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1954 F100 short bed body onto a 1999 Ranger short bed Chassis

allmyEXes

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5 plus years ago this is why I originally joined the Explorer forum. I searched far and wide and even at one point I reached the end of the internet.
Click here for the end of the Internet> End of the Internet. So I started over and Finally I found a page on the Explorer forum. It was a guy named Buddy who was building a 1956 I think, onto a 5.0 Explorer frame. (Where is Buddy now?) At some point at 2 a.m. in the morning I got to the point that I needed to join. At that moment the tune "All my exes live in Texas" was playing in my brain. That is how I came up with my user name. I don't live in Texas however I am close to Tennessee, about 4 miles. At the time we did have 3 Explorers. My Wife's '94, my '92 and my Wife's replacement a '97 4.0 SOHC. Little did I know how much I would use the Explorer Forum for info to keep these new cars going.
Back to the truck. It was 1975 and on my paper route I would see this truck. Finally I asked the man (owner) about it and he said he would take $100- for it. Mom drove the 1974 Chevy station wagon and we pulled it home (3 blocks) with a chain.
19541stpicture.jpg

Here is a picture from when I got the F100 back in 1975
19542ndpicture.jpg

Here are a few more pics and almost 2 engines later. I was getting ready to put a 1968 390 FE and C-6 in it.

Sometime after 2009 I started doing my homework. I looked up a technical drawing of 1954 F100 dimensions.
1953f100Shortbed_dims_.jpg

I must have had a drawing like this for the Ranger. If any of you can point me towards one, Thanks.

The F100 has a 110" wheelbase. The 1999 Ranger has 111.6. When people have been adding MII or other front ends to the old F100, they have been moving the center of the front axle forward to make up for some factory set back. They are actually centering the wheels in the fender opening. In the end the bed of the truck will be approximately .5 inch longer to make up for the total 1.6" longer that the Ranger is than the F100
Here is a few pictures of the donor Ranger. Now I can hear some of you now and your saying why not start with a 5.0 Explorer? Many people do. At the time I didn't own one and by the way I think that the Ranger and 95-01 Explorer are the same wheelbase. I had a 1999 Ranger short bed with a 3.0 and working air conditioning and only ~135,000 miles on it. I'm going to try to get as many miles out of it before the thousands of dollars it will take for the 5.0 conversion. @410Fortune has done several conversions. Since 2009 I've put ~77 miles on it. Now I have a '97 Merc Mountaineer complete that at a later date I will be rebuilding all of the 300,000 mile components to use in this project. I have picked @CDW6212Rs brain about newer better PCMs and thanks for the info. I didn't know those things. I'm more of and old school "Mechanic" than a newer school "Mech Tech" I have an appreciation for both.
Back to the Ranger. One day back in 2009 I was on a rural road in north Madison county, north of "The Rocket City" and I came across an accident It turns out that its an old school friends son. While driving his nice 1999 Ranger, he fell asleep driving at 9 a.m. He veered to the left ran in to the ditch berm and flipped his truck end over. Just once. It was laying there upside down like a dead animal with its feet up in the air. About a month later the mom called and asked if I wanted to buy it. I went and checked it out and made a deal. The oil level was close to full as was the Transmission fluid. It had sat upright for a month. I started it, turned on the AC, brrr and checked the wipers and ended up using them because it was drizzling the whole way back. They worked even with the severely cracked windshield. I drove it ten miles back to the shop.
Pics below. This is 9 years later. some disassembly had been performed several years earlier. It was used around the property to move stuff.
After the November session it was moved home to a dry Sea(C) box. It has been started up every 3 or 4 months since then.
ranger111804.jpg

ranger111803.jpg

The busted up dash has been carefully cut away to expose the AC ductwork and wiring harness.
ranger111802.jpg

I have added some rectangular tubing to the front and square tubing to the rear of the Ranger bed to match the 1954 bed length, front overhang and rear overhang. I'm working from the rear forward in order to get the F100 cab in the correct position.
ranger111801.jpg

This summer of 2021 more of the body has been cut away. More pictures of that later.

more later...
 


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Josh P

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When you made it to the end of the internet, is it flat?
 




allmyEXes

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@Josh P It wasn't flat but it was somewhere like Crimea. not a place that I would want to be....
 




