Kirby's 1991 Ranger Build Up | Page 32 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Kirby's 1991 Ranger Build Up

I haven't posted much here since I sold my 1993 Mazda Navajo around 2010 or 2011. It was 10 years in the making and finally to a solid, reliable state. I had some other priorities and decided to sell it and get something more versatile. I will include some pictures below of its developing states and final state when I sold it below. In the end, it had 37" MTRs, Arb front, detroit rear, 4.56 gears, D and D doubler and I built all the armor and the Dana 44 front Solid Axle Swap.

James duff 3.5" VR coil lift, 235" defender tires and a home made heavy ugly bumper (around 2000 when I bought it) :
Before.jpg


2001 with 33x10.50s and James duff 4.5" lift with extended radius arms, manual hubs and new auto tranny:
33sand4inch.jpg

Here it is just after the SAS with 34s and a swapped in manual tcase and tranny:

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Winching out of Mikeys hot tub circa 2002 or so

Tub.jpg


Stuck on a tree just after 37s
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37s, winch bumper rebuild etc
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Final State Explorerforum moab trip 2010

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Last Poser Shots
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I hear it still gets around Colorado and Utah and I have had buddies call me with airings from time to time.

I have had a few rangers and one explorer since I sold my explorer.
Here are some pics of those:

Beat up 1994 Ranger 2.4l ($250)
IMG_1339.jpg


Traded 1993 Ranger 4.0l and an abused auto tranny

IMG_1594.jpg


1991 Manual Tcase and Tranny Explorer Sport

IMG_4973.jpg



We have also had a ton of cool Jeeps. Here are a couple of pics, along with our current Jeep which we are hanging on to:

2005 unlimited Rubicon Sahara 5.7 L Hemi
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2005 unlimited Rubicon 35s and 4" lift
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Our Current 2005 Unlimited Rubicon 4" Lift 315 Kevlars
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It does great grocery getter, family truckster, and occasional wekend wheeler, but I need a truck and I miss my exploder, so I decided to build a Ranger. However, I want to build it a little different this time.

I have always wanted to build a 1989-1992 ranger, so I spent a considerable amount of time looking for a low mile one with the right engine, tranny and tcase in good shape. 4.0l, m5od and 1354M stock. My explorer ended up with this combo, but started out as an auto tranny and tcase. This made for a ton of modifications and headaches with my explorer. Rangers can be had in many other undesirable configurations because they were available with 3 different v6s in 1989-92 and a 4cylinder. It proved to be a difficult task. Finally in the fall of 2012 I picked this one up. A 1991 4.0l manual tranny and transfer case 4x4 extended cab "mountain States Edition. It had 130k on it and ran great. The paint was toast, it had a rusty bed and (my biggest complaint) it had no factory air.

IMG_2624.jpg


I drove it for a year until I was ready to have it painted. I fixed a bunch on it- thermostat, muffler, wheel bearings, brakes, had a new headliner installed, etc. When I got a quote for the paint (one solid color and fix the dings) it was 2k. So then I started thinking I better look for a different ranger to build! I settled on this one. It too is a 1991, it has air (huge plus after not having it in my other truck all summer), manual case and tranny and everything else and a 4.0. The body is really straight no rust and the interior is super nice. The odo read 83k and I believed it.
IMG_2956.jpg



Since then I tracked down the original and only owner to find it has 183 k on it and they were all hwy miles. The only complaints I have is I wish it had the other mirrors and pop out extended cab windows. I can deal with those, though. This truck has been taken care of.

First order of business was a tune up, brakes and leaky valve cover gaskets.

The build plan is pretty simple: build it similar to how my explorer ended up, with out all the half builds in between. It took me a lot of work and money to get my explorer to preform well off-road and on the street and be reliable. On this one I want to skip all the poor performing, cheapskate half steps I took with the explorer.

My goal is to end up with a reliable, daily drive able, off-road capable ranger that will make a great driver, great work truck and great expo vehicle. I like the idea of a truck over a explorer sport because I need to haul dirt bikes and Sheetrock and plywood and all kinds of stuff all the time so I always needed a pickup when I had the explorer even though I wanted to drive the explorer all the time. Hopefully this will do both functions well.

So far, I have installed:

A blue tooth pioneer stereo (replacing the stock tape deck)
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A optima yellow top
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A Black grill and headlight bezels along with new headlights:
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The only body work it needs is the topper it had on it was put on with a loose and poorly placed clamp that rubbed a hole in the bed cap. I will weld it up and hopefully add a LineX bedliner over the top
IMG_2962.jpg


I purchased a Dana 44 out of a 76 f150 with no guts or outers for a $50 bill. I still have my spare warn premium hubs off my ex, and I plan to build this one stout before I put it in and leave it full width but move the c bushings in about 2" per side. I will likely then run stock style f150 wheels with stock backspacing and 35s or 37s as skinny as I can find. It will get a full rebuild and at least 4.88s, maybe 5.13s. I am not decided on radius arms yet. I suppose extended ones are on the bill instead of the stock wristed ones I had before, but I haven't sorted that out yet. The wrist traveled fine but it clunked and made a racket and it was also a pain to get out and pull the pin when it was time to wheel. Extended arms won't perform quite as well on the street as the stock length ones did with the pin in, but longer arms should stream line things.

