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StrangerRanger99's 2wd reg cab

  #126  
Old 02-26-2017
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Oh yeah lots & lots of info! Thanks for the link, although I must admit I've read your compilation on alternators like 20 times already! Super useful and it's easy to find. Thanks for doing the leg work on that one, I've found it useful as I'm sure have many others, members or not. And the "big 3" may be for later, I'm hoping the factory wiring will be sufficient since I'm not looking for a 200 amp bad boy.

My truck started life as a plain old base model which means a 95 amp alt. It's got the 2.5L which, surprisingly, there isn't much info out there as far as alt swaps go. So I went to the junkyard to have a look for myself. They still have that "tremor" Ranger so I started there. Various online sources agree that model came with a 115 amp, but the casing is the same as all of the explorers with the 130. Well not all of em, early 90's expos seemed to have a mix of both while late 90's to mid 2000 all had 130's. But the key for me & my 2.5L is they all had the same mounting points, at least they look the same across the board.

Anyways they had nothing but junk, I got bored, and left empty handed. Then I stopped at the gas station & while walking back to the truck it seemed like it was leaning to the left. Hmm a quick peek under the back revealed these.





Now I know I ain't no rocket surgeon but I know those are FLAT. Those have got to go away. I've been looking into some explorer 4 pack leaf springs, those seem to be a nice little upgrade. Possibly a sport track if I can find a set. This is probably my biggest problem at the moment so I should focus on taking care of it.

But then this is happening.









My new honeycomb grill, I still need to flat black the honeycomb but it came out pretty good I think. I think it's from an 01 or an 03, can't remember. I'm going to paint the black in the next couple of days as I just finished the red. I tried to separate the two pieces but cracked the very first clip so I just masked it off instead. The new grill really changes the look of the whole truck. Lines up pretty good with the hood but not the headlights (2nd pic) but I'll just live with it. I'll just look straight at it.
 
  #127  
Old 02-26-2017
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,667
Use Krylon Fusion satin black on the grille. My dad used it on his grille, then I started using the stuff on both my front and rear bumpers. Stuff is awesome, and cheap.
 
  #128  
Old 02-26-2017
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+1 on the Satin Black Krylon Fusion. It has been on mine almost two years and still looks brand new. Just make sure to prep the honeycomb properly first.
 
  #129  
Old 02-27-2017
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Evansville, Indiana
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^ Yes, definately. A good spray down with water, drip off the excess, and wipe down with rubbing alcohol, then leave it in the sun for half an hour to get nice and warm, would be my method.

Also, not to pick, but I see your headlights are beginning to yellow-over. I've got a like-new OEM set up for sale on ebay if you're interested. They're originally off of mine. Pic attached.

 
  #130  
Old 03-04-2017
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My first thought upon seeing those headlights you have was "damn those are sexy"! I want them theArcticWolf, I'll PM you about them, or I'll check out eBay, or both haha. But either way mine are ****.

Anyway, I was looking at the very first picture I took of my truck and the time stamp said 02/29/2016, that means I've had my truck for a year! To celebrate this milestone I fixed it's saggy rear end with some explorer 4 pack leaf springs. The Rangers 3 pack was old and tired, but fun to jump on when removed from the truck. Overall I gained about an inch & a half of lift, nothing too mind-blowing but enough to make it look more factory. I won't bore you with the process as it was a bolt on affair, but the truck rides much better now. My test drive was a good one, a mix of residential, highway, surface streets with a bit of washboard dirt roads thrown in and the new leaf springs handles it all smoothly. I'm pretty happy I don't bottom out over speed bumps anymore.

Here's an old pic,(best profile I had because I forgot to take a before shot, oops)


After


Drivers wheel well crappy before measurement


Drivers side after


Passenger side before


Passenger side after


At the hitch before


Hitch after


Not too shabby for just waking up from a nap. I'll get some more pictures posted to get a better feel for it. It is sorta raked now but I ain't worried about that, what does make me wonder is the bed still seems to lean to the left, at least those crappy measurements are saying that. I'll have to look at that in the morning.
 
  #131  
Old 03-04-2017
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Nice difference.

Selling 'em through my mother's Ebay account (she does this way more than I do), so I'll toss you a link to 'em. More pics are there.
 
  #132  
Old 03-05-2017
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BIG difference in the look with the Explorer leaf packs. Nice!
 
  #133  
Old 03-08-2017
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Here are some more pictures, you can see the stance has gone back to almost normal.







