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Front suspension overhaul...need help

  #1  
Old 01-03-2018
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Front suspension overhaul...need help

Hi guys and gals,

I have a ‘94 Ranger xlt 3.0 4x4 with 270k on it. My right radius arm bushing is shot and needs to be replaced. I’m planning on doing the other radius arm, the ibeam bushings, sway bar bushings and sway bar link bushings all at the same time. I know this is a pretty big job and I need to do it myself to save money.
I was wondering if there is an existing “how-to” on this forum or if anybody can help me in detail?

I’m wondering about tools I will need and sizes of things. Advice on what brand parts I should get. How long I might expect the job to take and any other general information that will make it easier for me. I’d like to start it early on a Saturday and be done before Monday rolls back around.

My biggest concern right now from just inspecting things is getting rusting and stuck nuts and bolts free and apart. I’m also worried about having all the right and necessary tools to do the job correctly.

Thanks for your help and I look forward to your replies and to get my truck one step closer to being solid again.

Aloha
 

Last edited by tommyg86; 01-03-2018 at 08:17 PM. Reason: wasnt finished
  #2  
Old 01-04-2018
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Only thing I can say is buy new bushings, and get to it, standard tools, take your time, maybe a hydraulic jack will come in handy for the radius arm bushing.

Don't buy Poly Bushings, just get rubber ones.

I did the Radius Arm bushings on my '95, not a hard job, just took my time, got it done ! I used a Racket Strap Setup to pull the Arm back to get the bushings in place.

Sway Bar Bushings, biggest problem you should have is taking out the bolts, again get rubber bushings, jack the truck up; you might want to consider new bolts all around.

Why not poly... because they WILL squeak !

Just a point..., I am not a mechanic, I did most of my own work, not anymore, but there is always something that comes up. One more thing I do not know the proper methods of disassembly, get a repair manual and read up on how to do it.
I do not know of any How-To's but maybe you can write one after you tackle this job.

Good Luck,
 
  #3  
Old 01-05-2018
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Thanks for the reply scrambler82,

more specifically, do you happen to know the sizes of the nuts and bolts to complete the radius bushings? I don’t think I have what’s needed and I hate when I tear something apart only to find outI have to go get something.

I dont I’m going to try and tackle the ibeam bushings, it’s a 4x4 and I did some research in my manual and it seemed like more than I could handle.

thanks again
 
  #4  
Old 01-05-2018
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I do not remember the size of the Radius Arm Nuts and Washers.

Thinking back I used the original Radius Arm Nuts and Washers.

The on the larger size and I would think Ford has discontinued them by now.

The Front Hardwre, got me for sure, get a Repair Manual for your truck and start reading... sorry ! Shouldn't be a problem to determine the sizes needed.
 
  #5  
Old 01-03-2019
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Just wanted to let you know that I have completed the overhaul and let me tell you what a difference! Truck rides somewhat like new at least it feels like it to me and I don't have to cringe when approaching bumps.
 
  #6  
Old 01-04-2019
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Originally Posted by tommyg86 View Post
Just wanted to let you know that I have completed the overhaul and let me tell you what a difference! Truck rides somewhat like new at least it feels like it to me and I don't have to cringe when approaching bumps.
Good to hear ! Happy New Year !

I too found that after I got the problem with my bump-steer straightened out and again when I found out a few things about my brakes and the truck could stop again, each time the truck felt like new, I almost don't want to sell her !

I would think just replacing the Shock and all new Bushings, OEM or Otherwise, the Truck has to feel tighter, almost new again !
Did you do the ball joints ?

I can remember the Wife, telling me to get a new truck... just because I wanted to go through the suspension, brakes, and drivetrain, on the old girl... her reason was good money after bad... BUT I DON'T THINK SO !

Enjoy the new ride !
 
  #7  
Old 01-04-2019
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Non I didn't need to do the ball joints because previous owner did. Lucky me. He was on a "find the rattle hunt" and I guess he never noticed that the radius arm bushings were the main culprit of the shakiness.

Digging into the radius bushing job though lead me to many other things that needed attention.

All that I finally ended up doing is as follows;
radius arm bushings (both sides)
wheel bearings (both sides)
brake calipers (both sides)
new brake pads
Drivers side brake hose (passenger side had been done recently)
sway bar link bushings
sway bar bushings
new hardware for the two front body mounts
new front shock bushings and studs

one thing lead to another and the old ranger really feels like new. I also flushed the brake fluid and power steering fluid.

Now she's a pleasure to drive and I find myself making excuses to drive her around. I hope someday I have the ability and resources to do a ground up restoration or maybe build her into a long travel off-road machine, but those are just dreams. Until then I'll just keep try to whittle down that maintenance list that keeps growing.

thanks Scrambler


 
  #8  
Old 01-05-2019
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Great looking Truck, the picture... was it very small and you expanded the size to fit the page ?

I love the std cab, short bed Rangers, they have a great look and don't appear to be too big !

Good you are mechanical enough to get it done, a lot of work you did !

Do you have a lift on that little girl ?

Ltr
 
  #9  
Old 01-05-2019
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I don't know about the pic, I just uploaded from my phone's gallery.

thanks! For a '94 it does look pretty good.

personally I don't like all the newer 4 door trucks, is it a car? Is it a truck? 😂

2" suspension lift up front. I did that the first time I owned the truck about 10 years ago.
 
  #10  
Old 01-05-2019
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My '88/STX/5.0, was lifted 4.5", It didn't have big tires but they were on the list.
My '95, Std Cab, Short Bed, 4 cyl., 5 sp, was just what it was, good transportation with good milage- 24 mpg.
My latest the '03, gotta luv it, the cab is bigger and it has the look... well at least to me !

Your '94, like my '88 would be easy to lift, if that idea ever came up, and it would look good.

