A few bugs that happened with the new rear end and some that I'm trying to figure out. First off the passenger side rear emergency brake was a little tight. Randomly at highway speed it would slightly grab. Ended up taking off the disk and loosening the gear for the e-brake a bit which seemed to solve that problem.
Another problem I have is terribly squeaky rear brakes. When I put in the new axle I did everything new with the brakes accept lines. New calipers, rotors and pads along with the metal slides and greased it all. It was fine for a week or so but now it squeals terribly! It stops firmly everything without issue however.
First new thing I did to the truck was dip the wheels black. I dig the look and think its a keeper for some time.
So I ended going with an Add a leaf kit. Pretty easy install and brought it up around 3".
The 2" shackle dropped really messed up my pinion angle. I started to notice a noise coming from the rear at highway speeds. I ended up droping it down to the 1" mark on the shackle instead of the 2" and happy to say there is no more noise coming from the rear end (other than the brakes...) and I don't hit the frame anymore!
Had a little fun flexing on the ramps. Loving having a LS axle now. Everything still clears fine and didn't hit the frame.
So when I got the Explorer axle I also got the rear sway bar for it. I had to wait for the right bushings to come in so it didn't get installed during the axle install. So I went ahead and attached it to the rear axle but I ran into a problem. The rear swaybar is too big and ends up hitting the spare tire. Pretty bummed that I couldn't make it work
Also got my silver Vinyl from a friend of a friend. Its is just a tad bit small but nothing to really complain about. Looks much better than just being painted black.
Had a Staff picnic at the beach, because that's what we do in Florida! Had to take a picture of course.
And here is the fun (and expensive) part. Because I lowered the truck a bit and played with the T-bars my camber was a mess.
I knew I would have to throw on some camber bolts to help correct the problem. To my surprise, the passenger side already had camber bolts installed. So I put a pair on the driver side and went for an alignment.
Here is before (right) and after (left) of alignment #1.
Somehow my rear axle was sitting sideways. I'm pretty sure when adjusted the rear axle when messing with the pinion angle I loosed the U-bolts but left the shocks attached. Because they push from opposite sides there was pressure pushing it toward the passenger side when I tightened up the U-bolts. A few days later I loosed the U-bolts, detached the shocks from the rear axle. shook the axle back and forth and tightened the u-bolts down before installing the shocks. I believe that fixed the issue.
Next step was a big one, tires. I looked at a bunch of different rim styles, sizes and offsets, but I never found one that I was confident in. I do like the look of my stocks in black. So I ended up just keeping them and saving the money for my next project. I have come to the realizations of what I can and cannot easily do with this truck. A lowered, V8 swapped street truck just isn't in the easy realm of possibilities for me. So I guess that will just end up being my next project truck!
After a bunch of research I ended up going with the Firestone, Destination AT's in 235,65 16s. I know this isn't an off road truck, but it is a truck. I wanted a tire that was good on the highway but could still take some messy back roads. The Destination AT's had great reviews, and have a 5yr, 50,000 mile warranty.
So far I am very happy with them. They have been good in the rain, on the highway and even doing some light muding. I notice a tiny bit of a rougher ride and a little more noise but neither are issues. I did take the Dip off so they could put on the tires, but it will be going back on soon, when I find a day off that's not scorching hot or raining. Days that are few and far between in the Florida Summer.
Last thing I have done is deaden the roof of the truck. Did two full rolls of the peel and stick and seemed to make a decent difference.
I definitely have a few more things I want to do to this truck before I start on my next project truck, but things are winding down for this truck.
First as promised I did dip my rims back black. This time did 5-6 coats of black and 3 coats of gloss.
Think it came out much better than the first time and I prefer the gloss over the matte finish.
Also because I kept with the stock size wheel they still tuck nicely without rubbing. Don't mind the dirty wheels.
Next was the ejecto bed liner mod. Was driving home from St. Pete late at night and apparently I lost my bed liner somewhere on the journey.
