• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

1987 4WD “Rick-storation”


Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
This is a follow up to my posts on “I swore never again” and “87 4WD insurance.“

I’m keeping my fingers crossed, But I think Grundy is going to let me cover this truck on my collector policy. They don’t usually cover pick up trucks, but I’ve had insurance with them for 12 years on many cars. I have to sign a document that I won’t go charging through the woods, which I wouldn’t do anyway, and they’ll also perhaps allow it because I’ve got the F250 on my regular car policy, and that’s what I use whenever I actually have to work. The Grundy policy excludes using it for any kind of business, but that’s OK. Right now I have very clean 1978, 1987 and 1988 Lincolns with them for $520 a year for full coverage for all. They quoted me a price of $75/yr for full coverage on this Ranger with an agreed value of $6000, but it’s got to get approved by the higher ups. Y’all keep your fingers crossed. If they agree, I only have to put down $29 for the rest of this year! That’s a little bit better than every other quote I got which was over $1000 a year!

The Build: I’m going to try to do the cheapest build I can do for little or no money, with a “Rick-stoleum” roller paint job, and end up with something decent, no hot rod, no-show truck, just functional that will still get some good nods and smiles (& probably some sneers!).

Start/basis: I am starting with a 1987 short bed short cab 4WD 5-spd given to me on my birthday for free with a blown motor. Everything electric works like new, and it’s my understanding all the running gear is good, but I’ll have to check that once I get it running. It’s in black primer, but straight and rust free except for one front fender that has obviously been changed at some point. I already have a replacement.

The local 2.9v6 “T” I found with all accessories for $500 had been sitting for a couple years. When the yard tried to fire it up, they couldn’t get it to run. I’m passing.

On eBay, I found a 2.9 V6 “T” that had been rebuilt, that has the improved heads, with about 40,000 miles on it. Truck got wrecked. Yard owner knows the guy for many years and I talked to the guy who scrapped it. They gave a decent guarantee for a few months, I feel pretty good about it and I bought it. $900 but no accessories. It’s being shipped in now. I found a friend of a friend who keeps an ambulance fleet running, and he’s going to put it in for $500.

Trailers and Parts and Eating peanuts: so other than the trucks I had in the company where was part owner, I’ve never owned a Ranger (& they were new, sold after 3years), but now I have the fever, the infection, the disease, and as the saying goes “I’m eat up with them!”

Just for fun, I‘m going to build a Ranger short bed trailer (or two or three) to match this little ranger, and maybe a second one to go behind my F250. I never liked the trailers made from just cutting the frame, so I located a couple of little utility trailers (like $350 Harbor Freight) for little money, that will easily bolt right under the bed, and I plan on using the Ranger wheels. They’ll yield about 1,200-1,500# payload with improved brake axles that I already have. I doubt I’ll ever put that much weight in them, but I’m going to do it right so they can sell when I’m done later. Got both for $450 with good wheels and tires and some extras. I’m going to level the trailers to match the truck level, and use the Ranger mag wheels, and sell the wagon trailer wheels and such. Then I found a clean short bed for an 87 Ranger just like mine, and bought it. I grabbed the very clean rust free bed & tailgate and lights/harnesses, eight very cheap but very clean OEM mag wheels (4 with good tires) and a few other parts for $300. Then I found a complete 87 2wd with no engine and trans that is otherwise exactly like mine for $150, very straight and no rust. & now I found another short bed for $80, one tiny rust spot, tailgate and lights. I didn’t get that one yet, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I wasn’t born in the south, but living here since 1979, I’ve learned some southern ways. It’s like eating peanuts: once you start you can’t stop!!!

i’m going to start with the trailers while the engine is being swapped, mostly to get all the extra junk off my property in back. so I don’t look like Sanford and son. I plan on posting pictures here, some PDF documents/drawings on what I’m doing and how/why I’m doing it, and posting a couple of videos on YouTube. I have done projects like this many many times, but not in a while, it’s my hobby and my passion but not my career, but I’ve never documented one before. I hope it’s not too big a pain in the ass!

