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  #1  
Old 09-26-2014
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This Ranger is BACK! I am the "new" owner of Masteratarms93's Ranger

Greetings!

(You'll have to excuse the cell phone pics. It is on it's last leg.)

My name is Brian.

I own Masteratarms93's Ranger and this is how I came about it. He is a member on this site and I would like him to know the truck is in good hands and with someone who is going to fix it up and give it new life over the next 4 or 5 years.

Here it is the day I got it. The kid in the photo is Cody. The owner who had it after Masteratarms93 (I assume).


(The Day I Got It)

I have always loved cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

I am not much of a mechanic, but I try to do as much as I can myself with basic tools. I am what I would consider a very well rounded auto enthusiast. I say that because I love vehicles of all types. I've owned imports and now currently just got done last year having a cam put in my 95 Z28. I love them all. Muscle cars, clean and tastefully done imports, both of the European and Japanese orgin. I work full-time and bust my *** to be able to live and try to afford the finer things of the motorsports and automotive world.

Shameless plug of the Z28 >

How I found Masteratarms93's Ranger

I needed a daily driver for the harsh, Ohio winters. I needed preferably a little truck that was lifted and could get "good" gas mileage.

I looked high and low in the Northeastern Ohio region for a clean Toyota or Nissan Pickup, but everyone wants top dollar for even high mileage examples. I'm sure some of you in the rust belt know how expensive a clean yota pickup can be.

I put a wanted ad out on my local craigslist for a small truck. I put that I would take an s10, a ranger, but preferably a Toyota or Nissan pickup.

After receiving a ton of replies with disappointing results, I finally got an email from a kid in a town not too far from my own that said he was looking to get rid of his ranger which was 2wd, but lifted and had 31 inch tires on it.

I saw some pics and fell in love. It wasn't the Toyota pickup I had hoped for, but I always had a soft spot for Rangers of this body style ever since my little brother brought home a near-mint example when we were still in high school.

I loved the fact it was lifted and was a 5 speed. I was impressed by the mileage it got for being lifted and with the 31's on it as well. I was told it also had an explorer rear-end put it in from the previous owner so it wasn't just a one-wheel-peel truck, which has proven INCREDIBLE in the harshest of last year's Ohio winter. As I drove the truck and drifted it around the parking lots through winter, I fell in love with it. I loved the Ranger because it was a small, sporty truck with clean and timeless looks. I already have a cammed, V8 camaro. I have nothing to prove by getting a bigger truck like a diesel or something like that. I am a HUGE fan of small bodied trucks that are lifted on bigger tires and this one just fit the bill. I like the Ranger because it just ages well. Once again, it's looks are classic. Classic doesn't mean old, classic means timeless and timeless means forever.

I have taken care of this truck when I got it at 155,XXX miles. It now has 171,XXX on it and it is running as smooth as my 1999 Honda Prelude ran. I have been REALLY impressed by the little 2.5 Lima four-cylinder. No ***** or torque, but it takes a beating. It handles the daily driving and wear like a champ and the transmission shifts wonderfully still. Of course it gets regular oil changes every 3k miles.

I have replaced the brake lines and the master brake cylinder and brake booster and battery since owning the truck aside from replacing the rotors up front as well as new tie-rods. It rides great for the time being.

I was thrilled when I was able to find all the threads on here with it in it and now I have a complete list of what has been done to this truck thanks to Masteratarm93's threads.

I will be modifying this ranger to some larger extent. I haven't decided between 5.0 swap or if I should piece together a really nicely thought out 2.5 Lima turbo build. I am really into prerunner styled trucks, but don't have too much sand around Ohio. I'm looking to mesh different styles of builds together for something at the end of the day that I LOVE, REGARDLESS of what the internet or anyone else thinks. I'm holding off on cosmetic stuff such as replacing the bed and fenders until I am for sure with what I want to do with the powerplant. Part of me wants to look into beefing up the suspension. I am not a hardcore off-roader by any means, but I would love to be able to take this to light trails and still serve street duty without worry. Eventually, I want to have it painted Ford Sonic Blue or the dark Purple/Blue of the New Edge styled Rangers. I'm not another dreamer. I have modified vehicles before and am well aware of what things cost and that one cannot cut corners for a quality build. I work damn hard to afford my camaro, my motorcycle and the ranger as well. I have no problem spending money on car , truck, or motorcycle modifications. Hell, I mod everything, my bass guitars, my computers, my road bicycles. Nothing is safe.

