There's never "too much research". I search on a topic until I don't find anything new.
The map pockets are super useful. I keep a small umbrella on my side and my 4 tie down straps on the other side.
I just wish they were more like the explorer. In the expo, the pocket area is carpeted with a red reflector and white corner light on the door. The Ranger has neither of these. Namely the light and reflector are what I'd like to have.
If it were me theArcticWolf I'd grab a set of those door markers/reflectors off of a donor & see about fabbing some up, maybe even look for a fancy set off a towncar or something. My old '84 Lincoln had some rectangular ones that had both the reflector & a clear section with a light. Food for thought.
As for me I've had a bit of time on my hands & I've been busy finishing/tidying/starting new projects. I started by running the wiring for my new OHC. Simple stuff & went off without a hitch. I didn't bother trying to find an OHC harness that also is wired for lighted visors/auto mirror since the mirror is of no concern to me as there are always two tinted windows between me & anyone behind me. Lighted visors would be cool, although I find the Expo "double" visors kinda bulky they do seem super functional, so there's a trade off to consider there. If I get some I'll grab the wires for them too. But in the mean time I now know what direction I'm heading & the outside air temp to boot, although I assumed there would be a clock in this thing & was a little disappointed to see there isn't I quickly got over it while driving around in circles calibrating the compass. Fun times.
OK I've had this glove box light for months, the dash is apart, it's time. This MOD couldn't be any easier, one bolt, one wire, five minutes. I ran power from the cig (now USB charging) and adjusted the latch. That was simple but here's a trick I used: tighten the mounting bolt finger tight, pull the whole latch towards the seat as far as it will go, then lightly close the GB holding the latch handle open. This will push the latch to exactly where you want it, now tighten the bolt all the way & think "man was that easy".
There was a recent point in time that I realized the headlight switch was supposed to illuminate, mine didn't so I had to remedy that. First I tried painting a spare bulb red with some transparent modeling paint, seemed good, no Illumination. OK I have this red LED from superbright, had to solder on some longer legs to get it to work in the tall holder, got it in the truck & now I've got TOO MUCH illumination. D'oh! Too much in every sense, this thing is so bright it's shining THROUGH the dash and it also won't shut off unless you remove the key. WTF? Idk I might tinker with it more next time I have the dash apart, which will be soon since I repainted my gauge faces & managed to get both needles for rpm & mph way off, I'm pretty sure I don't idle at 1,650 rpm haha. I forgot how touchy those needles are to set, what a pain.
As for those gauges I grabbed a set from the JY & just stared over, taking with me the knowledge I gained the first time around. First order of business was to ditch that glass paint crap, I had major inconsistent light dispersal due to that stuff not laying flat, so I used the paint I bought for my OHC lens casting project. It's a transparent red acrylic paint meant for modeling & lays down perfectly! I also got some called "turn signal Amber metallic" to stick with my original color scheme. I highly recommend using a quality modeling paint on your gauges, the light is sooo much more evenly dispersed vs. glass paint which has a more puffy paint consistency. You can find all of the primary colors in transparent versions so in theory you can make whatever color you want. At this point I'm feeling cool & decided to put my PNP LED bulbs in. This was my downfall. The white light from those makes the Amber look yellow-not feeling cool anymore. I'm just gonna buy some new incandescent bulbs and toss those in, I'm tired of these LEDs messing with my artistic vision. Truthfully I may give it one more go with some Amber LEDs because I really do like the light output, just not the color.
Speaking of LEDs, you may have noticed by now that I go to the JY alot. It's true. Lately when I go if I see a guage cluster that's been removed I snag the led from the theft light. The base is different from the other idiot lights (as is the bulb obviously) so I've been thinking & modding. Basically I transplanted the LED into the incandescent base. Now I haven't checked if it will actually work in the cluster yet but I don't see why it wouldn't. Anyways that's another experiment I'm conducting. I've got a nice little collection of these things started.
Today's agenda is mounting this power distribution post that came in the mail & clean up my under hood wiring. Also I'm gonna mount a light under there, I've had one for what must be an eternity now just waiting but brace yourself, it's a from a Chevy. (Insert blasphemous comments here) I usually stick within the same make but these lights are just cool. They have like 20ft of wire that spools off so you can take the bulb with you if you need to look under the truck or something, way cool! They come on mid 90s full size Chevy trucks & are by far the best part about those vehicles. You can always paint it Ford blue if Chevy stuff really gets to you.
