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1997 ranger 4x4 trail truck build! UPDATED finally offroad with video


USCGC130

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1997
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
Very cool build C130. I saw part of this once but didn't go all the way through it, I was halfway through it here and still hadn't realized this started over a year ago. Very nice stuff there man :)

If you're gonna lose those auto hubs I would like a spare, if I could figure out something we could swap. If you have any ideas I'll keep a look at the PickNpay, but they don't usually have a lot of upper eschelon stuff there that I've seen :/
i mean once i get mine swapped and checked id be more than happy to ship them to you as long as you cover the shipping before hand. now that ill be manual i wont have any need for them and im pretty sure they work, just intermittently which maybe a good cleaning of them will fix them up. ill keep in touch with you after i get my new ones here and installed!

i have a few things ill be putting in the free section but you got dibs on the hubs, i also have a front coiler spacer kit i took off the front of mine that will go up inthe near future along with a few other parts pieces i removed when i did the lift.
 


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Josh B

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That sounds cool USCG. Hek, I've always liked them, I don't know why they get such a rap, they've never failed to work for me, but then I don't go extreme 4 wheelin like a lot of them do either

I got sent to the Coast Guard in 1982 when I was working offshore. The CG had decided offshore drilling rigs must be classified as ships or barges, not sure which, and that 10% of the crew must be certified. I worked for a major drilling company who had their main office in New Orleans and we got sent there on our week off, got crammed for 4 days on lifeboats and seamanship, rules of the road etc, and Friday morning taken to USCG office for an exam.
On the way down there a coworker asked if I thought I'd pass it, and the whole bus got quiet, I simply said "I didn't come here to flunk it"
There were about a dozen of us and everybody in it passed. Walked out of there that afternoon as an Able Seaman Unlimited Worldwide, excepting the Great Lakes which has entirely different rules of the road. Had I worked on a ship they said it would been 7 years before I'd be ready to take that test
 

USCGC130

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1997
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ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
Hey guys, i figured it was time for a little update, ive got the whole front end done, pretty much everything got replaced! I did the Eclip eliminator, Ujoint upgrade and full snap ring conversions, got a spare set of front axles too for the trail. I also replaced the front wheel bearing, seals, brake pads and rotors, threw on the better jeep manual Warn hubs. I put in a Aussie locker in the front since i had it all out, it was a much needed upgrade since ive learned what a waste an open diff is. While i had everything out i opened up the window in the passenger side beam a bit, i did get one little groove in the bottom edge that i might fill with some weld before Baja but i dont think it should be too detrimental for now. I also ground the shoulder on the slip joint a little as shown in the tech forum for the full C-clip conversion.

on top of the front end i added a kill switch with a key style mechanism, i just put a 50 amp battery cut-off switch in line with the fuel pump power coming out of the inertia switch, so far i think its going to work well, but i will have a nut and bolt to make a bypass incase the switch messes up. Stolen trucks are just too prominant around my neck of the woods and offroad trucks seem to be the latest target esspecially when they have bumpers and a winch. My thought process for doing the fuel pump vs ignition cut off was that they will keep trying to crank it but after it wont start they will have made enough noise and drawn atttention to them selves that they will take off, where as with the ignition, nothing would happen and they would feel its safe enough to either trouble shoot or go through all my stuff.

Ive been trying to build up my recovery gear so i bought some X-bull recovery boards (Maxtrax knock offs) this video sold me on them for my kind of offroading, i dont for see myself using them to bridge gaps, MAXTRAX Vs XBULL I also got a steal on a almost new Viair 300 pump with an ARB tire deflator for 90$ for both and then met up with Freedom Ropes (a local california company making Kintetic ropes, so i wanted to support them and they are american made) so i got a 1"x30' kinetic rope with 2 soft shackles rated at like 40K lbs breaking strength, the rope is a beast so it should hold up for a long time with my little ranger.