Now I'm wondering what condition my coil springs are in. I've got 182K on the odometer, there's no excessive bouncing & the front end doesn't dip too bad under hard braking, but it sure creaks alot. That could be the bushings though, haven't looked. But I wonder if it might be time to slap some new coil springs in there. Stock ones, maybe they'll bring the front up a touch. Then it will be ready for a spindle lift & shackles whenever that day comes. I don't want to run a leveling kit or lift coils because want to lift ~4 inches & that type of lift would need a new upper control arm plus it would still play hell on wheel bearings/alignment. No thanks. With a spindle you keep the factory geometry, new shocks & alignment then it's good to go. Yeah that's the plan.
 
  #134  
Old 03-08-2017
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Oh yeah I recently came to the realization that my rear bumper is the older style, I don't know why but I want the newer style. It's like all smooth & stuff.
 
Attached Thumbnails StrangerRanger99's 2wd reg cab-1489021105818626259487.jpg  
  #135  
Old 03-09-2017
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Evansville, Indiana
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You don't see those very often.

Curious, did my PM go through?
 
  #136  
Old 03-17-2017
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Just read your entire build thread, some interesting ideas you have spawned in my head, your truck looks great
 
  #137  
Old 03-26-2017
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The Demon is on board! Cool thanks for checking out my build log & I'm glad to have sparked your imagination as others here have done for me...

I've been saving up for a lift and I'm torn which type to get. I was thinking about a spindle lift - pretty easy bolt on, no need for shocks or alignment. Sounds good except I believe my coil springs are worn & don't have much life left in them. So I was thinking about 2 in lift coils (2in seems to be the max that's still able to be aligned) & some modified stock 4x4 shocks. That may backfire though and require some new upper control arms, or at least some camber bolts. The camber bolts on the truck appear to be bottomed out so I might have enough in them it'll align properly, but I'm only guessing here. I'm thinking I'll go ahead with the lift coils and see where that leaves me, from there I can always add a spindle if I want more lift. And I've decided on shackles for the rear, although I have some stock 4x4 blocks & u bolts laying around.

All that is on the back burner for now. My speaker box needs a reworking, as in pull it out. My tiny little box needed to be squeezed to get it behind the armrest but the armrest itself touches the very top of the sub itself, and well, the sub is now destroyed. Loud listening levels forced the sub into the armrest and it tore pretty good right there, D'oh! So I'm ditching that box am am gonna attempt my first ever subwoofer box build. I'm using this as inspiration https://www.netaudiowf.com/product/1...-sub-box-full/

I'm not gonna do the amp rack that linked box has because my amp is under the seat, and I'm probably gonna bed line it when I'm done. So that should either be interesting or it'll fail spectacularly.

I haven't done much to the truck lately besides paint the honeycomb on the grill & slap some new to me shorter crossbars for the roof rack. Some 48 inch Yakima round ones (48 & 47.5 WTF Yakima?)Those were free to me through work, an old lady with an Expo came in & wanted us to remove the rack & scrap it. Scrap? Not on my watch lady, that's going on the truck.


 
  #138  
Old 04-16-2017
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I thought I posted this already but I guess it got lost. Anyways check it out. My little sub box wasn't cutting it, there was a serious lack of deep bass, plus it was crammed in there & the armrest tore it up.



So I built myself a new, bigger box & put two 10s in it. I took my measurements with my seat where I like it & got a sheet of 1/2 in mdf (which fit nicely in the bed BTW). It's built with a center divider & cut to fit underneath the rear speakers as well as to extend back into the cab up to the wall. Kinda hard to tell from this pic but it's an inch deeper than it appears. Had to cut the rear trim panel so it's just a piece of carpet between the box & wall to use all available space. I planned it all out in my head & the back of an envelope lol. Well I'm no carpenter, some cuts were crap but everything is nice & sealed thanks in part to a can of bondo!


The only issue I had is I didn't flush mount the drivers & the console hits the lip or rim causing major misalignment. Trimming is in order. But the Ranger is friggin LOUD as hell now!
 
  #139  
Old 04-16-2017
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Nice job on the build! Looks like you are pretty handy with a saw!
 
  #140  
Old 04-22-2017
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Surprise!



I lifted my truck. Got some Maxtrac 4 inch lift spindles for the front and some 2 inch lift shackles for the rear and started wrenching. Had to grind the lower control arm to make clearance for the spindle, which took alot longer than I thought it would. Mostly because of all the test fitting for clearance and such. I didn't need to cut the bumpstop at all nor did I have to relocate my brake line, so that's good. I have a really good turning radius now, maybe a little tighter than before.

