Kirbys 1991 Ranger Build Up and Solid Axle Swap


Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Yes. Lots more. I fell behind on this thread. I ended up going back 3/8" on the axle. That is what I settled on. So it is 1 5/8" forward. I can go back forward with the helm joints if I want.

I ended up having to ditch the joints and upper bracket I used. I had to go with a more common 7/8"x14 threads. My machinist didn't have a set of taps to match up with the joints. Getting the taps was more than different joints. I was also able to go with an outside the frame upper bracket for more trackball length and a smaller width bracket to help with the tired clearance. I ended up making contact with the coils once they were in place with the upper trackball bracket so I had to trim it and move the hole up and in.

Here it is all welded in. I hadn't moved the hole yet.







And with the coil bucket



On the lower mount, I ended up slicing off the factory lower mount. It got me an extra inch of tracbar and it seemed to wear the c bushings in that spot on my buddies bronco.



Coil to upper clearance:



All welded up and painted up







I had to trim the crossmember significantly so the track bar would clear. I reinforced it with a 1/4" piece of steel. I drilled some holes in it, and drilled some holes in the back lip and enlarged others. For Speed. LOL.



I had to build a crossmember for the tranny. IT was quite the process. I got my friend Matt to build me a poly bushing for the tranny on his plasma table.

I started by making some room







After much fitting and cutting and grinding this is what I came up with. The holes in the center are huge, but I added spacers to knock them back to 1/2" so they fit the bushing bolts tight.

From ballistic



This allows me to stab them loose, then add the spacers and everything is tight.



Primed



Painted with the bushing





Installed:



The front bolts are countersunk to clear the radius arms on compression.

Pretty flat belly, but not completely. (those radius arm mounts sure hang low). I may add a tcase skid later.





For the brakes, I ended up using a rear line from a 94f150 for the center line. I wanted to use the stocker one, but it was too short. I had to change the end on the passenger line to a 3/8". Small price to pay.

 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 173A8B749AB83C Expires: January 1, 2020

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
first day out of the garage











It had a little death wobble, which I believe is the rebuilt steering gear box I bought from ford. It seems to have play in the sector shaft. It has a warranty, but I am bummed to have to swap it.
 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Cycled the suspension.







Lots of droop, up travel is nice until the tires hit the outside lip of the fenders. IDK what the solution is. Maybe hack them? Maybe bushwhackers. Maybe a set of fiberglass fenders.
 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
I added shocks to the front too. They are the same part number as the rears. A little more toe in and 24 lbs in the tires and the death wobble got better. It is still there (just barely), so I think I will still swap the gear box.

 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
I needed to rotate my tires, so I bit the bullet and trimmed the front fenders. My poor, straight unmolested ranger's body is now pretty cut up.

For those out there who wonder (because I did) there is a plastic inner fender, that is attached to a steel inner fender structure, this plastic is also attached to the outer fender lip by the little screws in the lip. I chose to cut the plastic up close to the metal inner fender structure and keep some of the coverage and mounts the plastic inner fender had. I butchered the driver more than I should have, so I may get a replacement from the junk yard and try again.

Here is the pics:




I cut the fender with a cut off wheel in my angle grinder then finished it off with a flapper wheel. I masked and painted the cut edge, so hopefully it won't rust like crazy. I cut it an inch below the bulged contour, hoping that I could fold an inch in for an inner lip like stock. However, now that it is done it looks good enough and I don't plan on folding anything.



I needed a spot to see if I cut enough. I had to go get a load of mulch, so I tried at the rock yard.



It wasn't enough. So I took it out to my dads to stretch its legs








That was as far as I could go. The rear hits too hard to go further. I still had an inch or two at the shock there, probably not as much at the spring. I had a little on the radius arm before it hit frame too. And an inch or so at the fender.





Great droop with nothing binding.



Its quieter than my explorer when it cycles. My explorer springs would pop and bang some. It definitely sways more in corners.

Overall, I am really stoked with the suspension. I am excited to get the rear done so I can really push the front to the limit. Its funny, it was done months ago, but I am just now getting to cycle the suspension completely.

And the best part is rotating the tires seems to have really helped the slight death wobble I was getting!
 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Does anyone know what the wires that go from the doors inside the fenders to the front by the headlights? I thought maybe speakers, but they go outside the truck. Its odd. I need to do some more investigating.
 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
I needed to haul a my uncles 8n Ford Tractor and trailer for a hay ride for a trunk or treat tomorrow. So I hooked it up to my ranger. I wasn't sure the bumper hitch could handle it. But seemed to pull it really well with the 1/2 ton springs and 5.13 gears. I was pretty surprised. Then I hit the brakes pretty hard going down hill. The bumper hitch won't handle it.





