My 1996 Ford Ranger 4x4 (TRS-2) Re-Build


85_Ranger4x4

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I'll see what I can do. Should be heading over to U Pull and Pay within the next week or so.

Which axle and parts am I looking for? I know very little about Rangers built after 1992.

Edit: Nvm. Dana 35. I'll look ifni get rhe chance this week/weekend.
The beam is slightly different 95-97 vs earlier, the bumpstop for the knuckles is different because of the knuckle change for ‘95. Earlier can be made to work depend on how desperate Jim gets for a beam. I don’t think the shafts changed on a D35.
 
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Jim Oaks

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6-inches
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33x12.50x15
Finally In My Possession!
I finally arrived at @bobbywalter house in northeast Pennsylvania on Monday August 19th.

trs-2_parts.JPG

I took some goodies with me. Since the winch Warn XD9000i winch was missing, I ordered a Smittybilt XRC 9,500 Winch to replace it. I also purchased a Nilight 42-Inch 240-Watt LED light bar, a pair of Nilight 4-Inch 36-Watt fog lights, a pair of Nilight 4-Inch 18-Watt flood lights (to go in the bed), a pair of Skyjacker M9555 front shocks and a pair of Skyjacker M9560 rear shocks.

I had also ordered this Ford 8.8-Inch axle truss, and had it shipped to Bobby's before I got there.

31595

Once I got to Bobby's, the first thing to do was to access the condition of the Ranger, and determine what would need done, and what parts would need to be ordered.

The front Detroit Locker wasn't unlocking, and taking it apart revealed a busted side gear. I contacted the manufacture to see if the side gear could be ordered, and got a part number (EATON PART # 71116 / DETROIT SIDE GEAR 162C-56A). I actually ordered the part from West Coast Differentials. It cost me $90.00 plus $40.00 to have it shipped from Mexico.

trs-2_broken_detroit.JPG


31728

The guy from Eaton was nice enough to email me an exploded view of the Detroit Locker in my Dana 35 TTB that showed all of the part numbers.

The drivers side front fender was cracked, and there would be nothing I could do about that right now.

trs-2_broken_fender-1.JPG


trs-2_broken_fender-2.JPG

The interior was a dirty mess, and the teeth on the recline lever were stripped causing the back of the seat to recline if any weight was put against it.

trs-2_interior.JPG

Bobby had already taken the front suspension out, dismantled it, and removed and dismantled the front locker. The front beams and suspension components were sent out to get blasted.

trs-2_return_front.JPG

At this point, I really wasn't sure what I had gotten myself into, and whether I had done the right thing buying the Ranger back. What made it worse was that I had no idea if the truck even ran, and couldn't drive it before we started working in it, so I just put my faith in Bobby when he assured me that it ran and drove.

trs-2_return_l-rear.JPG

The passenger side of the bed had some rust under a section of the red striping, and a few spots down on the rocker panel. The passenger side had a few small rust spots above the wheel well.

trs-2_wheels.JPG

I already knew that the tires were dry rotted, and someone had splattered red paint all over this truck, including the wheels.


 
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Jim Oaks

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33x12.50x15
31597

The headlights had mud in them, and the front bumper had some rust spots on it, so the front was disassembled.

31598

The bed cage was also removed so it could be stripped and repainted. All of the off-road lights were rusty, and their mounting bushings were trash, so they were all discarded. I would be putting the battery back in the engine compartment, so the dual battery boxes will get pitched as well.

31599

With the cage out, the bed was removed and set outside as well.

31600

Here you can see the 2019 'Loan Ranger' looking on.

31601

With the bed removed, you could see how much rust had developed on the frame since I had sold it.

31602

The poor girl needs a lot of TLC, and I need to get it in presentable shape before the upcoming 20th Anniversary Trail Ride!
 

