Plans for toughening the 4x2 a bit - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 03-07-2005
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Plans for toughening the 4x2 a bit

Well, looking at my finances long term, and considering that my wife may need a car before long, I'm putting off the 4x4 AGAIN. I'm just going to wait until the Ranger is paid off in 2.5 years.

In the meantime, I need to get a bit more out of it. Here's what I plan:

1. 31 spline 8.8 rear. This is already purchased, I just have to pick it up. It's an FX4 rear, minus the defective Zextel Torsen that Ford put in it.

2. Auburn ECTED electrical limited slip/locker. A unique design that is continuously variable from open to locked, depending on how much current you put through the coil. At 2.5 to 5 amps it's just locked. Below that you get varying degrees of limited slip bias. I will have several settings using a PWM controller to drive it.

3. A bit more lift. 1 or 2 inch taller block in back (4" maximum, maybe only 3")

3. 4.56 gears. Doing this right away when I build the 31 spline to bolt in.

4. 33" tires -- coming somewhere down the line, late this year.

5. Little more torsion crank after I replace the bars. Until I get some bars, I might re-index these to make up for sag. Not sure they'll last long like that though.

And that's it. Maybe 1 to 2 inches more lift, a variable rear axle with locking capability. AND NO AXLE SNAPPING AUTO LOCKERS!!! I remember Carl...

Best I can do for now to get my 4x2 a bit "more". Let me know what you think.

Oh, and the new skidplate is on, but I haven't got pictures yet. Separate topic on that later.
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2005
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Thats not really fair though john...
Carl breakage was a combo...

Manual transmission... Spinning tires... Sudden traction on 1 tire while the other 3 were basically in the air, and locker.

I do think your plans are cool though.

:)
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2005
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Yeah agreed it was mostly the hotshot sydrom that broke that axle... Sounds like you got yourself all figured out... Want some springs?? Might know someone with an extra set lying around (wink wink)
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2005
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sounds good... you gonna get coopers again? and what do you mean re-index the t-bars?
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2005
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that sounds awesome john!! Im about to get into the money again so i will be doing a few mods along some of those lines. Should be nice!!



re-index the tbars means to turn one hex head on one end of the tbars one slot in the corresponding driection so that they wont max out too fast anymore. Although they will sag very quickly again because they are so fatigued already. Which is what johnny was talkin bout.
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Old 03-07-2005
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Spot on, Gil.

Basically, you take the 'adjuster arm" and pull it off the t-bar, rotate it 1/6 turn and put it back on the hex shaped end -- or just rotate the whole assembly and put it back on the lower control arm. Now when you preload it at assembly, it's got more force at droop than when you took it off. I'm getting another set of bars from one of a couple of places (guys that are converting their front ends or rebuilding them, and so on) -- but I don't have them yet, and may not before Centralia so I'll just do this. I hope to have this built and in place for the meet.

Tires? Maybe Coopers, maybe HighTecRetreads, maybe some kind of Swamper, I don't know. I might go the retread route since I don't air down a lot. That particular company does them pretty good for about 1/2 what new is. One of their retread mud types uses BFG A/T cores. I'd actually like to do the Coopers again -- but budget might win out -- we'll see!

I have read lots of info on automatic lockers breaking axles. They can release and grab hard under load in certain situations and shock load you drivetrain and the axles in particular. 31 spline is a good idea for the bigger tires, and a locker which can be positively engaged BEFORE power is applied is an even better idea. Even Carl is of the opinion that they're not really a good idea -- and not just Powertrax. I can see the point, and I'm just going to go selectable so I can really optimize what I've got for different situations.

So taxes and profit sharing just came in. I can grab $1000 bucks off it with my wife's blessing to "toughen" the truck a bit and the traction is where I'm putting it and I'm not taking the truck down to try to do some kind of cheap 4x4 conversion. I don't have the time or the wiggle-room transportation wise, even if I could do it for $1K.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2005
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Update: I'm going to mount BFG AT/KO 35's on it. I'm getting a used set still in great shape from a friend at work who is getting new tires. They're off an awesome F-150 with like 8" of lift.

Best part: the tires are FREE! Whoo-hoo!

Now I can spend the money I WAS going to spend on tires on a spindle lift for the front maybe, or a winch. We'll see how durable the front end is with new bars and the torsion crank. It it doesn't work out, then I'll do the spindles.
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2005
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you definitely need a lift to fit 35's john...
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2005
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35's, ummm, you are gonna need atleast a B/L John. No way you are gonna be able to run them and enjoy them the right way.

I was looking at the ECTED and think they are impressive, just wanna see more opinions of them.
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2005
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Well, body lift wouldn't be too bad to do. The rear bumper and receiver are the main complications I guess. I don't thing the radiator is a big deal since I went to an electric fan.

With as much crank as you've got on yours, Ryan, 35's wouldn't fit? How much body lift do you think it requires. I doubt the full 3" with the torsion crank and all. Maybe just some flare trimming?

