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

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Old 03-20-2012
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Ford Ranger SAS 98 2wd

I inhereted this truck turning 16 from pop's and treated it like a truck. 2 years and 90,000 miles later, the front suspension is toast. The rear suspension is toast. We've overheated 3 times together, blown out 6 tires together, shattered three windshields together, had two electrical fires, and oh god too much air together. This truck is the 3.0l v6 2wd ex cab 5 speed. It now has 380k miles (only 340 on odo) under all original parts, meaning... clutch tranny and motor. I've put this truck through so much in fact, the old man see's it as nothing more than a hefty bill at the mechanics, or scrap. I, however, do not >:) Bought it off him for scrap price (300$... thank god for crappy economy and cheap scrap prices), bought a 79 ford f150 4x4 and am planning to straight axle it. As it is right now, I can get the truck side to side on two wheels merely rocking it for 5 seconds, it's like driving an old school caddy, the front and rear suspension is beyond toast. I've been doing oh my god Tons of research on this, and most of my friends being toyota drivers, have no idea what all I'd need. Turns out they're gonna be more help than I thought, but either way. I'm scrapping the truck, and selling my toyota for this build, should net about 1500-2k and getting a new job so hopefully I'll have enough cash to get this done, and right later.

For the time being I'll Only be straight axling it,due to the fact that because camber wear, every 3 months the wire shows on my front left tire :) I'll be running the ford's suspension just so this thing is drivable when I'm done with it, and any links to better coils (obviously my motor isnt gonna weigh 800 lbs and front end treacherously more) and coilovers would be much appreciated, I've done my share of searching and this 40 tab internet explore crashing is getting irritating. As for the rear, I'll probably rock 63's until I (never) get around to 3 or 4linking it.I haven't had much experience welding before and even less with sas suspension (most of my toys either have been left ifs or I just bought pre ttb sa toys) so this will be new and fun for me. Also working on a buddy's 52 flatfender *****, so incase you were wondering, that is where the ford 9 is going :). In the end I'm going to be sitting with one wide *** front end, and probably some spacers in the rear (still rocking ranger7.5) until I get the explorer 8.8 in, and discs. I've already got a locker for the 8.8 as well so thankfully once the swap's themselves are done the rest will fall in. In the end with this truck It will be just a truck I daily drive and fix up, I'm not an avid hard core wheeler, just another guy wanting to jack his **** up. My build will be geared towards a streetable sas, 4wd will probably only be used in the snow and mudding occasionally so no worries on chromoly or building the **** out of it. I'd upgrade to 3/4 ton axles first anyway. I've already got basically everything I need for the straight axle figured out up front, except steering due to lack of description and pictures in a lot of threads. I know how to run the yota steering box, but for some reason I've seen people hacking and welding together the early toy and ranger steering columns and just wanna ask why...

Tranny: Also, 3.0l 2wd tranny, how to make 4x4? early explorer tcase is what I'm hearing, with a 4x4 tranny? I dont really wanna retain my tranny, nothings wrong with it, and I've raped it already, but running 35's after its got 380k of harsh abuse makes me worry.

Rear axle: Gonna rock the ford 8.8 disc from an exploder, as they are cheap to find entire parts trucks. I don't get how they're the "exploder" and always die with the same running gear as my ranger and I have almost 400k.... but Anyway, I've heard that people think the disc conversion isn't worth it, something about the proportioning valve sucking *** and it always locking up the rear discs? Appreciate any knowledge and output here.

Front Axle: I believe (may be wrong) I've got the d44 3.53 front axle, Keep in mind I've already written a novel for a thread post so I am forgetting things I've already read, but what is missing off this for the SAS (im running coils not leaves) other than toyota steering box?

