I have been long time reader of the form and found this thread while looking for how to remove the air box without damaging it. I just wanted to thank @StxDangerRanger and @Wowak and all the others on this thread for the great info. Using this write up and the comments which follow I created an airbox modification of my own and I thought it was worth sharing.
Currently my truck is only driven about 2-3 days per week and recently Ive discovered that it has even less power than it did when I was driving it every day. This weekend I opened the air filter box and discovered that mice or squirrels have been storing and eating nuts in my airbox. I guess they figured if I wasnt going to be using my truck that often, they might as well use it.
My goal was to prevent further entry by the critters by placing a non-restricting metal mesh over the opening. Here are the tools and parts youll need:
Ford Ranger New Air filter Old Air filter Flexible plastic or rubber - about 3 x 8 (you can cut apart an old plastic soda bottle or fuel injector cleaner bottle for this a water bottle will be too think and might melt too easily under heat) wire dykes and straight tin snips Drill (90 degree angle drill if you have it) 1/8 and 1/4 inch drill bits (4) 1/4 inch diameter x 1/2 inch long aluminum rivets, (2) 1/8 inch x 5/16 aluminum rivets with rivet washers Air riveter, air blow gun, compressor
Remove air filter assembly, clean and leave to dry. Remove the snorkel from the air box. Use your wire dykes & tin snips to remove and trim metal screen from your old air filter as seen:
Check the screen fit against the inside of your air box and trim again if necessary. Place the screen inside your air box over the intake hole and use your right angle drill with 1/8 bit to drill pilot holes from the inside out in 4 corners of the screen. Pull the screen out, and change to the 1/4" bit and enlarge the holes in the air box and screen. Place the screen back in the air box, line up he holes and place the 1/4"rivets from the outside in and through the screen. Place washers over the rivets and secure with your air riveter.
Place the flexible plastic over the top of the air shield so that it sticks out about an inch. Drill with 1/8 bit on each side and rivet in place.
This shield will help maintain a better balance of air from behind the headlamp and keep out the air from under the hood.
Use your air blow gun and get any shavings off the new parts. Place all components (except snorkel) back into truck, with new air filter.
I hope this helps someone else as much as the original post helped me.