Hey guys, just joined this forum and just today I was looking for frames at a wrecking yard. I have a 1954 f100 cab and hood, and that's what I am starting with to build my rod. I heard all sorts of ideas, but after looking at a ford ranger the frame seams to be perfect. I was looking at 1996-97 because they looked right. The wheel base is just a little bit shorter, but i think it will work. The mid 90s models have the rack and pinion so they seem to be the most attractive. Any ideas, recommendations, considerations? Thanks
the 54 i bought has an explorer axle with drums, but i'm thinking of using it on the matching trailer and replacing it with a mustang 8.8 with 4 link and air, i want the 2.73 some mustangs came with for better cruising on the freeway rather than the 3.73 or what ever the explorer 8.8 has for 0-60 and 1/4 mile times, i believe some mustangs had a 2.45 but i think that could be to high geared
I heard of the Ranger swap but never heard anything good about it. You start swapping out frames it can get messy. I think keeping the same frame and working with it is a good Idea as long as it isnt trashed.
I use a 2001 explorer 8.8-31 spline 373 rear disc, its basically bullet proof and I got it for about $100, parts are fairly reasonable and it adapts well to the stock frame, I do custom air bags so it was cut and re-welded for my needs, I think you can see pics of it in my profile, I need to update with newer [pictures but you will get the picture.
I used explorer brake cables and adapted it for the 52 hand brake, used a continental drive shaft and custom made a triangulated 4 link suspension....
The trans I use is a 3 speed out of a 67 mustang, (manual)- could go with something else but it literally roast the tires flat if wanted. I cruise on the freeway pulling 3300 at 68-72mph.
Rear end parts are a pain to change after they are installed so please put in what you want the 1st time around.....Have questions just ask,,,,good luck
Welcome aboard. Post some pics when you get a chance so we can see what you are working with. We put the Explorer 8.8in. axle & springs under our 1950 F1. If you use '97 - '01 they come with disc brakes. We went with a 2001 with disc brakes & the 3.73 gearing - it also came with a limited slip differential.
I was a little concerned that the (3) spring set up wouldn't let us use the truck as a truck but it's been fine - we've hauled all kinds of things - couches, water tanks, etc. Our truck did not have an emergency brake so we took the Explorer set up & used it as well. It fits nice.
You will have to move the shock perches - so you have to grind off the old ones. We moved a bed brace to put the shocks where we wanted it - See pic. The ride is more like a truck than a car - a little bouncy but not bad.
We removed the gas tank from the cab & went out back between the frame rails with a 22 gallon '70 Mustang Tank. There is a good write up on here by a user named jniolin - search & it'll pop up. I think we paid $120 through Rockauto.com for the tank & another $70 for the sending unit.
o It's not totally plug & play - you have to shave a little bit off frame rail to get it in there & build a frame for it. John Niolin has good schematics.
o Getting the Tank to talk to the Gauge was a PITA. We used after market gauges & needed a sender that used modern 0ohms to 200 ohms for Empty /Full. (We used the '70 sending unit for the fuel pick up line & soldered a universal sending unit on with the float - it works fine).
o It's really nice to get 40% more range for our truck vs the 16 gallon stock tank. You fill the tank through the Bed with this option.
Keep asking questions - lot's of knowledgeable friendly guys on here.
Thanks Ben! I want to try and get the filler to the tank down behind the license plate so I dont have to fill from inside the bed. Need a tank with a fill tube that's on the back of the tank instead of on top like the mustang. I may just have to move the filler on a mustang tank.
Thanks for your note on the explorer springs. It looks like you kept the axle on top of the springs and did not notch the frame. You mentioned a little bouncy but not bottoming out or anything. Did you use Ranger hangers like mt54? Did you shave the hangers or move the spring perch? Sorry for all the questions, I am picking up a 2000 explorer rear end and springs tomorrow so I trying to figure out the best way to put it in. Based on the advise I will also grab the sway bar and emergency brake all the way to the peddle though I would like to find a way to connect it to the pull lever in the in 56. Thanks again
I'll have to take some pics of our final set up when my son brings the truck down tonight from college. Zack borrows the truck a lot to impress the college girls.
We didn't do anything with the frame. Just had to move the one bed brace to mount our shocks. There are a number of different ways to mount the shocks. The springs we originally set up over the axle but I thought the rake was too high so we flipped it to lower it a bit. Pics to follow. You'll be happy with the 8.8 - good choice.
Are you saying the explorer springs were used with the factory F1 spring hangers in their stock locations? Or did you use Ranger or other hangers?
I show the explorer springs as much longer than the stock F1 springs, 45" for the F1 vs 56 3/4" for the explorer and 2" wide vs 2" 1/2" for the explorer.