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Discussion Starter #1
7-19-09
I just picked up my next victim. Its a 95 Super Cab, 4.0 5 speed 4x4. No rust anywhere. It also has tilt, cruise, pwr windows, mirrors, and locks.

I almost have my entire lift, All I need are some extended brakelines and rear shocks.

I am going to run a 4 inch skykacker TTB brackets and some 4 inch coils (for now), I am in the process of making my cross member and finishing up my ext rad arms. I have Chevy leaves and lowering shackles for the back. I am also planning on throwing a disc brake 31 spline under there. I already put on Warn lock outs. I am currently making a deal on 33" BFG AT's and some black steelies. I can't wait to start, I am still fixing all the little things the guy before me left. I already put new wheel bearings, rotors, pads, brake lines, and calipers in the front. I need to put new cab mounts on and replace the spring hangers (perfect time to move them foward 6 inches:D) I am also planning on swapping my bumpers, light bar and brand new black 130w KC's off my old rig.

-plumcrazy

7-29-09
I decided to do a little interior work before I tore into the suspension and bumpers. Heres what I got done so far, I swapped out the nasty, musty, stained carpet for a full rubber floor (found at the JY in like new condition for 5.99). I also cut down the 60/40 seat to buckets and put in a full length center console (I was lucky enough to find an Exploder with a blue interior.). I don't have any good pics of the OHC or lighted visors yet though.


I paid 99 cents for a scrap of black nylon material at Wal mart and played around with my mom's sewing machine,(Its kind of scary how nice it turned out)

Goodbye carpet

My amp fits just right under the center console

I made a filler plate for the back of the console since I don't need A/C controls and the back.lol

I had to notch out the back panel and remove the cargo cover and net to make room for my subs I also decided to make my light installation a little bit cleaner on this truck than my last one. I removed the cover where a pass side air bag would be located in the newer Rangers and installed a fuse box from a 94 that I rewired to fit my needs. I wired it so the first six blade fuses in the box fuse the six 30 amp relays, the six relays will power my fog lights, driving lights, roof lights, reverse/cargo lights, and my air horn. I also ran a power wire to my switch panel that off of one of the mini fuse slots. I ran 4 gauge wire from the battery to my new fuse box. I bought a battery with the dual termals (top post and side post) so that my 2 gauge stereo power and my 4 gauge fuse box power wire had a nice clean place to bolt on to. I will snap a few pics of the fuse box and OHC tomorrow. I am still looking for blue vinyl/leather seats and a radio that will light up the same color as my OHC and cluster.
-plumcrazy


Later 7-29-09
I have crappy pic of my OHC and Visors.

I got my gauge pod painted and mocked up, I am still waitng on my gauges. I ordered an Autometer Z-series volt meter and oil pressure gauge ( I wanted something a little more accurate than the "dummy light" gauges that are on the cluster.) I am still trying to find bulb covers so the gauges will light up the same aqua color as my cluster.

The blue paint matches perfect

I decided to go with a dual terminal battery so it is easy to pull power for my extra fuse box and my amp.

Here is a pic of my fuse box that I rewired and installed it the pass side air bag compartment.

I used to two separate relays that are controlled by one switch for the roof lights because I figured one 30 amp relay wouldn't hold up to four 130w KC's. I also ran a 12 gauge power wire to the rear of the truck in case I need 12 volt power for anything. (like my 40 gal diesel tank with a 12 volt pump). I soldered and heat shrunk all my connections. I labeled the box so that you get a better idea of how it is wired up.

I pulled the bed off and dropped the fuel tank. I plan to start cutting off the old hangers soon. I snapped a few pics of the new brackets. Chevy 2 inch drop shackle on my new Ranger hanger. I am also replacing all the 14mm spring bolts with 9/16 grade 8 bolts.

I sat the new hanger about where it will be relocated to. I will have to modify the cab/bed mount bracket. and fab up a new parking brake cable holder.

-plumcrazy
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

7-30-09
I started on the 64" spring swap today.
Its floating

I didn't feel like fighting with all the rusty spring bolts, so I just took it all off together

Old spring and Chevy spring side by side.

