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

D30 SAS on 98 Ranger

  #1  
Old 06-23-2011
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D30 SAS on 98 Ranger

The time has come where A) my front end components have seen better days. B) IFS just sucks all around on anything other than a POS car. and lastly C) I can get a D30 for dirt cheap and Ive got my choice of a few different ones

So this will take a while to gather parts as I am in no hurry. The basic plan is a copy of what t5cents did https://www.ranger-forums.com/solid-axle-swaps-111/t5cents-official-d30-sas-thread-122511/

I have looked at this setup before and now that he actually worked it I am sold. The end product wont be as tall as his nor have as large a tire. Ideally id be about 33s on 4 inches of lift.

The question I have to start this thread is basically whats the difference between a Cherokee axle and a Grand Cherokee axle? I ask this because GC axles are more common without CAD and in a 3.73 ratio. Seems all the regular cherokee axles are 4.10s or 3.55s and they are vacuum hubs

Other than that question I will keep this updated as I gather parts and knowledge. Hopefully the end product is the ranger ford should have made and be a stout DD/trail friendly rig
 
  #2  
Old 06-23-2011
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So with some research I found that maybe the GC axle is regular rotation while the XJ (cherokee) is reverse rotation. This brings up an issue for sure. Unless I can find definitive proof one way or another I might just stick to an XJ axle as its been proven to work
 
  #3  
Old 06-23-2011
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Yeah the XJ axle is definitely high pinion. Not sure about the ZJ axle though.

I would recommend getting a D44 full width though. The D30 IMO is too narrow for the Ranger. It doesn't leave you much room for brackets and whatnot and if you go coils they'll be bowed because the frame is too wide for the axle. Thats just my opinion of course, its just something to consider.
 
  #4  
Old 06-23-2011
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I shoulda just sent ya a PM lol. I wondered about that how they are bowed. Hence my interest in a ZJ axle as I heard the mounts are wider. The issue with the full width 44 for me is I live in PA and they are REAL picky about tires sticking out. I dont wanna run anything other than stock flares so thats why the 30 is sort of a winner in that respect. I need to do some more measuring at the junk yard to get my facts in order
 
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Old 06-23-2011
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I could see that being an issue in a state that cares about the tires sticking out. Either way the D30 will still work, it just makes the coils look unnatural. I will occasionally get grinding noises from my coils hitting things they wouldn't normally hit if they were straight. You could probably avoid that issue by either going with leaves or coilovers, but coilovers will probably make your build get expensive real quick lol. And leaves just won't flex quite like coils haha.
 
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Old 06-23-2011
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Unless you're dead set on a D30 I would get an eye out for a EB D44 or even consider shortening a full width D44 to EB size. Bolt patterns would then become an issue though.

XJ D30 is 63 inches
EB D44 is 59 inches

Expo 8.8 is 5? inches as well so it would match up perfect to the EB opposed to a D30 where you would need spacers to make the rear match the front better.

This is assuming you plan on running a Expo 8.8, you didn't mention your rear axle plans.

The stock gears and hubs on whatever axle you choose shouldn't matter anyway. When you are building your SAS that should all be rebuilt to your specs anyway. For 33s (a little small for an SAS IMO, 35s tend to be the minimum) you would need to regear both axles to 4.54s and of course you need to decide what types of locker(s) you want to run.
 
  #7  
Old 06-23-2011
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Eb bronco axle means bolt pattern issues. Rear axle will be left alone as its already an expo axle. Just a pre disc one (previous owner put it in). I just wanna put a small lift on the rear and run 33s. Also all I've found are drum eb axles. I am waiting on t5cents to do some long term with his coils how they are to see what's up
 
  #8  
Old 06-23-2011
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Yeah EBs are drums. They also use a weaker u-joint.

It's almost better to get a late 70s F250 D44 and have the passenger side shortened for an EB shaft.

That's pretty lucky the previous owner did a 31-spline 8.8 swap for ya!!
 