This truck will be serving as my daily driver and needs to be able to tow a motorcycle trailer.


Can't wait to make this truck into something clean, tastefully modded and unique for the build. I hope you all are stoked to see this truck back on the site if you recognize it.

My brother's Ranger next to mine.




Last edited by BDod; 09-26-2014 at 04:29 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2014
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Awesome!

Hopefully he will chime in.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2014
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Hopefully he does!

Like I said I have plans for this little truck.

I don't want to buy a new vehicle for the next few years in terms of a car or truck. I am looking into racing motorcycles on the weekends in the spring of 2015 so I am preparing this little Ranger to tow. It will only be one motorcycle, spare tires and of course the trailer.

It does need a new bed eventually and will be getting new fenders, new door skins, repatched cab corners and ultimately I want it to be repainted Ford Sonic Blue.

Engine-wise, I really don't need this thing making beyond 200hp. I'd love to get it in the area of 200-250 hp at the crank. I've been researching for the last year on 5.0 swaps, but am currently leaning towards a nice turbo build with the help of parts from Stinger Performance, Esslinger Engineering and the forums.

I am very excited to have a stout rear end. I know he pulled it from the local junkyard near me which seems to always have Ranger parts in stock. Mars Parts is just the best.

I really love the fact that this little truck has a long and documented history.

Overall Plans for the Ranger
Restore body with newer/rust free pieces.
Find a rust free bed or evaluate cost for fiberglass bedsides.
Clear frame of surface rust and paint black/evaluate current state of health of frame
Up the tires to either 33x12.5
Regear 8.8 to 4.56 gears. Love the 4.10s with my 31's I just think 33's merit 4.56's.
replace axles with aftermarket units

The list could go on a little bit.

Looking to build the little truck I've wanted since I was a kid.
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Old 10-01-2014
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If i remember correctly he swapped to a lvl 2 rear end. 31 spline with torsen L/S
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Old 10-01-2014
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Good to see a second story to a truck. I hope it happens to mine.
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Old 10-02-2014
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Nice to see the truck go to someone else on the forum.
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2014
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Thanks!

I've been piecing together my list of parts for it and plan on getting through this next Ohio winter with it before starting the modifications with this little truck.

I absolutely love driving it in the winter. It takes a beating. It made me respect the 2.5l lima, which is why I am so keen on maybe seeing what it has to offer in terms of a turbo set up. I'm only looking for a realistic 200-220 hp out of the truck. That is all I want.

Currently had no plans of purchasing another daily driver for the next 5-7 years. I really don't mind the little Ranger at all. I get a kick out of driving it.

It doesn't go without saying that a truck with 172,XXX miles on it doesn't have isssues, so here is a list of the biggest ones.

Biggest issues:
Needs new bed. The floor pan is completely rusted out. I've looked into fiberglass bedsides, but i don't think it would be worth it simply because the bedsides themselves (underneath) are almost too far gone to where I don't know how well fiberglass would adhere over the course of time to it.

The most obvious solution is to look for a cleaner take-off bed, but that can run anywhere from $700-1500 depending. Trying to keep it styleside, not flairside, even though I love certain flairsided rangers and think both bed styles look good if done right.

It will need new tires after this winter so I'm going with 33x12.50's and making a jump from the 31's. Some people might think I'm crazy, but I really don't think it will be that bad with the 4.10' gearing as some people say. I think 33's are the perfect size for a lifted single-cab ranger and that is the real reason why I am getting 33's. I like the look. So be it. This truck will see some light mud pits and some light trails, but will never be doing anything that crazy like let's say along the lines of something someone that would build a trail-rig would do, like some of the Wellsvile guys.

