RockRangerII Refresh | Page 21 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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RockRangerII Refresh

I am going to be going through my 93 ranger and giving it a refresh. I bought the truck in late 2004. Other then a rancho lift kt it was an all stock stripped truck with a 4.0 manual trans and tcase. No AC cruise or power windows. The perfect basic wheeling rig.

Here are the specs of how the truck currently sat before this refresh.

4.0V6 all stock
Stock 5 speed
d.d. machine duel case setup with manual 1350 front and 1354 rear.
Front axle is a 1984 Jeep wagonner dana 44 converted to 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern 4.88 gears and an Aussie locker
Three link front suspension using 8" skyjacker TJ springs.
Rear axle is a 1992 explorer 8.8 4.88 gears and welded spider gears.
63" Chevy springs with a bellteck shackle.
BroncoII tank behind the rear axle
Warn 9.5 XP winch behind the front grill.
Interior roll cage
37" MTR on 17" steel rims

11806351705_12f3ea8e7c_c.jpg

Untitled by dresselhausfc, on Flickr

I took the truck down to King of The Hammers and few years ago and did some wheeling and managed to crush the bed good. Broke both front hubs and all 4 front axles, bent the rear driveshaft and ripped a shock mount off. Due to life getting in the way it sat on the trailer for 18 months before I even touched it again. Now I plan to give the truck some love and get it back on the trials again.
 



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97cherbal

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how much are you asking for your mud flap brackets? are you welding them up or sending them as a DIY weld up kit?
 



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97cherbal

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Just finished reading all 17pages, AWESOME FABRICATIONS

I really think I want both front & back rear leaf spring mounts & your beltech style shackle's as well as the mud flap brackets. All could be DIY as I have a mig welder.
Questions you might have some insight to as your wife's jeep is leaf spring front & your Ranger is coil springs. My 94 Ranger is currently still 2wd but I have 5.5" suspension lift. I already have a 8.8 4.10 LS rear end in truck, but it will swapped for a disc explorer 8.8 in near future & I have a D30 from my old jeep Comanche and all 4wd drive train to convert. Which do you feel is better for front suspension especially when carrying a load. Like a in bed RV Camper? I have 319,674 miles on my rangers 2.3 4cyl which I may still keep as I have 4wd 5spd for it & front & rear drive lines. I do have a 150,000 mile 4.0 SOHC & A/T from a 2001 2wd explorer that could be used. I also have both a 1350 & 1354 transfer cases. Is one better then the other?

I also plan to do what ford never did. My 94 ranger is a std cab w/ long bed, however I want the ext cab & retain the long bed. I have a 98 ext cab to be used. I will need to extend frame between cab & front bed mounts approx. 14".

With your welding & fabrication experience how would you go about extending frame?

I plan to do a Z style cut to frame. Cut about 12" long which would be a center cut on frame rail then up at front of cut & down at rear of cut, weld in 14" section needed with same pattern of cut to match front & rear section of frame, while the sections are welded together a 3-4ft section of Channel that is clamped & tack welded to bottom of frame to keep properly aligned. Then add a 3/8 plate about 12" long over each spliced joint to the inside of frame rail & have it bolted with 6 bolts on each side of the splice over a 5" section on each side of welded splice. After that weld on a 3ft section of another Ranger frame over the spliced area with it being inside on top of factory frame & outside on bottom of frame. So like two sections of channel facing each other but with top flange inside of the other & bottom flange outside of the other.

Back to the rear leaf spring hanger set up. Do you all using 63" chevy leaf springs retain both hangers in stock locations? You mentioned possibly making hangers to allow a 2" drop to eliminate any lift blocks. Im thinking with a camper mounted in bed lower center of gravity would be better & I plan to run 315/75/16s which are same as 35x12.50 & Im also guessing that 4.88s would be best gearing whether I have 4cyl or V-6.

Eventually I will make a 7ft long flat bed that will be a dump style.

Pm me with cost & options to all hangers & shackles, maybe even center traction bar axle brackets.

Thanks a lot ,Thomas AKA: ( HAWKSTER ) Truck is Seahawked out & license plate is also personalized for the HAWKS
 






RockRanger

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Lots of questions. I like the coil springs better then leafs up front. I used to have leafs and converted to coil springs. If you do a search for RockRangerII it should come up. This is the rebuild thread.

As far as cutting the frame to extend I am not sure. I have never done it so I can't give any recomendations.

For 63 inch Chevy springs the shackle hanger stays in place. The front hanger moves forward the distance of the lower bolt holes of the hanger.