I got in my back seat storage and platform in, now i just need to pull the plywood off to cover it so the dogs have a nice spot the hang out and not be in my way, so my plan is to make a dog bed the size on the platform and use 4 pieces of super strong velcro to hold the bed to the plywood, ill glue and stapel the soft side of the velcro to the wood and then sew on the rough side to the dog bed, this way its easily removable to shake out or wash or just remove if i want the ply wood alone.

Then last but not least i added some never used little front LED lights my buddy gave me since he went FULL baja designs , i already had 2 holes in the bumper where i mounted them up, but they are just mounted, i havent got to my wiring phase yet. then i did a few little detail things like added a gold 4x4 decal to each side of he bed, i filled in the stamped lettering on my hubs with gold to match and hopefully be a little more visible in low light. Its been a busy last few weeks but im loving how the truck is turning out so far.

That sounds cool USCG. Hek, I've always liked them, I don't know why they get such a rap, they've never failed to work for me, but then I don't go extreme 4 wheelin like a lot of them do either
Josh i havent for got about you! you still will get my hubs, they are pretty greasy on the inside and i suspect thats why they didn't work, i bet a good cleaning should help a lot.
What a small world that you have a tie with the coast guard, we are a small branch, but it never fails to hear from someone say they have some connection with us, so its pretty cool. Good Job! Ive heard that test is tough! not sure if its changed much over the past years, i was on a 400ft ship for about 3 years and those 3 years taught me one big thing, those guys in the planes are headed back to their hilton while im suck out here in the rough ocean... so i went aviation after that lol. But those years on the ship were some of the most memorabel times ive had, there is just something about being 1000 miles from another lving soul, besides your fellow crew, that makes you feel so insignifcant, ive sailed all over the bearing sea for weeks on end, driven that ship in 60 foot waves, saild to american samoa and been standing lookout in some of the darkest skies in the world. its been amazing but in the end i am glad im not doing 20 years of that.

I hope you all like my little mods so far and am really eager to finish some of the last little things and then put this thing through the paces!

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USCGC130

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Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
update, i got my spare tire carrier done for the bed, and bolted it in, one bolt throught the bed and one through the front wall of the bed, plus an extra U bolt through the bed floor to run a strap to, i still have to get a new tire since my spare is only a 31" and im running 33's. I think it turned out well ( its not painted in the pictures but i did paint it. I also got 2 jerry can holders for a STEAL and welded them together and repainted so now i just have to bolt it down and then ill also run a strap through the cans to the Ubolt. They only came with one metal locking strap so ill weld up another one soon, it should be simple, i just havent had time to finish that little piece, but its coming together and ill be really happy to have an extra 10 gallons in the back. Im putting them where they are so i can just use my shaker sihpon and go straight down to my gas filler. BTW if you dont have a shaker siphon, GET ONE they are awesome and cheap, by far the best siphon I've ever used.
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USCGC130

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1997
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ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
Alright, time for an update i got a few things done since last time i was on. I got a full size spare mounted and got a cover for it so the UV rays of sacramento dont eat my tire. Then i spent some time figuring out a hitch, ( this will be my rear recovery point and i hope to be able to carry my TW200 on it witha motojackrack or MX hauler style carrier). Since i did a shackle flip and added Kartek rear drop hangers i couldnt use the mounting holes that the hitch required, originally i was goign to have one made, but didnt want to pay the heafty price it would have cost and for sure dont trust my welds enough to make my own. Then i got a enormous universale fitment one but after getting it, i realized that was waay too big and heavy (100 LBS class 4) and it wasnt going to work. So after looking, i got a hitch made for the ranger ( see picture below for what i got) and set off to modify it, it took me about 2 days of measuring and cutting and welded on a doubler to the top of the bumper brackets to even it out where it over lapped the kartek hanger bracket. I also had to cut off the back 1.5" of the hitch and drive out 2 crossmember rivets so i could replace it with a 7/16 bolt. You see in the picture of the hitch that there is large hole that is suppose to go around the nut of one of the bumper bolt, but i decided to use it and i sandwiched the bottom hitch with 3/16 plate that all 3 bolts go through and then added an additional small 1/4 plate under that one big hole, so it doesnt have a ton of shear strength but it will help with a heavy tongue weight from the motorcycle carrier and add some strength from the friction it applies, but both 1/2 bolts on the out side and the 7/16 bolt in the center are all upgraded to class 8 bolts, so in my mind it should be about as strong as it originally was. Any ways im really happy with it and love how neatly it tucks up.

