Forum member ‘Kirby N.’ always wanted to build a 1989-1992 Ford Ranger, and spent considerable time trying to find one with a 4.0L V6, M5OD manual transmission, and manual transfer case. His goal was to build a reliable vehicle that can be used for work, exploring, and off-road. Kirby needs the Ranger to be able to haul dirt bikes, plywood, and sheetrock.
Kirby ditched the Dana 35 TTB front axle and suspension, and replaced it with a Dana 44 out of a 1979 Ford F-150. Suspension consists of of 6-inch BC Bronco coils, 1979 Ford Bronco upper coil buckets, James Duff extended radius arms, and a custom track bar and mount.
The Dana 44 features Yukon 5.13 gears, an ARB air locker, and is protected by a Ruffstuff Specialties heavy duty differential cover. Kirby relocated the axle mounts inward 2-7/16″ with 2-degrees more caster built in to match the Rangers frame and lift.
The upper track bar bracket is from Ballistic Fabrication, and uses a 2.63-inch Ballistic poly joint. The lower is a Ruffstuffs offset bracket that uses a 2-inch Ballistic flex joint. The steering linkage is made up using Chevy 1-ton tie rod ends from Ruffstuff Specialties.
The rear axle was replaced with a full-width Ford 8.8-inch 31-spline axle from a 1994 Ford F-150. The axle was upgraded with disc brakes from a 8.8-inch axle out of a Ford Explorer. The axle also received Moser axle shafts, Yukon 5.13 gears, an ARB air locker, and is protected by a Ruffstuff Specialties heavy duty differential cover. The axle housing was recently beefed up with an Artec axle truss.
The rear axle is suspended by Chevy 64-inch leaf springs on Ruffstuff Specialties spring perches, 7-inch USDR shackles that are 3/8-inches thick, and the factory lift blocks.
The Ranger rides on a set of 35-Inch BFGoodrich tires mounted on 15×8 Aluminium F-150 rims. McNeil Racing Fiberglass fenders and bedsides help cover the wider track width created by the fullsize axles. The front fenders are 3-inches wider than stock, and the rear are 4-inches wider than stock. The inside of the cab, bottom of the doors, and the bed was coated with a Rhino spray on bed liner.
- Bilstein shocks
- ARB air compressor
- Front mounted winch
- Hi-Lift Jack mounted inside of the cab
Check out Kirby’s build thread: Kirbys 1991 Ranger Build Up and Solid Axle Swap
Click the photos to enlarge: