97 TTB Ranger

Caidan97

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2023
Messages
43
Seems like its time to move this build thread here from dezert rangers. anyways..

I don’t plan on doing anything to build this truck to crazy, but I wanted to log my progress in hopes of inspiring others. I’m fairly new here so I guess i’ll introduce my self. I’m Caidan, i'm a highschooler that lives in San Diego. Heres a little info on my truck and where its at right now. [ Oct. 2021]

1997 Ford Ranger XL
4.0 with a 5 speed
4x4 with cut and turn ttbs and radius arms
4.56 gearing
4" front glass
rear bedsides are just rolled
rims and some 15” steely street locks
tires are falkon wilkpeak 35x12.5 r15s
have 4” lift coils in the front with bilstien 5100s
rear has deaver f31s with some flipped hangers and shackles, unknown brand, shocks are some 2.0x 11 ish foxes that are under the bed
80” wide in the front and 73” in the rear

Heres a few pictures
 

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After weeks of slow progress I finally got my bumper made just in time to make it out to ocotillo this weekend. I used a plasma cutter for all my cuts and it made things go a lot faster (and more fun) I decided to make it bolt on in case I ever need to pull the engine or want to change it up. I plan on making some air ducting to keep it cool and keep the dirt out the intake. Just need to finish it up and then its time for my front end build. It worked great out in ocotillo but needs more dampening in the front. Its a springy bitch. The rear end rides great and will leave it as is for a while.
 

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Well its been almost half a year now. A lot has changed for me and i’m finally starting to ease into the build. I just started working and the ranger is my daily driver so thats going to make things a little harder, but the plus side is, more money for fun prerunner stuff.

Anyways I picked up some SAW 2.5x12” coil overs from Chase550 on here[dezert rangers] that are going to be going on soon. I will be making my own bolt on gaint motorsport style engine cage and to make room for all the good shock angles i’m working on a master cylinder relocater thing.

I plan on making the cage out of 1.5 120 wall. This seems strong enough for me as long as the shocks aren’t bottoming out. This engine cage will be replaced down the road with a 1.75 or 2 inch cage that ties into the cab cage (that doesn’t currently exist)

Heres some pictures for you guys, I’ll post another update in a week or so.

Heres the shocks, 350/450 spring rate
 

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Well i've successfully relocated my master cylinder. After 2 revisions I got something
that fit in there nice and snug. I ended up using
some brass bushings for the main pivot and they
work great. I tig welded the entire thing and im
pretty happy with it considering this was my first
time tig welding(ps i'm using a plasma cutter LOL). Next up is the engine cage and
mounting the coil overs.

Any tips on the welds would be appreciated!
 

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So I got some fiberglass (another distraction from finishing my front suspension) and have recently started mounting the besides. One problem, they fit like total shit…Or I am doing something wrong. There is a kick where the bottom of the bedside meets the cab that makes the body line have a 2 inch gap at the top and no gap at the bottom. Looks like these bedsides where meant to be run with out a bed and kicked up. Anyways I’m going to make it work because I already started and theres no going back now. I will post more pictures once I get these things on.
 

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Fenders are on. Im pretty satisfied with the body lines but the gap is still not perfect (off by about a lot) The tires look small now so I’ll be putting my 2” spacers on the back.

Pictures
 

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Now that i’ve finished the bedsides I am now onto my front suspension. To start I am extending my beams 4” and plating them. To do this I am using 2 pieces of 3/16 plate bent into C shapes. I made the top 4.25” and the bottom 4”. These beams already had a cut and turn in them for a 4” lift and I am trying to keep a similar ride height.

I ordered some 1” uniballs from desolate to replace the stock bushing. The bushing are worn out and I might as well upgrade. Currently I am having difficulty getting the front diff off the beam. I took all the bolts out and sprayed some pb blaster around the edge but the rtv seems to be holding it on. Im worried about prying on the casing to much with a crow bar as I don’t want to damage anything. Anyways, tomorrow I will confirm my ride height and get my camber where I want it then go from there.

I am planning on extending my axles with some 1.5” 120 wall chromoly and tig welding it to the axles. The 4wd will just be for getting unstuck in the sand not for crawling or anything crazy.
 

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Well while the sites[dezert rangers] been down i've made a fair bit of progress. I honestly thought I would be done by now but everything seems to take longer than expected with fabrication.
Heres some info and ill put some pics bellow.

  • I have both sides of the engine cage done, but haven't made the crossmember yet.
  • Both beams have been extended 4" and plated on both sides.
  • I replaced the stock rubber bushings with 1" uniballs and i'm pretty happy with the result, they bolted right up to the stock pivots with just minor tweaks.
  • I also mounted one of the bump stops but the other is yet to go on.
  • I starting cutting my inner fenders out because I thought I needed more clearance... I didn't because my tire hits my fire wall first at full bump/lock
  • I will be using the stock air filter put pushing it forward 4" for clearance.
  • anddd I increased ride height by 3" in the front for more up travel (cut and turned accordingly)
 

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All caught up.

