Project Logs For detailed builds specific to the Ford Ranger, one thread per vehicle please.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge

  #51  
Old 04-12-2017
Join Date: Nov 2015
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A bottle of Fantastic and a nylon brush does wonders to clean textures like that. Used it on my new steering wheel and it melts away the grime.
 
  #52  
Old 04-12-2017
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LOL Well, dirt happens!
 
  #53  
Old 06-09-2017
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After a long time of bit doing anything in my truck I decided to buy the parts for a new mod I have been planning. Today I got a 2007 Level 2 rear axle, and next week I plan on buying 2011 Ranger rear disc brakes.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-20170609_135726.jpg
 
  #54  
Old 06-10-2017
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Bet that will set you back a few shekels! That will be a great mod! :)
 
  #55  
Old 06-10-2017
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Sounds like a great plan. Right now the things I'm do to my truck are to get more years out of it. Got frustrated at first. Then thought. Well I can afford a little here and a little there. So I'm redoing the lower panel all around. Sand off and bondo holes and paint black again. Then strengthen and tighten my rear leafs. Never thought of an entire new axle.

What is the difference between the new axle and the one you have? Besides the break change.

I'm interested. I heard of changing for F150 axles. Understand the strength gain there.

Just a question about a great project you have going?
 
  #56  
Old 06-10-2017
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Originally Posted by mhoward View Post
Bet that will set you back a few shekels! That will be a great mod! :)
<br />Set me back a lot, most of my savings and a tool kit that got stolen while I was checking over the axle. It'll all be worth it though once it is in!<br /><br />
Originally Posted by New2Ford View Post
Sounds like a great plan. Right now the things I'm do to my truck are to get more years out of it. Got frustrated at first. Then thought. Well I can afford a little here and a little there. So I'm redoing the lower panel all around. Sand off and bondo holes and paint black again. Then strengthen and tighten my rear leafs. Never thought of an entire new axle.<br /><br />What is the difference between the new axle and the one you have? Besides the break change.<br /><br />I'm interested. I heard of changing for F150 axles. Understand the strength gain there.<br /><br />Just a question about a great project you have going?
<br />the way I bought my truck, it was perfect mechanically but the PO did a lot to make it cosmetically ugly so I spend a lot of time changing that and upgrading parts to stronger ones I like (keeping this truck until I die). I have a few minor rust spots to fix but nothing bad other than bumpers I'll replace.<br /><br />My current axle has 4.10 gearing but has an open differential. The new axle is from a Level 2 Ranger which is the only Ranger to come stock with a 31 spline axle rather than a 28 spline which makes the rear axle 30% stronger. <br /><br />The reason why I'm swapping to a Level 2 axle rather than a explorer rear like most do is because it bolts right in, and I don't have to deal with welding in new spring perches. Many say I'm craz y for this as I still have drums but for me a direct swap axle and later bolting on disc brakes is way easier and cheaper for me (as I value my time).<br /><br />Worst part of this swap was finding it in the junkyard... After 2 years of searching I have found only 2 Level 2s in the junkyard, one was wrecked so bad that the axle was cracked in 5 or so spots, the other I took. There were a little over 17,000 of these made so it makes them that much harder to find.
 
  #57  
Old 06-11-2017
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Kealel

I'm glad you got the Ranger since the PO was making it ugly. I'm doing what I can to make the Rangers frame and body panels stay safe and strong. I hope you get a lifetime from yours. I will follow your projects.
 
  #58  
Old 06-11-2017
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My version of ugly may be different than others, but he debased the whole truck and put on a cheap aluminum grill. He did love the truck and take good care of it so I can't hate him for that.

small update on my axle swap, I want to put it in with disc brakes and am researching which setup I want to go with. I'm between a 2011 Ranger setup, an explorer setup, and an aftermarket Ford setup.

The Ranger setup seems to be the most convenient but I can't find any dimensions online for it because every website says the axle is a different size.

The Explorer setup may or may not work depending on what sites are right, some say it is the same as the Level 2 axle but others say it is bigger.

The Ford setup should be the most accurate setup to use, but it is the most expensive and many people who have bought it state it is simular if not the same as the explorer setup.

