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APEowner Reader
5/4/17 2:12 p.m.
JGRAHAM wrote: In reply to APEowner: No offense taken. I appreciate the all the suggestions you've given throughout the build.

Oh good.

JGRAHAM wrote: I can actually move the shackle mount up and down pretty easily. Do you think this would be a better option than shimming the axle?....or is this a 6 of one, half a dozen of another type situation?

I don't know. I want to say that moving the shackle is better but I don't really know why. It may just be that the idea of having the axle shimmed differently on each side is triggering some OCD reflex.

However, unless you fabricate an adjustable shackle mount I think it'll be easier to get things where you want them if you just shim the axle.

JGRAHAM New Reader
5/5/17 9:16 a.m.

In reply to APEowner:

I'm the exact same way. The whole shim on one side is killing my own OCD.

kevlarcorolla Dork
5/5/17 3:23 p.m.
JGRAHAM wrote: In reply to kevlarcorolla: Your right. It was a goof (being lazy) on my part. I'm going to run it as is right now and make a switch later on in the season. By then I'll be able to tell exactly how much it might affect it. Thanks again everyone for the support and thoughts!

Was wondering how the roll center is determined with leaf springs AND a panhard bar.

loosecannon Dork
5/5/17 5:13 p.m.

I think you should skip the idea of IRS and just go with a 3 link and Panhard bar. It is bulletproof and works, and a solid axle car has won EM the last 11 years in a row.

JGRAHAM New Reader
5/9/17 12:02 p.m.

So this past weekend was the ranger's 1st event with all of the winter changes. I took care of a a few last minutes items Saturday.

I shimmed one side of the rear end to better help balance out the truck.

1/2" shim

Scales all leveled

Slipping scales under the truck Final corner weights

Made it out to the Pungo event Sunday morning Course walking On grid

Heres a few videos

Ford Ranger Chassis View

Ford Ranger In Cab View

Overall it was a great day of autocrossing This year truck has a completely new feel. It's extremely responsive compared to last year with the SLA front, rework rear suspension, and T5 transmission.

The single biggest improvement I think I can make is to simply get more seat time.

A few things I need to address truck wise are:

Getting rid of the HEI distributor and cheap Procomp rev limiter.

Replace the steering column lower bearing

Find and fix a small power steering leak

install the BFG rivals

Again thanks everyone for the suggestions and support!

Gimp SuperDork
5/9/17 12:54 p.m.
loosecannon wrote: I think you should skip the idea of IRS and just go with a 3 link and Panhard bar. It is bulletproof and works, and a solid axle car has won EM the last 11 years in a row.

Coming here to second this. I have to run a solid rear axle, so I've done a bit of homework on 3-link setups. I think it could be the ticket for you.

JGRAHAM New Reader
5/9/17 1:11 p.m.

In reply to Gimp:

I'm going to give this a very serious thought. There are pros and cons to both sides; I'll have to weight it all out this fall.

Sky_Render SuperDork
5/10/17 10:35 a.m.

Another vote for a 3-link. Also, they're super-easy to visualize how everything works together in your head!

APEowner Reader
5/10/17 11:43 a.m.
JGRAHAM wrote: Overall it was a great day of autocrossing This year truck has a completely new feel. It's extremely responsive compared to last year with the SLA front, rework rear suspension, and T5 transmission. The single biggest improvement I think I can make is to simply get more seat time.

Excellent! I'm glad all of that work paid off.

JGRAHAM New Reader
6/2/17 6:49 a.m.

Well back to taking care of a few little things on the ranger.

As mentioned I plan to switch over to CAMT class. This means I need to do some work on the interior. I took out the seats and went to work scrapping off all the old sound deadening.

Needing to have the floored carpeted or coated I elected to have it bed lined. i thought it came out pretty good for it being the cheap aerosol type liner.

I hope to soon have the 10" wide wheels and rivals on the truck.

6/12/17 7:11 a.m.

Quick little update on the truck.

Tires and wheels are on. Wow, what difference the 315 rivals make. They are a used set, but new to me. The truck definitely has a lot more grip. I can't wait to get it on course.

I also started work on the front bumper. I pulled it off the truck and began cutting off all the excess material. Really trying to pay mind to any weight over the front end.

Once I got down to the bare steel shell I started fab on an air dam/ front splitter. I'll be making it out of 16 gauge and 1/4 plate aluminum.

6/19/17 6:30 a.m.