More peanuts: And in closing, let me say that I just found a 1993 2WD stick shift ranger that is straight and clean with a good interior, but the paint is peeling. It is supposed to run good with cold air conditioning, trans good, but it needs a clutch. The guy lives in an apartment and he is not allowed to work on it and I guess he’s short of funds. If I can hear it run and check it out a little bit, he only wants $550 and he said that’s negotiable, so I’m going to grab it. If I do, the plan will include taking the second running truck, taking off the bed, adding a second idler axle in the back, and making a mini tractor trailer. I did this once before around 1990 with a tiny Datsun pickup truck. We painted it up like my red F250 with the company logos on it, and we used that as a break wagon and like a company mascot. On that one I put a Chevy 350 with an auto tranny. Crazy fun, but you could snap the drive shaft by breathing hard!

if I pick up that one, I’ll have three Rangers with two extra beds, and I was never looking for even one. So I’m also going to go to therapy too. I’m going to look at it in a couple hours.

I’ll post pictures here as I go...
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 7FA902352B4C01: April 5th, 2021

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
Okay, HELP ME Q #1: did ford make a chrome grill for the 1993 Ranger? Or just silver/black?
 

Saddle Tramp

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
345
Reaction score
263
Points
63
Location
Florida
Vehicle Year
2011
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
This is the closest I could find to a chrome grille.

47049
1598655293895.png
 

RobbieD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
376
Points
83
Location
Georgia
Vehicle Year
1984,1990,1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
My credo
Toonces drives a Ranger . . . . just not very well.
I don't see a chrome grille in the '93 Ranger brochure, but it looks like the '94 models had one. 1993 and 1994 Ranger grilles should be interchangeable.

47057
 

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
Update, I bought the ‘93: Short cab short bed, 2.3 4-cylinder. The truck looks like crap, beat up all around, but that 2.3 L purrs, And I’m pretty sure the problem with it is that the guy doesn’t know how to bleed the funky master cylinder that points up hill. I didn’t pay much but it was still a fair price considering the condition of the truck. I’m going to grab the 15 inch mag wheels, which are hard to find here in Atlanta, and I’m going to grab the OEM XLT seats, and probably some other small stuff, but a lot of it does not translate to my 87 4WD.

I’m going to bleed the clutch cylinders and see if that makes it drive-able. It will be up for grabs in Atlanta for pennies if anybody is interested. Again, I’ll post a few pictures.
 

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
Oh, and I will let it go, no mini tractor trailer right now....
 

RobbieD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
376
Points
83
Location
Georgia
Vehicle Year
1984,1990,1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
My credo
Toonces drives a Ranger . . . . just not very well.
Hey @Rick W , please do post a couple of pics of this '93. I might be in the market for a cheap beater daily driver, and it looks like we're relatively close. Thanks, man.
 

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
RobbieD,

I did buy it. I’ve learned more about it. I’m taking the wheels and tires, I think the mags are wider than the OEM 15” mags, 2 tires good. The engine purrs, I’m told the 5-sp tranny is ok, I think clutch may be ok and it’s only the master/slave cylinder.

I think the body was used for testing by a ball pine hammer company. Another candidate for a “Rick-stoleum” paint job. The picture side here is the good side, right rear bumper and corner of bed crunched in a little, right front fender crunched a little. Parking lot stuff, I don’t think there’s any damage to the frame or anything like that. I haven’t checked it for rust yet.

Brakes are decent on the third or fourth pump. Emergency brake holds on almost level ground. Every light and lens broken!

interior is dirty but decent, but again, I’ll swap that with the 87. I can’t check it more right now since I locked both doors, not realizing the driver side handle won’t open the door and the passenger side (and ignition) are different keys! I guess this would be a good parts truck because it seems to have parts from a whole bunch of others!

on a serious note, I don’t have any time to tinker around with any of my toys right now with something going on with work, so it’s probably going to be at least a month before I check it out and do the things I want to do. I’m also old and grumpy I can’t get things done as I used too!!

Now having said all that, I’ll let you know before I get rid of whatever is left of it. I’m in Dunwoody. Be careful what you wish for…
 

Attachments

RobbieD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
376
Points
83
Location
Georgia
Vehicle Year
1984,1990,1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
My credo
Toonces drives a Ranger . . . . just not very well.
Rick W

Thanks! I've sent you a PM; we can discuss.

I’m also old and grumpy I can’t get things done as I used too!!
Me too, brother!
 

