Be warned: this is a long post, but explains a lot. Read it if you will, it's a book. I will be updating as time goes on. The truck is with family right now, so the work on it has paused.
Okay, so this is a fun tale. Everything I have done to this truck, I have gotten off this forum, rangerstation, or the explorer forums, and I thank you all. I have learned a lot!
I joined the air force, and shortly after graduating basic, itched to buy a vehicle. My dad owned a ranger, and I drove an S15 ('87 lol), so when I saw a craigslist ad for a Ford Ranger for $700, I was curious.
So, I headed about 5 miles from base with a buddy. When we pulled up... It was an ugly sight. I did not like what I saw... The truck was originally red/maroon, and the company that owned it painted it yellow. Then, whatever fate became of it after the company, was a foul one. They half-heartedly painted the body in black plasti-dip, leaving yellow "stripes." It had a 3 on the side, and KCCO on the tail gate. I asked myself what I had gotten into when I realized it was sitting in a junk yard.
Well, the owner came out, and I traded ID for key, and got in. I could smell the age. I turned the key, and all the lights came on. I popped the hood. Dusty, but everything looked intact. Checked my fluids. Low on brake fluid, oil could use a change, antifreeze looked good. I got in, and started it. It idled rough, but did okay. I took it out on the road, and drove it like I stole it. It has a 2.3, 5-speed manual, and a purr ready to roll. I was sold. It was an eyesore, but boy did it run! I payed the man $600 (Wouldn't budge any lower than that, said he could get 600 for scrapping it), and got it all legal.
When I got it to base, I turned heads... Not in the good way. People pointed, and laughed, but I loved this little angel. Her nick-name became "The Danger Ranger" Well, from what I gather, how many Danger Rangers are there? I'm sure the number's pretty high.
So, small town trips ensue, and life goes on. One day, on the way back from the bar, the temperature spikes, and I'm smelling antifreeze. Water pump went out. In November. Snow everywhere (North Texas, 2013). I replace it anyway. I continue driving. As I follow a Saturday tradition of Dennys with friends, we get to a stop sign, I go to roll forward, and POP! Dead. She wouldn't start for God himself. Lucky me, right in front of a mechanics shop! We push it inside. (Background story here, I was to graduate tech school in less than 4 days at this point, and had to drive her home, about 900 miles) Mechanic tells me I broke a timing belt. DOH! I didn't take it off to replace the water pump! Not to mention it's probably old as the truck is. Oh, did I mention she has 275000 miles on her? Yeah... So I tell him I'm in a hurry, and a bind, as I did not plan for a flight. The man shakes my hand, and tells me he'll work overtime for me (I was to leave on Tuesday morning, and he was closing up shop when we came in, and was closed on Sunday) Monday evening, he calls, tells me it's ready. I go get it, drive it back to base. She feels better now. I load her up, and take a 900 mile drive.
Now this is where I leave her, as my mother and I swap trucks here, but I get her back November of 2014.
I feel shameful, as I did a lot of work to her, but only have the pictures from when I got her... I will post more later on, but right now, she just completed at 1200 mile trip to Florida, hauling a motorcycle all the way, so she is not in my possession, but my grandfathers. I'll get her to be mine soon enough!
Without further adieu, I present, The Danger Ranger of Sheppard Air Force Base:
Now, I'm sure someone will see these, and cry on the inside (maybe even outside), but I assure you, though the outside paint looks the same, she has come a long way since these pictures, taken in November of 2013 :P
More to come!