1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-12-2017
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1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill

So here's my build project, the second one I've tried in the last 6 years. The first was a 92 and I never got far with it for a variety of reasons, but thats for another day.

A buddy owns his own shop and is a Mustang nut and has built several sub 10 sec Fox bodies. He found me this 94/95 locally that wasnt running and encouraged me to go look at it. The owner had tried swapping it from Speed Density to Mass Air and hacked the hell out of the main harness, fried the ECU, etc. My buddy swore he could get it running easily and encouraged me to pick it up. Wound up paying 1200 bucks for it as seen in these pics, NOT running.

My buddies face was priceless when I met him at the shop with the truck and we popped the hood and he realized he shouldnt have spoke so soon.

I say 94 1/2 cause after lots of frustration, like the fact that 94 front brakes wouldnt fit but 95's would, I started doing some digging and discovered it has a 95 grill, 95 brakes, 95 gauge cluster and air bags ( 95 was the first year they were offered in the Ranger. Some more sleuthing at a Ford Dealer got me the exact build date and location ( Edison NJ plant Aug 18th 1994) so they had already started adding on the 95 model year stuff on the assembly line. But its titled, tagged and registered as a 1994, even the VIN comes back to a 94 unless you do a deep search like I did at the Ford Dealer. Weird ****
Attached Thumbnails
1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0173.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0175.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0177.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0179.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0181.jpg  

1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0184.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0185.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0187.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0189.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0191.jpg  


Last edited by 95Overkill; 03-12-2017 at 11:36 PM. Reason: adding pics
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Old 03-12-2017
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More pics

Body is relatively straight and rust free, surprising being from the Northeast. But the guy I got it from clearly wasnt the first one to work on it and make mods. Some of the stuff we found while working to bring it back to life was pretty engenious and showed ALOT of thought and effort, other stuff left us scratching our heads and saying WTF were they thinking ??!! You'll see it all as you follow this thread
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1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0194.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0196.jpg  
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Old 03-12-2017
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More pics and WTF moments

Like these holes in the floor, we couldnt for the life of use figure out why in the world someone cut that huge hole in the left side of the trans tunnel. Oh, and in order to make the headers fit, some genius decided to make a bump out in the drivers side floor pan, only he placed it DIRECTLY BEHIND the gas pedal, so there was NO WAY for the pedal to go to WOT !!! It came with a tan interior, which I absolutely HATE, so I gutted the crappy leather buckets, carpet and other stuff ASAP, since I had to have a welder come in and close up all the holes anyway and remove the bump in the floor pan behind the gas pedal. Yes, some moron actually WELDED back together the broken latch on the 5 point harness, cause thats sure to pass Tech inspection !
Attached Thumbnails
1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0837.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0840.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0844.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0846.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0851.jpg  

1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0852.jpg  
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Old 03-12-2017
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And so it goes on, the more we dug, the more we found wrong

Remember the old fold up cafeteria tables in HighSchool ? In the process of gutting the interior, I found a piece of one cut to fit under the trim against the rear of the cab wall directly under the rear slider/back window. Still scratching my head over that one.

Oh, and a previous someone decided to take a sawzall to the rear quarter cab area and completely hack out the jump seat mounts, seat belt brackets and speaker brackets and then fill in most of the void with a combination of sheet styrofoam pieces and spray foam from Home Depot. Dont ask my why, I have NO idea what they were thinking.

I've got mad respect for improvisation and red neck engineering, hell, I AM a redneck and proud of it ! But this was a whole 'nother level of WTF !?
Attached Thumbnails
1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0888.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0889.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0887.jpg  
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Old 03-12-2017
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Some more pics of the deconstruction

Yes friends, believe it or not, that is actually a plastic 15 gallon fuel cell, mounted with black duct tape wrapped wooden brackets, under the bed, where the spare would be. Someone cut an access panel in the bed floor and hinged it for filling purposes, BONUS, they mounted it BACKWARDS, so under acceleration, all the fuel ran AWAY from the bottom mounted sump, causing fuel starvation.

Impressive ingenuity here, DUAL fuel filters AND using ( I **** you not) SOFT COPPER ICE MAKER line as the fuel line !

Last pic is of the cell after we ripped it out of there and I cleaned it up to try to sell
Attached Thumbnails
1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0687.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0688.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0689.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0690.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0691.jpg  

1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0693.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0864.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0866.jpg  
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Old 03-13-2017
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Looks like you've got a good bit of work ahead of you. I'd take it all the way down to the frame and start over just because of all the hacking the previous owner did. There's no telling what else they did that you haven't found yet. Body doesn't look too bad outside of the hacking they did inside the cab.
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Old 03-13-2017
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Should be interesting to see how this winds up. Curious, what are you planning on doing with it? "Restoring" it back to it's former glory (like factory) Or bringing it back up to snuff and going a different direction with it?

If nothing else, looks like you have a good body and frame to work with. Not sure how easy it would be, but a 4.0 SOHC or even a 5.0 would be sweet in there. Of course, that's just my personal opinion.

