2019 Ford Ranger XLT FX4 "Bush Truck" | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2019 Ford Ranger XLT FX4 "Bush Truck"


Well-Known Member
April 30, 2018
Reaction score
ATL Area
City, State
Marietta, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer Limited
It's been awhile Since I've been around here - I had sold my 1998 Ford Explorer Limited 5.0 and bought a 2019 Ranger. I'll detail a little of the project it has turned into here over a bunch of posts. But first, here is how it started out (with my old Explorer in the background)!
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The truck got a suspension and bumper facelift pretty early on. I went with the Eibach ProTruck kit, and set the front to 3.75" of lift. After adding the ARB bumper the day after the suspension lift, I lost about 1/4" of that lift.
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Some small things were added to the Ranger; DeeZee tailgate damper, Gray Man Tactical molle seatback plate with pouches for emergency equipment and recovery gear, LIghtForce dash panel for auxiliary lighting, and both CB and GMRS/FRS radio. The biggest of the small modifications were my Amazon special (off brand) hard tonneau cover and homemade bed organizer system made out of lumber.
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The next big mod had my anatomy shrinking inside my body a little! :D With the help of a good friend I cut up my passenger fender and installed a Safari Snorkel!
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The next big thing was a bed rack and roof top tent (RTT). I got lucky and found an upstart company that was designing modular racks made from 8020 aluminum extrusions. I got with the owner and he deep discounted a prototype rack for me, and I became the first Ford Ranger to get one installed! The cool thing about the rack is it's one of the few on the market that works with a variety of tonneau covers. On to off the rack I dropped a Smittybilt RTT that I found locally used, and added a few pieces of my off road gear.
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So at this point I had enough weight in the back of my truck to cause a little reverse rake. Time for some help in the form of a used add-a-leaf kit I picked up for $50! The best part was they came already installed on a set of leaf springs so all we had to do was swap the leaf packs for the install.
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Top is AFTER, bottom is BEFORE.

I ended up going on a trail ride up in the Talladega National Forrest, and the trail surface was unbelievably ROUGH! There was a lot of sharp, broken shale and it tortured my stock tires. This was the perfect excuse to upgrade from the stock 255/70R16 to Falken Wildpeak AT4 275/75R16. I found out I needed the replacements while pre-flighting my truck two days before a 12 hour drive from GA to NJ for a funeral. I ended up ordering the tires from a Ford dealership down the street from a relatives house in NJ where I was staying and had them installed the next morning after getting in up there. The clearance is TIGHT!!!!
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Top is BEFORE and bottom is AFTER!

I ended up winning a $6000 sweepstakes prize that included a 1500 watt solar generator, a Dometic fridge, an electric grill, and a ground tent (among other things). I got lucky and found someone local that was willing to swap the tent straight across for their awning!
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A little project I put together that I'm proud of: a camp kitchen countertop! This is neat because it easily hangs off the side of my bed rack (the bed side is protected by rubber bumpers on the back edge of the countertop) and it stows neatly out of the way on the ladder on the RTT!

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So that's pretty much it for now on the truck. There are a few more big things I want to do like a new rear bumper with swing-out tire carrier, rock sliders, and underbody skid plates.

Here are some random photos of my truck out in the wild!
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I love it. You definitely didn't waste any time:chug:

I ended up winning a $6000 sweepstakes prize that included a 1500 watt solar generator, a Dometic fridge, an electric grill, and a ground tent (among other things). I got lucky and found someone local that was willing to swap the tent straight across for their awning!
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View attachment 343255Freaking awesome man. Looks like its all covered.