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
87 4WD update: the engine has shipped!!! It’s supposed to be here 9/8. Having caught the fever, I ordered a new pressure plate clutch package with the hydraulics for $250 from rock auto. They said I could return the pieces I don’t use. The plan is to tow the truck down with Big Red on the 8th or 9th when the clutch parts come in. The engine is being shipped straight to the mechanic.

Ranger trailers update: I bought 3 cheap trailers already and a 4th I have not picked up yet.
#1T (Keeper) is a 4x8 like they sell at Harbor Freight ($280). I’m going to swap the axle with a 5 bolt I have and move the axle back, truck box on the frame in front. With a tiny modification underneath, the short Ranger Bed should drop right on the 48” with a couple 2 x 2 square tubes running the length. I already got an aluminum diamond plate toolbox for the front end of the trailer ($50).
#2T (keeper) I got a 56“ x 66“ bed trailer with a long tongue that had a little box bed that looks like interstate guardrails made out of the corrugated steel you use to pour concrete decking. No joke. It used to be a double JetSki trailer, built very very strong. I plan to narrow it up to just under 4 feet and I’m going to try to find a 7 foot bed to put on that one. If not, I’ll use one of the 6s I have. I scored a big ABS drop in toolbox for in front of the frame ($25).
#3T (horse trade/flip) is a very bizarre homemade motorcycle trailer ($200), also built like a brick outhouse, with the frame made out of 1-1/2” pipe or tubing, with the three channel rails for the dirt bikes. I’m going to take the channel rails off, and lengthen it with 2x2 sq tubing, and put the short bed from the ‘93 2wd I picked up on that one, it’ll be fugly, but solid and safe and I’m just going to give it an even quicker/cheaper Rick-stoleum paint job and flip it.
#4T (Keeper) is an old welding trailer that has a 5 bolt axle underneath that has the brake flanges. The bed is 4’ x 6’ and the tongue is 5 feet long, another brick outhouse, pintle hitch. I plan on throwing one of the short beds I have on that one over some square tubing.
#5T (maybe) will be some sort of low-boy 2 brake-axle car hauler that I will build if the 93 2wd is worth fooling with for little money. I’m already working on a hitch plate design for the truck when I add the second axle. If I make the lowboy, I’m going to make the fifth wheel overhang where it bolts on and can come off, and I’m going to drill the holes for a pintle hitch that I can bolt on and off so I could use it with either truck. (ranger Rig or Big Red). I picked up a couple of A.R.E. fI’ll size truck caps for little money, Great shape, the really good ones like AT&T uses and I am hoping to trade one or both for an existing flatbed 2-axle trailer with brakes that I can modify instead of having to build one from scratch. I’m hoping to build the trailer large enough to hold my 6,000# Lincoln 78 mark V. If I can’t kill myself with that set up I guess I’m just never going to go! Those caps are available if anybody wants one of them, contact me offline. $3,000 new, I’m less than $1,000.

Ranger Beds: #1B The blue bed in the picture below temp sitting on the 4x8 trailer. That’s the one I got ($300) with the eight 14” mag outlaw II wheels and some other parts. Straight, no rust.
#2B is the beat up bed from the 93 2WD I picked up. Whether I keep the truck or sell the truck for the running gear, taking that bed off and flipping it won’t make a difference. It’s like a one or two hour project
#3B is the short brown bed in the attached picture. I got it for $100 with the tailgate and the lights and the harnesses, etc.
#4B Will be the bed from the “ranger in the weeds” that I bought for $150. The gal is cleaning all the junk out of it and away from it so I can come down with some R&B* tires and drag it home. I’m taking the bed and the tailgate and the lights, etc., grille, lights, etc. I’m going to sell the wheels on that one, they’re aftermarket mags, grab whatever else I need and for spares and then probably scrap the frame and cab if anyone’s interested. It will be well stripped. Straight, no rust.

This weekend I plan to run down the pull a part, I saw an explorer with outlaw II 15” mags i couldn't grab last week. I need to see if they’re 4.5, 5 or 5.5 pattern. If they’re 4.5 I’m going to grab them, Maybe even if they’re 5 x 5. I have a couple 5x 5 brake axles in the “shed of miracles”. But I prefer to keep them 4.5 if I can.