While i was at it, i removed my front coil spacers which were about .9 inches tall, and i removed them becasue without a load in the bed it sat perfectly level but once i added the tent and camping gear it was squatting and i didnt like it plus once i get a motorcycle on the back it would have been way worse, so i removed the spacer and it now has about 1.5" of rake. Its hard to tell but In the picture below, the top is with the spacers removed and the bottom is with the spacers. With the spacers my steering was still great but as you can see, now with out the spacers my my steering is about perfectly level, hopefully this is even better than it was before but was not the reason at all why i removed them, i just wanted to be able to load the back up with out looking super squatted.

So theres how it sits now, next will be to tint the front windows, ill either do 20 or 30 percent, not sure which yet, but i will spring for the ceramic heat blocking tint.

We were suppose to be headed to Baja next week but it has been postponed until early november becasue of all the Corona craziness.

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JMF661

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1994
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
Stock
Tire Size
31” x 10.5”
Alright, time for an update i got a few things done since last time i was on. I got a full size spare mounted and got a cover for it so the UV rays of sacramento dont eat my tire. Then i spent some time figuring out a hitch, ( this will be my rear recovery point and i hope to be able to carry my TW200 on it witha motojackrack or MX hauler style carrier). Since i did a shackle flip and added Kartek rear drop hangers i couldnt use the mounting holes that the hitch required, originally i was goign to have one made, but didnt want to pay the heafty price it would have cost and for sure dont trust my welds enough to make my own. Then i got a enormous universale fitment one but after getting it, i realized that was waay too big and heavy (100 LBS class 4) and it wasnt going to work. So after looking, i got a hitch made for the ranger ( see picture below for what i got) and set off to modify it, it took me about 2 days of measuring and cutting and welded on a doubler to the top of the bumper brackets to even it out where it over lapped the kartek hanger bracket. I also had to cut off the back 1.5" of the hitch and drive out 2 crossmember rivets so i could replace it with a 7/16 bolt. You see in the picture of the hitch that there is large hole that is suppose to go around the nut of one of the bumper bolt, but i decided to use it and i sandwiched the bottom hitch with 3/16 plate that all 3 bolts go through and then added an additional small 1/4 plate under that one big hole, so it doesnt have a ton of shear strength but it will help with a heavy tongue weight from the motorcycle carrier and add some strength from the friction it applies, but both 1/2 bolts on the out side and the 7/16 bolt in the center are all upgraded to class 8 bolts, so in my mind it should be about as strong as it originally was. Any ways im really happy with it and love how neatly it tucks up.

While i was at it, i removed my front coil spacers which were about .9 inches tall, and i removed them becasue without a load in the bed it sat perfectly level but once i added the tent and camping gear it was squatting and i didnt like it plus once i get a motorcycle on the back it would have been way worse, so i removed the spacer and it now has about 1.5" of rake. Its hard to tell but In the picture below, the top is with the spacers removed and the bottom is with the spacers. With the spacers my steering was still great but as you can see, now with out the spacers my my steering is about perfectly level, hopefully this is even better than it was before but was not the reason at all why i removed them, i just wanted to be able to load the back up with out looking super squatted.

So theres how it sits now, next will be to tint the front windows, ill either do 20 or 30 percent, not sure which yet, but i will spring for the ceramic heat blocking tint.

