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Lowering a 4x4 questions

zjrog

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Seems silly, but I am just spitballing ideas. It is looking like I will be getting a B2 soon. And it seems silly to want 4x4 and sitting low, but this isn't planned as a trail machine. I would like to get it to sit about as low as a stock 4x2 Ranger.

How low can the TTB go and not hit the engine crossmember?

How much of that crossmember DARE I cut to clear the front pumpkin before worrying about supporting the passenger side arm?

How low can the TTB go before alignment becomes a problem?

Since the B2 crossmember isn't drilled for the 2.3 4 banger, I'd like to consider a custom crossmember. Which means no TTB, but use a D30 solid axle.

Is there a BW series transfer case that could bolt up to my 5 speed, that offers fulltime (AWD) and part time functions?

I'm looking at lowering to help with MPGs. I'm not looking to build a trail machine, just something with 4x4 for snow that will get better MPG than my Jeep or Supercrew. If I do get a B2 in the next couple months, I AM swapping my 90 2.3 and 5 speed in. And likely swapping a 1350 manual shift in instead of the 1354E, for simplicity. The rest is just bench racing...
 



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rookieshooter

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Since the B2 crossmember isn't drilled for the 2.3 4 banger, I'd like to consider a custom crossmember. Which means no TTB, but use a D30 solid axle.

I'd really give this whole idea a second thought. But do admire your exuberance. With that being said I did exactly what your thinking about the cross member but for different reasons. Mine was to put a linked D44 in the front plus relocate axle further forward. When I placed the 302 I re drilled the crossmember for the motor mounts. Then when I built the new crossmember I cut just below the motor mounts. I also used a dual sump oil pan which made the install easier. Future mods on the Xmember is to make it removable so I can take off the oil pan without taking engine out...Need to check on the rod and crank bearings lol.

DSC03852-1-1.jpg


Here I got most the X member out and the first of two braces in.

DSC03861.jpg


DSC04529.jpg


Done.

I'd be leery of using the 35 for a front axle and pushing heavy snow. Just google how strong is a d35. My experience was also the fact that the way they're designed it acted like a plow in heavy snow. Last thing is if your really serious about this and not just sitting on the bench a 44 would be a wiser choice unless you already have the 30. Then again the engine your thinking about using may not have to worry about the 30?
 






zjrog

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I'm quite familiar with the strengths and weakness' of the D30. I have one in my 95 Grand Cherokee...
Zutahsnowrun010.jpg


I like the way you cut that crossmember. I was thinking about an additional forward of the steering box as well. Perhaps even an over the engine style cage, removable of course, to tie the coil buckets together. I don't intend to run a tire any bigger than a 235/75/15. That tire, and a 4 banger shouldn't stress the D30 any more than my Jeep does. Again, not a trail machine, but a street/highway machine.

I will need to build mounts for control arms and have considered a 3 link instead of 4. I have a bunch of different tubular control arms for Jeeps to choose from. Fixed and adjustable.

I reckon I need to look at other D30 SAS swaps here to see how much room they had.

Exuberance? I don't think I've ever been accused of that! And I just turned 50! Just trying to get some ideas gelled or rejected. Means NOTHING if I don't get the truck.
 






rookieshooter

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Sounds like you did your homework. Like to see a build thread if and when you do it.
Nice wheeling area you live in.
 






zjrog

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I used to have my son's 90 Ranger sitting in the driveway, he worked on it when he could and I used to crawl under it thinking about, well, just thinking about the way things wee laid out. But over the summer we stripped his Ranger and his Explorer and the 90 Ranger is terrorizing the trails and the Ex went to the crusher. So I don't have anything to crawl under and see what fits or not.

That being said, I will probably run stock Cherokee coils for the D30, and I'll move the coil buckets forward (since the coil on the D30 sits a little in front of the axle not centered over it) a bit and probably up a little. I will want to reinforce the frame when cutting the crossmember. Like I said, add a crossmember to support the steering box and the trackbar needed for the D30.

I did give some thought to a custom crossmember that simply moved the TTB pivots up. And that may be an option. Or much more involved, graft in the front frame section from a IFS RBV and lower it that way. I don't know if I'm ready for THAT much fab though.

