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  #1  
Old 04-09-2006
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Pros and Cons(solid or ifs)

Hay guys I was just looking for a little info on what might be the better option for me. There are a lot of very knowledgable people on this site and I would appreciate the input. Right now I am stuck between the Rcd 6" lift or having a solid axle swap. I have been told by an auto shop that putting a toyota 85 or older solid front axle up front would probably be just as much money as buying a lift kit like rcd and installing it. My truck is an everyday driver and only a weekend warrior on occasion and mud puddle bandit whenever I see one. I definatlly like the solid axle swap alot more but I know that it is alot more involved and I feel that I have to have great trust in the shop doing the swap and I have a hard time believing that it is about the same price as a ifs lift after installation. I dont have the means to install it my self so installation price is involved. If you have read this and you have any solid recomandations on choice parts let me know it will be much appreciated. My truck is a 1998 mazda b3000 4x4. I am sure you know its just a ranger in disquise. But if the rcd is the better kit because of road handling and would be just fine for wheelin and is a good kit then that is fine. one more note. The type of wheeling that I will do most is mud and slight rock crawling. I cant forget that I have to get to work everday. Right on everyone take care and again thankyou for the feedback.
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Old 04-09-2006
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Well, maybe Jey or Ryan will chime in on this one. They both have SAS Rangers. They both used Dana 44s from Waggoneers, I believe.

An SAS will cost you alot more than the RCD kit and about as much as a Long Travel suspension.

If you are looking for mud and rock crawling, then SAS would be the way to go, but it's the extreme way to go, nonetheless. I'm sure you could get by with just the RCD kit.
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Old 04-09-2006
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First of all, have fun getting a toyota axle to work on a ranger. It's "passenger side drop" which means the pumpkin is on the wrong side. You would want either fullsize or early bronco axle to fit. Second, if you odnt plan on hard offroading you might as well get the RCD lift. BUT, why not just get superlift and body lift? It'll allow 35 inch tires.

If you can convince the shop to do the solid axle for the price of an RCD, take it. But make sure it includes axle prices. It's really not that hard to do if they're knowledgeable.

But to do a good job on SAS, it can/will become much more expensive. Jey(034x4) did everything himself and has gone over 2000 already.

The problem with the RCD is its not that much lift and it's not that much of an improvement for a lotta money. The superlift is like 2 inches less and no more clearance(in a way). Rangers are kinda screwed on teh whole lift thing.

Aaron
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Old 04-09-2006
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Hay thanks alot guys. See ,there the info on the toyota axle not being compatable that is the kind of info that I really need, the facts. And as far as superlift or rcd. Where rcd scores points is that I like how they eliminate the torsion bars and go with the coil over shocks. I am pretty sure that superlift just has drop brackets for the torsion bars and I like how the rcd eliminates that so that you get more clearance under the truck. Maybe I am just being picky. I know that the superlift is the cheaper way to go. I am curious what the ride difference is. With the super lift I would want a body lift, with the rcd I would just run the lift no body. Thanks again guys
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Old 04-09-2006
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The RCD kit I have seen for about 2500 installed. It's a good kit; it provides clearance for 33-35" tires, it removes the torsion bar suspension, and replaces it with coil-overs. It's a well-engineered kit and leaves very little to be desired as far as IFS goes. It would be the safer and more reliable of the two choices you've set out. It's capable off-road, and would be a good choice for 'the weekend warrior' as you put it. It would also require no permanent modifications in case you decide you want to go back to stock height or sell the truck. The steering knuckles provided in the kit, however, will need to be machined in order to use the pulse vacuum hubs your truck is equipped with. Make sure your shop knows that this needs to be done and that they know how to do it. It will not be as strong or as off-road capable as a solid axle, however still perform well on and off road.

