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Old 02-15-2012, 10:39 PM
Caleb1 Caleb1 is offline
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Ranger axle swap questions

So, over the next few months im gonna start lookin' for a 1rst Gen 4x4 ranger tu gradually build up an I havea question about axles. I would like to upgrade to explorer or 4.0 ranger axles so I can run Lockers and 33 to 35 inch tires. From what i remeber these axles will just bolt up, is this correct? also the explorer axles have spring under mounts but the 4.0 ranger axles have spring over so If i run the bigger ranger axles I could just bolt them up to the 1rst Gen and be done with it correct? so then i wouldnt have to worry about having the spring perches cut and re welded is what i'm thinkin'.
And also does the front axle bolt up as well or does any of this require fab work?
And...after these axles are installed will a suspension lift still bolt on correctly or will the new axles throw it off to where it needs some tweaking? just wanna get an idea of what im gettin into here. Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:05 AM
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If you want to run big tires, I would get axles from a little Bronco. They are definitely tough enough to handle it. I'm almost sure it will require some fabrication. Oh, and by the way, I don't mean a Bronco II, I mean a little Bronco.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:28 AM
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Find an 8.8 out of an Explorer or 4.0 ranger and swap it in. I believe the ranger is a bolt in swap, but the explorer perches will have to be flipped. Take a tape.measure to make sure it will all fit before you pull it, specifically the distance between the spring perches. The 8.8 is plenty strong enough for what you want (they were also used under F150s). There is an article on here or therangerstation.com about swapping the explorer ttb or lateer ranger ttb in, if i remember right it was a bolt in swap also. Hope this helps!
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:00 PM
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Explorer 8.8s are the way to go because they already have disk brakes. If you can tackle a SAS then flipping perches, regardless of original spring pad width, is no big deal at all. I agree on the EB solid axle but I will add buy one from a 76 or 77 for disk brakes and open knuckles


Regardless, no solid front axle will be a quick, easy, bolt in swap. A fair amount of mechanical skills will be required.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:15 PM
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Well, im not much of a welder fabricator right now so Im lookin to stay simple as possible. It wont see much hardcore cation, just mud and weekend driving so im not to worried about the strength. The lockers will only be engaged in mud so no crawlin or anything with them to make stuff break. When it rains our roads get slick and a factory 4x4 will just sit and spin in circles, so thats why i want the lockers. I may even just do only the rear axle and locker to start with re match the gears and do the front Later. Would the front from a 4.0 ranger work also?


I just wanted to make sure my info was right. looks like its time i start hangin out at the rangerstation again.

Thanks everyone so very much!!!
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:11 PM
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The 4.0 is a good engine as far as factory Ranger engines go. AVOID the 3.0...the 4cyl is better.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:27 AM
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oh yeah bud, i can mane 3 people that had the cracked head problem. no tolerance for mistakes at all.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:09 AM
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Cracked head? Never heard of that. Weve got 4 rangersne with the 2.3, two with the 3.0, and one with the 4.0 and, other than being kinda a dog, the 3.0's have been very reliable. They just don't make power or get great mileage.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:46 AM
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Bad gas mileage and no power is reason enough to avoid the 3.0 when the 2.3 and 4.0 are so readily available and have a good deal of aftermarket support
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