Turtle Truck 2.0

theycallmeWALLY

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Mar 30, 2022
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It's time to start a build thread on the new whip.

I don't typically name trucks so this one is just 2.0 right now. If you knew anything about my last truck it was given the name Turtle Truck by an old friend named Eddie because he was trash talking my 4x4 Prerunner.

The original Owner of this truck is my Friend Jeff. He lives in Valley Center with me but has been friends and was an old roommate of Jesse who had the infamous red Explorer. Jeff wanted to get a vehicle to go on trips with us and 'overland' as he said... He got lit up for using that term on DR haha.

He took some solid advise from Jesse, Mikey, and Tommy I believe. So what does she got?

1994 Ford Ranger 4x4 - stock gears - factory limited slip (seems to work) - factory AC Delete....
Up Front - Cut and turned beams, tube radius arms, simple bolt on engine cage, 12" king Coilovers, simple tube bumper that was purchased from an F150 (didn't fit well)
Interior - Stock, Race Radio, and a fucked up alarm system... we'll get into that later.
Out Back - Simple bed cage that sits way to high above the bed line... 18" Top resi Kings smoothbodies, Giant 64 kit (welded on like an idiot)
33" Goodyears - Fronts are from 2011 and getting replaced today, rears were brand new in 2018 when he first put her to the pasture. So they are essentially brand new.

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I got a screamin' deal on the truck because it was exactly for sale... I had just been at Jeff's house to hang with the kids and made him a low ball offer. Gave him a week or so to sit on it and up'd the price a little bit and he bit. Told him I'd head over right there and then to pick her up.

He said she would run with a little starter fluid.... I'm like she shouldn't need starter fluid, it's fuel injected haha. Well we got her running with the starter fluid. She ran and idled for a while why we sorted everything else out. Told the wife we were ready to leave and when I touched the gas peddle she died... It was getting late so we called it a night.

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The next day I went up there right after work. drained what little gas was in the tank, replaced the fuel filter, fresh gas and again she ran but only with the help from some starter fluid.

Jeff obviously wanted to get rid of everything about this truck so he gave me every rando Spare product he had.

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She was on her way to her new HOME.

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theycallmeWALLY

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First item on my list was to try and get her running well.

The CEL light was lit strong so I tried to run the KOEO with the jumper wire trick but it was a no go... Light just stayed lit. Some google searching and I found that would indicate a bad computer.

So here I am thinking I can easily fix this because I still had the original computer from the original turtle truck! Go up to the top of my property. Grab the old computer that was still hooked up to the original Turtle Trucks cab (we removed it all for the rebuild)

Plug the comp in and she starts and runs great! Check engine lights come up of course.... and then at some point when she's warmed up it dies. A little more research and I found out that there is a thing called a Federal Truck and a thing called a CALIFORNIA Truck... So the original Turtle truck was a California Truck that came with an EGR system and the Federal trucks did not. More research show's that when the truck falls back under idle it goes into a closed loop system and kills itself because it doesn't have all of the sensors to keep it happy. With a lite tap of the gas it goes back into open loop and she runs like a champ.

Ordered up a new replacement computer. Showed up 5 days late 2 nights before leaving for the Clean Dezert event and she ran great, no check engine light, and lastly... she idled.

Woke up the next morning to get the RV organized... heard a light siren noise coming from the Ranger and she wouldn't start...
 

theycallmeWALLY

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Mar 30, 2022
Messages
587
So before I can keep the write up going I'm going to need a little help with Valving. Hopefully @RSP Shock Prep can chime in.

The rear of the truck felt like a dump truck offroad. Super harsh and only using about 6" of its 18" shock shaft.

Last night I made it up in my mind that it had to be over filled with oil and therefore hydro locking because of how bad it was. That ended up not being the case.

Shocks are 18" smooth bodies with a top mount resi.
Below is what I found when I pulled the shocks apart.

Piston was in correct direction - 1 bleed hole open.
Comp (on the right) seemed "ok'. Shouldn't cause the shocks to not move more then 6"
Rebound was the weird one The bottom shims (high speed) were triple stacked. Also they were 12's when I'd probably start them off with 8s and 10s.

But I don't really know what I'm talking about so any help is welcomed!

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the bodj

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Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
268
So before I can keep the write up going I'm going to need a little help with Valving. Hopefully @RSP Shock Prep can chime in.

The rear of the truck felt like a dump truck offroad. Super harsh and only using about 6" of its 18" shock shaft.

Last night I made it up in my mind that it had to be over filled with oil and therefore hydro locking because of how bad it was. That ended up not being the case.

Shocks are 18" smooth bodies with a top mount resi.
Below is what I found when I pulled the shocks apart.

Piston was in correct direction - 1 bleed hole open.
Comp (on the right) seemed "ok'. Shouldn't cause the shocks to not move more then 6"
Rebound was the weird one The bottom shims (high speed) were triple stacked. Also they were 12's when I'd probably start them off with 8s and 10s.

But I don't really know what I'm talking about so any help is welcomed!

View attachment 4216

Seems like a ton of rebound damping. I'd run a mix of mostly .008s. Your comp looks fine-ish.

