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Ranger Regular Cab
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Updated on Dec 02, 2012
Project started Jan/Feb 2008
This is the original truck bought for $100.00 dollars Canadian in August of 2007, it has sat in my driveway until now, just wasn't sure if I'd scrap her or turn it into a project, well now it's a project and here we go.
Interior as it was when I aquired the truck except for the dashcap, but that's another story for later on, anyway it's a typical 1988 Ford Ranger showing her age. Well let's see what we can do about giving this old doll a facelift and possibly a tad more "get up n' go" if the budget will allow. This will be a long term project so stop by from time to time and see how I progress, most everything will be fabbed as I am on a tight budget, any suggestions as we go are appreciated.
Ever need to remove you truck box but there just doesn't seen to be anyone around, and when they are they wine "It's toooo heavy", well here's the solution, all you need is an engine crane (which most if not all of us have or should have), and some 2x4's . Cut two lengths to fit under the bedrail, and several smaller blocks to use as spacers, nail all the spacers to one 2x4 approximately in the center, then add a single short piece to the top of those blocks and your done, it takes me less than 5 mins to remove or install my box as shown in the pics.
Once I removed the box and cleaned up the frame it was not a pretty site, the rear crossmenber was rotted and unsaveable, the frame rails from the cab to where the rear crossmember should have been were in bad shape, lots of rust and some areas totally rotted through, first thought was DARN this frame is toast and maybe so is this project, went in the house and had a beer, luckly Trucks was on TV at the time and they were reinforcing a frame on something or other using 1/8" fish plates and I got an idea, I had some 1/8" x 6" flatbar in the garage (30 ft or so). Glad I had that beer :-). Basically I fayed the 1/8" flatbar to the side of the frame, bolted and welded it in place, then using a grinder and cutting disks I removed the overhanging metal(approx a spindle of disks and a bunch of armpower, man I gotta buy a torch), also did the bottom channel of the frame with some 1/8" x 2 1/2 " flatbar, the top is in really good shape so I left that as is for the most part except for a few patches here and there.
Ok now for that rear crossmember, I used a piece of 2 x 4 HSS that was laying around, had to notch the top rear corner to allow for the truck box to sit down on the frame. See the following pics.
Only one more section on the rear frame that needs attention, that's the arches right above the axle, I could have just repaired the existing metal but then I thought maybe I'll add a lowering kit at a later date so I installed a couple of c-notches, again made from some 1/8" x 6" flatbar and 1/8" x 3" flatbar that was left over from the frame strengthening project, I bolted and welded the c-notch in place, there are a few more bolts to go in and I am going to completely weld the plates to the frame (need to get some heavy angle or something to anchor to the frame to keep it from warping before I weld them in place) but here is what I have done so far.
May 31, 2008, after the c-notch job I decided lowering is the only way to go so here are some pics of my rear flip kit installed with my rebuilt leaf sprngs, brand new leaf spring hangers and shakles and a set of 15" rims I had in the garage, these will not be the wheel and tire combo I will use but for now they are OK to give me an idea for clearance and presentation. I intend to swap out the rearend for an 8.8 out of an explorer, that unit has the spring perches already located to the bottom of the housing, then the flip kit will be removed but the ride height should remain the same as with the 7.5 differential and flip kit combo. The front will get a 3 inch drop from a set of springs that came with my lowering kit, I suspect I will have to install adjustable bushings (sometimes refered to as slugs) to compensate for the negative camber that the lowering springs will create, any advice here would be appreciated. Notice the spring in the bag by the front tire.
June 01, 2008 - Today I intended to install my front coil springs to complete the lowering of my truck, unfortunately the springs included in my kit don't fit, @#$@#$%@$$#! Excuse the language but I was pissed, here are some pics of the springs, the red one is the lowering springs that does not fit, the black one is a progressive rate performance spring I had bought before I decided to lower the truck, and of course the rusty one is the one I removed today. If anyone has any comments regarding these springs please help out I would really appreciate it. I am going to hang onto the progressive rate springs, might end up getting a set of drop beams later, they would be perfect for that setup. Well I never leave without getting something done, so determined to lower the front end I decided to remove a single coil out of the old rusty springs and see where she goes, this got me about 1" of drop from the original height, next time I am going to remove another half coil and heat the spring so I can flatten the last coil, this should give me about 2 to 3 " of drop. Right about where I want her to be, no pics of truck today it got too dark before I finished, here's how much coil I removed from the old springs so far.
June 18, 2008 - Well folks I'm back, the guys at Canuck Motorsprots in Surrey, BC., Canada really came through for me (check out their auctions on eBay, great prices and good guys to deal with), I contacted them about the mixup in my order and even though the order was completed sometime late 2007 (Oct or Nov I think) they acted immediately by sending me the correct part via Purolator at their expense, and this was without even sending the original parts back first, they have asked I return the original parts and promised to reimburse me the shipping cost, all I can say is WOW, I am very impressed. Anyway I now have the new lowering springs installed, here's a before (old springs with one coil removed on left) and after pic ( new lowering springs installed). I like the low lean look of the lowered long wheelbase. Check out the negative camber on the front wheels, guess I will have to get some adjustable slugs after all. By the way the truck is sitting level, my camera was tilted a bit.