I got the truck finished and driving a month or two ago and its been working well. There where some issues with my radiator leaking at first from a weld bead, but I was able to replace it decently fast.
I did one trip in ocotillo with it, drove it out, ran about 100 dirt miles, and drove home. No problems besides losing my tail lights... I found them LOL

Conclusion from the Ocotillo trip
  • The bump stops engage to early not allowing for enough up travel (8.5" total, 3"-4" before bump)
  • bump stops where at 175 psi and only used half their stroke on a very hard hit
  • Top light bar sucks in the dust at any sort of speed
  • Rear shocks fade very fast - Now looking for some bypasses
  • Need to get 4wd working again, I almost got stuck multiple times trying to climb blow sand. 4wd is currently out due to something in the transfer case (4wd light blinks 6 times)
  • I need to mount everything better, my sub ripped off the mounts, tool bags flew everywhere inside the cab, and the center console bounced around a bit.
  • I ended up only using my lap belts due safety and not having a cage - I would like to build one asap however, I don't want to sacrifice the down time or the cash to buy a bender yet.
I made a few minor changes and with be taking the truck out to the clean dezert event in ocotillo next weekend.

Here some pictures
 

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Fiberglass! I can't tell if I like it or not, Ive had it sitting for months now and can't decide if Im going to put it on or not. Heres some mock up pictures.

One piece from mcniel
also its listed for sale for $500 so if someone buys it then my decision is made.
 

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I've never seen that one piece look good on a truck, so hopefully it sells lol.

Those bedsides always fit poorly, it's not just you.

Everything else looks cool! Did you not cycle the bumps when mounting them? Also, bumps only need like 60psi. And YES, definitely mount everything well! You could be seriously jacked up in a roll from a flying tool bag or sub box.

Keep up the good work! I'm enjoying following along
 
I've never seen that one piece look good on a truck, so hopefully it sells lol.

Those bedsides always fit poorly, it's not just you.

Everything else looks cool! Did you not cycle the bumps when mounting them? Also, bumps only need like 60psi. And YES, definitely mount everything well! You could be seriously jacked up in a roll from a flying tool bag or sub box.

Keep up the good work! I'm enjoying following along
I agree that this fiberglass rarely looks good. The only truck I like it on is parsons when he had 40” tires and trimmed the crap out of it.
I did cycle the bump stops when I mocked it up and left 3/8 before the shock bottom out and the beam hit the frame rail. The 3-4” up travel is before the bump stop engages then it has another 4”-5”. I will be bringing a shock pump to let pressure out this weekend as I need to. But currently they sit at 100 psi. I originally set them to 175 because accutune suggested 1/6 corner weight in psi, corner weight being ~1000 lbs according to the travel of my springs with no preload, 1/6 of 1000lb being 167psi. I am now realizing this is intended for a truck with a bypass and more up travel.

Thanks, i’ll trying to keep more coming.
 
Clean Dezert event was a ton of fun! Drove the truck out early saturday morning and drove all day until it got dark. I got comfortable driving the truck this trip really put it to work. image_2023-02-20_222947991.pngGot a little hang time and put the front suspension to work. The rear on the other hand....IMG_3886.jpgThe rear seemed to bottom out on almost every whoop and jump. Not to mention how unstable the rear was bouncing around.
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Figured this was the solution LOL. Got some fox 3.0x14" 3 tubes
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Once I got the shocks I got straight to designing a bedcage and this is what I landed on. Its 1.75 .120 main tubes with 1.5 0.95 ties. Any constructive criticism is welcome as I have never designed a bedcage before.image_2023-02-20_224113041.png
Should be just able to barely fit my spare between the shocks.

I gotta replace my engine mounts or make some solid mounts but then ill be building the bedcage.

Theeennn gotta sell my dirt bike and fiberglass so I can buy a bender and some dom for a cage
 
Going to superstition for the weekend but will start installing these once i’m home. deaver f64 (giant 64 kit)
 

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I got busy with school and personal stuff so i’ve been waiting to do the back end. Decided spring break would be a good time to get it done. I designed and made some hangers that bolt into the stock crossmember that shift the wheelbase forward a little and mocked up the main leafs. Ended up moving the rear shackle back 5/8” Gets about 20” of travel with no shock but i’ll limit the bump to about 1” negative and droop so theres still some spring rate and the bottom of the travel.

I also got hiems and tube for single swing steer in the front because why not. What are you guys using for swinger pivots? I got some lead spring bushing i’m going to try and see if it works.
 

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