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For Sale 1985 Ranger XL w/5.0 Swap, 6" lift and 45k miles - Graham, NC


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U.S. Military - Veteran
V8 Engine Swap
Mar 18, 2016
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Hey ya'll. I'm Jason. I've been lurking here for years, studying the forums and watching all your projects, so it's time to add mine to the mix.

I originally found the site looking for information on a fuel pump issue, but eventually found the info on the 5.0 / 302 swaps. After seeing it was possible and not wanting to throw more money into the anemic 2.8 V6, I pulled the trigger and had my 85 Ranger upgraded - and it was an amazing success (if you're ever in the Pinellas Park area of Florida, I highly recommend working with Tubby's Customs). She's been one hell of a truck ever since. I'm just going to copy / paste the Autotrader Classics ad that I have out there, but offer a discount to anyone who is an active and established forum member here - I'd rather she go to a collector than some rando who is just going to sell her again.

Here's the ad

Here's the description:

Meet Fiona - (Purchased in Florida / Lives in North Carolina = Fiona). Originally from Michigan, she lived most of her life as an garage kept weekend off-roader, with all the custom modifications made in 1988. She is the dream truck that anyone who grew up in the 80's wanted. Lifted (6") with armor underneath, sitting on 32" Cooper STT Pros and original Harley Davidson 15" Billet wheels. The original bench seat was replaced with a pair of bucket seats out of a Mustang, analog gauges sit ontop of the steering column, and an original CB radio (included, but not installed) sat underneath the dash. A 3" steel roll cage was included inside the cab along with exterior roll bars in the bed which house KC Hi-Lites facing forward (spots), backwards (flood) and on the sides (flood), all controlled by switches above the mirror. In the front, she has two fog lights attached to a steel bull / brush guard, along with a winch (with remote) and recovery hooks. In the bed, two baja-style jump seats are bolted in with 5-point harnesses, a wheel hub storage box and two torque supports were installed to prevent bed flexing. The gas tank has been upgraded to a 16 gallon and the original tape deck has been replaced with a Kenwood USB head unit. A dash camera and backup camera have been installed with a MicroSD recording capability, hung over the top of the original rearview mirror - it has GPS capability but just lacks an antenna.

In the engine bay, professional modifications were made in 2018 by Tubby's Customs (Pinellas Park, FL) and Greg's Classic Auto (Durham). The original 2.8 V6 was replaced with a crate Ford 302 V8 roller motor (carbed, 4 barrel), which has approximately 2000 miles on it, feeding into glass packed 3" exhaust. Engine mounts have been custom fabricated and factory A/C was installed. The transmission and rear end are original, however the front locking hubs have been replaced.

As with any classic vehicle, she has some minor issues. The time in Florida was not kind to her paint, and some of the original hand-painted pinstripes have faded away. There is some heat discoloration on the driver's side hood that is into the paint and will need a more serious reconditioning. Lastly there is some surface rust on her chrome recovery hooks and because the gas tank is a higher capacity replacement from the 80's, the neck is a little too narrow to take in a full throttle filling, so when you put gas in, you have to feather it or pull the trigger half way, otherwise it overflows and spills.
Overall, she's a wonderful head turning truck. I'm only parting with her because she's too pretty to throw another two yards of mulch in the back or go bogging through the mud with. She's more than capable of all those things and then some.


Q: Is she the cleanest show ready truck you've ever seen?
A. Nope. She's been used as an actual truck for the last few years, and that includes hauling yards of mulch and playing around in the mud. I've done my best to keep her clean with hand washing and she's been recently show detailed, but I'm under no illusion that she's some pristine restoration. With that being said, she's garage kept, currently under a cover, and hasn't been used since being detailed. No body or frame rust (a small amount on the tow hooks). No damage at all. She looks amazing. Pictures are recent but I have some older ones from when I bought her.

Q: You're asking a lot at $22,500. Like a whole lot more than other trucks for sale. Are you willing to come down on the price?
A. Of course. I know I'm asking a lot, not because I've spent a lot (I have) but because she's worth it. If you're looking to buy it and flip it for a profit, this is not for you. She's been part of the family for the last 5 years, and you would have to search for years to find something comparable - I know because I searched for this one for two years before pulling the trigger. So the price is set based upon personal value, not the market and not for resale. I'm not looking to get rich off of selling her, I'm looking for the right buyer. I'd rather she goes to a Ranger enthusiast and not just someone looking to flip it.

Q: Would you have the truck delivered?
A. Yes. I work in the automotive industry and have access to nationwide shipping. Estimate $1.50 a mile from 27253.

Q: What forms of payment would you accept?
A. Cashier's check only, or if you go through a classic auto financing company, a lien check. You can look at your options with Hagerty or Lightstream. I currently used Hagerty for insurance, and recommend them. No, this is not an advertisement, no I don't get any kind of endorsements or kickbacks. I'm just trying to facilitate my truck to going to a good home.

Q: Do you have spare parts available?
A. I have quite a few extras sitting around, including her 5 channel amp, 2 10" subs, and various air cleaners, carbs and a throttle body. All the straps for the 5-Point harnesses are in the tool box and I even have spares for the KC-HiLites.

Q: Any title issues or liens?
A. Nope. I have the title. It's clean. Never been in an accident. Clean CarFax.

Thanks for looking at Fiona. I hope she's the right truck for one of you.


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