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Old 09-28-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
09/2014 OTOTM Winner

AgPete139's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 2,834
Vehicle Year: 1997
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Ranger XLT Xcab
I use this vehicle for: DD, hauling stuff, & getting me everywhere a car can't
Rep Power: 36
AgPete139 is a splendid one to beholdAgPete139 is a splendid one to beholdAgPete139 is a splendid one to beholdAgPete139 is a splendid one to beholdAgPete139 is a splendid one to beholdAgPete139 is a splendid one to beholdAgPete139 is a splendid one to beholdAgPete139 is a splendid one to behold

  • Odometer is obviously wrong from the cluster swap since the body shows way more wear (it says 107K, I'd put it way over closer to 200K)
  • Speedometer is off
  • Body mounts are totally shot
  • Radius arm bushings are totally shot
  • The stock 3.73 gearing on 35's (difficult to take out in 1st gear) due to the gearing
  • Air conditioning is leaking, doesn't hold a charge for long
  • Peeling tint
  • Alignment
  • Sputtering at idle, sometimes times
  • Brakes don't stop vehicle, pumping the pedal is necessary. Lots of brake fade.
  • Transmission sounds
  • Hubs don't always disengage
  • Dented tailgate with malfunctioning lock
  • Tailgate rattles, and pops out if I go over a large bump
  • Broken driver mirror
  • Clutch was on it's last leg (from the short-tall gearing), lots of slipping
  • Shudder upon takeoff in first (don't suspect u-joints, since it only happens for 400 rpms in first gear)
  • All ball joints are bad

I got the truck 5 years ago as a mess that worked, but not well. It's stayed relatively the same-looking externally, but it's a big change in performance, capability, reliability!!, and functionality. It didn't brake, had a horribly stiff ride, and wouldn't start.

Bucket seat mod:

"TRS Banner Mod"

Got rid of that nasty, smoked, stained carpet ($119.00 shipped):

Replaced broken, unpowered driver side mirror:


Once, I was driving through a parking lot, and my wheel fell off and rolled past me. I band-aided the problem, and ran on 3 studs for quite some time. I thought it was my mistake that after the drum brake rebuild, I didnt tighten the lugs to spec.
A few months later, it ALMOST happened again on the highway @ 70 mph. The wheel was chewed up, and I realized that this wasn't my fault...twice.

The guy that sold me the truck used the wrong lug nuts, and they were bottoming out on the studs. I was so pissed.

I initially thought my brakes just couldn't stop the 35's, and then I realized I was actually getting major brake fade from all the heat that was being built up. I installed new wheels bearings, drilled & slotted rotors, and new premium pads up front.

Brake fade occurs when parts are worn and out of alignment / warped. Bad wheel bearings create axial forces on the rotor, generating more heat.
Bad wheel bearings can also come from bad radius arm bushing support.
Also, make sure you have wheel studs that center the wheel and are not bottoming out on the studs.

You can see where the rear tire rolled off and hit the door. Fullsize spare was mounted, since the wheel was FUBAR.

  • 4.0L Pacesetter headers & Y-pipe
  • Skyjacker extended radius arms, trans x-member, raised coil buckets

This is at the Texas State Capitol, in Austin, TX:

Here, you can see the most recent photo. Ill try to dig up where I put the rest of the photos (from in progress).

(This mini section added 11/15/2011.)

I forgot to include the center support / carrier bearing for my 2 piece driveshaft. I tried to find a 98+ 4WD replacement, but couldn't find one nearby in a crunch. So, I did two things:

1.) Took my old one off, and warrantied this stock one out for a bearing I replaced on my other Ranger 5 years ago at Autozone. Turns out it was gonna take 5 days to arrive, but I ordered it and picked it up later anyways as a new spare.

2.) Went to my favorite O'Reilly's and they had it in stock. Better guys overall, anyways. Used this $20 Timken for the actual replacement that day.


************************************************** *****************

ES9000's work great.

Very pleased on the 35's BFG M/T. I have different Skyjacker coils, and I'm going to try and see if those yield a better street ride as a DD. As soon as the new James Duff body mounts arrive and radius arm bushings, hopefully everything will come back into spec and eliminate the shaking.

Smooth ride, and takes the little bumps easily. The bigger ones I'm still getting bumpsteer, but that's because of my drag & TRE angles relative to the pitman.

I'm curious if an additional shock on the front tower will help as well, and used in place of the front swaybar mount.

Here's a pic of when the wheel almost fell off at 70mph on the highways, due to the previous owners choice of wheel studs. I guess I have always been been lucky for the last 1.25 years (8 months of it was spent on jackstands). The lugnut/wheel interface is so close, that it seemed to be right. I guess I was too trusting that that hardware was right when I picked it up that way.

I had to cut my wheel off, and found this:

Rebuilt with new guts & upgraded pads & rotors:

New internal 4WD guts, and used hub lockouts form a fellow TRS-er:

New shocks, nothing special:

Worn body bushing:

When I got the tonneau cover, ~ 1 month ago for $100. The lock still requires adjustment, and it still needs to be painted black:

This is only the plug for the new center console that I am building. I have since cut holes and shaved it down to fit, and am currently running that as a console to see if I like it. It is going to be glassed, house switches, cup holders, a storage compartment, and a place for my wallet & phone with a built in charger. I will also add an additional keyed-on 12V source. I am contemplating a 300W power inverter.

Also, had a get together with Northern & PHDPrerunner.

Still have these from my last Ranger. I wonder if I'll ever get around to installing them, along with the Skyjacker crossmember.
Green Ranger Build:
1997 Ranger Ext 4.0L 5spd BW1354M, ~7" lift Deaver springs & Explorer leaves, front D44 welded 4.88, rear Expo 8.8" autolocker, 35x12.50x15 KM2's, 1.25" DOM front bumper, shock towers + buckets, communication & stereo bits


Last edited by AgPete139; 09-12-2014 at 10:26 AM.
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