It Seems that every other week somebody is misinformed about the high rider or asking about it in one way or another so here is what I have come up with. My info came from either a Ford factory 1987 Ranger brochure, an ad from February 1987’s Field & Stream or from guys here at TRS along with my own experience.

During 1987 and 1988, the ‘High Rider’ STX offered a unique suspension with 1.5 inches more ground clearance than previous year’s 4×4 model.

We have since discovered that the same suspension was offered in 1989, but it was called a ‘Sport Rider’ STX. The Sport Rider STX package was available on the standard cab and Supercab Ford Rangers.

From the 1987 Ford Ranger Sales Brochure:

High Rider became available in 1987 only on regular cab STX models. “A list of 21 unique components was required to give the STX High Rider it’s increased vehicle height and greater handling performance” including a front mounted sway bar, a redesigned rear sway bar, new revalved gas shocks, new rear leaf springs, revised brake components, front drive shaft and transfer case. 140 Hp 2.9L V6 was standard with this package. The High Rider STX rides on P215/75Rx15SL outline-white-letter off-road tires. (from factory brochure)

All High Rider Ranger’s are STX models which includes “special accenting, sporty trim, tinted glass, black foldaway mirrors, black grille and bumpers, and new tape treatment” (from field and stream)

“STX features reclining cloth bucket seats in the Regular Cab model, or dual cloth Captain’s Chairs with individual recliners and power lumbar supports in the SuperCab. The door trim panels are cloth-covered and include carpeted map pockets. The steering wheel is wrapped in genuine leather. Standard sound system is electronic AM/FM stereo with digital clock and four speakers. In STX you also have pivoting front vent windows for added ventilation, a convenient trip odometer, and a tachometer on the instrument cluster to read the pulse of the STX’s electronically fuel-injected 2.9 liter V-6 engine.” (from factory brochure, also noted on the page that some equipment may be optional)

Question – Was the roll bar and brush guard an option or standard equipment on the STX?

Answer – It was optional, this is what the brochure says…

“The optional Sport Appearance Package – light bar** with off-road lights, grille guard with fog lamps, plus tubular rear bumper – is available to give your Ranger STX an even bolder performance image. **Light bar not intended for occupant protection.”


By far, the easiest way to identify the high rider is by the extra plate on the passenger side bracket, or by the blocks on the radius arm crossmember.

Note the differences (above) between the High Rider brackets left vs stock brackets right.

Note the differences (above) between the High Rider brackets left vs stock brackets right.

The top coil spring is a 1987 Ford Ranger STX High Rider, the bottom is a normal coil spring from a 1991 Ford Ranger STX

Driver side radius arm bracket riveted to the frame on a 1989 ‘Sport Rider’ STX

Blocks on drivers side radius arm crossmember on a 1989 ‘Sport Rider’ STX


Passenger side radius arm bracket riveted to the frame on a 1989 ‘Sport Rider’ STX


Some photos of pitman arms; The small one is from a 1991 Ford Ranger STX, the big one is from a 1987 Ford Ranger STX Highrider;

Here is a photo of a 1987 Ford Ranger STX High Rider radius arm bracket, stock, RIVETED in place.

If yours has one like this then it’s a High Rider.

In comparison, this is a pic of a ’91 STX [ NOT a High Rider ] radius arm bracket, stock, RIVETED in place.

Compare the rivet spacing and the three extra rivets on the High Rider bracket, there is also a block of steel between the frame and bracket that is 1-1/4″ thick. It’s welded to the bracket. In this photo I’ve taken that block out;

Ford Ranger STX High Rider passenger axle pivot bracket on left, non-High Rider on the right;

Ford Ranger STX High Rider drivers axle pivot bracket on right, non on left;

People have asked if the Ford Ranger STX High Rider TTB pivot brackets are still available from Ford. Ford no longer has them, but Autofab sells replacements that are the stock dimensions, but stronger:

 This beam pivot is a high quality recreation of the original Ford Ranger STX lift bracket that is no longer available from Ford. Our fabricated part bolts on in the stock location using original hardware. This part can be used for a stock type 2″ STX lift or with our cut and turned 4×4 Traction beams for a 6″ lift. This traction beam pivot bracket fits both Ford Ranger STX 4X4 and Explorer 4X4 trucks. ~ Autofab

Now you know why some suspension companies have special notations for the 1987-1988 Ranger STX’s. When adding a suspension lift to a 1987-1988 Ranger STX, you’ll get 1.5 inches less lift. You’ll still get the same amount of lift as other ‘normal’ Rangers though.


STX / High Rider / Sport Rider discussion thread

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