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Rear end skips sideways on bumps


Tonka

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Why's my Ranger's rear end always trying to skip to the right on bumps? My theory was bad shocks, combined with the effect of having a slightly shorter axle shaft on the right.

I changed the shocks, all 4 of them, took it down a crappy back-road, and it rides better but still gets sideways on me when I hit bumps.

It's never been in an accident, frame's not twisted. It was my grandpa's, he beat the living piss out of it and then he died, and my grandma gave it to me because she can't drive stick-shift. Neither of us ever took it off road, unless we were taking it slow.

I don't want to believe that it would have been like this from the factory. There's gotta be something I can fix, adjust or replace.
 
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Tonka

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Back in high school, this side-skipping was probably a factor that led to the death of an adorable, bright-eyed happy-faced 16 yr old girl I went to school with. The rumor was that she was riding in the back of this reject's 1984 Ranger and he was driving like a jack-a$$ and was going really fast down a rural road full of pot-holes. He lost control and flipped the ranger, and Sharies ended up flying out of the truck and was killed. Rumor at the time was he was drunk.

About a year later I drove a friend to court for a DUI hearing or something, and that reject who crashed the ranger was there for reckless driving & vehicular negligence or whatever, related to the fatal rollover. So after Eric got his "continuance" because he didn't have a lawyer, we stayed in the "audience" because I wanted to find out about that crash. I knew that girl.

It was just a pre-trial hearing so I memorized the date and went back and sat through the trial. The prosecution never mentioned anything about him being drunk, but his lawyer had him on the stand and I remember he said he was doing about 55 and hit a bunch of pot-holes and the rear end of the truck bounced sideways far enough that when it finally gripped on smooth pavement he couldn't counter-steer quick enough and the truck went through the ditch and rolled over in the field on the other side.

I didn't own a ranger at the time and didn't believe his story, until about a year ago. State Line Road, which is the dividing line between IL and IN just north of the Kankakee River, is like that. I was taking a different route to go check out the flooding on the river, and I hit a nasty group of pot-holes at around 55 mph. It scared the f*** out of me. The ranger jumped sideways about a foot, then I hit another one before it could straighten out and it jumped even further and I almost lost control. Instinct took over and I ripped it down into 2nd gear and dumped the clutch for some engine braking on the rear end and I got 'er back under conrol. That's when I remembered the story Jimmy told in court.

Usually though, the side-skipping is just a minor annoyance but I know it's probably hard on my leaf springs.

Anybody know of a fix for this?
 
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gjm4l

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+2^ my 92' does the same thing always to the right too. No idea what it is. Wonder if it's a second gen thing? I did alignments for a while and every Ranger I ever worked on no matter the year always had the rear axle slightly out of alignment (not so bad to cause problems or usually even notice with out the computer) so I figured mine was off that much further when new shocks didn't fix it so I never asked on here. But it is sketchy from time to time especially over expansion joints. So I'm curious too. Tonka have you ever had it aligned? I haven't on mine but the tires wear fine and it doesn't wander, just the jump to the right, so I haven't gotten it aligned yet. I'm sorry to hear about the girl you knew.
 

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i live on a rural road. i experience this everyday, but not if i have significant weight in the bed. i chock it up to a very light weight rear end and bad shocks.

what brand shocks did you use? i replaced mine with napa shocks and saw an improvement for a while, but they have already failed and leaked the oil out so im back to being bouncy on bumps.

its not an issue if you just slow down or avoid the bumps. might want to look at the leaf spring mounts and your u-bolts for the axle just to be sure.

another thing that helped a little bit was switching from heavy steel wheels to lightweight aluminum wheels it lowers the unsprung weight that the shocks have to dampen
 

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get good shocks ...which you may already have, and put the shocks on the same side of the axle.


ime, what works decent on the 2 wheelers is in the back of the axle



the stock suspension is a compromise due to space and fuel tank/spare tire options....
 

