Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 04-17-2008
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Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations

Just going to throw these things together in one topic. I want to show the major difference in a simple hill climb that resulted from converting my truck to a 4x4. Also, I want to show why it's advantageous to have the length of the driveshaft equal to the length of your radius arms.

The conditions of this test are: rear locker engaged for both shots. The approach was a "crawl" -- no momentum to speak of was used to enhance the distance on either shot.

First pic: 4x2 mode it actually started to "dig" in the rear and fell back a little. No matter what I did, that's about as far as I got.

Second pic: 4x4 mode -- I had to stop at the top because the hill ends in a guardrail.

Obviously quite a change for me!
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Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010120-medium-.jpg   Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010121-medium-.jpg  
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Old 04-17-2008
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fun stuff
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Old 04-17-2008
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If the length of the "radius" of front suspension movement during flex (either leaf or radius arm -- but we'll consider my radius arms here) is equal to the radius of driveshaft deflection, this minimizes the change in length required of the driveshaft as the suspension articulates.

Take my truck. Here's where the driveshaft is at "rest" -- that is, the truck on level ground with no suspension flex:



The following pictures show the extension of the driveshaft on near-total flex with the passenger side "stuffed" and drivers side "extended" in the front, along with pics of the flex. I just like to post flex shots so sue me. It's not total flex though, but close.
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Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010123-medium-.jpg   Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010124-medium-.jpg   Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010122-medium-.jpg  

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Old 04-17-2008
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I got the other direction (passenger side extended, drivers side stuffed) to max out. This is it for my truck at least as far as the front stuffs.

As you can see, the length of the driveshaft changes very little over the entire range of suspension motion. Note I had to photograph the driveshaft from the other side (passengers) of the truck for this one.
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Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010126-medium-.jpg   Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010128-medium-.jpg   Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010130-medium-.jpg   Initial 4x4 conversion vs. 4x2 performance and driveshaft length considerations-p1010127-medium-.jpg  
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Old 04-17-2008
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Nice to see you can get it up now! BAM!
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Old 04-17-2008
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Ha ha! Insert "drum shot" here, lol...
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Old 04-17-2008
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So what other plans you have or you almost "finished"
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Old 04-17-2008
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Finish my transfer case controller (using my test setup right now). Extend the t-case and axle vents, and replace one of the front axle differential seals that I apparently fubared because it leaks.

If I get that done, I'll be satisfied to make my first run on the 26th and I see no reason I won't finish that.

I just picked up a full width 8.8 that I'll be putting on the trucks rear (migrating my locker to it) -- but that will be later this spring/early summer before I get around to that.

Also have some "armor" I want to add before I do a Rausch creek trip in June when Carl brings his Jeep down. That'll be my first rock outing.

I want a better front crossmember also, but I don't necessarily need that for Wharton. I can wheel there like I am.
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Old 04-17-2008
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I'll add: I need to finish off my DOM tie rod and trackbar I'm making. But I don't need them for Wharton either.
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Old 04-17-2008
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Nice to see you can now make it up the hills like the rest of us. Can't wait to see the truck out on the trails again... unfortunately I will not be able to see the maiden voyage in Wharton.
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Old 04-17-2008
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Looks great John. Sounds like you got some more nice plans for the truck! Keep us posted!

I'm really likin' that camo shell!
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Old 04-17-2008
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looks great! now you dont have to wheel like a crazy fool just to keep from getting stuck!
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Old 04-17-2008
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Yeah, but I'll still be a crazy fool -- I'm not giving up the attitude...

Thanks though -- it'll make wheeling a lot less tense at times.
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Old 04-17-2008
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looks great! now you dont have to wheel like a crazy fool just to keep from getting stuck!
Pssst... It didn't help.
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Old 04-17-2008
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That ' Topper ' has been to my place several times :) .

Good to see its ' functional ' and working out for you!
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Old 04-18-2008
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Some more pics. It never did this in 2WD, need I tell you! (bad cell phone pics)...









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Old 04-18-2008
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Dang Griggs thats pretty impressive. I wish my truck could do that :(
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Old 04-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz View Post
Finish my transfer case controller (using my test setup right now).
i am interested in hearing about this!

i would like to keep my driver side cup holder, but how awesome would two shifters look.



the truck is looking great john, makes me want to make mine 4wd even more!
all i need is a trans, transfercase and driveshafts!
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Old 04-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz View Post

Also have some "armor" I want to add before I do a Rausch creek trip in June when Carl brings his Jeep down. That'll be my first rock outing.

I want a better front crossmember also, but I don't necessarily need that for Wharton. I can wheel there like I am.
let me know the date ill try to have my truck running by then im looking to hit rc again in june
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Old 04-19-2008
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Great, Earl! Thanks again for the tranny parts and transfer case -- as you can see it's working out great.
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Old 04-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5speedin2.3 View Post
i am interested in hearing about this!

i would like to keep my driver side cup holder, but how awesome would two shifters look.



the truck is looking great john, makes me want to make mine 4wd even more!
all i need is a trans, transfercase and driveshafts!

Yes, but Mark's all about a manual for your truck I think. I'd have a manual t-case if one presented itself cheaply and practically.

And I know how you feel: I've driven the truck for awhile with the axle on but no way to connect to it. It's so exciting to get everything actually working and it's worth the wait, Daniel!
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Old 04-19-2008
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John you are my hero... awesome work
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Old 04-19-2008
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Thanks, but no hero, lol -- just a slogging "foot soldier" of a wannabe-mechanic who took FOREVER with this conversion. In July it'll be a year since I began it, and in June it'll be a year since I "technically" began it, but no real work got done until July.

All that said I'm SO happy to get here.
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Old 05-12-2008
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Show off! So when are we going to go toe to toe, see how far locked front, stock suspension, with 33 boggers can follow a 2wd truck!!!
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Old 05-12-2008
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2WD? Me? Look at my sig, Killer. I'm a 4x4 now.

And you can probably outdrive me in your truck even if my truck were more capable, lol. I have very little experience in 4WD still.

But bring it on! Even if I lose, I learn...
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