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

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  #701  
Old 11-21-2010
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I had no idea until now this truck was only a 4banger!
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  #702  
Old 11-22-2010
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Hey Travis,

Keep up the great work! I know its a bummer when stuff starts breaking tho. You still got plenty to work with!
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  #703  
Old 11-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAShooter View Post
A underhood welder would be awesome haha

Premier Power Welder high-frequency on board welders, high-amp alternators, charging systems, Ready Welder, trail, off-road



GB :)
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  #704  
Old 12-01-2010
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Updates. Before I parked the truck I began working on the axle. I have decided to go ahead and use the D30 for now. The plan to have it ready so I could do the motor and axle swap in one shot. Then later on, if needed, build a D44.

First thing I did was yank the axle apart.




Then set all the pieces aside for now.




Next I sent both axles next door to the sand blaster.




The newly cleaned axles set around the shop for a month so I could finish up some other projects. I decided to at least paint the axle knuckles and housing in the mean time to keep from rusting. I'll have to weld on some parts later though.



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  #705  
Old 12-01-2010
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I masked off and painted the axle shafts as well. Then pressed in new u-joints. Also picked up some new wheel assemblies.






I also painted the wheel assemblies to prevent rust.

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  #706  
Old 12-02-2010
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ditch the vaccum lock thing. Get an axle shaft from an earlier jeep Dana 30. A sold 1 piece axle shaft.
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  #707  
Old 12-03-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger View Post
ditch the vacuum lock thing. Get an axle shaft from an earlier jeep Dana 30. A solid 1 piece axle shaft.
What he said. Grab a set of shafts from a 97-06 TJ. Here's an article with part numbers for the seal you need. http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=797705

Just cut out a block off plate for the CAD port like what is seen here: http://www.jpmagazine.com/techarticl...ect/index.html

I'm not sure what year vehicle that HP D30 is out of, but 96 and newer Cherokee's and Wranglers have the larger 297x u-joint which you can also utilize the 760X joint in.

A trip to the junkyard and the parts store should get you what you need.

Since you've already painted the housing I'm guessing you're not going to brace it at all?

Last edited by zainyD; 12-03-2010 at 09:37 AM.
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  #708  
Old 12-17-2010
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Well, I got a bit of motivation to finally pull the motor.




I pulled the valve cover off just after for a quick peek. Very clean for 250k miles.




Looks like very minimal wear as well on the cam shafts. I may get lucky and be able to do a basic overhaul. Next I need to disassemble the head and bottom end. I know I'll need piston rings and some new rods as there was a rod knock.

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  #709  
Old 12-18-2010
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nice! ur trucks gona be one of the best ones! seeing the details u likle taking care this gona be a nice sas 4x4 conversion :P
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  #710  
Old 12-19-2010
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that is incredibly clean for 250k
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  #711  
Old 01-10-2011
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Well, new year and new direction with the build. I stopped working on the truck and basically stared at the truck for a few weeks. I started figuring out what really needs to be changed and fixed before I did anything else. So I thought about it and think I have a the solution. The biggest problem is weight. As it sits I'm pushing 5000 lbs. The truck stock was 3200 lbs. So first and foremost is weight reduction. I've looked over my gear many times and its time to ditch a lot of it. So far I have compacted all of my necessary recovery and cooking gear into one heavy duty case and all my clothes, documents, cameras and etc into one backpack. Something I've dubbed the "Universal Overlander Kit." I'll talk more about that later.



All of the fixes I have done over the past year has only fixed the symptoms. The core problem is the chassis down cannot handle the loads I'm placing on it. So even with a solid axle the chassis will not be able to cope. Which means the Dana 30 isn't going under it. I would have to completely rebuild the chassis to keep up with weight demands, not to mention having to dumping tons of money into upgrading all the drivetrain components. In short I'm going back to what worked for me before. Simple and light. All of the modification costs are starting to rack up and basically mean I will have a cool truck but no money to take the trip, which repairs have already taken a nice gouge. More to come.

(If anyone is interested in buying the Dana 30 shoot me an email. Asking ($600) only what I have into it in parts. Its ready to roll minus gears unless you want the stock set. Have the Ford 8.8 on the table as well for $200.)
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  #712  
Old 01-11-2011
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So are you going back to stock IFS? Or are you doing something else? 4x4 conversion?
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  #713  
Old 01-11-2011
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600 bucks for a dana 30?!! or did you mean 60?

truck looks good tho! i might be mistaken but i think ISUZU makes a number or smaller diesel motors if your still looking to go that direction with the powertrain...

