1988 Ranger Restoration - Keeping a Promise


PetroleumJunkie412

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Did you photoshop the dash and column in there...they look so shiny black. lol.
No sir! I did the equivalent of photoshop with paint - dash, etc is painted in plasti dip, and steering column, etc are painted in a combination of trim and bumper paint and vinyl paint, both by duplicolor.

What's hilarious to me is that anyone that sees it does not believe that it's shot in plasti dip. It looks spot on for paint.

The other thing I didn't do is mask off anything under the dash. So now my duct work, etc hides perfectly thanks to a coarse texture overspray that seems to nullify reflection.
 
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PetroleumJunkie412

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Lots of updates.

Installed the 24lb injectors.

_20190604_213717.JPG


Did the test fit of the Sierra intake. Looks like there is a small IAC fitment issue with the rad hose. Easy enough to fix. Just waiting on the throttle cable bracket to get here so I can finish the install.

_20190604_213839.JPG



_20190604_213816.JPG



Video of initial installation of 24lb four hole Saleen injectors. All I can say is this thing now sounds MEAN.


Officially running megasquirt full-time. One of the cool things with megasquirt is it upgrades the obd1 system to full data logging. I figured out that my stock injectors COULD NOT supply adequate fuel to the engine. Injectors upgrade was absolutely necessary.

As soon as I get this thing fully "dialed in" on megasquirt, I'll see if @Jim Oaks will let me post the configuration to the 2.9 tech page. May save a few of these old engines from the crusher.

I'm probably going to eat these words, but there's not a stock-ish 4.0 OHV out there I wouldn't put it up against.

None of this would have been possible without @deathbypsi and Keith from the RBV Gang on Facebook. Two amazing people that took a lot of time out of their days to lend a hand. They did the real work, I just pushed buttons and hung parts. Thank you both again!!
 
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PetroleumJunkie412

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Cross post. Just another round of megasquirt tuning.

 

adsm08

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PetroleumJunkie412

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I am not a performance expert, but I don't think a second intake gives you more go-fast if it is upside down.

Or does it give you double go-fast?

I'm so confused.

Broh, thats like 50 horsepower, yo
 

adsm08

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PetroleumJunkie412

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I don't know horse power. What's 50 HP in go-fasts?
Somewhere between body kit and tanning bed sized spoiler, yo.

This is like NAWZ and ground effects lights had a baby and it was raised by an eBay T3 turbo
 

Rangerx2

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I gotta hand it to you Petroleum Junkie, you've hung in there with this truck muck longer than I initially thought you would considering your preference for all things MOPAR. I also like the decidedly different approach you've taken with this truck, as far as building up the 2.9 vs swapping in a 4.0 or 5.0 like most of us would have. There's definitely not a whole lotta love on these forums for the German-bred 2.9, and with good reason. Not one of Ford's brighter moments! But you've chosen to stay with the 2.9 and show what it's capable of with some serious ingenuity; and probably a good deal of ca$h layout too!
Nice progress so far, and I look forward to seeing more updates. I'm sure you're giving all of us some inspiration for our own rides
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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I also like the decidedly different approach you've taken with this truck, as far as building up the 2.9 vs swapping in a 4.0 or 5.0 like most of us would have. There's definitely not a whole lotta love on these forums for the German-bred 2.9, and with good reason. Not one of Ford's brighter moments! But you've chosen to stay with the 2.9 and show what it's capable of with some serious ingenuity; and probably a good deal of ca$h layout too!
Appreciate it! I've kept in mind the entire time that there is always a chance that with every press of the accelerator, there exists the possibility that I watch the engine gloriously detonate.