New rear hanger and Chevy drop shackle

Before I started

I held the new bracket up where I wanted it and shot some blue paint over it to mark out where I will need cut the cab mount.

I tried to make my cut look clean so I took off a little more than I needed to.

I welded a piece of metal between the frame and the back side of the bed mount to make up for all the metal I removed from the side of the mount

the top front hole of the new hanger will be to high to bolt to the frame so I chopped it off and welded a 1/2 strip to the side and drilled a hole a little lower.

here is what it will look like when it gets bolted up.

holes are drilled and the hanger is done.

When I get the other side done I am going to clean up the whole frame and prime it, then shoot some satin black on it. The spring swap is done. cleaned all the rust and crap off the frame and sprayed it down with penetrol to seal it and fight rust, I am going to prime it and then paint it satin black so it will be pretty and easy clean.

I am in the process of making my extended radius arm brackets. I am going to integrate the tranny cross member into the brackets so it will be super solid. I will get some pics up soon. I also had my dad get some strips of stainless steel to make some rust proof gas tank straps. (I have put spring hangers and gas tank straps on 5 different Rangers so I kind of have this whole underbody rust thing down to a science.)lol
-plumcrazy


8-7-09
I did make some progress today. I got about 90% of the exhaust parts I need to run 2.5" from the cat through a Thrush welded muffler and out in front of the rear wheel. I am going to use all mandrel bend tubing and I redid the flange on the cat so it doesn't reduce down to to 2.25" or 2 or what ever it used to be. I also managed to the cat/y pipe flange apart and cleaned up as well. I also finished up my tranny cross member/ radius arm mounts. I am still on a hunt for a one piece drive shaft and disc braked 31 spline rear. I need to finish up my exhaust so I can figure out how I need to make my cross member to replace where the carrier bearing cross member was. I also managed to prime and paint the frame and make my new stainless tanks straps. I also redid my intake so it will take a 3.5" K&N cone filter. I will snap some pics of it tomorrow, my dad works for a company that makes stainless restaurant equipment so I sent my plans with him to work and his TIG welders made it happen. It turned out really nice for having 0$ invested.

I took a couple pics of the intake.

And no, I do not plan to gain any power from the intake or the new exhaust. I understand that intakes and exhausts don’t add 30 hp.lol I just wanted to use the K&N filter and precharger that I already had and I wanted a nice deep toned exhaust.

As I posted this, the ad at the top of the screen was claiming that a K&N filter will ad 20 Hp to your BMW.lol
-plumcrazy



8-13-09
I finished welding up my exhaust, All it needs a coat of high heat paint to dress it up.

I went to the JY today and got my 31 spline Exploder rear with disc brakes. It came with almost new rotors and pads and recently replaced calipers and hoses. I cut the old spring perches off and made new ones out of 3/16 wall 2.5 x 2.5 box tubing. I welded the new perches on and set the pinion angle at 6.5 degrees.

I am waiting one my one piece shaft to come so I can figure out where my new cross member needs to be. It got dark before I got a chance to get a couple pics of the freshly painted frame.
All the junk that doesn't go back on.

-plumcrazy



8-14-09
I finally got a few pics of the tranny cross member and RA mounts.

I finished welding my perches on, I cut all the old sway bar mounts off the new axle and welded on some shock mounts I was able salvage the shock mounts from the old axle. I picked up new parking brake shoes and a hardware kit as well. I cleaned up the axle and shot it with some primer but it got dark to quick for me to get any pics of it.

I also got a pick of the frame now that it is all cleaned up and painted.

I finished up the exhaust and bolted it on but once again it was too dark for my cell phone to get any decent pics.
-plumcrazy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

8-22-09
Got the rear end all primed and painted. I don’t have any pics of it under the truck yet.

