Originally Posted by blor
i have considerd all that you are saying and one point is also in stock form thay moved up and down 3-6 inches in my truck i would be lucky to get 1 inch of travle i have found that rangers use unequal length beams which might be a little harder to fab so now i am worried about width so cboy how wide are your frount ends that would help me greatly
After 1979 all twin beams were made of unequal lengths. That's why I prefer 1976-1979 beams. They are of equal length and more importantly to me, they look like traditional straight axles until you get up close to inspect. (See the photos of my pickup and sedan delivery above to see what I mean).
My roadster uses '81 beams which are of unequal length (like Ranger beams). In the photo below you can see by the mounting points that the passenger side beam is a few inches shorter than the driver's side beam. They are satisfactory, but if you have any choice in the matter, I'd recommend the F-series beams from '79 or before.
In terms of width, my front ends are almost all identical. The sedan delivery ('79 beams) is 59" from rotor to rotor. The roadster with unequal length '81 beams is also 59". The pickup truck with '78 beams is 60" rotor to rotor. (In general, the 59" width will equate to about 56" inside rim to inside rim.)
This is purely conjecture (since I've never done it) but I'm guessing you could move each axle 1-3" inboard. That would narrow your track width 2-6" total. But you'll need to engineer this carefully to insure you don't create any interference with the wheels/tires or with turning radius.
One final note on axle travel. My sedan delivery is built with an underslung chassis (the frame hangs below the axles rather than sitting above them). I did this to improve the overall look of the front end (as compared to the roadster build) and basically just to see if it could be done. The result was a very very tight range of travel for the axle.
If you look closely at the picture below you can see in the area behind the left side headlight stand that the axle is only about 1 3/4" above the frame. And I have a rubber snubber under the axle which limits the travel to about 1 1/2" in a downward direction. I was concerned during the build that this might not be enough travel and that I might later have to build a "C" section into the frame to allow for more axle travel. Interestingly, this has not been a problem thus far and I have not experienced a single instance of bottoming out. However, for peace of mind, try to allow yourself 2-3" of travel.