For the spring hangers and shackle hangers I make them factory height and in 2inch lift when using both. The HD shackles I made require my hangers as the larger bushing won't fit the factory hanger.

The 1354 is better then the 1350. The 1350 has a slip yoke front shaft and a 4 gear planetary gear. The 1354 has a 6 gear planetary gear. Depending on your front suspension the 1350 might not have enough slip in it.

Did I miss anything?
 






97cherbal

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so 63" chevy leaf spring with your hangers & shackles will gain how many inches of lift & is that with out any lift blocks?
 






RockRanger

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so 63" chevy leaf spring with your hangers & shackles will gain how many inches of lift & is that with out any lift blocks?

Sorry I missed this post.

The two hangers combined give two inches of lift. So if you add the hangers and remove the block you would end up at roughly the same spot. The 63" springs gave me about 3" of lift. So the two hangers, keep the factory block, and 63" chevys would probably end up somewhere around 5-6 inches of lift. You could add a longer shackle and get another inch or so of lift.
 






Stic-o

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While searching on Amazon I found some $19 LED pod lights so I decided to give them a try. I needed mounts so I decided to try the bottom of the windshield. I drew up a bracket and cut them out.

21825708975_ee56eea31b_c.jpg
20150929_111335 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr

Not having a decent way to bend metal I resorted to a hammer and vice. The cut lines in the bracket help to line up the bend points.

21825708915_6e7ec2c23d_c.jpg
20150929_111521 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr

Two brackets mirror images of each other for each side of the truck.

21794820876_658c4e26e9_c.jpg
20150929_134400 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr

Lights mounted up.

21638776809_90e04cc320_c.jpg
20150929_175939 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr

Hood clears all the way through normal motion. I still need to wire and aim them. If I decide I like them I have a few ideas for improving these mounts that I will implement into version two.

21638773589_d087085115_c.jpg
20150929_175656 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr

Can I get a set of these for the Navajo. I'm pretty sure they would bolt on the same. Let me know
 












josh40601

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how was the dusy trip? I have got to get out there with you on it one of these trips. Its a bit of a trek, but I REALLY want to run this trail in the future. I dunno about 2019, but possibly 2020 or 2021.
 






RockRanger

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Dusy was fast. We got to the trail head Monday at 7:30 am. At the trail head we found a guy from Poway broke. He broke a rear axle and rear locker Friday about 7 miles in by himself. He spent two days winching and stacking rocks to get out. He was out of water and basically immobile. We used the Ham radio to contact people back in town to contact his wife and had a friend working on getting a trailer or tow truck out to pick him up. We hit the trail at about 8:30.

We made it a few miles in when my friends Jeep commando just stopped running 4.3 chevy tbi. We spent two hours messing with it. We narrowed it down to the computer not turning on the fuel pump and not allowing the fuel injectors to fire. We got him turned around, passed a group of jeeps, and drug him back out to the trailhead where our friend helping the first guy also helped get him home as well.

We turned nack around and hit the trail at 2pm. At just before 4 pm we caught the group of Jeeps at the base of Thompson Hill. We spent the next two plus hours helping them get up the hill as they wouldn't let us past. Instead of making it to East lake like planned we stopped at Thompson lake and setup camp around 6 pm.

Got up at day break packed camp and were on the trail at 8am. Other then a two minute bathroom stop at East and a 5 minute stretch at Ershim lake we never stopped. We did the last 20 miles of trail in just under 6 hours and made it out at 2pm. We aired up and I was home around 4 pm.

We had about 8.5 hours of actual moving time on the trail. Would I do it this fast again? I wouldn't want to. I still think the best way is to spend 5 days on the trail so you can do some hiking, fishing and relaxing. There was no relaxing thru any of it.

Total damage to the ranger, my 73 year old dad who was riding with me pulled the grab handle out of the roof on the passenger side. It wasn't in that well so kind of expected. I could leave today add gas and do the whole thing again.
 












josh40601

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holy cow man, I can't believe how fast you guys were moving. That is freaking insane. Yea, we have a club from down here that does a run up there every year, hell it could have been those jeeps you ran into, and they usually do a 5 day trip. It makes it tough for us socal guys to get that much time off work, but definitely on my bucket list. I've also been that guy who broke by himself, up in nor cal, and I drove the truck there. That was my Rubicon trip, and like him, I was able to meet some amazing people that helped get Kristina and I home safe and sound. If you make it down to truckhaven or KOH this year, I got a cold beer for ya.

I also want to hit the rubicon again, but actually take like 3 days, so I can stay at Buck Island one night, rubicon springs one night, then lake tahoe one night.

Glad to hear you all made it through with essentially no breakage, and that the truck is performing so well right now.
 






