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Old March 11th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #1
hoss
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Default Ranger Solid Axle Swap

Any1 have any information on performing a solid axle swap on a ranger? best donor vehicles, just any insight? I'd appreciate it.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #2
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best donor vehicle would be a 66-77 bronco - axles are the same width as yours, and front has driver side drop. Find them both because they'll be 5x5.5, which means you'll have to swap the rear or use spacers (which IMO are bad) to make the front and rear lug pattern match.

You can also use the 78-79 f series front axles, or jeep waggy axles that were driver side drop.....
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Old March 11th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #3
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any idea how hard the suspension stuff is to adapt? the easier the better.

Thanks for your help!!

Adam
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Old March 11th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #4
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I've never actually done a swap on a ranger, but I've done plenty of reading.

First, ask yourself this: What do you want out of it? What size tires, how much flex, how easy of a swap, etc.....

I've seen them done with leafs, coils, and coil overs....there's a ton of ways, and all of which can be different depending on what axle you want to run (D30/44/60)
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Old March 13th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris1044
I've never actually done a swap on a ranger, but I've done plenty of reading.

First, ask yourself this: What do you want out of it? What size tires, how much flex, how easy of a swap, etc.....

I've seen them done with leafs, coils, and coil overs....there's a ton of ways, and all of which can be different depending on what axle you want to run (D30/44/60)
well, i really need the strength, but a D35 TTB from an xploder would do me there. 35" tires would be great for now, will fit with a little trimming, and the lift i have now. would like to have 38.5s, but that is a lot of money. that's prolly be the way to go, just a bolt in and i've heard theier just a little bit weaker than a D44, and can handle just about anything? Thanks man!
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Old March 14th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #6
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A D35 is capable of standing up to 35's under some harsh punishment....keep in mind that this front end is different from the heep 35's as well (for those who are reading it. You can upgrade the hubs to warn jeep hubs, clearance the axle shaft yokes so they dont bind, and upgrade to 297 u jonts in the front and you should be fine with it....the strength of a D44 is really only in the ring/pinon set up over this axle - that and the wheel bearing spacing on the 35 is a little narrow which requires lots of attention to keep the bearings in good shape

Edit: And a D35 from a ranger is the same as a D35 from a sploder'

Theres a few guys over on therangerstation.com that are running 37's on this front end with minimal problems.

That said, lifting and tweaking the TTB to perform and maintain good street manners can take alot of time and money.....but if you want something thats just bolt in that's a good option.....

Personally though, for 38's I'd skip the D44 and go with a 60 if you're going to do a solid axle swap.....just because you'll gain alot more strength for minimal cost over a 44 (which isn't really a huge upgrade over the 35 unless you've got bling shafts and joints which make it very expensive....)

Last edited by chris1044; March 14th, 2006 at 11:37 AM.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #7
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Not to Hi-jack your thread..

Is a D44 TTB any stronger than a standard D44? I was thinking of modding up one of those for my Ranger (because I'm stubborn and feel like keeping around my TTB :gman: ). I was planning on running 38's as well.

Or is the R&P strength you were talking about refering to the TTB D44?
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Old March 14th, 2006, 07:17 PM   #8
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From what I've gathered the D44 TTB isn't any stronger than the D44 straight axle. And, the only strenth area's it has over th D35 TTB axle - in it's modified form, (not the SLA one because thats a low pinion set - found in 98+ rangers) is that it's got a marginally stronger R&P set. The D44 also has an advantage in the wheel bearing area because they are spaced further apart. The D35 has to narrow of spacing, which means with larger tires and deep offset rims you've got to service them more (I repack mine and adjust them atleast every two months - more when wheeling in water because the TTB hubs I have seal for shit.)

There are alot of mods that can be done with a bolt in D35. The only real advantage you would gain going through the hassle of swaping in a TTB 44 would be the fullwidth of the axle (assuming you'd leave it fullwidth - otherwise the work needed to narrow and swap it in kinda outweights the small strength advantage over a simple bolt in D35)

And the TTB isn't the bad horrible front end everyone cry's about - it just takes some thought as well as alot of time to work the quirks out of it....however, I'd doubt that even a SAS D44 will stand up to the punishment of a V8 with 38's (assuming you want it in your 5.0 ranger captain ledd), especially in the primarily mud/sand wheeling enviro here in MI - unless you dont use the skinny pedal often

Last edited by chris1044; March 14th, 2006 at 07:20 PM.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 07:50 PM   #9
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Agreed about how under rated the suspension is.