I put all new seals in it and filled it up with synthetic

I got the exhaust finished.

this is where I put the new flange on the cat so it doesn’t reduce to 2.25

I started putting on the front lift brackets, but I ran into some more fun stuff that halted that whole project. I found out that when the previous owner said the front end is pretty tight he must have meant it was tight .... last year. I ended up putting in 4 Moog ball joints in and 3 axle shaft U-joints, and discovered that the RA bushings were junk, but the RA's don't bother me because I already got some new Moog bushings for when I finish my extended RA's. I picked up a D 35 with 3.73's in it as well. It needs new seals but other than that it is ready to bolt on.(not sure if I mentioned before that the truck came with 3.27's in it) I was at the JY the other day and noticed that some older Exploders have a front sway bar that curves down about 2 inches on the ends. If I run it with my stock links I can run a sway bar with my lift. I will get a few pics tomorrow. I am still waiting on my rear shocks and drive shaft so I can finish up the rear. I am going put the calipers on and make my new P brake cable brackets tom. I think I will need to find a way to extend my cable though.


8-28-09
I got a lot done today. I put all new ball joints, u-joints, and seals up front, bolted the front diff on, got the TTB drop brackets on, and slipped in the lift coils.

I took off the old RA cross member and I finished up my ext. RA's and bolted everything up. I got made some retainers to keep the coil seated up top and I painted the RA's but it got dark before I got a pic of that stuff.

I gusseted the drop bracket everywhere I could.

Here is a pic of the rear axle all bolted up. I still need to put the calipers on and make a bracket for the p-brake cables since I moved the hanger forward.

I managed to twist a bolt off in the yoke on the front diff, so I will work on drilling that out and finishing up my p brake stuff tomorrow. It is amazing how much stuff I can get done with a day off work. I am still waiting on my one piece so I can make my cross member. I got my new rear shocks today but they sent me the wrong ones so I had to send em back and wait for them to send a new pair. I ordered some extended front brake lines today. I am looking for a drop pitman arm still. I have a deal in the works for some black steel 15x8 rims and some 33"s too.
-plumcrazy



8-29-09
I started on my cross member, I decide to us the old one, but the hump that clears the exhaust didn't line up right. So I cut 4 inches off the driver side and added 4 inches on the pass side to shift the hump over. I had a random piece of stamped steel channel that worked out perfect for the middle piece.

I made my c-clip eliminator

the stock boot wouldn't fit over the spring so I used a shock boot that was a little bigger.(I didn’t get a pic) got the front yoke fixed. I drilled out the bolts and replaced the old u-joint retainers with the u bolt style ones. Now I can actually get a wrench on them.

(and no the pinion seal isnt leaking, I got cutting oil all over it when I was drilling out the yoke) I got a couple pics of the truck with 30"s on the front and some random Pontiac wheels in the back. The truck will sit almost level, it will lean slightly forward when its done.

I got a pic of the coils in and the shocks sitting in place, the front is basically done. I just have to put my new sway bar on and swap out my pitman arm and brake lines.


-plumcrazy



9-3-09
I made some progress today. I picked up a 130 amp alternator for 15 bucks


I made my p brake bracket, I used some stainless tubing scraps my dad brought home from work. Used some of the original springs to keep the cables away from the wheel when they are not under tension.


I drilled and tapped out a hole in the rotors, and counter sunk the hole in the hub for a countersunk 1/4" stainless bolt. I was tired of the hubs sliding off with the wheel.


I swapped bumpers with my 2wd DD. I kind of like the look of the chrome bumper w/o valance on my 2wd. I cut the corners of the bumper to clear some bigger tires (some thing I should have done when I made the bumper originally, but I guess I didn't know I would ever have a 4x4 with 33's)


I also managed to get the lights all wired up, but I still haven’t settled on what kind of switches I want yet so I don’t have any pics of the lights on I had to weld some tabs on the perches to hold the brake hoses, and i got the rear caliper pins all greased up and put the calipers on, I also found out that a 14" rim will not clear the calipers


I also snapped some random pics of the Extended RA's and the almost completed front end.


