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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:

864825-R1-044-20A.jpg


Winching out of Mikeys hot tub circa 2002 or so

Tub.jpg


Stuck on a tree just after 37s
DCFC0209.jpg


37s, winch bumper rebuild etc
IMG_0388.jpg


Final State Explorerforum moab trip 2010

IMG_2875.jpg


IMG_2930.jpg


MoabMay2010217.jpg


Last Poser Shots
IMG_3625.jpg


IMG_3617.jpg


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
IMG_3981.jpg

IMG_3980.jpg


2005 unlimited Rubicon 35s and 4" lift
IMG_1196.jpg


Our Current 2005 Unlimited Rubicon 4" Lift 315 Kevlars
IMG_1369.jpg


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)
IMG_2957.jpg



A optima yellow top
IMG_2958.jpg


A Black grill and headlight bezels along with new headlights:
IMG_2961.jpg


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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Stic-o

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Nothing at all...🤷
That is good to hear. I don’t want it to leak after all this work. Did you put any sealer in the corners by the radius? How about in the hole by the rear bearing cap? nothing at
 



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Kirby N.

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Lots of updates. Been doing a lot of work on getting the ranger ready for its new power plant and getting the power plan ready for the ranger.

First up, while waiting for the NOS 95 oil pan, I went ahead and installed my old 91 oil pan. This allowed me to continue painting and prepping.


Block with Oil pan 2.jpg
Block with pil pan.jpg


Before installing I did get the melling high volume pump and pickup tube installed
Melling pump.jpg


next I got the oil pump drive gear installed. I waited on a new oring from ford- pictured- but it was for the newer opdg with the sensor. it was too big and I couldn't install the current opdg. Got a generic oring from the parts store and all is well.

OPDG Oring compare.jpg
OPDG with oring.jpg

I then installed the new gates water pump and next up is painting the engine. Rolled it outside and got 3 coats of primer.

painted engine.jpg
Painted engine 2.jpg

Then three coats of paint and clear.
Painted Engine post clear.jpg
Painted Engine post clear 2.jpg


This is using duplicators products for Ford Grey engines.

Then it was on to prepping and installing all the components

Added the newly rebuilt and flow matched 5 hole injectors.

Injectors.jpg


Started replacing all my a/c components. One interesting thing I figured out- I installed the orifice tube backwards. It was completely full of oil and grime. The rest of the system is in good shape. I wonder if that was what caused my ac failure.

maybe installed the orphace tube backwards.jpg


I want to fix everything I can on the ranger while it is down, so I purchased some new front shocks. Fox 985-24-055. Remote resi 14" travel shocks. These will give me a little less up travel and much more down travel. Hopefully this will be the end of my shocks are too short woes. They look nice and the driver did droop more with them than with the old 12" shocks.

Piggyback Shock.jpg
Piggyback Shock 2.jpg
Piggyback Shock 3.jpg
 






Kirby N.

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next up I started cleaning up the wiring so I could get it installed.

lots of filth and needing new tape. I also found some frayed wires that needed repair and shrink tube.

wiring clean up.jpg
Wiring Redo.jpg

Installed the new harmonic balancer

with dampner pulley.jpg


All the wires and a new thermostat and housing and new motorcraft wires. Also installed temporarily the new motor mounts that I purchased from @Brian1

With thermostat.jpg
with spark plug wires.jpg
with motor mounts.jpg


Next is saginaw conversion time. I was inspired by @BKennedy and @gmanpaint to do this conversion and I am excited to see how it turns out.

First off, my power steering bracket was a little different. I think it is just an early model thing without the provision to remove the pump without pulling the pulley.
Saginaw cut.jpg

got the cuts metal finished and painted and installed it. I am happy with how it turned out and excited to not had the ford pump whine and ease of steering now.
Saginaw done.jpg
Saginaw done 2.jpg
Saginaw done 3.jpg
Saginaw done 4.jpg
Saginaw done 5.jpg


Thats all for now. I am hoping to get the engine in place on Monday. We will see.
 