Thought I would hear or notice that I lost it but apparently not because I didn't notice until the next day.
No real issue because I found a new liner for $10 in better condition then my old one. On the way back I found a parking garage so I of course had to take some pictures.
Found out that it isn't the easiest to take good pictures of a black truck with a phone camera.
Next was something us Ranger owners know too well, wheel bearings. Noticed that my front passenger side had some play and for about $10 per side I'd rather be safe then sorry.
Of course Florida weather, I got rained on as i was finishing up so I only did the one side. Been too hot out and I've been to lazy to do the driver side. Simple and easy but messy job.
Lately I have been putting her to work. Pulling a trailer about 500 miles and threw on a topper that I've been working on fixing up for a while.
And of course, She wasnt a fan of working, misfire on Cyl 4. Plugs and wires are only a year old. Tried a new coil pack. Got different gas and ran through SeaFoam and a water remove.
Nothing fixed it. Everything I was researching kept coming back to being a valve recession in the head. This is a common problem in 04-06 rangers which would require all new heads.
Luckily it ended up being just a dirty connection on the fuel injector. Cleaned it up and the light cleared and has run fine ever since!
Tackled a few minor things on the interior. Sean AKA FordZilla showed me a mount for my headunit that let it sit out almost flush with the surround since currently it sits pretty far back.
So I swapped that in. Took some more trimming of the surround to get it to fit but I like how it turned out!
And last thing for now is a set of new rear door speakers, Rockford Fosgate p1683. Much needed improvment over the old stock speakers.
Got a few more projects to come within the next month. Just have to find some time to get them done.
I would like to do a sealed 10" sub in a custom box but have a few other things to get done before that project.
First off I got a steal of a deal on an 09 Sport/STX grille. I ended up keeping my 06 grille on. The STX grille is cool because its rare, but I dont like how it looks with the 04-05 edge bumper. Here is a comparison. What do you think?
Next was something totally custom. I saw this idea for puddle lamps one other ranger a few months ago and I thought it was a cool idea! Definitely going form and function on this entire truck. Upgrades that make the truck better without killing the daily usability. Was a tough job to wire through the mirror, through the door and into the cab for power. The lights are hooked to my dome light so when I unlock on the key fob, or open the door I can easily see where I am stepping. I park in grass a every day and being Summer in Florida in rains every day. Was a cheap mod but not the easiest!
I used 2 "Bolt" style LED's. It hides quite well during the daytime and is plenty bright at night. The wires, connectors and LED's was a total of about $20 and 3-4 hours of work. I used my old mirror that got broken in the car wash to test it out before drilling my own mirrors.
And lastly a much needed upgrade. I love music and since my truck has the pioneer sound package it sounded quite good. After I upgraded the rear door speakers the little 6" sub in the center console just wasn't keeping up anymore and didn't supply the needed punch. I wanted an actual sub, but keeping with the usability of the truck I wanted something that added that punch but didn't take up too much space. I ended up going for a Rockford Fosgate P2-D2 10" paired with a RF 500X1D amplifier. I built a custom sealed box to manufacturer recommended specs. I removed my passenger side rear jump seat which since I've bought the truck has probably only been used once or twice, and built the box to fit in that area.
The Amp and Sub are a perfect match for each other! The sub's RMS is 300 watts and was wired to a 4ohm load. The amp is rated at 300 watts at 4 ohms. I used Sky High Audio CCA 10 Gauge for my power wires which is hooked to a small marine fuse box in the center console, and Sky High Audio OFC 14 gauge speaker wire from the amp to sub itself. All my power and signal is coming from the center console and under the floor. Audio is coming across the firewall to the passenger side floor to stay separated from the power for less interference. The box has a 3/4" block of wood on the back to help space it off the back wall enough to hide all of the cabling for the cleanest look possible.
I am extremely happy with this setup! Enough bass to fit in perfectly with the mids and highs. Takes up only about 2" more toward the seat then the seat did. Now to figure out what to do next!