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The "Donkey" build/rebuild


Shran

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Cool. Looks like you need the brake caliper brackets and stuff for the rear too, fortunately those are available new with the calipers and are not super expensive.

Artec makes truss kits for those Super Duty axles. I would highly recommend that regardless of what you do for springs... it makes the axle a LOT easier to work with as far as mounting locations for shocks/springs/links/coilovers etc. Otherwise you are probably welding something to cast iron on the driver's side. That is the ONE really big problem with using SD front axles...that little stupid stub of tube. Back in the day we put SD axles in my buddy's Dodge and it was really a cluster fudge trying to find places to attach his 4 link brackets and ORI shocks - nobody was making truss kits at the time which would have made it a LOT easier.
 


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Bracket racer

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Ranger supercab
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35X12.5 (bald so I don't break parts)
Actually I got the rear discs, pads and calipers as well, you just can’t see them in the pic.

Cast iron? Huh, didn’t know that. To be honest I’m thinking I might go leaf spring in the front just for simplicity.
Then I would have the only ranger with coils in back and leaves in front!! Lol!!!

I’m not into buying stuff (although it would make more sense so thanks for the tip) I might look at it and copy it, but I’ll make whatever I have to.
I’ll tell you what though, dragging that front axle from his truck into mine...holy frigging crap is that ever heavy.
Just stopped at Burger King so I’ll jump out and look at the diffs a little more closely.
 
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Shran

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Yes... the outer C, then a little piece of mild steel tube, then the leaf spring pad/axle housing. That's why the truss is nice, not so much for strength but more for mounting things to. That tube is just too short. I think it would be super easy to copy... make a cardboard template and start cutting!

This is a good video on one method to clean up these axles:
 

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Well you freaked me out!!
I watched the video and thought... but mine is leaf springs...isn’t it? Holy crap if 03’s have 4 link, then what do I have??
Trucks not here so I scrolled through my pictures, yup, it had leaf spring perches on it. Whew! Apparently the 4 links didn’t come out until 2005.

Breathing easier now, lol.

So yeah, I might just go leaf in the front and leave the coils in the back.
 

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Can’t see it as well in the pic I posted, here’s a different angle.
 

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Shran

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Yep, 99-04 has leaf springs, 05+ is coil sprung with radius arms. I imagine you could clean up your axle in a similar fashion though.
 

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Been so busy working on the snowblower and the Sheetrock in the basement I haven’t even had time to look at them!
Got about 3’ of snow here in 18hrs. And the dang truck is broke!!!

Thinking of getting another ranger axle so I can drive it until I have all the suspension built so it’ll only be down for a short period.

Got to call the wrecking yard...poo...
 

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Called the wrecking yard, Harold knows me by my voice now.... told him I need another driver side axle and a brake booster cause mine is pooched. Went into the city and when I got to my buddies he asked “you want a set of 39’s”??
He’ll yeah brother!
So 15 minutes up the road I went and picked up a set of 39x13x17 tires.

17” you say?? Yeah and all I have is 16” 8 bolt rims I just bought....
So, when I get to the junk yard I’ll see if he has any 8 bolt 17’s. I was worried until a bit of research showed that 17” rims came on 2005-newer f250/350’s. Perfect!

The ranger axle will get me on the trails for now(to keep mama happy) and give me time to build the one ton suspension. I think I’ll go leaves in the front for simplicity and have some way of disconnecting one end to drop the truck to get it in the toy hauler. The other option is putting 205x16”’s on it for loading and then put the 39’s back on after unloading. Tell me THAT doesn’t sound like a pain in the ass!

Don’t have the tires home yet as I had the car in the city, I’ll take the truck and get them soon.
My buddy was playing around with the 39’s beside another guys stock 91 4x4 ranger, holy poo they’re big!
 

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Here’s my buddy holding the tires.
Lol, going to pick them up tomorrow.
 

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35X12.5 (bald so I don't break parts)
Frigging snow! Snowed so bad yesterday the wife wouldn’t go on the highway so I didn’t pick them up yet. Got another 9” on top of the 37” we got a few days ago. Nice and sunny today so I replaced the brake booster so I have brakes again. (After driving 6 months with a blown booster, lol)

-11 and sunny, blue skies... wish I had the axle I picked up on Friday installed. 😔
Got it and the booster home before I noticed the ujoint was bad, story of my life. I’ll throw a ujoint in it and tack weld the caps and install it. At least then it’s drivable until I get the one ton suspension fabbed up and installed.
 

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So, ujoint fixed, replaced the booster, installed a mirror on a swing-away mount and just have to fab up a coolant overflow bottle. I’m starting to suspect the overflow leaks so when it’s hot it pumps it onto the ground then sucks air back in as it cools. It’s a theory anyway...
Also, picked up 4 17x7 1/2” rims for the one ton axles and then went and picked up the tires. Here’s a pic of a tire beside the 35’s.
 

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Wow, those are horrendous pictures...

Anyway, it’s -14 outside and with the windchill it’s -22 so there is that!
Just got off the phone with my old sgt at the shop, he said to come mount the tires on Monday. No rush though.

I think the plan will be to run the donkey as is for now as I get other projects finished and build the suspension as I can. Probably install in the spring.
Leaning towards leaf up front and coil in back or possibly leaf all around. Why? Simplicity.
I’ve come to realize that I don’t NEED a articulation monster to drive either here in rocky NS or in the mud of N.B.
The strength and simplicity of leaves will out.....umm,.... be better overall than the flexy coils and trailing arms.

Will out...perform?
Out last?

I don’t know, just seems easier and quicker to build.

Anyhoo, that’s the update, hopefully more wheeling to follow.
 

Bgunner

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My credo
If it's not broken Don't Fix It!
Donkey is going have some big feet.
 

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Kinda unrelated but not, I was under the donkey going over ujoint, bolts, bushings and noticed the front driveshaft goes straight to the front diff and clears the frame by about 3/4”.
Uh oh... the Dana 60 has the diff offset to the left quite a bit. Crap, I can’t clock the t/case down... how the heck do people run the front driveshaft from the t/case to a wider diff without the driveshaft hitting the frame??
Clearance the frame?

Something to research, maybe if the driveshaft is at a steeper angle it can swing to the left more.
Huh, just another issue to resolve I guess. Gotta go look at other rangers with one ton axles or 2 1/2ton axles now.
 

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35X12.5 (bald so I don't break parts)
Wait.. can I clock the t/case down? Is the bolt pattern symmetrical?
 


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