Craig0320

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My credo
Break it right the first time. Fix it better the next time.
First off. Thank god for Bobby. Second off try to stay positive on the refurb. No matter what you have gotten yourself into the truck is worth it. I am really happy for you brother.
 

racsan

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built, not bought
wow,I had no idea it was in such bad shape. looked good at the meet a few weeks back
 

Bird76Mojo

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It doesn't look to be in bad shape at all!

Really cool you two are able to do a collaboration on this truck. I wish more of us Ranger guys could/would team up on projects like that.


I look forward to seeing more progress on it in the future.
 

Jim Oaks

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It's driveable now, but still in need of work. I'm just trying to get everything caught up including this thread.

First off. Thank god for Bobby. Second off try to stay positive on the refurb. No matter what you have gotten yourself into the truck is worth it. I am really happy for you brother.
Yes, I definitely don't know what I would have done without @bobbywalter .

More to come!
 

Jim Oaks

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31622

The Skyjacker suspension brackets and radius arms were inspected for cracks after being at the water blaster. Some of the welds on the ends of the transmission crossmember (tube in the bottom of the photo) were ground out and re-welded for better penetration. I found a few gaps between the welds and the mounting flange.

31623

The Dana 35 TTB and steering knuckles were blasted as well. We knew there was a crack in the drivers beam near the bolt hole for the radius arm.

31624

Bobby fired up the welder, welded up the crack, and smoothed it out with a flapper wheel.

31625

All of the blasted components were primered and painted black, and then new balljoints were installed in the steering knuckles.

31626

The Dana 35 axle beams also received some new Moog K8292 Axle Pivot Bushings.

31643
The Ford Explorer 31-spline 8.8-inch rear axle was removed...

31627


31628


31629

So the Barnes 4WD axle truss could be added.

31630


31631

Bobby also welded the axle tubes to the axles center section.


Here, Bobby is turning the axle and reading the measurements. He would then run a bead of weld on the axle tube to heat it up, and draw the tube in the direction he needed it to go to get the axle straight. Once straightened, the weld bead was ground off.

31635

There had been some issue with the rear Detroit Locker unlocking, but it seemed to function better locking and unlocking after the axle was straightened out.
 

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Jim Oaks

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33x12.50x15

31636

Time to get to work on the frame. Since it's all apart and accessible, I got out the grinder and a wire wheel and began cleaning it up. I think Bobby thought I was nuts.

31639

Ever wonder what the frame looks like behind the gas tank? I actually took this photo AFTER I cleaned most of the mud out that was packed in there. Looks like even a mouse had found a home in the Ranger.

The brake line was looking pretty rusty, so the brake line from the rear axle to a spot around the middle front portion of the cab was eventually cut out and replaced (after this photo). The old line was flared where it was cut so it could be attached to the new line.

31637

And this is pretty much what I looked like every evening for several days. LOL

I also removed the rear spring hangers and shock mounts so I could clean up behind them.

31642

The frame was treated with Ospho Metal Treatment to stop rust, and then eventually primered with a rusty metal primer before receiving a coat of black paint.

31638

I made a list of all the hardware I was going to need to put the truck back together, and made a trip to the local Tractor Supply and hardware store. Here I have some of it organized and laid out so I can find what I need.

31640

Here you can see the shock mounts and spring hangers bolted back on.

31641
 

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So satisfying seeing all that fresh black paint on everything.
 

Jim Oaks

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31681

The front suspension and outer side of the frame rail has all been painted, and the front suspension is going in with new bushings and balljoints.

31682

The front locker was reinstalled in the carrier, which was reinstalled in the axle beam. The front locker was repaired with a new side gear, but was not 100%. One of the outer bearings had a broken race. Trying to replace the bearing revealed that the part it was mounted on was no longer round, and the new bearing wouldn't go on. I had no choice but to use the bearing with the broken race.

31683

The Ranger received new Skyjacker M95 shocks (left) all the way around. Here you can see the Skyjacker Big Gas shock (right) they offered for a little while when the lift was first put on in 2004. Not sure why Skyjacker stopped offering this shock and switched to the M95, but someone suggested that the smaller piston allows for more fluid.

