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Solid Axle Swaps General discussion of solid axle swaps for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 09-28-2010
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4x4 Swap SAS Question

So I plan on keeping my truck (my first car) forever. I wrecked in last year and it dropped from $2300 in value to about $1200 lol. It's not worth anything so there is no point selling when I get my next vehicle. Probably in a few years.

When I have a new DD or at least enough cash to buy a reliable junker (oxy-moron, I know) and still afford to do a bunch of work on the truck I will probably want to do a massive swap and overhaul on it.

I was thinking either a 5.0 HO EFI or go carbed and get an old 351W first but that is no biggee either way and the engine/trans/t-case is just half of the swap (actually 1/4). I would need a front axle.

There is a 1978 Ford F-150 4x4 with a high pinion D44 coil sprung at my local pull-a-part. It's like $200. I might go pick it up as future potential or just use it as reference. But regardless of that I defiantly want to keep running the 31-spline 8.8 Torsen that I paid $350 for out back. I don't really like the look of full-size axles on Rangers. I want to run 35s on the setup and keep it right around 4-6 inches over stock 4x4 height. 4.88s all around with an Eaton e-locker up front to go with the Torsen out back in case you might ask. I would have the D44 shortened down to the width of the rear axle. Keepin' it in the wheel wells. Street legal. Basically what a factory solid front axle Ranger would be like if it were ever made.

I wouldn't be rock crawling or anything. Just mudding and using it for the winter. Honestly I would be happy with IFS 4x4 but that would be MUCH MUCH harder to swap onto my 2WD that a solid axle.

So my question is...is this doable? A SAS'd Ranger that isn't humongous. Has anyone on here down this? Can I run a solid front axle inside the wheel wells?

Lay it down for me SAS Gurus. Am I talking out my butt. Do I need to search and lurk more?

Thanks you ladies.
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Old 09-28-2010
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is your truck a t-bar front? if so, give this a read 4x2 to 4x4 - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest it may inspire you to save the ifs when you convert. it really isnt a big deal to convert a t bar truck but im not sure of the simularities of the coil front trucks.

if you went leafs for an SAS then your minumum height would be around 8-10" this is whats required from the hangars and suspension to clear hardware and especially the pitman arm, without having to make major frame alterations.

Last edited by 08rangerdan; 09-28-2010 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 09-28-2010
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No I'm coil sprung. Not even remotely related. With T-bar trucks you have the 4x4 frame and all the same suspension mount so it's a much easier. I would have to swap about 2 times as much as he did.

I was also looking at Dana 35s out of Jeeps. That aren't high pinion and I don't think they are reverse cut but I wouldn't have to shorten the axle and that would same me a bunch. They aren't near as strong as 44s but considering I am no planning on doing an serious off roading I probably don't need all the heavy duty stuff that is on the 44. Plus the bolt patterns would match. They are probably easier to find also.

I might be changing my mind on the full size front axle for my pint size truck. Boy I would like the stronger knuckles and u-joints though.
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Old 09-28-2010
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ya i figured you would be coiled lol, do you mean the d30 jeep fronts? as far as i know xj,yj,tj,cj are all reverse cut high pinion fronts. a yj width would be perfect. the xj is a little wider then factory width
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Old 09-28-2010
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sell it get a 4x4 to start with
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Old 09-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08rangerdan View Post
ya i figured you would be coiled lol, do you mean the d30 jeep fronts? as far as i know xj,yj,tj,cj are all reverse cut high pinion fronts. a yj width would be perfect. the xj is a little wider then factory width
Yeah, that's what I meant. D30. I get all the Danas mixed up. I looked around on Keep forums and they said they are pretty strong for stock and defiantly strong enough for what I'm doing. I might go that route. Plus i would get the reverse cut I want.

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Originally Posted by ranger View Post
sell it get a 4x4 to start with
Did you read my original post at all? Or did you just open the thread and post the first thing that comes out of your head when you see "2 wheel drive" and "SAS". Nice dude. Let me bring you up to speed in Lehman's terms so I don't loose you.