June 29, 2008 - picked up a set of 15" aluminum rims off a 1994 Ford Ranger 4x4 for $150.00, came with P235/75/15's on the rims, replaced the fronts with P205/60/15's and left the old tires on back for now. Rears will be replaced with 275 or maybe 295/60/15's when I get the cash, the light bar is not a keeper, it's just there because I was cleaning out the garage and didn't want to leave it on the ground.
And as always I encourage anyone following this project to sign in my guestbook and post comments on what has been done so far, all info welcome.
March 24, 2010: Well it's been quite a while since I updated my progress, as with everything I do it is never finished and always in developement, I was really satisfied with the stance of my truck as pictured above however I decided I wanted wider tires and didn't want them sticking out the wheelwell, anyway I relocated my leafsprings to under the frame (similar to the way the lightning and explorer are) using custom built spring brackets, I got the idea from a build on TRS (The Ranger Station) called "Rat Ranger" so the credit for the idea goes to him, however he used Explorer brackets which are out of production so I had to fab my own, replaced the old flimsy crossmembers at back of cab and at front spring perch location with 2X3X1/8 HSS and also installed my 9" housing, for mock up with the spring perches relocated to bottom of the axles so the flip kit is now removed. I'll be narrowing ithe 9" housing and getting custom length 31 splie axles soon, will post pics of the narrowing process. I still have to finish welding the front inner brackets and box in the frame sections around the new rear bushing locations. This setup increased the height by 1 inch from the lowered position, still not bad acheived 3" drop from stock and might just add a 1" block or remover a leaf to soften rear if i want more drop. Any sugestions are welcome.
August 3, 2010: Still working on the rear frame sections, ran out of welding wire so I moved to the front to do some panel repair to the firewall and kickpanels in the truck and decided the front clip was in the way, after I drilled out the spotwelds and removed the inner fenders and rad support I decided to attempt to convert it to a full flip front end using all steel components, so far I have the inner fenders, rad support and front bumper tilting all in one piece just the way I want it, I tried to just tilt the inner fender/radsupport but when I installed the fenders and front valance I couldn't find a pivot point that would allow complete clearance to the bumper without making a complicated pivot then tilt bracket ( bumper was hitting on the front valance every time) so I went with a simpole solution, cut the front horns and make the bumper tilt with the whole front end, having the bumper as a component of the tilt actually stiffened it up quite a bit, problem solved, will have to install fenders and make a cut in the fenders somewhere at the firewall area for them to work, here are some pice of my progress so far.
October 3, 2010: I aquired a second 5.0L andAOD trans for my project a few weeks ago, my garage is limited space to start and now I could hardly move so i decided to get a start on the motor mounts and transmission cross member mount just to get the motor and transmission off the floor, needed it installed to start lining up other components anyway so now is as good time as any. After reading for days regarding different available options for motor mounts and final location of motor in chassis I settled on the Trans Dapt or Advance Adapter mounts as pictured below, since I had some 1/2 plate and bascially no money to spare I decided to build my own:
Got a few dimensions from other Ranger guys for overall dimensions and basically scaled the remeinder of the dimension from the pictures above, I really like the result and location of the motor, wish I had read more because after I finished my mounts I ran across another Cardomain 5.0L Ford Ranger with a great design mount that is simpler to fab and can locate the motor exactly where mine is with the Trans Dapt clone mounts, his mounts do sit the motor higher than mine but a little trimming to the height of the mounting assembly (to approx 1") would easily fix that, check out Andy's 1993 Frord Ranger here for his design, nice work Andy:
Anyway here are some shots of my motor installation, this is mock up only to see what mods I will need at firewall and trans tunnel, motor is coming back out soon.
I am working on the trans crossmember and will have some pics up soon.
May10, 2011: Got a start on the rusted cab corners last night, here's some before and after pics for rust repair and fitment, no welding yet will wait until I have both sides ready before breaking out the mig gear.
Displaying entries 1-9 of 26
Very cool build, can't wait to see the tilt hood done. On the engine side of your motor mount, what is it from? I recently got a 5.0 out of an '87 thunderbird, and the engine side of the mount looks nothing like yours.
mounts on block are from a 1993 F250, Trans Dapt and others clone these mounts and sell at elevated prices, just get Factory Ford rubber or maybe some Energy Suspensions poly mounts for 93ish full sized truck with 302 or 351 Windsor engine
Tilt front end? "COOL"
NICE!! CHECK MY RANGER OUT
nice project, she'll turn out nice, check out mine sometime
Looks like the progress is coming right along. noticed the mounts have a slightly longer mount hole to allow easier engine removal clearance. Gonna see it driving sometime this year?
Thanks for looking, no real time frame, enjoying the build and taking my time, would love to have it running this summer but it will happen when it happens.
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