Ultimately, I can always swap to 4.56 or 4.88 gears a little early if need be. I wanted to take the time to make the rear end stout, but I've read the torsen l/s is pretty strong already and not to upgrade until needed. New axles will be installed when it is re-geared.


The engine will need all it's 100,000 mile maintenance again soon, but believe it or not, it is running top notch. it is an incredible little engine and I have had zero issues with it since buying the truck at 155,XXX miles. It honestly isn't as much of a dog of a four cylinder as half of the people on this forum make it out to be. Granted, it isn't fast at all, it gets the job done and does it reliably . Even with my 31x10.5's, as long as you keep your revs consistent on the highway, it does about 2.3-2.5k rpm's when cruising at about 65-70 MPH (give or take +/- a few MPH due to tire size) in 5th gear. 4th is undoubtably a passing gear or a speed gear for highway driving.

I am debating throwing a Westin Safari bar on with some KC Slims, but that is another story. The exterior will need some rust repair as well.

The cab corners are shot and will need fixed, again and the door skins will both need replaced. The good thing is LMC has great replacements for them. The bad thing is it will run about $1000.00 bucks after shipping to get those.

This will be a long adventure, but hopefully it will turn into something fun like my Camaro Z28 did. Building that car (well, not building, but working towards having it built and being involved with my builders during the process) taught me what it takes to build a nice vehicle. I figured I'm going to take a break from building that car to make my DD ranger something bad ***.

Last edited by BDod; 10-11-2014 at 02:10 AM.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vista4.0 View Post
If i remember correctly he swapped to a lvl 2 rear end. 31 spline with torsen L/S
You are correct. I found the original swap thread of it and literally live 3-4 miles away from the junkyard he sourced it from.

Mars is a very tightly-run yard. Usually have a few Rangers in stock from what I've seen online from their inventory. Might come in handy when I look to put a Powerdome hood on a 98-2000 faced truck! haha.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2014
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Just ordered some goodies for the Ranger.

- New Chrome Bumper (with holes for bumper pads)
- New non-fog light front valance
- new clear corners (since the ones on it now are leaking)


Modeling my stance after Yuke's lift. His truck just looks good and has always looked good. Single cab, lifted rangers just rule.

"Stole" his lift recipe and am shopping around for the combo of parts I want.

2" lift coils
2" aal
2" shackle
1.5" block
3" body
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2015
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This truck is a beast through the snow. 2WD or not, that 8.8 rear with the torsen pushes this little truck effortlessly.

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  #11  
Old 01-12-2015
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The Ranger's cosmetic goodies are being put up til this Ohio winter is over.

In the mean time it is having the following services done to it starting on the 24th of the month:

- Timing belt/Idler pulley replaced
- New radiator and hose replacement
- Thermostat replaced
- Heater core replaced
- New exhaust put on
- New exhaust sensor
- Spark plugs/wires replaced


Should get it running in tip top shape again! The little truck could use some mechanical love since it just hit 176,XXX. I've owned it since 155,XXX and have always given it anything it needed which besides some tie-rods, hasn't been a lot at all.

Tax returns give me enough cash to get some 32's or 33's...I've been debating that one a lot though.

After tires, I'm going to finally be looking into installing my new bumper and start looking for a better bed for it before any more type of lifting.
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2015
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Talk about a score!

I am planning on replacing most of the body panels before I ultimately buy the bed that will be replacing the current one.

Today on craigslist, I found TWO 2000 door shells in white that are already completely stripped out for the low price of $50 bucks!

I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. I called the guy and I am picking them up tomorrow after work.

Here is a link to the ad.

I'd say this is a pretty good deal.

They have light dents and some slight surface rust at the bottom, but they are a FAR CRY from the doors I have on the Ranger right now.