A solid axle would be great for those looking for huge lift options or very extreme off-road performance. A toyota, like Aaron said, would be a bad option for a front axle because the driveshaft and differential are on the passenger side. Your truck has them on the driver's side. Look for a Ford or Jeep front axle, but stay away from Chevy, as they are passenger drop also. A solid axle swap will cost you much more than an IFS lift kit, especially if you are not doing the work yourself. The cost of the parts plus all of the work in setting up and installing the solid axle would add up to a high labor charge. Solid axle trucks generally do not have as nice of a ride on-road, but they are definitely better than your average run-of-the-mill IFS once you are off-road. If you plan to build your front axle to be nearly bullet-proof, as Jey has done, you're looking at over $2000 simply in parts for one axle. It can be done cheaper, but you are still looking at a junkyard axle, appropriate ring and pinion gears, probably new shafts, knuckles, master install kit, etc etc etc, plus the cost of labor for rebuilding the front axle. You'd probably need a new steering box more acclimated to the task of steering a solid axle. There'd be much more custom work and a much much higher cost.

One last option is the Superlift 4" suspension lift. You can easily clear 33" tires with it, and it would probably cost you ~1900 installed. It keeps the torsion bar suspension, but is still very capable off-road and handles well on road as well. The shocks they give you are a little soft for my tastes, but it is still a very strong, reliable kit that would serve your needs well. Aaron mentions that it does not increase your ground clearance, but what he's referring to is the torsion bar drop brackets. Essentially it keeps your torsion bars the same distance from the ground as they were before lifting the truck, leaving your truck suceptible to getting 'hung up' on the torsion bar brackets. I personally have never experienced any problem with getting hung up on my torsion bar brackets, and i've taken my Superlifted truck through some pretty precarious conditions and situations before.

My suggestion to you is to go with the RCD kit. You don't off-road hard enough or often enough to justify the cost of a solid axle swap. It will save you money and still provide great bang for the buck. It gives more lift and a more comfortable ride than the superlift, and the fit and finish is a bit better too. You also get Bilstein shocks, which are fantastic both on and off-road. If you've got a few more questions feel free to ask!
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2006
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^^ dang kyle nice book you got there.
when does it come out??

i think he covered mostly everything.
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Old 04-09-2006
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I have a D44 I found locally out of a wagoneer that I am going to be rebuilding and beefing for my SAS conversion. I don't know if I am going to be doing the work myself and doing leaves or if I will just wait and send it out to get done up. I am talking with a few shops on some unique ideas so I will have to wait and see what they come up with.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2006
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Wow thanks alot Kyle. Yeah I like the rcd better also, it just seems ahead of the other lifts, better engineering. I also took the advice on this site as far as how to make my hubs lock for good. I pulled a metal clip out of each hub. So maybe I wont have to have the machine work done. What Type of axles do you recomend to make the front end of an ifs very strong.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2006
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Ummm, custom is the only way you can go lol
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreadedone
Wow thanks alot Kyle. Yeah I like the rcd better also, it just seems ahead of the other lifts, better engineering. I also took the advice on this site as far as how to make my hubs lock for good. I pulled a metal clip out of each hub. So maybe I wont have to have the machine work done. What Type of axles do you recomend to make the front end of an ifs very strong.
No that is the wrong thing. What you did was convert your hubs to "always on". It's the size of something( i cant remember of hte top of my head) that makes the RCD have trouble. But it should be an easy fix.

As for axles,

I'll go by brand.

Dodge: No, I'm pretty sure they're passenger side drop. I don't have a clear pic of my buddies truck but his 1500(with d44) looks like its passenger side.

Chevy: nope

Toyota: nope

Jeep: yup...buuuuut. Ok, for Jeep pretty much the 80+ wagoneer/cherokee chief is your only good option. First of all, The jeep d35 is too weak of an axle to use. So someone might say "well durr, rubicon has a d44!". Well I believe someone was telling me that their d44 is more of a modified d35. That is, it's built like a d35, but some parts were changed to give it a d44 status, still leaving it with weakness. Anyways, the axle will cost 2k! which is far too much.

And best option, FORD:

First, early bronco axles are awesome. They are simple an easy swap. Early Broncos you want the axle from the years 71-77. 75-77 will have disc brakes on them. These axles can be hard to find though. Ebay and craigslist you can find them.

Then, some people swap in fullsize axles. They are more difficult, but not impossible. You can find these in old f-150s and f-250s, late 70s i believe. I don't remember exactly when ford started using TTB. Don't use the new f-350s axles because i believe they're massive.



