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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 04-16-2007
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The very beginning.

Well here's the deal guys. Saturday I went out and bought what should be the beginning of my SAS. Found a pretty good deal (or at least what I thought was a good deal, feel free to tell me I'm an idiot) on the axles from a 79' Bronco. Guy had picked a Bronco to part out and wanted $250 for both axles. Dana 44 front with a 9" Rear. I believe the bolt pattern is 5 on 5.5 (but not sure yet). They are rusty, but nothing horrible unexpected from 30 year old axles. He gave me everything that was attached to them. Seemed like a pretty nice guy. They will take a bit of work to get to where I want them, but that's half the fun, right? Right now they have 3.53 gears, think I'm going up to 4.10s or so, maybe 4.56s. Gonna redo the brakes and I'll need new wheels and tires (probably 35" Boggers). And of course I gotta figure out steering. No idea about that.

For suspension, I'm thinking I'm going to 4-link the rear, but for the front, might just stick with a coil springs. Like I said.... a lot of work before I start tearing into the Ranger, but gotta start somewhere, right?

I'll post some pics up when I get home from work today, but thought I share my happiness with you guys. My goal is to have them in by Christmas this year (which might be lofty considering the amount of experience I have), but I'm hopeful and I should have plenty of help.

Might end up being a race between Interceptor and I. Haha... that is if he isn't selling his truck. Still haven't heard about that. Well anyway, tell me if I got ripped and I'll post up some pictures tonight. Later guys.
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Old 04-16-2007
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250 aint bad.

going radius arms in the front?
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Old 04-16-2007
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$250 is a HELLA deal for a Dana 44 and a Ford 9"........both axles alone are going for around $200.....

stick with the coils in the front.....it will give you a better ride/handling.......and better flex and articulation....

4 link in the rear will be a lot of work, but the return will be worth it!
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
250 aint bad.

going radius arms in the front?
Still not really sure. I was thinking about doing something similar to your setup. But I just don't know for sure. I know I'm not going leafs. No point in putting leaves in the front if I'm going to go through all the work of 4-linking the rear.

And from what I've read, there isn't really enough room to 4-link the front. So it might be coils with radius arms by default. But won't know for sure until I do a bit more research. God bless the internet and it's vast amount of knowledge... however incorrect it sometimes is. Haha...
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Old 04-16-2007
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theres one main problem with 4 linking the rear of our trucks. The gas tank. The gastank is directly in the way of the entire driverside area where the 4 link frame mounts would go.
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger4.0
theres one main problem with 4 linking the rear of our trucks. The gas tank. The gastank is directly in the way of the entire driverside area where the 4 link frame mounts would go.
unless he does a paralles 4 link with a trac bar....then the links would mount to the bottom of the frame.......
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger4.0
theres one main problem with 4 linking the rear of our trucks. The gas tank. The gastank is directly in the way of the entire driverside area where the 4 link frame mounts would go.
Oh yeah. Forgot to mention I'm probably moving that to the bed and putting in like a 20 gallon fuel cell.
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
unless he does a paralles 4 link with a trac bar....then the links would mount to the bottom of the frame.......
still cant get enough seperation at the frame, with out moving the tank.
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger4.0
still cant get enough seperation at the frame, with out moving the tank.
even though the links mount to the bottom of the frame last time i checked, that is were a parallel 4 link mounted....and the tank is inside the frame rails...
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
even though the links mount to the bottom of the frame last time i checked, that is were a parallel 4 link mounted....and the tank is inside the frame rails...
Not sure how much you know about linked suspension but you need vertical seperation of links. Cant have that if they are all mounted in the same plane.
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Old 04-16-2007
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how come guys with bags can link their rear suspension without moving the gas tank?
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
how come guys with bags can link their rear suspension without moving the gas tank?
they acheive very little travel in the rear, with a parrallel 4 link. they dont do much articulating, so alot of travel isnt needed. its hard to build a parrallel 4 link like that with articulation and good antisquat numbers.

if he is going to be building this as a wheeling rig he, will most likely go with a triangulated setup as that will give you the best performance.
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger4.0
they acheive very little travel in the rear, with a parrallel 4 link. they dont do much articulating, so alot of travel isnt needed. its hard to build a parrallel 4 link like that with articulation and good antisquat numbers.

if he is going to be building this as a wheeling rig he, will most likely go with a triangulated setup as that will give you the best performance.
Yep. Going with triangulated. Seems to be the best for getting a lot of travel. And if your going to build you might as well build it big. Haha... on a side note... anyone know how beefy a 9" actually is? Comparable to a D60? Or anything like that?
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Old 04-16-2007
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another option for the front is a 3link. jus so you dont feel pigeon-holed into the radius arm setup if you dont want it.
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SniperX103
Yep. Going with triangulated. Seems to be the best for getting a lot of travel. And if your going to build you might as well build it big. Haha... on a side note... anyone know how beefy a 9" actually is? Comparable to a D60? Or anything like that?
It all depends on how you build it. I have helped build 3 9" other then mine so far. all 3 were Aftermarket Nodular thirds with 35 spline and spools. The only problem they all had was blowing up stock cases. But after replacing them with nodular ones , they have been going strong.