Last edited by wellcom2knoxvile; 01-11-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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  #714  
Old 01-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellcom2knoxvile View Post
600 bucks for a dana 30?!! or did you mean 60?
$600. Its all new parts, sand blasted, painted and ready to go. I'd take $500, just to get it out of the shop now.

Last edited by safaripacific; 01-27-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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  #715  
Old 01-27-2011
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Here's a post I did on another forum. Reposting here so everyone can see whats going through my head. Time and $$$.

Quote:
Many things broke/failed on the truck, more so than just the engine. Six months after I bought the truck I had the radiator pop. Ever since then I've been fighting overheating issues, way before I started loading it down. The thermostat/temp sensor part really gets under my skin though. I've had four fail (at $200 each) without letting me know I was overheating. The temp sensor is on the cold side as well. So when the unit fails it usually gets stuck in the closed position. So no hot coolant is registered by the temp gauge. Poor engineering. And yes, I check my fluid level weekly because of this.

I can't really complain about the engine itself. My comment towards the motor was more of how much of a pain it is to work on and how I believe engineers should spend more time working on things before they are allowed to design anything. I'm not saying they're not smart, applicable knowledge escapes most of them. Best example is the water pump. It requires a slide hammer to remove. I could rant for hours on things that went wrong, but it would waste more time than anything.

The hard reality is I'm spending all of my trip money getting the thing to stay on the road with how it is. Quite frankly I don't want to spend more than necessary to get the truck rolling. Here's whats going through my head. Hopefully everyone will see the method to my madness.

Payload capacity on a 4x2 2.3L Ford Ranger is 1260 lbs.

Flippac: 390 lbs
National Luna 40l Fridge: 64 lbs
Dual Battery: 60 lbs (est)
National Luna Power Pack: 12 lbs
3 AT Boxes (20"x 12.25"x 24.0"): 135 lbs
1 AT Box (20"x 9"x 24.0"): 39 lbs
4 Fuel Cans: 40 lbs
20 Gallons of fuel (Aux): 126 lbs
14 Gallons of fuel (Main): 88.2 lbs
5 Gallons of water: 41.5 lbs
5 lbs propane tank: 8lbs (est)
Maxtrax: 17.66 lbs
HiLift: 30lbs
Spare Tire: 60lbs (est)
Me after el baņo: 160lbs

So far we're over capacity at 1271.36 lbs. That's without food, cooking gear, clothing, sleeping gear, papers, cameras, recovery gear, air compressor, bumpers and more. Quite simply its time to relieve some weight no mater how you slice it.

Now, to carry all this weight I could do the axle swap/suspension beef up route. Money is the factor here.

Dana 44 Front:
Axle: $200
Bearings: $50
Ring n Pinion: $300
Shocks: $300
Springs: $200
Ford 8.8 Rear:
Axle: $200
Bearings: $50
Ring n Pinion: $300
Locker: $700
Springs: $200
Transfer Case: $200
Transmission: $200
Transmission Adapter for motor: $200 (If I don't swap motor)
Front Driveshaft: $200
Rear Driveshaft: $200


Just for estimation I've gone with $200 for most everything, though as we all know it gets way more expensive after that. Forgetting about the bolts you have to get, powder coat/pain, u-joints and so on. That's $3500 on the low estimate side. Not including fabricating everything to work properly and we all know it will cost easily $5000 or more. For that amount of money I could be at the end of South America watching ships leave for Antarctica. For more comparison, I spent roughly $6000 for my North America trip in 2007 which was 22,000 miles in 10 weeks.

Then there's the engine swap. I've found a few used Cummins 4BT motors for $3000 but on average they go for $5000 as a long block. That's just the motor, not including replacing the transmission or having an adapter made, fuel delivery system, wiring, brackets and pulleys for pumps, motor mounts, rebuilding the engine cradle, HAVING to do a solid axle swap for clearance and all the other unforeseen items.

