Build a 2WD into a trail runner....need input - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 07-25-2008
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Build a 2WD into a trail runner....need input

Well, it has been awhile since I have been on here, because I sold my 2002 ranger. I recently aquired a 1985 ranger for $250. Runs and drives, and I am actually driving it back and forth ot work. It is 2WD, but I am wanting it to take camping, and run some simple trails. My plans are as follows:

3" suspension lift
2" body lift
31x10.50x15 BFG MT's
Chroms crager D window wheels 15x8
8.8 out of an explorer (disk brakes, 4.10 gears, and limited slip)
add power steering (truck has no power steering or power brakes)


This a good start? The truck has the 2.3L motor with 64,xxx miles on it and a 5 speed manual tranny. I will be driving it on back rodes to camping sites, to the lake, etc so it still needs to be street friendly, and I am needing it functional. Any ideas to help me along the way are greatly appreciated. I will start a build thread as soon as I start gathering parts.

This is how the truck looks as of right now. The only thing I have done to it, is tag it and put gas in it. LOL
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Last edited by cowboy63645; 07-25-2008 at 08:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2008
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that should work pretty well as long as you do not have to go up really steep inclines or hard trails
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2008
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there arent any real steep places that I go for camping, some trails that I used to go on are pretty steep but I am building another truck for that (the chevy in the background of the picture) Just thought it would be nice to have a reliable, fun truck that could do some mild mannered trails
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Old 07-25-2008
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well looks like you have a little rot in the usual places i dont know if you really care though on a trail rig
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Old 07-25-2008
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the rear is either going to get a bed replacement, or I am going to make a flatbed for it, and the front fenders I am going to be replacing. Yes, it will be a trail rig, but it will also serve as my daily driver, so I would like for it to look clean
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2008
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nice buy for 250 bucks whats with the whole brick behind the wheel lol
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2008
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parking brakes out? my first guess... i think you should add that to your parts list.. cant wait to see you do some work on ol red!
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Old 07-26-2008
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lol yea, parking brake is out, but just slip her in gear and she does just fine....I put it there just in case because I had my kids outside playing and I didnt want the truck rolling off or anything lol general maintenance, including brake work is on the list, trust me lol
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger_02 View Post
that should work pretty well as long as you do not have to go up really steep inclines or hard trails
Biggest thing with 2wd for me is going over things and if you get stuck in the mud, no matter your traction the front tires will just drag along and anchor you. With a shovel and decent driving skills a 2wd can get out of most places a 4wd, all else the same, could.

Tall, wide tires with decent tread is all you need with 2wd. You wont need body or frame clearance because you wont be going over things in the first place. 2wd=go around.
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Old 07-26-2008
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I offroad the **** outta my 2wd ranger it has cragar soft 8s and 30 inch bfgs a/ts on it, last week it went thru a mud puddle a 4wd diesel was having some trouble. Of course it cant climb very well. I would say you can have a pretty fun truck with some money. Im not sure how those old 2.3ls do but i know my truc k is a little sluggish with the meatier tires on it.

Last edited by Clay Kann; 07-26-2008 at 02:58 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2008
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Nice find i love the old trucks you should swap a new front end on it and update to the gen II it would look killer!
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2008
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Originally Posted by Shaklakan View Post
Nice find i love the old trucks you should swap a new front end on it and update to the gen II it would look killer!
I have thought about looking for a gen II front end, but they are pretty rare in my area for some reason....I have lived here for 4 years and I have seen a half dozenof them....weaird stuff, but I agree it would look pretty good, and I have thought about upgrading the dash to a gen II as well, but I think it would probably be a little more work than I am wanting lol
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Old 07-28-2008
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i would skip the LSD and go with a lunchbox locker. better to have both rear tires pushin ya then just one and 1/2.

dont forget some good recovery straps and recovery points incase u do get stuck.
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Old 07-28-2008
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Originally Posted by optikal illushun View Post
i would skip the LSD and go with a lunchbox locker. better to have both rear tires pushin ya then just one and 1/2.

dont forget some good recovery straps and recovery points incase u do get stuck.
I have thought about that, and I am looking into lockers now, as for recovery points, I am looking into a set of tow hooks off of a 97-03 F150, closed loop hooks, and I will be adding a receiver hitch to the rear, for a shackle mount
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Old 07-28-2008
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sounds like a plan!
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  #16  
Old 07-28-2008
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Originally Posted by cowboy63645 View Post
as for recovery points, I am looking into a set of tow hooks off of a 97-03 F150, closed loop hooks, and I will be adding a receiver hitch to the rear, for a shackle mount
Or you can put a receiver in the front aswell.
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  #17  
Old 07-29-2008
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Originally Posted by Hanzo Steel View Post
Or you can put a receiver in the front aswell.
that might be abetter idea, as it would keep my frame from bending inward, under any real pressure....the load would be split between frame rails....good thinkin!! will have to look into that
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  #18  
Old 07-29-2008
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What 3" Suspension kit are you going to run?
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  #19  
Old 07-29-2008
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I found it in JCWhitney, it is a Rough Country kit, and then add a 2" body lift on top of that, and I will hopefully be able to clear 31's comftorably
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Old 07-29-2008
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Hmm b/c I know Rough Country makes a 4" lift kit with drop brackets for about 450, that with a 2" body lift you will have no trouble clearing 31" tires.
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  #21  
Old 07-29-2008
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http://www.jcwhitney.com/ROUGH-COUNT...3409_10101.jcw

This is the kit that I found, and I have run Rough Country stuff in the past, just never on a 2WD, and I liked them on my older 4WD trucks. This build up will be over the course of about 6-8 months, so I might find something I like better between now and then to, never know lol
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  #22  
Old 07-29-2008
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Oh yea, also forgot to mention, I did finally come up with a paint idea that I liked....desert tan and camo....should be interesting lol
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  #23  
Old 07-29-2008
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one of my co-workers said there is an 85 ranger for sale where his son lives...got me thinkin after reading this LOL.
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2008
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lol....I think this will be a neat little project, and hopefully I can start on it soon!! Once my income taxes come in, that will be when all the real fun begins!!
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  #25  
Old 08-01-2008
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also added to the list is polyurethane body mounts, and replace ALL the bushings and bearings in the front and rear ends....I moved the truck from my fron yard to my back yard today and one of my body mounts was so bad it FELL OFF!! so the truck is getting parked and tore down lol....I guess now as as good a time to start on it as any. Also, I might ahve a lead on a 302/C4 combo should be fun!!
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