RockRanger

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That ham radio has been invaluable to you. Sounds like a heck of an ordeal for that guy. Guess he won't go solo again, or get his own ham. Lol

We use Ham almost exclusively on the trail now with the guys I wheel with. Another example was on our way thru the trail we spread out by about 10 minutes so we weren't eating dust the whole time. But we could talk with each other the entire time. I should have listened to @Rick years ago and got my license. Now I am trying to get my wife to get her license. I highly recommend ham radio.


holy cow man, I can't believe how fast you guys were moving. That is freaking insane. Yea, we have a club from down here that does a run up there every year, hell it could have been those jeeps you ran into, and they usually do a 5 day trip. It makes it tough for us socal guys to get that much time off work, but definitely on my bucket list. I've also been that guy who broke by himself, up in nor cal, and I drove the truck there. That was my Rubicon trip, and like him, I was able to meet some amazing people that helped get Kristina and I home safe and sound. If you make it down to truckhaven or KOH this year, I got a cold beer for ya.

I also want to hit the rubicon again, but actually take like 3 days, so I can stay at Buck Island one night, rubicon springs one night, then lake tahoe one night.

Glad to hear you all made it through with essentially no breakage, and that the truck is performing so well right now.

It was to fast. We didn't stop to take any pictures or hardly look around. This was my second time thru the whole trail and one end I have done 4 times. Next year we might try again and do the whole trail in a day. We would still take camping gear and food for multiple nights. If you break down you could be there a few days waiting on repairs. I want to do Rubicon next year for 3 or more days. My last trip there was in 2005 I think. Sad as it is only 250 miles from my door to Loon Lake.

One thing to note on the trail. On Monday we met two Sammi's coming out and then followed the group of jeeps up Thompson Hill. On Tuesday once we left camp we never saw another person or vehicle on the next 20 miles of trail. I have spent more then a few days up there on the trail where we haven't seen any other groups.
 






josh40601

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yea, that is scary. That is why I would most definitely only go with someone with a HAM.

How hard is the license test for the HAM? And is it REALLY needed? I have a little race radio and it works like shit, so I am looking at stepping up to something with more range for when we are out on the trails. What's the difference between HAM and the race radio stuff you get from people like Rugged Radios? Sorry to sideline your thread, feel free to message me (or tell me to piss off and google search it)
 






Rick

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How hard is the license test for the HAM?

EASY

And is it REALLY needed?

YES!

The repeaters you will be using are privately owned. Those who own them do not like unlicensed people to use their equipment, and neither does the ham radio community as a whole. Ham radio's #1 purpose is emergency communications, and we feel anyone using the gear should be able to use it to help the community in an emergency.


AA9PW FCC Exam Practice » Amateur Radio Exam Practice
This page has practice tests that use the exact questions and answers you will see on the test, you want to start with the Technician class. Near the top left of the page is the spot where you can take the practice exams.

To study, buy a book for the Technican Class license:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=technician+class+book

I just kept taking the practice tests until I was very proficient, then I went in to take the test and passed 1st time, no problem.
 






RockRanger

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Pretty much what Rick said. The race radios use frequencies that they really shouldn't be using. No comment on Rugged Radios but I won't buy from them. If you want more info you can stop by Ham Radio Outlet. They are just off 163 and Balboa I believe.

You can also check out myoffroadradio.com Tyler who runs it does alot of wheeling around the Rubicon and his Dad is in the same club as me. I have done a few wheeling trips with him. He os also on the high sierra 4x4 podcast.

I just downloaded the test app on my phone and went thru the questions till I was able to pass. Still don't know much but slowly learning more. It is a tool for my 4 wheeling addiction. I won't be doing any field days. In the last 3 years Ham radios have probably saved 6 different wheeling trips I have been on.
 












5spdman

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2nd that, I just might have to look into them. Don't do as much wheeling as I would like around my parts, but the wheeling around here isn't the same as out west.

I'm picking up on a possible Rubicon trip? I would love to join in on that if it would happen!
 






RockRanger

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I'm picking up on a possible Rubicon trip? I would love to join in on that if it would happen!

If you can make it out to California and the Rubicon I will do everything in my power to be able to make that trip. I think 3 to 4 days on the trail would be best. My last Rubicon trip was 2005 I think.

Also have another quick run coming up with a friend. Going to try and do Swamp Lake trail, then Spanish Lake trail, then iftime allows do the 30 mile loop of forest service roads back down to valley. Going to try and do it all in one day.
 



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Stic-o

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Wow that's a long day. Of course Swamp probably isn't to bad if you're not on 33's and an ifs:rolleyes:
 






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