2004 FX4 Lvl 2- Going full Special
Ive had an 04 ranger fx4 level 2 for a while now. Its done me well, and even though im 6 4 I love the size. Coming from the 1 ton arena, its abilities coupled with gas mileage leave me wanting. Ive made the decision that at 232,000 miles, its time to give up on the gas mileage dream and have fun. On a "unrelated note" I just happened to stumble across an axle set from a 1977 f150 4x4 for $200. They need a little work but everything turns. So here's my plan, and wondering if anybody can point me in another direction, give me warnings and little snippets of what I've learned.
351W- Ive read that a 302 fits FAIRLY easily, though more so on the 2003 and prior rangers, something about bypassing the security system. Well I have a 351w out of a 92 f150, and know where all the computer stuff (harness, ECU, etc) is sitting in a buddy's 2000 exploder. Im willing to lift the body a bit if needed, but I dont want to be running a 3 inch unless absolutely needed.
T19- A local guy I know has been working on the butternut bread trucks for years and has 5 of these laying around, says they use adapter plates to hook up to the 4BT (i considered, but also have seen the *** pain involved), take the plate off and it goes to a small block. I want to run shallow gears starting around 3-4 and ending in around 1-.85. I want this thing to have road manners as well.
T case- Open ended. I want to run something I can go on the road in a snow storm though. So something newer?
Front Suspension- I want to incorporate the coil spring and radius arm suspension from the dana 44 on here. Don't know how likely this is, but it looks to be a simple matter (ish) of fabbing up the upper coil spring mount. Can I hook the rack and pinion into the dana 44 or do I need to change the suspension? Is it inadvisable to do so? I don't want to lift it much, just enough to fit 35s underneath with about 6 inches of clearance (top of tire to bottom of flare with something similar to the bushwacker cut out flares. I understand that the tire will stick out about 3-5 inches more than current. I like that. Also, is it possible to get a more modern style of brake caliper on there? I remember having many issues with the pin style slides on my 90's f150s than I care to deal with on this. (of course with everything else, this could be small potatoes. Maybe something from a Rubicon or a Dodge 1500? I also want to run the Trueloc or something similar. Basically a mechanical locking Limited slip rather than clutch pack or full locked. I open to the idea of pushing the axle forward slightly. I have no bumper (I made my own winch bumper) that would get in the way.
Rear suspension- Little more hairy I want to run a coil over four link with limited travel (16-20 inches) and still retain my payload capacity (1000 i think?) Same goal, 35s with cut out flares. Ive thought about using light coils with air bags for supplementation in cases of carrying. Just disconnect or whatever as needed. I would also like to switch to disc brakes, and I've seen many options for passenger style 9 inch, but not the truck. Ill be running 4.56s to keep the torque with the big tires.