1988 Ranger Restoration - Keeping a Promise




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85_Ranger4x4

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PetroleumJunkie412

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I think you are right.

Look the frame over really really good too, especially behind brackets like the front spring mounts.

You might need a truck...
No joke, I have a perfect frame sitting here. Still trying to track down either a Thunderbird IRS or a fX4 8.8.. Dana 35 is sitting here ready to go as well.

New fenders are here, and a bed much better than the current one. Literally have everything I need to totally reconstruct from the ground up. Only thing missing is a cab that is worth a damn.

At this point, I'm virtually building a truck from scratch. And I'm okay with that.
 
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Bird76Mojo

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The FX4 LVLII 8.8" axles aren't that hard to find if you have a yard search for you. But get ready to have your wallet violated.

Now that I own one (mind you, it's being 100% street driven behind a V8) I'd go with something else as far as locker/limited slip..
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Explorer 8.8, I went that route and there are piles of Explorers in yards if I ever need anything.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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Yard that I use is $66 for any solid axle with brakes and all 🙌🏿
Just going to wait on whichever is first, the IRS or the FX4.


Side note: These guys rolled into town in 2017. Since then, every single junkyard in Pittsburgh has been going out of business.

Place is always packed.

During the warm weather months,all engines are 99 out the door, and every Tuesday all Transmissions are 100 out the door. Doesnt matter what it is.

Every other weekend is 50% off everything, and they do at least one all yiu can carry day for $76.

Selling them any vehicle, running or non running, is $750.

Freaking. Love. Them.
 

racsan

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Yard that I use is $66 for any solid axle with brakes and all 🙌🏿
Just going to wait on whichever is first, the IRS or the FX4.


Side note: These guys rolled into town in 2017. Since then, every single junkyard in Pittsburgh has been going out of business.

Place is always packed.

During the warm weather months,all engines are 99 out the door, and every Tuesday all Transmissions are 100 out the door. Doesnt matter what it is.

Every other weekend is 50% off everything, and they do at least one all yiu can carry day for $76.

Selling them any vehicle, running or non running, is $750.

Freaking. Love. Them.
damn... if only I could load up dads junk S-blazers and my daughters 2 toasted compact cars (and the ‘94 F250) $3,750
 

85_Ranger4x4

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FX4LII or equivalent stuff is stupid scarce around me.

I have seen two, neither had rear axles in them when I found them. Someone robbed the shift knobs out of one but I made off with the levers. 2 years later I have yet to see another one.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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FX4LII or equivalent stuff is stupid scarce around me.

I have seen two, neither had rear axles in them when I found them. Someone robbed the shift knobs out of one but I made off with the levers. 2 years later I have yet to see another one.
If I spot one, want me to grab anything for you?
 

85_Ranger4x4

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If I spot one, want me to grab anything for you?
The chrome shift levers are worth decent money if you come across them.

I think I am good, the trans shifter is about all that really fits my truck (and I had to modify the shifter stub for mine to work)
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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So lots of recent updates and modifications. (Will add pics later from my phone)

Two major modifications I have been waiting on completing are installed: The Volvo EPAS electric over hydraulic steering, and the Merkur/Sierra twin TB intake.


_20190820_150355.JPG


The Merkur intake made a difference according to the megasquirt. It took my volumetric efficiency from an average of 83% at WOT to around 93%. Throttle response and mid-range throttle position driving are greatly improved, as well as acceleration. The truck definitely has a LOT more 'bite' when you get into the pedal, and responds much more smoothly when out on the highway. Idle is a dream now. So much smoother. It was an easy conversion, and I'm not sure if it merits a tech article or not. Overall, this was VERY worth doing, and really improved the feel and output of my engine. I am still tuning fuel and spark to match the improvements made by this intake, and will update tables once I get it close enough.

A very special thank you to @kunar and Jeff Herston over at Merkur Parts Midwest. If you wind up looking to do the same conversion, Jeff's email is blugg@msn.com.


Total of the parts involved were:

Intake and throttle body
Scorpio Throttle bracket, linkage, and return spring
Scorpio Throttle cable (note: fitment on this isn't great; the cable is far too long. May have a custom one made out of the current one
Scorpio Cruise Control cable
3" to dual 2.5" splitter pipe (amazon)
Two 2.5" silicone intake couplers (amazon)
3" dryer-hose style eBay ram air/cold air intake.
Six 120mm bolts (ebay) Note: 110mm are needed, however my setup required 120mm due to phenolic intake spacers
I ported my intake. Was far easier to port than the stock ranger one.
2.9 intake gasket with extra Scorpio "tail" on it. If you ever wondered what the extra hole in your lower intake is for cylinders 1 and 4, now you know.
Scorpio TPS sensor
S745 wiring pigtail for the Scorpio sensor. They are very common on Volvo vehicles. Mine is the pigtail from a V70XC MAP sensor.
Various 1/4" NPT barbs, elbows, and T fittings.
Various 1/4" and 3/16" tubing

Your ranger IAC will work, but the pigtail side will face towards the core support. Don't make the mistake I did and hook it up in reverse.

Ok, fine, I'll write a tech section article...

I'm still considering picking up a Scorpio lower intake. The design of it is very different than the Ranger's, but it fits. I'm hesitant to do so because i have at least 40+ hours into porting my Ranger lower. Hmmm...

I also noticed a trick from the Merkur guys where they block off their lower intake coolant ports on the XR4Ti models. Need to look at a spare set of 2.9 heads to see if this can be done. The guys that have done it report 30+ degree drops in intake manifold temperatures. Doesn't seem that significant, but I can definitely notice when my intake drops in temp. When my IAT sensor reports 70-80 degrees, the engine is a LOT peppier than when it is 130-140 (hot start condition, or sitting in traffic).