2000 Ford Ranger doors decent shape
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This Ranger is BACK! I am the "new" owner of Masteratarms93's Ranger-00s0s_wvms25kd64_600x450.jpg   This Ranger is BACK! I am the "new" owner of Masteratarms93's Ranger-00l0l_4ujhmdknlgi_600x450.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2015
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The Ranger's maintenance is being pushed a few weeks back so I can schedule time off of work due to how much work is being done to it.

My goal is to make this thing run another 100,000 while having some fun with it and making it look cool.

Found some BFG 33x12.50's for 680 shipped that I will be ordering here in a few weeks as well after my tax return comes in. Maybe even looking to put some new black Cragar soft 8's on.

Things are starting to shape up though in terms of getting the parts, pieces and strategy together for making this thing cool. I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't excited.

Today I did also manage to drop off my 81 Suzuki GS650E and my buddy's 82 CB650 to my mechanic using the Ranger, since he will also be getting my own bike in order for Spring since I work 50-60 hour weeks right now through then.
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Old 01-24-2015
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Good deal on the doors. I don't recommend cragar soft 8s because they're steel, get an aluminum wheel, they're much lighter in weight
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Old 01-24-2015
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I might just save the money on the wheels since I think there are already some alloys on it.

Might just have them polished up. They are 15x8. Not sure of the back spacing though.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2015
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Well, I came across an old MasterAtArms thread on another ranger forum and it definitely explained a lot of why the truck seems to shake from the rear on the highway.

FX4 Level II axle, bent shaft flange - The Ranger Station Forums

Already priced out the cost of the parts at around $550 give or take with axle shafts, seals and bearings from Ford. For the FX4 Level II rear end, the axle shaft is pretty specific from what I'm reading and researching due to the spline count being 31 not 28m.

That comes before the tires sadly...

Truck is being dropped off next week on the 5th to my mechanic. I'll be sure to post some pics as we breathe some life into this Ranger and try to squeeze another 100,000 miles out of this little 2.5 lima.

Here is what is in plan for now.
- Timing belt/Idler pulley replaced
- New radiator and hose replacement
- Thermostat replaced
- Heater core replaced
- Spark plugs/wires replaced


Then I'll probably start ordering the rear end parts and seeing what my guy gives me on an hours estimate.


Maybe this would be a good time to go to 4:56 gears after all so I can run those 33's I've been wanting?

Stay tuned.
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2015
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Mods, feel free to move this thread to a more appropriate spot on the forum if you wish.

Right now the Ranger is under the knife for some very needed preventative/age related maintenance.

Besides having a new radiator installed, a new timing belt along with a new component kit and tensioner pulley installed and a heater core installed, my mechanic found some other problems with the Ranger.

The exhaust manifold was without a shield so it seems to have damaged part of the EVAP assembly from just melting it due to the rise in temps. Went to pull-a-part and have the replacement parts needed to fix that though.

There are some other questionable things done to the Ranger such as someone screwing around with the wiring that goes from the A/C to the fuse box. That will have to be fixed as well...

Here is a pic of the part of the EVAP system that melted.
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2015
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As clean as it can get right now in Northeastern Ohio!



Admiring the paint. Still would love to repaint it Sonic Blue, but sometimes I wonder..."Should I?". Sometimes this color in the right sun looks awesome.

The Ranger is running smoother than ever, thanks to a TON of work on some many needed maintenance items.


I found out a lot of things wrong with it and took the opportunity to have it fixed while she was all apart.

One of the owners before me tried to rewire a bunch of different things like the wiring to by-pass the A/C compressor relay. On top of that, the wiring from the alternator to the battery were fried and half-assed. My private mechanic Shawn has it all looking good again though and rewired everything.

The good thing is the new radiator and heater core (being the biggest PITA in terms of labor cost) have been performing flawlessly. The timing belt and component kit was taken care of and the spark plugs and wire set were replaced. I had Shawn put a new intake manifold gasket on as well so he could take off the upper half to get to the plugs and wires a little more easy. We found another surprise! The intake manifold gasket was most likely the original one REUSED with Red RTV also.

