Drag Truck - The Danger Ranger

Discussion in 'All Non-S197 Media' started by ksack, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Whoop got the motor and trans pulled today! Biggest pain was doing it myself. Took an hour to get it out with constantly having to move between the hoist and the jack under the trans. Second biggest pain was the motor mounts. Pax side was a breeze. 2 bolts from underneath with the impact and done in seconds. Driver's side is a different story...3 bolts from the top. It has one of those stupid plates underneath with the nuts welded on. Can only access 1 of the 3 bolts without taking the exhaust off. I decided to pull the 3 bolts that connect the mount to the block and lift it enough to get access to the bolts on top. Sorry I don't have any pictures of that.

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    Tried test fitting the motor and the pic shows as far in as I could get it. The old steering box gets in the way....along with the headers being wider than the frame rail. Can't wait to do some fab work to fix that problem! Made a list on some cardboard to keep track of everything I need to do, Roadkill style. I'm sure there's plenty more little things I forgot. My buddy also gave me crap for working in flip flops and accused me of being Freiburger. I prefer just hosing off my feet than having my shoes soaked in coolant and oil. And I get a wicked flip flop tan too! Up next is going to be modifying the frame and crossmembers to get this stuff to fit!

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  2. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Good progress this weekend. Here is how I left it Saturday after about 6 hours of work.
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    Cut out the motor mounts. Took about 2 hours for the 2 of them. Solid rubber with steel supporting structure inside of it. Definitely attached before the crossmember was riveted to the frame because you cant get enough leverage up in there. The pipe I have is too long so I couldn't even try to unbolt them. Just attacked them from the side with a grinder and that's that. Removed the power steering rack and connecting rods. Removed brake booster, AC compressor and headers. Test fit initially had me stopping short of the rear suspension I-beam with the oil pan and I called it a day there. Below is a picture of the oil pan failing to clear the crossmember and I-beams. Next pic is to show the clearance between the heads and the brake master cylinder. I suspected I'd have clearance issues with power brakes so I've already done my homework on manual brakes.

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    Put in a few more hours today. Removed the rest of the steering column all the way up to the wheel. Cut away some excess material in the trans tunnel and hammered at it a bit to get clearance for the trans. Motor slides in nicely with the headers removed. The headers are going to have to be modified so that it exits along the frame with the flanges perpendicular to the frame for clearance. Final problem for the day is motor alignment. The previous drivetrain was offset to the pax side about 2 inches for fuel tank clearance so the crossmember up front isn't centered. I'm able to get the motor to within 1.25 inches of center but that's as far as she'll go (alternator hits frame and trans hits tunnel). Did the math and if my fitment is true, I'll have a 1 degree lateral pinion angle in the drivetrain. This works fine so that if the vertical pinion ever drops to zero, I'll still have some load on the ujoints. Project for the week is to get some quotes and pro advice on what kind of draftshaft to throw in this sucker. I measured it out to 64.5 inches. Once I have that driveshaft in, I can set the pinion angle on the rear and make some motor mounts. Here is how I left the motor sitting today.

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  3. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8

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    Fits better than I though it would. My brother put coilovers on the front of his Ranger. It was surprisingly easy after he torched off the coil cups and made mounts. It allowed a fully adjustable coil over to drop right in. Truck drives amazing even with no front sway bar. It also gave him precious room for the steering shaft and his exhaust.

    I will try to get a picture if you want to see what he did.
     
  4. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    That'd be great! I too was surprised how well it fit. I thought I was going to have to custom fab a new crossmember
     
  5. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8

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    He's putting it on the road next week so I should be able to get a pic or two.

    He's running a 418W. It ran 11.17 prior to this most recent refresh/rebuild.
     
  6. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    You know what kind of suspension he's running in the rear?
     
  7. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8

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    Of course. I assisted him with the build.

    He installed the leaf springs and hangers from an Explorer. Which put the springs directly under and in line with the frame. This was the straight forward part. Next, he looked at Cal-Trac bars, but didn't like that they pulled on the springs so he redesigned them to instead push up on the frame in front of front hangers and he made them adjustable so he could have one side pre-load to level the truck. It works, because with only minimal tuning he was 60 footing in the very low 1.5's off foot braking. The transbrake never worked right at the track, but we suspect that it would 60' even better. He has a new valve body to address this issue too.

    I will get some pictures of the rear suspension too.
     
  8. 46Tbird

    46Tbird forum member

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    It sounds like you attempted to reduce the crank centerline offset from 2" to as little as you could get. I'm kind of curious why. Moving the engine over a couple of inches is fine. It will gain a lot of brake and steering clearance that you apparently need! And it doesn't affect driveline angles as long as you have opposite / equal output and input vectors.

    I'm saying this because as I read your update, I envision you are maybe doing the scenario pictured in the bottom right. I hope I just read it wrong.

    Love the project, thanks for the updates!