Are your leaf springs able to cycle freely? I installed a Giant 64 kit (I welded the brackets on, too. Oh the humanity! lol) and needed the driveshaft to be shortened a bit. The driveshaft length "shortens" at bump, so if your driveshaft is too long it might be bottoming out the trans.
 

theycallmeWALLY

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Mar 30, 2022
Messages
587
Seems like a ton of rebound damping. I'd run a mix of mostly .008s. Your comp looks fine-ish.

Are your leaf springs able to cycle freely? I installed a Giant 64 kit (I welded the brackets on, too. Oh the humanity! lol) and needed the driveshaft to be shortened a bit. The driveshaft length "shortens" at bump, so if your driveshaft is too long it might be bottoming out the trans.
the driveshaft typically is the longest at full droop on my old set up... Was your 64 kit on a two wheel drive truck?

On mine it would blow out the carrier bearing pretty much immediately before you would feel the harshness of it pressing against the trans and it's mounts.

Could be wrong though.
 

the bodj

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Apr 4, 2022
Messages
268
the driveshaft typically is the longest at full droop on my old set up... Was your 64 kit on a two wheel drive truck?

On mine it would blow out the carrier bearing pretty much immediately before you would feel the harshness of it pressing against the trans and it's mounts.

Could be wrong though.

Yeah, we're saying the same thing. The driveshaft is the longest at droop and shortest at bump. Something is binding and keeping you from cycling. If the shocks aren't hydrolocking, break the leaf pack down and see if it cycles with one leaf. My guess is something is up with the driveshaft length or the shackle length/placement
 

theycallmeWALLY

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Messages
587
Sorry... I meant to say shortest... we aren't' saying the same thing.

Since the rear shackle swings backwards and the leaf springs themselves compress and therefore elongate they are the longest at bump and shortest at droop.
 

the bodj

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
268
Maybe you're right and I'm thinking about it backwards.

Per Geoff's instructions, assemble everything with the complete springs, and jack up the axle until the shackle hanger just touches the frame. Make a mark, and move the hangers back 1.5" from that spot. He said it's going to be different for each truck

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theycallmeWALLY

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Joined
Mar 30, 2022
Messages
587
Yep. Thanks for the picture to clarify for anyone reading. You can easily see the wheel/tire is moved forward therefore shortening the driveshaft.

Either way 12s on comp should be fine for the set up. It for sure felt like something was binding up somehow/somewhere but it made zero noise or caused any other issues I'm aware of. I drove the thing about 300 miles home after the weekend. First to Simi and then to San diego.
 

desert_steve

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Joined
Apr 11, 2022
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59
Location
Phelan, CA
Not that I have any experience with the Giant 64" packs, but with the 62s on my 4runner I had to shorten the driveshaft (an inch IIRC) because at full droop the driveshaft was trying to punch itself through the T-case.
Anyways, turtle 2.0 looks like a fun project. Carry on.
 

RSP Shock Prep

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Apr 14, 2022
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Location
Westminster
So before I can keep the write up going I'm going to need a little help with Valving. Hopefully @RSP Shock Prep can chime in.

The rear of the truck felt like a dump truck offroad. Super harsh and only using about 6" of its 18" shock shaft.

Last night I made it up in my mind that it had to be over filled with oil and therefore hydro locking because of how bad it was. That ended up not being the case.

Shocks are 18" smooth bodies with a top mount resi.
Below is what I found when I pulled the shocks apart.

Piston was in correct direction - 1 bleed hole open.
Comp (on the right) seemed "ok'. Shouldn't cause the shocks to not move more then 6"
Rebound was the weird one The bottom shims (high speed) were triple stacked. Also they were 12's when I'd probably start them off with 8s and 10s.

But I don't really know what I'm talking about so any help is welcomed!

View attachment 4216
Sorry bud been a crazy week, yeah that is not enough valving to do what you are describing, I'd deffinatly check the springs. as for valving, I'd leave compression alone (after replacing the random 15 shim), then a blend of 8s and 10s on rebound and only one bleed closed. I'd say once you get the issue figured out you will likely need to add more compression valving.
 

theycallmeWALLY

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Joined
Mar 30, 2022
Messages
587
Sorry bud been a crazy week, yeah that is not enough valving to do what you are describing, I'd deffinatly check the springs. as for valving, I'd leave compression alone (after replacing the random 15 shim), then a blend of 8s and 10s on rebound and only one bleed closed. I'd say once you get the issue figured out you will likely need to add more compression valving.
Thanks to all that had responded.

Turns out all 3 bleeds were open which is fine. I did end up jacking the truck all the way up to figure out if there were any binding issues and there were none. So the most logical step was to drive here back out to the desert for the Cal 300 race I was working at. At least point I had assumed it was just not enough weight and shitting valving.

So I purchased 2 new front tires and kept the old tires as spares. I mounted 1 spare up on the additional wheel it came with in the garage. Pretty easy to do actually with a big tire iron. Then I put a 37 mounted on a beadlock in the back as well to drop off at Brian's so continue the build on Turtle Truck 1. Lastly I added a full bed of wood.

She drove pretty good after all of that. Not harsh and was using a lot more shock.

So plans now are to move the tires back far like they are on the Turtle Truck 1. Add my Go fast Camper to the back, and pretty much always run a full ice chest of ice/water/beer in the back. If I need to I'll take a leaf or two off of the pack.
 
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