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Project Logs For detailed builds specific to the Ford Ranger, one thread per vehicle please.

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  #151  
Old 05-30-2016
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I definitely want a v8. I feel like I'll be able to do more with the v8, make more power and subsequently more torque. The kind of torque that can keep a person from grabbing a 100 dollar bill from the mirror in second gear. Not to mention, I want a nice loud roar when I step on the gas.

One thing is for sure. I'm going to have an automatic transmission.
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  #152  
Old 05-31-2016
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On my way are a set of end links, sway bar bushings, and a wheel bearing/hub assembly. They should be here by end of day 6/02/16
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  #153  
Old 05-31-2016
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Maybe a V8 will make me want to keep my truck. lol.
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  #154  
Old 05-31-2016
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A v8 would be absolutely amazing. I want one so bad, but I don't have the $$$ to do it. If I'm going to go through the trouble, I might as well get a v8. Considering I also want to increase horsepower, which from what I've read, the 4.0 really doesn't get much given it's already high compression ratio. Seems you get more bang for your buck with the 5.0.

Unfortunately 5.0 expos aren't all that common around me. mostly 4.0s. I wonder if I could do the swap with the correct year F150 5.0.
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  #155  
Old 05-31-2016
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Unfortunately for you the F150 stopped offering the 5.0 after 1996. And even then, the F150 used a massive upper intake plenum that I don't think would even fit under a Ranger's hood. You'd more than likely only be able to use the block, and you wouldn't have the GT40 cylinder heads that some Explorers came with.

I'll do the 5.0 once I figure out how to make it work with a manual trans without rigging it. I refuse to run another automatic transmission in my truck lol.
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  #156  
Old 05-31-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArcticWolf1911 View Post
Here. Dug up the video I found the soldering technique in. However, two things I want to add. First, it isn't necessary at all to have an expensive iron. A simple iron that just plugs into the wall with no controls what so ever is perfectly acceptable; and this is the very type of iron I use. I would recommend spending around ten dollars for an iron, or more if you so wish. Anything below ten is usually pretty crappy and makes the process a lot more difficult.

Second, Collin mentions the 'two second rule'. While this applies just fine to boards as he is demonstrating on, for copper wires like we're working with, five to ten seconds is more realistic. The more you work with solder and the iron, the quicker you'll get at it and the easier it will be.

Collin's Lab: Soldering - YouTube
Finally ordered an iron, but things have changed since I have done any soldering. Used to have one of the irons from Tandy, good for wood, leather or soldering. Will have a bit of soldeing to do, will have to go back and redo the fog lamp connections.
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  #157  
Old 06-02-2016
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Hopefully it works out for you. Soldering is one of those things I believe everyone should know how to do, even if other methods are preferred.


In other news, my wheel hub assembly, sway bar bushings and end links arrived today. Odd how I had no idea that they did until someone told me. Dog didn't start barking, which is usually my first indication, and I didn't hear the truck nor did they ring the doorbell. Thanks fedex, for just leaving 100 bucks worth of parts on my doorstep without telling me.

Anyway, after I got them inside and looked 'em over, I headed over to autozone to rent a slide hammer as well as the hub 'paw'. Ho-le crap did someone screw up that paw. I had to clamp it into a bench vice and use a breaker bar as long as my arm to get that thing loose. Lucky for me the bolt was softer than the paw itself, which allowed me to remove the severely crossthreaded bolt with difficulty, but thread in the actual slide hammer with relative ease, using some lubricant to help the process.

Again used the breaker bar to crack the three 15mm bolts holding the assembly on the knuckle then finished up with a ratchet until all three were removed. This is where I made a mistake.

I removed the black center piece, gently prying with a flat screwdriver to get it over the lip for my hand to take it the rest of the way, expecting an axel nut. Well, to my surprise, there was no axel nut, just a set of splines. Unfortunately for me, I did not see that there was a plastic snapring spacer and an actual metal 'snap' ring which held the axel in the hub itself.

