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Cab swap whoops...


Well-Known Member
February 26, 2007
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
1990 Ranger
Crossposting to ensure success.... Truck is a 1990 Regular cab regular bed 2.3 5 speed 4x4. We had a trashed 90 cab and swapped in a 88 cab (all we could find for cheap...).

We've been taking our time, and its been like 9 months of this project. What was supposed to be a simple cab swap turned into an ordeal of near epic proportions.

First off, the idiot part, we didn't tag or bag ANYTHING!
Was supposed to be easy, right. Well, we used an 88 cab to replace the 90. EVERTHING was different. EVERYTHING. But we got a lot done anyway, and now, I'm down to just a few niggling details. My Chiltons and Haynes book SUCK! And TRS just needs more 2.3 tech in the library. (If I had started with a pristine example of 88 or 90, I would probably have documented better...) yeah, right. Something simple? We've in turn touched about everything on this truck and I want it out of my garage...

So, on with the questions, pics included...


Vacuum line part of the heater fan harness. Can't see what it went to. I am an IDIOT!


I'm thinking this goes to the MAP sensor, which was in a little different spot between cabs. And naturally, I can't find the MAP and its bracket...


I'm hoping the wiring is the same, just need to find proper end. I can't grab from the 90 cab as it is long since gone, but I think I still have the 88 harness to hack from...

I'm really hoping some of the gurus here can help... even if you must laugh , please offer some help. I deserve to be laughed at.

If anyone has some high res pics under the hood of a 2.3 Ranger, 89-92, I'd appreciate it...

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in the second picture the vacuum line goes to the air filter box. what would you like pics of? i have a 89 2.3, im just getting it running so i havent had a whole lot of time under the hood exploring but i'll try to help

First pic... That line has a section of hose to go to the intake manifold. I found it yesterday clearing things on the garage for my local club BBQ I had. I know where it goes and will get it there.

Second pic... Yup goes to the airbox. Figured that out when I put the airbox in and plugged in the MAF.

Third pic was just to illustrate that the connectors are different from 88-90. I cut off the connector from the 88 harness under my bench and will splice it into the 90 harness so I have working wipers. I wish I'd grabbed the wiper motor from the 90 cab before it was given away.

On a much more positive note, we got the truck running yesterday. Ype, got it started and running... Nice to hear it rumble the Flowmaster muffler again. But, we found that the radiator leaks now... But it runs, and we can see the end soon.


Truck is running, drivable. Gotit insured and registered, still need to get it safety inspected... Pics soon.

Figured a pic wouldn't hurt... Next project is a Jeep D30 for the front.


You'll notice little to no flex in the front... Need some softer springs when I swap in the D30 and radius arm links... Overall, the project took most of a year. I can explain more if anyone is interested...

Looks like it came out nice! We always like more pictures :D

Well then... Cab was rusted in the windshield pillars and we replaced it with a 88 cab. Big mistake as everything changed in 89. Well, not the windshield...

And the project had to wait on weather too...

We decided to build new motor mounts since the stockers failed again...

These ought to last better and keep the motor from flopping if they do fail...

And we replaced the older style Skyjacker 6" brackets for Tuff Country brackets and extended radius arms. You see, one thing leads to another...

And fabbed in some F250 shock towers with some bracing...

I later added bracing from the tower to the coil bucket.

Got the cab on, the motor in, seat brackets fabbed for poly bucket seats, added a rollbar looking lightbar in the bed and a prerunner style lightbar for the front, and of course lights for them. Hmmm, longer front shocks, longer front brake lines. What else, oh, new clutch parts, throwout bearing and pilot bearing, new brake pads and rear brake shoes and cylinders. Hell I think we touched about every single bolt in this thing... And I still need to fab bumpers front and rear, a spare tire mount for two spares and a Hilift jack mount too. And paint the rest of the frame...

A good friend squirted the paint for me in my garage...



The wheel bearings on the Ranger aren't in good shape and the locknuts on the spindles came loose and trashed the spindle threads. Balljoints on the passenger side are shot too. So instead of dumping money into the TTB, we are swapping in a Cherokee D30 and links. And I'll need softer springs. But If I can get the axle under it, the springs can come later. This way I can turn it over to kid number 1.

Same friend also painted the Cherokee...

Which is the project I'm in the middle of getting the headgasket replaced and general underhood cleaning. It will be getting a 2" lift before being turned back over to kid number 2. This project started like this... (I still might go and get that XJ behind the one we bought...)

And now looks like...

They are both going to college, same school luckily, and sharing MY Grand Cherokee until I get their rigs done. Then I get mine back and IT gets 2" of lift with new control arms..

Local Offroad park opened and I got my ZJ stuck!!!! Plain and simple, the trans skidplate is a huge shovel and I went too slow approaching the drop. Stuck.

Anyway, if you want more, let me know. I didn't cover everything... I think.