Worst case I'll measure the axle I have and take those measurements to my junkyard to see if the Ranger or Explorer ones will work. If neither do, I'll make a custom bracket for a Mustang caliper, which I might do anyways as I like the thought of using the pads as stoping power and parking brakes rather than having a drum brake inside the rotor that is for the parking brake and pads that are for stopping (all 3 options I explained do that)
 
  #59  
Old 06-25-2017
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After a lot of research I have decided to go with an Explorer setup. Reason being it should be the easiest to get to work and is by far the cheapest and easiest to get parts for.

After price comparing I have determined I can actually get cheaper brand new parts online than used parts out of a junkyard (yeah, they are that cheap) so once I get my first paycheck (started another new job this past week) I'll be pulling the trigger on everything brakes.

Turns out both of my new neighbors are axle engineers who are loving my new project so when I start the axle tear down (for inspection and brake installation) they'll be helping out!

I want this swap done before my birthday mid July. If you're in the market for a 8.8 open diff with 4.10s, 2.5" blocks, and C springs I'll have some to get rid of soon!
 
  #60  
Old 10-03-2017
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I was just catching up on some subscribed threads and ran across this one. Did you ever complete this axle / brake swap? Inquiring minds want to know! :)
 
  #61  
Old 10-08-2017
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Where in Michigan are you? I have an 06+ hood sitting in the basement. It's in a box and has that black coating on it. As far as I know it's new in box. I never mounted it, dunno if the PO did.
 
  #62  
Old 10-16-2017
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I am in the Kalamazoo area (Schoolcraft)

That's a big paperweight to just hang on to in a basement, I'd offer to take it off of your hands but if/when I do a facelift I am thinking i'll be trimming my current hood.
 
  #63  
Old 10-16-2017
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I did, I guess I forgot to update this thread about that! I'll start typing up everything now!
 
  #64  
Old 10-16-2017
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OK, Who is ready for one huge All-About-My-Axle post? I know I am!

Lets start at the beginning. One of my junkyard scouters (or friend, as some people call them) told me of not one, but two 2007 Level 2 Rangers he found in junkyards near him (on the other side of the state).

The first I visited was in Flint Michigan, it was a nice red Canadian truck with only 60k miles (meaning no rust) but sadly it was rolled multiple times at high speeds so the axle was snapped in multiple spots. I lost the pictures i had of that truck but even after being rolled it was beautiful. It also had the leather bucket seats that had been ruined by the weather before I got to them sadly.

Right. Back on track. Truck #2 I visited 2 weeks later. In a small junkyard in Clio Michigan. And when I say small, I mean 7 total vehicles. This truck was also rolled multiple times, but the axle was visibly all right so I took a gamble. Half an hour later I was the proud new owner of a rare Level 2 axle!

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-level-2-axle.jpg

I rode around Flint area for a couple days with an axle in the back before it made its trip home with me (a friends car broke down so I stayed a few days fixing their car while they borrowed my truck).

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-escorted-around-flint.jpg

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-l2-axle-stock-front.jpg

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-l2-axle-stock-back.jpg

Now I new I wanted to do a disc brake setup anyways but after seeing what sitting on the ground had done to the drum backing plates I knew I had no choice.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-drum-mounting-bracket.jpg

I researched a few different ideas, and was dead set on getting a 2011 Ranger setup. After all, my local yard had two and one of them just had a brake job. Sadly, after I went to take measurements I realized instantly they would not work. See, the mounting bracket for the backing plates was rotated 90 degrees so mounting the Ranger setup would have the calipers pointing to the sky or trying to touch the ground. So, I walked over to the Explorers to measure them out and was relieved when the mount was in the correct orientation and all the sizes matched those of my new axle.