The best option overall is to simplify, loose weight and actually start my trip.
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  #716  
Old 01-27-2011
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What if you use the explorer? I know you have all this work into the ranger and all but the explorer has the bigger motor(I think you said yours has the 5.0) and more room. Granted it only has about 200 more lbs of payload but what if you use the explorer for part of the trip and gather parts and then finish the trip with the ranger? Probably not what you want to do but just an idea. Anyway good luck getting it figured out!!
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  #717  
Old 01-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98liftedranger View Post
What if you use the explorer? I know you have all this work into the ranger and all but the explorer has the bigger motor(I think you said yours has the 5.0) and more room. Granted it only has about 200 more lbs of payload but what if you use the explorer for part of the trip and gather parts and then finish the trip with the ranger? Probably not what you want to do but just an idea. Anyway good luck getting it figured out!!
I sold the explorer after my baja trip in 09. And overall I really didn't like the explorer. Too sluggish. Bigger motor isn't always the answer. With the long distance travel that I'll, hopefully, be doing fuel costs add up fast. The US has cheap fuel compared to the mass majority of countries. So MPG's are very important and its hard to beat 20 MPG, which is what my ranger's been doing even though way over weight.

The goal now is to at least get the truck to the lower tip of South America. After that I'll be flying in and buying something then sell before I leave that country. Shipping costs are really expensive, and apart from bragging rights to say my truck has been everywhere, its really not worth the expense. Figure $5000 each way, times 6 continents is $30,000. I can pull the trip off without shipping for that.
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  #718  
Old 01-28-2011
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Finished pulling the motor apart, but stopped because I was stumped.




Set everything out so I know how to reassemble.



250,000 miles and pretty much no where at all. The hone marks are barley worn off.



Yep, even to the bottom of the cylinder. A testament of taking care of equipment and using synthetic oil since day 1.




Here's the part that stumps me. I pulled the motor apart because of a rod knock. I know I'm not the only one who heard it as it wasn't quiet at all. But after examining, rod bearings are good and no slop anywhere. So now I have no idea what could of been knocking.
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  #719  
Old 01-28-2011
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may not be a knock... block looks real clean!
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  #720  
Old 01-29-2011
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Check all the piston pins for slop. I havent ever had one of those motors apart but I have seen a few 2.3's have a "knock" that turned out to be a badly stretched timing belt that was just slapping the plastic timing belt cover.

A good friend picked up a beautiful teal 93 2.3 Mustang with 60k miles from a lady at work for 300.00 because a Ford dealer told her it needed a new shortblock because of a massive rod knock. All it needed was a new belt and it was so quiet you couldnt tell when it was running.
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  #721  
Old 01-29-2011
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Thanks for the input guys.

Did some searching on some of the suggestions here and a couple other forums. The one I've never heard of till now was piston slap. Found some videos on youtube of people thinking they had piston slap and what it sounded like. A couple showed what it was. Yeah, I'm a visual person, I've got to see photos or diagrams to get it in my thick head. Then I rocked the top of each piston to check and sure enough cylinder 3's got the slap. Now I'm curious how it happened.

More searching landed me at http://www.focussport.com/performance_pistons.htm They have OEM piston sets for a great price, but I've never heard of them. Anyone know if they're a reputable company.
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  #722  
Old 02-14-2011
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I would ask the guys at focusfanatics.com great focus forum with tons of information. hope that helps.
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  #723  
Old 02-25-2011
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I finally decided to pull the trigger on getting a used motor. It's clean, has 100k miles and I should have it by mid next week.

This is better option overall than rebuilding my current motor. Rebuilding would cost way more as if I do rebuild I need special tools, machine shop work/cleaning, new bearings, seals, pistons, oil pump,all the other pieces and the hassle of rebuilding/timing. I wouldn't want to do a poor job rebuilding and the cost to do it right is way too high. The used motor is only $600 and has a 90 day warranty. Yeah, it has 100k miles but after researching these motors are good for 500k. So I think overall this is my best option.

Last edited by safaripacific; 02-25-2011 at 03:56 PM.
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  #724  
Old 02-25-2011
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What motor did you end up getting?

hopefully you can get it figured out and get back on the road(or offroad)
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  #725  
Old 02-25-2011
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Ah, I guess I forgot to mention that. Its the same as I had. 2.3L 4 banger. Will be a direct swap, so little fuss and back on the road the quickest.
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