I was actually thinking about a D60 TTB (because who's done that?) and going with 5.12's for the 38" tires. I was also going to tube it out and do a custom width.. I paid good money for the drop brackets, and the D28 I'm told will not hold up well to the size tires I'm currently running, then throw a V8 on top of it. With a 6.12(?):1 crawler gear before the T-case I can put alot of torque to the wheels.

I like lower gears, it's not a highway rig or a DD. The gearing and tire combo that I have claim that if I hit 70 mph in top gear, that 302 would be turning somewhere in the 3,600RPM range. I was

I want to be getting some parts together for this project sooner rather than later, that why I inquired about that here. If the TTB D35 was stronger than the rear D35 I figured I'd inquire about the D44. It still seems odd to me that the TTB one is so much stronger.

Thanks Chris!

About putting a Solid Axle in, could you use the stock radius arms and then just make a trac bar from the passenger drop bracket? I think that would keep everything where it's supposed to be. Is that a good or bad idea?

*edit: Is the above a good idea for a mildly built rig? like NO lift and mayyybe 30" tires? (it also will not get wheeled at all). I was thinking of running just a chunk of tube on my 2WD Ranger parts truck with either D30 or D44 knuckles on the ends (whichever ends up free, or next to it, most likely the D30) because that thing sees alot of highway, and the bump steer is really pissing me off.

Last edited by Captain Ledd; March 14th, 2006 at 08:02 PM.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Ledd
Agreed about how under rated the suspension is.

I was actually thinking about a D60 TTB (because who's done that?) and going with 5.12's for the 38" tires. I was also going to tube it out and do a custom width.. I paid good money for the drop brackets, and the D28 I'm told will not hold up well to the size tires I'm currently running, then throw a V8 on top of it. With a 6.12(?):1 crawler gear before the T-case I can put alot of torque to the wheels.

I like lower gears, it's not a highway rig or a DD. The gearing and tire combo that I have claim that if I hit 70 mph in top gear, that 302 would be turning somewhere in the 3,600RPM range. I was
They only made the TTB up to a dana 50 front end....it's used in the F250's with IFS and is leaf sprung. If I'm not mistaken, it's alot stronger than the TTB44. If you really want to know more about doing a swap with it (convert it to coils obviously for your ranger) I'd ask over on therangerstation.com in their axles/fab forum - I'm sure someone knows more about it over there.....i've never really taken the time to look and compare it to the other TTB axles.

I've read on other forums that people have used TTB 44 knuckles/hubs/outer stub shafts for spline count/brakes on the D35 beams to gain the upgraded wheel bearing spacing as well as larger brakes (the hubs arent much stronger than the jeep hub upgrade for the 35) - but that swap is fairly rare from what I've read, and I'm not real knowlegable on it....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Ledd
I want to be getting some parts together for this project sooner rather than later, that why I inquired about that here. If the TTB D35 was stronger than the rear D35 I figured I'd inquire about the D44. It still seems odd to me that the TTB one is so much stronger.

Thanks Chris!
The TTB 35 is stronger than the jeep 35 because it's a whole different axle. The ring and pinion is a high pinion set up, unlike the jeep 35 low pinion set up.
While they share the same carrier (jeep lockers can be used in the front of rangers with this axle - TTB or SLA) as well as the same spider spline#, thats about all they share.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Ledd
About putting a Solid Axle in, could you use the stock radius arms and then just make a trac bar from the passenger drop bracket? I think that would keep everything where it's supposed to be. Is that a good or bad idea?
Nope....solid axle is a whole nother box of worms. the stock radius arms are set up for TTB beams - wont work on an solid axle housing. The coil buckets must be modified (usually replaced with the coil buckets from the axle donor vehicle (unless you're going with leafs up front)) as well as the huge engine crossmember - it's got to be trimmed in the front for proper track bar clearance.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 08:32 PM   #11
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So whats wrong with the coil buckets?