BKennedy

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I have seen both types of power steering brackets on 1994 Explorers, the full round and partial round. You still can't remove the pump with the partial round bracket without removing the pully first because the bolts are too long to clear the pully.

That engine looks so nice and clean.
 












Kirby N.

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thank you. i am stoked to drive it.
 






Fix4Dirt

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next up I started cleaning up the wiring so I could get it installed.

lots of filth and needing new tape. I also found some frayed wires that needed repair and shrink tube.

View attachment 434221View attachment 434222
Installed the new harmonic balancer

View attachment 434223

All the wires and a new thermostat and housing and new motorcraft wires. Also installed temporarily the new motor mounts that I purchased from @Brian1

View attachment 434226View attachment 434225View attachment 434224

Next is saginaw conversion time. I was inspired by @BKennedy and @gmanpaint to do this conversion and I am excited to see how it turns out.

First off, my power steering bracket was a little different. I think it is just an early model thing without the provision to remove the pump without pulling the pulley. View attachment 434215
got the cuts metal finished and painted and installed it. I am happy with how it turned out and excited to not had the ford pump whine and ease of steering now.
View attachment 434216View attachment 434217View attachment 434218View attachment 434219View attachment 434220

Thats all for now. I am hoping to get the engine in place on Monday. We will see.
it looks amazing so far! one clean engine, and one clean build ;)
 






Kirby N.

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so I got it running- but I am having some issues.

Runs great. Started it, ran it for 20 minutes around 2k rpm. Around the 12-15 minute mark- i started to notice a little valve noise. not super loud- like a collapsed lifter, but definitely there. I am using lucas 20w50 break in oil.


Is this the correct viscosity?

Should a little valve noise concern me?

It has about 20 miles on it now- one drive. When I start it, it is quieter, then I can hear the noise when it warms up. Also, the saginaw pump is strangely quiet too- so that is different- and I am playing mind games like- is it actually loud or is the whine just gone? I think it is loud.

I am considering draining the oil and putting in 10w30 regular oil.

Any thoughts? @410Fortune
 






410Fortune

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20 50 break in oil should be fine

valve noise not good, these lifters should pump up and stay there
Any rocker arm or valve tick that continues you need to investigate for sure, might have to pull valve cover?

Is it one of the rear cylinders? They have the hardest time getting enough oil pressure

Pull the spark plug and have a look at it. It helps if engine is warm, blurp the throttle then shut it down, pull plug on cylinder(s) you think maybe making the noise
 






Kirby N.

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I don’t know where it is coming from. I can look closer- or listen closer. So you don’t think I should drain the Lucas and put in 5w30 today? I was considering doing that. Am I looking for lean or rich condition on the plug?
 






410Fortune

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try the 5 30 see if it improves
Jut looking to see any irregularities at the plug that might point to a valve or valve seal issue
it is just the first step in diagnosing what is going on w the cylinders in question

its running smoothly, idle drops when warm, running on all 6, just a noisy lifter?
Very common for a 4.0, however the noise never seems to go away, it only gets worse....... so it is best to find out why the pushrod/lifter/rocker arm is noisy now!
 






Kirby N.

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Running on all 6. Runs smooth. Started with the wrong firing order- rookie mistake. Fixed that and it ran smooth. Ran with wrong firing order for a minute maybe. That’s it. The idle is jacked up a little but I left the battery undone last night because I think the computer learned the idle either when I was keeping it at 2k for the first 20 minutes or when the firing order was off.
 






Kirby N.

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I just went to warm it up and the idle is at about 1400 rpm. Seeing if it will calm down after a bit of running.
 






Kirby N.

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When rolling with the clutch in the idle goes to 2200 and I got a check engine light now.
 






Kirby N.

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I am going to have to get a code reader. None of the guys at the parts stores have a clue with obd 1
 












Kirby N.

