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Ok, Here it goes. I have never built a 4x4 before. I have a 1988 ford Ranger 2 wd that has been with me forever. I want to make a good 4 wheeler out of it so me and the wife can have some fun. I would like to put some straight axles under it and some good horse power under the hood. I'm thinking about a 4.6L and a good auto trans. ( wife cant drive a stick and will not learn). I'm not interested in rock crawling. but just about anything else goes. So what I need is a list of good books and web sites that will point me in the right direction. I have a good shop and good skills to do most if not all the work. I just don't know where to start. I have built many cars and 2 wd trucks. If anyone is in South Carolina or close we could get together and hash out some ideals. Well thanks in advance for all the help. By the way I did read some of the post about converting a 2 wd truck. But I figured since I want straight axles I might as well start with what I have and build the best that I can. I have a fair amount of cash to put into this and Time is not a problem since I've had the truck forever and don't plan on ever getting rid of it. again Thanks for the help. Jeff:D
 

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It's not easy to do a conversion on a truck. I wouldnt even try it with these newer, fuel injected, 15,000 miles of electric wire trucks. The simplest, most cost-effective thing (and with less headaches) is to just buy another truck that is already 4x4. That said...

The way i would do it is find another (donor) truck that is 4x4 and has the right stuff. Old Toyota trucks are popular for solid axles. They are leaf sprung axles and are easier to adapt to another frame than coils. It is complicated to do if you are not mechanically inclined. You seem like you have some experience, so just use your skills for everything you can.

That is where the donor truck comes in. You have a guide to go by and its not so intimidating. Just plan ahead and think of every possible expense before starting. There is nothing worse than starting a project and running out of money before its finished.

Build it right the first time. Everything you have to fabricate, make sure that it will take the beating of wheeling.

That's just the start of it. I don't claim to be an expert on this. I'm just trying to help out the best i can from my experiences. Sorry, i don't know of any books. The Ranger Station is a good place to start.

Let us know what you decide or any more questions.
 
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