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  9. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Awesome! I'm working with smith racecraft to get assassin bars built (basically adjustable caltracs). Glad to hear it is working for him so hopefully I'll get similar results. I'm using the stock leafs just for the simplicity, but the rear end is from an exploder.

    Top right actually. I was able to move it to get about an inch off center so that's how I'm getting the 1 degree of lateral pinion. The hope was to get it centered to work with only vertical angles but the alternator hits the frame and centering would require cutting the frame. Going to work with what I have for now. I certainly appreciate the sanity checking! Catching mistakes now being they are permanent is the goal!
     
  10. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Alright guys looking for input. Got quotes from 2 shops. One quoted a 4" aluminum shaft with a CV joint for 899 and the other a 4" steel for 475. Both shops were concerned about the length and RPM and came to those separate conclusions. Anyone have any inputs?

    Secondly, holding off on the driveshaft until I have the suspension set so I get the length measurement correct and can set the pinion angle once it is here. Emailed Smith Racecraft for some Assassin Bars last Monday. Got a response same day then replied Tuesday morning. I was ready to order on Tuesday but emails and phone calls went unanswered. They FINALLY answered the phone today right before closing and I brought it up and the guy mentioned the tech who does all the email traffic has been out of town. If they weren't the only ones who made the part I would have gone elsewhere...

    This weekend I cut all the tabs off the rear axle in preparation for getting the Assassin Bars and getting everything ready to get rewelded. Cutting off the spring perches and shock mounts are a pain where you're trying to keep the heat down and not cut into the axle tube.
     
  11. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8

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    I got pictures from my brother's Ranger last night. I'll try to get them posted today sometime.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  12. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Update time! But first, if anyone wants any pics posted from previous posts, just let me know and I'll get them reposted...because photobucket sucks.

    Two weekends ago I modified the headers to exit parallel the frame rail and out at a 45 degree angle. Don't know quite yet where I'm going to send it from there. I cut off the flange, took out a little bit more material (think of a v-shape), ground it down flush as best I could, and welded the flange back on. The inside needs a bit of finishing to make the seams a bit smoother but overall doesn't look like I'm restricting the flow much.

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    Got my Assassin Bars in from Smith Racecraft yesterday. They are a busy little shop in Texas and hard to get a hold of. Once I finally got them on the phone, they were very helpful and the owner even sent me pictures from his personal number to help make decisions. Got custom length bars made, as well as the brackets for axle under the spring mounting. Really nice pieces and I can't wait to get them installed.

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    From here, need to install the Assassin Bars, get the rear axle mocked up, get my measurements for a driveshaft and get that ordered. Once I have the driveshaft in, I can set my pinion angle and get everything welded up and build my motor mounts and trans crossmember. Still accepting opinions on steel vs aluminum and u-joints vs CV
     
  13. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8

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    Sorry. Forgot to post up the pics.

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  14. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Thanks for the pics! I don't have room up front to do anything like that. The motor takes up the whole damn space.

    Bad news....went to mock up the traction bars today so I can get measurements for the driveshaft and get that ordered. Welp, here's the result. The picture below is with the heim joints run all the way out to 1 turn remaining just for demo purposes. I will be calling them in the morning to see where we messed up.

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  15. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Good news! Smith's Racecraft is making me a new set at the correct length. The owner (I can't for the life of me remember his name) gave me his personal number when I had originally ordered them so I texted him the pictures and what was happening. After asking a few of the idiot questions, which I can't blame him for, he gave me a call and we talked about it and he admitted he didn't take into account the axle being under the spring, which accounts for the extra length needed. Should be getting them in early next week. Boy they are hard people to get a hold of, but once you have a foot in their door, they are excellent people to work with and I have nothing but positive things to say about their customer service.
     
  16. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Update. Smith Racecraft built me new bars that were 1.5" longer and they fit like a charm now. Very happy overall with the product and we shall see how they perform once the truck is together. Here's a pic of one side done (both are now installed).

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    Today I hoped to get in a solid afternoon of work after mowing the grass, but the afternoon thunderstorms showed up way earlier than normal. I was hoping to get the fuel tank out of the F150 and pull the pump but that didn't happen. Instead, I took the dremel to the headers to smooth out the joint where I cut and welded them. Those tungsten carbide bits are amazing! However, they throw off metal slivers that WILL get stuck in your hand and hurt like a SOB. Anyway, I ran out of things I could do without pulling more parts from the F150, so I finally got around to putting my sponsor's banner on the truck. I know Kalob, the owner of Auto Mafia Racing, from back in college. I won't throw any plugs for a non-supporting vendor, but he's always treated me well.

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  17. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    Sorry for the time between updates! I've been busy with work and getting in a couple hours here and there. Since the last update, I've built a fuel tank, installed the F150 fuel pump guts on the Ranger fuel hat, and modified the EPAS to fit in the narrower wheel base.

    First, the fuel tank. I'm trying to save money in areas I can, so I took the stock ranger tank and chopped it up so it'll fit between the frame rails where the spare tire used to be. I estimate it's about 8 gallons now. Let me tell you...welding thin sheet metal and trying to make it water tight is HARD. I got pretty close by throwing lots of heat and wire at it but still some small slow leaks. Finished it off with some POR15 fuel tank sealer and it's 100% tight now.

