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

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  #576  
Old 02-01-2010
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On to fixing the worn out A-Arms on the front suspension. The stock suspension setup will remain for now as I'm crunched for time and with the weather window for the trip.
The conversion will take place after the first section of the trip is complete. (I'll be returning to the US for that.)
Since working on suspension is a bit beyond my abilities I head over to California and have my brother Brandon give me a hand.
To start polyurethane bushings are cut down to size with a lathe. Bushing sleeves, inner and outer, are also cut down to size.




Next my brother created a jig to make sure all the angles would match the stock A-Arms. The ball joint is a unibal heim with a bolt machined to fit the spindle knuckles.




Once everything is double checked my brother TIG welds all the pieces together.




Side by side, new versus old.

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  #577  
Old 02-01-2010
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The new A-Arms are attached to the frame then slipped into the spindle knuckle. Although less than depicted in the photo, there is a small gap where the heim sleeve will rest.




To fill the gap and to ensure a tight fit Brandon creates some spacer sleeves. Then he drills out the spindle knuckle to fit the spacer sleeve.




Spacers welded in place and new chromoly A-Arm bolted in place.




Normally I prefer to build everything, however with suspension being crucial I asked my brother to help. Mainly due to his vast experience in race fabrication.
Here's a pic of the Red Bull Pro 2 my brother co-built for Ricky Johnson in the TORC racing series. Needless to say, he's got me beat on fabrication skills.

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  #578  
Old 02-01-2010
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Looks good! Make sure you strap and bump the front correctly. I destroyed my uniballs because I didnt strap it right (rushed too much)
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  #579  
Old 02-01-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alon View Post
Looks good! Make sure you strap and bump the front correctly. I destroyed my uniballs because I didnt strap it right (rushed too much)
Thanks. Yeah straps and bumps are next. Have to wait till the yard at my shop drys out. Its a mud pit right now.
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  #580  
Old 02-01-2010
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I like!
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  #581  
Old 02-01-2010
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It's coming together. Any other suspension upgrades planned?
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  #582  
Old 02-01-2010
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keep working at it
looking good
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  #583  
Old 02-02-2010
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looking good. whatsd the susp plans? i think i understood u were thinking of a sas? or im wrong...
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  #584  
Old 02-02-2010
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God dang man, this is the coolest thing I've ever read. You certainly have a lot of time invested. You better have a dang tv show after you or something
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  #585  
Old 02-05-2010
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Thanks all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by seed60 View Post
It's coming together. Any other suspension upgrades planned?
Yeah a SAS down the road. Though I need to get rolling on the first part of the trip or I'll miss my weather window.
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  #586  
Old 02-05-2010
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With fuel range being very important I calculated how much extra fuel I would need for maximum distance. I came up with 20 gallons in addition to the 14 gallon stock tank. The 20 gallons will be split into four 5 gallon fuel cans. Three of which reside in back of the AT drawers. The fourth will be mounted to the bumper.
To start the fuel can mount I build onto the existing loop on the bumpers swing arm. Two cross beams are made to attach the holder.




A fuel can holder is made from sheet steel then lined with rubber strips for noise control.




On the underside of the loop I attach a small section of square tubing to keep the strap from moving.




Finally the fuel can is set in place and strapped down. This can will be empty most of the time. It will only be filled when we are expected to travel a long distance.

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  #587  
Old 02-05-2010
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For safety reasons I weld on two tabs on the exterior of the bumper and swing arm. This is so I can lock the swing arm open when camping and avoid anyone potentially locking us inside.




On the opposing side I weld on two additional tabs to lock the swing arm closed. This will make it very difficult for anyone trying to break into the rear of the truck.

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  #588  
Old 02-05-2010
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I'm going to experiment on the next part a little. I got some more LED strips, but this time in orange. I place one at the end of the AT Flippac's window, over the cooking area. I placed another above the window pointing towards the AT drawers.




Though the lights are much brighter in the photo, the idea is to have low light while cooking to avoid attracting bugs. I choose the color orange as opposed to red since red makes you color blind.

