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Ranger as a Toad


AFRanger03

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I have a 2003 Ranger 4x4 XLT, I want to use it as a fishing/scout vehicle and tow it behind (toad) my motorhome. I understand that since I have an automatic and electric shift that at first blush is "impossible" without "catastrophic damage" to the transmission and transfer case. However, I hate boxes and know that I can install a Remco shaft disconnect on the rear drive shaft, but I'm confused about the front. Do I have to down-convert to '99 hubs and axles so I can install locking hubs, or since it is an sla "live" axle just not worry about it? I plan to tow in "Park" with the switch in "2 Hi".
 


ericbphoto

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Front should be fine, as long as 4-hi or 4-lo are NOT selected.

Rear drive shaft needs to be disconnected by some means.
 

AFRanger03

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Front should be fine, as long as 4-hi or 4-lo are NOT selected.

Rear drive shaft needs to be disconnected by some means.
Thanks, pershiate it!
 

pjtoledo

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inside the transfer case the front will rotate the chain, which is immersed in fluid so it will be lubricated.
the chain will not drive anything else provided 4HI or 4LO are not selected.

however the rear driveshaft will pass power thru back into the transmission no matter which range is selected.


the problem is the transmission has no provision to lubricate itself if "driven" from the rear, not even if it's in neutral.
being in park will result in broke parts.

as stated, remove/disconnect the rear driveshaft.
 

don4331

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inside the transfer case the front will rotate the chain, which is immersed in fluid so it will be lubricated.
the chain will not drive anything else provided 4HI or 4LO are not selected.

however the rear driveshaft will pass power thru back into the transmission no matter which range is selected.


the problem is the transmission has no provision to lubricate itself if "driven" from the rear, not even if it's in neutral.
being in park will result in broke parts.

as stated, remove/disconnect the rear driveshaft.
@AFRanger03 If you are traveling long distance with Ranger as a TOAD, you need to back convert to a '98-00 front axle set up or manual transfer case (which allows neutral) or one of the solutions to make your transfer case a manual e.g. Behemoth Drivetrain adapter or remove (disconnect) both driveshafts . Option 2 is probably the best/cheapest.

While the front axle will rotate the chain and lubricate the chain/front output shaft, it will not lubricate the gear on the mainshaft. The pump which lubricates the front output gear on the mainshaft is driven by the rear output shaft and the pump won't be turning if you disconnect the rear axle. (Remco shaft disconnect/removing output shaft, etc). For short distances you would be fine, but not for hours on Interstate.​
(The pump also lubricates the low range gears, but that isn't relevant in this case)​
You do want the transmission in park/1st (unless no driveshafts) as the viscosity of the oil would slowly turn the output shaft of the transmission even with transfer case in neutral. Again, not an issue for short distances, but transmission output bearings will have issue if not lubricated for hours on the Interstate.
 

ericbphoto

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In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
@AFRanger03 If you are traveling long distance with Ranger as a TOAD, you need to back convert to a '98-00 front axle set up or manual transfer case (which allows neutral) or one of the solutions to make your transfer case a manual e.g. Behemoth Drivetrain adapter or remove (disconnect) both driveshafts . Option 2 is probably the best/cheapest.

While the front axle will rotate the chain and lubricate the chain/front output shaft, it will not lubricate the gear on the mainshaft. The pump which lubricates the front output gear on the mainshaft is driven by the rear output shaft and the pump won't be turning if you disconnect the rear axle. (Remco shaft disconnect/removing output shaft, etc). For short distances you would be fine, but not for hours on Interstate.​
(The pump also lubricates the low range gears, but that isn't relevant in this case)​
You do want the transmission in park/1st (unless no driveshafts) as the viscosity of the oil would slowly turn the output shaft of the transmission even with transfer case in neutral. Again, not an issue for short distances, but transmission output bearings will have issue if not lubricated for hours on the Interstate.
I'm confused about why anything needs to be done to the front axle. How is towing the truck, the the t-case in 2wd any worse (for the front axle) than driving the truck in 2wd?
 

