1/2 tons or 3/4 tons?


Benjamin

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So here's the problem, I live in Northern Michigan where most of the good wheeling season consists of mud and steep slick terrain. My goal is to build a rig that I can start up drive down the road and wheel when I feel like it. The truck I'm looking to build is a ranger I picked up for 400 bucks with a blown head gasket and a bad cylinder. Since then I have completely rebuilt the motor. She's ready for axles at anytime, however I just can't decide if I should run 60s or hp 44 and a 9 inch. Mind you I'm not looking to build a mudder, more or less a truck that's decent at everything however not spectacular at anything. Looking for some advise, 3/4? 1/2 ton? Suspension set up? Tire size? Anything helps, thanks! 2.3 with the 5 speed 2wd as it sets
 


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85_Ranger4x4

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About the same work to go either way.

One option is stronger but also bigger (less ground clearance) and heavier while the other isn't as strong, more ground clearance and lighter.

Not sure how they will compare on price, they are all pretty sought after.
 

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I see no reason to use a dana 60 (or even 44) on a na 2.3.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Hagan

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He did just say he rebuilt it though. Who knows he didn't say anything!:)
 

85_Ranger4x4

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He did just say he rebuilt it though. Who knows he didn't say anything!:)
If he thinks he needs fullsize running gear I was thinking he must be thinking decent sized tires too. Nobody runs 235's on 44's or 60's...

And there is the ever elusive 4cyl 4wd transmission yet to be found too.
 

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If he thinks he needs fullsize running gear I was thinking he must be thinking decent sized tires too. Nobody runs 235's on 44's or 60's...

And there is the ever elusive 4cyl 4wd transmission yet to be found too.
Without knowing we could guess all day
 

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Best option is a remote T-case, it does not care what is in front of it.
But if he has the right manual, a bell housing swap will get him a 4x4 trans to fit a 2.3.
I've had 86 ranger long bed, originally with a 2.3 diesel, which I swapped to a 2.3 from a mustang using a 2.3 bell and a 2.9 trans, can't remember years, just need to ensure they are from the same transmission.
86 B2, originally with 2.6, swapped in a 2.3 turbo from a merkur xr4ti, again using same bell swap.
If he has the integral bell style, then he'll need to pick up both a trans and bell.
Some some bells came with dual patterns on them as well so they fit v6 and I4.
 

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or both sets fullwidth axles? 1/2 tons are plenty strong for mild wheeling and everyday towing and driving. really depends what you have planned for the future ie: swapping the power plant as mentioned above. halftons you can run at most a 37 with mild wheeling. going to be bottom out low on gears though with a 2.3 if you go that big.

as for needing reason to go to bigger axles...you dont need a reason. if you want it then do it and your truck will be the much better off and youll be happy. ive seen jeep guys running 4cyl with skytrak and 7ton itl axles geared 22:1 (granted they werent going over 35 on the road) :)
 

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As a young man, I beat the snot out of a 79 F150 on 35's with no issues. Therefore on my build I am planning on the same D44 with an 8.8 in the rear to maintain peace with the VSS. running 37's on a much lighter sc/sb Ranger with a somewhat more responsible driver I believe I will be okay?

Although I am researching Superduty rear axles compatibility because I can buy them almost as cheap and that will allow me to go up in tire size with confidence should I choose to.
 

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As a young man, I beat the snot out of a 79 F150 on 35's with no issues. Therefore on my build I am planning on the same D44 with an 8.8 in the rear to maintain peace with the VSS. running 37's on a much lighter sc/sb Ranger with a somewhat more responsible driver I believe I will be okay?

Although I am researching Superduty rear axles compatibility because I can buy them almost as cheap and that will allow me to go up in tire size with confidence should I choose to.
I concur. I have had everything from 30 to 44 inch TSLs on half ton axles some running lockers. I have never had any problems breaking parts. Finesse is key to longevity when wheeling. Back in my hay day, it was forced to walk out and get help. We didn't have the resources to carry a parts supply house in the back like guys do now days.

From what he has, I would go 8.8 disc rear from a 2010-11 Ranger and a D44 from a F150/Bronco and spin some nice 35s. It'll take some deep gearing for that 2.3 to spin it all. I had a 2.8 with auto on 33's with stock axles and 4.56 gears. It was slow. So slow I couldn't get out of my own way.
 

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I concur. I have had everything from 30 to 44 inch TSLs on half ton axles some running lockers. I have never had any problems breaking parts. Finesse is key to longevity when wheeling. Back in my hay day, it was forced to walk out and get help. We didn't have the resources to carry a parts supply house in the back like guys do now days.

From what he has, I would go 8.8 disc rear from a 2010-11 Ranger and a D44 from a F150/Bronco and spin some nice 35s. It'll take some deep gearing for that 2.3 to spin it all. I had a 2.8 with auto on 33's with stock axles and 4.56 gears. It was slow. So slow I couldn't get out of my own way.

reminder, those are only 28 splines. yes, I know they have the big tubes and bearings. inside its 28 splines.
 

ben_2_go

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reminder, those are only 28 splines. yes, I know they have the big tubes and bearings. inside its 28 splines.
C clip eliminator, LS, and 31 cromo axles. :icon_thumby:
 

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C clip eliminator, LS, and 31 cromo axles. :icon_thumby:
Would be easier to just use an Explorer 8.8. They're everywhere, and a c-clip eliminator isn't really needed on a disc-brake axle either unless you're racing at a sanctioned drag strip (due to rules). Axle breakage on Ex 8.8s is not very common.

Only thing is you would need to move the spring perches on it (which it sounds like the OP was already intending to do anyway).
 

ben_2_go

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Would be easier to just use an Explorer 8.8. They're everywhere, and a c-clip eliminator isn't really needed on a disc-brake axle either unless you're racing at a sanctioned drag strip (due to rules). Axle breakage on Ex 8.8s is not very common.

Only thing is you would need to move the spring perches on it (which it sounds like the OP was already intending to do anyway).
That'll werk too.
 


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