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Originally Posted by Masteratarms93 View Post
So I plan on keeping my truck (my first car) forever. I wrecked in last year and it dropped from $2300 in value to about $1200 lol. It's not worth anything so there is no point selling when I get my next vehicle. Probably in a few years.

When I have a new DD or at least enough cash to buy a reliable junker (oxy-moron, I know) and still afford to do a bunch of work on the truck I will probably want to do a massive swap and overhaul on it.
So know that you read the condensed version let me know what you think because last time I checked $1200 will get me a gutted rust bucket 1983 Ranger with a seized engine. Plus my truck has sentimental value to me so I want to keep it. And I don't want a Ranger collection like some people have. One is plenty.
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Old 09-29-2010
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1 thing, I'm pretty sure you can't use the Torsen with 4.88s, the crosspin doesn't fit.
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Old 09-29-2010
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You can't I will have to swap the Torsen for a locker.

Forgot to mention that.


Oh and I looked up YJs and TJs on car-part.com
No YJ front axle assembly in Ohio lol
LOTS OF TJs!! All with different gear ratios and with or without ABS. No 4.10s though.

So it is decided! I am going to throw a D30 from a late 90s early 2000s TJ under there! I am getting excited. Cannot wait until I get out of high school to do the swap.

It's cool that I don't have to pay to have a D44 shortened to. Maybe I will find a wrecked Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and I can take the correct size D44 off of that. That would be awesome. Plus it would have 4.10s to start and a LSD so I wouldn't have to re-gear right away.

Last edited by Masteratarms93; 09-29-2010 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 09-29-2010
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D30 should be good for what you want. Also keep an eye out for a D44 from a Rubicon, LOTS of guys are starting to swap them out. I see them on Rubicon Owners Forum - Index page going for the cost of a locker in some cases...
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Old 09-29-2010
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also keep an eye out for something from a ranger like randy....perfect sas height imo.
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Old 09-29-2010
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hmm i think you should just give me that LII axle. done.. lol
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Old 09-29-2010
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Originally Posted by vista4.0 View Post
hmm i think you should just give me that LII axle. done.. lol
You can have it for $500 lol.

I paid $350, I put on new brake shoes and re-machined the rotors. It's painted up. And it have the 02+ Expo IRS Aluminum Diff Cover which was $50 plus 2 days of work to grind it down. Plus 4 quarts of that expensive synthetic gear oil (Like $14 a qrt). It has 110k on it and it will probably need all new seals soon though. I plan on doing Expo disc brakes eventually.



Side note, anybody have pictures of this randy guys truck?
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Old 10-25-2010
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BUMP BACK

So I'm shopping, loosely, for axles. Kinda a "I'll buy it if it drops in my lap". Kinda like my Level II 8.8.

So I need to find an axle that measures up within 2 inches in width to my rear axle. Lug-to-lug

Quote:
My options:

Jeep Wrangler YJ 87-95 D30 Front Axle (Specifically a non-CAD axle shaft one that has the 5-297x u-joint, that stuff is transferable from newer axles)

Jeep Cherokee XJ 84-99 D30 Front Axle w/ ABS (I guess a lot of Rangers SASs have been using these since they don't have the CAD issues of the TJ D30 and they are all reverse cut unlike the 97+ TJ)

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon TJ 2003+ D44 Front Axle w/ ABS (Obviously this would be an amazing find. If I can get one I will use it no doubt. But I probably won't get one.)
So out of the 3 I have to decide what size to get. The two Wrangler axles should be the same. I haven't seen one on a Ranger so I don't know how much they stick out. And like 3 people are running XJ axles on here and they look pretty good. They are still wide though. I would like to go Wrangler to keep it short. And ideas?
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Old 10-25-2010
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Holy **** were like 30 mins away and have the same plans. Except im going 302 and a dana 30 too ahah. You do know the rubicon axles are factory air lockers d44's? My buddy has a set on his xj and he loves them!

