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  #1  
Old 11-10-2009
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1997 Ranger Restoration

Ok, heres what I've been doing the past few days.

97 Ranger; Took bed, differential, exhaust system and spare tire holder off. I found out that I need some one a little stronger than my little sister to help take the bed off. :P But we got it off.


Took a angle grinder with a wire wheel to the back frame and got rid of all the old paint/rust. I found out that a fan would be nice to have while doing that. I completely covered the inside of the shop with dust as well as my 86 Ranger. (Note to self: turn fan on....move 86 out of shop before beginning). After I got all the stuff that I could get to with the angle grinder, I took it outside and sand blasted the underside and all the hard stuff to get to.


I went to the j/k and got a positive traction 8.8 differential to replace the 7.5. (I also need a little more muscle then a little sister can give while doing this. :P I say 'little' sister...shes two years younger than me. :P)
Brought it home and spent the rest of that day sand blasting it to get all the dirt/grease off.

The next day I put three coats of paint on the differential and one coat on the frame before I ran out of paint. (I need to get some today to finish it) Then I installed the differential on top of the leaf springs (verses below the leaf springs) which gave the truck about a 3-4" drop in the back.


(You can't really tell, but there is a pretty good drop in the back) (Now I just need to drop the front)
More to come:
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Old 11-10-2009
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Nice job so far! How labor intensive is re-painting the frame? Ive been looking at doing it for a while on my '01.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartan72 View Post
Nice job so far! How labor intensive is re-painting the frame? Ive been looking at doing it for a while on my '01.
Thanks!
Not to bad if you've done it before.
If you haven't, then I'd give it a....3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. The hardest part is taking the bed off. All you'll need is the tools to take the bed off, a angle grinder with a wire wheel (the one in the shape of a cup), paint and time. If you want to get real fancy with it then you'll need to take all the wiring and brakes of (strip the back half of the frame) and paint it that way. Not to bad though. It took me about 5 hours to do all that. Well..I'm not done yet..but when I'm done it should take me about 6 hours just for painting the frame. I think its kinda fun.
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Old 11-10-2009
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im gonna be doing something similiar to that (minus the drop and the diff swap) to the back half of my 93 soon.. gonna go out pull the tail lights and tailgate today.
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2009
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Ok, I haven't been able to work on the truck lately. But heres a update anyways.

I took the wiring harness back out today. I've decided that its going to be FUN trying to rewrap and install the wiring harness for the 5.0. I guess I'll worry about that when it comes up. So I'm going to be dressing up the engine compartment. So I'm taking everything I can out and putting it in the bed. Then I'm going to be putting sheet metal on the inside to smooth it out.
Here is the engine compartment before I started.




And here it is after I got done today. (And yes, the engine compartment has been painted. I did it awhile back)



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  #6  
Old 11-16-2009
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frame looks great!

It makes me feel kind of old when I hear the words "restoration" and "97" in the same sentence... LOL
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Old 11-22-2009
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Well I finally found a power source for the truck! A 351W!!!! It was out of a 1993 F-150 and got paid $150 for it. I'm taking it all apart right now to clean it up. It was pretty bad. The guy that I got it off of didn't know how to take apart or put together an engine at all!! He replaced the heads on it and when he put it back together, he did it ALL wrong!! He put about a 1/4" - 1/2" of form-a-gasket on the head and intake gaskets. It was everywhere! All in the cylinders and everything. It was rather madding....ok, I take that back. It was VERY madding!
While I was taking the heads off, I noticed that the rocker arms seemed to be loose. So I checked them, and 11 out of 16 were very loose. Good thing the guy hadn't ran it! (he had just replaced the heads on it and never got it back in the truck). I haven't examined the heads yet, but they seem good.






You can see in some of these pictures were there was too much form-a-gasket.

So yeah, I have a lot of work ahead of me. :P But at least I have it.
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Old 11-22-2009
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Lookin good man! Are you gonna paint the front half of your frame while its all apart?
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Old 11-22-2009
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Thanks! Yeah. I plan to get started on that tomorrow. I'm also wanting to get some 3/8" sheet metal tomorrow so I can start on the new mounts. But I think thats going to take back seat tomorrow. :P
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Old 11-22-2009
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Wow man, nice job. This is going to be one sick ranger. What kind of tranny do you plan on running?
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Old 11-22-2009
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I'm thinking a C4 with a Hurst shifter and shift kit.
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Old 11-23-2009
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This is gonna be sweet when finished...
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Old 11-23-2009
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thats gonna be sweet man, are you gonna have to move your firewall or anything for the 351 to fit?
Cant wait to see this thing done!
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2009
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351 is the same size as a 302 (5.0) just taller.
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Old 11-23-2009
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nice motor! good luck!
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Old 11-23-2009
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Quote:
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351 is the same size as a 302 (5.0) just taller.
Well then do you think it is going to fit under the stock hood?
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2009
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No I'm most likely going to make a cowl for it. I doubt it would fit.
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  #18  
Old 12-18-2009
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I finally got my engine cleaned up. I bought a wire wheel and used it to clean it up and it did a fairly good job. There were a few spots that I wasn't able to reach with the wire wheels though, so I had to use carb. cleaner and a brush to get those spots.


This is before I cleaned the engine.



And this is after.




And this is after a buddy and I got the block painted.




I am going to paint the oil pan black. As you can see I don't have that done yet. But I will get it painted soon.
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  #19  
Old 12-18-2009
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looks good!!!!
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Old 12-18-2009
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Any plans for a rebuild kit for the 351? Truck looks great although you might have to increse your tire budget though!
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  #21  
Old 12-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87xlt View Post
Any plans for a rebuild kit for the 351? Truck looks great although you might have to increse your tire budget though!
No, I'm not getting a rebuild kit for it. I took it pretty much all the way apart and checked all the seals, bearings, rings and so on and they all looked good. I did replace all the gaskets though.
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  #22  
Old 12-24-2009
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After thinking about it I decided to go ahead and paint the oil pan Ford blue.


A buddy of mine and I went ahead and painted the dynamic balancer, fan pulley and power steering pump black. We used a wire wheel and some carb cleaner to clean them up.


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Old 12-24-2009
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looks good.
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  #24  
Old 12-24-2009
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Lookin good man keep up the good work!
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  #25  
Old 12-24-2009
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looking great. loving the build gona loks sick
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