4x4 ranger front axle swap


borjawil

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94 ranger 4x4 ext cab 4.0L

Looking at building a mild/mid travel pre runner. DD and toy. For the rear I was looking into an exploder 8.8 but then saw the F150 rear end. 7" wider than stock. Basic swap so to speak. Im a fabricator and bike builder. Decent mechanic. Not real versed on the ranger front end. 7" wider in rear makes the stance look funny with stock front width.

Can I swap a full length axle up front to match rear? How much work does this require? Im a little lost with the front suspension being used on another axle as the front axle is part of the suspension on my ranger (i think, never dealt with the beam suspension before, TTB if I'm not mistaken).

Feel free to talk to me like I'm 5, talk slow, lots of to the point details.
 


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RonD

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Welcome to TRS :)

Bookmark this page: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/index.shtml

Thats the Tech Section, link is at the top of each page here, "tech articles"

Check out Axles section

The 3.5" on each side will make fenders stick out pretty far, and rear wheels have to be covered to be street legal, i.e. for DD
And not sure you would be gaining much over 31-spline explorer axle, and it's almost plug and play

Some of the Ford 9" axle are same width as Rangers, or very close, 1994 Ranger will have 58.5"
Look here for 9" axles: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/9InchAxles.shtml

Front axle(non-Ranger) swap is doable of course, 4 wheel alignment is the hard part, have to get new mounting points exact or you will wear out tires pretty fast on the street.
Decide on any lift and suspension changes first, $$$, that will effect what front axle you should use.
Some like solid axles, others want independent, depends on final use really
 
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4x4junkie

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The TTB axle (Dana44) from a F-150 or Bronco can be fitted without too much trouble. You would need to modify your coil spring mounts and radius arm mounts on the frame to accommodate the extra width, but it's been done. Did you try searching the Prerunner section as well as here?
 

borjawil

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Looks like i have some thinking to do. Is there an advantage to using the wider 9" over the 8.8"? Got a great deal on it so couldn't pass it up.
 

4x4junkie

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A 9" has more aftermarket support (allowing you to build it stronger), but comparing stock-to-stock, the 8.8" & 9" are more the same than different when it comes to overall strength. Both have 31-spline axle shafts.

Wider axles should improve overall stability, as well as available front TTB axle wheel travel. The downside of course is keeping the tires covered so LEOs don't come down on you (the extra width can also make fitting down narrow trails or squeezing through traffic more difficult).
 

borjawil

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My main concern is getting the front to match as it will be quite narrow compared to the full length rear. An extra 3.5" on either side isn't an issue. Im in michigan, and everyone and their mother has a wide AF stance on their truck.

Though using an 8.8 would mean I wouldn't have as much to modify up front to match. Ill likely sell and get an 8.8
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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I don't have time before work but search for d-44 knuckle swap onto d-35 beam. IIRC that gives you an extra 3.5" and better bearing spacing. Use the google search button at the top of the page, it's better than the native search.
 

4x4junkie

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The D44 knuckle swap doesn't change the width by any significant amount. To get the width, you have to use the complete D44 TTB axle, beams & all.

Merely bolting in the D44 to the Ranger axle pivot brackets will gain you approx 4" total width increase (about 2" less than it was under the F-150). This will require some trimming of the passengerside axle shaft(s).

If you lengthen each beam 1" near the pivot, you should then have the same original axle width (and not need to trim shafts) as what it was under the f-150. This is due to a 2" difference in the spacing between the axle pivot brackets between the Ranger and F-150.
 


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