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Doesn't that 1954 body weigh a lot more than the Ranger body? Just thinking its going to be real gutless until you do the 5.0 swap. Cool, but gutless.
 




allmyEXes

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The F100 I-6 has a curb weight of 3240 pounds. The Ranger 3100 pounds. The difference in weight is about what the 3rd passenger would weigh. Wife weighs 140# and I won't be carrying anything in the bed. Yes a V-6 is a putter however while it's being built it will be ok. I'll be taking 9.5 mile round trips from home to work at a top speed of 52 MPH. People at Sonic Drive-In will never know.;)
The I-6 is 115 hp, the Ranger V-6 152 hp @ 4750 RPMs. But at some point it will get a 5.0.
:burnout:
 




allmyEXes

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Here is a few pictures of parts that I have purchased from 3 years ago and this spring.
cabcorn01.JPG

One of two cab corners
100_9514.JPG

1956 inner rockers for all of you F100 people that know the difference
miskparts01.JPG

Recycled roof skin, left and right side cowl panels and original grill support. Repro panels were
not available 45 years ago. The guard monkey is hiding.
 




Josh P

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The F100 I-6 has a curb weight of 3240 pounds. The Ranger 3100 pounds. The difference in weight is about what the 3rd passenger would weigh. Wife weighs 140# and I won't be carrying anything in the bed. Yes a V-6 is a putter however while it's being built it will be ok. I'll be taking 9.5 mile round trips from home to work at a top speed of 52 MPH. People at Sonic Drive-In will never know.;)
The I-6 is 115 hp, the Ranger V-6 119 hp. But at some point it will get a 5.0.
:burnout:
The exhaust note will let everyone know something is lacking. The 3.0 is cockroach reliable with underwhelming power output. Once the novelty of it moving under it's own power wears off, we will be reading about the 5.0 swap.
 




allmyEXes

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@Josh P Mainly it will stay in there during the construction phase. It still has 80,000 to 90.000 good miles in it. A rebuilt 5.0 long block whether it be through a local Machine Shop or mail order I believe is about $2000- to $2500 and then wondering if mail order will I get an equal '97 block back or wondering if the Machinist is trustworthy etc etc. I currently don't have a good association with a near local Machine Shop because all of the good old guys have retired. The only local one that there is, well... Then there are PCM system choices, do I keep the transmission electronic? or load it all in to an early AOD case? it's a lot to decide and figure out on it's own. Don suggested I think a 2003? CV PCM and modified harness and I'll want to do coil near plug etc.

Earlier in the spring I removed the original wiper motor and transmission. It's in great shape but 6 volt. I want to upgrade it to 12 volt and intermittent/variable speed.
54wiperpicture1.jpg

F100 above and '99 Ranger motor in bottom of picture
54EXwiperpicture2.jpg

Pic of the connector end of the Ranger motor. Can someone tell me what controls the intermittent function. I will not be using any of the Ranger column or switches. There is a '79 Ford truck I think that has a switch and simple electronic box which is an option but I may need to use a '79 motor too.
 




Josh P

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Not sure of the best verbage, the intermittent is a switch and relay connected to the low speed pin
 




allmyEXes

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I currently don't have a picture of it but in the late 1970's Dad helped me build a really cool gauge set out of mainly the speedo and tach out of a 1969 cougar. He wasn't a car guy "so to speak" but he was an Educated Electrical Engineer that could fix his own car and do other DYI projects. I want to keep the custom gauge set because it's cool and at the same time pay homage to him. The problem that I found a solution to was how to go from electric signal back to a mechanical cable to drive the speedometer. I know that on my 1997 4R70W transmission is this way and according ROCKAUTO the '99 Ranger is configured this way too. The 4R70W will eventually be in the vehicle and there is a device that plugs in to the speedometer hole in the tail shaft housing to convert the mechanical function to electric signal. I can get around this using a 1993 Mustang speedometer cable for cruise control and electrically connect to the PCM to keep it happy and have a mechanical cable for the speedometer too. Just one little problem though. Ford changed the way that they use to connect to the speedometer head from a threaded nut to a push in and click style in 1970 IIRC. If my Cougar speedo head has threads I will need a way to connect the '93 push and click cable to the threaded style. I found this.
Added 7-26-21 This adapter may not be required. the '93 push and click style may attach directly to the '69 Cougar speedometer.
93speedoadaptor.jpg

Link to product and 2 more pictures
1993 Mustang speedometer cable adapter
Florida 5.0 also has tachometer adapters too
Tachometer adapter
 




CDW6212R

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Cool project. I have liked all of the old Ford trucks conversion threads I have seen on the forums. The fit of the bodies is very good, not perfect but very workable.