In one of my previous posts you can see that the EVAP assembly box was pretty much screwed from being melted by the non-shielded exhaust manifold. The box we picked up from the local Pull-A-Part had thermo insulation on it and we also heat-wrapped the manifold to help keep temperatures down even more since we couldn't find a stock Ford manifold heat shield. It is working great.

THE BIGGEST item of surprise disappointment that I found wrong with the Ranger was that the 2.5 Lima had a tooth retarded a full degree on the cam gear. No wonder the truck was running the way it was...Obviously with the installation of the new timing belt and component kit, the timing was set back to TDC.


Next stop is the exhaust shop and then finally starting on that damn axle. Shawn told me that with a solid axle like the 8.8, i'd be fine replacing the damaged side without really having to worry about the other axle.


The winter hasn't been too rough on the little truck, but I am going to be replacing my fenders in either Spring or Summer. Even though I'm not near anywhere to be building a prerunner, I'm considering going with fiberglass fenders just to not worry about any rusting in the future. I've also had second (albeit, BRIEF) thoughts about leaving it the same color when it is repainted in late 2015/early 2016.

Here is some pics for you of how the rig is sitting now.

Stay tuned!



Signs that the rocker panels will probably need cut out.



Yay or Nay on Fiberglass Fenders as replacements? (If you have been following this, you'll know that I am leaning towards 33x12.5's anyways to fill the wheel wells.)
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Old 03-01-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDod View Post
This truck is a beast through the snow. 2WD or not, that 8.8 rear with the torsen pushes this little truck effortlessly.

i think people are usually surprised at what a little 2wd can do lol looks like a clean truck dude
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Old 03-02-2015
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I'll let that dork know someone else bought his heap.

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  #21  
Old 03-02-2015
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You're 6 months late dink!
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  #22  
Old 03-02-2015
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Originally Posted by Bazman2008Ranger View Post
i think people are usually surprised at what a little 2wd can do lol looks like a clean truck dude

Thanks man! I probably won't be making any huge progress on the Ranger for the next month since I'm getting my motorcycle ready for riding season and I'm in the middle of a BRAT/CAFE conversion on my old 1981 GS650E.

I plan on starting a Project Log with my next big update to the truck.

Thanks for checking it out!
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Old 03-02-2015
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I'll let that dork know someone else bought his heap.

LOL. You can also tell him I've fixed a lot of half-*** things wrong with it too!
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  #24  
Old 04-02-2015
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Just an update.

The truck will probably be seeing more work done to it in mid-May with the axle being replaced. I'm looking for one in a junk-yard now to save on the cost.

I also need an exhaust very badly at this point so I have been considering a 3 inch exhaust so I won't have to replace it if I 2.3t or 5.0 swap it here this next year.

I've sanded some of the rust on the rocker panels and just clear glossed em' with Rustoleum to try to give them some sort of protection. I'm expecting to replace the rocker panels next Spring.


I'm waiting til May/June for my tires now as well since today I am fixing what might be a vacuum/intake manifold gasket/egr valve leak or it could end up needing a new fuel pump/filter/injectors depending.

Will be updating in a new thread once all this maintenance has summed up, but damn, I'm pretty much rebuilding this thing at this point and I have the receipts to prove it.

New pics sometime in the next week.
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  #25  
Old 04-02-2015
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Going into this project I had a pretty decent sized budget for the truck to start off, but almost 2/3rd's of that has been getting it up to par mechanically.

I'm not sure if Masteratarms93 neglected this thing or if it was all solely on the previous owner (they handed me receipts of all the work they have did to the truck upon purchase as well), but damn, for the amount of money I have in it now and all the stuff that has actually been fixed, it is moments like these that make me wanna just say, "F*** it" and commit to the idea of a SAS....

You never do get back the money and time you put in your vehicles, but I guess that just all the more justifies a bad *** swap in the future when this little 2.5L blows.
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