I haven't forgotten about my OHC lens, just had to start over. It's working now & should make a debut in a day or two.
And then there's this bumper, what am I gonna do with you bumper? Filler? Maybe. Heat/reshape? Possibly. Find a different one? Ugh not anytime soon. Just stay in the cab & never look at you? There might be something there....
Last edited by StrangerRanger99; 08-19-2016 at 01:31 PM.
The theft light LED will instantly pop on 12 volts, as there's no resistor. the theft light circuit is already designed to give the LED the proper amount of voltage and current.
The reason why your paint doesn't look so hot with the LEDs is because you're using white leds. if you used red leds with red paint you'd find it looks fine. the reason being is you have so many colors of light bouncing around and thus not just amber shines through,
Yup, I'm on to something here. This is the 3rd one I made, & it looks pretty good. The only problem is that it isn't exactly clear. You can see through it just fine but it isn't nearly as transparent as the stock one. When I turn on the headlights it's hard to read. Whatever I'll probably just disconnect the dimmer wire & roll with it. A final sanding/clear/polish then it's going in.
Well I sold my Rangers original front bumper & parlayed that into some lighted explorer double visors. Even found a set with the home link voice memo/garage door gizmo! I thought that they might be too bulky but with the OHC it looks normal.
Also I finally got around to cleaning up my under hood wiring, installing my power distribution point as well as my cool work light. Came out pretty good, way better than the rats nest I had in there.
I think I might freshen up my headlights next, make em clear again ya know. I've been dreaming of a tilt steering wheel too, so that will most likely be the next big project. I already have Expo seats, console, OHC, & visors, I might as well go full explorer.
That's one nifty light you have there. What did you get it out of?
The tilt column is a fairly easy mod to do. The easiest way is to grab a tilting column from an explorer and swap the whole thing over, swapping over your electronics to the tilt column. The ignition cylinder can be removed easily, but you need to have the keys that go with that vehicle to do this.
Optionally, if that can't be found, then you can also get the tilt column and convert your non-tilt to a tilting column. I forget how this is done, but it's just a matter of swapping parts.
Your headlights can be restored with sandpaper and clearcoat. Chrisfix has a video about this which explains it better than I can. It works very well. Much cheaper than new ones.
However, if you're so inclined to do so, you can also take that opportunity to put on some aftermarket lights. There's a few different styles to choose from. You could also 01+ swap it if you'd like as well, but I personally like the appearance of the 98-00 most.
From what I've read, if the opener is too new, it won't program. For example, the garage door openers to my house work fine, and they're 13 years old. However, something much more recent doesn't want to program. Something about the codes or whatever.
Well guys we will never know about that homelink...I have no garage, I just thought it was a cool thing to have, for the same $ it was a no brainer. I could see how a new opener wouldn't work with 15yo tech though. Maybe the solution is a vintage garage door opener.
TheArcticWolf that light came out of a full size Chevy 1500 pickup, early-mid 90s I don't remember the exact year but they made millions of them & half of them have it. Look on the pass side inner fender & MAKE SURE to get one w/the latch the holds the light in place. I opened my hood last night & that sucker was spooled off inside the engine bay! That could've been bad.
I took my headlights off last night, sanded them from 220 all the way down to 2000 grit, sprayed them with a uv resistant clear, & they came out like crap! Stupid clear wasn't clear at all, Cloudy as hell. Ugh that's a bummer, gonna do it again I guess.
My shifter **** broke apart & is now rattling around and falling off and just bugging the crap out of me. Who's got a cool shifter ****? You guys got LEDs in yours or what? I'd love to put a clock in mine, or maybe the shift pattern would light up. I need to do something quickly.
Oh yeah, I passed on the grab handles/a-pillars. I couldn't justify paying the asking price.
Cool beans on the hood light. Wish I would have thought of that.
Your problem with the lights is the grit you started with. The most coarse paper you should ever use is 400 and that's only if they're really bad. It's 600, 800, 1000, 2000. Although I've gotten away with using only 800 and 1000 in the past. It also helps to use polishing compound after the clearcoat dries overnight.
Well I took the truck to the local wash & sanded the crap clear off of my headlights, then took the time to wash & give it what must be it's first ever wax. Actually I used some rubbing compound/polish with my buffer then took it to the wash, cleaned it with some good de-greaser, THEN waxed it. Looks not half bad although the paint was garbage to begin with. Plus the headlights became clear again, enough that I can live with it for now.