That engine bay may have the room, or space to cut and modify, to make a late model V6 fit. That to me at the moment looks like the best choice for power, efficiency, and size for swapping into older Fords. There are always objects to check on closely for clearance, each vehicle is different. 300hp, 30mpg, that would be hard to beat with any other swap.

The decent mileage 302 donor Explorers are almost gone now, so often now is the rebuild cost of a 302 with a swap. Machining costs have gone up more than parts have, and those are high of course. I think a 302 build to bone stock could be under $1500, but barely. With any upgrades, tuning costs have to be added, and those are easily over $500. Upgrade parts can make a stock build jump by $1k to $3k+ fast. You'd have to push the $5k total cost range to match the power of a stock used late 3.7 with dual GDI. That's more than I want to spend for rebuilding my 302 Mountaineer, or my 99 V6.


So when you get to the engine bay, look hard at the AC box, the cross member there, and the steering shaft. I'd take measurements and try to also learn how big the V6's are in those areas. If you had a local yard that might let you borrow a 3.7 from 2012ish to 2018, the size should be virtually identical on all of those. If the intake cleared the AC box/hoses, the oil pan was workable, and the steering shaft didn't interfere with the manifold, I'd hunt a 2017 F150 with that in it. That was the first year of the dual injection GDI, and it came with the great 6R trans.
 




allmyEXes

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I'll actually have all kinds of room under the hood. I won't be doing the typical amalgamation that I have seen where the donor F-100 cab firewall and floor are removed and then combine with the Explorer/Ranger firewall and stock late model ex/ran dash/column. A lot of guys want to do it this way. I'm not. I like the original F100 firewall and the original dash. It has such a classic look. I've seen 460 Ford engines under the hood of these antique trucks. At this point there wont be any of the Ranger body remaining on the frame. @CDW6212R By the way, you remember that I already own a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer 5.0 GT40 engine and 4R70W transmission? I wont be buying anymore vehicles for projects or parts except for parts that pertain to the project at the moment. In fact I'm going to have to sell most of my Explorers and some other projects to fund this one. Number 2 grandson is getting the '97 MM roller to put his other Granny's 1985 5.0 and AOD in to it and topping off with a alum intake 600 cfm Vac Sec Holley and Duraspark ignition. It sounds simple enough. I hope his oil pan out of the CV will work and it's a good thing that 3 years ago I bought a spare set of '97 5.0 headers for $15-.:cool:
added-If the LTD Crown Victoria oil pan doesn't fit one can be purchased from ROCKAUTO...
 




allmyEXes

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As I sit here on break and charge my Stanley LED work light that I wish would stay charged longer, I'm thinking about the stock 1999 Ranger full body harness, PCM and our lovely friend PATS. I'll be doing away with the Ranger column and using a modified 1954 F-100 column.
54autocolumn.jpg

54autocolumn1.JPG
54autocolumn2.JPG

54autocolumn3.JPG
54autocolumn4.JPG

This is an Automatic shift column out of a mid-fifties truck. As my dead Chevy friend would say "It's made of unobtainium". I want to thank the Octogenrian out in the desert southwest who 40 years ago had the foresight to collect, save and protect the antique parts that he is now selling in his later years.
PATS, PATS, PATS.
Passive Anti-Theft Systems (PATS), also called Ford Securilock, is a vehicle security feature introduced on 1996 and later Ford vehicles.
For the most part I'm sure that it is a good thing and possibly required by some insurance companies but I'm gonna have Zoombak on my project so PATS will be unnecessary. Also it could be a problem. Several people have contained the transponder and chip key in a little plastic box hidden under the dash. That works however since I will be thinning down the harness and performing a fair amount of welding I think I will have PATS deleted from my PCM. I don't know if welding could damage the chip key however stranger things have happened to me. I always disconnect the battery when welding.
If anyone here on the Forum is set-up to do what this guy down in Ocala Florida does, let me know. Otherwise after the Ranger has been brought to the shop and PCM removed I'll be sending it to him and I will have it back before I need it. Also later it will make things easier if the 3.0 gets installed in a little truck. Maybe a Ranger? LoL.
Here is a link to the E-bay site to contact this Company. Drag Radial Performance. He has a FACEBOOK page too. If anyone has done business with him let me know.
PATS delete for 1999 Ranger 3.0 Look at his pictures of his "set-up" that he uses to work on PCMs.
I believe that I'm doing the right thing here because if I damage the Transponder or key I could be in quite a situation and what I'm seeing is a good transponder and key has some value. Also I'm under the understanding that getting a 2nd key cut and programmed cost quite a bit.
 