The radius arms would keep the axle from wraping and any forward-backward movement. The Drivers side drop bracket can just be removed, the passenger bracket is already controlling the left-right on the passenger axle. The only issue I see is that the Trac bar would bind, so heims would be in order, and a limiting strap.

I see what your saying for a 4WD model though, would it work for just the tube on a stock suspension 2WD truck?
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Old March 14th, 2006, 09:07 PM   #12
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The coil buckets wont fit the proper springs that will fit on the axle mounted spring perch. They're also dont have the proper shock set up if I'm not mistaken....

The radius arms for the TTB axle are entirely different than the radius arms for a SAS set up - that's what I was getting at (different in design where they attach to the axle - not different in function). As far as the crossmember being trimmed, I'm not talkign about the drop brackets for the TTB beam pivots, I'm talking about the crossmember itself...it must be trimmed....i'll try to find pics, but envision the crossmember the TTB pivots are bolted to. It's huge, and welded in place....you know it's basically U channel bent into the shape to cradle the engine....well the front part of the U has to be cut off, otherwise the track bar binds with it when it's rubbing.....
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Old March 14th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #13
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I guess I'll have to see your pics.

On both of my Rangers the passenger drop bracket is riveted behind the engine cradle bracket, and sits outside of it. Bah.. I can't explain it good enough:


^not the clearest, and it's the one with the skyjacker kit, but the one that came off was similar, just shorter.

Or do you mean the Solid axle will hit it?

I was going to re use the stock springs and make spring and shock mounts on the axle tube.

I suppose if I was going to go through the trouble of making all those brackets on the axle I might as well 4-link it.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 09:28 PM   #14
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no, i mean the track bar for the solid axle will hit that crossmember it's bolted to during flex - mainly on compression.

You see the bolts that hold the pass drop bracket to the x member in your pic? No imagine that's the front side of the x member - all that ridge that the bracket is bolted to will have to be shaved off to allow trac bar clearance....follow me?
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Old March 14th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #15
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OH, the little lip along the bottom edge?

Or the other ridge that's toward the front of the truck (where you can see the red bracket bolted to), if this is what your talking about I'm even more confused than I was before.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #16
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yes, the big ridge towards the front of the truck on the x member...it hangs down so far that when a track bar is set up for the solid axle it's going to hit and rub on it....so it must be cut.....

damn, i'll try to find pics I guess....
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Old March 14th, 2006, 10:01 PM   #17
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http://www.therangerstation.com/foru...howtopic=20143

Read through that post when you've got a min...it's a pretty good thread on a solid axle swap....towards page 10 or so they begin commenting on the trac bar/drag link and it's location....the guy doing the swap has it routed under the x member, hooked to where the frame isn't boxed. He comments on how he would have liked to use the boxed frame section, but then it'd smash into the x member - which is where the trimming of the x member comes into play
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Old March 14th, 2006, 10:09 PM   #18
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Hey, no problem with taking over my post, it's both educational and entertaining at the same time. (reading your posts, that is). Thanks as well for all the info, I think I've already been talked out of the SAS, due to the fact that this is my D.D. and i need a realatively easy swap, with good strength as well, because I am heavy on the "skinny pedal". A D35 TTB will probably be the route i will go for those reasons.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 10:14 PM   #19
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theres still alot to setting up a ttb axle to perform when lifted as well.....
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Old March 14th, 2006, 10:24 PM   #20
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Hey Adam, Last labor day I saw an 84 Ranger with a Solid Axle swap. It had a Dana 44 out of an early bronco. The boy told me that he used F150 trackbars and coils out of a 79 model f150. It had 38.5s on it w/ plenty of room. He said the track bar brackets and stuff were virtually bolt-on. He only had to slightly mod the spring buckets to accept the fullsize coils. Im always wanted to look into this more but never got around to it. You may check on rangerstation.com and ask those guys if thats possible. But I would also agree to swap a Dana 60 in and do it right the first time:dunie: just my .02 hope it helps.
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