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    I don't have any pictures of the fuel pump assembly, but I soldered in the fuel pump and gauge wires onto the fuel hat pins then soldered on the connector to the other side so it will be plug and play into the harness.

    Lastly, chopped up the EPAS and F150 tie rods. The ranger tie rods are male and the F150 are female, so I welded the F150 ones onto the ranger ones. (sorry no pics). This gives me the ability to actually adjust the alignment on the front wheels. I then chopped most of the non-threaded part of the EPAS ends off and welded it all back up to make it narrower. The pictures are for reference of how much wider the EPAS was. I also had to notch out the frame for the input shaft because it runs right through it. Still have not yet run the steering column and subsequent linkage....future me problems.

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    Safety plug- could not get a good clamp on the tie rods as I was cutting them so I did the best I could and held on with my free hand. Applied a little too much pressure instead of letting the saw do the work and it jump out...well more like shot out. I'm lucky it didn't go through the wall. Result was a catastrophic failure of the blade and maybe a couple skipped beats. I always wear safety glasses while I'm working and was wearing my welding gloves. Always wear your PPE!

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    In the last week I picked up 20 feet of 1.5x 1/8 square tube for fabricating the EPAS mount, trans cross member, and boxing the frame a bit. Also, today I ordered my driveshaft. 4" .065 DOM steel. Should be here next week. Once I have that, I can build the trans cross member and motor mounts and get all the driveline angles set. From there, it's subsystems and getting her fired up!
     
  18. ksack

    ksack forum member

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    OK here's updates to what I've been up to the last couple months.

    Cut down the EPAS and welded it back together. I wasn't careful with the heat so the bushings got a little warm and don't move quite as smoothly as they did before. I don't think it will be an issue though.
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    Got the driveshaft in, was able to set the pinion angle at the trans and at the diff, and made the trans crossmember. The guys from Driveshaft Specialists make a beautiful piece and had it to my door 11 days after I ordered it. U Used the mounting hardware from the F150 crossmember and used the actual Ranger crossmember. Final angle ended up being between 2.0 and 2.5 degrees. Sorry no pics of the new crossmember. Welded all the brackets on the rear axle and installed the axles and c-clip eliminators. The old 14" wheels don't clear the brakes on the explorer axle so they are on there just to keep it off the ground.
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    My original idea for motor mounts was to weld the old mounts to the frame and set the motor down into it and install the 3 bolts on either side that go from the mounts to the block. Turns out I didn't have the clearance to pull the motor and trans without ripping them out so I re-attacked the idea. This time, the mount is cut, with the welded side from idea 1 still being welded, but now the mount is also bolted to the block for good. Attached to the welded parts is 1/4 steel plate that acts as a connection, along with a 1/2" grade 8 bolt. Below is the only picture I have that can give you an idea of how the mounts work. As of last weekend, the motor is bolted in and ready to start getting hooked back up.
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    I also started the interior. Got the dash frame in with the steering wheel. Because of how big the motor is, I actually had to put the steering shaft through the hole where the brake master cylinder used to live. Relocating the brakes is still a problem yet to be tackled. Current issue is the stock F150 pedal that mounts into all the support framework hits the floor before being at full extension so some trimming may be required.
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    No pictures, but got the gas tank 90% mounted between the rails near the rear bumper. I'm hoping that extra weight over the back will help with keeping the power planted. Speaking of planting power, I took advantage of Racestar's annual November sale and got some 82 Pro Lite wheels and rubber from the truck's sponsor, Auto Mafia Racing. Also ordered wheel hardware and AN stuff for the fuel system. Wheels were delivered Friday and the rubber came today. 17x4.5 up front with MT Sportsman rubber and 15x10 in the rear with 275/60R15 MT ET Street R Radials to keep it all DOT approved
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    Up next is getting the rubber mounted on the wheels, getting the fuel line run, then swapping over the full wiring harness. From there, I should be able to fire it up to test. Unfortunately I will be on the road most of January so I doubt I will get a test done soon.
     
  19. RocketcarX

    RocketcarX 95% of my weight is fuel

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    That fuel tank needs to go, you can buy a cell on eBay for the time and materials you have invested in what you have, call that a learning experience and hope a track official never sees it.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-...ash=item53fafe2084:g:sKgAAOSw-W5Utttn&vxp=mtr


    Why don't you make a rack and pinion fit the truck (earlier ranger parts) and not used that giant and heavy EPAS, relying on something like that (after you welded the end links on and melted the bushing) post wheel stand would scare the shit outta me.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Complete-P...ash=item25879441e5:g:2g0AAOSwd4tULDEf&vxp=mtr

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  20. tjm73

    tjm73 of Omicron Persei 8

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    If you are sticking with the OE front suspension, swap in a manual steering Ranger steering box.
     

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