Tonka

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+2^ my 92' does the same thing always to the right too. No idea what it is. Wonder if it's a second gen thing? I did alignments for a while and every Ranger I ever worked on no matter the year always had the rear axle slightly out of alignment (not so bad to cause problems or usually even notice with out the computer) so I figured mine was off that much further when new shocks didn't fix it so I never asked on here. But it is sketchy from time to time especially over expansion joints. So I'm curious too. Tonka have you ever had it aligned? I haven't on mine but the tires wear fine and it doesn't wander, just the jump to the right, so I haven't gotten it aligned yet. I'm sorry to hear about the girl you knew.
Never had it aligned either. It doesn't dog-walk or wander. My tires also wear ok. The only problem is the side-skip on bumps.

I just got home from the junkyard with a "new" axle for it though. Unrelated issue, I just wanted my stock axle ratio back. I'll have it all apart this weekend and I'll probably be at Autozone for new U-bolts, brake fluid, etc.

So maybe I'll get new bushings for my leaf springs as long as I'm tearing the rear end apart.
 

Tonka

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get good shocks ...which you may already have, and put the shocks on the same side of the axle.


ime, what works decent on the 2 wheelers is in the back of the axle



the stock suspension is a compromise due to space and fuel tank/spare tire options....
How exactly would I do that? :icon_welder: ??

I know it's pretty stupid the way they have one shock forward and the other back. I'd like to switch it over but I really don't want to open a can of worms. How do I know the welding won't mess up the overall strength of the axle? Every time you heat metal to liquid for welding you lose carbon.
 

bobbywalter

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How exactly would I do that? :icon_welder: ??

I know it's pretty stupid the way they have one shock forward and the other back. I'd like to switch it over but I really don't want to open a can of worms. How do I know the welding won't mess up the overall strength of the axle? Every time you heat metal to liquid for welding you lose carbon.
dooooooood...




























you are on the wrong site to mention shit like that:D




seriously. you can roll the upper lip with a good size crescent wrench on the passenger side and reuse the mount, and u bolt a mount to the tube using the stock mount as a stop if no one is available to weld it for ya. shouldnt be more then 30-45 bux to have a shop cut and refix your stock axle mount.
 

Tonka

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dooooooood...

you are on the wrong site to mention shit like that:D

seriously. you can roll the upper lip with a good size crescent wrench on the passenger side and reuse the mount, and u bolt a mount to the tube using the stock mount as a stop if no one is available to weld it for ya. shouldnt be more then 30-45 bux to have a shop cut and refix your stock axle mount.
Well if I'm gonna have any welding done on an axle, I might as well be converting over to an Explorer axle at the same time so I can have disc brakes back there too, eh?

Maybe I'll do that one of these days. But for right now I'd just like to be able to make at least one trip down south to my (future) father-in-law's land and bring my camper AND my 4 wheeler at the same time, with my Ranger.

That reminds me, I got home with that junkyard 3.45 axle like 2 or 3 hours ago and I've been sitting here going back and forth between this forum and a trucking forum.

Gotta go outside and at least get it out of my breast cancer trailer and get it hanging from hooks so I can brush it up and spray it some nice purty colors or something. I ain't gonna swap the diff oil til I get it installed, it's easier that way.

What should I do with this 8.8" mystery axle?? It's geared HIGHER (lower number) than a 3.08, has no tag, but there's nothing wrong with it. Maybe junkyard will buy it? I'd hate to scrap it.

(Oh, BTW the "breast cancer trailer" is what I'm calling my chinese-built 4x8 utility trailer. It was red when it was new, but the paint has faded in the sun so now it's pink. The dude at the junkyard told me his mom would love that trailer because she's a breast cancer survivor. So maybe instead of re-painting that thing with American paint, I oughta just put a pink ribbon on it and claim that I WANTED it to be pink, LOL)
 

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....you can make an explorer axle a bolt in solution
 

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I call it wheel hop and just shrug it off.
 

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Mine does that. I got used to it.
 

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Would traction bars help?
 

bobbywalter

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My 04 does that..never does it loaded..its just because the rear end is so light
 


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