Oh, and a tip: If you haven't heard of him, ChrisFix on Youtube does quite a few Ranger related videos, bust mostly ford/mercury videos, so those might be of some use to you.

Good luck with the project!
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Old 03-13-2017
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Its already got a 5.0 in it, which I will get into more detail about as I continue the thread over the next few days and bring everyone up to speed on where it is today, 10 mos later. My end goal is my concept of what Ford would have done if they had produced a Ranger version of the Lightning. Something fast in the 1/4 mile, equally at home carving corners, but just as enjoyable to take on a long cruise.
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Old 03-13-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravetitan24 View Post
Looks like you've got a good bit of work ahead of you. I'd take it all the way down to the frame and start over just because of all the hacking the previous owner did. There's no telling what else they did that you haven't found yet. Body doesn't look too bad outside of the hacking they did inside the cab.
Not doing frame off, at least not for the foreseeable future, for a variety of reasons. She also serves as my emergency back up vehicle in case my DD goes down, so I cant have her sitting stripped bare for months on end. At least not until I can buy an F250 or something to have around and then make the Ranger a truly dedicated toy.

The frame is actually solid, not to much work to cut out the extra bracing and other nonsense that was done. Will probably re box the C Notch cutouts since I shouldnt need them, and with the powerplant and 4 link coil over set up thats planned, I dont wanna risk twisting the frame on launch.
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Old 03-13-2017
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more pics

Even more pics of the tear down.

Trans cooler is pitifully tiny, leaking double remote oil filter set up, oil soaked starter, rigged brackets for air shocks that haven't worked in who knows how long, ripped out over sized 3" exhaust, original brake calipers
Attached Thumbnails
1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0682.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0683.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0684.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0697.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0699.jpg  

1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0702.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0703.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0705.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0855.jpg  
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Old 03-13-2017
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She fires up for the first time in a year

I have very LITTLE history on the engine, only that its a 5.0, has the Explorer GT40 heads and supposedly has a custom ground Lunati Cam. NO specs on cam, rockers, compression ration, mileage, etc





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Old 03-13-2017
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Now the goodies start to arrive

I swear, waiting for the big brown or white truck is like being a kid at Xmas

Full MSD ignition system including Billet Distributor, Coil, 8mm Wires, MSD6AL box with adj digital rev limiter, Aeromotive 15 gal aluminum fuel cell with Stealth 340lph in tank electric pump, #6 and #8 braided A/N lines and fittings for feed and return lines and a 2 inch split cowl induction hood
Attached Thumbnails
1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0726.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0727.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0728.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0778.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0776.jpg  

1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0780.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0856.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0857.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0704.jpg  
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Now she starts coming back together the RIGHT way

Now we start putting her back together the proper way. Bed rhino lined and fuel cell bed mounted and plumbed, all MSD ignition installed and wired with the exception of the 6AL rev box. Scored a Cobra Upper Intake off a Mercury Mountaineer 5.0 for 50 bucks ! Spectre Cold Air Intake, BBK 70 mm Throttle Body, ECU and harness from 94 LX 5.0. Hooker Super Competition Headers ( cut in half for ease of install) I picked up used for 200 bucks from a guy that was upgrading his 302 Ranger to a Big Block and couldnt use the headers any more, they worked like a dream.

Replaced the shocks all the way around, changed rear diff fluid. Explorer 8.8 Posi with 3.55 gears and 31 spline axles. Rhino Lined the bed, Replaced rotors and calipers up front as well as pads, brake lines, tie rod ends, ball joints, starter, etc.
Attached Thumbnails
1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0896.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0897.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0894.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0893.jpg   1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0892.jpg  

1994 1/2 Ranger Ext Cab with 400 hp 302. Project Overkill-img_0895.jpg  

Last edited by 95Overkill; 03-13-2017 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 03-13-2017
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Got it running, then more bad news

So when my buddy got it running, he had some more bad news for me. Turns out the AOD trans was FRIED. Someone at somepoint had the TV cable adjusted wrong and apparently this is a critical thing to get right. Turns out it was an AOD out of an 89 Lincoln Town Car.

So I had two choices, rebuild it to factory specs, which he admitted wasnt really known for being all that reliable, especially under high power applications, or he could custom rebuild and update it with much better internal parts, including a custom 3200 stall speed converter and shift body as well as better clutches and other upgrades that would make it capable of supporting an 800 hp engine. It was an extra grand to beef it up, but I knew I would NEVER put 800hp to it, and I'd rather have it way over built. So now I've got a practically bulletproof, updated AOD with overdrive in it. On the 1/2 up shift its damn near sideways if im on the gas hard
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Old 03-13-2017
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That engine sounds KILLER! Love the concept, btw.
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Old 03-13-2017
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That engine sounds KILLER! Love the concept, btw.
Thanks !!
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Old 03-13-2017
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Here's a little tour

Here's a little tour

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