CAB: In the long run also, I hope to swap in a cluster with a tach, and I'm gonna have to cut a fatty hole in the floor for the tcase linkage anyway. The trucks been through 3 floods before me and had a family of racoons live in it, as well as some lowlifes that dad's loaned this sucker to so believe it me it reeks *** I'll be pulling the carpet and seats anyway. Anyone know the compatability of the exploder's dashes and rangers? are they the same (haven't seen one obviously) Also, I'd like to keep true to my milage, how the ---- do I roll an odo 200k

Body: Saw Josh's SAS Thread and would friggen love to throw a nicer front clip on the truck, mine literally is faded to me. I would love to throw a honeycomb black grille and 02-06 front end on

P.S. I have access to literally a warehouse full of beer taps, And I want a tap for my shifter, nobody and I mean nobody knows how to thread a freakin tap and cut the stock shifter so it sits where it should, does anyone know where a guide for me is? (yes utilized search button eat me)

Items list:
d44
toyota steering box
33" TSL swampers
5x5.5 crawler wheels
welder
Toyota truck that can be used as parts :)

Thanks for taking the hour to read this, If anyone is in the Seattle area and wants to help I'd love to hit ya up, I'll be posting pictures of my p.o.s. soon for you all to get a crack out of.

Last edited by Built Ford Tough; 03-20-2012 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012
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Les Schwabb snow tires. Great traction in mud believe it or not, SHITTY *** SIDEWALL STRENGTH (I popped 3 of the 4, only one was mobbing other ones just popped dd)

Homeboy in the background LOL
Old toy I salvaged some steering parts on. Dont have any new pics yet
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Old 03-20-2012
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You might want to get to know someone who has done a SAS in a 2wd truck really well.

In my opinion. You need to learn how to type, but i've seen worse.
a few things
- I'd use an F-150 Transfer case to be honest. better strength. You'll need to do a bit of fab work to get it to fit, but thats how i'd do it.
- if you really want to have a tired 3.0 push 35's around, Then you should at least rebuild that engine. If it we're me, i'd be finding a junked 5.0 or at least a newer 4.0 to drop in there.
-your going to need to increase your budget. One of your axles will need its gears swapped, and i'm betting you don't want a 3.55 rear end with 35's on it. unless you know what you doing, have a shop re-gear you front axle.
-while on gears, you may want to look into getting the rear axle re-done to. 35's are a lot of stress on 4.10's, i can't even think of anyone on here that run's that. I'd go with something taller, at least a 4.55, or even a 4.88.
-dash concerns, Anything ranger will fit in it, as long as its 98 and up. and as far as i know, nobody has been able to crack open one of those dash's to roll the ODO, so your SOL on that.
-Missing from your axle? Coil mounts. your gonna have to fab those up. Theres a reason ton's of people just run leaves. its easier.

Thats all i got for now.
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Old 03-20-2012
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Good luck!!!
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Old 03-20-2012
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Originally Posted by StxDangerRanger View Post
You might want to get to know someone who has done a SAS in a 2wd truck really well.

In my opinion. You need to learn how to type, but i've seen worse.
a few things
- I'd use an F-150 Transfer case to be honest. better strength. You'll need to do a bit of fab work to get it to fit, but thats how i'd do it.
- if you really want to have a tired 3.0 push 35's around, Then you should at least rebuild that engine. If it we're me, i'd be finding a junked 5.0 or at least a newer 4.0 to drop in there.
-your going to need to increase your budget. One of your axles will need its gears swapped, and i'm betting you don't want a 3.55 rear end with 35's on it. unless you know what you doing, have a shop re-gear you front axle.
-while on gears, you may want to look into getting the rear axle re-done to. 35's are a lot of stress on 4.10's, i can't even think of anyone on here that run's that. I'd go with something taller, at least a 4.55, or even a 4.88.
-dash concerns, Anything ranger will fit in it, as long as its 98 and up. and as far as i know, nobody has been able to crack open one of those dash's to roll the ODO, so your SOL on that.
-Missing from your axle? Coil mounts. your gonna have to fab those up. Theres a reason ton's of people just run leaves. its easier.

