I have been toying with the idea for a wile now. Of taking a 4x4 Ranger frame and sticking it under my 85 LTD wagon body, Give it a little lift, drop in a 302, and making myself a unique little toy. the thing holding me back is I cant find anything that gives me any idea if the frames can be changed out or not. Any one have any idea?
Why . . . ?!
Wouldn’t it make more sense to lift your Ranger and drop in a 302
People have lifted their Rangers
People have dropped a V8 in a Ranger
You could do both . . . it’s probably been done before
why not? I don’t want a v8 ranger lifted. I want an LTD wagon lifted v8. because who has one? who would ever really think of making one. Everyone around here has v8’s in small trucks they lift. I want something not everyone in town has.
There are two different LTDs that year. The common mid sized LTD Squire wagon is on the fox platform (Fairmont), a unibody, no frame.
The full size LTD Crown Victoria/Country Squire has a separate frame but also comes with a V-8 so it sounds like you have the mid sized LTD.
Stacking a unibody car onto a truck frame is not unheard of but if you have not looked under your vehicles to compare the difference in construction I’ll guess this is above your custom car capabilities.
I agree with @Nevada_545
If you haven’t even gotten under each vehicle with a tape measure to compare you probably do not have the skills to do this job. This type of part is not a one-size-fits-all.
Not saying it can’t be done. If you want to stuff the 302 into the Ranger, that is much easier. There are probably companies that make kits for this.
I can virtually guarantee that you’re not going to remove one and bolt on the other. They are completely different vehicles. None of the frame mounting points will match up without custom fabrication. You’d know this if you’ve done as mentioned and crawled underneath to see and measure. If you have determination, the first step is to liberate both bodies from their respective frames. Then build a temporary support you can rest the LTD body above the ranger frame for mocking up the mounting points. Then start cutting and welding…and scratching your head and devising solutions for all of the tricky parts like interferences, rerouting of controls etc etc etc. Those unique rides are that way because it is a tough job but the rewards can definitely be worth it…
This is one of those “If you have to ask, it’s a bad idea” things. If you knew enough about cars to tackle this very difficult project, you’d know the answer already.
I put a 347
Into a 88 extended cab ranger
It was a lot of work and no small cost. Personally if I was going to do it over again, I would have gone with a 460. Cheaper HP and not much more work than a SBF.
I have a C6 behind the 347. That transmission will not go in from the bottom side. Engine must come out to get the transmission out. That is a tight squeeze coming out the topside.
I ditched the power steering and went to a manual steering box. Not really much room to add PS. Also that cheasy water pump driver is a joke. I swapped that out for a real electric pump.
You will need a custom radiator for the swap. You will also need a oil filter relocate because the filter intersects the cross member.
As far a 4x4. I’m not sure what else you may run into as I only wanted a 2wd ranger that I subsequently dropped 3 in front and 5 in the rear.
I replaced the holly for a tunnel ram and 2 edelbrocks. Still not running like I want. I swapped the cam again and now considering trying a propane conversion.
Why not? What’s the limiting factor? Assuming you get it lifted high enough off the ground, is there some other issue?
I have a custom trans in a Chevelle that requires it be lifted high enough and I made the cross member removable so I could wrangle it out from underneath. Have to remove the tire and put the trans on the ground and slide it out but it’s doable. Much easier than going out the front so curious about your setup…
The c6 bell housing is too large to clear a cross member. Next time (if there is a next time) i will torch out the rivets that hold the cross member in place and use bolts to put it back together. The c6 is the big brother to the C4. I think the C4 would fit better. When I built the truck, I had 175 nitro shot on it. I wanted the bigger transmission to support the higher HP. It also has a 3800 RPM stall and the transmission hits hard when running through the gears.
Also the OP is likely going to use a manual transmission and transfer case. Not sure what constraints he may run into for that conversion.
you all seem to think I have already run out and spend the money on a ranger frame to do the math myself. if I had I would not have asked. I knew they would not bolt right up, I was going to have that bit done at the local hot rod shop. I was just asking if it were possible to do. I have never seen a unibody put onto a frame before. I know what I am capable of and what I am not. Fab work is beond my comfort level, I know I am not grate with a welder. Its the concept. Can you put them together. I am not looking for what is easy or care what you think my skill level is. If it can be done, its what I want to do.
maybe I should of been more specific.
Anything’s possible, with enough $$:
That’s gonna cost you a wheelbarrow full of cash… Way more than the truck will be worth when its all done.
Amazing what people will do to complicate their lives ,I would rig a chassis first ,then try to piece the body around it ,I am afraid a lot of things like this are not very good daily drivers . However I chanced upon a a cherry 36 Ford pickup that had a modern ranger drivetrain installed,a 3.0 engine ,updated steering ,I think an automatic and the owner told me it wasnt a showtruck but a daily driver(scarcely any rust ) ,good gas mileage plus AC,I believe you should do a cost benefit anylisis and think about how bad a half completed project that sat in the garage for years would make you feel after you got discouraged and maybe gave up on it .
Nothing I would want to do but frame and body dimensions should all be in the respective OEM service manuals or body manuals. Along with all the details of where the bolt holes are and so on.
If you’re gonna go to this much trouble you just gotta give it 4-wheel steering, and then you can blow minds dog-walking it down Main St.
I would have no reason or desire to attempt it. Just sayin.
…I am afraid a lot of things like this are not very good daily drivers .
But the LTD is a unibody, so lots of cutting ahead.
Anything like this can be done but there is one question you need to ask first.
Do you own a cutting torch and welding setup along with the ability to use them properly on a mountain of fabrication?
If not, then you’re dead in the water unless you’re prepared to surrender your bank account indefinitely so as to pay someone to even get started on this.
Back in the 70s a friend of mine who had just gotten out of the Navy and was living in FL did something like this. He dropped a multi-primered 1953 GMC truck body onto a '67 Chevelle chassis with a BBC 396. He slapped that together in a few weeks time and drove it back to OK with no problems.
Way different chassis setups though.
Why not just beef the chassis up on the LTD and stuff a built up SBF in it to make a sleeper?
Slap some of that fake wood grain on the sides along with a couple of AARP bumper stickers and snooker a lot of people…