Spacers plus aftermarket crash bar = ?

ahha

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Hello, I’m interested in opinions/experience about two things:

1) Will adding a minimal 1.5-2” spacer adversely affect the life of the Tremor CV joints? I know the Tremor has bigger steering knuckles than other Rangers so that’s one less component to worry about with slightly bigger tires. This is my first truck with IFS, so I’m not sure how much the suspension geometry can be changed before there are significant complications. I see in another thread that the stock Tremor already has a 5+ degree CV angle, so obviously that’s ok with the factory. But how much more can be done without affecting lifespan or stock ride quality?

2) If I do go with a small spacer in the front and replace the crash bars with aftermarket ones with better clearance, how much bigger of a tire can be fit on the stock rims?

Thanks in advance for any input!





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You are the first so you tell us in 5 to 10 years. Ford tested their crash bars by wrecking the truck. Did your after market company crash a truck?
 
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You are the first so you tell us in 5 to 10 years. Ford tested their crash bars by wrecking the truck. Did your after market company crash a truck?
I haven’t bought anything yet, I’m looking for advice. That’s the point of asking these questions in a thread.

If your point is aftermarket crash bars cannot be as good as OEM because they haven’t been tested to the same standard, maybe you are right. But they also could have the same or better protection if they are made of stronger material to make up for their lower profile or different shape. I assume the aftermarket companies employ engineers to make sure the specs are similar, otherwise they could be liable.
 

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I haven’t bought anything yet, I’m looking for advice. That’s the point of asking these questions in a thread.

If your point is aftermarket crash bars cannot be as good as OEM because they haven’t been tested to the same standard, maybe you are right. But they also could have the same or better protection if they are made of stronger material to make up for their lower profile or different shape. I assume the aftermarket companies employ engineers to make sure the specs are similar, otherwise they could be liable.
Hi Andrew,

Do not assume aftermarket companies employ engineers...Some do and most do not. I found this out for myself at SEMA in Las Vegas when I supported the Ford Display.

Best,
Phil Schilke
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
 

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I put a 1/4 inch spacer on my Tremor that gave me 1/2 inch lift. I put Ready Lift crash bars on (look very beefy) Then I added 17x8 Rockstar wheels 35mm offset, Wildpeak MT 285/70/17 tires and no rubbing.

You can buy differential lowering kits but some involve drilling and some drilling and cutting if you want a taller lift. I did not go this route.
 

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ahha

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Hi Andrew,

Do not assume aftermarket companies employ engineers...Some do and most do not. I found this out for myself at SEMA in Las Vegas when I supported the Ford Display.

Best,
Phil Schilke
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
Thanks for the info Phil, good to know. I guess I’m not surprised that most aftermarket parts are not designed by an actual engineer.

What is your opinion on the safe limit of Ranger CV angles?

Have you seen any aftermarket crash bars which allow for more tire clearance and are engineered correctly?
 

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Thanks for the info Phil, good to know. I guess I’m not surprised that most aftermarket parts are not designed by an actual engineer.

What is your opinion on the safe limit of Ranger CV angles?

Have you seen any aftermarket crash bars which allow for more tire clearance and are engineered correctly?
Hi Andrew,

My experience is CV joints should be within 8° as opposed to U Joints that are 4°. Designs do change and these values for CVs might have been improved somewhat. Those were the values in which we operated in the early 2000s... I sent 1996 F Series 4x4 CVs to the famous off road racing builder, Nye Frank. He was using Porsche 934 CVs at $$$, The F series joints were better by a ton at high angle and were very inexpensive compared to the Porsche CVs. Has to do with how many balls are in play to take the load. Porsche only had two and the F series had 6 as I recall in discussion with him. He was building Rob McCachren's new Trophy Truck at the time as part of our Rough Rider program.

I have no experience with any aftermarket crash bar as I have done no research on them as my stock Ranger can use the OEM bars. I am of no help on crash bars. What I might recommend is to call the aftermarket manufacturer and ask straight forward if they have done any crash analysis and published the results. Probably a dead end but if they say they did a computer simulation that would be a positive. I would bet no crash bar manufacturer had an actual crash test performed as it is very expensive and likely the manufacturer would not sell enough crash bars to even break even on development costs.

Best,
Phil Schilke
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
 

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There probably isn't a way to know for sure. There's a thread about how weak the factory skid plates are yet the crash bars are deemed irreplaceable by some. Why can't the crash bars be better if the skid plates are better? Truth is no one knows for sure unless they're crash testing them.