What is amazing is how little I have wrapped up in the 2.9, and the truck in general in the long run. I've been grabbing performance and rare parts from the boneyard with every trip and taking advantage of their half off and all you can carry for $70 days. Everything I grab is hustled out through eBay. I pay myself back, and the rest is truck money. You'd be amazed at how many superchargers, throttle bodies, and turbos you can carry when the stack you're holding upright with your chin is $70 😂
 

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LOL! One can only imagine! Two questions: Did you ever adapt the Benz supercharger to this truck? and are you still running the Gen 1 heads or did you swap to the slightly less delicate Gen 2 heads from the 1990 donor truck you picked up? Even the "improved" head castings for the 2.9 are still pos's.
I'm a Ford enthusiast to the core and I love 1st-gen Rangers since I learned to drive on an 86 2.3/5-speed Supercab. These trucks are gloriously over-engineered, except for the motors. The engines in these trucks were recycled Pinto mills. And someone thought that would be a good idea. I would chalk that up to the accountants. My 4-cylinder gave up at 115k because of the years of abuse finally catching up to it. And all we did was simply use it as a truck; and teach 2 teenagers how to drive in it. When I was a teenager in the 90's I apparently thought my last name was Earnhardt or Petty, and I had the driving record to show for it. :3gears: Probably why there's not many 1st-gen's left with the 4-popper, at least not that I've seen. They all gave up years ago from too much heavy use.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Appreciate it! I've kept in mind the entire time that there is always a chance that with every press of the accelerator, there exists the possibility that I watch the engine gloriously detonate.

What is amazing is how little I have wrapped up in the 2.9, and the truck in general in the long run. I've been grabbing performance and rare parts from the boneyard with every trip and taking advantage of their half off and all you can carry for $70 days. Everything I grab is hustled out through eBay. I pay myself back, and the rest is truck money. You'd be amazed at how many superchargers, throttle bodies, and turbos you can carry when the stack you're holding upright with your chin is $70 😂
Step ya game up. Start tying things together with seatbelts cut out of vehicles, then throw one over each shoulder, and hang two around your neck and carry them behind and in front of you. ;)
 

Shran

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I'd counter and say that 1st gens are notoriously UNDER-engineered and suffer from many of the issues common to the 1980's era in general. Smog and safety laws were just coming into play, carburetors were out and EFI was in. Small trucks got equipped with tiny parts and some weak designs and countless re-designs. IMO the 2.3 platform was by far the best drivetrain option in the 1st gens. 2nd/3rd gen trucks were built much better in so many ways.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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I'd counter and say that 1st gens are notoriously UNDER-engineered and suffer from many of the issues common to the 1980's era in general. Smog and safety laws were just coming into play, carburetors were out and EFI was in. Small trucks got equipped with tiny parts and some weak designs and countless re-designs. IMO the 2.3 platform was by far the best drivetrain option in the 1st gens. 2nd/3rd gen trucks were built much better in so many ways.
At first I was going to counter argue but then it hit me the only thing still original on mine is the cab and frame...

IMO first gens are easier to work on though and have more wiggle room for going back and forth in different eras to rob parts for customization though. I am not overly crazy about the 2nd-early 3rd gen interior either.

+1 to the 2.3, aside from parts supply issues on the diesels 30+ years later all the 4cyl's in Rangers were pretty good.
 

Rangerx2

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I was more referring to the frame and suspension design. The frame/suspension was basically a scaled down F-150 from that era. The body and interior? The drivetrain? Yes, they were all basically a product of the time. The engines were underpowered, transmissions were weak, cabs were tinny sounding and very rattly. (Is that a word, rattly?) The doors in my 86 rattled from the day my Dad bought that truck in 1988. There was very little, if any, insulation in the cab. Mine was a non-AC truck in hot, humid VA summers; which made it even more uncomfortable. Did I mention the seats were all vinyl? What fun! LOL
But with all that said, why is it that we love these trucks so much? Quite simply, that underpowered, rattly, slow, sweatbox of a truck would do damn near anything I asked it to do? Even with only 2wd and an open diff, and about 85 hp on a good day; that truck could do things and go places that most 4x4's feared to tread. And if I had been smart about it when I wasn't quite 21 years old, I'd have rebuilt the motor and kept runnin' it for another 10-20 years; and might even still have it. The motor suffered a wiped cam lobe in 1997 so we decided to sell it.
 

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Actually, mine doesn't rattle.

Although it is a base model and doesn't have much for plastic interior trim.
 


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