Oh, and unless you use the Merkur air box, you will have to figure out a re-route for your air cleaner. The setup I have did not clear the Ranger power steering pump.




Speaking of power steering...


_20190817_175452.JPG


Volvo EPAS conversion is done.

I know I know, ive been really beating this one to death on the forum. But I seriously cannot stress enough how much this improves the handling on a first gen. It feels modern.

Had to have a custom PS hose made at a Hose Xpress shop. Was around $100 to have made up (OUTCH!!). Worth it though, since I paid $14 for the pump. This one is absolutely getting a tech section article.

It is NOT one of the electric steering mods that others have done, and requires no cutting or welding. Just drilling a few holes. I'm sure if you were a little more creative with space and not as worried about cramming a supercharger under your hood, you would be able to get away without having a hose made up. The stock Ranger hose has the correct ends on it to fit the Volvo pump.

Wiring is easy as hell. Make sure to get the pigtails (there are two) when you get your pump, and the bracket it hangs in. Big red and black cables to battery, and grey 16 gauge wire to ignition on/off. When the key is put to 'run,' the pump will kick on after 3-4 seconds, and back off a few seconds after the truck is shut off. I'll run through the wiring, etc in a tech article.

Coolest thing to me is that there is no strain at all on the engine when turning from lock to lock, and that my power steering works when the engine is not running. The only thing I don't like is the system is not as responsive as I'd like it to be when making tight parking lot maneuvers. I think this is because I am used to loose steering. You just have to turn the wheel slower, or it becomes too stiff to turn. I'm going to dump some friction modifier into the reservoir to see if this helps. Otherwise, I'll have to figure out the commands for the assist level wiring.

It handles better on the highway now, though. No more getting blown around by wind and trucks. Potholes and divots don't jerk the wheel at all now, either.

Others have used these pumps for everything from dump beds to hydraulic jacks. Not sure of the GPM rating (I think its 2-4, but cant recall), but total available output is 1700 psi. There's a lot of cool stuff I've thought about doing with it. Open to suggestions as well.

Put a set of 1-2" lift shackles in the rear to straighten out my driveshaft angles. Jeepin' days taught me the lessons on that one. Not a great idea to have your u-joints on a bind. Mine were, mostly due to the 1750 lb springs. The shackles I picked up had 1" and 2" holes. I used the 1". Much quieter now, and truck doesn't look too raked out.

Rigged a water/methanol injection system in. Still tuning that. Going with the blue washer fluid for now. Doing this in prep for the blower (I know ill have to overdrive it, so want a chemical intercooler) and to mitigate carbon from how freaking cranked my fuel is versus stock levels. Also supposed to help with detonation. Will report as I get it dialed in more. Cheap as hell to build, though. Most expensive part was the nozzle at $33.

Have a knock sensor from a 4.0 SOHC sitting here that I need to wire in as well. Need to do some reading on how to adjust for it with the megasquirt. I do get some labor knock on hills at times, and the only way to mitigate it is take timing back to power-loss levels. So, we shall see.

Wired in the 1995 ranger under-hood fuse box. Won't do that one again. Woudl have been much cheaper and easier to get an aftermarket box. Half of the damn relays are useless for accessories due to their stock wiring. At least it looks like its meant to be there, Ford part and all.

Tossed a stupid ricer aluminum radiator overflow bottle in, and an aluminum washer fluid tank. Needed a different tank for methanol, and wanted to clear out more room for the blower. Goodbye, plastic crap tanks!

Moved my charcoal can to the back of the truck to make more room. Probably going to grab one out of a toyota or Dodge at the scrap yard to replace mine with. Most of them mount horizontally, so will fit under the bed easier.

Still doing prep for the Trail Ride in September. Have to represent the 2.9, so may as well have my butchered cancer patient looking FINE.

I really wanted to be on FI by then, but not so sure if I will be. I have most of the parts to make it happen, but hit a snag with the crank damper. See the "Really, really bad Forced Induction idea" thread for details. Probably going to have to relocate more crap as well. It never ends...

Oh, and got a call from a buddy. He has a complete mid-to-late 1990s ranger that he's parting out with a 8.8 limited slip rear end, and dana 35 front end. Definately going to have a look. It also comes with deer hoof rims, a M5OD, and a freaking gross catapult-ammo worthy 4.0 OHV under the hood. So, at least I'll have a new flywheel and 10" clutch for my far-superior engine.
 
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Pepsibottle1

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I would like to try these mods myself! I can get my hands on Volvo stuff particularly cheap
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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I would like to try these mods myself! I can get my hands on Volvo stuff particularly cheap
It's almost unbelievable, but Volvo and Mercedes parts interchange with first gen Ranger pretty much flawlessly.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Tossed a stupid ricer aluminum radiator overflow bottle in, and an aluminum washer fluid tank. Needed a different tank for methanol, and wanted to clear out more room for the blower. Goodbye, plastic crap tanks!
You surely know by now that you can't use an aluminum tank for methanol... You're also gonna want the largest tank you can fit in the truck, unless you really enjoy refilling a very hazardous fluid that burns invisibly..
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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You surely know by now that you can't use an aluminum tank for methanol... You're also gonna want the largest tank you can fit in the truck, unless you really enjoy refilling a very hazardous fluid that burns invisibly..
Methanol = washer fluid.

Wait. Can you use aluminum for washer fluid?
 


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