Ohh I got me some new door speakers too, some nice pioneers. Oh yeah! Rear speakers are for later.
But now everything else gets put on the back burner as my clutch is going out & requires my immediate attention. So tomorrow I shall crawl under there & finesse myself a new one. I've done a few rangers by now so it oughta go smooth. I just hope I can bleed the system with minimal issues, that's the part that gets ya.
Well clutches here in town are dumb, as in you can't find one with a release bearing. Every parts store makes you buy the release as part of the slave cylinder, so an additional $70. Not to mention the slave looks totally different. Now I might be inclined to just go with it but I have run into a nightmare on my old F150 when I bought a slave that wasn't compatible with the stock line, the only solution there was to buy the entire thing -master/line/slave- from the same store & pre-assembled. I would like to avoid going through that again which is why I'm buying my clutch online, better clutch for the same price and comes with the proper slave/release. My existing clutch still has some life in it but I have no idea how old it is, if it's been replaced, or anything else. Preventative maintenance.
I cleaned out my iacv last night and the truck idles nice & solid now, feels much stronger in city driving, and drops rpms during shift changes like its supposed to. I think that was part of my clutch diagnosis, the engine was holding the rpms too high making gear changes rougher than they need to be. Idk maybe I'm fishing there but either way I should get at least another week out of my clutch, plenty of time for the USPS to do their thing.
I also pulled my cluster (again, 5 times now I believe) and swapped those white LEDs for some brand new old school incandescents, much happier with the Amber glow of those inefficient outdated bulbs, thanks Thomas Edison! I'll take a pic tonight after the pesky sun goes down.
Since I'm waiting on parts I needed something to occupy my time, so I turned my attention to my topper. The paint was flaking off of the frames for the side windows & I have sandpaper so...about an hour and one blister later I'm down to the metal.
Then about two minutes after I finished sanding it started to downpour so no painting today. I went for a drive in the rain instead.
Alrighty we are looking good now. What an improvement. Now I've got the itch to paint my wipers, rear bumper pad, window whatevers, antennae, rear topper window frame, & everything else. But for now I'm happy.
Painting my wiper arms was one of the first things I did. I love turning grey to black. For your rear step pad, I highly recommend krylon fusion satin black. It's durable, easy to spray, and very forgiving too. I used that on my rear step pad and my front valance. They still look brand new, today. Although I need to touch my rear one up after the garage door sat on it. Doesn't hold up well to that, but all else it withstands.
Oh wow, let's see here. That OHC lens. I used a product called Model Builder silicon mold builder to make the mold. Its a brushable silicon that you apply in MANY MANY MANY very thin coats. Seriously, it took 2 days to make the mold with dry time between coats. There is another product that comes as more of a clay consistency that cures in minutes but costs twice as much. I ended up making a 2 piece mold. There is an entire realm of the internet devoted to this subject, do a search for "DIY silicon mold" & open Pandora's box, if you dare.
The resin I used is called "amazing clear cast" & knowing what I know now I would have researched a better product. What I used ended up transparent but not exactly clear, it's hard to read the display in the daytime. The other problem is that it's not very rigid. So again I'm looking for a crystal clear resin. Professionals use a pressure pot to eliminate air bubbles, which I don't have so air was an issue.
Essentially I made my mold by brushing the silicon onto my green lens in many coats until the silicon built up nice & thick. When it was dry I mixed up a small amount of epoxy, filled my mold halfway, placed a sheet of red transparent plastic cut to size, then filled the mold & waited. When cured & removed I took my new lens & wet sanded the crap out of it, then sprayed it with some duplicolor shadow chrome black out coating, the stuff for wheels, then like 4 coats of clear, then polished that as a final step.
Mold maker - $10
Casting resin - $15 w/50% off coupon
Plastic 8 1/2 X 11 sheets - $5
Brushes - $3 cheap is best, they will be ruined after the silicon
Clear coat - $4
Optional: blackout coat - $20 mine was left over from another project
As you can see I could have bought like 2 entire OHCs for the cost of making my own lens, D'oh!
Now theArcticWolf, I've been giving your blue lens some thought & I have a couple of ideas for you. First is one I've mentioned before, rit clothing dye. I really think this method would work well for you & you can get the dye & a thrift store pot for the fiver in your pocket. Another quick & easy option is to pop off your lens & stick some of that blue plastic sheeting in there. Here I'll show you what I mean & what it would look like.
Well pics are crappy but it did make it bluer, although you can still see the greenish hue.