I also got some pics of the Exploder sway bar I found at the JY. It drops about 3 inches further than the Ranger sway bar. I think I am going to put swap out the lower sway bar link bolts with some pins so I can disconnect the sway bar for those times when a little flex needs to come into play


I put my drop pitman arm on as well. After breaking two pitman arm pullers and using up a can of PB blaster I ended up cutting the old arm off I know I could have heated it with the torch and it would have slipped off, but I didn’t want to risk damaging the steering box seal.
-plumcrazy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

9-11-09
Ok, so I got my brake lines. I ordered lines for a lifted Ranger, but I wasn't thinking about the fact that I have an Exploder rear. On a Ranger the rear brake line tee's on top of the rear diff, and on a an Exploder (w/ disc) the tee is biult into the DS caliper hose.

So I decided to put a PS caliper hose on both sides that way I could put my tee in the Ranger location. I hope this makes sense.



Nobody was around to help me lift bed up and put it on, so I got creative



Now she has to sit until I get my wheels and tires.





I also got my one piece and bolted it on today with some new u joints. I am still waiting on my rear shocks as well. I made my switch panel for all my lights and stereo but I didn’t grab a pic. I am going to start on making my rear bumper on my next day off.
-plumcrazy



9-12-09
Whelp, I made my bumper last night, I still have to paint it and drill the holes for the plate, light plugs, and plate light and I need to weld something on the bottom for trailer safety chains to hook on.







It is made out of 6" channel, 2"x1/4" flat, 3"x1/4" flat, and 3"x3"x1/4" angle. It weighs a good 80 lbs., Now it matches the front that weighs about 110 lbs. And I finally got my wheels they are 15X8's with 3.75 backspace.



-plumcrazy



Later 9-12-09
I snapped a few pics of my switch panel. The buttons are all push on push again to turn off.


-plumcrazy

9-14-09
I got my tires (well 3 of them, I had to order one). I mounted the 3 I had and bolted them up.


I finished building my rear bumper. I just have to paint it.



I pretty happy with the way it looks. I have been crossing my fingers since I lifted it that it would at least sit level when I put 4 of the same size tires on it. I had no idea how much lift the Chevy springs and shackles would give me. The truck leans forward w little, which I am really pleased with. I would rather have it lean forward then sit level, so it wont lean back with a little load or trailer on it.
-plumcrazy



9-16-09
I swapped my amber corners for the clear ones on my other Ranger.

I took off the mud flaps and made new braces for the bed.

I finished my rear bumper and added some back up lights.

Then I went to put gas in the beast and I discovered that the filler neck is cracked right where it claps to the tank
-plumcrazy

9-28-09
I finally got my last tire on, put on the new filler neck, and got the beast aligned. I have a couple pics of it with my Gen III Ranger fleet





I the only issue I have found so far is the tires rub the radius arms a tiny bit. I think the t-case is on its last leg. It needs new shifter bushings as well. But over all I am happy with the turn out. I don’t have too much invested in the truck so I am willing to spend a little bit more to get everything buttoned up.
-plumcrazy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

10-19-09
I played around in the back yard a little. I need to get some softer 6 inch coils to replace the 4inch w/ spacers I am running now.







There little to no frame flex, you see the body lines stay lined up. Im pretty happy with the way the Chevy springs flex and still handle well on the road. I left the overloads in the pack too.
-plumcrazy



10-26-09
I played around a little bit with an old Ford emblem I had. I was lucky enough to get it apart in one piece the on the first try. I used a heat gun the soften up the glue.



I sanded it with 180 grit to get the color off, then I polished it up with 400 grit.





I picked up a steering stabilizer. I was too cheap to buy the brackets, so I made my own and U bolts cost too much, so I used the straps that used to hold the u-joint in.lol







I took my ammo box tool box out of my 2wd and bolted it up in the new rig.



and I snapped a pic in the field.


