1987 Ranger really high brake pedal


Daniel Black

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Leicester, NC
Vehicle Year
1986
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Ford
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
I've got an '87 Ranger with manual brakes and the pedal is very high. With some engine upgrades and no choke I sometimes have the need to heel/toe it at stop lights and it's impossible. The brake pedal is 10" higher than the gas pedal and only goes down about 2" at full brake. It's probably 2" higher than the clutch pedal. Is this normal? The brakes work fine. I have an '86 with power brakes and the pedal goes down right beside the gas pedal. I have noticed I can pick the brake pedal up to the dash with my foot and let it fall back down. The pushrod doesn't have any adjustment, it just hooks to the pedal and shoves into the master cylinder. I highly dought someone swapped it to manual brakes as the truck has no PS,no A/C, not even a radio, so it's definitely a base model. Anyone ever heard of this?
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 29781F0E77DE4B Expires: March 31, 2019

Mike Tonon

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
700
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
west central CT
Vehicle Year
2007
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
I've got an '87 Ranger with manual brakes and the pedal is very high. With some engine upgrades and no choke I sometimes have the need to heel/toe it at stop lights and it's impossible. The brake pedal is 10" higher than the gas pedal and only goes down about 2" at full brake. It's probably 2" higher than the clutch pedal. Is this normal? The brakes work fine. I have an '86 with power brakes and the pedal goes down right beside the gas pedal. I have noticed I can pick the brake pedal up to the dash with my foot and let it fall back down. The pushrod doesn't have any adjustment, it just hooks to the pedal and shoves into the master cylinder. I highly dought someone swapped it to manual brakes as the truck has no PS,no A/C, not even a radio, so it's definitely a base model. Anyone ever heard of this?
I’ve never heard of manual brakes on a Ranger. Can you post some pictures?
 

fangotango306

New member
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
372
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
sc michigan
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
ford
Engine Size
None yet
Transmission
Automatic
Ive had 2 1st gens with manual brakes. Both of mine were close to even with the clutch. Maybe 1/2" higher. IIRC the pushrod for power brake booster is longer. Maybe someone has replaced with mix and matched parts?
 

Daniel Black

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Leicester, NC
Vehicle Year
1986
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Ford
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
I didn't think that someone might've changed the pushrod. I'll try to compare it to my PB truck. Could rear brake adjustment or a sticking parking brake make the pedal high? I stopped using the parking brake because it kept sticking but the back brakes are still pretty tight. Im waiting on it to warm up so i can measure the drums and order everything i need to redo the rear brakes. Also, the rear end has been swapped in out of a newer Ranger. The rear has a plug for ABS but my truck doesnt have it. Could that cause any issues?
 

Denisefwd93

Active member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
1,967
Reaction score
8
Points
38
Location
South East PA
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
Actually Rangers have a very low gas pedal because the cable stretches. There is a wire tie fix to make up for the stretch in the cable,
 

fangotango306

New member
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
372
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
sc michigan
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
ford
Engine Size
None yet
Transmission
Automatic
No. Maladjusted or sticking breaks will have no affect on pedal placement. And the rear swap with abs will have nothing to do with your manual master cylinder. Im not sure on this one but the pedal box from a the early manual brake trucks may have been different too. For some reason i think the pivot was in a different location to allow more leverage. Ill do some digging in my parts horde to see what i can find.
 

fangotango306

New member
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
372
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
sc michigan
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
ford
Engine Size
None yet
Transmission
Automatic
Actually Rangers have a very low gas pedal because the cable stretches. There is a wire tie fix to make up for the stretch in the cable,
X10 on this too
 

Daniel Black

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Leicester, NC
Vehicle Year
1986
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Ford
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
The throttle cable is new. I broke the stock one when I was routing the cable for the Esslinger intake that needs to pull from the other side. The pivots seems to be higher up on the MB pedal than it is on my '86 with PB. And the pushrod seems to be the same but I didn't remove it to measure.
 

Mike Tonon

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
700
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
west central CT
Vehicle Year
2007
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
How do manual brakes compare to power brakes? Do you have to stand on them to get the vehicle to stop?
 

Daniel Black

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Leicester, NC
Vehicle Year
1986
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Ford
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
You don't really have to stand on the manual brakes. It might take a little more effort but it stops the same as power brakes. Plus the manual truck has a firm brake pedal. My power brake '86 has all new braking system and it still has a soft, squishy pedal. I hate that. It's like comparing a linkage and Z-bar clutch to a hydraulic clutch. A little more effort but it feels like you're doing something.
 

rusty ol ranger

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2007
Messages
3,118
Reaction score
46
Points
48
Location
Michigan
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9L
Transmission
Manual
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
How do manual brakes compare to power brakes? Do you have to stand on them to get the vehicle to stop?
I had a 79 F150 with manual brakes, honestly i almoat prefer them over power. There much eaiser to "modulate" on an icy road and really unless you got the legs of an 90yr old bedridden person, you should have no trouble stopping
 

Uncle Gump

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
335
Reaction score
2
Points
18
Location
Plano IL
Vehicle Year
2006
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
Rusty... you are old school to the core man. I am too... to a point. Give me power brakes and EFI on my driver everyday of the week.

If you wanna know the difference in feel between power and non power brakes? Go pull and plug the vacuum line on your brake booster and take a spin in it. That would be an extreme example... but you will get the idea in a big hurry.
 

Mike Tonon

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
700
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
west central CT
Vehicle Year
2007
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
If I ever build my 83-84 Ranger Perkins base model, short bed, I’ll incorporate manual brakes into the build! �� keep it nice and simple... and lightest weight possible.

I’m thinking:

-Light tan top, down to the body line where the handles are and gloss black under that. To make the cab somewhat bearable in the summer, with no A/C. Plus, the tops of the bed sides won’t show scratches and dents as much being tan, compared to black. And won’t be quite as hot in the summer, if you have to put your hands on it.

-Scrap the stock air filter and duct work for a cone filter mounted directly onto the intake. Maybe fabricate a shield for underneath it, to prevent hot air from going directly up into the intake.

-build a dash bezel out of a 1x10 piece of lumber.

-wood or imitation wood and aluminum or stainless trim bed bottom.

-brushed aluminum rear sliding window, possibly a cargo light.

-chrome grill, windshield surround and handles. Black metal mirrors, bumpers and stock hub caps with 15” steel stock silver rims. Custom metal Ranger fender emblems (looking original, but not peppering like the original chrome plastic ones).

-maybe the 5-speed over the 4-speed.
 
Last edited:

Daniel Black

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Leicester, NC
Vehicle Year
1986
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Ford
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
It's hard to get an idea from a picture of how high the pedal is but I can take my foot off the gas and easily fit it under The brake. The pedal is almost as high in my PB truck but that pedal goes down a long way when you put the brakes on. Something is different with the master cylinder, I was gonna buy a new one but my local parts stores only have power brake masters.
 

Attachments



Top