Kirby's 1991 Ranger Build Up | Page 37 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

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.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
Thanks Jaime. I took apart a 94 ranger at the junk yard this morning. I can’t see any marks on the shaft and the holes are the same on the top and the bottom.

I pulled an iac and brought it home. Put the junk yard iac on the truck and it does idle lower, but still at 1300-1600. If I pull the plug, it doesn’t change anything with this iac.

Next I took off the valve cover on the drivers side. Oil is coming up out of the holes in the rockers on the top near the shaft.

I talked to my cousin who was a engineer for ford. He suggested measuring the collapsed slop in the lifters some how. I guess there is a tool for this- to see if the lifters don’t have enough travel.

I checked all the numbers to confirm because maybe I have mismatched parts- 1991 vs 2000- The valves are the same, rockers are the same, lifters are the same, springs are the same, pushrods are the same.

I am ready to pull out the engine- but I don’t know what it would gain me.

It runs fine- only the idle issue. No sputter or backfire. Plenty of power. It just gets loud when it is hot. It is quiet when I first fire it up.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
Sorry- I didn’t answer all your questions:

The iac I got new is a motorcraft for a 1991. The iac I got from the junk yard is from a 1991.

I don’t know how long I should run it to get the lifters pumped up? I have put about 45 miles on it.

It doesn’t have egr because it is a 91. There are no holes between the throttle body and the maf.

There is a hole in the butterfly and it does close fully.

I think that is all your questions.

Thanks for the help buddy. I’ll read those articles.
 






Scott B.

Explorer Addict
Joined
February 15, 1999
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
26
City, State
GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT
Kirby,

Would you be interested in the Ford Fuel Injection & Electronic Engine Control book? If you are not familiar with it, it covers all EEC-IV systems.

I was going through my bookshelf, and found it. Since I no longer have a Ford, I don't need it.

It is out of print, and this copy is in really good shape.
 






Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
Yeah I would be interested in that. Thanks for thinking of me. Just let me know what you want for it and what shipping costs.
 






Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
So I have been reading and researching all day.

It is wierd that the noise only happens when the engine is warm. It is also wierd that the valves are getting plenty of oil.

I am considering ordering some smith bros longer pushrods. I am thinking for some reason the lifters down have enough travel to take the lash out. I talked to smith bros and they don’t have a process for measuring the lash in the pushrods or anything. I don’t know. It would be a $150 gamble. They can make whatever length for that.

I really can’t think of anything else.
 












Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
Yes- I got map sensor from the junk yard. And I will try that. I also got the connector because one of the tabs was broken on mine and got that swapped.
Broken:

Map plug 2.jpg


New one:

MAp plug.jpg


Also here is a picture of the valve train before the mess of making sure that it is getting oiled:

No valve cover.jpg


Everything was so clean back then.

I spent some time on the phone with the machine shop that did my heads. The convinced me that the pushrods wouldn't be too short, only too long. That makes sense to me. When they warm up, they get longer. They milled the head .009 to get out the warp. I dont know if the block was decked at all- can't really say. Wondering if that is enough to over extend the valves and cause the noise when fully warm?

My dad is trying to figure out how to measure and see if the travel in the lifters is getting over extended or under extended (leaving lash).

I dont know what to think- but I am leaning toward shorter pushrods because that is what the machine shop suggested and I can't seem to find another solution. He suggested shimming the pedestals to see if that would fix it- that sounds like a half arse way of doing it, but might give us the info needed to order a set of pushrods.
 












Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
I would need to use 2.9 pushrods too I guess. Maybe there is some info on measuring them and checking if they are correct somewhere though. That might help
 






Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
Lifters are different too- non roller.
 






Josh P

Shaggin Wagon
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 18, 2015
Messages
3,190
Reaction score
2,109
City, State
Phoenix Az
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 aerostar
I would need to use 2.9 pushrods too I guess. Maybe there is some info on measuring them and checking if they are correct somewhere though. That might help
Use the pushrods you have, just change the rocker arms.
 






Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
The pictures that I am seeing have a ball on the end of the rocker so it would need pushrods to be swapped as well- ball to ball wouldn’t work. The pushrods have a cup on one end.
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 2, 2000
Messages
5,367
Reaction score
556
City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
Did you presoak your new lifters in oil before installing them? Did you compare the new Melling rocker rails to the ones you took off to see if the holes were the same, they had the plugs in the end of them and so on? Maybe they could be leaking pressure off somewhere in the oiling passages and not making it out to the rocker arm tips or as you may be thinking some of the oiling holes are misaligned in the rocker assembly. I don't remember a notch in the shaft, I reused my rocker rails after popping the plugs out to clean them and then reinstalling them very carefully in the same orientation I took everything apart. Also measure the pushrods and see if they are around 5.475-5.480" to rule out the possibility of getting pushrods that were boxed wrong or made incorrectly, etc.

If you haven't torn it down too far maybe give it a little more run time to circulate the new oil through all the lifters. I have heard/read over the years of non-oem lifters being bad out of the box or going bad quickly moreso the sealed power brand and not Melling but that could be an unfortunate possibility.

It is such a bummer something like this has happened after you put in all the work, hopefully you get it figured out quickly and it was just something easy.


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

That is the article I wrote for Petersen's 4WOR on my engine rebuild and all my photos. Its a shame Ranger Station felt the need to basically steal it, at least they linked to it at the top but it still drives the numbers down on Motortrends site that potentially benefit me in the long run. I didn't know they did that until I saw the link you posted just now.
 






Josh P

Shaggin Wagon
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 18, 2015
Messages
3,190
Reaction score
2,109
City, State
Phoenix Az
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 aerostar
The pictures that I am seeing have a ball on the end of the rocker so it would need pushrods to be swapped as well- ball to ball wouldn’t work. The pushrods have a cup on one end.
Yes, I'm having half timers today.
 






Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
Did you presoak your new lifters in oil before installing them? Did you compare the new Melling rocker rails to the ones you took off to see if the holes were the same, they had the plugs in the end of them and so on? Maybe they could be leaking pressure off somewhere in the oiling passages and not making it out to the rocker arm tips or as you may be thinking some of the oiling holes are misaligned in the rocker assembly. I don't remember a notch in the shaft, I reused my rocker rails after popping the plugs out to clean them and then reinstalling them very carefully in the same orientation I took everything apart. Also measure the pushrods and see if they are around 5.475-5.480" to rule out the possibility of getting pushrods that were boxed wrong or made incorrectly, etc.

If you haven't torn it down too far maybe give it a little more run time to circulate the new oil through all the lifters. I have heard/read over the years of non-oem lifters being bad out of the box or going bad quickly moreso the sealed power brand and not Melling but that could be an unfortunate possibility.

It is such a bummer something like this has happened after you put in all the work, hopefully you get it figured out quickly and it was just something easy.




That is the article I wrote for Petersen's 4WOR on my engine rebuild and all my photos. Its a shame Ranger Station felt the need to basically steal it, at least they linked to it at the top but it still drives the numbers down on Motortrends site that potentially benefit me in the long run. I didn't know they did that until I saw the link you posted just now.
I didn't know you wrote that! I have read the heck out of it.

I can confirm the correct pushrod length- that's a good idea.

I did soak the lifters in oil for like a month before installation. I have ran it about 45 miles- and sat there running it like 20 minutes. Do you think that is enough? On the first start up I primed the oil pump by filling it from the oil filter and turning the crank. Then I put on the oil filter and filled the oil pan with oil. Then I turned the engine over without spark plugs like 10 times. Then when it was installed we turned it over a lot in like 20 second intervals with the oil pressure up before firing. When I started it, it was quiet (even the first time) until it warmed up when the valves started making noise.

I didn't see anything that I could mess up in the install of the rockers and rails when I took it apart at the junk yard. I am thinking of shimming the pedestals because I could do it super cheap and see if it works.

Have you ever heard of noise because pushrods are too long?
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 2, 2000
Messages
5,367
Reaction score
556
City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
That should have been enough time but maybe the different oil had an effect on them? I did basically the same procedure and never had a noise on mine but I used 10w30 from the beginning and had Lucas assembly lube on the bearings and rocker arm cups/pushrods. I did spin the oil pump with a drill and watch for oil to come out the rocker arm area before I buttoned up the valve covers while it was on the stand.

If/When you shim the rocker rails just be sure to account for the oiling holes at the base. Basically a square flat shim with a hole for the bolt and a hole where the oil passage is.

I'm certainly no engine building expert and I cant say Ive heard of a noise from too long of pushrods. Theoretically the hydraulic lifters should account for a small variance in length like the one caused by machining the heads flat.
 






Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
If not pumping up was the issue- wouldn’t they be loud all the time? Why are the quiet for the 10 minutes it takes to warm up if they aren’t pumping up?
 






410Fortune

Truck Season!!
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
August 3, 2000
Messages
28,707
Reaction score
5,064
City, State
NORTH IDAHO, 7B
Year, Model & Trim Level
B2 "Slightly" Modified
Callsign
FOURTEN
typical ranger station another reason i never went over there

great article Brian!! seriously it has helped more people then you can ever imagine
You can sleep good at night knowing good karma is coming your way
 






Scott B.

Explorer Addict
Joined
February 15, 1999
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
26
City, State
GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT
I replied to the PM asking a question (your address to ship the book to!) ;)

I assume you haven't been on your computer all weekend.............
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 6, 2001
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
259
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
I tried a few things tonight. I went ahead and ordered some shims. .010 thick and I got oversized ones for the middle pedestal. These would not be permanent solutions, just to see if my pushrods are too short.

My dad wanted to try to figure out the collapsed lifter height and how close the pushrods are landing to center of that, we tried with some feeler gauges and tried to collapse 2 lifters after getting it to TDC. It didn't work.

So I put shims under the rocker pedestals, put the thing back together and it was quiet for a long time. I was really happy. Then as it got hot, like after 30 minutes or so- the sound came back. Its colder today and maybe the shims helped a little.

One interesting thing- I got a mechanics stethoscope and it seems like it is only the drivers side, but seems like most if not all valves.

I was also going to try 3 shims for .030, but when I tried to bolt down the rocker assembly one bolt stretched and broke!! Luckily it came out of the head easy.

All that to say, I didn't get to try .030.


I also hooked up a oil pressure gauge and it seems the melling high volume pump is working well.

Here it is cold:
oil pressure cold.jpg


Here it is hot:

oil pressure hot.jpg



so 55 cold and 35 hot.


I also tried the junk yard MAF and it didn't make a bit of difference on the high idle. I am not sure what to do with that.


Last thing, I ran across this thread: oil and oil pressure

I had seen it before but I kind of wrote it of because I am using a stock cam and this was with a modified cam. However, @jd4242 was having the EXACT issue I have and the exhaust valves look really really close to the spring and spring retianers on mine- and maybe they are only making contact when it warms up. Check out post #51. I ran across it after the .030 shims were installed, so I didn't think I had a good look at them- but I think there is a really good chance that the rockers are making contact with the spring retainers. I have literally been praying that is the issue because I would be so relieved to find it.

Tomorrow I am headed to the junk yard to grab another bolt for the rocker pedestals. I think i might also grab a set of pushrods and a rocker assembly. I wish I could find a NOS ford one.
 






Top