New-to-me Truck, hole in frame, swap entire rear?
Howdy all, I recently picked up a '02 ranger 4x4 xlt off road model. It only has 113,000 miles on it. It was owned by nice lady in Massachusetts who took care of it, except for not washing the salt off the underside - it has a rust problem. The engine and transmission are in great shape. The front part of the truck has surface rust, but nothing too serious. I live in California, so it won't be subject to further salt damage, but I've noticed a hole in the frame, on the passenger side just in front of the rear spring shackle. Kind of surprised the shackle hasn't bent loose. That seems to be the only rusted through area. However, everything in the rear is pretty rusty, and one of the bumper brackets is rusted through. Right now I wouldn't want to put a lot of weight in the bed or tow anything. Lots of rust on gas tank cross members and skid plate. It would be a pain to work on something so rusted, and I'd worry that other parts of the frame aren't as strong as they used to be. The spare tire carrier is pretty much rusted out, won't hold the tire anymore. Also the rear differential seems to have a slow pinion seal seep.
So the question I have is, given all the rust at the rear end and the fact that I live in CA where I can find an unrusted back end from a salvage yard, can I just swap the whole back half of the truck in from another? Basically the rear section of the frame, rear springs, axle, differential, everything but the bed and gas tank really. Given that it won't require welding the frame, is it possible to do at home? Seems like it would be basically detaching the driveshaft, frame, gas tank/lines, and brake lines and then bolting the new ones on and reattaching everything.
Last edited by formatruk; 08-24-2015 at 04:54 PM.