So to sum it up, Ford axles are what you want to use, or Jeep wagoneer/cherokee chief.

Aaron
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2006
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Originally Posted by SONICEDGE03
I have a D44 I found locally out of a wagoneer that I am going to be rebuilding and beefing for my SAS conversion. I don't know if I am going to be doing the work myself and doing leaves or if I will just wait and send it out to get done up. I am talking with a few shops on some unique ideas so I will have to wait and see what they come up with.
What year is your waggy axle?
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2006
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Mid 90's Dodge when the body style changed went to drivers side drop.

ALL chevies are pass drop.

Late 70's early 80's waggy's were drivers drop. Alot are pass drop.

All jeeps before the 80's were pretty much pass drop (cj-5, 7 etc).

Ford axles are all drivers drop, but they are in HIGH demand = will cost you alot more.

'yota axles are pass drop and third member housings so you couldn't flip the tubes and make it a drivers drop if you wanted to.

Whats wrong with massive axles out of an f-350?

Fullwidth axles are not any more difficult to set-up than a comparably narrower axle. I think it would actually be easier, since there is more tube b/t the diff and the drivers side knuckle (on a drivers drop obviously) than trying to squeeze everything onto about 4" of tube on a narrower axle.

you can PM me if you have any more questions.
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2006
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Originally Posted by Red_Ak_Ranger
No that is the wrong thing. What you did was convert your hubs to "always on". It's the size of something( i cant remember of hte top of my head) that makes the RCD have trouble. But it should be an easy fix.
For ~2003 on, the size of the brake rotors must be changed to a smaller rotor in order for the kit to fit and the calipers to clear everything. For 1998, like his truck is, he has PVH, and a hole must be machined in the spindle for the vacuum lines to connect. His rotors are already the right size.

As for stronger IFS axles, I'm sure you could probably have a shop make you some heavy-duty CVs, but I'm not aware of any company that produces them in mass.

And I agree with Jey, if I was gonna build a solid axle ranger, I'd go full-width from the get-go.
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2006
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If I ever did a SAS on a Ranger, which I'm not anytime soon, I'd go with a Triangulated 4-link in the front with coilovers and a 3-link in the rear with coilovers.

BUT, that would be OHV-only.

What you should do is buy a cheap *** project truck and do the SAS to it, unless this is your project truck, then go ahead, if you can afford it.
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  #15  
Old 04-10-2006
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Originally Posted by rolla_guy72
If I ever did a SAS on a Ranger, which I'm not anytime soon, I'd go with a Triangulated 4-link in the front with coilovers and a 3-link in the rear with coilovers.
If money grew on trees! Besides Jey's prototype. That'd be waaaaay too much money and downtime for this situation. It would be pretty sweet though.
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Old 04-10-2006
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id say, only do SAS if you have the money and its not a daily driver, but if its gona be yer daily driver, or see highway and streets alot, get the RCD
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  #17  
Old 04-10-2006
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Yeah...if money grew on trees, I'd be driving a ranger trophy truck right now lol
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  #18  
Old 04-10-2006
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sas is only good for hardcore offroaders. if you are just a weekend warrior the ifs lifted/stock should be fine. ssas can e a waste of time and money if you dont have a real need/use for it. i had to do it with my friends old power ram and it was a pain! took us months to do it, but once it was done it was great for heavy off roading.
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Old 04-10-2006
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No reason to go fullwidth if you can get an EB axle. Not all of us plan on breathin mud and a stock look may be liked better.

As to not using an F-350 axle? Prolly overkill for what the normal person would need.
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Old 04-10-2006
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That actually backwards channing. 4-link front with steering linkage will get bumpsteer like a biatch, whereas a 3-link and a panhard will keep the axle moving in a lateral arc similar to the drag link to eliminate bump steer.
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Old 04-10-2006
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yo Jey do ya have AIM? I wanna talk with someone about the differences between the fullsize swap and early bronco swap. Gildo isn't on much and doesn't have time
Thanks,

Aaron
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Old 04-11-2006
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bmxrjey
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