Ranger tough truck build | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Ranger tough truck build

Mods couldnt figure out where this needed to go forsure so please move as needed, sorry in advance.

My cousin has ran this ugly pile for 5 years at tough truck events around ohio. I have also been running for 5 years but this season (2010) I didnt have a vehicle to run. Last year he built a Jeep and I got this for next to nothing. Was once an 88 Ranger 2wd 2.3 5 speed


After I ran it at 5 events I managed to roll it comming around a corner.
It looked like this

I jacked the corner up enough to make my second, and here it was upon unloading from the trailer




I stripped it down and pulled the "good parts"


I picked this up for $100. 85 2.8 auto 4x4.

I compltely stripped it to the frame, leaving only the axles.






The 2.8 was locked up so Im using the 2.3 and 2wd trans from the rolled ranger with a divorced nissan 720 pickup transfercase. Engine is sitting 4" back





Fuel tank is inside the tool box. Tanks is mounted down with 3 straps going over it and through 1/4" steel plate with six 1/2" bolts.

Toolbox lid is bolted down with four half inch bolts, the factory latches, and a padlock and key.

Currently have four half inch bolts going through the 1/4" plate to the frame, putting 4 more in after I go buy them.

Total wieght with full tank of fuel is about 300 pounds. I also have the ability to ad sand bags inside the toolbox for more wieght if needed. ( to keep it from nose diving on jumps)


Cab is sitting 6" back and the front is cut and bobbed. Doors, fenders and hood are skins only, total combo probably wieghts less than 200 pounds.




Going to order a jegster 12point cage for it and I need to do some finishing touches to the body before paint but here is a really bad attemtp at using windows paint to finish it


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This is a sport I could get into..

Really cool build, and you don't have to spend 10s of thousands to participate.

I like the "coned" front end, looks quite cool.

Can't wait to see it finished.

I do run against some high dollar trucks but based on track setup I can beat them. Some palces build wide open tracks with no cones and rolling jumps at place like that i have no chance. At some places they build short tight tracks with crazy jumps and tight cones, Thats where Im able to get them.

A few places havestarted running stock and mod classes and at thsoe tracks I'll fit in the stock class and wont need to beat the high dollar trucks.

There are 6-7 guys that are higher dollar rigs most palces pay to atleast 10th. 10th is usually $50 Some palces pay as far back as 35th where 15th -35th get $50

I have always profited at the end of the year by placing high enough to brign hoem atleast $50 nearly every trip out. It cost approx $30-40 dollars to get in and enter each event plus fuel to get there. My cousin and I hual double to save fuel cost, this season I profited a whole $25 after fuel, entry fee, parts and the truck itself. Not much proft but better than spending 1,000s for a few seconds of fun.

Im $300 invested in this new truck and will be close to $1000 when done, but if it can compete as good as I think it will that will be easily won back, I may lose a little this year but by the end of next season I should be total profit.

This is a prebent cage from jegs so it doesnt fit quite like I wish it would.
Front mount, Im going to be bolting the flat plate to the channel so that I can remove cage and cab.
The channel is set down over top of the factory cab mount.


Rear mounts. There is a solid piece fo 4" 1/4" thick channel that the cage is welded to, the channel will be bolted to these mounts. Thes emounts are 1/2" plate welded tot he stock body mount location with a 1/4" thick gusset welded on.



Rear loop and the halo. Cage is welded to the cab everywhere it come incontact with it.

one of the a pillar supports

Got alot more left to add but I should have it done in the next couple days

Rear channel cross member

rear downward supports

other a pillar support

close up of the front frame mount welded to frame

Bent the door bar JEGS sent so that I have soem elbow room

So how stock does the suspension need to stay, for you to run in the stock class? Could you have taller coils, or longer radius arms if you wanted?

Rules are not very precise usually stock means nothing done to improve performance. lifts are fine, not sure what theyd say about longer radius arms The two places I have ran rely on the driver to be honest and pick his class. When we pulled in and paid at the gate they asked what class we wanted and handed us a slip that sais S for stock and M for modified that we handed back when we registered. Never been anywhere that they actualy do a tech inspection.

One of the front bars

Seat mounts

Some more of the interior tubing, still got alot to add

Thought this was neat. Running on one spark plug. ( was trying to find a slight misfire)

I hope you get a camera for Christmas! ;)