My 1997 Ranger 3.0 4x4


BlackBII

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Looking really good! The mirrors look great. :icon_thumby:
 


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97Ranger3.0

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STPL - the side exit exhaust was nice for simplicity like you said. It does however seem to make the exhaust noise inside the cab louder. Outside the truck my side exit was probably the same volume as my dual exhaust is now, but on the highway the drone was much worse with the side exit. If you have a stock exhaust that you just want to shorten it probably won't be too bad though.

BlackBII - thank you! :)
 

97Ranger3.0

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Finished working on, cleaning up and painting the rear axle. I bought the limited slip rebuild kit figuring now would be the best time to replace the clutches, and I'm glad I did because they were worn out! After some time finishing prep work, lots of time painting and some time reassembling the axle with new brake parts and a shiny new chrome cover... here's the finished product:



I was too excited to wait, and there was still plenty of time in the day so I got started by removing the stock rear end. Out with the old, and in with the new :icon_thumby:



To be continued...
 

turbo91xlt

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Good luck on your quest for a D35 4.10 diff. A weaker hybrid D35 with 4.10s shouldnt be too hard to find as a decent amount of those came in '93-'97 3.0/auto & 2.3 trucks. If you want a stronger TRUE D35 diff you'll have to look for a '90-'92 2.3 ranger or the occasional 2.9/auto ranger (or '90 B2 only) of the same '90-'92 time frame. They do exist, I currently have three of them lol.
 

97Ranger3.0

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Good luck on your quest for a D35 4.10 diff. A weaker hybrid D35 with 4.10s shouldnt be too hard to find as a decent amount of those came in '93-'97 3.0/auto & 2.3 trucks. If you want a stronger TRUE D35 diff you'll have to look for a '90-'92 2.3 ranger or the occasional 2.9/auto ranger (or '90 B2 only) of the same '90-'92 time frame. They do exist, I currently have three of them lol.
Yep, I've found it's near impossible to find a 4.10 front end around where I am, either D28/35 or true D35. These trucks are getting so old and rusty most of them are being scrapped so parts are harder and harder to find! I ended up finding a D28/35 hybrid 4.10 from a guy who was parting out a b2300 4x4 though, so that's what I've gone with.

I may keep looking and if a true D35 4.10 shows up I may swap it in, or I may keep my 3.73 D35 and learn how to swap a ring & pinion in. As of right now, I figured the easiest & cheapest thing would just be to swap the whole diff even if it's a slight compromise. It should be fine though for my purposes.

Thanks for the info though, if I do continue my search I'll know exactly what to look for!
 

97Ranger3.0

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Front & rear axles both out...



The 4.10 D28/35 hybrid on the left, stock D35 3.73 on the right.



Started getting the rear end in place, all went well and got it bolted in place.



Ran into my first problem though, and figured I should document it though in case it helps someone else! So, apparently the Explorer Sport Trac and Explorer rear calipers differ slightly. The Sport Trac calipers are slightly larger overall, and neither sets of my 15" wheels will clear them. While I was having a moment of panic trying to figure out what I can do other than having to buy a set of 16" wheels, my brother did some research and noticed that the Explorer rear calipers looked smaller. So for kicks, we bought one caliper to see if it was smaller and if it would work, and it will. The Explorer caliper bolts onto the Sport Trac caliper bracket (likely the same bracket) with only some minor differences.

Basically, the moral of the story is that if you want to run 15" wheels with an Explorer rear end swap, make sure you get Explorer rear brake parts if you have a Sport Trac rear end. Everything else seems to be the same more or less though as far as I can tell.

Here's a side by side of the Sport Trac (left) vs Explorer rear caliper (right)

 

97Ranger3.0

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Painted the new calipers & swapped them in



Got the new front diff in as well



And after tackling a lot of small things like the e brake cables, plumbing the brake lines, reassembling the front axles, bleeding the brakes & filling the diffs... it was finally back on the ground!



I took it for a test drive and have been driving it for a while since, and I am very happy with everything so far! I only have a few things to fix. The e brake needs some adjustment as it doesn't hold well, which I'm hoping I can fix by adjusting the parking brake shoes - hopefully it's not something else. The rear pinion angle may be slightly off because there's a bit of a shudder at certain speeds that wasn't there before, so I'm going to take the driveshaft out and try to get accurate measurements so I can buy the correct shims and fix that issue. And the last thing is that I modified the brake pads from the sport trac set to work with the explorer calipers because I figured I may be able to make it work without having to wait to get new rotors & pads in, but there's some brake noise while I'm driving that comes and goes. It sounds like the pads are rubbing the rotor sometimes, hard to explain but it sounds similar to pads rubbing due to warped rotors if that makes sense. I doubt my new rotors are warped, and it also comes and goes so I think that's the problem.

