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Project 4x4 Commuter Mazda

legoms013

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1996
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Ford Ranger
Engine Size
4.0L V6
Transmission
Automatic
Purchased in late 2006 with 165,xxx miles. Its a 1996..well who cares look at my sig. Goals are for it to be really capable offroad, but still be extremely drivable because I commute 50mi per day to school and work. So for now the mods include things that wont kill my mileage too much. However I'm not opposed to skid plates and sliders etc. Eventually maybe it will get a cummins 4bt turbodiesel & solid axle after the current motor dies and I get another commuter. I will add pictures slowly tho I have them all. Feel free to ask questions. Currently it has 246,xxx miles.

Had a minor roll over so now it has a 2000 Ranger cab and bed on it as of 4/1.

Swapped in my HP44 I've been building the last 18 months:

Current picture:


















List of mods (mostly bolt on stuff that has been done here a thousand times, nothing new people):

Front axle:
Knuckles reamed for 1 ton Chevy TRE's
Warn Jeep heavy duty manual hubs,
James Duff TTB/EB Coil Buckets
James duff radius arms,
HP narrowed '78 Dana 44 w/4.88's and Aussie locker
Warn premium hubs
Spicer 5-760x ujoints
Bilstein 5125, 170/60 valved 11" travel Shocks w/Daystar shock bumpstops
BC broncos 5.5 early bronco linear coils
Extended breather hose up to battery
Skyjacker epoxy coated braided stainless steel brake lines with rubber extensions (from tech library)
4" FOA bumpstops

Rear Axle:
1996 Ford Explorer 31 spline, disc brake 8.8 with Ruff stuff perches, u-bolts and plates & 4.88's gearset
Powertrax 31 spline 8.8 No-slip,
Ruff Stuff Specialties diff cover,
Skyjacker 4" lift Springs
Beltech 6400's
Extended breather hose up to above the tailight
Bilstein 14" travel 5125's
Daystar shock bumpstops
Extended brakeline (stock front passenger line)

Other mods:
Smittybilt 8k winch, underhood solenoids, in-cab plug in
80' of Amsteel Blue 5/16" synthetic winch line, rock guard, heat guard, black safety thimble, thimble isolator, Spydertrax offset hawse
Rigid Industries pair of D2 Duallys/mounts/clear & amber covers (5200 Lumens)
Custom rock sliders
De-swaybarred
Cb radio, firestik
1-pc driveline
Clearanced middle crossmember for 1pc drive line (see pics)
Air horn
On board air (constant duty 1.66 CFM ViAir Compressor Industrial Duty model)
Flowmaster Delta flow 40 with no tail pipe
35x12.5 Goodyear Kevlars on Procomp flat black steel wheels 15x8 3.75" BS

Eventually:

Cummins 4bt turbodiesel swap?
Custom rear bumper (high departure angle, and swing out tire carrier)?
LED 48" light bar for roof?
LED D2 LED floods (Rigid Industries - For backrack lights)
Rock lights
Safety backrack

Manual transfercase or Atlas 4.3:1
37x12.5 R15 BFG KM2 Tires




Painfully stock:


Zero flex:


Tuff country 4" kit purchased summer of 2008. Front is lifted with drop brackets and taller coils, rear is lifted with an add-a-leaf. After lift install the front was taller than the rear so I purchased some beltech 6400's and then it sat PERFECTLY level. Included shocks were on the short side and rode like crap (nitro gas charged eww).


Air setup for on board air. This all would go in my tool box later down the road.




Lift kit installed:




Early days (I've cleaned up that nasty mess of wires since then):




I soon realized i "needed" extended radius arms, plus they look so cool on jeeps i told myself they would be worth the steep price tag. Guess what, they were definitely worth the price for the additional flex.






This greatly helped the flex department:








Added a "RuffStuff Specialties" Diff cover (has held up awesome, I go out of my way to try and trash it):


Rid my self of the two pc:


Started fabbing sliders. Later down the road I will plate the bottoms with 1/8" to ward off rocks, and add support gussets to the sides. But for now they serve me well and arent too heavy (about 120lbs for both sides).