Well, I'm going to try it. I know they can fit -- it's just a matter of how hard I can press them until I get some more clearance.

We'll see. But hey, once they're on there, I'll HAVE to do something, lol. If I have to take it easy until I can save up for a spindle lift, no problem. I'm already bringing the rear up another inch or so. With new t-bars I can max the front like Ryan and bump around a lot until I can get a real lift.

I'll give you my opinion of the ECTED after I've run it. The main thing about it is "programmability". Since it can be biased electrically to go from open to lock based no current through the coil. That really appeals to me as you can keep it open until you need it, minimizing wear and maintaining good street manners.
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2005
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you really riskin the 35s john, youll definately need a gear change, body lift, spindle lift to make them fit ok. and with a locker and 35s you will probably want to upgrade to some moser shafts or somthing. dont force the tires though, if need be just hold em for a while. Ill keep my eye out for some decent tread tires at work that some rich a-hole just had us throw away and ill send em to you. Hell Ill even help you with the shipping.
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2005
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Didn't you read, Gil, lol?!

4.56 gears on an FX4 LII axle with F-150 bearings, 31 spline shafts and the Auburn ECTED. Tires won't go on until the new axle does.

Well, I bet I can trade the 35's locally for a good set of 33's.

I'm not worried about the 31 spline shafts at all with the 35's. This is basically an F-150 axle in all but name and the guy I'm getting them from (who is also building my new axle) has been running them offroad with no problems. He says this axle is plenty strong enough behind an automatic transmission particularly.

I appreciate the offer though, Gil! But rather than tie up funds in shipping, I could just go on the local Jeep board and offer a trade and I bet someone wants them for their 33's BAD -- such is the lure of bigger tires.

Still think I'm going to try them though. Who can resist trying to run on 35's?
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2005
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I thought you were gonna put the tires on before the axle swap. and then i forgot the locker is going in the new axle as well.


i know how to read though. just learned
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2005
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I could probably run 35's John, but I don't want the wear and tear on the truck and the loss of power and mileage. 33's are plenty big enough for me(will be going on soon).

I'd love to get my hands on some new torsion bars, maybe some sturdier one's, I don't care about more "lift" just keep what I have from sagging.

Can't wait to hear what you have to say about the locker, might not wait that long, dependin on funds and whatnot. Gotta order the tires, alignment and Bama programmer soon and finish up with the bumper:)

Throw them on there and see how they fit, I know they will rub like a ****.
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  #15  
Old 03-08-2005
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The vendor I used has them (the ECTED's) for about $550 at auction, about $24 for shipping. He always has them for $567. You can find them as low as $539 I think. I wasn't shopping for the best price. I'll post a link to him. He's very responsive and gets back to you quickly. I ended up adding to the sale and buying gears, rebuild kit, bearings seals etc. from him as well.

I know you can read, Gil! I was just bustin' 'em, lol!
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  #16  
Old 03-08-2005
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Cool, can't wait to see John.
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  #17  
Old 03-09-2005
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dont forget to handle the auto tranny problems...like a uber larger cooler and possible a shift kit, ur gunna kill that tranny if not.
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  #18  
Old 03-09-2005
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I don't think so. Not with the 4.56 gears in there. That's the whole point of them -- to take the load off the drivetrain ahead of the axle.
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  #19  
Old 03-09-2005
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ya but it wont matter, the tranny will still take a beating.
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  #20  
Old 03-09-2005
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It takes a beating now. What's the difference?
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  #21  
Old 03-09-2005
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and those at ko's won't get you the same places your stt's have...

just not the greatest offroad...

i vote(do your lift stuff, get your new axle, run the same tires you have til you can afford a good set of 33x12.50x15" mud tires)...

or trade the 35's for a good set of 33" soemthings...

35's, though, with the kinds of lifting you are talking about, just won't work... not well... your tires will rub so bad and flex into the fenders and just break stuff...
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  #22  
Old 03-09-2005
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u'll be......beating it more, harder, in the future....

idk? WTF!?
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2005
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Probably. But the size of the tires, combined with the locker, should be better. A lot of times, especially in Wharton, I'm getting hung up on my diff and front cross member and my tires aren't actually hitting the bottom of the ruts. I'm hoping this will improve that.

I'll miss the Coopers -- but I'll treat the rubber and store them to put on my Cherokee when I finally get it.
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  #24  
Old 03-09-2005
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it'll work. psychodemeanor (Paul) just put 35's on his with just a spidle lift. He was dropped before that, it's pretty funny seeing before & after.
I'd post pix but I don't wanna take over the thread, so feel free to check em out @ http://www.STR-Offroad.com in the pictures section or in the forums/snapshots. It's the yellow tonka truck lookin thing.
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  #25  
Old 03-09-2005
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but you are telling john 35's will work with no spindle lift or body lift, just new maxed out tbars and some new shackles in the back? pssshhh...

sure, 35's could probably be stuffed under my edge... doesn't mean i can steer or drive it over any kind of bump w/o damaging my truck...
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