Honestly, I've had about three major "flavors" of B2 in mind for a long time. This one I'm discussing now. Or, a low center of gravity BIG tire trail toy (think 2" lift and 38-40" tires and LOTS of fender trimming). And of course, an EFI V8 roadster like an early Bronco, complete with a fold down windsheild from a Wrangler (saw one in a magazine a million years ago!)...

A couple questions for giggles...

What was the highest gear ratio offered in the RBVs? I have a D30 with 3.55s and one with 3.07s. Short tires and 3.07s with a 5 speed ought to be useful on the highway.

Was there ever a transfer case in the RBVs that offered Part time AND Fulltime 4x4 as well as 4x2? My Jeep has a manual shift transfer case that does all that. And I KNOW I'm not smart enough or talented enough to make the NP242 fit the Ranger's transmission.

Utah is an awesome place to live. I haven't even made it to Moab yet, still exploring the northern half of the state. I LOVE my desert areas!
 






zjrog

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Another question...

Did the B2 come with factory lift blocks in the rear like the Rangers did?
 






4x4junkie

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I don't think you'll be able to get it much more than 1-2" lower and still have enough suspension uptravel to keep every drainage dip or pothole from jarring your teeth out, there isn't much space there between the axle and the frame.

Also, I wouldn't get too aggressive with axle gearing... Too tall can actually kill your MPG. Both the stock 2.9L V6 as well as the 2.3L you spoke of swapping in tend to be at their happiest cruising in the range of 2400-2700 RPM @ 65MPH. 3.08 gears would be all but certain to put it far out of that sweet spot with even the smallest tires, forget about having enough power to get going (with 235/75R15 tires you'd probably want either a 3.73 or 4.10 ratio).

How much mileage are you trying to squeeze out of this thing anyway? I ask because mine was easily in the range of 26 MPG hwy before I lifted it (2.9 V6, FM146, 3.73 gears, 205/75R15 tires). Many of today's SUVs with all their technicological electronical wizardry crap aren't doing a whole lot better, some are actually worse. Given the BII's brick-like aerodynamics, that's actually pretty good I think. Even the Toyota Camry my dad had got worse mileage (around 24 or so, which completely took me by surprise one time I borrowed it for a long trip).

Lastly, a 2.3L should fit fine in a BII. AFAIK, all the RBV crossmembers (barring 2WD Rangers) are the same, you just have to have the correct motor mounts is all.


Edit:
No rear blocks on BIIs.



I'd be leery of using the 35 for a front axle and pushing heavy snow. Just google how strong is a d35. My experience was also the fact that the way they're designed it acted like a plow in heavy snow. Last thing is if your really serious about this and not just sitting on the bench a 44 would be a wiser choice unless you already have the 30. Then again the engine your thinking about using may not have to worry about the 30?


:scratch:
8 years I've had 35x12.50s on a D35 front and it been fine (it gets used too, just look at my BII page). There are also guys running 38" tires and not killing it... Of course that isn't something I would recommend though (nor would I on the D44 you're suggesting for that matter).
The HP D35 TTB isn't the same as the rear D35 in a Jeep (what Google is liable to swamp you with results for if you don't also specify "TTB").

Of course with the little 235/75R15 tires and street use the OP was proposing, the stock D28 would more than likely be plenty sufficient here. ;)
 






rusty7983

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I have a stock B2. I run 235 75 15. they came off my old ranger RIP. The B2 has 3.45's and runs down the highway good. It is no power house, be I can pass if I need to. It does not have the power my Mustang does. I would like to do the 4.0 swap. I have a fuel leak and have not calculated MPG's. I got to be at or close to 25 MPG.
 






janderson4010

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That being said, I will probably run stock Cherokee coils for the D30, and I'll move the coil buckets forward (since the coil on the D30 sits a little in front of the axle not centered over it) a bit and probably up a little. I will want to reinforce the frame when cutting the crossmember. Like I said, add a crossmember to support the steering box and the trackbar needed for the D30.

be prepared for some pretty serious driver side frame rail modifications, when I put the d30 in my bII I had to cut a big chunk out of the frame and plate it in with 3/16", i'll post a photo if you are interested. I went forward about 5", and I think it is causing weird things with my steering on the road. course I used the stock jeep steering and it is junk. See my thread for sas with a coil d30, don't make some of the mistakes I did.
 






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