Can a Ford Ranger rear end be converted to independent suspension? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:45 PM
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Can a Ford Ranger rear end be converted to independent suspension?

I'm taking a Ford Ranger pickup and converting it to electric drive. I'll have four electric motors, one to drive each wheel. The rear has a solid axle suspension, so I cannot just take out the differential and hook a motor up to the wheel's half shaft.

Any ideas on how to do this? Ideally, I'd like to convert the rear to an independent suspension, but am afraid that might be a lot more trouble than it's worth.

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Old 09-02-2009, 04:02 PM
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'98-'2003 ( IIRC ) Ford made EV Rangers... you may be able to get the parts to build 1

as for 4 motors driving.. gonna have to adapt somthing like a suburu rear suspension and tie the CV axles into the motors.. Tbird IRS fits if you can work with a driveshaft and 1 motor in the rear
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:21 PM
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Because this is a REAR END question
I am moving it to the Transmission - Rear End area.

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Old 09-02-2009, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
'98-'2003 ( IIRC ) Ford made EV Rangers... you may be able to get the parts to build 1

as for 4 motors driving.. gonna have to adapt somthing like a suburu rear suspension and tie the CV axles into the motors.. Tbird IRS fits if you can work with a driveshaft and 1 motor in the rear

You're right, Ford did make EV Rangers from 1998 to 2002 and leased them through about 2004. But that's a standard electric vehicle, and I want to make more of a hotrod.

I don't care about range or freeway speeds. But I want to put an electric motor on each wheel, for true four-wheel drive. Then I can do interesting things, like have wheels turning in different directions. Front-wheel steering will also be independent, so I can do "snow plow" panic stops like a beginning skier.

The front end turns out to be easier to hook up to electric motors. The rear end with its solid axle has me a little puzzled. As you say, maybe a Subaru rear suspension might work, coupling the CV axles into the motor shafts.

Or I might just replace the differential with an open frame, top and bottom, that bolts onto the axle casing on the right and left. That could also be my motor mounts. I would need to cut back the axle casing about a foot on each side.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daanii
Any ideas on how to do this?
You might also want to bounce this around on some of the electric vehicle forums like

http://ecomodder.com/forum/

or

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/?

Some of these folks are pretty inventive. I've read threads there involving 4WD electric vehicles, just can't remember how they did them.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:55 AM
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Since we are throwing ideas here , how about this, 1970 and later years VW bugs had four joint axle shafts for a independent rear drive, if you took the outer drive flanges off the swings for the torsion arms and fabed some mounts to mount to the the rear springs of the Ranger or some kind of swing arm with coil over springs ( heavy duty motorcycle shock would work) and mount your electric motor direct to the axle flange. This would work as long as the motors were not too long in length.In my dune buggie days I built a mount set up for man that wanted to build a electric buggie. He used a aircraft starter motor for the drive. It worked for a while,torque was off the scale, main problem was not enough battery capacity,had two 28 volt aircraft battery's hooked in parallel ,still would not last very long.
Good Luck!
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