 
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legoms013

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At some point I ditched the bed cover. Finished sliders:












Bought a TJM bumper:






And soon after a smittybilt 8k winch (and ran the plug in into the cab; bought a optima blue top and ran 1ga wire with the solenoids under the hood):








Got in a fender bender, bumper saved my radiator, fan etc im sure, both of us walked away fine:






Had it fixed and painted for $300, not bad actually:


Made myself a bedliner bug shield (pretty much genius if you dont mind me sayin'):


Went wheelin':








For awhile I didnt do anything, but the next phase includes 6" lift shocks, steel washers, another 2" block, 8.8 No-slip and tool box (all last summer).
 
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legoms013

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Got get a little mud on the tires:


Coils spacers (washers):


Gave me another 1.75":




Cruise control brake module went out:




Delta flow 40 series flowmaster:


C-clip eliminator spring:


Extreme drop pitman arm (SJ fa600):


It can get cold in CA:


Box o goodies, front locker, spicers 5-760x's, new balljoints and eccentric alignment bushings:


New draglink (old one was shot):


Tie rod angles before FA600 pitman arm:


More wheeling:








Washers:


Got rid of these (went with 6" lift shocks from a rancho kit from the local you pull it for 50 bones:


Then added the front locker, c-clip eliminator, spicer 5-760x ujoints, and 4x new balljoints as wells as the SJ FA600 (long weekend):

































This is how I set the toe after all of the above so i could drive it to be aligned:
 

legoms013

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Flex! Sort of, I wish for more!


Added a pair of hella 700ffs with silverstar h3's:








Just inspecting etc:


Fun with a jack:




Stickers!


Winch behind bumper:


Redneck coil retainer:


Winch plug-in, CB radio:


Got rid of the chrome window wrap arounds and painted the b4000 emblems:


These are next (f250 shock towers) as well as long travel bilstein 5100's


Painted driveline:










Going to make one of these:


Where would we be without funny stickers?



More pics soon of the black Mazda b4000 emblems, and other little mods. Next up is heavy duty jeep dana 35 manual hubs and lockouts. Eventually I want to go all manual (tranny and trasfercase) and fab up a cool high departure angle rear bumper to match the front :icon_welder:. Keep in mind that with all this i still achieve 16.71 mpg (onn freeway) and i take pride in it.

Front lockrite and rear no-slip really make world of difference. Highly recommended addition. De-sway barred for the moment, body roll is minimal for some reason. Tool box is off during the school year due to it weighing in at over 300lbs (its where i keep my spares and extras). Purchased a red firestik antenna, and rear d-loop mount for my rear hitch.

More pics of.....something soon.
 
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nate09

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nice looking truck. did you cap the ends of your sliders? doing the chevy spring swap out back with give you more flex and you could get rid of the stock block if you went the right direction with it.
 

legoms013

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Thanks. Its a pretty modest build all considering compared to other people on this forum, but im trying not to sacrifice too much road-ability. WITHOUT BEING COCKY i surprise myself offroad (due to lockers and modest flex) all the time :icon_twisted:

Yeah the ends are capped and air tight (i've thought about tapping them out and making them into small air tanks...

I have also often contemplated about the 63" chevy leaf spring swap but I never gave it much thought about how or what is needed. For now it seems the rear flexes to its limits quickly, its the front that needs the most attention.

And yes i need to get rid of the stacked blocks (both 2") its just a bad idea...tho with the AAL axle wrap is minimal surprisingly. After manual hubs, f250 shock towers and bilsteins (for front), ill be getting a set of skyjacker 6" lift springs from the rear (i hear they flex and ride good). They are just so dang expensive ($400).
 
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legoms013

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Lockers get you stuck. BFG AT's don't get you unstuck, Jeep V8's do:

 

Doom's Day Custom

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What program is this ?????

 

legoms013

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SolidWorks 2009. Its a great program.
 
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railman

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Lockers get you stuck. BFG AT's don't get you unstuck, Jeep V8's do:

ummmm...that wasn't lockers that got ya stuck...that was a poor decision you made to try to go through a ditch that deep....

l8r, John
 

legoms013

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Well I had friends with me just for that reason, I could try things that weren't exactly the greatest decisions...
 
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babytruck

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damn... good looking mazda
 

jaymegriffiths

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A *poor* decision like this was ok in my case, i had friends that tagged along....allowing me to try something a little out of my league. You kno, have some fun? Play a little?
no no no
trucks are strictly for work lol
nice build btw
good pics!
keep it up
 

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