then when money allows put a locker in the rear. Wheel it like that for a while and decide what you want to do next. You can always add a winch and bumper and armor, but you will need to make it all yourself for the most part or pay some big $$ for someone else to do it. I wouldn't gear it for a while until you figure out what direction you want to go with the front end
 

UrbanRedneckKid

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Yup yup.

Start small. Unless you got deep pockets then you can build a tube buggy.

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk 2
 


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