For the rear I will rebuild a full width late model 31 spline 8.8 put of a bronco or f150 and install explorer disk brakes. I will likely need to have the axle flanges turned down and drill the rotors for the new bolt pattern.

I will extend the wheel base around 3" by moving the front axle forward and leave the rear axle centered in the wheel well. I plan to leave the bed size stock as I need the truck to haul stuff all the time. I will build bumpers and sliders before I beat it up this time.

Stay Tuned, I am picking up the front axle tomorrow.
 


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fordpickupman

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71 F250 Fummins
Every time I open this thread I fall in love with your Ranger. You’ve kept classy looking.
 


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Kirby N.

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1991 Ranger
Thanks man. I finally got my kids bronco rolling.It’s rear 8.8 has like 1/4” of slop in the pinion. I have a couple more junk yard parts to get for it, then I will drive the bronc and do some work on the ranger.

Need to get the new tailgate rhino’d. I think I am going to get the roof done too to seal it up. Then it is into the garage for engine and the transmission. I might take it hunting too. Oh also, it needs more joints and tie rods.
 




Kirby N.

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1991 Ranger
A little update. I took the ranger antelope hunting in Wyoming. Borrowed a RTT from a buddy. It was a rad trip- and slept wonderful in the ranger.
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Also the bronco is coming along nicely. We pulled an 8.8 out of another bronco at the pick and pull.
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Just happened to pull the cover off and found a pleasant surprise.

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Detroit True Track. Stokd to have that. Best $90 I have spent in a while.

Also got the 33x10.50s installed. It came out great.

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Unfortunately, the rear end is lifted with a 3" block and it doesn't do a good job of accounting for more pinion angle. It needs a lot more pinion angle because of the CV rear driveshaft. Really makes a racket. We are going to swap the rear life for a shackle reversal.

Also need to fix that rust- but we got time for that.
 




fordpickupman

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I love the trutracs in my sploder
 




410Fortune

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They put the CV shaft in the full size too? Oh lord get rid of that POS!!
Hard to see in that pic but if the exhaust is real close to the fuel tank be careful, I have had my fuel boiling before. I finally made a metal guard and wrapped that section of tailpipe
Score! junk yard detroit

TTB FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!! (hahaha just poking fun) I was mobbing my Bronco II up the two mile old logging road we call a driveway the other day and your words were going through my head "just solid axle it and be done with it" hahahaha I know, I know so many moving parts!
 




Kirby N.

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1991 Ranger
Oh, no maybe I am using the wrong term for the driveshaft. It’s the one with 2 ujoints on one end. I have one on my ranger too since I took out the carrier bearing one. It’s actually a pretty decent shaft but it needs the diff pointed at the tcase in order not to make noise and vibe.

I know, I know ttb. I almost chucked it and put in a Dana 44 solid. I was like inches away and I think I regret it now. The only reason I didn’t is that it looked like from other buids that the lowest I could get it with a solid axle was 6” lift and this is going to be my kids daily, so I wanted 3” at the most. But now after all the grinding and painting and changing bushings and ball joints and new brackets the camber is almost in spec- and I can’t do any more ball joint shims and the caster is like 2* on one side and 4* on the other. So honestly it drives like crap. No return to center. I might have to buy some other radius arm drop brackets for a 4” lift or something. It really ticks me off. I bought a rough country lift and they are cheap but they suck.

Think the exhaust is ok- but I will keep an eye on it. I did just have it replaced due to rust. Had a trusty glass pack installed. Thanks for the hot tip.
 




BKennedy

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It's a double cardan joint.

When your front radius arm bushings went out (the Duff ones behind the axle), did it make a sharp clunk noise? I think mine are on the way out. I can't see the bushings but there is a new noise and more movement on that joint, drivers side, when I used a BF Screwdriver to push things around.
 




Kirby N.

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Yep! Huge clunk. And it just got worse. At least the bushings are cheap.

On another note, I took the ranger apart yesterday to get new ujoints installed because I nearly snapped the old passenger side one when trying to winch out the backhoe.

Come to find out 2 things needed attention:

1. brake pads are about the thickness of a quarter. I need to swap those.

2. Ball joints on both sides- particularly lowers are as worn as I have ever seen. I can move them 1/8-1/4” just by lifting on the hub. I wish I could post videos. It’s hilarious how much they flip around.

I have parts on order! Hope to fix all this in the next couple weeks before my hunting trip.
 




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