So I removed it with the hot wrench.



I guess I need to figure out a plan for a rear bumper sooner than I thought. Does anyone have a favorite rear bumper design? I need some inspiration.
 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
I have been busy. I sleeved and gusseted my buddies '13 jkr front axle. That was a fun project.





I got the ranger out and stretched its legs last night. The driveshaft is still making contact on the gas tank skid, but further back. I modded it further back and now it is barely touching the front on full articulation. I need to deal with that again I guess.

Pics of the stretching







Front at full stuff:





That is pretty much all the front shocks have. The front definitely has more travel and travels with less effort then the rear. However, I am really happy with the travel on the rear. It actually travels even with the very light rear end. I got it to lift a rear tire. I have yet to lift a front.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Mightyfordranger

Active member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Apr 22, 2014
Messages
732
Reaction score
30
Points
28
Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9
Transmission
Manual
Hhhhmmm this is the first axle swap build that I have ever seen some one have problems gives insight In to what I'll be coming into when I do mine. Also I read this entire thread too its great any up dates?
 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Haha. Everyone has problems- only not everyone admits it.

No updates really. I have been driving it everyday
And love it.

It has a little camber, which I think has to do with the 7* of caster. So I would like to fix it because it wears tires a little odd,'but I don't want to run adjustable ball joints. They used to use these spacers between the spindle and knuckle but I haven't seen any in a long time. I might see if Napa can get me some.

Also there is a vacuum leak in my hvac system so the ac compressor is always cycling. I need to fix it but I haven't had time.

And the dumb roof still leaks a little.

I still hope to put on fiberglass and paint one day.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Mightyfordranger

Active member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Apr 22, 2014
Messages
732
Reaction score
30
Points
28
Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9
Transmission
Manual
Well you aren't alone on the leaky roof ha ha It blows tho makes everything all milldewy and gross. Also I love your rig man I would hurt people for a ranger that clean!!! Ha ha
 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
So I busted out the slider window. I did the same on another ranger and it had dual sliders. I was able to pull back the rubber and unscrew the track and put two new sliders in.

However, this one was different. It's one window. And it is bolted in- not put in with just a rubber seal.
]

I called around and everyone said I had to replace the whole thing for $300!! Even though I just needed a slider. I even checked everywhere on the interwebs and all I could figure out was that I needed to buy the whole new back window.

So I went to the junk yard and the only one piece slider I could find was a 2003 (mines a 1991 but it measured the same) or something ranger. So I pulled the whole window. One side was broke, so I cut the divider and bent the frame until the slider came out.

When I got home, I pulled out the plastic guides on top and bottom. You can see the bottom guide here:

]


I am removing the bottom guide with my grubby hands here



I removed this guide on top and bottom. This allowed the window to slide in further on top, then the bottom had enough clearance to slide in. Easy. Then I held the slider up and slid in the bottom plastic guide. Then held it down and slid in the top guide. $20 junk yard slider saved me $300.

Looks good!

]


I hope that helps someone. I almost shelled out $300.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
Speaking of atvs, I borrowed my moms Honda pioneer sxs this weekend for youth camp. The golf carts wasn't going to cut it in the blizzard that was forecasted. It barely fit in the ranger, but it fit!



My pops and my dog thought it fit.



I used my winch about 15 times this weekend. I pulled people in everything from a Mercedes to a Nissan Leaf.

It was a blast. And my winch mount held up ok in current form.

The toughest pull was this:

1 ton van loaded up with all our sound gear pulling a little enclosed trailer. I had to pull it all the way up a hill.



This is when it was almost out and at the top- my winch was spooling up too thick on one side so I am spooling it out a little and I'll keep pulling.

It kept pulling my truck across the road, so I had to anchor it up.



Good times! I would have anchored with a chain but I left my other one in the jeep so my 30k strap worked ok.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Mightyfordranger

Active member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Apr 22, 2014
Messages
732
Reaction score
30
Points
28
Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9
Transmission
Manual
Man that truck looks awesome and what's that your hauling there ??
 

Kirby N.

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
186
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Monument, CO
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
I am still driving the ranger everyday. It’s got 256,000 miles on it now. I recently got some cool parts for it:

Fiberglass


Arbs:


And I also built the main part of bumpers for it front and rear. The front holdsthe winch high and tight. The rear has a receiver and is super thick so I don’t have to worry about tearing it off like I did the stocker:



 


Top