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Project Putt Putt: 2002 B3000 4x4 swap thread

pjtoledo

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Oh interesting... so the hub/bearing assemby sort of needs to be squeezed between the axle nut and the end of the outer CV joint section of the axle? I guess that makes sense now that I think about it... It's hard to picture what that sealed hub assemby looks like inside! That would imply that you can't use the truck without the CVs installed too. Which I guess doesn't really matter since they are also needed to seal the front diff.

I ordered the nuts from Advance.... hopefully they are the right size and get here soon! I'm sort of bummed Ford didn't include them with the CV axles I paid top dollar for haha.

You're right about the missing eccentric washers. What I'm confused about is how the truck was ever aligned in the first place! I've been driving it for years without any uneven tire wear... Maybe I just got lucky and all the tolerances stacked in my favor?
that is how my 2000 Ranger was new from the factory.
when assembled at the factory the correct offset was determined then the corresponding locating tab is selected. there are many different tabs with the hole located different in each one.
I put adjustable cams in.
the axle nut requires massive torque. I'll have to look up the exact amount. Edit: manual says 162 lbs-ft or 220 Nm.
the axle nuts are not reuseable, they are crimped for a friction lock.
I smack 'em with a big hammer, then reuse only once.
 
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Dave18

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Thanks, that makes a lot of sense I guess... They probably figure the camber is more determined by maufacturing tolerances between frames I guess. Unless you're swapping out control arms and steering knuckles like this I doubt it ever changes much... I guess I'll order those special cam bolts in case mine is too far out of spec with all the new hardware!

And dang - that's some serious torque!! I'll have to check, but I think my wrench only goes up to like 140 lbft. Might have to see if I can borrow or rent one for that... If I understand right, the nut would be establishing wheel bearing preload so I guess it would be a pretty high torque...
 

Dave18

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Well, I got the axle nuts installed and had a local shop align it and replace my torsion bars. I would have done the torsion bars myself, but my actual job has been getting busier in the last two weeks and to be honest I was just getting tired of wrenching each night haha! I had new code 1 bars, which hopefully aren't too stiff considering I have the 3.0 and a manual transmission... It certainly looks like the front end sits a lot higher after they were installed, but then again my original torsion bars were 20 years old and definitely sagging (the truck had a noticable lean)... so it might just be that I'm noticing the difference.

Anyway, the 4wd swap is complete! I took it for a shakedown run on the Slaughterhouse Gulch trail, and it performed really well! My goodness, I had no idea how much traction you have in 4wd haha. Even on our decomposing Pike's Peak granite I only had wheelspin in a couple of the gnarlyier spots. The two Torsen diffs seemed to work really well together, and I can't wait to try some of the trails where I've had to turn around before!
20220920_170223.jpg
 

Uncle Gump

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@ericbphoto

I would like to nominate the above photo to next years calender.

Nice job sticking with it... happy trails!
 

Dave18

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Everyone on this forum has been so helpful and encouraging! I really appreciate all the advice and guidance on this, the axle swap, and all the other random questions I've had. I'll try to get the truck out for some better pictures to post on here this weekend!
 

Dave18

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Here are some more pictures for fun. I just took it up Mosquito Pass today:
20221015_152359.jpg
20221015_152335.jpg

I stopped on this flexy washed out rut section because I wanted a glamour shot, and was pretty sure I'd need to back down and take a different line. Surprisingly there was enough traction to crawl right up though! It's hard to tell, but I imagine the Torsens helped a little.
DSC_0649.JPG

DSC_0670.JPG
Also a couple weeks ago I had the truck out in Moab. I didn't get a chance to do any classic Moab wheeling (too busy biking and hiking), but the 4wd came in handy when the road to our campsite washed out during a flash flood! It was totally impassable for a while, but once the flow subsided there was a lot of sand and mud that had been deposited. I goofed up and didn't get any pictures of that though. Hopefully I can get some more trips in before it's too snowy, this is a blast!!
 

Dantheman1540

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Awesome build! So cool to see someone buildup what would look to be a mostly stock truck, but be more capable then most lifted trucks/keeps without lockers.
 

Dave18

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Yeah, in fact it's kinda funny because I go to show my friends all my hard work and it just looks like a stock truck haha. That was somewhat the goal though... trying to pick and choose the best parts Rangers came with from the factory to theoretically keep the reliability and gas mileage somewhat good.

Now I'm wondering if I should go up to 33" tires... I would love the extra inch of clearance, but I don't know if I'm ready to take the mileage hit and make the truck that much slower than it already is. I was planning on going to the 33x10.5" BFGs (I have the 31s now), but honestly now I'm not sure. It's pretty capable (and lethargic) as-is.

I know the tech page says the Dana 35 can take up to a 33"... Would I risk breaking CV shafts all the time, or wearing out ball joints and everything that much faster? Or is it not really noticable? Does anybody have a feel for how much of a gas mileage hit it is?

I'd definitely stick with the 10.5" width, but I'm still not sure it'd be worth it. Maybe once I get a chance to do more difficult trails next summer :)
 

Josh B

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There are tire websites which have all the details of each tire size and comparisons of the different mileages etc, how many revolutions per mile, everything like that. I thought to mention this on an earlier post but not sure which one now, I have read a lot of this and you have done quite a task, thank you for sharing.

Also on an earlier post you mentioned the noise through floor yet there was no boot on the shifters, you still had room for that, which I think could help a bit to reduce the noise.

Happy 4 wheelin'! :)
 

scotts90ranger

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You don't lose as much mileage as you think you do when you change tire size, people THINK they do because to go the same distance their odometer shows a shorter distance since they never correct the speedometer... you can do math and figure out how much further you are going than your odometer says and turn that into a percentage then multiply that by what you calculate for mileage... for example my '97 Ranger reads perfect with ~27" tires but I'm running about 28" tires, went by a speedo check area on the local freeway and it's 7% different, multiply my miles by 1.07 and that's it... with the 28" car tires I get 23-24mpg on average and with the 27" or 29" AT or winter tires I get 22mpg all being corrected... so you might lose .5mpg... mainly from more rotating mass...
 

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