Rescued 83 - trying to put back together - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-18-2016
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Rescued 83 - trying to put back together

So I bought an 83 4x4 with the "big" engine (V6 2.8). Had it trailered home because it would start with SF, but wouldnt keep running. Came with a new WP in the box on the seat and rear driveshaft loose in the bed...

Got it home, tore the accessories off, replaced the (mechanical) fuel pump, dropped the tank and found the fuel line dry rotted. Replaced line and he fired right up. Yay! Replaced WP and TStat. Realized that 2 of 3 bolts on the water flange going from the WP to the rad were stripped out (and not even the original bolts). Used liberal black gasketmaker (mating surface and outside only) to help keep it sealed. Surprisingly this worked.

Took driveshaft out of bed. Didnt seem to fit (about 4" too short, and missing U-Joint at transfer case). Put truck in 4WD and tested. Wouldnt move. Added tranny fluid. Truck moved. Hauled a few loads of trash off with it (slowly). Struggled uphill, got pretty hot, but otherwise ran fine.

Changed (ancient) oil. Noticed hot side of radiator was very hot, and lower side was still cold. Assumed rad was plugged and replaced rad. Still overheats. Took TStat out and tested - brand new tstat was not opening under heat... threw tstat in driveway and reassembled (eliminate variables till it runs cold then add back).

Bought new U-Joint. beat into driveshaft. Found bolts under seat. Rear bolted to rear diff (yay!). Front was still 4" too short, and no amount of pulling on the driveshaft would make it stretch enough to fit (wheels were still on the ground). Front end of DS doesnt look like it matches to transfer case output shaft anyway - DS has a circular plate in front of the UJoint ears with a little pin in the center (forgive me if I dont know the terms for all of this, this is my first driveshaft). TC rear output shaft has 2 semi-circle ears - the kind you obviously use U-bolts to secure the UJoint with. Found correct bolts under seat. Threads were stripped in the output shaft ears, of course. By the liberal amount of red threadlock still on the bolts, I'd assume the previous owner just tried to glue the bolts into place and the DS fell out on the road and thats why it was in the bed when I bought it...

Bought new U-bolts with nuts and hardware. Scoured the parts stores and Google looking for any kind of diagram of how this shaft is supposed to look. Aparrantly all the documentation was made for later models and the 83 books died in a fire somewhere. Finally found an H-yoke that fit, and was supposedly for my truck. banged it onto the DS, plopped a new UJoint into the front of it, jacked the rear up and bolted everything together. Yay it fits! Hmm... the driveshaft is a little long... it sags down some at the transfer case instead of making a straight line to the rear diff. I guess the new H-yoke made it a little long, and the extra pivot point is letting it sag down some. Well the DS isnt fixed-length, it has some kind of thing near the rear that slides in and out and is covered by rubber and hose clamps with some kind of spring in it, so I reckon that will slide in and take up the slack. Maybe it needs a few good RPMs to do so since its old. Did I mention this was my first driveshaft? Started him up, shifted to 2WD, backed up a few feet - all good. Drove around the driveway some and it felt fine - no bangs or clunks. Filled it with trash and headed for the dump in 2WD. Got to my (thankfully gravel) road and noticed some vibration around 5MPH. Well, thats not good, must be unbalanced, bad ujoint, or something I thought. About 10MPH and the vibration was so severe that the tools slid off the seat into the floor, I couldnt see out of the mirrors, and I knew it was going to bounce the truck apart. I'd gone maybe 1/4 mile. Pulled into a driveway to turn back home, and he died... Wife came and jumped me. as soon as I pulled the jumpers off, he died again. (brand new battery, by the way). Went and got batter out of other car, and limped home. Alternator is obviously bad, and battery is drained. Charged battery, replaced alternator (60 amp and 40 amp same price!).

I've pulled the driveshaft out again, because obviously the H-yoke made it too long, but now I'm stuck because I dont know what to do. Does anyone have a 4x4 83 that they can send me pics (or better advice!) of what the rear shaft is supposed to look like? Once I figure out how, I'll post pics of what it looks like now so yall can laugh at me :P

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2016
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Added pics with notes.
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Rescued 83 - trying to put back together-20160811_202121.jpg   Rescued 83 - trying to put back together-20160811_201956.jpg  
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Old 08-19-2016
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that is a constant velosity yoke , it is to be mounted to the transfer case

you have to flip the drive shaft around , and that is the wrong transfer case output yoke adapter

the proper adapter does not use u-joint clamps
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