My main concern is geometry issues and brackets. Im going to run a 8.8 in the rear with either a welded rear or a lunchbox locker.

If you ever wanna go wheeling hit me up. I got some mild trails that my once stock 2wd with 215's tore up. Nice scenery too.
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Old 10-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 xlt 4.0 View Post
Holy **** were like 30 mins away and have the same plans. Except im going 302 and a dana 30 too ahah. You do know the rubicon axles are factory air lockers d44's? My buddy has a set on his xj and he loves them!

My main concern is geometry issues and brackets. Im going to run a 8.8 in the rear with either a welded rear or a lunchbox locker.

If you ever wanna go wheeling hit me up. I got some mild trails that my once stock 2wd with 215's tore up. Nice scenery too.
Trails? Close to home? That would be fun.
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Old 10-26-2010
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Originally Posted by 93 xlt 4.0 View Post
Holy **** were like 30 mins away and have the same plans. Except im going 302 and a dana 30 too ahah. You do know the rubicon axles are factory air lockers d44's? My buddy has a set on his xj and he loves them!

My main concern is geometry issues and brackets. Im going to run a 8.8 in the rear with either a welded rear or a lunchbox locker.

If you ever wanna go wheeling hit me up. I got some mild trails that my once stock 2wd with 215's tore up. Nice scenery too.
Very cool. Yeah I knew the Rubicon axles have air lockers. I don't know if I will use it though. I am going to be running 4.88s so I will have to regear. I will also have to a rear locker in, since Torsens only work on 4.10s and higher. When I regear I might pull the air locker from the D44 (if I am lucky enough to find one). I will probably keep it open up front since my SAS is more about a 4x4 swap than an actual axle swap. I would be more than happy with factory D35 IFS but I can't swap that into my coil spring Ranger.

I do plan on putting in a 4.0 SOHC before I SAS. My 2.5Ls days are numbered and I always do things in order of importance. Axles before tires, engines before axles, etc. I will probably have it rebuilt before I drop it in. Like a stroker kit or something. I will hopefully be running 250-300 hp w/ CAI and exhaust.

I really need some measurements though. If it is even a few inches off I am gonna get the front wheels with a different backspacing and offset so they match the rear. I want the front and rear tires to match up exactly.

Maybe a jeep forum will help me out.....
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Old 10-26-2010
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If your not gonna do it for a couple years then why do you need these answer right this second? You'll change your mind about keeping your first car. I said that same thing and I don't have my first car anymore.
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Old 10-26-2010
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Best way to get info is The Ranger Station. Theres i think i counted like 10 or so builds with tons of info and pictures of the d30 into a ranger.

Get a cam if they make one for the 4.0 SOHC and do some head work. It will help a ton.

If you end up needing help i can probably help or something like that
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Old 10-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98liftedranger View Post
If your not gonna do it for a couple years then why do you need these answer right this second?
It's not immediate, I just like starting my research early. I will check stuff out for months ahead of time before I even buy the first piece to start it. Just my nature.

Plus, like I said, I am loosely shopping for the axle I want so I need to know fairly soon so I can buy the correct thing if it comes along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 98liftedranger View Post
You'll change your mind about keeping your first car. I said that same thing and I don't have my first car anymore.
I could see that happening if I hadn't wrecked it. It was still actually worth something then. Now it's not worth the modifications that in it. I have absolutely no reason to get rid of it, even if I bought another truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 xlt 4.0 View Post
Best way to get info is The Ranger Station. Theres i think i counted like 10 or so builds with tons of info and pictures of the d30 into a ranger.

Get a cam if they make one for the 4.0 SOHC and do some head work. It will help a ton.

If you end up needing help i can probably help or something like that
I'm making an account as we speak :)

I defiantly gonna upgrade the cam and heads. They are the weakest part of the SOHC.

All the guys who own 4.0 05-10 Mustangs that they have but stuff into do the cam first off. Especially if they charge it. Those cams cannot hold boost for sh*t.
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