So I gave it a whack or two with the slide hammer and it came free, but I couldn't figure out why it wasn't letting go of the axel. Only did I peer inside did I see my mistake. I'll be getting a new snap ring and whatnot just to be safe, even though I don't think reusing them would be a mistake, I don't want to ruin 66 bucks worth of hub assembly.

After I finally got it off and on the ground, I tackled the sway bar itself. The four bolts holding the sway bar and bushings to the truck were easily cracked loose with a breaker bar but the end links were a much different story. I had to cut them with a sawzall to get one side off the control arm. The other side simply twisted off. Then, with a propane torch, sawzall, and hammer, I finally got the end links beaten to pieces off of the sway bar itself. It's amazing what rust will do. I'm glad I ordered a new pair because something tells me those would have broken on me sooner or later.

So, as it sits right now, my sway bar is drying (painted black) while I rest up for tomorrow.
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  #158  
Old 06-02-2016
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Sounds like you had one heck of a job going on there.
As far as those sway bar end links go, you got to cut the top of the long bolt off 95% of the time because that bolt rust inside the plastic part making it impossible to remove.
I'd like to see some pics of the vacuum pulse hub, because I've only seen the 2000 + sealed one piece hub units.
Make sure you torque those three 15 mm bolts down to 70 ft lbs or the whole unit will fail.
Good Luck getting her back together.
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  #159  
Old 06-02-2016
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Thanks, will do. I've got a half inch 15mm socket I can use, thankfully. I'll have to scrub it up first, because somewhere along the line somebody waaaay over greased something and it's just an absolute mess. Like, no joke. I could scrape off a thick layer with the box end of my wrench for crying out loud, with a puddle of brake clean in it. I may want to hit it with the pressure washer before I put the new hub on, or at least use a brush and soapy water. I mean jeez. Guaranteed it won't sieze!
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  #160  
Old 06-03-2016
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Well, the Ranger is back together and driving like a champ. No ABS light anymore, however something strange now is when I hit a good size bump, like it's used to, the steering wheel shakes quite a bit, but the vehicle itself remains steady. Strange. I'll give it a week or so since the rubber is new and what not.
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  #161  
Old 06-03-2016
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Congratulations! You have solved the mystery. It must be so nice not having that ABS light bugging you anymore.
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  #162  
Old 06-03-2016
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Oh I love it. But now I have to figure out why all of a sudden my steering wheel is shaking when fair size bumps are hit, and it may just be me, but it felt like the engine was idling a tad on the rough side. I think I've got a vacuum leak on that hub. Tomorrow I'll spray a little carborator cleaner on that hose and see what happens. I should get new hose anyway, as those are pretty worn.


Also had a bit of a 'shock' today. Was winding up an extension cord and low and behold, there's a chunk missing out of it! Thankfully it was only on the green wire. I wonder how that happened. Looks like it was cut, as it's awful clean. Oh well. Nobody got hurt so, no harm no foul.
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  #163  
Old 06-11-2016
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Glad to hear you have got your demons under control or did you just send them to me. Finally get a chance to work on the back up lights. Looking through my junk pile, come up with some perforated angle iron for a bracket to attach the lights. Get it cut, cleaned up and painted. Go to install on my tow hitch, and the differences in black are amazing. Nice satin black against 12 year old faded tow hitch. Remove rear bumper, clean the tow hitch, primer it and paint it satin black. Looking good (plagiarized your playbook by the way). Remove the tail light to install new one and start running wires for the backup light system, try to remove connectors from rear tail light and backup light, the connector casing just disintegrate. Well, do some research and order new ones for both sides ( I still think you are trying to make me an electrician), hook up the new tail light just to see how it looks. Turn on the lights, looks good ( may have one LED out though), turn on the turn signal to see how it looks, when my radio starts going on and off in time to the blinker. The connector had come loose, but have never seen anything like that before. Then to top it off, my battery starts acting up, and finally just dies. No engine indicator lights or anything. Take it to my local O'Rielly's, to get a new one and the clerk said I did real well with the battery. Three years on the battery in AZ. Batteries usually last two years here, but what a hell of a coincidence, or could I have done something to the electrical system. Once all the parts come in, will continue with the modifications.
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  #164  
Old 06-11-2016
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I've never heard of the radio turning on and off with the turn signals, but with low voltage (lower than expected normally) strange things do happen. Equally strange things happen with faulty grounds.

