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From solid axle to independent suspension

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  #1  
Old 08-08-2016
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From solid axle to independent suspension

I have 1996 4.0 Xlt 4x4 ranger, it has a solid axle up front is there anyway to convert the front from that solid axle to a-arms while keeping it 4x4?
 
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Old 08-08-2016
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I don't think rangers came with a solid front end but they did come with a twin beam.Take a pic of it.But yes you can convert back to what it was stock.
 
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Old 08-08-2016
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Eww why would you ever want to go from a solid axle to IFS 4x4?
 
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Old 08-08-2016
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Right? IFS is terrible. It rides just as bad as a straight axle regardless of whether it's twin I beams or SLA.
 
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Old 08-09-2016
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It was just a thought, that's why I asked, wanted some opinions
 
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Old 08-10-2016
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Originally Posted by cablad View Post
I have 1996 4.0 Xlt 4x4 ranger, it has a solid axle up front is there anyway to convert the front from that solid axle to a-arms while keeping it 4x4?
Doubt it's a solid axle (rangers never came with them).

Like the others have said, goin back to ifs from SFA is taking steps backwards on a ranger. But, it is possible. Just a lot of fab work (or un-doing someone else's fab work)
 
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Old 08-11-2016
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Originally Posted by jimmyspy View Post
Doubt it's a solid axle (rangers never came with them).

Like the others have said, goin back to ifs from SFA is taking steps backwards on a ranger. But, it is possible. Just a lot of fab work (or un-doing someone else's fab work)
I doubt it as well. Some people see a pumpkin up front on the 97 and down rangers and they think they have a solid axle when it's really ttb lol.

If it were a solid axle, you'd be foolish to swap back to IFS.
 
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Old 08-11-2016
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Post a pic of your front suspension
 
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Old 08-11-2016
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Quite honestly, I don't get why people think solid axle rides better than independent suspension. There are advantages to solid axle but IMO ride is not one of them. When independent suspension is done right it can outperform a solid axle in most ways (again, my opinion). I am old school, solid axles are old school but I still like independent suspension.

I do agree the OP probably does not have a front solid axle unless someone converted it. If it does have a front solid axle then again I agree, it is not worth converting back to independent suspension.
 
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Old 08-11-2016
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Originally Posted by IN2 FX4 View Post
Quite honestly, I don't get why people think solid axle rides better than independent suspension. There are advantages to solid axle but IMO ride is not one of them. When independent suspension is done right it can outperform a solid axle in most ways (again, my opinion).
Nobody said solid axles ride better. lol. The problem is that the independent suspension on Ford Rangers wasn't done right. Especially on the 4x4 trucks. Ford took two steps backwards when they came up with the dumb idea to use torsion bars up front. Torsion bars sucked in the 60's, why would they be any different 30+ years later? So if we're talking stock T-bar Rangers vs. SAS Rangers, the SAS Ranger would prevail over the T-Bar Ranger all day long.
 
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Old 08-11-2016
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Originally Posted by IN2 FX4 View Post
Quite honestly, I don't get why people think solid axle rides better than independent suspension. There are advantages to solid axle but IMO ride is not one of them. When independent suspension is done right it can outperform a solid axle in most ways (again, my opinion). I am old school, solid axles are old school but I still like independent suspension.

I do agree the OP probably does not have a front solid axle unless someone converted it. If it does have a front solid axle then again I agree, it is not worth converting back to independent suspension.
They don't ride better than IFS. From what I have read, a solid axle with leafs and torsion bars ride about the same. But unless we're talking long travel, a solid axle will out-do any set up of ranger IFS any day.
 
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Old 08-12-2016
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When I referred to independent suspension being set up right, I was thinking long travel. I originally started going off-road in 77 with a FJ-55 Landcruiser with a solid front axle. In 89 I bought a new 89 STX Ranger with SAS independent front suspension. Overall, I actually preferred STX over the Landcruiser off-road. In 02 I bought my current FX4 Ranger with the A-arm independent suspension and Tbars. I will admit, I liked the SAS suspension a little better off-road but the A-arm suspension holds the front end alignment better.

I am very happy with the FX4 suspension and have logged many off-road miles on it and a lot of it in some pretty rough stuff as my skid plates can confirm. I just don't understand all the negativity on the IFS suspension. Yes, a solid axle can handle extreme rack crawling very well if set up right but so can long travel independent suspension if set up right. I don't do extreme rock crawling anyway. Mild to light rock crawling is all I need to go on the extended off-road trips that I take. The IFS suspension has served me very well.
 
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Old 08-13-2016
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Yeah LT would be a great set up. The only issue I see is that on 4x4 rigs you're still using the same wheel bearings and steering rack. I personally think the ranger steering rack is junk along with a lot of the front end suspension components. That's why I prefer a solid axle.
 
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Old 08-13-2016
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solid front axles rated with the proper coil spring rate as well as a properly valved shock absorber will in fact ride more smoothly than a IFS equipped truck. been there

solid front axles are in fact cheaper over the long run to maintain and repair

not to mention dialing in a front end alignment is far more easier with radius arms and a solid front axle
 
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Old 08-13-2016
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My Ranger rides smoother now than it did stock. But deavers vs stock leafs and Kings vs torsion bars isn't exactly apples to apples.
 
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Old 08-14-2016
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king coil overs will ride very smooth , if you weld on brackets to the inner upper C`s

most people weld on the brackets to the axle tubes , welding ( heat ) is what weakens the axle tubes , thus the tube bends from heavy engine weight and suspension cycling

welding on coil over mounting brackets to the inner upper C`s removes the stress away from the axle tube and onto the part which actually supports the vehicle weight
 

Last edited by cheese_man; 08-14-2016 at 07:41 AM.
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