pjtoledo

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I'm confused about why anything needs to be done to the front axle. How is towing the truck, the the t-case in 2wd any worse (for the front axle) than driving the truck in 2wd?
the issue is the chain will turn both sprockets. while it is submerged the splash is what always lubes the front output bearing and the chain. no problem there.
the drive sprocket is mounted on the main shaft and receives it's lube from the shaft. so splash is only a partial lube
for the drive sprocket.
since it's in 2wd the slider is not coupling the chain sprocket to it's mate on the main/output shaft. in theory the main shaft should not be rotating, at least not under any pressure. the main shaft is hard coupled to the planetary inner hub.
I would have to look at it again to see if the planetary is partially bathed in lube.

EDIT:
now that I've thought about it for a minute,,,
if the transmission is in park the output is locked/not rotating. since it is hard coupled to the planetary those gears aren't
rotating either, so neither is the tcase rear output/main shaft. that leaves just the drive sprocket on the main/output shaft rotating.
and of course the chain & front output shaft 'n bearings, but those are splash lubed anyway.

if the tranny is in neutral/other, then yes the parts can do a slow-roll from the fluid.


EDIT again:

in regular 2wd the chain and both sprockets are turning the same speed as the main shaft, 'cept when slippin' , so, no issue.
 
Last edited:

19Walt93

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Ford used to sell a neutral tow kit for Rangers and Explorers that would allow the transfer case to be shifted into neutral. We'd mount a little bracket under the dash with an indicator light to confirm that it was in neutral. I think we installed 2 of them and don't remember what else was involved but it didn't take long to do one.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Its somewhere south of optimal but you can pull the t-case shift motor and manual put the t-case in neutral with a pair of pliers. All the other modes are actually marked on the case, neutral is not but it is there.

Around 4:00 he explains it.

 

don4331

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I'm confused about why anything needs to be done to the front axle. How is towing the truck, the the t-case in 2wd any worse (for the front axle) than driving the truck in 2wd?
When driving the truck in 2wd (and 4wd), the output shaft is driving the oil pump in the transfer case. If the rear output shaft isn't turning, the pump isn't turning so there is no oil being supplied to the gear sprocket on the rear output shaft. With the transmission in park/gear the rear output shaft isn't turning.

Picture being worth 1k words:
1st picture is output shaft with pump attached. You will note the 2 cross holes (between the shiny bearing surfaces) where the oil from the pump comes out for the low ranger gears (upper right) and the 4wd sprocket <I guess it technically isn't a gear> (middle of frame).​
2nd picture adds the 4wd sprocket to the mainshaft (4wd shift slider is off; its just being used to balance shaft for the picture)​
 

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don4331

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Ford used to sell a neutral tow kit for Rangers and Explorers that would allow the transfer case to be shifted into neutral. We'd mount a little bracket under the dash with an indicator light to confirm that it was in neutral. I think we installed 2 of them and don't remember what else was involved but it didn't take long to do one.
Ford has issues with the developer of the software; the result was it was pulled shortly after it became available and isn't available anymore.
 

ericbphoto

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Ford Ranger
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4WD
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6"
Tire Size
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My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
When driving the truck in 2wd (and 4wd), the output shaft is driving the oil pump in the transfer case. If the output shaft isn't turning, the pump isn't turning so there is no oil being supplied to the gear on the output shaft.
So, I take it that year of Ranger is live axle and no hubs to disconnect. Sad. Very, very sad.
 

don4331

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So, I take it that year of Ranger is live axle and no hubs to disconnect. Sad. Very, very sad.
From '01 to '11, all Rangers are live axle...

As per my soapbox with @85_Ranger4x4 about the TTBs hubs a while back; the 5x4.5 wheel pattern was* too small for adequate bearings and adequate hub disconnect strength (5x5 pattern would have worked, but Ford didn't foresee the issue when they were designing the Ranger around 2.0/2.3 engines and besides, that is a Chevrolet pattern).

*The solution Ford has come up with for the current generation of F150s would probably work, but it is a decade (or 2) too late for the Rangers in question.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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98-00 vacuum hubs didn't really break, they just didn't work.
 

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