CDW6212R

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The PATS, PCM, and the keys coded to those are a matched set, those you can swap among applicable vehicles. It is now easier to erase and reprogram the coded keys, but the Forscan software and cable etc, laptop, the group do take some time to get together and learn how it works. So it's not super easy to do yourself, but evidently now a huge deal or cost now. Given that Forscan device etc, having working keys etc, isn't a selling point really, just a minor expense without them.

I still like the 5.0 donor truck swap method, your 97 is a great way to do it feasibly. If you don't have to do anything with the PCM, leave the engine stock, the 97 doesn't have PATS, then skip the idea of another PCM(03-05 Crown Vic etc). That could be neat to have eight coils for the plugs, but it would add no power really. The wiring is old, that's a slight worry, but if it has no faults in the running truck, I'd use that by being careful with the wires. The later PCM is great for easier tuning of highly modified combinations.
 




CDW6212R

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As I sit here on break and charge my Stanley LED work light that I wish would stay charged longer, I'm thinking about the stock 1999 Ranger full body harness, PCM and our lovely friend PATS. I'll be doing away with the Ranger column and using a modified 1954 F-100 column.
...

That cordless light you have there, depending on what power supply it has, you may be able to cut and replace the battery section with a modern 12v lithium ion battery. I have two Craftsman lights which are almost identical, one 110v corded, and the other cordless with an unknown rechargeable battery inside. I've wanted to take the cordless one apart for years because the internal battery doesn't stay charged very long now. I have two types of 12v batteries, I prefer the Milwaukee 12v, and the knock off batteries only cost $10-$20 each. If you could take a power source 12v device made for the Milwaukee batteries, cut it up and epoxy it onto your old light(end where the battery is), then you'd have long lasting batteries.
 




allmyEXes

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Thanks Don, You explain things a lot better than I do or that I don't have any experience with. I wish that I felt like my MM PCM and harness were good to use, but you can remember my 7 coils scenario. Also since there is no one local that could come by my Shop and turn off/delete PATS I guess ~$100 isn't to much for what he is doing? The light works ok if I remember to turn it off if I'm not using it. My oldest niece and her husband gave it to me one Christmas. I never leave home without it and try not to leave work without it.
Magnetic Stanley LED work light
 




CDW6212R

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I forgot what the issue was with that engine etc, is that the 97 MM? The PATS began in 1998 Explorers, and what I read says with a laptop you can do the PATS programming with less than $50 of devices and software. The keys are cheap enough on eBay, cutting them is the same as any other key, the programming of the code is the only extra part.

I have one old harness if you recall. I got one ages ago from I think an early 97, but I forgot that too. I'm still aiming for needing a late 97 harness, for my 92 347 Lincoln project. I haven't decided about my Ranchero yet, the aftermarket stuff may be an option depending on the combination and part used etc. The 03-05 PCM was the better choice for a boosted engine, may be what I use for my 98 Limited.

The engine harness(wiring) is the very fragile part, all of it that is down very close onto the engine. The rest is similar to other wiring of the vehicle, old but not extremely brittle. I was planning to use the spare 97 engine wiring section I have to merge with a 2002 Mustang engine harness(4.6 I know), to fit the engine bay and location of the PCM in my Lincoln(which matches the Mustang body(chassis) shapes(holes etc)). So I'll use the better wiring of each of that mess, to make one that fits the 302 and routes to where the connectors and PCM need to go.
 




allmyEXes

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In my effort to keep the old truck looking stock on the outside here is a color chart from 1954 of the F100 colors.
At different times of the day I pick a different color. That kind of reminds me of the old "mood rings". Remember them?
1954 F100 factory Exterior color samples
 




Josh P

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Dakota Digital has a solution for your mechanical speedo.
 


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