Thats all i got for now.
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Originally Posted by PUNKROCKPILOT View Post
Good luck!!!
Thanks Punk:)

I know how to regear an axle only issue is setting backlash I'd just have my friend at the tranny shop help refresh my memory, I've run 4.10's with 38's welded 4.10's are actually strong usually the people who blow things up set the lash or something else wrong. As far as a 3.0l I do plan on replacing mine, It is by far the strongest motor I've ever seen. Pulled a tacoma over snoqualmie pass 4th doing 50, ford lined the cylinder walls with coke or something lol. When the budget improves this next year I will in end have 3/4 running gear and a 4bt 5 speed. I've got access to a large collection of tools and diesel mechanics for friends so calling in a few favors when I get that far won't be an issue.

As far as coil mounts the axle I have is running coils lol... The axles don't need to be rebuilt and somehow with the 400m in the truck I have I was lucky enough to get a 9" with a posi, haven't looked into the gearing but I'm sure they're dismal compared to what I need to run with the 3.0l I've run 5.29's (unknowingly) in toyota axles with 35's and rallied them harder than a rally driver and they do fine so I'm not too worried about gears either. 5.13 5.29 whatever I end up with just depends on compatability with the ford axles.

And for the ford 5.0, I've only ever read about efi motor swaps, mainly the 22r-22re (fuel injection) or the 3.0l toyota - 3.4l swap (more complicated) and the 3.0l to 7mgte, Most of these swaps are actually incredibly easy, as far as wiring and the ecu goes, its the added headache of the "know how". Long run I plan on finding a cleaner 2wd version of my truck and dropping a 5.0 efi in it, silencing it, and running gt40p heads I've already had a friend work on one before so it's not too shabby of a project.

As far as daily driving it, I was gonna wait to swap the rear axle out ( stick with ranger 7.5" ) until I had 4.88's front and rear and just use spacers to take care of the offset, and a buddy's old wheel adapters so I can rock 5x5.5 all around. My biggest concern is the coils and shocks from the f150 and how they'd preform driving under something half the weight.
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Old 03-20-2012
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Where are you putting F-150 shock's and coils?
I've got F-150 coils in my truck now, but thats with the weight of the engine and a few years on them, they sagged a bunch
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Old 03-20-2012
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Probably gonna just fab up a tower for the time being, I don't actually know that's why I started this thread before I chopped my ifs off like an idiot. I've been looking at a TON of other threads but everyone who's done the swap on THIS forum threw the money at it all at once. I'm looking for a slow 6 month build where I can sas it drive it and slowly get nicer running gear. I've been thinking about snagging my buddy's 6" coilovers he was gonna toss on his jeep but sold, however I don't have the cash quite yet. I really don't wanna sell my 84 toy but I'm afraid I might have to If I'm gonna be serious like everyone else here
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Old 03-20-2012
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Too much reading. All I have to say is that its a lot of work with the frame issues and if your doing it then keep coils since that is what that frame is designed to run.
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Old 03-21-2012
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Originally Posted by 98liftedranger View Post
Too much reading. All I have to say is that its a lot of work with the frame issues and if your doing it then keep coils since that is what that frame is designed to run.
Yeah I plan on running coils, personally I think leaves are hideous. nobody ever bothers to paint them so they're usually crap rust brown, and on top of that they're just not as nice. It'd be great if I could afford the coilovers I Want right now but unfotunately duffy is expensive
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Old 03-21-2012
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Old 03-21-2012
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If you really want to do coils the simplest route for you is the ballistic fab upper coil buckets which are also adjustable. Also for coils I'm running f150/bronco coils and my ride is way softer than it ever was with ifs and I have less body roll than before. I've had my truck up to 100mph and it felt stable as can be.
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Old 03-22-2012
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Originally Posted by mxcorona199 View Post
If you really want to do coils the simplest route for you is the ballistic fab upper coil buckets which are also adjustable. Also for coils I'm running f150/bronco coils and my ride is way softer than it ever was with ifs and I have less body roll than before. I've had my truck up to 100mph and it felt stable as can be.
Hell yeah. I have more body roll than a sumo wrestler.
As far as the coil buckets, please shoot me a link search button is killing me. I hate bing and google has been giving me adware problems, I don't get it I have a brand new laptop lol.