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  #589  
Old 02-05-2010
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Cool idea with the orange light and trying to keep away bugs. Does it affect your cooking? I could see it being an issue when trying to make sure that the meat is thoroughly cooked... that is, if you're not a vegetarian.
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  #590  
Old 02-05-2010
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Awesome build!
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  #591  
Old 02-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winks View Post
Cool idea with the orange light and trying to keep away bugs. Does it affect your cooking? I could see it being an issue when trying to make sure that the meat is thoroughly cooked... that is, if you're not a vegetarian.
I haven't gone camping with all the new changes, so I'm not sure yet. I did a long test run from Buckeye to Nogales on mostly dirt roads this Tuesday. Hopefuly I'll get to do a small camping trip soon.

For cooking meat, I'll check if its done with a normal light like my head lamp or a flashlight.
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  #592  
Old 02-18-2010
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sweet **** man take lots of pics
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  #593  
Old 02-20-2010
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Geat ideas!

I can see those locks bouncing around and being noisy.
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  #594  
Old 02-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorsman View Post
Geat ideas!

I can see those locks bouncing around and being noisy.
Thanks. I added some sticky back foam on the back of the lock to stop rattling. I do want to find a dirt/mud proof casing for the lock though. Just driving to the shop has clogged the key-way a few times with dirt.
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  #595  
Old 02-22-2010
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a small neoprene sleeve over the locks would stop the rattling and keep grime away from the lock. I use them on fishing reels etc. and know they make them to keep dog tags from jingling...I bet you could find one the right size or grab a sheet of neoprene and some velcro and make some up pretty easy


Edit - did a quick search and they make them for cell phones...might be about the right size for the lock too

http://www.strapya-world.com/categor...t2a/page1.html

Last edited by meathead; 02-22-2010 at 09:15 AM. Reason: adding
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  #596  
Old 02-26-2010
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Not much has been happening on the build lately. Most of the past few weeks have been doing general maintenance and repairs such as; chasing a coolant gremlin, turning rotors, repacking bearings and so on.

Tough, I have put together some photos from the test trips during construction.
Gallery page is here: Safari Pacific - Global Expedition




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  #597  
Old 02-26-2010
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With gear weight being an issue for fuel range, getting unstuck and generally being a pain. I decided to have a go through with all of my gear to make sure there's nothing I don't need or something I've missed. First I empty out the truck laying everything on the floor.



Then opening up all the bags, containers and what have you on my kitchen equipment.



After checking everything off I repacked everything into the kitchen drawer. The only thing I've missed here is dish soap.



Next I move on to the cab interior gear. The two yellow cases hold my cameras and my laptop. The black case is currently empty, though is for random bits we may need and to function as our washing machine. The two sleeping bags are primarily for sound deadening in the cab. But they also can be used if the weather gets colder than expected and to keep gear "out of sight".

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  #598  
Old 02-26-2010
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I load the fridge and cases into the extended portion of the cab. Jackets and other small items fit nicely on the National Luna power pack.



Next I stuff one sleeping bag behind the boxes and power pack for noise proofing. Then the second sleeping bag is laid over the cases.



When the truck will be left alone the sleeping bag will be pulled to hide the bright yellow cases. Yeah, I didn't think of that when I bought the cases.



On to the recovery gear, tools, spare parts, fuel cans, sleeping gear and all the rest.

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  #599  
Old 02-26-2010
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Since we'll be carrying tons of gear in a small space I have to meticulously pack away every piece. Even the chains are packed as tightly as possible.



The first layers are placed in the lower storage boxes. This will be the gear not used nearly as often.



The second layers are all the gear that will be used almost everyday. For starters the toilet, glass cleaner, air hose and fuel filler.



Although currently empty, the top right drawer will be used for dry or canned food storage and hold the stove itself.

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  #600  
Old 02-26-2010
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Now all I have left are the larger items left. If you look at the original gear shot you'll see how much by comparison was stuffed into the composite drawers. Most of this gear will be set around the drawers. The Hi-Lift and Maxtraxx will be attached to the exterior of the truck.



The fuel cans are set behind the drawers first. Then all the rest gets places along the sides.



My mind is a little more at ease knowing I have all the equipment I need. I would like to shed more of it, though I'm pretty much down to the basics.
The squeegee is probably the only piece that's really not necessary.
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