-plumcrazy



10-29-09
Well, I have bad news and good news. Bad news is, the tranny took a dump on me, good news is, I get to do something I have been wanting to do with a 4.0 M50D Ill let everyone know if my plan if it works out.
-plumcrazy


11-01-09
I got the tranny out and apart. I found out the shift forks were worn ground down for some reason which wouldn't let me push the collar far enough to get into gear. When I drained the fluid it looked like silver milk, there was so much aluminum powder in the fluid it was gritty. The PO had the tranny rebuilt less than 1000 miles ago, it looks like they put shift forks out of a 3.0 or 2.3 tranny in my 4.0, because they weren’t big enough to fit over the collars properly, but I am not sure. I will have another tranny this weekend so I can compare.
All I got was dark cell phone pics of the gear stacks. They looked brand new, the syncros and everything look awesome.




-plumcrazy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

11-02-09
I picked up a tranny. Came from a totaled 99, and t has less than 100k on it. I popped the shift plate off and inspected the forks, syncros, and gears. It looks perfect. The truck sat in the weeds with no wheels for a while, so the tranny case is all corroded, but it is the fluid was still red inside. Here it is, sitting in my dorm room until I go home this weekend to put it in.lol

-plumcrazy




11-07-09
I picked up my 1354 manual t case, but I still need linkage. It will be interesting trying to figure out how I am going bring the shifter through the center console.


I pulled the 2.5 M50D apart and swapped the gears and syncros onto the 4x4 output shaft. But I wont be able to put the trans together until my new bearing comes in. (next weekend)

Here are some side by side shots of the two cases


I snapped some pics of the shift forks that I pulled out of the 4.0 trans. They have about an 1/8 inch ground out of them.


-plumcrazy



11-10-09
I have no classes on Veteran's Day, so I came home to work on the truck. I picked up my new bearing for the tranny, but I got distracted and never got to putting it in. I finished one of my RA brackets. I decided to remake them so the caster angle would be a little better, and because I wanted to gusset the bottom anyway.

I had to cut a little off the RA bushings so they would tighten up on on the 1/2 plate they are running through.
before

after

I also finished up painting my second emblem

I put on the first one I made

And the most important thing I have done to the truck yet...... I am expecting some big horsepower gains.lol

The decal curved a little on me as I put it on, but I will leave it for a while.lol
-plumcrazy


11-13-09
The 2.5/4.0 M50D is complete.

My tailgate made the perfect place to stand up the trans and bolt it down while I torqued the counter shaft and output shaft nuts.

I put it in the truck and took a test drive, it engages smoothly into all gears and is a lot quieter than my last tranny that had aluminum shavings for lubricant The shifter from an older M50D and a newer on cant be interchanged. The base with the wedge bolt is clocked 90* and the newer shifter is about an inch further back. Which of course was enough to hit my center console when I shifted into 4th and reverse, so I made a temporary shifter to hold me over until I can get my Hurst in there.



The 1354 Manual also went in with the new trans, both got full synthetic merc. but I still don’t have a t-case shifter.
I put on my new redesigned RA mounts with gussets.



I tapped a hole in the shift plate and ran a breather hose to an old clutch master reservoir so the trans wont blow any seals when I get the Hurst in there. The Hurst shifter doesn’t allow the trans to breathe through the shifter like the stock on does.



I also added some "puddle" lights under the doors. I they come on with the aux. back up lights. I am also going to wire the relay into the door switch so they come on when the doors are opened.



I got a few poser pics in the back yard too.


-plumcrazy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

11-15-09
I picked up some goodies today. New air hose


And... A shifter for my manual case its from a B II with an auto and 1350 case, but it looks like it will work out fine.



I had to get creative to get the handle apart.



I also snapped some night time pics


-plumcrazy



11-19-09
I made some progress today. I was able to use the 1350 shifter and linkage. The bottom of the shifter itself would hit the transmission housing preventing it from going into 2 wheel and 4 hi, so I had to trim about a 1/4" off the shifter base. The yellow is what I had to trim off. I welded the lever on the backside since I ground so much off the edge where the lever is pressed in.

My next issue was the little arm on the t-case. The shifter was lined up with it rather than being offset, so I had to cut the arm and offset it. I forgot to take pics of everything after I bolted it up, but I will.



