General Ford Ranger Discussion General discussion of the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

Making my Ranger more offroad capable... suggestions needed

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Old 03-07-2013
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Making my Ranger more offroad capable... suggestions needed

I have a 2005 XLT with a 3.0L V6 4x2 and an automatic trans. At the time I bought the truck, I was living in Los Angeles, so it made sense to purchase a truck with this particular configuration. Work has recently brought me to central California and I've found myself taking my truck into more remote and rural locations and I'm wondering what mods I can make to help my truck handle rougher/more rural roads better. Suggestions would be appreciated, so go to town. Also, please don't suggest that I buy a 4x4. I own this truck outright and don't want to sell it.

Possible/planned mods:

Fabtech 5.5" lift w/ new wheels and tires
Eaton E locker differential
 
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Old 03-07-2013
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well since your already talking some expensive goodies ill start with the following.

Camburg 5.5 Mid travel kit. Comes with everything.
Deaver F31 Leaf springs out back w/ a 2" lift shackle.
Eaton E-locker
32" All terrain tires
Longer bilstein 5100 rear shocks

thats it. That will make your truck do what you want, and take you through just bout anything youll encounter with 2wd. and its the best you can buy for the truck. be sure to remove your front swap bar to improve ride and flex.


Nate
 
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Old 03-07-2013
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I was looking at the Camburg kit, but decided the Fabtech was a better buy because it already came with the rear add-a-leaf setup. Granted, I'm looking at putting up about $2500-$3000 for some "improvements", but I'd still like to come out of this with a shirt on my back. The Camburg kit looks almost identical to the Fabtech kit, and I would imagine that they're close to the same, but I can buy the Fabtech kit with upgraded Bilstein 5100s (4 of them) for $1819.00 online and no shipping. Given that I'll be using the truck for utility, is the Camburg 5.5" kit really that much better? Is that a decent deal for the Fabtech kit?

I am dealing with some rough country roads and driving into a lot of open cattle land (sometimes softer dirt and wet grassland), but I don't intend to take this truck out wheeling. The elocker came up for about $650 or $700 so, again, good deal? I would probably end up putting the lift kit on myself and leaving the elocker to be done by professionals as I don't have the time or experience to set up a rear end. Thoughts, opinions, suggestions?
 
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Old 03-07-2013
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well fabtech is great for a daily driver that doesnt see dirt. it will do similar but isnt the same. Not as strong, and fabtech has a history of failed parts, which is why most call it craptech.

BUT to each their own.

An add-a leaf will hurt you offroad. you rely on rear flex to keep rear tires planted. a add-a-leaf stiffens the rear and makes flexing the rear harder.

as for e locker, you dont really need that. i went for a Lockright, its a mechanical locker that locks when you give it gas. paid 350 for it.
 
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Old 03-07-2013
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Thanks for the info. That's VERY good to know. You suggested getting Deaver F31 springs for the rear; how does that differ from an add-a-leaf? Also, where would I get a 2" lift shackle and what type do I buy? I'm guessing it doesn't come with the Deaver leafs...

As for the Lockright, have you ever had any problems using a mechanical locker using your truck as a daily driver? Would you say I could forgo a locking differential all together, or is it a pretty good idea? Also, I've heard that locking differentials don't make too much of a difference. True or false?
 
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Old 03-07-2013
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Originally Posted by Sarsaparilla View Post
Thanks for the info. That's VERY good to know. You suggested getting Deaver F31 springs for the rear; how does that differ from an add-a-leaf? Also, where would I get a 2" lift shackle and what type do I buy? I'm guessing it doesn't come with the Deaver leafs...

As for the Lockright, have you ever had any problems using a mechanical locker using your truck as a daily driver? Would you say I could forgo a locking differential all together, or is it a pretty good idea? Also, I've heard that locking differentials don't make too much of a difference. True or false?
The deavers replace your leaf pack, and have a great ride and good travel. Lift shackle can be bought from summitracing.

I havent installed my lockright yet but i dont expect prblems/

and no a locked axle will surpass a LS or open diff any day. You'll see this when you have a tire in deep mud spinning and the other isnt.
 
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Old 03-07-2013
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Did you buy the full locker or the Powertrax "extreme traction system"?

I've been stuck in the mud more times than I care to count as of late... That's the reason I'm looking into doing all this and it sounds like you've got plenty of experience with it, so thank you for the advice.

Any recommendation on a winch mount? I was looking at tossing a cheap winch from Harbor Freight on the front, but I haven't found a good hidden/non-invasive mount yet. All the winch bumpers I find weigh too much (around 120+ pounds) for me to want to put one on and I don't think I could fab a decent enough one up that weighs any less. I was thinking about just tossing a front receiver hitch on and making a platform that would slide in for a winch, but if I'm going to do it, I'd like it to look good too.
 
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Old 03-07-2013
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USE THE SEARCH BUTTON.
 
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Old 03-12-2013
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Originally Posted by Sarsaparilla View Post
Did you buy the full locker or the Powertrax "extreme traction system"?

I've been stuck in the mud more times than I care to count as of late... That's the reason I'm looking into doing all this and it sounds like you've got plenty of experience with it, so thank you for the advice.

Any recommendation on a winch mount? I was looking at tossing a cheap winch from Harbor Freight on the front, but I haven't found a good hidden/non-invasive mount yet. All the winch bumpers I find weigh too much (around 120+ pounds) for me to want to put one on and I don't think I could fab a decent enough one up that weighs any less. I was thinking about just tossing a front receiver hitch on and making a platform that would slide in for a winch, but if I'm going to do it, I'd like it to look good too.
As for the winch I would recommend not going with the harbor freight one. I would go with the recon winch. Only costs a $100 more, weighs half as much, comes with synthetic rope, wireless remote, wired remote and it's water proof unlike the harbor freight one. I haven't read one bad thing about the recon winch, which is why I went with it, The harbor freight one I have read a lot of bad things about, most of it being that it's not water proof and it shorts out. Plus if you get it through truck and winch it comes with a bunch of free goodies.
Recon 10,500 lbs Premium Winch Kit | TruckandWinch.com

Harbor freight sells a mount that's only like $45 that the winch bolts to and it slides into a 2" receiver.
Hitch Receiver Mount for Winches
 
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