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Hey! good idea. I dont know how I never have needed to do that. Perhaps because my old engine (which was running well when I pulled it) really didn't have issues over the last 10 years. Actually, I dont want to think about that.

I did paper clip.

KOEO I got 67 and 41.

KOER I got 12, 21, and 13.

I have been reading up on these. I wish I would have kept my old sensors- or perhaps even ran them. More specifically my IAC and my coolant temperature sensor. It has a new RockAuto IAC Motorcraft brand. I am thinking of trying another new one or seeing if I can find a way in the FSM to test the new one. Also- maybe I need a new MAF, $100 is a lot, but it is one of the few sensors I didn't replace. Maybe I could try a MAF from the junkyard.

IDK. Still idling way too fast. Found some conventional oil- finally. Weird they aren't stocking it anymore. I am going to try that for the noise tomorrow.

Maybe this is why @410Fortune has tried to get me to go to obd2?
 






410Fortune

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that is a high idle!
usually air leaks? Not likely but we have to rule it out

You didnt save the old stuff???? NEVER EVER throw anything away until the truck has been back on the road for some time

Idle of 900-1100 RPM is normal while the pcm is learning, but 2200 something is fishy
first thing to check for is vacuum leak, air leak, you have the canister purge line to the bottom of the throttle body?

Have seen this new oil, new synthetic oil from Valvoline and others that is suitable for GAS AND DIESEL ENGINES????? WTF
Anyways Brett tells me I need break in oil for the 07 because I have a new cam
So I am about to drain 5 quarts of mobil one synth that has run for 2 minutes in order to run break in oil with no detergents and lots of zinc!
Yikes live and learn........
 






Kirby N.

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No air leaks at all- there really isn't many places for air to leak on this thing. I unplugged all the vacuum lines and plugged them with my finger. If I leave them off it does some weird stuff, but when I plug them it is back to crazy high idle.

I checked the CTS. Seems like it is reading correctly.

The Ford IAC- if I unplug it, the idle drops a little, not near what it should. If I take it off and partially plug the hole I can get it to idle down.

I think I am going to get a iac from the junk yard tomorrow and see if that does anything different. The only sensor I didn't mess with is the MAF- maybe that is the one that is the issue???


Ok- on the noise- I changed the oil to 5w30. Seemed to sound better for a while. Then when fully warmed up back to the terrible noises.

I found this in the haynes manual- something similar in the FSM book:
Rocker.jpg

Under 13- it says something about paying attention to a notch on the outside of the shaft- to make sure the oil holes are pointed down? I didn't pay any attention to a notch or the position of the oil holes. I think I will go to the junk yard tomorrow and see if I can get a look at one before I tear mine down. Perhaps this is my oiling issue? I dont know. I dont remember anything being anything but semetrical on the rocker shaft. Does anyone know what this means?

Thanks!
 



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410Fortune

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the oil holes are in the lifter and lifter bores, also on the rocker arms themselves, I do not remember oil holes in teh rocker pivot tubes but we dont do this everyday. I do have a 100% stock 300K 2000 model year OHV in the shop I can tear down if you need to look see anything

I am not sure if the rocker pivot tubes on the 4.0 have something like this let me go look at my pictures
I am SURE you installed them correctly, but with that noise we are going to have to check a bunch of things

Does your engine have EGR? not on a 91 right? Thinking the EGR valve itself can cause large vacuum leak
No holes in your intake tube between MAS and throttle body?

I have had idle issues before with ohv engine swaps usually easily solved with different IAC, iac changes
One truck I used IAC adjuster made for a mustang, another truck would idle too low so the fix was to drill a small hole in the butterfly valve. If you look at the early engines they had a tiny hole in the butterfly and the IAC would apparently close fully?

Are you using the IAC for a 91?

cleaning the MAS is not going to hurt anything

Have you run it long enough to make sure the lifters are pumped up?



couple of decent pics in here of the lifter and rocker assemblies and their oil holes
 






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