Finished up the front bumper this past week. Thought it came out well, but I'm quite concerned about getting it loaded on the trailer. I only have a 6 degree approach angle with the bumper on. Sadly, I didn't make it quick attach. Do you guys with low clearance cars just use really long ramps onto trailers?

A fair amount of tire visible with the bumper off.

Roughing in around the wheel arches.

Bolted on Bottom support

New class put on the side.

loosecannon Dork
6/19/17 8:42 a.m.

Looks good. I use Race Ramps and some 1" thick rubber mats to make really long ramps to get in my trailer. I would make the extra effort to build a quick release front splitter

camaroz1985 Reader
6/19/17 10:02 a.m.

I agree, would definitely make it quick release for loading and unloading. Loading with long ramps is always the most nerve-racking part of the weekend for me, and if I could avoid it I would.

6/19/17 1:36 p.m.

Thanks for the insight guys. I'll see what I can do.

84FSP Dork
6/19/17 3:54 p.m.

Love the Mad Max Cow Catcher! I've been wanting to put one of these on the Rabbit but haven't figured out how to make it quick release while able to handle the downforce it will generate. Maybe some druzi style quick turn releases?

4cylndrfury MegaDork
6/19/17 4:16 p.m.

that dam looks SIIIICK! Love it. Since the truck is already pretty blocky, Im interested to hear about its effect at speed.

6/20/17 5:51 a.m.

In reply to 84FSP:

Thanks! I'm thinking I will use two receiver tubes on the frame horns. Then attach the mating, smaller tubes to the whole bumper assembly. I imagine it might be much like a tow hitch receiver.....maybe...hopefully.

Pictures too follow.

camaroz1985 Reader
6/20/17 8:44 a.m.

I was thinking some kind of tube and pin system too. That should work well.

kevlarcorolla Dork
6/21/17 11:06 a.m.

Backing the tow vehicle up onto a pair of ramps lowering the rear of the trailer helps a bunch as well.

6/25/17 12:22 a.m.

Hey bro I have a question.. What radiator are you using? Also what long tubes do you have on your truck? I'm in the middle of 5.0ing my 90 ranger and I want to get some decent headers and radiator.

I seen you plan on putting a Thunderbird IRS I plan to do that as well.

How does your ride now that you have an IFS in front? I can't stand how bad this truck feels but I know that can all be fixed with an IFS and IRS.

Keep up the great work!!

6/26/17 6:50 a.m.

In reply to Noser7:

I'm using an Ebay aluminium radiator. It wasn't a drop in by any means. I welded on mounts to the radiator and chassis. I measured the chassis to find the biggest unit I could fit and then made it work. It took a fair amount of fab work but I know I have ample cooling available.

The long tubes are Flowtech designed for a foxbody.

Yes, I've got a Thunderbird IRS waiting too be grafting onto the chassis. I'm holding off until winter though.

Early in this thread you can see I made a big effort to make the I-beam setup work. At the end of the day I had a setup that was limited to adjustment and HEAVY. There are other quicker, cheaper, and easier options to replace the Ranger's beams (AJE's Macpherson conversion or a newer Ranger OEM double wishbone swap) but I knew the ultimate would be a custom SLA setup. I didn't want to be doing the front end again down the road.

If you want something bolt in and plenty capable I would look hard at the AJE setup. I almost bit on that kit.

The new front end is a night and day difference. It is very planted and predictable now. It's taken some time to get use to the feel of it. The rack and pinion steering also made a huge difference as well. The stock Ranger box just isn't up too autocross duty.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

Noser7 New Reader
6/26/17 9:07 p.m.

Thanks bro I really appreciate it a lot. There's a northern brand one that's supposedly a drop it kit for a 5.0 swap ranger.

Yea I've seen that you were gonna do the IRS til the winter time, I can't wait for your results!! I'm sure the truck will handle amazing and feel waayyy better than this lame TTB.

The trucks IRS kit to bolt/weld up the Thunderbird/mark 8 IRS also sells a kit to weld up a 03' and up crown Victoria IFS they sell you a custom size cross member all you need is, Lower control arm Mustang steering rake Brakes and spindles

That's my next step after I swap my truck

Anyways best wishes bro your truck looks the business

Noser7 New Reader
6/26/17 9:15 p.m.

BTW I just made this account just to talk to you bro your truck inspired me all sick I'm pumped I'm digging those fender flares too

6/27/17 8:22 a.m.

In reply to Noser7:

Thats great! The GRM online community is a great resource for creativity. I continue to be inspired by seeing fellow members' projects.

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