We were suppose to be headed to Baja next week but it has been postponed until early november becasue of all the Corona craziness.

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That is some straight steering linkage! 😎
 

USCGC130

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1997
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ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
Got a few new add ons completed, ive been struggling with how to mount my traction boards, but i think i found a solution, i took some 1'x 1/8" bar stock i had around and drilled a big hole (11/16' or so) through it and then welded a large flange nut on the back so i could run my 1/2 bolts through the boards and then into the "nut plate", i also welded some large wing nuts to the end of the bolt to help with getting them in and out. They are out of the way enough that i can throw stuff in the bed over them, and they dont stick out where they are catching wind, so that makes me happy. I also needed a mount for a shovel and my axe so i used some quick fists for that, and bolted 2 to the rail on my rack and then just welded on some more bar stock to drop down the other set of fists. i love how clean it keeps the bed for all the camping gear! i also got the windows tinted to 20% and splurged for the ceramic heat blocking tint, well see if it was actually worth it. The tint doesnt match what was already on the back 100% but its good enough for me. Next up ill me mounting my tandem kayak over the tent, but it will be floating over the tent so off road it wont be rubbing through the cover material.

today im going to figure out some cable locks for the boards and shovel and axe to at least prevent someone from walking off with them, but if someone really wants them i think they will be able to get them, but i dont really leave them installed in the bed when im not headed out to 4 wheel.

i still need to wire up my rear mini LED bar and my front lights, but i just haven't got there yet.
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USCGC130

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ford
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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
So this morning i got a roof bar on using Yakima Q towers with the Q25 clips (the ranger specific ones) and its actually really sturdy, esspecially for my purpose of supporting the front of my kayak and then i bought the harbor freight bed extended that when inverted works perfectly to support the back of the kayak. It did work out perfectly where it floats several inches above the tent so it wont be rubbing on the tent cover. This was my first mock up and i will have some tweaking to do, but at least i was pretty easily able to load and unload it myself! Ill mess with it more tomorrow because its 102 here in sacramento, The adventure rig is really coming together!

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ericbphoto

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1993
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Ford Ranger
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3.0 V6
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3.0L
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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.
Loaded for fun. Looks great!
 

Jim Oaks

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Looking good!!
 

bobbywalter

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might consider bridging the hitch mounts. i need to redo mine for better load spread ...
 

Blmpkn

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Looks awesome!
 

USCGC130

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So after rethinking a few things, i decided to return the kayak hitch rack and just use a piece of kayak foam on top of the tent, and if it looks like its starting to wear on the cover, ill add a few strips of black gorilla tape under it, i think ill have better tie down points closer to the center of the kayak, it wont hinder the tail gate use and as youll see in the pictures i can utilize my hitch for a motorcycle carrier for mild trail use. I had the TW200 on my buddies rack i borrowed and it was reallly pretty stable, plus ill beef up the carrier i get and add/make a 4" riser to help with ground clearance and departure angles.

I also made some locking cables for everything to help keep my stuff from walking off, even though it wont do much to anyone who comes prepared to take the stuff. I went and got a harbor freight shovel ($8), and holy hell drilling that 1/2 hole through it took longer that i thought, it was crazy how much it took to drill through that thin metal.

Then lastly i made some nice secure paddle mounts on the under side of the tent, and love how it turned out and how they are nice and out of the way, plus they cant get damaged up there. i used mini quick fists on one end and attached them to the rack with hole clamps so i can remove them if wanted and not have a hole in my metal rack.

i love tinkering and figuring out all this stuff but im ready for everything to open so i can actually get out and test it all!

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bobbywalter

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sawzall?
Tire Size
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My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
The foam seems like a good compromise.


I love tw 200 in the northern mi sand trails. Stable and goes like a tractor.
 

bobbywalter

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sawzall?
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My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
Wow. The efficiency rocks.


Room enough for a whole years worth of beer.

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