  #9  
Old 06-23-2011
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Yeah why he did that is beyond me. Its a 3.0 auto ranger bone stock. I think the d30 is my ticket. It has the brake setup plus its readily available for parts. I have a u pull it full of them in all configurations
 
  #10  
Old 06-24-2011
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Did some measurements the other day and used jackstands to just kinda get a feel for how I want the truck to sit



Also a list of measurements I took for reference. Dont know if any of these will help me but its always good to data log

Axle center to fender. 23 inches

Axle center to frame top 13 inches

Frame height at at axle centerline 5 inches

7 inches axle clearance from centerline axle to bottom frame

Axle centerline 27.5 from door line

37 front 37.5 rear ideal lift floor to fender

33.25 front 34.5 rear stock height

3.75 front lift 3 rear lift
 
  #11  
Old 07-02-2011
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Finally got to talk to the local jeep expert and he told me what to go find and to not worry if its one of the stupid jeep CAD axles as thats so easy to fix. As far as I know I am going to be running 4.10s and going with a 33in tire to give me some flex room. This isnt gonna be a full off roader but I need something a little more stout to get me back to trails and whatnot
 
  #12  
Old 07-19-2011
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I just did a d30 swap on my '03. Donor vehicle was a 87 wrangler d30 with the central axle disconnect with a cable actuator instead of vacuum. I really like this feature because it allows me to use low range while still in 2wd. I also fabricated my own high steering adapter like the ones on ebay, and it has held up nicely so far. In the beginning, I was trying to keep mine kind of low also, but i ran into a problem in doing so. The pitman arm kept hitting the leaf spring on the big bumps. The only option to fix that was to put on a flat pitman, notch and box the frame for clearance. I really did not want to do that. The springs were at a really steep upward rake because of the shape of the frame which caused a clearance issue between the drag link and the passenger spring when making a left turn. I ended up dropping the front spring mounts down another 3" to help level out the springs and allow room for the drag link to cycle properly. This gave me an additional 2.5" of lift, but i think I can live with it. just something to consider if you are still in a tossup on what type of springs to use.
 
  #13  
Old 07-19-2011
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I am 100% doing coils. Leafs just don't do it for me. I've got them on all my one ton trucks and if it wasn't for the fact they have to support a diesel motor id rather have coils. Hopefully the pitman arm wont be an issue with the coils. My plan is to basically use all the jeep steering and maybe their coils. If not I am ok with say 2.5 inch lift coils. I wont be flexing it out a lot but enough to make the ifs pissy.
 
  #14  
Old 07-20-2011
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ur gonna run into clearance issues if u try to keep it too low. theres not much up travel before the upper control arm mounts start hitting stuff. and ify i put mine on 5 inch lift springs and it was way close to the frame. right now i have some kind of f-150 or bronco spring right now. im not exactly sure but it sits about 9 inches higher in the front than a stock ranger. and thats with tire height. i dont think thats to bad. i have xj 9 inch lift coils on the way and we will see how those work out. the ones i have now are too stiff and too big around.
 
  #15  
Old 07-20-2011
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Darn, cause I don't really wanna lift it to the moon. I guess id have to see how it all goes. Keep a lot of adjustment on stuff and make it all work
 
  #16  
Old 08-21-2011
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you will want an XJ with ABS 91-95 and any 95-99. those are the ones with the larger 5-297x ujoints. you do not want an older CAD axle you can tell those easy the passenger side is case not welded to the housing. the ZJ axles are not very good they carry weaker CV shafts and are low pinion. however the tierod off of a V8 ZJ is a huge upgrade to the puny XJ/TJ one like i have.


Originally Posted by RazorsEDGE View Post
Yeah the XJ axle is definitely high pinion. Not sure about the ZJ axle though.

I would recommend getting a D44 full width though. The D30 IMO is too narrow for the Ranger. It doesn't leave you much room for brackets and whatnot and if you go coils they'll be bowed because the frame is too wide for the axle. Thats just my opinion of course, its just something to consider.


no major coil issues with the D30 the EB D44 however is very very well known for that issue.
 
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