Good Luck on your future mods and fixes.

My ToDo List, is long and time consuming, even at my age, I love modding my truck.

Ltr
 

Last edited by Scrambler82; 01-08-2019 at 10:48 AM.
  #11  
Old 01-07-2019
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Part of the problem with over than stock lifts in Hawaii is you have to get the normal safety inspection, plus a modified vehicle inspection (RECON). Technically with the 2" lift that I have I'm supposed to get the RECON inspection, but I guess it looks like stock so noone has said anything to me about it over the years.

I would love to seriously lift it though, it's just not in the cards ATM
 
  #12  
Old 01-08-2019
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Originally Posted by tommyg86 View Post
Part of the problem with over than stock lifts in Hawaii is you have to get the normal safety inspection, plus a modified vehicle inspection (RECON). Technically with the 2" lift that I have I'm supposed to get the RECON inspection, but I guess it looks like stock so noone has said anything to me about it over the years.

I would love to seriously lift it though, it's just not in the cards ATM
Interesting on the Inspection, too bad actually; CA is no picnic for emissions/engine swaps, but lifts so far seem ok !

My biggest problems with Vehicle Inspections is..., If you can meet the emissions of the year of the vehicle, then you should pass; not what engine, what exhaust, what lift... !

If the vehicle doesn't increase the pollution then the vehicle should be ok.

Good Luck with the truck, you seem to have your stuff together.

Ltr

 
  #13  
Old 01-10-2019
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I've lived in Cali and Hawaii, seems like the two states need to merge many laws.

like in Hawaii, I can ride a 180mph streetbike with no helmet, but if I want to split lanes to avoid traffic I can get a ticket. In Hawaii there is no emissions laws, so just as long as ypur exhaust isn't too loud you can have straight pipes. But if you want to run your truck with oversized tires or lift they won't pass it.

a big one that I think is funny is marijuana, it's illegal in Hawaii like it was in the <90s in Cali, even though pretty much everyone smokes it.

It cost me $375 to register my truck this year, how much is it in Cali? They do it by weight here, I feel sorry for full sized truck owners.

Thanks for the kind words. You're probably the only person in the world that thinks I have anything together.
 
  #14  
Old 01-10-2019
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I lived in a few states, not for long in each one but MA was/is my home state, even though I live in SOCal now !
I moved here in '14 and sometimes wish I hadn't ! Cost of everything is higher, taxes are worse than MA, and gasoline... WTF, where is the price coming from, the east coast has bottom end gas at $2.25 !

As far as Bikes go, I rode a Harley with long hair and beard for years before getting married, sold the bike, never to ride again on a Harley, I borrowed my Uncle's Big Honda but that was the end.
My only grief about Bike riders out here, well there is two major things.
1) Lane splitting, should NEVER be allowed; I believe and could be wrong, it is one of the main reasons for Bike Accidents, some of the riders fly in between vehicles, on the Freeway and especially at stop Lights, and do not care about what happens until it does.
2) From my perspective, the state has taken the responsibility of bike safety out of the hands of the Bike Riders/Drivers and put it in the hands of the vehicle drivers... if a bike is in an accident with you in Cali, you can bet there is a Lawyer that will put you at fault.
AND because of #2, the Bike Riders do things that they shouldn't be doing for safety sake. I know what it is like... I was there once too, I did the split lane thing when I rode, I took some risks but when I did it was my responsibility not the drivers of the cars or trucks, I think that law needs to be reviewed.
And the Helmet Laws, I know the reasoning behind the laws but using one should be the choice of the person riding, if you get hurt without a helmet and could have been safe with one, the only person responsible for the injury is you ! WOW, what a concept !

Anyway, I think my Ranger goes right around the same numbers for registration cost, then there is insurance, Emission Testing... what ever else the state can come up with; and yes, the trucks are registered by weight.
In MA you can register your Truck as a car if you don't use it as a work vehicle... there are a lot of people that register their trucks are cars and then use them for work, the are only fooling themselves, if they get in an accident some insurance companies will not pay.

Engine swapping is a big no-no in Cali, you can get it done and have to run around finding a shop to pass you, but to me, if your truck can meet the emission standards for the year of the vehicle, then you should be ok, whatever engine you want, if it isn't causing more emissions than it would have stock... then it should be ok; and if it can get better milage... then that's a plus for the $$$ and for emissions. So why make such a PITA out of putting in a different engine setup in my truck.
The process is a pain, little alone fees, and having someone that knows the laws with you just in case... $$$$ !
Sometimes I think it is just the money, greed on the part of the state !

OK so much for the BS... if you can fix your vehicle correctly, either because you know something or you can read or listen to someone and then fix it, I would say you are a head of the curve for most people, and if you can take what you know and make money with it then you are really up there... for most of the younger generation today.
If you can do something and others think it is waste of time, I sometimes think it is because they have no idea of what you are doing or how to something themselves and they are trying to pull you down to their level.
I have a number of hobbies, I always get people that ask me why I bother doing all of the stuff I do and I think just what do you do to entertain yourself !?! My hobbies keep me busy, some do make a little cash for me and pay for themselves but some cost me money and although that is a problem, it is what it is, fun to do and keeps me busy in my off time !

As far as Rangers are concerned, I enjoy my Ranger, not the 2019 though... it sucks bug time, but I am asked why don't I buy a new truck, well first I don't want the payments, second and most important I enjoy mt Ranger, the look, the comments form people, the Truck itself, and I enjoy modifying it, changing it, making it mine, remember, little that Jeep saying, " You build a Ranger not buy it" !

OK Im writing too much, Good Luck on your projects, alway take your time and Do It Right The First Time !

Ltr
Happy New Year
 

Last edited by Scrambler82; 01-10-2019 at 09:42 AM.
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