On March 13, 2010, Trucks! (TV show on Spike TV’s Powerblock network) announced that they would be working on a Ford Ranger project that would feature a V8 swap. They then went on to mention TheRangerStation.com on national television. Needless to say, The Ranger Station members watching that episode were pretty excited.
Trucks! is hosted by Kevin Tetz & Ryan Shand. They set out to wedge a Ford dual overhead cam 4.6 liter V-8 into a 2001 ‘Ranger’ based truck to build a smaller version of Ford’s Lighting. Since “Mini Lightening” didn’t sound that tough, they called it Project – Rolling Thunder!
While hunting for a 2001 Ranger, they came a cross a used 2001 Mazda B-series. The 2001 Mazda B-series, and Ford Ranger share the same cab and drivetrain. Even the sticker inside the door jamb says it’s manufactured by Ford. The Mazda does use different front fenders, lights, grill, and bumper to give it it’s own unique look.
When Kevin and Ryan started the build, Kevin started a thread about it in our forum under the username ‘kttrucks’. Click HERE to view it
2001 Mazda B-series pickup & Ryan Shand
Lifting off the body to remove the drivetrin
Supercharged Ford 4.6L V8
The truck was eventually listed for sale by Ryan Shand after the build was over.
Here is the description that was provided:
This was built on TRUCKS! TV as a streetable, high-powered track truck. It was featured in nearly 20 episodes covering the build up. Last year I took it to Barber Motorsports Park for an open track event and I’ve also run the truck at an American Street Car series event. It has been garage kept and only has about 200 miles on it since the build was completed. It runs really well and the tune has been perfect. It hauls ass on the straights and handles the curves like a well sorted car. Very fun to drive. It could also easily be converted back to a fast street truck by removing the cage and throwing carpet and “street” seats back in it. The door panels, dash and headliner are all there and in good shape. A ton of time was spent on the suspension to try to make this truck handle and perform as much like a car as possible. Spring rates, shock valving and sway bars were all engineered to work together and it shows. The wheelbase was stretched in the front by about 5.5” to help the F/R weight bias (which ended up being 54/46). The front fenders were reworked to accommodate this. Effort was made to relocate items (battery, fuel tank, I/C tank) to the rear of the truck and under the bed floor to help bias and keep the CoG low. It weighs in at around 3450 and you could easily pull more weight out. Lots of documentation and a few spare parts (pads, rotors, tuner, etc…) go with it. Way too many parts and details to list. There are 45 – 50K in parts alone on this one of a kind custom truck! The truck was painted by Kevin Tetz (former host of TRUCKS! and owner of Paintucation how-to DVDs)
Dyno results – 550hp/540tq at the wheels
(630-660hp at the crank when drivetrain losses are considered) on a Dynotech dyno (which typically read over 10% low compared to other dyno brands). You could also change out the blower pulley to add more boost and more power – if you want more!
I’ll also include a signed, TRUCKS! TV license plate, or a signed picture (by Kevin and myself, Ryan Shand) if the buyer would like.
I’ve tried to include a link to the payoff show but they won’t let me?!? Anyway, just search for Project Rolling Thunder payoff show # 19 to see the truck in action. Or just look on the PowerNation or PowerBlock websites for it or any of the 20 or so episodes it was in.
Trucks! Rolling Thunder Part 1 – Introduction / Disassembly
Trucks! Rolling Thunder Part 19 – Completed / At The Track
The Trucks! Build In The Ranger Station Forum