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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 05-07-2005
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looking at front axle

i was under the truck today and started looking at the front driveshaft. from what i saw, it only attaches to the truck by two points. if someone were to lift their truck higher then the CVs could you lower your front axle easily? what would this do to gears, drive shaft, etc?
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Old 05-07-2005
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The drive shaft is the biggest problem. Because it's so short, you need a little longer one, and a CV type rather than just u-joints. Doc has a real 4x4 lift like you're thinking of and can tell you what he experienced with it.

The shorter the drive shaft, the more the angle from the transfer case to the shaft, and shaft to front pinion counts. Front setups are the most demanding, usually.
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Old 05-08-2005
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If you are saying you want to just drop the axle, you can not. That would lift you but then the spindles (or what ever they are called) would be to short.. My lift came with new ones. The driveshaft was not an issue at first but then it began to fail. So I replaced it before it did. They put in universals instead of the CV to fix my prob.
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Old 05-08-2005
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yea...i figured the driveshaft would be the biggest pain in the process. they usually are. theres a driveshaft place just up the road from here, if i were to get a longer, thicker one with CVs would it be alright? im just tryin to get as many project ideas as i can to see what i will/will not, can/can not do.
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Old 05-08-2005
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Yes but that would only fix the driveshaft issue. You still need to deal with the control arms.. By moving the axle your arms will not be able to give enough down travel to keep the stock spindles. That is what the SL or traildisaster kits contain.. Bolts, Lift blocks, and the LIFTED SPINDLES.
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Old 05-08-2005
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i would lower the axle only after a lift. i wouldnt just lower the driveshaft because that would leave it more exposed, and the cvds would be at a funny angle, which would be wut i was trying to prevent in the first place with a lift.
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Old 05-08-2005
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i'v never got up under a 4x4 ranger do they have transfer case's like a soild axle? if so could you clock it down? to get a better pinion angle thats what i did to my blazer no problems so far and i beat the $%^& out of it
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Old 05-08-2005
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I believe it's a "married" transfer case (bolted direct to the tranny) so re-clocking is not as easy.
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Old 05-08-2005
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so, was i correct about there only being two points that the axle is attached to? what would be the best way to go about lowering it?
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Old 05-08-2005
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u cant just lower the axle assembly without longer steering knuckles. u increase the lenght from the upper arm to the lower by lowering the diff...
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Old 05-08-2005
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^^^did i not say that i would do it after i lifted the truck? if i havent:

I may lower may front axle ONLY after i lift the truck. i was just looking a solution to a lift higher then 4" or so. just a thought and wanted to know if there were truly only two points of contact with the frame.
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Old 05-08-2005
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I vknow they only removed one bracket to drop my axel for the lift. As was said before though. Even after a lift the knuckels will still be to short if you further drop the axle.
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Old 05-09-2005
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so these kits come with a drop for the front axle? if so, wut puts the CVs at such a wierd angle that everyone freaks out about.
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Old 05-09-2005
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What Doc is saying, is with a PROPER lift kit, the CV angle is NOT a problem. The "freak out" occurs from budget lifts that push the suspension down without moving the axle(or more properly stated, dropping the differential down). Think t-bar crank and things like that. Putting lift spindles on a 4x4 without dropping the axle, similar problems.
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Old 05-09-2005
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^^^thanks for the clarification. so if this is the case, what is the big deal about going over 3-4" of lift? doesnt the superlift run into problems with the CVs or they tell you to replace the driveshaft because their kit lowers it?
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Old 05-09-2005
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The problems mainly run into are on the driveshaft. At this point, not having a 4x4 and only having read about these problems, there's not much more I can clarify, lol.

Extreme driveshaft angles are tough to manage, requiring special CV's and/or u-joints. The shorter the driveshaft, the more the angle changes with lift, so the front one is more critical. And that's about all I know -- I really haven't researched where the problem really occurs or how extreme it gets, sorry.
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Old 05-09-2005
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^^^youre still my hero mr. griggs. i knew the driveshaft would be a problem, thats simple geometry there. think of where the shaft meets the t-case as the center of a circle, the shaft as the radius of the circle and the "pumpkin" as a point on the outer edge of the circle. the point has to stay the same length away unless you change the radius length. and since the t-case doesnt rotate, thats where you get problems with u-joints and such.

does anybody know wut kits lower the axle and which ones dont? i also wouldnt mind knowing why there is a limit on the height range of a torsion bar ranger with stock-like components (meaning a simple lift, no straight axles or extreme movement of parts to acheive lift). i understand that CVs cant be at wierd angles, but if you lower your axle and get a longer driveshaft, whats the problem?

now, with the knuckles being wierd or whatever. arent the holes in the knuckle of a lift kit lower then the stock ones, so if you lowered the axle to line back up with the hole, wut is the problem there?
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Old 05-09-2005
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3 kits out there... SL, trailmaster and RCD all need to lower the front axle or no lift. The holes for the Knuckels on my truck are in the same spot.. Just are 4" taller.
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Old 05-10-2005
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^^^o...alright

another question, what is so special about RCDs new lower frame assembly or whatever it is that can get them 5-6" of lift without worry?
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Old 05-10-2005
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Nothing special.. They all say they lift "with out worry." It just is 5" not 4"
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Old 05-11-2005
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i was told that the rcd had some new fangled lower frame assembly or sumthin like that and thats why they could lift 5" and not the usual 3-4". intristing. o well.
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Old 05-11-2005
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for 100 bucks an inch SL will make you a lift as high as you want... RCD has a diff lower frame b/c it is a coil over conversion, no more tbars needed.
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Old 05-12-2005
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^^^did i read that right? how do i get information about that?
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Old 05-12-2005
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I called SL and asked. That is what they said. Just becareful. Lifting too high may cause more prob then good.
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  #25  
Old 05-13-2005
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alls i want is 6 inches so i can shove some 35s under there. dont want anything too extreme but somethin that is noticed and looks good then does better offroad (well, after i regear). so call superlift and ask about it or does SL stand for something else?
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