31684


31685
The 33x12.50x15 BFGoodrich Mud Terrains were dry rotted, and were replaced with 33x12.50x15 Cooper Discoverer STT PRO mud terrains. I actually purchased (5) of these through Amazon. Sounds crazy, but I had searched for them locally in PA, and discovered that I could get them from Amazon at a good price with free shipping. What really sealed the deal was that I could get them and pay for them for 6-months without being charged any interest! Check them out HERE. I'm an Amazon Prime member because I buy from them a lot, get free shipping and good deals as a member, plus I enjoy the Prime Video and Prime Music streaming at home. Not saying you should be a member, just that I got a free shipping and interest free offer as a member. You may not see the same offer or price that I see.

31686

31687

As mentioned before, the truck has spatters of red paint on it. I took a wire wheel on a drill to get the paint off the wheels. I knew it would mess up the finish, but their already screwed up. The good thing is that their aluminum. I can wet sand and polish them back to a shine. I got the paint off before the 20th Anniversary Trail Ride, but I didn't have enough time to get them polished up.

31688

The bed and cage was installed, as well as the new 42-Inch LED lightbar to replace the rusty old 6-inch Pro Comp off-road lights. Here you can see where I have applied the black layer of vinyl for the TRS decal on the side of the bed. I used an application spray to keep it from sticking right away so I could position it. I'm waiting for it to dry and stick so I can pull the tape off. Then the red and blue sections will be hand laid over it to get the final look. I cut these on my vinyl cutter back in Texas, and took them with my to PA.

31689

Here you can see the finished result of the logo on the bed, as well as the paint removed from the wheel.

31690

This could have made for a cool photo, but I was getting sun glare.

31691


31692

Here's a couple shots of the 8.8-inch rear with the Barnes 4WD axle truss, new brake lines, new parking brake cables, and the TRS diff cover repainted silver instead of white with a TRS decal. A lot of parts were bought from Amazon, but the parking brake cables and rear brake hoses came from Rock Auto. The hard line was purchased locally.

31693

Moving to the front, the muddy aftermarket headlights was thrown away and replaced with a new Dorman 1590207 Passenger Side Headlight and a new Dorman 1590206 Driver Side Headlight. Some of the headlight clips were missing, and the local part store didn't have any in stock, so I had to order some of those as well. :rolleyes:

The lights even came with new bulbs. Unfortunately, it looks like I need to adjust them. The driver side seems to point to far down. The light hits the pavement before the passenger side does.

 
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Bird76Mojo

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Truck's looking GREAT! Now all you need is a nice stainless steel, mandrel bent exhaust system to really set off the underside of the truck.

I loved the Flowmaster 815936 universal kit I bought.

If used with the "Torca Torctite Stainless Steel Lap Joint Band Clamp TTOEM250SS" the kit is maintenance free and assembles very easily, and if doing any service work, it comes apart even easier. Stainless MIG wire and stainless hanger rods were cheap on Amazon as well.
 
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Jim Oaks

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It has a Borla exhaust on it. It's still on one piece, but the clamps have rusted and fallen apart.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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I thought the wheels looked pretty sharp at the roundup, the stock Outlaw II style wheels like that had kind of a brushed look to them from the start.:icon_thumby:

Mine don't have any coating on them, I just polish them once a year and keep it out of salt.
 

Bird76Mojo

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It has a Borla exhaust on it. It's still on one piece, but the clamps have rusted and fallen apart.
That's precisely why I built mine using all SS parts and tubing. I'll never go back to using traditional exhaust clamps after using these Torca style clamps. I can remove my entire (true dual) exhaust system in under 20 minutes easily, because the Torca clamps don't crimp the pipes together when tightening them.

Spend the $400 once and it will probably outlast the truck. Always looks nice and new as well.
 


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