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Old 01-17-2009, 07:30 PM
1988 Gasser style Ranger
 
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mid engine ranger

I have an Idea I would like to bump off you guys
I have a 1987 ranger long bed Ranger sitting in the side yard I also have a spare 9" rear axle 302 engine and c4 trans .
.
I was thinking it would be interesting to mount the engine mid ship with the c4 trans and the shortest tail housing I can find then connect the trans to the rear end using a U-joint and no drive shaft. and to make it all work the engine/trans/rear axle would all pivot together as a swing arm assy
.
I know the normal way to do this is to use a transaxle but I am not normal. I figure I can extend the wheel base rearward and mount the engine forward into the cab a little mean while the radiator and fuel tank can be mounted under the hood
.
ok let me have it

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Old 01-17-2009, 09:37 PM
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I don't see why your idea wouldn't work - but the engine & trans as part of the swing arm makes for ugly big unsprung mass as part of the rear suspension.

I think of the heavy engine & transmission hinging up and down as you cross a rutted road, ouch!

With the number of Ranger and Explorer 8.8" axles at the wreckers you don't have to rework the 9" axle to make it fit unless you want to.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:21 PM
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Why not get a whole front clip, from say a FWD 455 Old's Tornado, and adapt it to fit?

Sounds more realistic to me.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:00 PM
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I remember seeing something in one of the hot rod mags. Guy put a big engine in the middle of a Volkswagen van, and had it just like you want to do Solid hook up between the engine and the rear. I think the cooling part was a bit tricky.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:58 AM
1988 Gasser style Ranger
 
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well I have a dummy 302 long block I think Ill carry it over to the truck then add the stock tranny length and see how far forward the engine needs to be mounted and or how far back the axle needs to be moved and I will post what I find
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:24 AM
1988 Gasser style Ranger
 
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their is a reason why you dont see this done in the way I wanted to do it
unless you wanted to extend the rear frame and make a akward looking truck their isnt enough room unless you wanted to put the engine in the cab and the driver can sit under the hood and look out of a hood scoop
.
dont get me wrong I could find a way by splitting the difference move the axle back and also move the engine forward a little into the standard cab but it would take way more work than I am willing to
.
NEXT!
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:11 AM
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The Toronado transaxle has been used many, many times for mid-engine conversions. Bill Porterfield, former Oldsmobile engineer, ran a company called MidEngineering back in the 1970s-80s and sold a chassis that replaced the VW floor pan to use the Toro drive in kit cars. You can get a SuperBell bellhousing that allows you to cut off the BOP bellhousing and bolt up to the front pump bolts. This will let you bolt it directly to an SBF.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:33 AM
1988 Gasser style Ranger
 
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yes I remember MidEngineering and that wild 442 they made
I understand that the Toranado Transaxle is the logical choice
.
but my personal defect is that I do not want to do what has been done many many times before
.
I will give this some more thought before giving up on this idea
thanks
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB2ROCKET
yes I remember MidEngineering and that wild 442 they made
I understand that the Toranado Transaxle is the logical choice
.
but my personal defect is that I do not want to do what has been done many many times before
.
I will give this some more thought before giving up on this idea
thanks
Unfortunately, pretty much any option you pick has been done before. There's the engine and trans above the differential with a boat V-drive to reach the flipped rear axle, as done on the Hemi Under Glass. There's the engine in the cabin with the shorty driveshaft as done on the Lil Red Wagon. There's the use of a Porsche/VW/Corvair/Audi transaxle as done on a lot of kit cars.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Unfortunately, pretty much any option you pick has been done before. There's the engine and trans above the differential with a boat V-drive to reach the flipped rear axle, as done on the Hemi Under Glass. There's the engine in the cabin with the shorty driveshaft as done on the Lil Red Wagon. There's the use of a Porsche/VW/Corvair/Audi transaxle as done on a lot of kit cars.
And the 1968 VW bug with a Pantera transaxle, maited to a 560HP twin turbo Boss 302 Ford, I built between 1974, and 1975.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:46 PM
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What if you used the rear suspension out of a C4?
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:23 PM
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I would have to steer you away from the engine-trans-axle swing arm idea.

Turning the heavest part of most vehicles into unsprung weight would make for a terribly riding, ill handling vehicle to say the least.

There are some other options out there but all of them require a considerable amount of engineering and fab skills.

Just for fun I will toss out some of the options that pop into my head.

First and maybe the easiest would be to roll to the junk yard, hand the gentleman behind the counter a couple hundred bucks and ask him kindly go fetch you a complete rear subframe, suspension and diff from a late model Tbird.

Then you can mount you trans and engine where you were planing but instead of the swingarm arrangement you mount it to the frame.
Then hook it with the U joint to the T bird bits that you will have cleverly mounted to the frame of your ranger.

Imagine it looking like this but with and engine and trans where the drive shaft is.



Option two would be similar but more involved.
You would just use a IFS diff from nearly anything and build your own suspension.

This could be way more involved than most people are capable of.
It would be arranged like this buggy.


Lastly would be to use a transaxle arrangement like most of the more exotic mid engine cars out there but use a much cheaper transaxle.
I bought a Porsche 944 transaxle for one of my projects for $150

And I have one of the stronger Front drive only Audi transaxles that I only paid $100 for.

This option would require an adapter plate to join the engine and trans and some kind of clutch arrangement.
Then you would also need the custom suspension.

K there you go.
Choose wisely
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwhammer
And I have one of the stronger Front drive only Audi transaxles that I only paid $100 for.

This option would require an adapter plate to join the engine and trans and some kind of clutch arrangement.
Then you would also need the custom suspension.

K there you go.
Choose wisely
Kennedy Engineered Products (http://www.kennedyeng.com/)

P/N 2980 adapts the SBF to an Audi transaxle. Available for manual ($595) or automatic ($535).
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:22 PM
1988 Gasser style Ranger
 
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thank you all for your great suggestions
like a Dope I completely overlooked the use of a independent rear suspension if I take on this project at all this will be the route I will take. IRONIC but I just sold a lincoln mark 8 with a IRS unit for only $500
.
I guess I need to carry that 302 dummy engine back out to the truck and see if I can place it forward somewhat into the cab and still have enough room for me
.
I rather not move the rear axle aft if I can help it
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