Just by messing with the backup lights, brake lights and turn signals couldn't have done that alone. Even if you grabbed all the wires and touched 'em all to ground, the most you would have done was blown some fuses.
Good choice on satin black, btw.

I had some electrical issues today, as well; although not in the same way. Had a couple of those old cigar socket mini usb chargers laying around, and decided to make one a permanent install for a GPS I have which uses mini usb. Case cracked open on the charger, board removed and some new wires soldered on to extend the connections. I get it all wired up and plug in the GPS only to find that it doesn't work. Well, it sort of does.

It would indeed receive the 5 volts I was giving it, but it would go into 'PC mode' for use with software. After taking to google I found that there's a fifth pin in the mini usb plug that is normally unused on almost every plug out there, except for garmin who uses this pin. Pin X is connected to a resistor and then to ground, which tells the garmin to enter navigation mode. Unfortuantely to replicate this would require me tearing the mini usb plug apart which always destroys it and is way more trouble than it's worth.

Sigh, and all I wanted was a clean solution to power the GPS on my roadtrip. Sounds like neither of us hgad a particularly easy time.
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  #165  
Old 06-25-2016
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Well, some time later, my steering wheel stopped with the shaking, although I did have to tighten the endlinks once or twice more as the bushings centered themselves and all that. Still no ABS light (which makes me VERY VERY happy )

One of my ballasts burnt out about the other day though. You get what you pay for. Back to boring halogen, then. Bleh. Also changed my oil the day before, and also found out my bosche filters have magnets inside them. Saw no metal on them either so that makes me very happy, too. I love it when things are in tip top shape.

Although, in the same day as my oil change I found my turn signal (same one as before) again had moisture inside. RTV doesn't stick around long in this application apparently. So I wound up replacing the gaskets all together with a different pair from other sockets. So far that's working, but I feel I'll wind up buying two new sockets with the new gaskets from rock auto.

Speaking of lights, I also have two amber lights that I have no idea what to do with. Any suggestions? 06 mirror for scale.


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Harvest Gold 1999 Ranger-hnc4vw8.jpg   Harvest Gold 1999 Ranger-wp3kh7e.jpg  
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  #166  
Old 07-12-2016
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Well, the 'replacement' gaskets didn't last longer than two weeks. I swear this turn signal is cursed. Decided to try one last alternative, so I headed over to the hardware store for some thick o-rings. I bought the thickest oring I could find and it still wasn't thick enough for the 3157 sockets. Four bucks down the drain.... (I bought six)

Waste of time and money.
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  #167  
Old 07-14-2016
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A few of my instrument cluster bulbs are out, so I need to replace them. I'm thinking LEDs as well, because they are awesome lol I'm assuming you're happy with the blue? How are they on your eyes when you're driving? What other colors, if any, do you have experience with?
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  #168  
Old 07-15-2016
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The blue I have isn't hard on your eyes at all. It's really not much brighter than the stock gauges, by design. Very evenly lit, too. I'll snap a pic of it tomorrow in the dark garage.

But, until then, there's a trick to it. First, know that most LEDs are measured in lumens. One lumen is supposedly equal to one candle, although that part is trivial.

A normal 194 bulb (like what is in your cluster x6, your corners, etc) is between 20 and 30 lumens, depending on who made them and how old they are. For best results, you want to stick close to this. I chose 30 lumens.

Another thing to note is the 'viewing angle' of an LED. Incandecent bulbs disperse light in a full 360 degree pattern by nature. LEDs, in contrast, are directional by nature. You want LED bulbs that have a very wide viewing angle to replicate this. Doing so will throw colored light of your choice throughout the cluster in an even way. No diffusers or paint required.

Of course you can also wrap an LED strip on the inside but, this makes it more complicated and really isn't worth the trouble unless you're after something unique.