They are behind:
FJ40, with chevy 350, Doubler setup and 38" TSL SX's
Cherokee with 4.0L to Atlas 37" Boggers
and another cherokee with 4.0L to stock tcase 37" boggers.

The nice thing about a dana 60 is Full Floating setup. (minus the rare 35 spline Semi Float) The problem is the 30 spline shafts are weak and need to be replaced and to fit 35 spline in most 60 housings, you need to bore out the spindles.
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Old 04-16-2007
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a Ford 9" is only as strong as the AFTERMARKET parts you pay big $$$ to put in them......in stock form a 31 spline 8.8 is stronger than a STOCK 9"....
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
a Ford 9" is only as strong as the AFTERMARKET parts you pay big $$$ to put in them......in stock form a 31 spline 8.8 is stronger than a STOCK 9"....
this is incorrect info, a stock 31 spline 9" is equal if not stronger then a 31 spline 8.8. A 8.8 gear set cant even compare to that of the 9", then add spinning the tubes and the weak carrier to the overall, and the 9" is much stronger.
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger4.0
this is incorrect info, a stock 31 spline 9" is equal if not stronger then a 31 spline 8.8. A 8.8 gear set cant even compare to that of the 9", then add spinning the tubes and the weak carrier to the overall, and the 9" is much stronger.
i based my information off the 3 axle builders i know personally......that is all they have done all their life is build axles......
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
i based my information off the 3 axle builders i know personally......that is all they have done all their life is build axles......
I would like to see real numbers that say this. If both a 31 spline then they are equal in shaft strength and then gears are next, which the 8.8 is weaker by design.
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Old 04-16-2007
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Hmm.... well either way... I don't want to have different bolt patterns so I'm gonna use the 9". If I break it, I break it. Just have to upgrade it then. And I really don't want to start looking for 60's yet just because then you start talking about lots of money (at least for a front 60). Rear 60's are a dime a dozen. Probably could get one free if I drove around and scoped out enough old farm beater trucks sitting in fields rusting. Who knows. I just want to get them in the truck. I'll make sure to keep you guys posted as the work progresses. I think #1 priority right now is getting a new DD.
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Old 04-16-2007
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Here's the pics I said I'd get you guys. First 3 are the 44.







Now the 9".



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Old 04-16-2007
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looks like they are in pretty decent shape
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Old 04-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SniperX103
Hmm.... well either way... I don't want to have different bolt patterns so I'm gonna use the 9". If I break it, I break it. Just have to upgrade it then. And I really don't want to start looking for 60's yet just because then you start talking about lots of money (at least for a front 60). Rear 60's are a dime a dozen. Probably could get one free if I drove around and scoped out enough old farm beater trucks sitting in fields rusting. Who knows. I just want to get them in the truck. I'll make sure to keep you guys posted as the work progresses. I think #1 priority right now is getting a new DD.
i can guarantee you with a Ranger you will NEVER break the stock 9" or Dana 44......if you do, you did something horribly wrong....or put WAY too much horsepower in a Ranger.....and you would have twisted the frame 1st....

axles look good though!
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Old 04-16-2007
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Yeah. I started cleaning up the 9" tonight after the picture section. I wire-brushed most of the open stuff, then started trying to take off the sway bar. Got one side off, but the other side was pretty much stuck. Will have to try again tomorrow. Maybe I'll heat it up with the little Propane torch and then beat it with a chisel and hammer or something. Try and break it off. Sucks not having a cutting torch or air tools handy. But that's all at the old man's house.

Once I get that clean probably going to drain the fluids and see how the gears are looking. Then start on the 44. Haha...
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Old 04-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
i can guarantee you with a Ranger you will NEVER break the stock 9" or Dana 44......if you do, you did something horribly wrong....or put WAY too much horsepower in a Ranger.....and you would have twisted the frame 1st....

axles look good though!
Im sorry, I dont want to hijack but this is some horrible misinformation. I personally know several trucks that have grenaded both 44's and 9's in Rangers. I also know of a stock engine ranger who has destroyed Front D60 shafts and a Rear 70 shaft.
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