The rear I'm already running those Expo leaf springs, and I added some 2 inch lift shackles to that. It's still a little short in the rear though. I was thinking about adding those OEM 4x4 lift blocks I have lying around and dropping the shackle down to the 1 inch setting, that should even things out. I'm gonna save that for next weekend though, right now I need to clean up. Tomorrow is 50% off day at my local yard & if they still have that Mazda tailgate I saw I'm gonna snag it. No dents or holes for the emblem. My color matched oval came apart when I moved it to the tailgate so I'm gonna go badgeless in the back, and for that we're gonna need for there to be no holes.
 
  #141  
Old 04-22-2017
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Look a lot better with the lift on there!
 
  #142  
Old 04-23-2017
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Looks good sitting up like that! :)
 
  #143  
Old 04-23-2017
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Yeah, nice lift!
 
  #144  
Old 05-14-2017
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Icon4

Damn, it seems I've gotten lazy about posting, my bad y'all.

Lazy about posting, not about doing stuff to the Ranger. Since my last update I went ahead & added those lift blocks & dropped the shackle down to the one inch setting & that's where it's gonna stay.



I like how it sits now, only problem is while doing some mild off roading I could feel the axle hopping around a bit. So sometime down the road I'm gonna buy these traction bars & fix that issue. Classic Traction Bar 1998 & up Ford Ranger Anti Wrap

The front is a whole 'nother ball of wax I'm afraid. I thought I could get away with just slapping on some lift spindles...well I can't put off those upper ball joints any longer, that means new upper control arms. That and it turns out I need an alignment after all, it's not too bad but it feels like it either wants to go one way or the other, but not really straight. So I've ordered up some Moog problem solver UCA's and some +/- 2 camber bolts just in case, I have to remove those bolts anyway & I don't want to go back in there for a good long while when I finally finish this project. Oh, I need to replace the pass side tie rod end, the grease boot came off & is just hanging there. It's a good thing I have a spare, I'll replace it when my parts get here. Hell, I might even take some pictures.

Unrelated to all that, I went & got myself a Mazda tailgate. Same color code, my plan was to remove the decals & buff it out but of course that didn't work out. Some damned dealership, instead of adding a decal or an emblem, etched their stupid dealerships name INTO THE PAINT! Frigging primer letters, no more red. *******. So I had to sand it & paint it. In the end it's presentable, although I wish it would have come out a little nicer. But the dented tailgate is gone & this one is nice & flat, I'll take that. My real plan isn't to get rid of the emblems though. What I really want to do is find the tailgate emblems from an '87 or so, the Ford letters not the oval, & paint those up. I think that would be cool & a little different from everyone else but still stock looking.



I found a used 48in hi-lift jack for $25, guy was selling it because it was jammed. Well a little bit of oil & bam! Goes up & down, lifts the truck to super sketchy levels, and wants to live up on the roof rack. I'm thinking I'll mount it behind the rear rail so I can stand on the tailgate to mount/unmount. I know at some point I'll drop that thing on my face if I have to lift it above my head. It's just a question of do I wanna make a simple mount or go more elaborate. I've got too many ideas I can't narrow it down.

Also I went back to the longer crossbars, those short ones didn't look or feel very utilitarian. Kinda like I put it there just to look at. Which is funny because I like the way the longer ones look. Vanity, applied to roof racks. What's wrong with me? Lol
 
  #145  
Old 05-20-2017
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Woke up this morning & took care of business. Installed some Moog problem solver upper control arms along with some camber adjustment bolts.



Those old upper ball joints were shot, 194,xxx miles will do that. Overall the while job was pretty easy, I just disconnected it from the spindle & let the spindle sit off to the side. The camber bolts were a new thing for me, but I managed to get them dead-on. The guys at the alignment shop didn't need to touch them.

Here's a side by side shot of the control arms


And for anyone wondering how much of the lower control arm needs to be ground away for clearance for some lift spindles, it's alot.



There used to be a lip around the outer edge there. Look just to the left of the bumpstop, now compare to the rounded edge. That's alot of sparks!
 