I was able to cut my hole dead on the first time :yahoo: I measured the where the handle was in relation to the bolt holes so I could mark out my hole. Then after I got the plate cut I used it as a pattern for the floor.


The shifter comes through the floor just inside the console Ill get some pics up soon


-plumcrazy


Later 11-19-09
I am going to have to modify the lever, because it hits the console.


The hole is completely hidden.

The linkage was lined up with the little lever so I had offset it. I also threaded the peg so I could put a nut on it.


Its hard to see, but this is where the lever had to be trimmed to clear the tranny

-plumcrazy



11-21-09
Its done!!!!! I made a new lever and trimmed the console a bit and it works awesome. here is what I started with.

here’s what I ended with, its offset about 2"

I cut the threaded portion off the stock shifter and welded it to a piece of 1/2" rod that I put 90* in.

I Had to trim the console out a good bit

The lever is almost touching floor in 4 hi, but 4 lo it is 1" away.


I made it hug the console to keep it away from leg.


I spoke to soon when I said I cut the hole perfect on my first try. It turns out I didnt make it wide enough, so when I had everything back together and went for a test drive, I found out that when I give it a little gas the transmission torques a little and the lever rubbed the edge of the hole making a terrible scratching/popping noise. So I had to take everything apart again to trim it up a little bit. My brother was working on his car too, so I grabbed a pic

-plumcrazy


11-22-09
I picked up some new fog light bulbs, because one of my 20 dollar SilverStar bulbs burnt out. I had some 27w SilverStar Ultras, but I found out that I can pop a 7 dollar 50w bulb into the housing. Here is a comparison (20 dollar SS on left, 7 dollar 50w on right)

I will have to keep an eye on the fog light housing to see if they melt, but even if they do its no big loss because they are just some Dodge Neon fog lights I snagged at the JY for like 2 bucks. (Thats right I have a Ford with Chevy springs and Dodge lights)
-plumcrazy
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

11-24-09
I decided to put the 02 tails on. I didn’t like the look of the amber.

Next step is putting LEDs in them.
-plumcrazy


11-30-09
I decided to get the indicator lights working. Since I finally got the shifter/console interference all figured out. The switch on the t case just grounds out either the 4 low wire of the 4 high wire. I looked at the 4x4 system wiring diagram and found out the blue/black wire going into the GEM (located just to the left of the radio) is the 4 lo indicator light ground, and the solid gray id the 4 hi ground. (there are two gray wires going into the GEM, its the lower one on the plug.)


So all I had to do was connect the two wires from the t-case to the two indicator light ground wires coming from the cluster.



This was a lot harder to find than I thought. Exploders have the rear wiper switch, and there are not very many 95+ 2wd Rangers in the JY.

-plumcrazy
 

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Re: PlumCrazy's Build

Wow did you copy this from somewhere or just type it up. Will chevy drop shackles bolt on? Any suggestions when welding axle pivot drop brackets?
 

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Re: PlumCrazy's Build

Dyllan said:
Wow did you copy this from somewhere or just type it up. Will chevy drop shackles bolt on? Any suggestions when welding axle pivot drop brackets?
I basically copied my whole build thread from TRS, but I eliminated all the random discussions from it.

Yes, Chevy shackles will bolt right on.

When welding the pivot bracket, start your beads from the outside and work it. This allows the heat to spread through the whole bracket and not be forced to the edges where it will cause the metal to become extremely hot an become brittle. Also, dont weld in the same area for too long, let one area cool while you start another.
 

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Re: PlumCrazy's Build

It's a great build thread! Keep it up!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

Dyllan said:
So your shackles arent drop shackles, they are new?
They are shackles made to lower a Chevy 1500 about 2"s. But since the Ranger's hangers are inverted they provide 2" of lift. I got them off ebay brand new for less than 50 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: PlumCrazy's Build

Dyllan said:
Im sorry i meant your axle brackets?
Are you referring to the TTB drop bracket? They are Skyjacker 4"/6" drop brackets. They have a tendancy to brake the tabs off, so I gusseted them as preventative maintenance
 
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