When I go to South Atlanta to pick up the welder trailer in a week or so, I’m gonna look at a few more toolboxes that a guy has down there for $50 or less. I scour craigslist daily for parts for the dreams (a/k/a fantasies or delusions) and when I see a bargain, I grab it. If I get it at a bargain I can always turn around and sell it if I don’t use it, but of course I hardly ever do that which is why the “shed of miracles” is full of 40-years of parts. A lot of times my “design” will change based on what I’m able to find cheap. My mom and dad lived in the depression, and I learned very well…

* R&B tires = “round and black” vs RFT= round flat tires. When I do these things, I always put better wheels and tires on the trailer’s, so I have a pile of the trailer bullet hole and wagon wheels in 13, 14 and 15 inch. I always keep them around just in case, but I’ve got way too many of them now so that will probably come into play to pay for some of the tinkering as well.

I’ll keep ya posted!
 

Attachments

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
I missed a couple pictures in the junk yard last night. Damn Ambien! Tool boxes, cheap weirdo trailers. BTW, on these trailers, almost every one came with a spare tire and tongue jack, chains and good lights. That stuff adds up and never goes to waste if you fiddle with this stuff.

I also have several of these crank-style 1970s-80s Mercedes Benz jacks. Very stout, very heavy duty, not the flimsy bare minimum stamped sheet metal you see on most cars. If I do the lowboy, I’m thinking of putting one on each front corner, running a rod from one to the other, so that I can crank them both from one side, and maybe using a windshield wiper motor (reversible) or such to crank them cuz I’m a feeble and lazy old man. I’ve done something similar before. They could be jacked up 90% of the way with one of those 12v battery 3/8 inch impact wrenches. It beats cranking the model T in the sun!!

& there was another fugly harbor freight 4x8 on Craigslist today for $100. I emailed, haven’t heard back yet. I’m guessing I’m getting dirty between the brews this weekend....
 

Attachments

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
Ok, next Question. I have accumulated eight or 10 of the plastic wheel hubs. Half of them are black, and they’ll be fine when I clean them up, but the other half are the plastic that has the chrome plating on it. A lot of this chrome is peeling and in bad condition. Does anybody have any wisdom on how to treat that, understanding that I’m just going to paint them. I don’t want to get all the chrome off I just wanna peel it back or if there’s something I could dip them in or??? Any advice greatly appreciated. Remember this is a zero budget project.

I also grabbed the aluminum diamond plate toolbox in the picture for $10. It’s an excellent condition. I was planning on putting a 2 inch receiver tube on the front of the 87 4WD, but I was hesitant because of how it would look. Now I’m thinking I’ll build a little frame, and put this toolbox on top of it, and put the receiver tube below it so it’s not so obvious. I’ll put a couple of posts on the corners with lights on top like the tractor trailers have where I can see it from the cab, and that’ll give me a place to store the parts for the winch. When I build the frame and put the receiver in it, I’ll come back a few inches from the front and put a couple of D rings, one on each side. I have all this junk in the shed of miracles already. But again, comments appreciated.

I spent a few hours at the pull a part yesterday. I got three more 15 inch outlaw two wheels, but I think they are narrower than the 15 inches that came on the 93. Hopefully I’ll measure them later today. I also got another 15 inch steel wheel with the trim that matches the 4WD NOW, and another 14 inch outlaw which I think makes nine. Again, my plan is to have the trucks match the trailers.

I also got a couple of door locks with key, a fender for the 93, a tailgate trim piece, and every one of the wheels came with a center. $119, I don’t think I did that bad (except it was 90 degrees and the old fart almost cracked!)
 

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
That’s “croaked!” I also got two pairs of the 87 tail lights.
 

Rick W

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
235
Points
43
Age
65
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9v6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” ?
Total Drop
Stock
Tire Size
235/75-15 wranglers
My credo
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
Question: for the 1993 short bed short cab, does anyone make a blank for where the mirrors are mounted in the front of the windows? I’m thinking of adding wider door-mounted mirrors.

& I’m still seeking help on getting the flaking chrome off the wheel hubs?

all comments good or bad, always welcome!
 

ericbphoto

How long did it take me to find this?
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
7,902
Reaction score
4,432
Points
113
Age
56
Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
That chrome peels off all by itself if you’re patient.
 


Top