Ranger setup on first glance:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-ranger-disc-setup-2011-top.jpg

Notice how the two holes closer to eachother are on top and bottom, Explorers and Level 2 Rangers have them front and back.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-ranger-disc-2011-mounting.jpg

A quick look at all the extra ABS stuff I would have to bypass for Rangers made me not regret walking away:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-ranger-disc-2011-brake-lines.jpg

At this point I decided to dedicate my time to putting together an Expo setup, I was still a bit nervous as everything I found online at this point was people claiming they tried Explorer disc setups on their L2 axles and stating that they had major issues / the setup just didn't work. Seeing how it was either this or buying a $400 discontinued kit, I decided to go with the cheaper option.

Found a guy parting out an Explorer with backing plates that looked new so I snapped them up as soon as I could.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-mounting-brackets.jpg

And took my first progress photo.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-progress-photo-1.jpg

I then got to work removing the axles so that I could mock up the Expo backing plates.

The diff looked beautiful by the way, pictures do not capture the beauty.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-torsen-diff.jpg

Axle removal:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-shaft-removal.jpg

Progress Photo #2:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-progress-photo-2.jpg

I then removed the Drum backing plate...

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-backing-plate-mounting-bracket.jpg

and mocked up the Disc one... It worked!

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-disc-bracket-mockup.jpg

At that point I committed to buying everything else I needed for Explorer brakes. I always love getting packages in the mail!

First to arrive were the rebuilt factory calipers with a red powdercoating. Yes, I am a cosmetic SOB.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-expo-calipers.jpg

Next were the rotors and pads. I opened the box and realized I had a problem. EBC labels the pads as GreenStuff... and they are literally GREEN STUFF. So yeah, I am running Christmas colors on my rear end now.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-ebc-brakes.jpg

I think it is about time for progress photo #3 now. At this point it was my birthday so I got many various tools and parts to complete the swap. Also around this time I came to realize that I have come this far, I may as well put in some new axle bearings and seals so I don't have to do another teardown anytime soon.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-progress-photo-3.jpg

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-new-bearings.jpg

I did a lot in the next day so I didn't get individual progress pictures... but BAM! All new look time! I decided with all the work I put in, it may as well look like it as well.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-por15-front.jpg

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-por15-rear.jpg

a few finishing touches and you'd think this thing came brand new from Ford!

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-finished-rear.jpg

Now, between the night of doing the finishing touches (it was a late night and I realized the caliper backing plates were on the wrong sides... Axles out, everything swapped to different sides, axles in) and the morning of the axle swap, my phone camera somehow got broken... The next photos will be a little worse and most have been edited to look better.

Day of the swap I ran into two major issues.

#1, my truck had a factory sway bar (for a 28 spline) and the Level 2 had no such thing. I was determined to keep it so after a bit of modifying it, we got it to somehow fit onto the new axle (31 spline)

#2, my brake lines were worse than previously thought. Instead of replacing them from the dropdown rubber hose back like I had planned I had to add new lines from the front of the cab back, this time using copper and stainless steel lines so I don't have to worry about them for a while.

Now let's finish this up quick... Picture time!

Both axles out of my truck:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axles-out.jpg

Where we left it for our lunch break:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-install-lunch-break.jpg

New axle in the truck:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-truck.jpg

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-done-dogs.jpg

And heading out to go camping the next day:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-axle-done-camping-time.jpg

There may be more that I am missing, feel free to ask questions. But for now, it is dinner time!
 
  #65  
Old 10-16-2017
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I had greenstuff pads on my ranger. I loved them, so much in fact I just bought some for my f150.

If you change your mind let me know, I don't see me getting rid of it anytime soon.
 
  #66  
Old 10-17-2017
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Originally Posted by morris View Post
I had greenstuff pads on my ranger. I loved them, so much in fact I just bought some for my f150.

If you change your mind let me know, I don't see me getting rid of it anytime soon.
I love the pads a lot, I am now planning on putting them up front too once I need it.

And can do!
 
  #67  
Old 10-17-2017
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Time to add some more updates.

After the axle swap, I went to the junkyard (for a rear ABS sensor plug) and found an untouched 2003 FX4... So I took the Grill!