As far as other colors go, I can't say I've delt with other than one color (blue) in a cluster, but do know that not all colors from the same bulb (rated the same LM) will go as far. For example, red doesn't travel as far as blue would. Orange, yellow, purple, and blue all travel about the same. Red doesn't quite as much, and green seems to go a little further. If you want red, I'd recommend going about 5 lumens brighter on the bulb of your choice. You can always dial it back with the dimmer. For green, if that's your thing, maybe dial it back 5 lumens.

And, yeah, I am incredibly pleased with the setup I have. No problems, nothing. I'd gladly order more of these bulbs. Here's a link to the same bulb I bought if you want 'em.
https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...ofit-rvb/2485/
If you'd rather buy them on amazon, look for a bulb in similar construction. Note how it has multiple LEDs pointing in different directions to give it the wider viewing angle.

These also work well as corner bulbs, plate lights, a bulb for your third brake light or cargo lights, etc.

There are six, 194 bulbs in the cluster that make up the backlighting. The HVAC panel uses only two.

However, the smaller indicator lights (such as CEL, abs, airbag, turn signals) use a smaller bulb, size 74.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...rofit-car/227/

Link to the ones I bought ^

Of course, if no color change is desired, put the same color LED behind a given color of filter. amber filter, amber bulb. blue filter, blue bulb. green filter, green bulb, etc etc etc. Do note that if you want to use white #74 bulbs in the cluster, get dimmer bulbs. I have one white LED for cruise control and it's very bright.

One last thing, about the eyes. For me, the blue is just fine. It doesn't bother me at all. However, that being said, it may bother other people who are more sensitive than I am; say if your sight is bad for example.
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  #169  
Old 07-15-2016
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That response was excellent, thank you! I read on the Bulb Catalog(found in this forum) that 194, 1815, and 161 bulbs all work in my cluster. I'll go with 194's knowing that they definitely work. I'm still trying to decide which color to go with. My radio is bright red, but red usually indicates something bad on the cluster, so I wanted to avoid that. I'll give it some thought and then order some of the bulbs you used, now that I know exactly which ones. Thank you!
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  #170  
Old 07-15-2016
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You're very welcome. You could give the UV Blacklight color a try. I've never seen a purple cluster before.
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  #171  
Old 07-15-2016
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Just bought 6 blue bulbs for my cluster! I'll post when I put them in.
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  #172  
Old 07-15-2016
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Nice! Hope it works out for you.
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  #173  
Old 07-17-2016
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Will have to pay attention the cluster light change, may have t that my ownself. My map light switch on the dimmer switch does not work, so may have to change that out,and may as well change the cluster lights since I have t take take everything down t almost that far. Finally have the backup lights in place, just have to adjust them tonight. Ran into one problem after another. First, as I said before, the plugs broke when trying to remove them, got them in and soldered, when I discovered the plugs didn't fit the sockets that well (even though advertised for the 2004 Ranger, so ordered new sockets, which I had to alter when they came in (thank goodness for Dremel tool). Had all the honey do's completed, so was able to finish the job over a couple of weekends (not much time to work as the temps here were in the 110 area), and finally was able to install the rest of the components, which, due to your tutoring, worked fine. Installed my new LED tail lights (which I had for a few weeks) and they were defective. Contacted the seller via Amazon, now just have to wait. I hope I don't have this trouble when changing out the switch and lights.
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  #174  
Old 07-17-2016
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LEDs are directional, usually. Did you try flipping them 180 degrees? Glad to hear the rest worked out well for you, though.

Even though this isn't necessarily ranger related, I did get a new tool set today. Half inch drill, half inch impact, and a flashlight which are all 18 volt lithium ion. Came as a set. Also has two batteries, charger of course, manuals, and a set of 'flip sockets'. The sockets also have their own blow-molded case, which is a nice touch. I'll post pics and whatnot tomorrow, maybe a short vid instead. Normally the set is 130 bucks (which is still a steal) but sadly they're discontinuing the set and it was marked down to 89 bucks. Could not pass that up.
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  #175  
Old 07-18-2016
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Here's that vid about the tools, should anyone else be interested in an electric impact. I have to shorten the walk-around video for the truck though. Youtube will only let me upload a 15 minute video, but it's 20 minutes or so. Hopefully you don't find me too irritating

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