ranger refit/build thread


gwaii

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from the beginning.

i wanted to put a good,economical wheeling machine together-something i could use for exploring and camping,that would be tough enough to beat on a bit and still get me home.

it had to be a ranger,but all i was worried about finding was a solid frame and body,as i was expecting to change out pretty much everything else.

this is what i found.



a 1986 ranger 2wd 4cyl 5 spd,$500.needed a little tweaking to get it running(it was a lawn ornament for a couple of years where it was)but i drove it home.
after putting on an exhaust(the old one had rusted away)i took it to the emmisions testing station,with low hopes.passed just fine-i was in business.
 


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gwaii

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also note that it was already flat black...i was in heaven.



first thing to do was to change the doors-i had these ones from an 89 with power windows hanging around and they were in perfect condition,unlike the ones that were on the truck.the front fenders were also getting some lovin,in anticipation of great things to come.
 

gwaii

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note the fancy radius job on the front fenders.



by day two i was tired of having a two wheel drive.the 2wd crossmember needed some serious cutting and welding to get it ready for a front diff.i had a d44 that i had already cut,turned and narrowed in anticipation of getting a ranger to work on.
i also had a 4wd trans and t-case to bolt in-see why a ranger was a must?parts were collected well in advance.
 

gwaii

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both sides in.
 

gwaii

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for the rear i wasn't going to use the stock 7.5,so it's new diff is sitting behind the truck-a 9" already narrowed for when this showed up.
 

gwaii

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bolting in the rear,4" blocks and new u-bolts.note the trimmed fenders.
 

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there we go...day three and it's 4x4,d44/9".even put on a fancy brush guard.

just need some tires.
 

gwaii

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i got these 33" tires from a local tire shop-the fronts and rears are different brands,but they were $150 mounted...i could live with that.

i also blew $5 on a can of flat black paint for the doors.

also,note the winch tucked in between the frame rails.it's a warn 9000 i had hanging around.
 

gwaii

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warning-poser shot.



by this time i was pretty happy with it.i'd changed out the manual steering for power,that was a big upgrade.

my biggest complaint was the gearing.i was running 3.50s and with the 4cyl it was pretty tough getting over stuff off road,though the on road performance,while not great,i could live with.

traction was good,as i was running a limited slip front and welded rear.
 

gwaii

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so what to do about the gearing......

i couldn't afford gears,and a fancy aftermarket t-case was really out of the question,but i'd had this crazy idea floating around in my head for a long time about stacking transmissions.the theory sounded good,but as is usually the case,actually doing it is a bit more work.

but i had an early bronco 3 speed and t-case hanging around........



they don't exactly bolt onto the end of a ranger trans,so a bit of work was in order.i turned down the input gear to a stub,and cut the spline off the input of a ranger t-case.i machined the splined section to be a press fit(3 thou)on the gear,and tig welded the two together with chrome-moly rod.i made an adapter plate from 3/4" aluminum,and a centering/seal plate from 1 1/4" aluminum,using an old tailshaft housing as a template.

incidentally,for what it's worh,this is my 1000th post.woo hoo.
 
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gwaii

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the parts bolted together.
 

gwaii

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heres the shifters formed up,and the tailhousing bolted on.




this unit bolted onto the back of the trans in the truck,and simply required shortening the rear shaft,and lengthening the front,as well as moving the crossmember.
i also had to relocate the fuel tank to the box,as some of the real estate formerly occupied by it was now full of transfer case.
once i had put this thing in i was sold-any serious off road vehicle i built for myself would need one of these-tons of options,high gears,low gears,low-low gears,and every gear is a range on the other trans(either trans could be used as the 'main' trans).also,since i split the shift functions on the 3 speed,i could put it into two gears at once to lock it up,a very effective park brake,as well as theft deterrent.

some may wonder about the reliability of a cobbled together monstrosity like this-well,it was never treated gingerly in this truck,and stayed in till i went to a v8,and afterwards was used in two other trucks which were also beaten well.it never gave me any hint of a problem,and i still have it,so it will get used in something again.
 

COPPERHEAD85

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This is gonna be interesting!
 

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2" body. 1.5" coil spring spacers/rear block
This is gonna be interesting!
I know, I can't wait to see what it turns out like! :icon_twisted:

But, seriously, I am looking forward to seeing the build to get it to where it is now.
 

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how did you get the dana 44 in like that.
 


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