I found the 5.0l I wanna swap motors with, a full one that was rolled with an e locker for 800$, unfortunately its an auto :( Nothing a little awesome won't fix >:D. Do you think the coils would support the added weight of the 5.0 as to the 3.0? If I can get this together It'd be insane, a 98 ranger with an 04-07 front clip and bed, exploder dash, mid thousands ranger interior, e-locker in the rear with a ford 9 d44 up front I mean It'd go from the ugly old man truck to a monster. All I need now is some time and a welder.
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Old 03-22-2012
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x2...Well you just did it for me.
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Old 03-22-2012
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Hah that's funny! So update, pulling axles outta my ford the next few days, unfortunately it's gonna take a few because I'm pulling motor and tranny first, then gotta load the dirty bitch on a trailer, without a winch =.=, But one nice thing about taking my own axles is that I know they're cherry lol, nothin wrong with em :)

As for the explorer 5.0, If I were to buy it, I'd probably end up putting it into another 2wd ex cab and swapping a t5 in, with the disc rear axle just for a toy. I figure I'd rather just have problems with suspension on my dd as far as tuning that out and making the solid axle perfect than playing with an entire project truck every day.
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Old 03-24-2012
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Update on danger ranger;
Gotta figure out what parts of my 79 I can use whether it's ghetto safe or not. My lower control arms are bent lol, both sides the tires are about to fall off, and on the left the wire has been showing for god 4000miles? Read somewhere that if I just bent the coil tabs out on my stock coil bucket I could temp. Rock the coil towers on it right now. Anyone seen anyone use the steering box off an old ford? Seems like everyone rocks toyota steering boxes, Obviously the one on the ford does fine, as it's steering right now lol, any issues with using it for my swap?
Definitely gotta say I love this forum! But...
For someone who hasn't dont a straight axle on anythin' before you think there'd be more detail lol, I'm not to worried about myself but for a forum this devoted there should be a tech section, not links elsewhere ;(
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Old 03-29-2012
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Been doing more research read through just about every thread I could've, Can't seem to find anything useful as far as pictures go because half the thread's pictures don't wanna work. I need someone who knows whether or not I can literally use everything from the coil tower to the shock mounts, radius arms and steering from my donor 79. At this point, I have to buy new tires and would rather just get the sas done too so I dont cut through another 200$ toyo..
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Old 03-29-2012
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Cut them out and find out for yourself.
Not everyone will know everything, so some stuff you'll just have to try on your own man.
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Old 03-29-2012
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Yeah my bad. Wishin' there were more answers though lol. I know for a fact that because the f150 is wider that my coils will bow inwards to meet the ranger's towers, I've read before that I can indeed use the ford's coils (but a newer ford's coils so idk) in the ranger's towers if I bend one of the coil securing tabs out. I also have the f150's towers so no big. I'm gonna go snag some bfast and take some side by side pictures. As far as steering goes, I'm gonna have to just go trial and error and find some happy medium with the f150's steering
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Old 03-29-2012
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For your axle side bucket its easier to fab something up than to try to reuse the ones on there it will only cause issues with spring bow. Then mount the f150 upper coil bucket to your frame so it aligns with the new lower buckets. Just a thought but seems not to complicated.
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Old 03-29-2012
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I'll talk to some buddies an see what I can do. I got a few projects right now this one's in brainstorming.
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Old 03-30-2012
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Quick update pulled the d44 from my f150 and pulling ford 9 and steering, anyone use
Oldschool ford steering boxes on sas? All I see is Toyota. Will post pics later got tons LOL
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Old 04-01-2012
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Rear axle had never been touched since 79 lol, the rear bolts were impossible to break on the left side, breaker bar and a fatty pipe wasn't happening.


Axles out


Axle with half **** missing off. Mounted the coils towers buckets shocks and towers on, also attatched steering all sitting on some rounds of wood.
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Old 04-01-2012
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Any pics of your shocks towers and coil buckets mounted?
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Old 04-01-2012
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Not yet /: my phone blacked out
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Old 04-01-2012
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sounds like you need some torches to get those things free.
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