Otherwise, everything seems great! 4.10s are great for this truck, the limited slip is working well, and the truck stops great.
 

97Ranger3.0

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Small update...

Got Bilstein shocks for the rear of this truck. I've been trying to find them for a long time but no one had them in stock - I really wanted to try them and know what they're like. So far I'm really happy with them, they really take out a lot of the harshness in the ride quality of the rear end since I've added the add a leafs. I'm now tempted to get them for the front as well and see how it changes the overall ride quality.



I've also been rocking my stock exhaust because I had to get the truck inspected at the beginning of the month and good old Massachusetts doesn't like exhaust modifications. :thefinger: While the exhaust is out I'm going to make a few changes to it, weld it all up since it's currently clamped together, and paint it.
 

97Ranger3.0

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My truck was throwing a p0172 (system too rich bank 1) code and after doing some tests I discovered it was due to a leaky lower intake manifold gasket. I've had my suspicions since day 1 of owning this truck that it had either an intake manifold or vacuum leak because I have a lot of symptoms of it; so it was time to fix the problem.

I forgot to take a lot of pictures during the process but here are some I took. Lower & upper intake manifolds off:



Since I had to remove the valve covers to remove the lower intake manifold, I decided to replace the gaskets & paint them up. Here they are with the tack coat of primer:



...and painted, with the help of my brother doing the lettering for me!



...and with the lower intake manfiold & valve covers back on



The truck's all back together now & running better than ever with no p0172 code anymore. Now if only I can get rid of that pesky p1443 code that refuses to go away :dunno:
 

BlackBII

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Valve covers look really nice. :icon_thumby:
 

97Ranger3.0

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Thank you BlackBII!

Small update but I found a nice set of 30x9.5R15 tires on craigslist so I am now running 30's instead of 235/75R15 (29's). It's a subtle difference but I feel like it's a more appropriate tire size for the truck. I just wish these trucks didn't have to come with 215/75's from the factory lol.

Here's how it sits now. I need to touch up the paint on the wheels now from dismounting the 235/75s and mounting the 30s myself, but other than that I'm happy!

 

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I have 30's on mine. I think they look good. I have an expo 8.8 sitting on the ground right now that needs to be installed in my ranger. I am just going to buy the conversion kit that comes with perches, shackles, and stuff. I am going to put it under the leaf packs first and get my pinion angle and shock mount locations then pull it out and weld everything up.
 

ThatBostonGuy

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Looks great. I love what you did with the valve covers! :icon_thumby::icon_thumby: The rear end swap and rear disc conversion is a very nice touch.
 

97Ranger3.0

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Looks great. I love what you did with the valve covers! :icon_thumby::icon_thumby: The rear end swap and rear disc conversion is a very nice touch.
Thank you!

Another small update - I got a few gifts for the Ranger for Christmas! First was a radio, I've been wanting to get a new radio for the truck for a while so I could have an aux input and also to get rid of the green oem radio lighting that looked horrible next to the LED lights I have in my dash.



I also got a pair of 4" LED Rough Country lights that I mounted on the rack. I had to lengthen the wiring on the passenger side light harness by about 2.5 feet to reach the relay mounted in the engine bay, but other than that it was pretty much plug and play. I wired them so that they can only come on when the high beams are on and with the provided switch as well so that I can quickly turn them off by switching off the high beams instead of having to reach for the switch every time.



The only problem I have though is that if I have the off road lights and the radio are both on, the radio gets noisy. I'm wondering if I just need to relocate the ground for the lights or if I need a new radio capacitor or something. Has anyone had a problem like this and know a good solution?
 

97Ranger3.0

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Well, unfortunately the Rough Country lights didn't work out. One of the lights stopped working, so I had them send me another set and I guess I just have bad luck because those lights were defective too - they would only flicker once switched on and not stay on. I tried swapping the wiring harness that came with the replacements as well and had the same problem. I'm not sure how I ended up getting 2 sets of lights that weren't working properly because they had good reviews... but anyway instead I scored a set of KC lights off craigslist for what I paid for the RC lights so I'm going with those instead! They're 6" instead of the 4" ones I had and they seem to be a spot beam instead of a flood light pattern like the others but they work well and I also don't seem to have the radio interference problems anymore either.



 
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