I don't ever plan on needing the room for bigger tires. I'm probably going to go to 265/70/17's an fit shouldn't be a problem. You can make the argument a lot of mods reduced the factory engineered safety. Huge tires an wheels reduce brake effectiveness. A lift raises the center of gravity an creates a higher roll over risk. Driving 80 MPH is riskier than driving 65 MPH. We all accept additional risks in some areas. You have to decide what YOU are willing to accept. While aftermarket crash bars may be less effective than factory, I'd bet they out perform no crash cars.
 

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I have no experience with any aftermarket crash bar as I have done no research on them as my stock Ranger can use the OEM bars. I am of no help on crash bars. What I might recommend is to call the aftermarket manufacturer and ask straight forward if they have done any crash analysis and published the results. Probably a dead end but if they say they did a computer simulation that would be a positive. I would bet no crash bar manufacturer had an actual crash test performed as it is very expensive and likely the manufacturer would not sell enough crash bars to even break even on development costs.

Best,
Phil would a simple hydraulic press test to see at what PSI the factory one gives compared to the aftermarket one be an effective indication? If so that doesn't sound that expensive to do, but as you point out the low volume, specialized application on a crash bar probably won't get much development budget. They aren't gonna sell a lot to make the costs back.
 

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I know the Tremor has bigger steering knuckles than other Rangers so that’s one less component to worry about with slightly bigger tires.
Bigger knuckles? They are the same.
 

P. A. Schilke

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Phil would a simple hydraulic press test to see at what PSI the factory one gives compared to the aftermarket one be an effective indication? If so that doesn't sound that expensive to do, but as you point out the low volume, specialized application on a crash bar probably won't get much development budget. They aren't gonna sell a lot to make the costs back.
Hi Langley,

I don't really know the answer to your question re the hydraulic press vs. the dynamic loading of an actual crash. I suppose it would be a good indicator. Better would be a computer simulation of a model using a program like Radious (SP?) for example. Radious is a non linear analysis program, like a crash is non linear so to speak.

Best,
Phil Schilke
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
 
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Hi Andrew,

My experience is CV joints should be within 8° as opposed to U Joints that are 4°. Designs do change and these values for CVs might have been improved somewhat. Those were the values in which we operated in the early 2000s... I sent 1996 F Series 4x4 CVs to the famous off road racing builder, Nye Frank. He was using Porsche 934 CVs at $$$, The F series joints were better by a ton at high angle and were very inexpensive compared to the Porsche CVs. Has to do with how many balls are in play to take the load. Porsche only had two and the F series had 6 as I recall in discussion with him. He was building Rob McCachren's new Trophy Truck at the time as part of our Rough Rider program.

I have no experience with any aftermarket crash bar as I have done no research on them as my stock Ranger can use the OEM bars. I am of no help on crash bars. What I might recommend is to call the aftermarket manufacturer and ask straight forward if they have done any crash analysis and published the results. Probably a dead end but if they say they did a computer simulation that would be a positive. I would bet no crash bar manufacturer had an actual crash test performed as it is very expensive and likely the manufacturer would not sell enough crash bars to even break even on development costs.

Best,
Phil Schilke
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
Very interesting info about the F series CVs vs Porsche, thanks for the CV and U joint specs, good to know!
 

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“Tremor starts with a lifted suspension, redesigned front knuckles and 32-inch Continental General Grabber™“
I have read that before. However, they redesigned the knuckles for all of the 2021 Ford Rangers. Someone in marketing grabbed on to that and ran with it. Even to describe it as "Lifted" is a stretch. AND to claim the tires are 32" is rounding up. I have inspected the knuckles on the Tremor and I could not tell that they were any different than other 2021 models. I could be wrong, but if they are different, then it is not by much.
 

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One thing to keep in mind regarding crash bars, a stronger design may not mean a better design. You want the materials to absorb as much of the energy from a crash as possible. If your super strong crash bar snaps off the bracketry that's holding it, that is not a better design.

There's no substitute for actual crash testing.

The other unknown is one would think a wider tire would do less intrusion into the cab than a stock narrow tire.

Again, no substitute for actual crash testing.

Revised 06-11-2021:

Tire width only means something, if there is air in the tire. Check out this video:​
First slow the video down to 1/4 speed using the lower right hand tool. Then go to:​
0:08. The tire hits the barricade, it goes flat and it drives the wheel back into the wheel / foot well.​
0:26. You see the wheel near the cab in an overhead view​
 
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