  #146  
Old 05-20-2017
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Last edited by StrangerRanger99; 05-20-2017 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Double post
  #147  
Old 03-11-2018
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Where have I been for 11 months? Enjoying my Ranger that's where haha. Well...mostly...there HAVE been mishaps. I learned to not sit at idle in triple digit heat for too long, like my lunchbreak lol. I had backed out of the space, truck stalled & would not start again. I figured the fuel pump had burned up, pushed it into a spot & walked back to work. Later, on my own time, I dropped the tank right there in that parking lot & swapped in a new pump. Buttoned it up, turned the key, it didn't start. Many swear words & a tow truck later I had it in the driveway & dove into it. New pump so that was good, voltage check showed 6v at the pump, WTH? Check the inertia switch, 6v in 6v out, OK. 6v at the fuse, 6v at the relay! Oh crap all signs point to PCM. I had to dig through the internet to find a pinout for that stupid thing, but I found one & checked its grounds & power ins/outs & the FP circuit was all wonky. It was getting 12v in but sending 6v out. Well well well. I got a PCM from the junkyard out of a 98 with an identical engine trans lack of power options truck for like $40, slapped it in & it fired right up! I probably should have mentioned I did the timing belt at some point during all this. During the diagnostic phase I did a 50/50 test & for the 2 seconds it ran it ran like crap! Shook the whole truck! I figured at 19?,??? miles it was due. I was suprised at how easy the timing belt is to swap on a 2.5, if the plastic cover wasn't there you could do one in 5 min.

After that its been running like a top. I drove it from Albuqerque to Houston & back without a single issue, ducking a hurricane in the process! I left 2 days before it hit. Rolled over 200k on that trip as well, good times for sure.

I've done a few other little cosmetic things but for some reason I'm having trouble uploading pics so I'll try again later.

Oh yeah, I bought a 2000 Explorer 4.0 sohc awd for $700 & it needed some work. Upper & lower intake manifold gaskets, a fuel pump, a pigtail for the downstream o2 sensor, upper control arms & ball joints, lower BJs, tie rod ends, misc switches etc. All that is done but I've been having bad luck with this one. A month after I changed the fuel pump some asshat came along & drilled a hole in my gas tank & stole my gas! So I had to pull it again to put one with no extra holes in its place. Then later on, 2 days after I did the front end work on it & 20 yards from the alignment shop, some different asshat drove into me as I was making a u-turn. Dude was sitting there waiting for traffic to clear looking left & just came out, never looked in front of him until he hit me. Ugh If my luck with this Explorer keeps up I'm selling this thing.
 
  #148  
Old 07-17-2018
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
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Stranger, awesome thread! I love the progress throughout the build! I'm about to throw Moog PS control arms, ball joints, and inner/outter tie rods onto my '04 edge. Looking forward to the upgrade. How has your suspension upgrade held up? Have you built anything in the bed? I'm trying to find a white shell in the san Diego area that isn't a bazillion dollars.
 
  #149  
Old 08-22-2018
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Originally Posted by StrangerRanger99 View Post
Surprise!

I lifted my truck. Got some Maxtrac 4 inch lift spindles for the front and some 2 inch lift shackles for the rear and started wrenching. Had to grind the lower control arm to make clearance for the spindle, which took alot longer than I thought it would. Mostly because of all the test fitting for clearance and such. I didn't need to cut the bumpstop at all nor did I have to relocate my brake line, so that's good. I have a really good turning radius now, maybe a little tighter than before.
I know this is from a while back but you didn't happen to take pics of the control arms post grinding? Putting in spindles this weekend and would love a rough estimate of how much I'm grinding. Also, what tool did you use?
 
  #150  
Old 11-12-2018
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I'm back I'm back, don't worry guys I'm ok lol. I really have been, for the most part, just driving my Ranger. Only doing little stuff to it because there ain't much left I wanna do. I got some headlights to polish off the front end.



Added a front hitch, mostly because I was bored. I can't think of much to do with it, but a recovery point is useful I suppose. I found a cool self retracting under hood light. Hey look! There's that Explorer. That sucker was jinxed.



I installed a tool box. It's for a full sized, but I screwed the brackets to a bed rail cap then sandwiched that between the cap & bed. I didn't want to drill my bed, there aren't any holes in it that aren't supposed to be there.



I traded that Explorer away, bad juju. Kind of sad cuz it was actually pretty nice, a 2000 XLT 4.0 awd. But the universe was against that vehicle, so I got another Ranger out of the deal. In fact, another 1999. This one is a 4x4 3.0 auto XLT. Its a little rough around the edges (and doors haha) and it's funny to look at, but that's what I like about it. What I don't like is that I already had to replace the heads, grrrr! But I've made the interior real swanky, stay tuned for that it's good. There's wood involved, and NOT from the hardware store either.

And it's got a Mustang hood scoop now. When this site let's me upload more pics I'll blow this thread up!
 

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