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-honeycomb-grill.jpg

Back at home, I set up to replace my door handle (as I broke the driver side off while camping) with a really nice metal one I found online but before long ended up tearing apart my front end.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-faceless.jpg

Notice how in the background of that picture you can see my old axle on a wagon... as I was working on my truck someone messaged me (as I sell my old parts online and list them on craigslist) asking if I had any rear axles. Normally I do not, but this guy caught me just as I came back from camping before I could get it listed, and picked it up a short time later. How short of time? in these next pictures the grill is on my truck and the axle is gone!

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-honeycomb-grill-installed.jpg

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-honeycomb-grill-installed-2.jpg

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-grill-axle-gone.jpg

And finally, the first picture of me in my build thread:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-truck-dog-whoring.jpg

Fast forward to the start of this month, and I came across someone selling a 2003 XLT with no motor for dirt cheap. Naturally I jumped on it.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-loading-parts-truck.jpg

After having the truck for less than a mile, the U-Haul garbage broke. Luckily I was only going 25 or else I may no longer have a truck to be talking about.

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-tow-dolly-broke.jpg

After an hour or two of wrestling the truck off, "fixing" the dolly (as I opted for no coverage) and getting the truck back on, we were sailing back home once more!

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-straps-dolly.jpg

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-gas-station-pics.jpg

Side note, if you ever consider buying a Ranger for parts and decide to part the rest out, do it. But be prepared. I listed it thinking I would get a hit or two while I pulled all the parts I wanted for me and from listing it until 2 weeks later when I sold it I had a minimum of 3 new people asking about it per hour and as much as 20 people at other hours. Only a few people were asking about the things I wanted and a few more asked about things I sold already before I had time to update the listing. When I sold it (for more than I got it for) it looked a little something like this:

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-parts-truck-final-form.jpg

As for my truck, it now has no bed liner and a metal toolbox with flashers built in (thanks to that parts truck!) and a lot more parts to be installed. I can't wait to get my new rust free bumper from that truck put on mine!

River/Kaitlyn ~ The 03 Edge-jumping-7.3.jpg

And that's it. I believe we are now caught up!
 
  #68  
Old 10-17-2017
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How easy is it to remove that grille? I need to pull mine to Plasti-Dip it.
 
  #69  
Old 10-17-2017
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Originally Posted by MaDMaXX View Post
How easy is it to remove that grille? I need to pull mine to Plasti-Dip it.
As long as you are careful and take your time it is easy to do.

Steps:

1. Remove the screws holding the grill in and the ones holding the headlight lids in

2. Remove headlights

3. Carefully pop out all metal clips holding the grill and its frame in place

4. using a combination of knives and flat head screwdrivers pop out the grill from the frame. (this is the hardest step as it is very old plastic and likes to break)
 
  #70  
Old 10-17-2017
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Are all the screws obvious for the grille? or do you have a count?

I've heard it's pretty brittle in there, not looking forward to it :(
 
  #71  
Old 10-17-2017
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Originally Posted by MaDMaXX View Post
Are all the screws obvious for the grille? or do you have a count?

I've heard it's pretty brittle in there, not looking forward to it :(
once you pop the hood and take a look it's pretty obvious what you need to do, the screws are right on top and visible from any angle. I believe there were 5 that held the grill in and 2 on each side for the headlights.
 
  #72  
Old 10-17-2017
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Keegan, what is different about the FX4 grille?
 
  #73  
Old 10-17-2017
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Same as the Edge grille, by the looks of it.
 
  #74  
Old 10-20-2017
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Originally Posted by mhoward View Post
Keegan, what is different about the FX4 grille?
Originally Posted by MaDMaXX View Post
Same as the Edge grille, by the looks of it.
The 01-03 4x4 and Edge trucks all used the Honeycomb style. When I bought the truck (sight unseen, dad drove it, had a shop look it over, and bought it while I was across the state taking my final exams) I was excited that it had the honeycomb that I always wanted. Then, seeing it in person the first time a week later, I had to stay away from looking at it head on as the PO put on some aluminium crap that was just ugly. With the addition of this grille, I finally have the look I always wanted.
 
  #75  
Old 10-20-2017
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ahh... okay. Makes sense to me. However, I have seen pics of your truck. I didn't think it looked bad at all. But, if that wasn't the look you wanted, I see your point! Congrats on finally getting what you wanted! :)
 

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